The Perfect bracket

Clicking on this image from will give you a larger, printable bracket in a new window.

What are your chances of picking every game? How does the change from 64 to 65 to now, 68 teams in the field complicate things?  How many brackets would you need to fill out to pick every possibility?  How many reams of paper would you need to print all of those brackets?  Let’s do the math!   Also, check out the video below that explores your odds of picking all games in the tournament perfectly. 

The math activity: PerfectBracket2015.pdf

CCSS: 6.RP.3d , 7.SP.8 , 8.EE.3 , 8.EE.4, HSS.CP.B.9 , HSF.LE.A.2

For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions.

PerfectBracket2015.docx           PerfectBracket2015-solution,pdf

Note: The last problem in this activity asks students to determine how a math professor came up with a particular probability.  We are not sure how the professor came up with 1/128 billion, we give a few possibilities in the solutions.  The main point of that question is to promote some creative thinking and discussion while students grapple with ways to reach 1/128 billion. 

Thanks to Matt Timmins, Newton teacher, for creating the draft of this post.  

2 comments for “The Perfect bracket

  1. Kay Tharp
    April 7, 2015 at 9:40 am

    This was a great activity! It really stretched their brains with some very relevant information! Comments included, “Can we do more activities like this”, “oh my gosh, I get it!”, “now I understand why they could offer a billion dollars”!

    • April 8, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks Kay, that is great to hear! So glad you shared this and that your students got something out of this. This is why we do what we do. Thank you! :)

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