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Pick the Perfect March Madness Bracket with Tips from a Mathematician

Melanie Pinola , Gawker Media

Want to win your office pool or perhaps a $1 billion prize with your bracket for the NCAA college basketball tournament this year? Increase your odds of getting your bracket more accurate with these tips from Dr. Tim Chartier, bracketology expert and professor at Davidson College.

In an article at DealNews, Chartier offers several tips to use statistics to your advantage. One of the most important factor to look at is the team's late season performance. Doing so might help you beat over 90% of the other brackets:

Chartier says that to make your bracket really hum, you have to go beyond a simple win-loss schedule. He cites recency as a major factor: that is, how well a team does late in the season, just before the tournament. "When we first started, that was all we did: weight with recency," he says. "We had a student who did that in 2009, and he beat 97% of the more than 4 million brackets submitted to ESPN. In 2010, we had a student who beat 99% of 5 million brackets. And last year we had a cheerleader, and she beat 96% of the 8 million brackets."

Another factor to weigh more heavily than others when you pick your teams is the team's road record, since, essentially, the whole tournament is away.

Although the math of picking the ultimate bracket is complex (and your odds range from 1 in 4 billion to 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 at least for the $1 billion Quicken Loans and Yahoo! Sports contest), a more strategic selection could make you the pool winner and perhaps plenty richer.

See the article at DealNews for more bracket picking strategies.

A Mathematician's Tips for the Perfect March Madness Bracket | DealNews

Photo by Ucla90024.

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