I’m kinda like the king of the dorks

OK, a little bit about how to read the world-famous report made possible only by the fact that I am a a major nerd:

  • If your best place finish is 6 or higher, you can still win money
  • The “Root for” column tells you who you need to win for your best case scenario.  It’s in order, too, so the first team listed is the one you want to win it all, the next one you want in the final game, the next two are the rest of the Final Four you want and the last four are the balance of the Elite Eight you want.
  • But most people can win under more than one scenario, so when it says “+ 469 other scenarios” that means you win under 470 out of the 32,768 possible scenarios.  But your odds of winning money are better than that because the 470/32,768 would be the percentage of scenarios in which you win your “best place finish”.  You may finish lower, like 6th place and still make money.
  • Sticking with the above example, your odds of getting your best place finish is not = 470/32,768 because not all scenarios are equally likely.  When Melinda Friou got stumped by that, I came up with “Do you think Loyola and Duke have the same chances of winning the tournament???”
  • Why 32,768?  Each game is binomial (has exactly 2 possible outcomes) and there are 15 games, so 2 to the 15th power (2^15) equals 32,768 possible outcomes for the tournament.
  • The report does not consider tie breakers.
  • Some people get confused when their  best scenario involves rooting for teams they did not pick.  My first instinct is to say something snarky like you shouldn’t have majored in history and should have taken a math class here or there, but I will resist.   Say you had Virginia.  You need to root for Loyola to kick butt and win the region so that all those points that you AREN’T getting for Virginia are also points nobody is getting.  Call it good defense if you will.  You don’t win the pool by having a  high score, you win by having a highER score than others.


Some observations:

Let’s begin with the end in mind. Six people are fighting for last place:

  2. Anderson, Rob
  3. Dudley, Will
  4. Keegan, Michael 2
  5. MAG7–HFY
  6. McKenny, Ryan

Note that Ryan McKenny has one bracket in my pool and it is fighting for last.  He has two brackets in a work pool and they are tied for last in that one.  Why didn’t he just put all his money on KSU?  Note “MAG7” is Jeff Needham.  I assume “HFY” is for “high-five you”.  Jeff, high-five you back.  The two Andersons are sucking it up and giving Will Dudley a chase after it looked like he had it all locked up.  And what would a last place chase be without a Keegan?

So 140 out of 317 of us can do was well as 6th and place in the money.  That’s just a little under half of us.  This includes Caylee Canonico who is currently in 284th place, the lowest placed person who could still vault up to the money.  Attagirl Caylee.

Daddy (that’s me….I have a lot of names) is still in the running for the money.  GO DUKE!