Math Madness: What’s in a Bracket?

Stacy Swanson, Math, Probability and Statistics, Bailey Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards

200 Word Synopsis

This unit seeks to engage Middle School students in activities surrounding the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament held each year in March.  The unit is designed specifically for my seventh grade Honors classes.  The unit may be used with any level math class, however, there will be independent research and small group projects involved.   The content of this unit covers statistics and probability specifically, but also utilizes student abilities with number operations a great deal.  Students will be asked to compare data sets through central tendency measures, investigate probability models, and find the probability of simple and compound events.  The overarching purpose of this unit is to encourage students to look deeper into statistics and probability models, and how they affect real-life outcomes.  Students will complete in-depth research about players and teams to determine how they were placed in the NCAA tournament bracket and predict the outcomes of the games.  I want to spark the competitive nature found in most students and use that excitement to learn!