The field of 68 is set.

Strategies Vary for Picking Brackets

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The field of 68 was announced on Sunday.

Within one week, that will be down to just 16 teams.

The annual NCAA Tournament, known as “March Madness,” kicked off at noon on Thursday with 12 hours of college basketball.

“March Madness is great because it is basketball for three straight weekends, what’s not to love about that,” Hannah Paris, an Ohio University freshman said.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, nearly 40 million people across the country

The field of 68 is set.
The field of 68 is set.

filled out a bracket in 2015. That number is expected to rise to an estimated 70 million this year. Those filling out a bracket are hoping to become the first person ever to have a perfect bracket.

Barring that, they at least want to beat their friends.

“My fraternity, we put in some money and fill out a bracket and my family actually has one,” Spenser Brown, a sophomore at Ohio University said. “It is a nice competition, friendly competition, everyone have some fun and maybe make some money.”

The odds of achieving a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion. A perfect bracket has never been done. According to, the longest someone has ever gone with a perfect bracket was 34 games in 2015. Although that sounds good, it didn’t make it past Saturday of the first weekend.

Strategies differ by the person. Some base their picks on research – others use their heart.

One of the nearly 70 million brackets filled out this week.
One of the nearly 70 million brackets filled out this week.

“University of Kansas, KU, Rock Chalk,” Blane Levin, a junior at Ohio University said. “I’m from Kansas but I think they have good guard play and they have a star who can take over to help them win six games in a row, which is what it takes to win a national championship.”

Buffalo Wild Wings, one of the most popular places to watch the tournament, is the official sponsor of the NCAA Tournament. The restaurant features a website dedicated to the “Big Dance.”

“I’m definitely going to watch it at Buffalo Wild Wings,” Paris said. “I can’t wait to watch it there with my friends.”

Odds say that a perfect bracket will not happen again this year. But the odds do say that a lot of bets will be placed. So whether your strategy is to listen to the experts, pick by mascot, personal intuition or by favorite school, history proves that, at some point, your bracket will be busted. But watching the tournament and potentially winning money is a reason to watch for everyone.