Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March Madness for 2008 - reviewing the links

This week I have gotten a lot of search traffic based on search terms like "march madness statistics" and "march madness stats". Welcome to you all. I have in the past tried to use analysis of the past NCAA College basketball tournaments to try to improve my March Madness picks. In the past several years I still haven't won, but at least I know that I had a statistically good picks. To help you make your picks this year I suggest the following past posts:

  • For the Final Four and the Championship only certain seeds have ever made it that far. These frequency charts might help you to ensure your picks are not outrageously different from the past history.

  • Our March Madness pool gives points based on the seed of the team. If the team you picked wins then the points you get are the seed multiplied by the factor for the round (1,2,4,8,16,32 for the Round of 64, Round of 32, Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four and the Championship). I analyzed the data from 1985 to 2005 to find what the maximum points a perfect winner could get to help see if my picks were optimistic or pessimistic.

  • The final useful detail is that though their will always be upsets, you can win a pool by picking which teams will upset. I use the Sagarin ratings to get some idea of which teams are seeded correctly and which are over- or underestimated. It is surprising how the seeds often don't follow the ranks or the ratings. Also remember that any given day any team can beat any other team no matter the rating.

All of the posts above are chuck full of statistical analysis, charts and data. I have even offered some tentative advice. Good luck with your pool, but hurry tomorrow is the start. Perhaps this year I will update two years more data and finally analyze the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. The data is in a spreadsheet just calling to me.

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