There are longshots — and then there’s Alabama State

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Think your team is a longshot to win the NCAA tournament? That’s nothing compared to Alabama State.

The Hornets (17-17) aren’t going far in anyone’s bracket. The SWAC champs might not even make it out of Tuesday’s First Four game against UT-San Antonio. As a 16 seed, they face incredibly long odds to make it to the second round, let alone the Final Four.

But to have a 1-in- 1,090,873,445,634 chance of winning it all? Wow. That’s just … wow.

Those odds come from Ken Pomeroy’s log5 analysis of the field over at Basketball Prospectus. It weighs each team’s rating, simulates games many, many times and weighs the results. Thus, the odds. (That’s the simplified version. Click here for details.)

Ohio State receives the best chance to win it all at 1-in-5, and have a 47.7 percent chance of reaching the Final Four. Duke, Kansas and Pitt (the other 1 seeds), follow.

Also of note:

  • Texas is woefully underseeded. The Longhorns a 4 out West, have better odds than 2 seed San Diego State to reach the Final Four, and that’s with a likely showdown with Duke in the Sweet 16.
  • Same with Purdue. The Southwest’s 3 seed is rated higher than 2 seed Notre Dame.
  • Washington’s a 7 seed in the East, but has much better odds than Xavier or West Virginia to win the region.
  • Don’t dismiss Belmont, Utah State or Gonzaga. All three are double-digit seeds. All three get better odds than every single 5 seed.

As for Alabama State, I’m still amazed by those odds. For context, UT-San Antonio – the second-worst team in the field – gets 1-in-1,028,345,510 odds. One in a billion compared to one in a trillion? Wow.

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