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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Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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