If you have read my blog since last year you know that back in August I put together my ideas for an algorithm which would predict the outcome of the March Madness tournament. Well, Selection Sunday came this week and I’ve been putting together my brackets using it. So the question on everyone’s mind is who will get an upset, and which teams will advance. I’m using two different methodologies this year. The first is to simulate each game sequentially and come up with an answer, simulating each game thousands of times. The other strategy is to give each game one shot and then simulate the whole tournament, and repeat that a bunch of times.

I’m looking forward to seeing which method is more effective. For now, I am still running the first method. I will get to the second method a little later as it is less labor intensive. So the question is, what upsets is the model predicting?

Upsets My Model Predicts

  • Texas beats Nevada on average this should happen about 51.8% of the time, and the predicted score is going to be 71 to 72. Expect a nail biter.
  • Cincinatti beats Virginia in the elite eight round, my model is giving this a 54.5% chance, it should also be a low scoring game as both teams have fairly strong defenses.
  • Florida state should beat Missouri
  • Gonzaga over Xavier this should be a tough match though
  • West Virginia over Wichita
  • Butler is expected to beat Arkansas
  • Purdue over Villa Nova I think that this upset is going to cause problems for a lot of brackets
  • Florida may bust my bracket way open, they have a 49.9% chance of beating Texas Tech, this game should be too close to call
  • NC State should crush Seton Hall
  • Clemson should beat Auburn, but will be close
  • Interestingly, ASU should make it into the tournament, and if they aren’t too fatigued they will beat TCU
  • Oklahoma over Rhode Island
  • Michigan State beats Duke and Kansas to eventually take the title Duke will be a close call though. Whoever wins the Duke Michigan State game will beat Kansas, Michigan State has a very small edge over Duke.
  • My Model’s Final Four

    In the final four we see Cincinnati,Gonzaga,Purdue, and of course Michigan State. Cincinnati and Michigan State play for the title ending with the Sparties cutting down the nets.

    Getting More Out of Your Data

    So this model works by figuring out the relative strength and weakness of both the offense and defense of each of the teams. You can’t observe these values directly, and that is what makes this model so cool. If you want to find out what the hidden factors are behind your data, then give me a call at 801-815-2922.

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