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 – The Monster at the Gates

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Mar. 24th
1 5 Eminem
2 - Lollapalooza
3 - NCAA Tournament
4 3 Tool
5 4 WWE
6 9 One Direction
7 - Romeo Santos
8 - KISS
9 1 Lana Del Rey
10 - Sony Open

The Monster Tour dings the top spot this week, helped along with the announcement of additional dates in each of the three cities the duo of Eminem & Rihanna will be visiting this summer. The tour is short, and demand remains high even with the additional dates. Also filed under short-but-sweet, Lollapalooza rockets out of nowhere to capture the second spot. It shares something else in common with the Monster Tour, as Eminem will be headlining the first day.

March Madness slides into the countdown as the tournament reaches the Sweet Sixteen / Elite Eight stage. Just a week to go until the Final Four head to Dallas Cowboys Stadium to crown the champion. So, cross your fingers and hope to salvage a few charred bits of your bracket.

Tool had to make way for basketball, while the WWE had to make room for them both as they round out the top 5. One Direction rebounds a bit this week to land at number six. In at #7 is… wait… one sec…

Okay, after a brief detour through Wikipeida, we find Romeo Santos in seventh place. Mr. Santos, as I’m sure everyone knows, is the former lead singer of the group Aventura. Aventura has landed on the countdown a few times in the past, so he’s got a devoted fan base following along. Of similarly devoted fan bases, but with more avant-garde tastes in makeup, Kiss returns at #8. They’re on tour this summer with Def Leppard.

Hey, remember when Kiss didn’t wear the signature makeup for a few years? Amusingly the official Kiss Vevo channel on YouTube doesn’t want you to forget it. Most of the videos are from that period, including this somewhat random choice, “All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose”. I was going to pan the video for a gratuitous quasi-post apocalyptic setting. But then the chicks started fencing. Yes, fencing. No, I don’t know why, nor do I think the people who shot the video know why, but it was epic.

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.


2014 NCAA Tournament: 2nd and 3rd Round Venues and Seating Charts

The journey to the Final Four begins in just a few weeks

March is closing in fast and with it resides a kind of madness we all invite with open arms. Whether you’re a basketball fan or not, the excitement of March Madness reaches out and demands our attention unlike any sporting event in the world. From the First Four to the Final Four, our eyes remain drawn to the court as the NCAA’s top 68 teams are dwindled down to 2 in the final game of the year. My job in all of this madness; make sure you’ve got the best seat in the house.

First thing’s first: First Four

The madness ensues on March 18 with the first four — a team’s last shot at obtaining a bid to the most prestigious tournament of its kind. Four at-large teams and the last four teams with automatic bids will rally around each other in either their last game of the season or their first win of the tournament. Touted as underdogs from the get go, the First Four is where Cinderella teams are born. VCU in 2011, South Florida in 2012, and who can forget LaSalle’s run last year, all of which started at the Dayton Arena. The University of Dayton Arena was built with one thing in mind, basketball. As such, you really can’t go wrong in any section of the arena. Tickets to the First Four are already at the lower cost end of the tournament as a whole so getting up close and personal with the games may not be as out of reach as you think. Either route you take, basketball at Dayton Arena is a priceless experience.


Now that our Cinderella teams are in the making, the true madness begins in 8 cities across the country. On March 20 the 2nd  & 3rd rounds of the tournament will eliminate half of the field twice in just four days. Ask anyone who has attended this portion of the tournament about it and you’re likely to get a one word response; madness. But not the type of madness that leaves you defeated never to return, it’s a more manageable madness that leaves you crawling back for more. Tickets to the 2nd & 3rd Rounds are broken up into 3 sessions. The first two sessions will be to the 2nd round, session 1 to the afternoon games and session 2 to the evening games. Session 3 tickets will get you to the 3rd round which is the final game of the 2nd & 3rd Rounds.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at Spokane Arena









Spokane Arena is in Spokane, Washington, near the Idaho border. We get underway in Eastern Washington on March 20 and will finish up on March 22. Though one of the smaller venues of the tournament with a capacity just over 12,000, the Spokane Arenas size is what makes it such a great venue for basketball. With just one level change, your typical “nose-bleed” seats are actually great seats at half the price. The remaining venues on the 2nd & 3rd Rounds docket for March 20 & 22 are a bit larger and offer a wider range of seating options.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at Amway Center









