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Don't Save the Madness

posted Mar 27, 2014, 5:04 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 27, 2014, 5:07 AM ]

Brice Lawrence

Two things are for sure when the end of March hits: spring and March Madness. One of the two has yet to be found, while the other has been prevalent as basketball die-hards obsess over their brackets. Why don’t we forget about the spring disappointment, and focus on March Madness and why no one will win $1 billion.

Image courtesy of: cbsaltitudegroup.com (fair use)

The college basketball world has had its championship claimed by 34 different teams in 76 years. The first championship was won by the Oregon Webfoots, now the Ducks, in 1939, in an eight-team field.

UCLA has won an impressive 10 championships under the legendary coach John Wooden. The most recent championship was awarded to Louisville in their 82-76 win against Michigan (ncaa.com). This is the second year of the 68-team field after the NCAA decided to add four more teams to the mix.

The official start of the tournament tipped off with Selection Sunday, a show revealing all of the teams who made it into the tournament and bracket placement.

The first round was played on March 18-19 in the UD Arena The second and third rounds take place on during March 20-23 in Buffalo, N.Y., Milwaukee, Orlando, Fla., Spokane, Wash., Raleigh, N.C., San Antonio, San Diego, and St. Louis.

The South and West regional games occur on March 27 and March 29, in Memphis, Tenn. and Anaheim, Calif. While these two regionals take place, the Midwest and East regionals take place on March 28 and 30 in Madison Square Garden in New York, and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The results of the semifinals pit the Final Four teams, and games will take place in the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 5. Finally, the championship game ends the season on April 7 in the same stadium.

Wichita State was ranked 17th in the pre-season polls and surprised the nation by  remaining the lone undefeated team, matching a 1991 UNLV record for most wins (34-0). They were currently ranked 2 behind Florida, but their season was ended short by Kentucky on  March 23 (espn.com). Wichita State was able to start their surprise run last year, when they beat Ohio State to reach the Final Four.

Another surprise of the season was University of Virginia’s stellar performance as they started the season unranked and managed to capture the number 3 spot after winning the conference and it’s year-end championship.

With four regions comes four top-seeded teams, and the teams named first seeds are; Arizona, Florida, Virginia, and Wichita State. Florida’s South Regional has 7 of the top 25 AP ranked teams Arizona has 5 in it’s West Regional, Virginia has 6 in the East Regional, and Wichita State competes against 4 in the Midwest Regional. Wichita State has arguably the hardest region, hosting three top-10 teams (Louisville, Michigan, and Duke).

Sidebar: You’re odds at Taking Warren’s Wealth

March Madness is known for its upsets and Cinderella runs, and if you thought you had a decent chance at Warren Buffet’s $1 billion, you might want to think about these numbers:

There are 64 teams in the tournament. The numbers for possible winning combinations is some 9.2 quintillion different ones. How big is that number? It’s big enough to tell you that 1 million multiplied by 1 trillion is only 1 quintillion. Didn’t make that number any easier? How about a 1 with 28 zeros after it.

Another aspect of the numbers: with each of the 9.2 something combinations on a different piece of paper, it would weigh up to 184 trillion tons, or 500 million times the weight of the Empire State Building. If you were one of the 15 million to fill out Warren Buffet’s bracket for the $1 billion, you still have a 8,500 to 1 chance at being perfect. DePaul’s math professor Jeff Bergen says you have a better chance at buying “one Mega Millions ticket [just one] and one ticket of the Powerball, and winning both in one week.” (pennlive.com)