Monday, March 17, 2014

More Grist For Your Tournament Picks

Pando did an article on machines predicting the Tournament.  Quotes from many of my favorite writers on the topic, including my most favorite writer -- me.

The Harvard Sports Analysis Collective put together a nice collection of random Tournament facts, such as:
24. Coming in at the 94th most efficient offense and the 36th most efficient defense in the country, UMASS is statistically the worst 6 seed by a wide margin.
I don't put much stock in those sorts of factoids, but it's an entertaining read nonetheless.

Courtesy of the Prediction Machine, here are the five most unpredictable teams in the Tournament:

  1. Oklahoma State
  2. North Dakota State
  3. Harvard
  4. Memphis
  5. Massachusetts
 I suspect that much of Oklahoma State's unpredictability stems from the temporary loss of Marcus Smart, so you might want to discount that.  But if you're counting on (say) Harvard to play a great game and beat Cincinnati in the first round upset, you might take this as a positive sign ("They're an inconsistent team, so they have a chance to play over their heads!") or as a negative sign ("They're too inconsistent to count on to pull off the upset!").  In the past, the Prediction Machine has used these numbers to fairly good effect.

Three possibly first-round upsets:  Stanford over New Mexico, Providence over UNC, and Xavier over St. Louis.

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