By Christopher Miles
March 21, 2014
Surely by now you’ve seen that Warren Buffett has offered up a $1 billion to anyone who can successfully pick the winner of every single game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Yes you read that right, a billion dollars, as in the number one followed by nine zeros. Although I’ve read that your odds of producing a perfect bracket are roughly 1 in 9.2 quintillion.
I’m a writer which means my math skills are a little suspect (that’s what happens when you routinely fall asleep in math class), apparently a quintillion is a 1 with 18 zeros behind it. Seriously how many of you knew that a quintillion is actually a number? Doesn’t it sound a lot like a word some 6-year-old made up when talking about how much money they will make one day?
Anyway, more skilled mathematicians have tabbed the odds of a prefect bracket more in the 1 in 128 billion range for those who know at least something about basketball. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a little bit better about my chances already.
What I truly need in this situation is a time machine and a copy of Grays Sports Almanac, just like the one Biff had in the movie “Back to the Future,” you know go forward in time, find out all the winners and then return to March 2014 to fill out my bracket.
But since time machines are in short supply, I guess I’m going to have to rely on my gut feeling and years of picking winners to get me through this year’s quest for a perfect bracket.
I remember the first time I ever filled out a tournament bracket, I was 7-years old and was big fan of Big Ten basketball. Growing up in Michigan and not having the plethora of sports television options and access to the Internet like we have today, I only really knew about the Big Ten schools and the occasional highlights I would see on ESPN and thus I picked the schools I knew the best to go as deep in the tournament.
Well my limited expertise was good enough to correctly pen Indiana as the national champion and win the bracket contest amongst my group of friends, which meant a prize of a sickening amount of dime store candy and root beer. Imagine that, my first go of it and I got it right.
Last year I encouraged our Madison County readers to look over my shoulder in a sense and copy from my bracket. If you did such I can guarantee you didn’t win your office pool, but you see it was all a part of my grand plan to keep you from copying this year when I’m filling out my perfect bracket.
In this business you have to stay ahead of the curve, so I had to throw you off of my trail. I couldn’t necessarily give you and all your friends the secret formula to decoding the bracket because a billion dollars can only be split so many ways.
Well since you’ll be reading this after the tournament has already started I guess it’s safe to at least give you the perfect back end of the perfect billion dollar bracket.
In the West I’ve got Arizona and Oregon meeting in a regional final in Anaheim, in the loaded Midwest regional in Indianapolis you’ll get Louisville and Duke locking horns. The South regional final in Memphis will pit Florida against Syracuse and my Michigan State Spartans will be playing in the East regional at Madison Square Garden against Iowa State.
The Final Four match ups will definitely be Louisville topping Arizona on one side and Michigan State squeaking past Syracuse on the other. Thus, setting the stage for the championship final and my imminent induction into the exclusive billionaire’s club.
My Spartans will fall in a heart breaker, but I won’t care too much because I’ll be sitting on stacks of cash a few hours after the championship game is over. I’m pretty sure a bank account full of money, an ice-cold tropical adult beverage and the warm breeze coming off the ocean will be a perfect spot to get over a tough loss.
If for some reason I made a mistake and my bracket is nearly perfect instead of perfectly perfect. Then you know where to find me, right here at my desk working on that plan to acquire a time machine.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 18 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.