The numbers will tell the story   

Updated: March 14, 2007, 1:57 PM ET

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The NCAA Tournament by the numbers:

$545 million: The amount of money CBS is spending this year for rights to broadcast the games we are about to be addicted to (the per-year average of its $6 billion, 11-year contract signed in 1999).

10 million: The number of people who will collectively scream in joy when VCU beats Duke.

$5 million: The money Pitt's Aaron Gray is going to lose over the weekend if he continues to play like he did in the Big East tournament.

1 million: The number of Candace Parker, Courtney Paris, Ivory Latta and Lindsey Harding jerseys that will be sold between now and April 3.

One-in-a-million: The odds of Belmont being the team that stops Georgetown from making the Final Four.

One-in-a-billion: Tubby Smith's chances of being UK's coach next season if the Cats don't (at least) make the Elite Eight.

One-in-a-trillion: Eastern Kentucky's chances of getting past UNC.

999,998: The number of people who still think Kansas -- despite the Jayhawks losing at home to Oral Roberts during the season -- has a shot at pulling this whole thing off.

500,001: The number of people who have marked their brackets and are already excitedly waiting for the Kansas/UCLA game on March 24th.

43,422: The number of people who will visit the United Center in Chicago on Friday and Sunday and be confused by the fact that they are watching games from two different regions.

24,420: The number of people in Spokane at Veterans Memorial Arena who will be thinking the same damn thing.

10,001: The number of men who won't care that UK fanatic Ashley Judd may have had plastic surgery.

3-4-32: The uniform numbers of the three players (Boston College's Jared Dudley, Vanderbilt's Derrick Byars and Georgetown's Jeff Green) who will play themselves into the NBA lottery during the tournament.

1982: The year the Hoyas and the Tar Heels went at it for the title. A year we will be reminded of over 1,982 times during their possible regional final matchup.

1,000 or so …: The number of conspiracy theorists who will join UCLA coach Ben Howland in believing the tournament is rigged for ratings and story lines. (In the Bruins' first three games, Howland could play -- coincidence? -- his alma mater, Weber State; the school where he got his first job as a coach, Gonzaga; and the school he coached before coming to Westwood, Pitt. Then again, this is something that could happen to Larry Brown every year if he returned to coach.)

999 or so: The number of people who won't miss Big Baby in this year's tournament.

.827: The winning percentage Geno Auriemma will have in NCAA tournaments once his squad reaches the Final Four.

725: The number of games the Flying Illini played between its 53-41 loss to Wisconsin in the Big 10 tournament and its previous outing of 41 points or fewer.

726: The number of games Illinois will have played between sub-41-point performances after it scores only 40 in a loss to Virginia Tech.

6-6-6: Louisville: six seed, six wins, six players (David Padgett, Terrence Williams, Juan Palacios, Jerry Smith, Edgar Sosa and Derrick Caracter) who might make it to Atlanta.

354: Cheerleaders you will see over the next four days that will make you wish you knew what you know now when you were back in college.

222: The number of commercials we will see over the next three weeks featuring either Mike Krzyzewski, Dick Vitale or the black guy with the jacked-up haircut that's in the new Comcast spot.

101 (and counting): The number of people I've talked to who have told me that Ohio State will not win the national title this year.

100 (miles and running): Pokey Chatman.

99: Words to live by: Start tearing up your brackets now. Throw them away. Get out of the office pool. None of what you wrote down will make sense by Saturday morning. Learn that this is the one annual event where no one can predict what might happen. Not Scoop Jackson, not Bill Simmons, not Jay Bilas. Only Andy Katz knows. Listen to none of us. And unless you had Andy personally fill out your bracket, set fire to it. Go to a bar, start a fight and root for the teams you love, not the ones you picked on a bracket to win.

89: The number of ties and lead changes that will occur in the four 8/9 games.

61: The points Tory Jackson and Colin Falls might have to put up together to get Notre Dame past Winthrop.

"60 Minutes": A problem CBS won't have to deal with as it did Sunday during the Big 12 championship. (Selection committee chair Gary Walters admitted the committee had already selected Kansas as the No. 1 seed before it won the Big 12 title against Texas -- a game if you remember went into overtime -- hinting that the committee wanted to make sure it stayed on schedule so the selection show wouldn't run over into Andy Rooney's time slot.)

55: The number of points per game the three Oregon guards -- Aaron Brooks, Tajuan Porter and Bryce Taylor -- will average during the tournament.

50: The amount of hours Arkansas players need to spend watching film of USC trying to figure out a way to stop Nick Young.

49: The amount of hours USC's gonna spend sleepin' on Ark's Patrick Beverley.

40: Greg Oden's real age.

35: Kevin Durant's number … or the number of points he'll score against Reggie Theus' New Mexico State squad.

30: The number of shots Michigan State's Drew Neitzel will take during the tournament.

26: The number of games in a row the Middle Tennessee Lady Blue Raiders have won going into in tournament.

25: The number of points Neitzel will average per game.

20-to-1: The odds that Adam Morrison will cry when Gonzaga loses to UCLA.

16:55: The time left in the Florida/Jackson State game when the refs look at the score, huddle up and question whether they should stop it (even though Trey Johnson might have all of J-State's 40 points by then).

15: The actual on-screen time in minutes before that look comes across Clark Kellogg's face that makes you think he wants to slap Seth Davis.

11: Wins in a row by Kansas since its last loss to Texas A&M on Feb. 3.

10: Years in a row an HBCU (black school) gets its butt kicked in the first round by a No. 1 seed.

8: The number of points Nick Fazekas will score in Nevada's loss to Creighton.

5: Florida's fab.

4: The total number of games Drexel and Syracuse would have won if they had gotten in.

3: The number of top seeds for the women's tournament that will reach the Final Four.

2: 4 versus 13 upsets (same with 7 versus 10).

1: Acie Law IV, Mike Conley Jr., Sidney Spencer, Zabian Dowdell, Torey Thomas and Nick Young.

0: The number of games Pacman Jones will attend so that he doesn't mess up the best sporting event known to man.

Scoop Jackson is a columnist for Page 2 and a contributor to ESPN The Magazine. He's also the host of ESPN Original Entertainment's "NBA Live: Bring It Home". Sound off to Scoop and Page 2 here.


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