Perfect March Madness Bracket? Don't Count On It: The Longshot And Potential Impossible Odds


The 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament kicked off its first round of games Thursday that will see 63 games played to crown a champion.

Here’s a look at how likely it is to predict the correct outcomes of all 63 games and if it has ever been done.

What Happened: Several sports betting companies offer incentives to people who can predict a perfect bracket during the annual March Madness tournament.

In 2022, this includes a contest from Bally’s Corp BALY offering a $100 million bracket and BetMGM, a joint venture between Entain and MGM Resorts International MGM offering $10 million for a perfect bracket.

Back in 2014, Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A) CEO Warren Buffett offered a $1 billion prize in partnership with Yahoo Sports and Quicken Loans, a Rocket Companies Inc RKT unit.

Buffett now only offers a bracket for Berkshire Hathaway employees with the new prize being $1 million every year for life to anyone who can correctly predict the games correct into the Sweet 16, or $100,000 to the best overall bracket.

Perfect Bracket? That leads to the question of if there has ever been a perfect bracket filled out for the annual March Madness tournament.

There has never been a verified perfect bracket for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament according to

The best ever verified bracket happened in 2019 when an Ohio neuropsychologist picked games correct through the first 49 games. The loss of 2-seed Tennessee to 3-seed Purdue in overtime ended the chances of a perfect bracket once again.

The bracket from Gregg Nigl was the first time someone had correctly predicted the games through the Sweet 16 correctly and is the longest perfect bracket of all-time.

Prior to 2019, the longest a bracket had made it was 39 games in the 2017 tournament.

In 2021, no brackets made it through the first two days of games with the 28th game featuring the only 1-seed to ever win the opening round game knocked all brackets out of the running.

The odds to correctly predict the outcome of all 63 games during the tournament are 1 in 9.2 quintillion based on a 50-50 coin flip and all possible outcomes. Late DePaul professor Jeff Bergen projected the odds could be 1 in 28 billion for those who know about basketball.

The old estimate from Bergen was 2,000 years as the amount of time it would take every person on the planet filling out a bracket every minute to fill out all 9.2 quintillion outcomes.

Related Link: 11 Stocks To Watch For March Madness: AT&T, Sports Betting And Genius Sports 

What’s Next: The 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has already seen brackets busted with 2-seed Kentucky and 5-seed Iowa both falling in the opening day of first round games.

Kentucky was selected by 95.6% of people to win the game in the Tournament Challenge hosted on EPSN, a unit of Walt Disney Co DIS.

Iowa was selected to win the opening round game by 85.6% of game participants.

The two upsets led to only 161 brackets in the ESPN Tournament Challenge remaining perfect.

Through the first 18 games of the 2022 Men’s Basketball Tournament, there are only 65 perfect brackets remaining out of more than 17 million entered in the Tournament Challenge.

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Posted In: Sports BettingSmall CapSportsGeneralBetMGMESPNMarch MadnessNCAANCAA Men's Basketball TournamentNCAA TournamentTournament ChallengeWarren Buffett
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