The $10 million prize in the bet365 March Madness Brackett Challenge is no longer on the table, but a substantial prize remains on the line. First place gets $100,000. Okay, so it pales in comparison to $10 million. But would any of us balk at the idea of winning $100K?
Of course, since the odds of someone creating a perfect March Madness bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, did anyone expect to win the $10 million? The answer to both questions is easy—no. Then again, people win the lottery, so maybe it isn’t such a far-fetched idea.
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How March Madness Brackets Became Busted
Upsets are a part of the NCAA Tournament; it’s one of the reasons it’s lovingly referred to as ‘March Madness.’ No one sees them coming, but they happen.
A bet365 Spokesperson said: “This year’s NCAAB Championship has been full of shocks, with multiple top seeds already bounced from the Big Dance. We’re excited to see which team will be crowned national champions, and which bet365 customer will be crowned champion of the Bracket Challenge!”
KXAN, an NBC affiliate in Austin, created a timeline based on data from ESPN on how 20+ million brackets became busted:
- Maryland’s win over West Virginia knocked over half of ESPN’s brackets; only 9.8 million of over remained.
- Furman beating Virginia, knocked out another 8 million; 1.65 million remained.
- Utah State losing to Missouri knocked out another million; approximately 837,000 left.
- After Princeton knocked off Arizona, about 34,000 perfect brackets remained.
The numbers continued to dwindle with each loss; by the time Texas A&M lost to Penn State, only 658 remained. Fairleigh Dickinson taking out Purdue was the last straw.
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bet365 March Madness Bracket Challenge Details
How Do I Enter?
Entering bet365’s March Madness Bracket Challenge is easy.
If you are a college hoops fan new to bet365, click here to get started.
If you have an account with bet365 in Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio, or Virginia — that’s great! Here’s how you can enter:
- Log in to your bet365 account.
- Navigate to the bet365 March Madness Bracket Challenge promo and click “Play Here.”
- Start picking winners and fill out who you think will win each game of the Tournament.
It’s that easy. If you do not live in one of those four states, you can still enter the bet365 March Madness Bracket Challenge. But you will have to create an account with bet365.
All brackets must get turned in before tip-off of the first game scheduled on Thursday, March 16, 2023 (No. 9 West Virginia vs. No. 8 Maryland at the Legacy Arena at BJCC in Birmingham, AL, at 12:15 p.m. ET on March 16, 2023).
How Do I Win?
To win the $10 million prize, you will have to enter a perfect March Madness bracket. However, no one has ever created a verifiable perfect bracket (hence the massive prize money).
What are the chances of picking all 63 games correctly? The NCAA did the math for us and figured out there is a 1 in 12.2 billion chance of selecting a perfect bracket.
The $100,000 first-place prize, as well as the prizes awarded to the 5,000 brackets, will be determined by the highest scores. This does not necessarily mean the bracket with the most wins, as more points are awarded for later rounds.
Correct predictions have been assigned specific points value according to the round of the Tournament:
- Round 1: 10 points
- Round 2: 20 points
- Round of 16: 40 points
- Quarter-finals: 80 points
- Semifinals: 160 points
- Final: 320 points
Getting the most right will undoubtedly increase your chances, but if you struggle in the early rounds, you can make up a lot of ground late in the Tournament. It doesn’t matter how you get your points. You just need to have more than most in the end.
What Do I Win?
It is too late to enter now, of course. Brackets had to be turned in prior to the first game getting underway in the Round of 64. But those who did enter can win if they have one of the top 5000 brackets.
Here’s the payout scale for the top 5,000 brackets:
- Perfect bracket — $10,000,000
- Winner — $100,000
- 2nd — $25,000
- 3rd — $10,000
- 4th — $5,000
- 5th — $1,000
- 6th-20th — $500
- 21st-50th — $300
- 51st-100th — $200
- 101st-500th — $100
- 501st-1,000th — $50
- 1,001st-1,500th — $25
- 1,501st-2,500th — $5
- 2,501st-5,000th — $1
bet365 March Madness Bracket Challenge: Terms and Conditions
As with any sportsbook promotion, this comes with terms and conditions entrants must adhere to. For instance, as previously mentioned, people in the United States must have or get an account with bet365 in Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, and Virginia — and must be at least 21. Other terms and conditions include:
You can only enter one bracket, and once you enter, you can’t alter your picks.
March Madness Bracket Tips
If you ask a dozen people for tips on filling out your bracket, you will hear a dozen different things. Some will do tons of homework on each team, watch countless hours of basketball, know teams inside and out, and do just as well as their significant other that picked the coolest/prettiest uniforms.
But if you believe in statistics and trends, the following tips could be helpful:
- Records for Round of 64 matchups since the Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985:
- No. 1 vs. No. 16: 147-1
- No. 2 vs. 15: 138-10
- No. 3 vs. No. 14: 126-22
- No. 4 vs. No. 13: 117-31
- No. 5 vs. No. 12: 95-53
- No. 6 vs. No. 11: 91-57
- No. 7 vs. No. 10: 89-58
- No. 8 vs. No. 9: 72-76
- A No. 12 team has upset a No. 5 seed in 32 of 37 tournaments.
- At least one No. 1-4 seeded team has lost in the first Round in 32 of 37 tournaments.
- A No. 13 seed has won at least one game in 26 of 37 tournaments.
- A No. 15 seed has never won at least one game in three consecutive tournaments; a No. 15 seed won at least one game in the last two.
- No. 5 seeds have gone 21-19 SU, 14-24-1 ATS versus No. 12 teams since 2012.
- No. 8 vs. No. 9 is often one of the more competitive matchups in the opening Round, but the underdog has gone 30-22 in the last 13 tournaments.
- Since 2011, No. 11 seeds have gone 11-9 vs. No. 6 seeds in the last five tournaments.
- At least one First Four team has advanced to the second Round in ten of the last 11 tournaments.
- The last four No. 3 seeds to lose in the Round of 64 came from the Big 12; two of the four No. 3 seeds are from the Big 12 this year (Baylor and Kansas State).
- No team seeded from No. 9 to 16 has ever made the championship game.
- No. 1 seeds have a 25% chance of making the Finals and a 16% chance of winning.
- No. 2 seeds have a 20.8% chance of making the Finals and a 9% chance of winning.
- No. 3 seeds have an 11.8% chance of making the Finals and a 7.6% chance of winning.
- The highest seed to win is No. 8 (Villanova in 1985).
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