True Odds of a Perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket - 2011


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True Odds of a Perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket - 2011

March Madness begins on Tuesday, and 67 college basketball games will be played through the Final Four. More 100 million Americans are expected to take part in the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament  brackets, risking an estimated $3 Billion dollars in online and office bracket pools.

Countless businesses and websites will be offering bracket contests with the grand prize requiring a perfect tourney bracket. But what really are the odds of a perfect NCAA bracket?

Last year an Autistic kid gained national attention for picking a perfect bracket for the first two rounds of the tournament. Amazing, but still far from perfection.

2011 Perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket – True Odds

There are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible brackets. That's the number nine follow by eighteen zeros. That's over 9.2 quintillion. Some examples of just how big this number is.

Other ways of explaining just how big the odds are against a perfect NCAA bracket:

If everyone on the planet each randomly filled out a bracket, the odds would be over ONE BILLION to 1 against any person having a perfect bracket.

If one bracket per second was filled out, it would take 292 TRILLION years to fill out all possible brackets (that's 20 times longer than the universe has existed).

If all the people on earth filled out one bracket per second, it would take over 43 years to fill out every possible bracket.

If all possible brackets were stacked on top of each other (on standard paper), the pile would reach from the moon and back over 1.1 million times.

All possible brackets (on standard paper) would weigh 90,000 times more than every man, women, and child on earth combined.

Even if a person had a 90% chance of winning each game he picked, his odds would still be 763 to 1 against picking a perfect bracket.

68 vs. 64 teams:

The calculations above assume a 64 team bracket – if expanded to consider 68 teams, multiple the figures by 16.

The forums will be packed with free NCAA tournament picks and predications. Check out online sportsbooks for updated tourney lines and odds.

Related Reading: Bracket Tips - 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket Strategy, Rules, and Advice

Feedback . . .

Do you ever feel like if you just caught a few breaks you could pull off a perfect bracket??

How many brackets will you fill out?

Do you like a 64 or 68 team tournament?

Do you like gambling on games, or betting on NCAA tourney bracket pools more?

  • lol just found this again and had to laugh out loud.

  • USA Today featured this reporting in today's Print Edition, on page 3C.

  • With the 4 play in games I believe the number is actually higher...  i calculated it to be 2**67 =


  • This original reporting is carried by CNBC:

  • After seeing this and hearing that they moved the field to 68 teams Im not filling out a bracket NO POINT

  • The 68 team field makes a bit of a mess.  Previously, the play-in game wasn't really of any consequence, but now there are decent teams playing on Tuesday. The outcome of Tuesday games may affect how one picks the first round.  Is everyone gonna wait until Wed. to fill out their brackets?