Score Your Seats: The SecondTicket Blog

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Here's Why All Brackets are Still Alive in the Bracket Challenge Ticket Jam

The Final Four of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is set between Michigan State, Texas Tech, Virginia and Auburn. The chase for the $121 First Prize is also on, and with ALL fans eligible to win up to $100 in ticket credits, the 2019 Bracket Challenge Ticket Jam is really just getting started.

First, a quick reminder: Winning this pool does not entirely depend upon picking the best bracket. Approximately 30% of pool points are available through score predictions of the last three games. Up to 150 score prediction points, plus up to 70 bracket prediction points, are available during the Final Four.

Related: 2019 Pool Leaderboard   Champion & Elite 8 Picks   How Ticket Credits Work

Over the past four years, the median total of score prediction points earned is 24. Among fans who score fewer than 24, the median number is 15; among fans who score more than 24, the median number is 34. The maximum any fan has earned was 100 by fan tstuckrath in 2017, when she correctly picked three of the six Final Four scores. And she needed them! She would have finished 8th if she had not made score predictions.

This year, only 2% of fans have both their champion and runner-up still alive, only 8% have their champion remaining, and another 17% have their runner-up remaining. Therefore, it's conceivable there'll be no more bracket points awarded because no fans picked either Texas Tech or Auburn to advance to the championship game. If that happens, the pool is wide open (see Odds table, below).

The highest possible bracket scores belong to Heard and kriker, the only two fans who picked MSU and UVA in the championship game, and each picked MSU to win. In that scenario, and if 15-34 score prediction points are added to their totals, the projected range for the high score would be Heard with 222.3-241.3. 

Nobody who picked UVA as the champion picked MSU as the runner up, so if UVA beats Texas Tech for the championship, the projected high score is JTtrout, with 189.5-208.5 points. If UVA loses to Texas Tech in the championship game, the projected high score belongs to BeingHuman00 in the range of 177.5-196.5.

So the lowest projectable winning point total is 177.5, the highest projectable winning point total is 241.3, and the median projectable win total is 209.4.

Percentage of Fans With First Prize Still in Reach:
-100% of fans are within 150 points of 142.5, 98% are within 100, and 36% are within 34
-99% of fans are within 150 points of 177.5 and 88% are within 100
-96% of fans are within 150 points of 209.4 and 34% are within 100
-69% of fans are within 150 points of 241.3, although only one fan is within 100. If MSU beats UVA next Monday night and Heard posts decent score predictions, she'll be tough to beat.

Nonetheless, even if you think your bracket is totally busted, it's not! And even if your odds of winning the pool are closer to those of making a full court, hail mary shot than a layup, you should STILL make your score predictions because you accumulate a $25 ticket bonus for predicting the exact final score of either semifinal game and a $50 bonus for predicting the championship game's final score.

So click here to make your score predictions of Saturday's games, and return on Sunday or Monday to predict the championship game. Good luck!