With winter slowly giving way to the approaching spring, arguably the greatest period in sports has finally come upon us. I am of course referring to March Madness, the colloquial term for the NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament.

The tournament is a series of 64 single-elimination games played between the best college teams in the nation. The results of each game are displayed by using a bracket, and each year millions of Americans attempt to correctly guess the results of each game in order to achieve the milestone of having “the perfect bracket”. There is no official record of anybody ever having a perfect bracket, but this does not stop people from trying anyway.

In 2012, a math professor from DePaul University concluded that the odds of a perfect bracket were about 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,755,808 (1 in 9.2 quintillion). Just for comparison, you have a 1 in 250,000 chance of getting killed by a meteorite, 1 in 175 million chance of winning the Powerball lottery, and 1 in 700,000 chance of being hit by lightning. The chances of a perfect bracket are so low that last year, businessman Warren Buffet offered $1 billion to anyone that successfully picked a perfect bracket (needless to say, he didn’t have to pay out). Assuming that you are a normal, rational person, you may see these odds and decide to not even try to fill out a bracket. Well, I am here to tell you that you can still do so, and you definitely do not need to be a college basketball guru to be successful with your bracket!

There really is no correct way for picking your teams in your bracket. Sure, you can do your research, find out which teams have the best records, and fill your bracket out that way, but March Madness is known for its upsets and unfamiliar teams going on Cinderella runs. Because of its unpredictable nature, anybody and everybody is equally qualified to fill out a bracket!

Some methods that people have used to fill out their brackets are: most bizarre mascot, prettiest uniforms, colleges that family or friends attended, familiar colleges, or just blind picks.

Unfortunately, UD will not be partaking in this year’s tournament after losing in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. The team that is most likely to win it all this year in the University of Kentucky, which has an astonishing record of 34 wins and 0 losses in the regular season. The Kentucky Wildcats are looking to be the first team to go unbeaten in the regular season and win the March Madness tournament since the Indiana University Hoosiers in the 1975-1976 season.

Whether you are a serious fan who is looking to win big, or a casual fan who wants a friendly competition with coworkers or peers, the insanity that is March Madness is for anybody and everybody! So, pick your teams, sit back, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

~Scott Eisenhart

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