Today’s Illustration: What Are the Chances?

Link to a PDF copy of the men’s 2022 bracket

When: This Year –  2022

What:  March Madness – March Madness Brackets have been in use since 1985

  • The odds of winning Powerball are about 1 in 300 million
  • The odds of filling out a perfect bracket in March Madness . . . .

” March Madness is here, but the real madness is believing you have a chance at filling out a perfect bracket. The odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion if you were to pick each of the 63 games via coin flip. If you know something about basketball, the odds improve to 1 in 120.2 billion.”* — Morning Brew
*120 billion is 400 times greater than the odds of winning Powerball.

  • The greatest past success, the longest perfect start,  has been 49/49, by Greg Nigl in 2019, with the 49th winning pick of Gonzaga over Florida State.  [1]

“Every year, millions of people fill out a bracket for the NCAA tournament. If you’re like us, you hear that little voice saying, “What if I became the first person ever to fill out a perfect bracket? This could be the year!”

That little voice knows one thing: No one has gotten a verifiably perfect bracket in the history of the NCAA tournament. But it also has one thing very wrong: This will not be the year. And neither will next year, or any in the next millennium.” [2]

At The Buzzer — Buzzer Beater Quotes: [3]

“March isn’t March without the buzzer-beater”
“The last shot is always the most important.”
“You live or die after the buzzer.”
“If it drops, you become immortal.”
“They had it won, and we stole it.”
“Legends are made in March.”

. . . . .

Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • God not only knows what will happen, but what could have happened
  • omniscience
  • who knows
  • chance / chances
  • possibilities
  • win / lose
  • the unexpected
  • say not today or tomorrow we will
  • surprise
  • finiteness
  • providence
  • salvation

. . . . 

Sermonic Example: 

(Include whatever information you find useful)

. . . . Yes, the odds are 400 times greater for someone to pick the winner of 63 games, than to win the lottery of 1 in 300 million.  In fact, the belief is that no one will ever be able to accomplish that goal.  While it is theoretically possible — because 1 over any number, by definition, speaks of possibility —  it is deemed undoable. [4]. There comes a point that 1/over a number like this means that it would not happen given a thousand years!  It becomes merely a statistical possibility, not a real possibility! [5]

That is why the statisticians are confident in saying — “This will not be the year. And neither will next year, or any in the next millennium.”

Now let me ask, “What are the odds that dozens of Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah would be fulfilled in the person of Jesus?  The statisticians have arrived at that number as well.  Here is what they say about those prophecies . . . .



1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/03/29/gregg-nigls-perfect-ncaa-tournament-bracket-is-busted-all-way-th-place/

2. https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/bracketiq/2022-03-10/perfect-ncaa-bracket-absurd-odds-march-madness-dream?utm_campaign=mb&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=morning_brew#:~:text=As%20such%2C%20the%20number%20of,correctly%201%20in%209.2%20quintillion.

3. https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/bracketiq/2022-03-10/perfect-ncaa-bracket-absurd-odds-march-madness-dream?utm_campaign=mb&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=morning_brew#:~:text=As%20such%2C%20the%20number%20of,correctly%201%20in%209.2%20quintillion.

4. “As of 2015, the best estimates for the number of trees on the planet was three trillion. Imagine that there was one single acorn hidden in one of those three trillion trees, and you were tasked with finding it on the first guess. Your odds of success are approximately three million times greater than picking a perfect bracket.” — [2]

5. “Statistically” allows the possibility no matter how great the odds — 1/over any number.  “1” argues that it can happen, even if it never will.  Something is statistically impossible when the probability of it happening is exactly zero.

It is statistically possible for not one of the 7 billion people living today to die today.  But that will never happen in the real world.  The probability is zero.

“Is it statistically possible for a day to exist without any death? Possible, sure. Almost anything you can imagine is “possible” in the sense that it’s not entirely impossible.

Likely? Not at all. “

— Jesse Raffield, master’s degree, Lehigh University, in computational condensed matter physics

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