- Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome back to an alumni-packed edition of BracketRacket, the one-stop shopping place for your offbeat NCAA tournament needs. Today, we explain why Warren Buffett is rich and you’re not, why you don’t always need a private jet to enjoy the tourney, and how a kid actor nearly stole the show. Without further ado:



I’m upset.

You’re upset.

And because misery never lacks company, so are all the other geniuses who penciled Cincinnati, Ohio State and Oklahoma into the third round. According to one estimate, at least 95 percent of the 100 million or so brackets filled out all across America were busted by the time the NCAA tournament was barely 12 hours old. So just about the only guy still smiling when his head hit the pillow last night was Warren Buffett, and that’s because he won’t have to worry much longer about handing the $1 billion he stuffed under his mattress to anyone who finished the tourney with a perfect score.

Lord knows the lengths people went to hoping to get their hands on that cash. BracketRacket’s favorite scheme involved rats in replica jerseys racing through a maze built in the shape of a bracket. Taking “March Madness” to ever-greater heights, ESPN aired a video of the whole shebang, which you can watch (thanks to Awful Announcing) here: http://bit.ly/1l957ub

Of course, knowing how to play the odds - they were 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or, rounding off, 9.2 quintillion-to-1 against such a possibility - is one reason Buffett still has most of his money.

The good news is there’s still hope. The bad news is that what little remains likely resides in the already sparsely populated state of North Dakota.

Just like the rest of us, math students at North Dakota State came up with a formula to help them fill out their NCAA brackets, And while they might be smarter - they called theirs a “logistic conditional probability model” - they, too, picked Oklahoma to beat NDSU. They also missed the upsets by Harvard (over Cincy) and Dayton (OSU).

But humans are not always logical. And they can be loyal to a fault.

“I did actually pick NDSU to upset Oklahoma in my personal bracket,” said NDSU senior Bryan Rask, a mathematics and statistics major who worked on the project. “We’ve got a lot of senior leaders on our team, and if (Taylor) Braun and (TrayVonn) Wright play at the top of their game, I think we have a pretty good chance at the upset.”

Take that, “SportsCenter.”



Story Continues →