May 24, 2022

Picking a perfect March Madness bracket is even more difficult than the chances of becoming an NBA player

While the NBA season is back in full swing after a truncated all-star break, things are about to start heating up not just on the NBA hardwood, but also in college basketball as the NCAA Tournament begins.

The tournament is a great chance to look at the next generation of NBA players, including some potential Spurs players, as has been the case in the past, but if you’re hoping to strike it rich by correctly predicting an NCAA Tournament bracket, our partner Betway has done the research and at this point, you’re likely to have a better chance at actually making it on the NBA hardwood as a player than you would in picking a perfect bracket.

According to Betway’s research, at odds of 120.2 billion to one, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning, win the lottery or have quintuplets than to pick a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket.

Unlike picking NBA playoff seeding, where the Spurs are currently seventh in the West, trying to nail down a perfect bracket takes tons of research, knowing matchups, and even when you’ve put in the work, there are those bracket-busters that come out of nowhere or the Cinderella teams that go much farther than expected.

A look at the unthinkable odds of correctly predicting all 63 games of the tournament shows why – as far as we know – nobody has ever pulled it off, and why it’s almost certain that nobody ever will.

The chances of correctly picking all 63 games at random are a ridiculous one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That’s 9.2 quintillion.

To put the size of that number into context, 9.2 quintillion seconds is the equivalent of 292 billion years.

If you fill out your bracket randomly, your chances are basically slim to none, but having some decent college basketball knowledge and following the scope of the sport could net better dividends. Still, the chances are pretty unlikely.

Even if you are a 5-8, 250 pound small forward with some major mechanics issues in your jump shot, yes you still have a better shot at making it into the league.

Perhaps the best way to contextualise a one in 120.2 billion chance is to compare it to other extremely unlikely occurrences that are, in fact, much more likely to happen than a perfect bracket.

Take, for example, becoming a professional basketball player.

In a typical season, there are approximately 540,000 players participating in men’s high school basketball in the United States. Less than one in 35 of those goes on to play in college, and less than one in 75 NCAA senior players is drafted to the NBA.

All in all, the chances of a high school basketball player reaching the NBA are about one in 3,300. Pretty unlikely, right?

Well, that’s still around 36 million times more likely than a perfect bracket.

Be sure to read the full article for more information, including one person who came very close to having a rock-solid bracket.