The Big Buck Theory — There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Bracket

The NCAA tournament is famously hard to predict. So much so that Warren Buffet partnered with Yahoo! to give away $1 billion if someone nailed a perfect bracket. Your chances of winning that money are 1-in-9.2 quintillion. That number is reached when you take 9.2 billion and then multiply it 1 billion times. Now that the tournament is over, let’s look back at how quickly everyone lost.

By 2:30 PM on the second day of the tournament (still in the first round), there were only 16 perfect brackets left.  Sixteen. This point in the day was marked by Duke’s loss to Mercer, with only 2.4% of the brackets submitted having picked the Bears over the Blue Devils. Combining that upset with others like Stephen F. Austin over VCU, Dayton over Ohio State, Harvard over Cincinnati, and North Dakota State over Oklahoma and you get only 16 people with a chance at a billion dollars.

Warren Buffett is smarter than all of us.

While 16 perfect brackets remained at 2:30 PM, that number shrunk down to 1 by the end of the night. The last man standing was Brad Binder, but there was one caveat to his bracket – he filled it out on Yahoo, but did not enter it into the billion dollar pool. Sounds crazy, soon enough he was out too. In the end, no one came close. No one could even correctly predict the first two rounds of the tournament, much less every game going through the national championship. Memphis getting the win over George Washington eliminated the last three people eligible for the billion dollars, and it was all over 25 games into the 32-game first round.

The bracket that did come in first place, taking home one of the tidy $100K prizes that were awarded, got 8 first-round games incorrect. The money doesn’t go to whoever holds out a perfect bracket the longest when it comes to the smaller prizes, so because he correctly predicted 6 of the Elite 8 teams, all Final Four teams, and the national champion UConn Huskies, he won. Over on ESPN’s challenge, the champion did pretty much the same except he got 7 of the Elite 8 teams correct.

What Yahoo!, Quicken Loans, and Warren Buffett did was amazing. They offered a tangible prize to a non-existent winner. I couldn’t find the numbers behind it, but I’d guess that this was the first time in a while Yahoo had more people sign up for its challenge than ESPN. They made people believe they had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, and we all kind of held out hope.

Want a chance next year? It looks like the trick is to stop concentrating on those first-round games, because the perfect bracket isn’t going to happen. Just give up on that dream and go backwards from the National Championship and Final Four you’re taking. Think back at the person in your office pool who was ahead after the first round… did he/she win? Probably not. The first round is a crap-shoot for the most part, and while it’s fun to watch Cinderella take down one of the powerhouses, it’s not going to win you that office pool or $1 of Warren Buffett’s money.

The Week in TicketCity Search – Finalist Four

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Mar. 31st
Previous
Week
Event
Searched
1 - Final Four
2 1 Eminem
3 - 5 Seconds of Summer
4 - Texas Rangers
5 - Miley Cyrus
6 - Luke Bryan
7 7 Romeo Santos
8 Coachella
9 - LA Dodgers
10 - Fleetwood Mac

The NCAA Tournament always has trouble making a big dent in the countdown until the end, when everyone can focus on that single, most evocative of phrases: Final Four. Easier than splitting attention among sixty-odd teams, for example. This year the Final Four is “up the road” from us in Arlington, so it has an even stronger advantage securing the #1 spot this week. While it easily defeated Eminem, it will be likely be a short-lived victory.

The remainder of the countdown is almost all new this week. Landing in third place is 5 Seconds of Summer. They’ve briefly appeared once before. Their April tour is only week and some change away from rolling through Dallas.

The MLB lands two spots on the countdown as we’ve just passed Opening Day. The Rangers secure forth place, while the Dodgers lag a little down in ninth place.

Miley Cyrus’ tour is in full swing, but Luke Bryan fans have to exercise a little patience until May. They’re joined by the more loyal Roemo Santos fans, who manage to keep him on the countdown for a second week in the row. Coachella pops up as the first of the two weekends is just one week away. Finally the announcement of a new tour and reunion with Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac just makes it into tenth place.

10th place is good enough for a Fleetwood Mac video, because I don’t have to worry about content screening. Another one with Christine McVie on lead vocals, “Everywhere.” Bit more ambitious on the video side, with a setting and costumes that have a Shakespearean vibe. Not Shakespearean, though, the story is based on the narrative poem “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes. Yes, I looked that up on Wikipedia.

