I originally put this in the Browns thread but thought it should be here. Never underestimate the power of a monkey with a calculator.

9,223,372,036,854,775,808

This is not even close to right. They make a lot of ridiculous assumptions in coming to this number. If I had some time to do the leg work, I could give you a much better probability.

I recreated this number in about 5 seconds by tracing their faulty assumptions. For the math geeks out there, what they did was considered every event as a "Bernoulli Process" with a probability outcome of 50:50 generating a binomial distribution.

Essentially, the calculation becomes (1/2)*(1/2)*(1/2).... 63 times (in order to eliminate 63 teams there must be 63 games in the tournament and 63 outcomes). This generates a % probability, now take the inverse of that to get the "9,223,372,036,854,775,808:1."

The real flaw is that this method assumes that a 16 seed beating a 1 seed has probability of .50 (50:50 chance). In the 20 some years since expanding the tournament this has never happened. That is 80 trials with 0 successes, that implies (statistically) that the probability of a 16 winning the game is 0 and removes 4 powers of 2 from the answer (divide by 16).

Here is another ridiculous aspect of this "model," it assumes (as a consequence of its probability assumptions) that every team has an even probability of winning the tournament. So basically a 16 seed has the same probability of winning the tournament as a 1 (1 in 64 or 1.5625%).

If I offered you any of the 1 seeds this year at 64:1, would you take it? Hell yeah you would. How about if I offered you a 16 seed (or for that matter an 8 seed at 64:1)?

Now you can also essentially remove the 2/15 matchup because the 2 nearly always wins that, and the same with the 3/14 and the 4/13. These upsets happen, but not anywhere near 50% (I would guess 2/15 happens about 3-5% and the others happen about 10%) of the time.

Now all of a sudden instead of 2^63 we actually have ~ 2^47.

These changes bring the probability down from [quote]9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1 all the way to 140,737,488,400,000.

Now this 140 trillion is still a big number but there are more simplifications,

That will bring it down futher, outside of the first round, the odds start getting more difficult to calculate as this begins to expand into a Markovian process, but I think you can agree that 1's do not lose to 8/9's 50% of the time, nor do 2's lose to 7/10's 50% of the time and so on.

Statistics like this are exceptionally deceiving and really piss me off because they seem accurate, but they are not. Not even close. With some research, you could reduce the probabilty much further, but it is not worth it for me to do it.... I don't actually get paid to report truthful and accurate facts by a major network (maybe I should).