Keep that in mind when checking your NCAA tournament brackets the next few week. When you shake your head over missing that upset "you knew would happen" don't fret. When that 12 seed makes a run to the Sweet 16, just keep this in mind.
The odds of picking a perfect bracket are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1.
Yes, 9 quintillion to 1. No, I did not make up that word. Chew on that when pondering if Western Kentucky can make another run to the Sweet 16.
After all , those upsets come at any time. Even last year, when all four No. 1 seeds make the Final Four, we had a wild first round that featured a slew of upsets. Davidson, K-State and the entire Tampa, Fla., pod were Madness at its peak.
This season seems like more of the same. The first four days should provide a slew of upsets, while the better teams emerge as true contenders after the Sweet 16.
And who are those contenders and which teams are headed for upsets? Here's my bracket (big upsets are bolded).
First-round winners: Pitt, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Xavier, VCU, Villanova, Texas and Duke. The Cowboys' win against Tennessee should be one of the better opening games. I also succumbed to the trendy VCU over UCLA pick. May regret that.
Sweet 16 teams: Pitt, Florida State, 'Nova, Duke. Straight chalk…
Until the regional semifinals. Villanova upending Duke should be a great showcase of guard-heavy teams that can both shoot the 3. And call me crazy, but I like the 'Noles to stun Pitt. They're really long and athletic, with a superb scorer in Toney Douglas. Not sure DeJuan Blair can stay out of foul trouble.
After all of that, the Wildcats should be in the Final Four. There's the surprise team for the last weekend.
First-round winners: Carolina, Butler, Western Kentucky, Gonzaga, Temple, Syracuse, Clemson, Oklahoma. Two true upsets, though if Chester Frazier were healthy, I woulda taken the Illini.
Sweet 16 teams: Carolina, Gonzaga, Syracuse, Clemson. The Tigers are stumbling into the tournament, but I don't like the Sooners. I think 'Cuse would've beaten them in the next round, so I took a chance and knocked 'em out early.
North Carolina should outrun Gonzaga – and I mean outrun; this game may hit triple digits – and Syracuse will outshoot Clemson. A UNC-'Cuse regional final could be awfully entertaining. A healthy-enough Ty Lawson outplays Jonny Flynn. Randomly enough, Arizona State is more likely to reach the final. I don't buy it.
First-round winners: Louisville, Ohio State, Arizona, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Kansas, USC, Michigan State. Utah should be miffed about playing the Wildcats. Not many teams have anyone that can match Luke Nevill in the post, but Arizona's Jordan Hill is one of them. I'll be sweating out the N.D. State-Kansas game, too.
Sweet 16 teams: Louisville, Wake, Kansas, Michigan State. Kansas edges the Mountaineers, while Wake wins the battle of NBA prospects against Arizona.
This was a brutal region, but Louisville should be able to handle the competition, including Michigan State in the final. There's a reason the Cards are favored by the log5 method and multiple hoops pundits around the Web. They're good. Sparty gets this close to a Final Four in Detroit.
First-round games: UConn, BYU, Purdue, Mississippi State, Utah State, Missouri, Maryland, Memphis. Tagging Utah State to beat Marquette is a stretch, but I don;'t mind picking a team that's won 30 games. Having the Bulldogs beat 4 seed Washington is a bigger stretch.
Sweet 16 teams: UConn, Purdue, Missouri, Memphis. Call it the "brutal defense" group.
UConn and Memphis will both be tested in the semis, but defense should win out. Same with the final, where Memphis advances past UConn. The Tigers are one of the few teams with a more efficient defense than the Huskies.
Final Four: North Carolina should be able to overwhelm Villanova. The Heels won't be caught flat in the Final Four again. Last year's loss to Kansas must still sting this group. I'm guessing Wayne Ellington will be due for a big game. Rick Pitino's beaten John Calipari once before in the Final Four, an 81-74 Kentucky win over UMass in 1996. I think his Cards beat Calipari's Tigers in a game that could be in the 50s.
Champion: North Carolina. When in doubt, pick the most talented team. This didn't work in 2006 with UConn, but was true in 2005 for the Heels. The last three champions, Florida, Florida and Kansas) featured balanced scoring, a high scoring margin and hit at least 50 percent of its field-goal attempts. That also sums up UNC.
The major concern is the Heels' defense, which wasn't the case for any of the last five champions. All of 'em could play defense. But in a year where all the top defensive teams can struggle to score points, something's gotta give. I'm going with the Heels.