March Madness by the Numbers
March has never been my favorite time of year. The seemingly endless gray days, bare trees, Daylight Saving Time change and unpredictable weather just don’t sit well with me. There is however, one light at the end of the March tunnel that makes this month a very fun time of year: the NCAA Tournament. Much like the Super Bowl, this event is big business, and behind it are some fascinating facts and figures. Check it out:
1. The very first NCAA tournament in 1939 featured just 8 teams.
2. The first tournament didn’t turn a profit. It cost the organization $2,500 (about $35,000 today).
3. The odds of a #16 seed beating a #1 seed are about 1 in 54.
4. Facebook and Twitter had more than 350 million impressions during the 2015 tournament. That number is expected to be eclipsed this year.
5. Last year, mobile sports apps downloads increased 31% on the first day of the tournament.
6. The estimated cost of a 30-second commercial during the 2016 title game is $1.5 million.
7. Christian Laettner of Duke holds the record for most career tournament points. He scored 407 from 1989-1992.
8. The estimated loss in revenue due to workers actively checking their brackets is $1.9 billion.
9. Want to see your favorite team play? The average cost of a single game ticket is $344.
10. Curious about the highest score of any tournament game? LMU scored an outrageous 149 points against Michigan in 1990.
11. In that same game, Michigan scored 115 points.
12. The only time in history all four #1 seeds made it to a Final Four was in 2008.
13. Northwestern University has never made it to an NCAA tourney.
14. At 55, the University of Kentucky has the most appearances in the tourney.
15. UCLA has won the most championships, with 11 NCAA titles.
16. Villanova is the lowest seed (#8) to ever win the tournament.
17. Of the 11.57 million brackets entered into ESPN’s Tournament Challenge in 2015, only 1.6% chose the Final Four correctly.
18. The odds of filling out a perfect bracket are one in 9,223,372, 036,854,775,808 (quintillion)