It is officially March Madness at Microsoft.
The Bing team already put out its data-driven predictions for this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Now, it’s setting new Guinness World Records.
A group of nearly 300 Bing employees gathered at the company’s office in Bellevue today in an attempt to break the record for amount of people filling out a bracket together. When it was all said and done, 298 employees completed their brackets simultaneously, beating the previous record of 250 people.
The official record, according to Guinness, is “Most People Filling out a Sports Bracket Simultaneously in the Same Room.”
Yes, you can probably file this into the “incredibly random Guinness World Records” folder, along with the “largest sports tournament bracket” mark that was set last year. Still, it’s cool that the Bing team is so passionate about March Madness.
For those still filling out their own brackets, you can check out Bing’s predictions here. Microsoft’s search engine crunches more than a decade of NCAA historical data to identify patterns that contribute to a team’s success. Bing, which also predicts other events like the Oscars and political elections, sorts through specific data from each game this season —win/loss ratio, distance from a team’s home campus to a given game, data related to conference tournament play, etc. — and uses “social signals indicating the wisdom of the crowd.”
Bing is hoping to improve upon its performance last year, when it finished in the upper 30 percent of all national brackets, beating those published by Google, Facebook, and Sports Illustrated.