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NCAA staff | March 23, 2022

How the Path to the Championship tool works for NCAA March Madness Men’s Bracket Challenge players

The absurd odds of a perfect March Madness bracket

Starting ahead of the Sweet 16, NCAA Bracket Challenge players can use the Path to the Championship tool to see exactly what it will take for their bracket to win their groups. 

The tool looks at every possible scenario for the tournament bracket — all 32,768 of them before the Sweet 16 — and calculates how every bracket would perform in each of them. It then uses that data to figure out the best possible scenario for your bracket in both the overall leaderboard and your private groups. 

The tool finds the combination of game results that will give you the best standing in your group, which is not necessarily the same set of results that gives you the most points in your bracket. It does this by considering what every result will do for opposing players in your group as well as for your bracket. The top section of the Path to the Championship page displays both your current group standings and what your group standings would look like in your best-case scenario. 

Path to the Championship

It will also show you every game left in the tournament, and the team you should root for in each one in order to get your best-case scenario. For games where your bracket has a pick, that’s pretty straightforward — root for the team you picked. But, if you’re like most people, your bracket might be close to busted, so the tool will also tell you which team you should root for in games where you haven’t picked either team in order to move your way up the leaderboard.

Path to the Championship 2

The Path to the Championship tool is available now for all Bracket Challenge users, and will continue to update in real time after all 15 of the remaining games of the men’s tournament. You can find the tool by going into your group league page in the ‘Play’ tab of the March Madness Live app or at Or you can view the tool in our Bracket IQ hub. Then select the bracket you want to view in the left dropdown, and the group you want to see your results for in the right dropdown.

In 2022, the Path to the Championship tool is only available in mobile apps and on web for the Capital One NCAA March Madness Men’s Bracket Challenge.

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