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It’s March and that can only mean one thing: college basketball. Now imagine a March without paper brackets! Paper is a very important part of March Madness.
March madness is officially upon us as the first round of the NCAA tournament began yesterday. A lot of people watch the games at work or even call in sick. No matter if you are a college basketball fan or not, you probably have filled out a bracket once in your life.
Some people follow every team and keep up with the latest statistics. However, others simply pick teams by their name or team colors (these are usually the people that do the best!).
According to an article on Bloomberg Business Week’s website by Ira Boudway titled “The Legal Madness Around NCAA Bracket Pools,” here are a couple staggering statistics about how many brackets are filled out each year.
- PickHoops processes 180,000 brackets annually
- 4.5 million brackets are filled out at CBS Sports
- 5.9 million brackets are filled out on ESPN’s free service
These numbers are nowhere close the total amount of brackets filled out annually. According to Boudway’s article, “A 2009 Microsoft survey estimated that 58 million Americans fill out brackets, and according to Las Vegas oddsmaker Pregame.com, about $12 billion is wagered on the tournament.”
Now I’m sure some people fill out brackets online –only. However, a lot of people use paper. Just imagine if 58 million people filled out paper brackets! (That’s a lot of paper).
The goal is to fill out the perfect bracket. The odds are slim-to-none. According to an article on Yahoo News! By Eddie Pells titled, “Picking perfect bracket a tough numbers game,” “If you were to stack the amount of paper it would take to fill in every bracket with every possibility among the 68 teams who will play 67 games over the next three weeks, it would not fit inside the universe.”
Pells’ article also said “According to a study by bookofodds.com, the odds of picking a perfect bracket by always going with the better-seeded team are about 35.3 billion-1.”
However, if you filled out a perfect bracket, I feel like that would be a piece of paper you would be extremely proud of. I imagine the person would frame it!
I always fill out a bracket each year. I don’t use online services. I like to print out my bracket so I can fill it out. I also find it gratifying to check off my wins and losses. I also usually have my paper bracket near me while watching the games.
Share your thoughts. Do you fill out a bracket annually? If so, do you do it electronically or on paper? Tell me why you prefer the method you use? Would March Madness be the same without paper? Have you or anyone you’ve known ever filled out a perfect bracket?