WASHINGTON — With the final buzzer of the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, millions of Americans looked at broken brackets and dashed hopes of perfection.
Those people are in good company.
According to the statistical journalists at FiveThirtyEight.com, the odds of correctly calling all 32 first round matchups is one in 3,426. At the end of play Thursday, the brackets on CBS, Bleacher Report, ESPN and NCAA.com reported that fewer than 1 percent of brackets remained perfect.
And that’s just day one of the first round.
At the end of play Friday, there are only 22 officially registered brackets remaining unscathed:
There is no record of a perfect bracket, ever, in the history of the NCAA Tournament. The functional odds of correctly predicting a perfect bracket are one in 128 trillion. The mathematical odds are more like one in 9.2 quintillion (18 zeroes).
So if your bracket is already busted, don’t take it personally–it was a statistical certainty. However spectacularly you went out just makes for better water cooler talk heading into next week.