Bracketology 2012

Stuart: Were the Mayans big sports fans?

Artemis: Well, they certainly liked watching losing teams get killed.

Brackets are scored using a seed weighting -- by correctly guessing a team seeded s to win a game in round n, you earn s * 2^(n-1) points. The "first four" play-in games don't count -- the bracket starts after those are decided.

For example, if you correctly chose a 5th seed win to its first round game, you would earn 5 points. If you correctly guessed that same team would win its next game, you would earn 10 more, and then 20, all the way up to 160 for the championship game.

This year I favored the underdogs -- I went for upsets in 12 of the 32 first round games. I also had the lower seed win in all the 2nd round games in the Midwest. If my bracket were completely correct, I'd earn 238 points in the first round, 266 in the second round, 260 in the 3rd round, 144 in the regional finals, and 192 in each of the semifinals and finals, for a whopping 1292 points total!

Unfortuately, things didn't look quite so rosy after the first round games were done. Sure, only 6 of my teams had lost -- 4 of which came from my underdogs, and not more than 2 per region. But I had chosen all of those teams to win in their next games too. What's worse is that the team I had chosen to win the championship was among them.

At least all my 1/16 and 2/15 games were spot on -- those started me off strong. And I did send one first seed team to the final four, which would be my only glimmer of success towards the end of the tournament. All said, after the first round, I still had the potential to earn 629 points total -- I had earned 173 points already, and I could add another 136 in the next round, 128 in the 3rd round, and 96 in each of the following two rounds. Obviously I'd earn nothing more from the championship game.

But my bracket wasn't the only thing I had riding on the tournament. From the East through the Midwest to the West, and South too, I placed wagers on my winners for each game from the Sweet 16 on, as written in the bracket below:

[[ Bracket, pdf, 90 kB ]]