— Las Vegas, which exists because of its ability to get math right, has No. 1 seed Louisville as a 9-2 favorite to win it all, followed by second-seeded Duke and Miami at 8-1. (Warning: Odds can be influenced by betting patterns, and Duke has one of the largest followings in the nation.)
Using a mix of all this information is Glen Calhoun, the head of props for the national tour of the Broadway smash "Jersey Boys." On Monday, he was busy unloading nine trucks full of wardrobe and scenery, as the show moved from Norfolk, Va., to Houston. Not his only task of the day.
"I've got to get our NCAA brackets set up," he said. "I'll be sure to squeeze that in."
More than 50 people are in the cast and crew, and Calhoun figured at least half of them would take part.
"What's good about the March Madness pool is that anyone can get in there and do well," he said. "You can study up, and then it all falls apart. I remember one year when Wake Forest got me. Or you can just pick your favorite teams, and that works sometimes."
Magazine insists that, yes, there is mathematical advice to follow, including some he picked up by reading Nate Silver, the blogger who picked the electoral college count in last year's presidential election nearly to the number. (By the way, no word yet on whether President Barack Obama will be channeling Silver when he fills out his bracket.)
Silver suggests that Nos. 8 and 9 seeds can sometimes be worse Sweet 16 picks than those seeded 10, 11 or 12 because the winner of an 8-9 matchup is all but destined to play a No. 1 in the next round.
"I tell people, if you're going to pick upsets, do it in the 10, 11, 12, 13 range," Magazine said.
It's OK to use your gut, Magazine says. But, he insists, it's folly to completely ignore the numbers.
"Sometimes, you predict someone's better because in simulations, 80 percent of the time they win," he said. "Well, that means 20 percent of the time they lose. That's going to happen. That's been a useful lesson for students."
And, as any good math professor will remind you, being wrong doesn't always mean you were, well, wrong — even if the scoreboard says you were.
"It just means it didn't work out that time," Magazine says.
AP Sports Writer Ben Walker in New York contributed to this report.
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