If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results, March Madness is a tradition that lives up to its name. Every year, we try to determine the fate of 68 college basketball teams. Despite the odds (1 in 120.2 billion), we daydream of being the first person in history to fill out a perfect bracket. We guess the rise and fall of underdogs and the success of our hometown teams based on a lucky feeling. By the end of the first day of the tournament, our brackets are shadows of their former selves. Like the year before, we are reminded that there are powers at work that are far beyond our control. By the time the next year rolls around, however, we do it all over again in the hopes that the outcome will somehow be different.

There is something irresistible about the NCAA tournament. More brackets were filled out than votes cast for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in 2016. Part of the reason why the tournament is so inviting is because there are no prerequisites. One need not be a super-fan to participate. All it takes is five dollars for the office pool buy-in. Part of what makes the tournament so inviting is the single-elimination factor, so even the heavy favorites can fall unexpectedly. When chaos reigns, it’s really anyone’s guess as to who will win it all. The stats nerd and the coin-flipper have equal footing.