The Amway Center resides in Orlando, Florida and houses the Orlando Magic. So while a much bigger venue, capacity of 20,000, the Amway Center is still outfitted for basketball. From Presidents Suites to Courtside if you’re looking to spend the big bucks the Amway Center has the view to match it. If frugality is your main concern the promenade and terrace levels are great options for under $100.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at BMO Harris Bradley Center









Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley Center is slightly smaller with a capacity of 2,000 less than the Amway Center, but once again outfitted for basketball (home of the Bucks). There is less glamour at the BMO Harris Bradley Center as far as club level presidential VIP private boxed seats… (See what I did there), but they do have some great courtside sections that will be well worth the $300+. More seats means more options and the Bradley Center breaks down their upper and lower levels into sidelines, baselines, and corners. For the most part your sideline sections will be the most expensive, then the baselines with your cheapest seats in the corners.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at First Niagara Center









Western New York will house another portion of the 2nd & 3rd Rounds at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo. While the first on our list not outfitted for basketball, there’s not much change in seating views from hockey to basketball. The First Niagara Center keeps it simple with 3 levels (100, 200, and 300) and a ring of suites between the 200 and 300. $100 or less will get you some descent seats in the 300 level with a sky-view of the court. Anything closer to the court will be anywhere from $100-$300+.

With two days in the books the madness continues to blanket the country bombarding four more cities with another 24 games. March 21 & 23 will take the 2nd & 3rd Rounds to North Carolina, Texas, California, and Missouri to finish out the round of 62.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at PNC Arena









PNC Arena is yet another great venue on the NCAA Tournament route. Purpose built for hockey and basketball, the arena mastered sectioning to cater to both sports. The layout is very similar to the First Niagara Center, actually it’s pretty identical. The PNC Arena does have something different though, a 300 seat restaurant with a variety of food options. The pricing at PNC Arena varies some as you can find some 200 & 100 level seats for just under $100, but for the most part will be limited to the 300 level. Baseline 100 & 200 level sections are your best deal at the PNC Arena as you can usually get really close for a lot less.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at AT&T Center









Move over Spurs fans and make way because the 2nd & 3rd Rounds are headed straight to San Antonio’s AT&T Center. This is one of my favorite venues to watch basketball at and rightfully so as it was built for one of the NBA’s top dynasty’s. With room for 18,000+ the AT&T Center contains 2,018 club seats, 50 luxury seats, and 32 bathrooms, which you will see comes in handy when you’re talking about an entire day of basketball. While the balcony level seats are high the, AT&T Center utilizes its vertical space well keeping all the seats as close to the court as possible, but when the tickets are as low as $40, does it really matter? Some of your best seats for the price are going to come from the plaza level baseline and corner sections, if the tickets are not under $100 they’re not too much over. You can also get some great deals on the plaza level sidelines if you don’t mind sitting on the end sections (119, 124, and 105).

2nd and 3rd Rounds at Viejas Arena









If the Rose Bowl were a basketball stadium it might look similar to the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California. With one level of sections to hold the 12,000+ fans that fill up the arena, the Viejas Arena is an away team’s worst nightmare. The good news for you, every seat in the house is the best seat in the house. Most everything is under $200 and gets you right in front of all the action.

2nd and 3rd Rounds at Scottrade Center









Gaining the pun-full nickname of “Arch Madness”, St. Louis, Missouri will be our final stop of the 2nd & 3rd Rounds. The Scottrade Center is most often used as a hockey rink for the St. Louis Blues but as we have seen in previous venues not too much changes when you replace the ice with wood. With a capacity of 22,000 for basketball, the Scottrade Center is on the larger end of the scale but remains quite simple. The venue has 8 floor baseline sections and 6 floor sideline sections all of which are phenomenal seats if you can afford them. The 100 level shares sections with the club and can cost anywhere from $100 to $400+. While getting into the Scottrade Center for the 2nd & 3rd Rounds under $100 is a bit trickier, especially in the later sessions, the 300 level is going to be your best opportunity to do so.

75 Years of Madness

2013 marks 75 years since the NCAA Tournament began. Learn more about the history of the Big Dance, and be sure to pick up tickets to see all of this year’s action live on our Tournament page.

TicketCity - 75 Years of March Madness

The 75th Anniversary of March Madness

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