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Published March 18, 2014, 10:51 PM

Buffet's billion-dollar bracket: The statistics

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - From The Bison's trip back to the Big Dance...to Warren Buffet's big billion dollar challenge, excitement for March Madness is building.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - From The Bison's trip back to the Big Dance...to Warren Buffet's big billion dollar challenge, excitement for March Madness is building.

And several NDSU students are building a model to figure out how statistics can help you determine the winners.

Dr. Rhonda Magel- NDSU Statistics Dept. Chair: "Everybody thinks its funny watching a game with me"

When the madness begins...

Magel: "I have a calculator there, definitely."

These mathematicians bring their A game.

Yingfei Mu- NDSU PhD Statistics Student: "No no no.."

They're not necessarily the biggest fans...

Mu: "I think the NBA is more interesting than the NCAA."

But they have one of the best models...

Magel: "We've run a conditional logistic regression."

For figuring out the winners.

Mu: "We have some kind of code, right. So if you have the code, it's pretty easy to runn the code and get the results haha"

Between strength of schedules, Pomeroy's ratings... Rebounds and turnovers.. They analyze it all.

Magel: "We have Florida, Arizona, Louisville and Virginia in the Final Four."

Even NDSU's shot at the second round.

Magel: "A third of the time a number 12 seed beats a number five seed."

Now I'm no Taylor Bruan, but what do you think the probability is of me making this shot from center court?

Magel: "I think it's fun. I don't think it's going to happen."

Obviously not very great, but your chances of filling out a perfect bracket for Buffet's billion dollar challenge are even worse.

Magel: "It's less than one in a billion and I think that's what they get paid. "

Make that one in 9.2 quintillion. That's a one with 18 zeros.

Even the best models...

Magel: "We're hoping to get 70 percent."

Only boast about a sixty percent success rate.

Magel: "What you have to know about statistics is you never have to say you're certain, you just have to say there is the probability."

The probability for an underdog to win.

Magel: "We have a shot so I don't want NDSU fans to say we don't have a shot."

But when it comes to Buffet's billion... I wouldn't bet on it.

About 15 million people are expected to enter Buffet's billion-dollar bracket contest...

If you're not great with numbers- NDSU experts say look at turnovers and rebounds to pick your winners.

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