Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Machine Madness Competitors: Monte McNair

Next up in our tour of Machine Madness competitors is Monte McNair.  Monte was in this contest last year as well, under the nom de plume "Predict the Madness". 

Monte attended Princeton but is also a lifelong Stanford fan, so he is enjoying their current Tournament run.  As a UCLA fan I'll try not to hold that against him.  At least he isn't a Cal fan.  Monte blogs (infrequently) about sports at Outside the Hashes.  He also runs a site called Ultimate Bracket Challenge that's worth checking out and bookmarking for next year.

Last year he did a posting over on the Number Crunching Life where he talked about his approach.  He uses a logistic regression based upon the location of the game, metrics for the team's offense and defense, and metrics of the team's opponents' averages for both offense and defense.  Unlike some approaches (like mine) that produce a predicted point spread, Monte's approach produces a confidence number.  Monte finished in the middle of the pack last year but is doing much better this year.  He's currently in second in this contest, and is doing quite well over on Kaggle, where he's currently in eleventh.

Monte has Villanova-Florida-Arizona-Louisville as his Final Four, with Arizona winning it all.  The current leader has Florida for champion, so if Arizona wins it all Monte will likely jump into first and win this contest.

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