NCAA Tournament: Final Four Seating Chart and Guide

We’ll be seeing who makes the final four in just a few days time, and while we still don’t know if it will be Louisville, Michigan or even underdog Dayton, now’s the time to start talking about where it’ll take place.

Only one venue left, and the final destination of the 2014 NCAA Tournament is none other than the world-renowned AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Unlike the Midwest Regionals at Lucas Oil Stadium, AT&T Stadium is planning to use the entire stadium. To do so the will drop a court in the middle of the field and extend the Hall of Fame Club sections out to the court. These seats are the priciest of all, but if you can land some you’re in for a great show. In addition to extending the Hall of Fame Club sections there will also be additional risers added to both baselines of the court. If you’re looking to just get in the door for the experience a couple hundred will get you into some mezzanine sections and most of the upper concourse. Remember AT&T Stadium houses one of the largest screens in the entire world…you won’t need to be right next to the court.

There you have it, a complete guide to obtaining the seat that is perfect for you during the NCAA Tournament. To make the process of finding tickets to see your team play even easier we came up with some brackets to help narrow your search down. The NCAA Tournament Bracket will help you get down to the region your team is playing in as well as link to the specific sessions you will need to purchase to see their games.

ATTStadium-Basketball1000

The Week in TicketCity Search – Finally

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Apr. 1st
Previous
Week
Event
Searched
1 - Final Four
2 3 Pink
3 2 One Direction
4 5 Maroon 5
5 - Texas Rangers
6 1 Taylor Swift
7 - Kenny Chesney
8 4 Justin Bieber
9 - Bon Jovi
10 - Mumford & Sons

The Final Four tops the list as the championship is almost on top of us. With a single thing to search for, it makes it a lot easier for the title match-ups to make a dent on the list. In this case, the dent is pretty big. As the final match is on Monday, it may yet make the top ten next week as well.

Pink continues to climb the charts, and, outside of a popular national collegiate basketball championship, would have made it to the top this week. 1D remains in the top 3, ever the unflappable Englishmen. The official 2013 World Tour will be making the rounds in Europe this spring, and will hit the US in June.

Maroon 5′s dance card remains packed. The band’s current tour may be winding down, but they’ll be on the road again after a short break, headlining the Honda Civic Tour next fall.

To remind us that it is now, very officially, baseball season, the Rangers debut at #5 this week.

Taylor Swift’s recapture of the top spot was short lived, and she falls back to #6. The bottom five is where a similar fate awaited Justin Bieber, who dropped four spots to #8. A few returning favorites slip in there as well, with Kenny Chesney and Bon Jovi appearing after long absences.

Finally, another British band who aren’t exactly boys makes their countdown debut in the tenth spot. Mumford & Sons is a folk rock quartet out of London who exploded (in a folky fashion) into the US with the hit "Little Lion Man." Their Gentlemen of the Road Tour is playing two shows in a number of locations around the US, including the new Austin360 Amphitheater.

The Week in TicketCity Search – Taking Direction

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Mar. 26th
Previous
Week
Event
Searched
1 1 One Direction
2 3 Kid’s Choice Awards
3 2 Final Four
4 5 Drake
5 4 Justin Bieber
6 - Texas Rangers
7 8 Kentucky Derby
8 7 Bruce Springsteen
9 - Sony Ericsson Open
10 10 Masters Tournament

One Direction brutally crushed the competition again this week, in manner that does not befit a clean cut, non-threatening boy band. The Kid’s Choice Awards, most likely on the strength of a performance by that same boy band, arrives in second, and the biggest event in college basketball comes in third. The entire top five features the same events as last week, with just a couple swaps in position.

The bottom five isn’t much different either. Spring is in the air, and baseball follows soon after. Last season’s AL Champs, the Texas Rangers, start things off. Fans are ready for another shot at a World Series win this season.

Big spring events crowd the bottom five, with the Derby and Masters joined by the Sony Ericsson Open. Colloquially known as the Miami Open or Miami Masters, this tournament isn’t a Grand Slam, but it’s close. It is one of a small number of tournaments on the ATP tour with a draw larger than 64 players, other than the four Grand Slams. It’s a great way for value-minded tennis fans to see a big tournament without paying Grand Slam premium prices (or flying around the world).