You Might As Well Flip A Coin To Fill In Your NCAA Brackets

You Might As Well Flip A Coin To Fill In Your NCAA Brackets –

Actually it might be better to do statistical analysis from past brackets, see how often upsets happen based on placements.

The default should be picking the team with the higher rank as long as that has statistical relevance.

Then maybe give all the teams something like chess ratings.  Chess ratings are based on outcomes over many events based on strength of opposition and are highly predictive of who will win, so a player that is 133 points higher should win 2/3 games.

Chess ratings don’t go up that much for destroying weak opposition.

Also a late run may reflect present ability better than overall record and a chess rating system would accommodate that too.

The chess rating system is probablistic though and allows for upsets.

Use that system and you might find that say a #10 team is actually much stronger than a #7 team it gets pitted against.  The track record is more than wins and losses.

Anything close to a tossup can be analyzed for intangibles but then one has to be careful of e.g. offense bias.  In most sports success at the top level is more to do with good defence but the fan focus is overwhelmingly on offense, in part because it is easier to quantify. 

So the bad guessing is likely in part due to looking at those numbers and particularly focusing on exceptional individuals.

If I were looking at the issue as a coach, i’d rather face an uneven #6 team than an evenly talented #6 team.  Then you have to solve maybe one guy and there will be weaknesses you can pick on.   

That happens in hockey at least all the time in playoffs, if there is one super player he gets assigned a pest to take him out of the series and it’s often very effective, one guy with ordinary numbers can neutralize a superstar if he has one job.

Most betters see it the other way, they get on the star bandwagon and don’t see the danger of over-reliance on one guy.  Unless he’s talented enough to overwhelm his shadow and the weaker links can hold under pressure, a team with uneven talent is likely to have problems in a top tournament.  Team depth is more important.


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