March Madness. The Big Dance. The annual NCAA basketball tournament goes by many names, and has millions of devoted fans. Every year, basketball prognosticators try to predict the outcome of the tournament. But how likely is it for someone to produce a perfect prediction?
In this lesson, students use probability to discover that it’s basically impossible to correctly predict every game in the tournament. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop people from trying. Students close out the lesson by analyzing geometric and arithmetic sequences commonly used to score March Madness predictions, and discuss what makes a prediction the “best.”