Getting a perfect bracket is almost impossible: the odds of picking all 63 games correctly are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. To put that into perspective, the odds of winning the Powerball are about 32 billiontimes more likely (odds being 1 in 292 million). Yet, despite the highly improbable likelihood of a perfect bracket, people will use all sorts of data points to increase their odds—from referencing previous matchups and rankings to flipping a coin. 

In the past, RhythmOne selected winners based on the teams with the most social media mentions or most positive social sentiment, with a couple of these brackets ranked in the top 99% of all ESPN brackets. This year, we are picking teams using some of the methods we implement to comprehensively vet Influencers from a brand safety & fraud perspective. 

We selected the winner for each game of the tournament based on the team with the most brand safe followers on Instagram—see our bracket picks below!

RhythmOne Tournament Challenge

Some of the bracket highlights include (seeding included in parenthesis):

Biggest Projected Upset: Round of 32: Ohio State (11) over Houston (3)

Championship Pick:Duke (1)

ChampionshipMatch-Up: Duke (1) vs. North Carolina (1)

Final Four:Duke (1), Wisconsin (5), Michigan (2), North Carolina (1)

How RhythmOne Reviews Influencers From Brand Safety Perspective

Using a combination of technology and human review, we are able to classify followers in four categories: real people, suspicious followers, mass followers (those who follow a lot of accounts and likely don’t see the majority of posts from accounts they are following as a result), and Influencers. A “suspicious follower” is a follower that is purchased or a bot. There are a few signals used to determine “suspicious followers” including: location of user, profile structure, ratio of followers to following, account activity, and more. This is part of our 35-point checklist we use when vetting Influencers for campaigns. For selecting winners for the bracket, we only counted followers who were “real people” or “Influencers.”

To learn more about our Influencer offering and vetting process, reach out to our team at


Forward-Looking Statements

This article contains forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the words “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “objective,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue” and “ongoing,” or the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology intended to identify statements about the future. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements about the potential and effectiveness of influencer marketing. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results and the timing of events to differ materially from future results that are expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the dynamic and rapidly evolving sector, as well as the highly competitive industry that RhythmOne operates in, which make it difficult to evaluate prospects. These and other risk factors are discussed in RhythmOne’s Annual Report for the period ended March 31, 2018. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to RhythmOne as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.