You may recognize Wes Colley’s name. His BCS system helps determine who will play for the national championship.
But football is not his only game – his website sports rankings for basketball too.
And even though he’s got bracket building down to a science, he knows he’s not going to hit it just right.
That’s because he knows how many possibilities there are.
Colley says, “It’s something like a quintillion. I couldn’t even count that high. I had to look up on google what that number is called.”
A number so big – a statistician has to google it.
Let’s say you just decided to make a bunch of different brackets. How hard would it be to get one of them right?
According to Colley, “It would take you four trillion years to produce every possible bracket, if you produced a bracket every second.”
Ok so pretty hard, though you can pare down the variables a little.
Colley explains, “Big upsets are unlikely. No sixteen seed has ever won, so you can throw out those four games. Two’s rarely beat fifteens, but every year there seems to be a three that loses to a fourteen or maybe two of those. And after that, boy, I don’t know.”
And that ‘I don’t know’ – that’s where your gut comes in.
Colley has New Mexico winning the whole thing, but that’s only going by the numbers.
When Colley turns in his own bracket, he admits he’ll make a few changes, “I’ll look at my rankings and then look at some little nuances, who’s playing hot, who maybe did well in their conference tournament, who’s had an injury. that sort of thing.”
Because you can stack numbers to the ceiling, but it’s a pair of scissors in a hot-shooting hand that cuts down the nets.