WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BUILD A BRACKET WITH A RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR

Embracing The Randomness of March Madness

Randomness - it's why we love March Maddness. Pretty much anyone, regardless of their knowledge of college basketball, can create a bracket and have just as much of a shot at winning their pool as the guy who can tell you the starting five for Fairleigh Dickinson (not be be confused with Slightly Dickinson).

Well dear reader, I decided to undertake a grand experiment and make a full application of this randomness concept. I created a bracket with picks made solely by a random number generator. And yet, despite some of the seemingly ridiculous outcomes it produced I would still bet that this bracket still does not finish in last place.

So what was my highly scientific methodology? Well I started at Random.org which has a variety of tools to achieve random results. As a side note, this site is a personal favorite of mine when I am having difficulty making a decision - like if I want the large fries or the milkshake. I used the random number generator tool and set the range of possible numbers from 1 to 100. For each pick in the bracket I ran the generator to get a number. If the number produced was between 1 and 50 the lower seed (i.e. 1-8) was selected as the winner, and if the number was between 51 and 100 the higher seed was picked. Yes, some real rocket science type stuff right here. As I expected some funny results were produced. Here is a sampling of some highlights:

  • Somehow all 4 number 1 seeds advanced through all the way to the Sweet 16. Goes to show you how crazy it was for Virginia to lose to a 16 seed last year.
  • The lowest seed to be knocked out in the first round was #3 LSU.
  • The Sweet 16 is underdog mania containing two 13 seeds, two 11 seeds, and a 12 seed.

But wait, it gets oh so much more interesting...

This experiment, if you can call it that, revealed that the universe is apparently smiling on your UH Cougars. Yes, they make it all the way to the Final Four - but wait there's even more.

According to the random number generator the championship trophy will be brought back to the Fertitta Center after the Cougars end Vermont's cinderella run in the Final. Just remember if the Cougars do win the title you heard it here first.

If you want to take a look at and follow along with the craziness of this bracket click here or look for the "WX Guy's Random Bracket" in the ESPN975Houston ESPN Tournament Challenge Group.

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Willson Contreras will not be replacing catcher Martin Maldonado. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

According to multiple reports, free agent catcher Willson Contreras is signing a 5-year, $87.5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Contreras was the Astros top target in free agency and will have to pursue other possibilities with Contreras heading to St. Louis.

The Astros reportedly have interest in bringing Christian Vazquez back in what could be a timeshare with Martin Maldonado. Houston could be in the market to trade for A's catcher Sean Murphy, according to reports. Murphy is under team control until 2025, so he won't come cheap if the A's are willing to trade him in the division.

Houston could also look to the farm system for help. Former 1st round pick Korey Lee or Yainer Díaz could both be options this season as the team transitions away from Maldonado, who is in the final year of his contract.

Another Astro moves on

The Oakland A's reportedly signed former Astros DH and utility man Aledmys Diaz to a 2-year, $14 million contract on Wednesday.

Diaz hit .255/.313/.424 with 32 home runs in his four years with the club. Diaz had some big moments with the team, but dealt with his fair share of injuries. It seemed like Diaz's time with the team was coming to an end when he went 1-23 in the 2022 postseason.

Looking ahead

The Astros are rumored to have interest in several free agent outfielders. Andrew Benintendi, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto have all been mentioned as players on the club's radar.

Michael Brantley could also be an option to bring back, but the team won't have confirmation on the health of his shoulder for quite some time.



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