Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Figures Lie and Liars Figure

In the sports section of the Tennessean today there was an article from the AP about the implausibility of this year's NCAA basketball tournament Final Four. They noted that out of 3 million entrants to ESPN's bracket-picking contest, there were only four entries that correctly picked LSU, Florida, UCLA and Geroge Mason as the semifinalists.

Then they quoted Mike Breen, a mathematician at the American Mathematical Society. (Who?) Breen "said that the chances that a player correctly picked the Final Four in ESPN.com's contest were about 1 in 750,000."

Hmmm...1/750,000=4/3,000,000. Now I'm just a humble history major, but even I can do that math!

So they're either stating the most obvious fact ever or they're using past events to justify made-up statistics. I'm applying for membership in the American Mathematical Society or the Derek Zoolander Center For Children Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.


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