# mens ncaa tournament bracket

Apparently there are 4 quintinillion or so possible mathematical outcomes for the mens ncaa tournament bracket. That number is inflated because there are some outcomes that are obviously unlikely, like four 16 seats in the final four.

If I wanted 200,000 highly probable different brackets in data format days after the seats are announced where and who could I get it from?

Moved to the Game Room from General Questions.

samclem, moderator

Define “highly probable” and “data format”. I for one would write a program that would generate them.

Here’s a way to get 163,840 different brackets, all of which I would consider “highly probable”; have five different sets of results for the first week - in the first one, all of the higher seeds win every game; then, in each of the other four, choose a different region, and have that region’s 5 seed beat its 4 seed in the round of 32 (or have its 8 seed beat its 9 seed in the round of 64). Each “group” has 32,768 possible sets of results for the remaining games.

Well, if you can come up with a perfect bracket, Warren Buffett will give you \$1 billion.

Welcome to the Dope! How many other message boards have you posed this question on in pursuit of Buffet’s offer?

You could set it up before the tournament selection. Just use the seeding, without worrying about the teams in those seeds. In general, you need 18 games that are up for grabs, since 2^18 = 262,144 > 200,000. But you can pick those games based on seed, well ahead of the tournament.

As an example, once you reach the Final Four, there are 8 possible outcomes, since there are three games remaining.

200,000 / 8 = 25,000, and 25,000^(1/4) = 12.574.

To get at least 200,000 total, you’d pick the 13 most likely brackets for each of the four divisions. For the first round, all the higher-ranked teams win. For the next round, make the 4/5 match-ups equally likely, but follow the seeding otherwise. That get’s you four factors of 2

Once you’re in the Sweet 16, you also have eight possible outcomes for each division. So assume those are equally likely to get four factors of 8.

So total, you’ve got 2^4 * 8^4 * 8 = 524,288. This is more than twice what you need, so you could decide on one 4/5 seed where #4 always wins, to bring that down to 262,144.

Alternatively, you could have all the #1’s make it to the Final four, and work out the other outcomes.

This is the only board so far.

On sheet 2, generate a lookup table with Ken Pomeroy’s rankings – team in column A, ranking (labeled “Pyth” on KenPom’s data) in column B. At the bottom, add a listing for team “Bye” with ranking 0.

On sheet 1, start at cell A64. In each column, put this data:
A64: name of 1st seed in the upper left bracket as it’s written in KenPom’s data
B64: =VLOOKUP(A64, Sheet2!\$A:\$B,2,false)
C64: “Bye”
D64: paste from B64
E64: =(B64-B64D64)/(B64+D64-2B64*D64)
F64: =RAND()
G64 =IF(F64<=E64,A64,C64)

(A tiny bit of explanation: E64 is the log5 formula – given the “true” winning percentage of two teams, it’s the probability that team 1 will beat team 2. F64 is a random number between 0 and 1.)

Copy cells A64:G64 to cells A1:G127. This will make a mess.

In cells A65:A127, put in the name of each team in bracket order. If it’s a play-in game, put the name of the second team in column C – otherwise leave it as “Bye”.

Change the formulas in cells A1 and C1:
A1: =INDIRECT(“G”&2ROW(A1))
C1: =INDIRECT(“G”&2
ROW(A1)+1)

Copy cell A1 to A2:A63 and cell C1 to C2:C63.

At this point, cell G1 is your predicted champion of the tournament. Cells G2:G3 are your finalists, cells G4:G7 are your final four, etc. (The cells in column G from row X to row 2X-1 are your final X teams, assuming X is 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64.)

Recalculate the spreadsheet (Ctrl+= in Excel) to get another bracket. Either repeat as necessary or convert the whole thing into a macro/script/program/whatever to get the results you need.

(By the way, these brackets will probably have slightly too many huge upsets – KenPom seems to predict those more often than they occur. Feel free to modify the values in column F to make things more or less predictable.)

I found a freelancing tech website and posted this job… Anyone interested in helping me on this project pm me.

What’s the pay?