Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tournament Picks

I'm currently in San Jose to watch some of the first round live, but our hotel doesn't seem to have working Internet at the moment, so updates will be sporadic at best.

The Prediction Machine went 3-4 on the First Four games, just missing the Boise State win.  That was a matchup between identical seeds, so not too surprising to get one of those wrong.

Here are the Prediction Machine's full picks for the Tournament (click to enbiggify):


Keep in mind that these don't represent the Prediction Machine's most likely outcomes; it picks a number of "upsets" as part of its Tournament strategy.  There 12 upsets in this bracket -- a couple are games where the PM legitimately thinks the lower-seeded team will win, but the rest are intentional underdog picks.  In particular, the PM has Louisville as a slight favor to beat Indiana in the Championship Game, but picked Indiana because that is worth 32 points if it happens.

Here are the most likely first round upsets.  The PM calculates this based upon how close it predicts the game to be, as well as how likely the two teams are to be involved in an upset:

HomeAwayUpset
Notre DameIowa St.17.4
San Diego St.Oklahoma7.1
MemphisSt. Mary's2.5
Oklahoma St.Oregon2.4
N.C. StateTemple2.2
IllinoisColorado2.1
Colorado St.Missouri1.8
CreightonCincinnati1.6
PittsburghWichita St.1.6
UNLVCalifornia1.5
ButlerBucknell1.5
North CarolinaVillanova1.2

The "Upset" number doesn't correspond directly to an upset probability, but you can use it to judge the relatively likelihood of the upset.  As you can see, the PM thinks that Iowa St. over Notre Dame and Oklahoma over San Diego St. are by far the most likely upsets. 

Danny Tarlow over at Number Crunching Life will probably be covering the Machine Madness contest in some detail.  There are a surprising number of competitors -- 17 at last count -- so it should be a fun year!

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