Perfect NCAA hoops picks? That’s a real long shot.


University of Connecticut women celebrate their championship win last year. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)

It’s March, so it’s time for the NCAA basketball tournaments: March Madness.

The men’s tournament has 68 teams. The women’s tournament has 64. With dozens of games and hundreds of players, there is no way you can correctly predict the outcome of every game.

If someone picks the winner of every game in the men’s tournament, he or she can win $1 billion, courtesy of billionaire Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans, a company that lends money for people to buy houses.

Don’t expect any winners: The chances of picking every game correctly in the men’s tournament are 9.2 quintillion to 1. A quintillion is a 1 with 18 zeros after it.

Let’s take a look at some teams that have a much better chance of finishing the season with a big win.

●Undefeated teams: Wichita State enters the men’s tournament with 34 wins and zero losses this season. If the Shockers win it all, they will become the first men’s team since the 1976 Indiana University Hoosiers to go through an entire season without a loss.

It won’t be easy. The Shockers are in the toughest region by far. The Midwest Region has Michigan, Duke and Louisville in addition to the undefeated Shockers. Wichita State will probably have to play a young but very talented Kentucky team in the second round. So don’t be shocked if Wichita State doesn’t make it to the Final Four.

The women’s tournament has two undefeated teams, the University of Connecticut Huskies (34–0) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (32-0).

Connecticut looks unbeatable. The Huskies played 12 games against nationally ranked teams. They won those games by an average of more than 22 points.

Notre Dame is no pushover, either. The Fighting Irish played 11 games against ranked opponents this season and won by an average of almost 18 points a game.

My guess is that Connecticut and Notre Dame will face off in the finals in what may be the best women’s college basketball game ever played.

●Local teams: Three teams from the D.C. area made the tournaments.

The Maryland women’s team is the local squad with the best chance to make a long run. Playing their first two games at College Park and powered by All-American forward Alyssa Thomas, the Terps may sneak into the Final Four.

The George Washington University men have a tough first-round game against Memphis. If the Colonials win that one, they will probably face the University of Virginia. GWU could pull off an upset if shooting guard Maurice Creek gets hot.

The American University men’s team is like a lot of smaller schools in the tournaments: The Eagles are just glad to be there.

The chances that a small school such as American will win it all? About a quintillion to one.

Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He is the author of 19 sports books for kids. His latest basketball book is “Real Hoops.”

Show Comments