March Madness: The Last Perfect Bracket Busted After Just 40 Games

March Madness is in full swing, and it feels like everyone (and their mom) has filled a bracket.  But how do they do it?

More importantly, how do the people that are successful do it?

The video, below, highlights the "Bracket Busters" of 2015.


via FiveThirtyEight


So, who were they?  A 13-year-old who used a mix of guesswork and preferences, a 47-year-old English woman who used algorithms and data science (despite not knowing the game), and a 70-year-old bookie who had his finger on the pulse of the betting world.  

Proof that different factors can lead us to believe we have control over something with odds at 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. For those who don't wanna do the math that's 9.2 quintillion. 

That's not to say that different factors don't provide an edge. Knowing the history of the teams, their ranks, how they performed historically in the playoffs, all provide important information, to humans and machines that try to make the perfect bracket.

The way people fill out their brackets often mimics the way investors pick trades or allocate assets. Some use gut feel, some base their decisions on rank and past performance, and some use predictive models.

Just as an FYI, this March Madness, the last perfect bracket busted after just 40 games.  This includes reporting on tens of millions of brackets from, Bleacher Report, CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports and Yahoo.

People aren't as good at prediction as they predict they are.

Something to think about. 

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