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Dr. Swift

March Madness ... Mathematically

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

What are your chances of successfully completing the March Madness bracket?

Practically impossible, but are there any tips to increase your odds? It's possible, says UNO math professor and statistician Andrew Swift.

There are over 9 quintillion (that's 9 billion billion) different ways to complete a March Madness bracket. The chance of getting it correct are much smaller than winning the lottery.

However, unlike the lottery, not every potential bracket is equally likely. Thus, identifying which brackets are most likely is certainly an advantage.

Dr. Swift, along with UNO undergraduate student John Price, performed statistical analysis on data collected from all Division I regular season games and used the results to identify the most likely winner of each tournament game, and thus the most likely bracket. View Dr. Swift's completed bracket, based on his calculations.