The Thrills and Spills of March Madness: Brackets, Bets, and Bijan's Perfect Pick

The Thrills and Spills of March Madness: Brackets, Bets, and Bijan's Perfect Pick

March Madness is living up to its name early in the tournament.

March Madness is living up to its name, with the tournament's first half throwing basketball fans and sports bettors into a frenzy. As we're trying to catch our breath from the games over the past 24 hours, let's take a peek into the chaos that has unfolded, the seismic upsets that have decimated brackets nationwide, and how these developments are reshaping the betting market.

On top of that, we'll even throw in some tips you can use to dominate in your own betting market.

Upsets Shaking the Foundation

The first round has been nothing short of spectacular, delivering the kind of jaw-dropping moments that define March Madness.

Among the headliners, Duquesne's nail-biting victory over BYU at 71-67 signaled that no team could rest easy.

But it was Oakland's stunning upset over Kentucky, 80-76, that sent shockwaves through the tournament. With Oakland positioned as a 14-seed and Kentucky a formidable 3-seed, this clash epitomized the unpredictable nature of March Madness. Kentucky is a staple in the Sweet Sixteen and beyond, so getting bumped in the first round is almost unheard of.

Oregon's big win over South Carolina further underscored that in this tournament, underdogs have more than a fighting chance—they're writing history. And, if you look back at previous tournaments, underdogs make all of the headlines.

Of course, there were many more teams that did their job as expected, with North Carolina, Arizona, Iowa, and Tennessee advancing.

We're sure there will be more upsets and maybe even some Cinderella stories as we move through the bracket over the next couple of weeks.

The Rarity of a Perfect Bracket

In the wake of these upsets, the brackets have been left in shambles. 

With only 0.00038% of brackets still intact, the statistical improbability of predicting the outcomes of these games is laid bare. 

Yet, even in the chaos, stands one bracket unphased by the tournament's unpredictability—owned by Bijan Robinson, the Atlanta Falcons' dynamic running back.

That's not something we would've predicted going into the tournament, but we're going to follow him all the way through and hope he takes it all.

Robinson's perfect bracket is a beacon of hope for fans and bettors alike, proving that while the odds may be slim, perfection is not entirely out of reach.

Some of the major bracket makers provide even more insight into who's left. ESPN, tracking over 22,000,000 brackets on their site, claims only 1,825 remain with perfect brackets. Yahoo has even less, with only 116 perfect brackets.

There's a reason they call it March Madness.

Betting Strategies in a Tournament of Surprises

For sports bettors, the first round's outcomes serve as a stark reminder of the volatility inherent in March Madness. The key to successful betting in this environment lies not in seeking certainty but in embracing the tournament's unpredictable nature.

If you're looking to go beyond the bracket and throw down some bets, here are a few strategies to consider.

Value Over Favorites

The victories by Duquesne, Oakland, and Oregon illustrate the potential value of backing underdog teams.

These teams can offer more attractive odds compared to their heavily favored counterparts. While betting on underdogs carries higher risk, the rewards can be substantial, especially in a tournament known for its upsets.

Do the research, and don't be afraid to make a bet on an underdog. It's high risk with a higher reward, but you could come out on top if you make a bet like some did on Oakland. A simple $100 bet would have paid out over $700 for those who made that bet.

In-Play Betting

With the dynamic shifts in momentum characteristic of March Madness games, in-play betting presents a strategic opportunity. It's easily one of our favorites.

Bettors can gauge the flow of the game and make informed decisions, potentially capitalizing on temporary odds that favor the underdog or adjusting bets based on the performance of the favorites.

While live betting is tons of fun, a good handful of states actually ban sports bettors from making live bets on collegiate sports.


Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky, especially in a tournament as unpredictable as the NCAA.

Diversifying bets across different games, regions, and bet types can mitigate risks and increase the chances of securing profitable outcomes.

While you're at it, check out the odds at different sportsbooks so you get the best odds on the games you want to bet on. Not all bookmakers give the same odds for each game. Some will have slightly better odds that can add up to hundreds of dollars over time.

Bijan's Bracket: A Beacon of Hope

Bijan Robinson's flawless bracket is not just a testament to his insight but also a source of inspiration. 

For bettors and fans, it highlights the possibilities within the chaos of March Madness.

While the odds of achieving perfection are slim—in fact, you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning on a sunny day—Robinson's success story reminds us of the thrill of the chase and the allure of defying the odds.

Embracing the Madness

The only certainty is uncertainty. The first half of the first round has set a precedent for surprises, drama, and the shattering of expectations. 

That seems to be the story every year, but it's also what makes the games fun.

For bettors, this means the rest of the tournament is full of opportunity.

By understanding the dynamics at play, recognizing the value in underdogs, and adapting strategies to the craziness of the tournament, bettors can navigate the madness with confidence.

March Madness is more than just a basketball tournament; it's a celebration of the unexpected, a test of foresight and strategy, and a reminder of why we love sports here at Bettors Insider. There is literally nothing else like it in the sports industry.

As we continue to watch the brackets unfold, let's appreciate the sheer unpredictability that makes this event a cornerstone of the sporting calendar and why sportsbooks continue to offer enhanced bonuses this time of year.

Whether you're a fan, a bettor, or simply a lover of the game, there's no denying the excitement and drama that March Madness brings to the table.

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