tringlomane
Joined: Aug 25, 2012
• Posts: 6272
January 22nd, 2014 at 4:22:00 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

Isn't there 68 teams and 67 games now in the tournament?

Standard March Madness pools ignore the opening games, and this contest is the same.

Odds: Grand Prize – 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808, which may vary depending upon the knowledge and skill of entrant

That's 2^63, so they are ignoring the opening games.
Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
• Posts: 23104
January 22nd, 2014 at 4:29:09 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

Isn't there 68 teams and 67 games now in the tournament?

I don't think so. See this page for the brackets.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
tringlomane
Joined: Aug 25, 2012
• Posts: 6272
January 22nd, 2014 at 4:42:44 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Does anyone see a flaw in my math? How about a logical argument for the 1 in 2^32 used by the Daily News? Granted that the higher ranked seed (lower number) is not always the favorite, but that can't be the only reason for this disparity. Thoughts?

1. No, assuming there are no mistakes in the historical records.

2. They are the NY Daily News, that's why!

3. I think your method is a pretty good estimate for a "skilled player". If you can find data from a large pool that would repick after every round, that could give a better estimate of "win percentage per game". However, I can't think of a public bracket that actually does that.
skrbornevrymin
Joined: Jun 24, 2011
• Posts: 168
January 22nd, 2014 at 4:57:29 PM permalink
How much does it cost to enter this contest? How many times can you enter? What is the deadline to enter and is it before or after the first round? With \$1billion being such a large number, there may be a way to use an "educated guess" system to narrow down the possibilities to increase the chances of winning to considerably less than what random numbers imply. Also, what happens if more than one person wins, is the prize split among the winners or not?
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
• Posts: 7550
January 22nd, 2014 at 6:08:09 PM permalink
Quote: tringlomane

Standard March Madness pools ignore the opening games, and this contest is the same.

Odds: Grand Prize – 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808, which may vary depending upon the knowledge and skill of entrant

That's 2^63, so they are ignoring the opening games.

i see, according to their dates the contest doesn't start until the second round.
Order from chaos
Beardgoat
Joined: Apr 2, 2012
• Posts: 876
January 22nd, 2014 at 6:11:27 PM permalink
This is misleading. The first round is really the "play in" games where the final 8 teams play in 4 games to advance to round 2. Round 2 is when the field of 64 starts
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
• Posts: 7550
January 22nd, 2014 at 6:12:25 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I don't think so. See this page for the brackets.

The NCAA considers there to now be 68 teams. The other four games used to be called "play in" games but they changed that last year and called those games round one of the tournament.

Order from chaos
ThatDonGuy
Joined: Jun 22, 2011
• Posts: 4837
January 22nd, 2014 at 8:14:54 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

Quote: Wizard

I don't think so. See this page for the brackets.

The NCAA considers there to now be 68 teams. The other four games used to be called "play in" games but they changed that last year and called those games round one of the tournament.

If you want to get pedantic, the Dayton game was never a "play-in" game (unless you're Jim Rome), as both teams were considered to be "in the tournament," especially for tournament money purposes. The only actual play-in games I remember (where the NCAA did not consider the losers to be in the tournament) were in the first year or two of the 64-team bracket; the worst eight or so conferences historically were paired against each other the week before the bracket was announced, and only the winners were included.
reno
Joined: Jan 20, 2010
• Posts: 721
January 22nd, 2014 at 8:57:44 PM permalink
Buffet isn't worried. Apparently it's easier to hit 4 holes-in-one in a single round of golf than predicting this thing perfectly.

From The Atlantic magazine:

"You might consider the odds of filling out a perfect March Madness bracket to be, well, small. You would be wrong. Flipping a coin and getting 10 straight heads; predicting the Super Bowl MVP before the NFL season begins; finding exact change in your pocket—the odds of these marvels occurring are, indeed, small. But the chances of correctly guessing all 63 games in the NCAA tournament are so vanishingly minuscule, they exist in the realm of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and "President Alec Baldwin"

Those odds are 1 in 128 billion, according to DePaul math professor Jeff Bergen. (Some outlets are quoting 1 in 9.2 quintillion, but that assumes that all 63 games are 50-50 toss-ups, which they're not. For example, Number 1 seeds just about always advance to the second round.) If everyone in the United States filled out a bracket, Chris Chase calculated, we'd get a \$1 billion winner every 400 years."
reno
Joined: Jan 20, 2010