March Madness is back! It’s that time of year when the so-called experts add to their growing library of evidence that proves they don’t know much more than we do. A time when office bracketology guy loses the office pool to women that have never watched an entire game of basketball in their lives.
While perhaps the least effective way of determining the best team in the sport, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament sure is fun. To prove the randomness of the competition, last year we flipped a quarter to determine how a coin would fare picking games after round one. Last year, the quarter tied me and was in the 93rd percentile of brackets nationwide.
This year, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and actually entered a bracket picked by one of my quarters – a 1990-issued quarter to be exact; the same year the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels defeated Duke for the title. Here’s how it worked:
- Like last year, seeds with a historical winning percentage of .800 or better were automatically advanced. I couldn’t have the quarter pick three out of four 16 over 1 upsets… give me a break here. This meant that seeds 1-3 were automatically placed into the round of 32.
- Every other game in round one was determined by a coin flip. If my quarter landed on heads, I advanced the team on the top line. If my quarter landed on tails, I advanced the team on the bottom line.
- After round one, I advanced the best remaining seed up until the Final Four.
- This results in all four number 1 seeds making the Final Four (which has only happened once in history by the way), so starting there, I resumed flipping a coin to determine the champion.
That’s it – one take. Whatever the coin picked on the first flip is what I went with. Here are some highlights from the quarter’s picks:
- 11 first round upsets
- Three of four 13 over 4 upsets (the stat I’m most concerned with)
- 8 double-digit seed upsets
- Kentucky over Michigan St and North Carolina over Syracuse in the Final Four
- Kentucky over North Carolina in the championship game
The coin refused to give me a final score for the tiebreaker, so I picked that myself. Follow the Ryan Sleeper’s Quarter bracket to see in real-time how well anybody could do at picking their March Madness bracket and to determine if you know more basketball than my quarter does.