- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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The games don’t even begin until tonight. But it feels like they’re already over.

Yesterday, we reported the odds of someone filling out a perfect bracket were one in 9.2 quintillion.

Last night, Nate Silver of the spectacularly smart FiveThirtyEight blog weighed in, here: http://nyti.ms/10ae4qV.

Silver, you’ll recall, did more than just “make statistics sexy again,” as the Hollywood Reporter put it. He absolutely nailed the last two presidential elections _ getting all 50 states right in November _ and just about every Senate race. He was almost that good in 2008.

Now he’s trained his laptop and laser focus on the NCAAs.

Don’t forget to pick up a parting gift.



Just like the guys in Vegas _ and the NCAA selection committee, for that matter _ Silver made Louisville the No. 1 seed overall. Yet like everybody else, he’s not convinced the Cardinals will even make it to the Final Four.

Silver put Louisville’s chance of winning at 22.7 percent, followed closely by Indiana (19.6) Florida (12.7) Kansas (7.5) and Gonzaga (6.1).

Vegas has Louisville at 9-2, followed by Indiana at 7-1, and then Duke, Florida and Miami at 8-1.

The Cardinals were an even bigger favorite _ opening in the sportsbooks at 3-1 _ until they were banished to the Midwest regional, or what soccer aficionados like to call the “Group of Death.” Also in there is Duke, Michigan State and a few other sneaky-good teams _ Saint Louis, Oklahoma State and Oregon _ just bristling at the chance to make a bigger name for themselves.

Story Continues →