# Odds of Picking a Perfect 2019 March Madness Bracket

Picking every matchup correctly in a March Madness bracket happens every year, but the odds are prohibitive. According to mathematicians in the past, the odds of picking a perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That’s one in about 9.2 quintillion. Duke mathematics professor Jonathan Mattingly, before the 2018 March Madness, pointed out that no 16-seed had ever beaten a 1-seed, and so there were four guaranteed wins.

He also adjusted probability on the basis of seeding and argued that the odds were really 1 in 2.4 trillion. However, Maryland-Baltimore County ended that trend last year, beating 1-seed Virginia in the first round. Other mathematicians have weighed in, such as Jay Bergen from DePaul University, who argued that the odds are “just” 1 in 128 billion. Either way, a perfect bracket is just a March Madness betting dream for most of us.

## Odds of Picking a Perfect 2019 March Madness Bracket

Now that the calendar is about to turn to March, it’s once again time to start considering the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, called “March Madness” because of the chaos that a single-elimination event brings to the title hopes of many teams that have been contenders all season long, only to have their hopes vanquished by a mid-major team. When contenders do square off with one another, the high drama often brings outcomes that basketball aficionados talk about for years to come.

One of the most popular ways to engage with NCAAB betting is the annual practice of filling out a bracket for the tournament. Some people spend a lot of time researching the 68 teams in the bracket before they fill out their picks, while others pick on the basis of mascots they like and team uniform colors that they find aesthetically pleasing. You might do a ton of research and find yourself behind someone who went with mascots in the bracket point totals.

That can be frustrating, but that’s just part of the way March Madness rolls. After all, Loyola-Chicago went all the way to the Final Four last year and hung with Michigan for a while in the national semifinal. There was a year when Syracuse came in as a 10-seed and rolled to the Final Four as well. Schools like Florida Gulf Coast, Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason have all made their mark with Cinderella stories.

### So how can you beat the curve?

First, pay attention to the strength of schedule for teams entering the tournament. If you see a 6-seed from a Power 5 conference that played a bunch of cupcakes in non-conference games but then struggled to finish in the middle of the conference standings, that’s a 6-seed that is ripe for an upset. Or perhaps a mid-major team that did much the same thing (yes, Houston, we’re talking to you right now). Even a national contender, like Gonzaga or Nevada, who rolled through a tough non-conference schedule but have had a parade of easy wins in conference play, may not be ready for the challenges that await after the first round of the tournament and could fall early.

Second, look at the numbers surrounding guard play. What is your team’s average in terms of turnovers per game? How many assists do the guards dish out per game? Ball security is a big deal, and mid-majors can exploit teams from larger conferences when their guards are inferior. We’ve seen this happen to Purdue, for example, time and time again, although their guards are playing better this year.

Paying attention to factors like these may not get you the perfect bracket. After all, Cinderella has her day every year, and she may come calling for one of your top picks. If you do the right amount of research, and the breaks go your way, you can end up winning your pool, even if your bracket is far from perfect.