Pursuing the Perfect March Madness Bracket: NCAA Tournament Decided by Coin Flip, ChatGPT, Mascots

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An American Gaming Association survey estimates that 56.3 million American adults plan to participate in a March Madness bracket contest this year.

That Kentucky was the most popular choice to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament championship among the 2,200 adults surveyed by Morning Consult suggests there is a need for some informed help in filling out all these grids. This is not the place for such learned analysis. But the fact that so many supposedly educated basketball fans and analysts year after year have failed to ever produce a perfect March Madness bracket suggests that the approaches below might at least be worth an alternate entry in the pool where you didn’t Venmo $25 to Kris in accounting.

And what if it works?

Coin Flipping our Way to a Perfect Bracket

According to a study by the NCAA, the odds of filling out a perfect March Madness bracket are “1 in 120.2 billion (if you know a little something about basketball).” How’s that worked out?

The same eggheads calculate the odds of nailing a perfect one at “1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (if you just guess or flip a coin).”

For fear of letting any possible valuable — albeit unlikely — insight cloud a guess, I used a coin-flip generator to produce the bracket below. The fake coin was tough on top seeds, but at least let No. 1 Houston reach the Final Four. Kennesaw State was a flip darling in leaping from a 14 seed to the Elite Eight.

Book it.


March Madness Mascot Wars

I decided to utilize ChatGPT for trickier ones, because according to my Google feed, it’s going to take over every other task on Earth anyway. Maybe even sports betting, according to artificial intelligence practitioner and YouTube influencer Siraj Raval.

But alas, the passivist AI bot was of no help when I ran into a tough battle between an Aztec warrior and a paladin in No. 5 San Diego State and No. 12 Furman in the second round.


Pity. Because a few nettlesome matchups arose:

  • USC vs. Michigan State in the first round. Classic city-state battle here. Troy v. Sparta. Lots of history. Who controls the paint controls Greece. Advantage, Michigan State, and the Trojans are coming home on their shield.
  • A second-round matchup of Tigers in Missouri vs. Princeton. I went with Princeton because it values orange in a Tiger.
  • More tigers! It’s Texas Southern vs. Memphis in the second round, also. I went with Memphis because those tigers could celebrate with Gus’s hot chicken afterward.
  • Now it’s wildcats! Kentucky vs. Kansas State in the second round. Go with Kentucky, just in case that AGA poll is onto something.
  • It didn’t actually arise, but there was almost a Gaels-on-Gaels kerfuffle in the second round involving Iona and St. Mary’s. How does a Virginia Commonwealth Ram beat a Saint Mary’s Gael but fall to an Iona Gael? I don’t know, either.


Spartans v. Vikings. Epic. Book it.

Also read: March Madness odds | Biggest Upsets in March Madness History | NCAA Tourney Game Betting Lines

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Senior Writer
Brant James is a senior writer at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats, once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr., and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella yelled at him numerous times. In covering the sports betting industry, he's looking for what and who are next and why.

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