A perfect bracket? No way!

A perfect bracket?

As they say in New Yawk, fugetaboutit.

It’s not going to happen.

Not to you. Not to me. Not to anyone in our lifetimes.

The odds of picking the winner in all 63 March Madness games (most brackets ignore the four play-in games) are 9.2 quintillion to 1.

Numerically, that’s 9,200,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

You would have a much better of chance of being both the winner of the Megamillions on Tuesday and the Powerball on Wednesday.

This year, it’s likely more people than ever will be filling out brackets. That’s because Quicken Loans has combined forces with billionaire Warren Buffett to offer $1 billion for a perfect bracket.

Of course, you have to register online and fill out more information than most of us care to give out about ourselves. It’s a great marketing ploy, but that’s about all it is.

ESPN has been running an annual bracket contest since 1998. More than 30 million brackets have been entered, and nobody has filled out the perfect bracket. Over the past three years, no one has even had a perfect first round.

Rather than worrying about getting filthy rich, if you’re going to fill out a bracket set a more realistic goal of winning the office pool. While there is no method that is foolproof there are a few guidelines that have proven successful over the test of time.

For example, no No. 16 team ever has beaten a No. 1 in the opening round even though more than 100 have tried. Sure, it’s going to happen sooner or later, but if it does only the fools will get one right.

Also, while it’s fun to pick upsets, not many East Cupcake States are going to advance. Yes, there are teams like Milwaukee who are rock-solid and virtually unknown to most of the bracket-picking public, but even if they do win, it likely will be for just one round. There aren’t a lot of teams who can accomplish what Florida Gulf Coast did last season.

I’ve watched more college basketball this year than in any previous season and I’ve come to the conclusion there is no super team that should roll through the tournament. Having said that, I have been quite impressed by Florida, Arizona, Michigan State and Virginia. And how can you not give Wichita State credit for going undefeated after reaching the Final Four last season?

One thing to watch for is a team that gets hot come tournament time. No one is playing better than Rick Pitino’s Louisville squad. That doesn’t mean the Cardinals will keep up the torrid pace, but they deserve some consideration.

Looking for a sleeper to put in your Sweet 16? New Mexico -despite losing to Harvard in last year’s first round -is looking good. As for first-round stunners if you must go there, try Milwaukee and Western Michigan.

That’s all you get from me for now.

Can’t give away all my secrets or I might have to split that billion dollars with you – LOL!

Contact Dave Poe at dpoe@newsandsentinel.com