Posted tagged ‘March Madness’

Monday Smiles – 3/31/2014

March 31, 2014

huskiesMarch 11, 2013, New York Times: Left Behind, UConn Ponders Starting Over Again As the gradual deconstruction of a proud conference occurred over the past decade and concluded in recent months with raids by the Atlantic Coast Conference and the announced mass departure of the so-called Catholic 7 basketball universities, Connecticut has become the most successful of athletic institutions left standing in a manipulative and almost diabolical game of musical conferences.

March 8, 2014, Connecticut Post: Huskies look to regroup after embarrassing loss – The UConn Huskies only have a few days to figure out where they would will spend their March Madness.  If Saturday’s embarrassing loss to No. 11 Louisville — 81-48 in front of a sellout crowd at the KFC Yum! Center — is any indication, it won’t be on a basketball court. (more…)

That’s Odd(s)

March 22, 2014
NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-2nd Round-VCU vs Stephen F. Austin

courtesy USA TODAY Sports Images

I seem to get less response here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog to posts on sports and on science than any other topic.  So, the odds are, I’ll get even less response to this one, which touches on both.   Given that it’s posted on Saturday, which, in my experience and that of several websites that track blog traffic, is the least busy day of the week, I am probably writing to myself.   Which is OK.  I find this topic interesting.  Today … halfway through the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament … there are no perfect brackets left in the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Challenge.  Or in the ESPN Bracket Challenge.  According to Yahoo, One perfect bracket – “Brad’s Breathtaking Bracket” – remained after the 25th game in Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick ’em, but that bracket was not entered in the billion-dollar challenge.  As an engineer with a heavy background in statistics, I’m certainly not surprised.  Whether the odds of winning are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1 as most sources report or approximately one in 128 billion as Jeffrey Bergen, a math professor at DePaul University, calculated, it translates to chances of slimski and noneski.   And as reported online, slimski seems to be out of town.  Yes, I’d be willing to make a substantial bet that Brad’s Breathtaking Bracket won’t survive Saturday. (more…)

Madness, Matchsticks and Money

March 18, 2014

TSTWith the selection of the teams for the NCAA Basketball Tournament on Sunday, one of the most participatory rituals in American sports gets under way … the filling out of the March Madness bracket.  I find it amusing that the scrupulously amateur NCAA (at least when it comes to players, but that’s another post) produces the event that is the second busiest for Las Vegas behind the Super Bowl.  But it’s not just your traditional gamblers and sports nuts.  Sports fans, both serious and casual, will meticulously examine brackets available virtually everywhere online and pick each game over the next three plus weeks in hope of winning the office pool, a wager or an online bracket competition.   According to, The FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is illegally wagered annually on March Madness each year. According to the NCAA, more than 10 percent of Americans participate in March Madness office pools.   Why? (more…)

Monday Smiles – 3/28/2011

March 28, 2011

Roughly twenty years ago a group of engineers at Hughes Aircraft Company in Fullerton, CA started a pool for the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament.   Brackets were marked up by hand and delivered to the poolmeister who recorded each participant’s selections in a spread sheet.   In a defense company, gambling on company time was verboten, so in all the emails, the entry fee was stated as five matchsticks, with the winner receiving all matchsticks collected.  Eventually, a trophy was purchased and the name of each year’s winner engraved on it.  The last place finisher received a brick with the words Hughes March Madness Matchstick Challenge – Last Place scribbled across the face with a Magic Marker, a prize that came to be known simply as The Brick.   Eventually, Hughes (more…)