Disgruntled participants in Warren Buffett’s Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge are taking to Twitter to accuse “The Oracle Of Omaha” of bribing Duke to lose to Mercer.
Mercer University, an unheralded 14-seed, shocked the college basketball world on Friday by defeating perennial powerhouse Duke, a 3-seed, by a score of 78-71. The game’s result is already considered to be the biggest upset of this year’s NCAA tournament; 97.6 percent of Yahoo brackets predicted that Duke would defeat Mercer.
Buffet teamed with Quicken Loans to offer $1 billion to any person who managed to craft a perfect bracket by correctly predicting the outcome of every tournament game. Conspiracy theorists took to Twitter to voice their belief that Buffett “paid off” Duke so that he wouldn’t have to doll out a $1 billion prize. IBTimes compiled a few of these tweets below. Countless more tweets on the subject can be viewed here.
conspiracy theory: Warren Buffet paid Coach K off to throw that game. #Duke
— Jonathan Kaker (@theKaKeShow) March 21, 2014
Warren Buffett paid off Duke so he doesn't have to cough up that billion.
— Kris Bruce (@KrisBreezy7) March 21, 2014
FACT Warren Buffett paid duke and Ohio st off to eff everyone's "perfect bracket " up .. soo sorry no billion for you
— jon cadman (@Jcadman21) March 21, 2014
Warren Buffett probably paid off duke. He realized his offer was far to much.
— John biles (@BohnJiles) March 21, 2014
— Savannah Rangel (@Savy_Tweets) March 21, 2014
Warren Buffett paid off coach K to take a dive today. Way to lay an egg duke! Go Tar Heels!!!!!
— Brandon Berns (@brandonberns) March 21, 2014
In truth, the odds against someone winning Buffett’s Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge were already astronomical, even before Duke’s upset loss to Mercer. According to the game’s official website, each participant had a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of filling out a perfect bracket. USA Today noted that, if every person on Planet Earth filled out 100 brackets, it could still take 13 million years for a perfect bracket to appear.
Furthermore, the vast majority of NCAA tournament brackets were already flawed before Duke and Mercer ever set foot on the court. On Friday morning, ESPN publicist Mike Humes revealed that just 18,741, or 0.17 percent, of its 11 million players accurately selected all 16 of Thursday’s winning teams. In addition, statistics taken from Yahoo’s Tourney Pick ‘Em game show that 83.6 percent of all brackets were ruined when the University of Dayton pulled off an upset victory over Ohio State on Thursday.
So, while fans may want to blame their loss in Buffett’s Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge by saying that he bribed or “paid off” Duke to lose, the numbers simply don’t support that theory.