Zachary Eliopoulos, Editer

Duke is the 2015 NCAA Basketball Champion.  For me, March Madness is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year.  These thrilling college basketball games come down to the wire almost every game no matter if it is a 15 seed vs a 2 seed, or an 8 seed vs a 9 seed.  This year was an easier year to pick a bracket, because there were less upsets than previous years. But even with that, there is still a 1 in 9.2 quintillionth (9,223,372,036,854,775,808) chance of picking a perfect bracket, so of course nobody did this year. In fact nobody has ever picked a perfect bracket in the history of March Madness.  To put this into perspective, it would be easier to win the Mega Millions lottery two times in a row by buying the same numbers for both drawings than it would be to get a perfect bracket.  Getting a perfect bracket is also the mathematical equivalent of picking the winning party of each presidential election through 2264.

Although your chances of picking a perfect bracket are close to zero, why do people still make them?  I asked this question to Chris Remy, a student at Ipswich High School who came in first place in my March Madness pool of 58 people and cashed in his 1st place winnings of $225. “I do it for the enjoyment of every single game.  It keeps me on my toes, giving me that hope of cashing in that money.”  Having such a low probability of picking a perfect bracket, how on earth do you do it?  Chris responded, “I pick it based on using my own knowledge on who I thought was going to win.  I tried looking at the stats of the teams early on in the season, but these games could go either way.”

I also asked Perry Eliopoulos, my dad, and who also came in 5th place in my pool, this same question. “I started working on my bracket at 11am when it was due at noon that day.  I just looked at the teams and remembered who has been good in the past, and I also looked at some stats, but I didn’t have much time.”  Chris and he both picked Duke to win the national championship even though one spent a lot of time filling out their bracket, and the other spent a few minutes.

After asking two different people, and knowing that last year the winner chose their bracket by looking at the teams jerseys and decided on which colors she liked best, I wondered if doing research on all the teams even helps in March Madness.  To me, doing some research may help to pick the winner, but for all those other games, it is more like the luck of the draw.