Failed Bracketology

Ben Clyatt, Staff Reporter

When 11-seeded Dayton upset 6-seeded Ohio State in the first game of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, sophomore Aadit Vyas went on a “bracket-wrecking rampage.”

“I not only crumpled up my own bracket, but I destroyed other people’s brackets,” Vyas said. “It was like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of brackets.”

The NCAA Tournament tipped off this year in Orlando, Florida, featuring the top-seeded Florida Gators playing the 16-seed Albany Great Danes. Florida went on to win, and have since advanced all the way to the Final Four, along with Kentucky, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

Few people simply watch the tournament; they all get infected with the Madness. People make their own brackets, trying to correctly pick all 63 games. With written, set-in-stone predictions of all the games, games are watched with a certain fiery intensity, fans screaming at their TV, rooting for teams they’ve never seen play before solely because they picked them to win.

The odds of making a completely accurate, or perfect, bracket are one in nine quintillion. That’s one nine and 18 zeroes. Nobody has ever made a perfect bracket in tournament history.

These odds didn’t stop the 11 million people who participated in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge this year, where the prize for correctly picking the most games was a $10,000 Best Buy gift card.

Quicken Loans released a challenge, insured by Warren Buffet and only available to Yahoo! bracket-makers who entered in the challenge, where the prize for picking a completely accurate bracket was $1 billion.

Warren Buffett and his billions were safe before the first day of the tournament was even over. After the very first game, Dayton versus Ohio State, 83.7 percent of all brackets were eliminated, with Dayton pulling off the upset. Going into game 26 on the second day, VCU versus Stephen F. Austin, only three perfect brackets remained. As VCU went down, so too did those brackets.

“My brackets are just destroyed, every year,” sophomore Nicholas Yaroma said.

Brackets being busted should be the expectation for everyone by this point, yet every wrong game only seems to add to frustrations. Twitter feeds are filled during the tournament with people proclaiming they called this year’s underdog team, and others cursing the powerhouses for losing to a nobody.

“It’s as frustrating as trying to put a square block in a circular hole,” junior Joey Schulz said.