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If you’re in a busted bracket pool, pick Wisconsin

 March Madness  Comments Off on If you’re in a busted bracket pool, pick Wisconsin
Mar 222011
 

Imputed survival rates for the remaining teams, using Pomeroy pythagorean ratings through Sunday March 20, are as follows:

Seed Team Pomeroy Elite 8 Final 4 Semis Champion
1 Ohio St. 0.9844 0.760 0.634 0.431 0.316
4 Kentucky 0.9523 0.240 0.148 0.062 0.030
11 Marquette 0.8952 0.362 0.059 0.014 0.004
2 North Carolina 0.9376 0.638 0.159 0.056 0.023
1 Duke 0.9763 0.837 0.576 0.297 0.192
5 Arizona 0.8894 0.163 0.050 0.010 0.003
3 Connecticut 0.9368 0.407 0.133 0.040 0.016
2 San Diego St. 0.9557 0.593 0.241 0.090 0.045
1 Kansas 0.9702 0.821 0.677 0.439 0.200
12 Richmond 0.8765 0.179 0.092 0.027 0.005
11 VCU 0.8193 0.353 0.060 0.013 0.001
7 Florida St. 0.8928 0.647 0.171 0.056 0.011
8 Butler 0.8504 0.200 0.056 0.014 0.002
4 Wisconsin 0.9579 0.800 0.486 0.254 0.095
3 Brigham Young 0.9424 0.561 0.271 0.122 0.037
2 Florida 0.9276 0.439 0.187 0.075 0.019

Over on Yahoo! they offer a Second Chance contest. Fan picks are mostly rational – slightly overvaluing Ohio State and Kansas, and slightly undervaluing Duke. But the real outlier is Wisconsin. Pomeroy ratings imply a nearly 10% chance of the Badgers winning the championship, while only about 1% of fans on Yahoo! have picked them.

If you’re submitting multiple entries, I recommend submitting entries with Wisconsin, Duke, and Ohio State as the champs. Don’t be surprised by an all Big 10 final.

 Posted by on March 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Fan pick distributions more rational this year than last year

 March Madness  Comments Off on Fan pick distributions more rational this year than last year
Mar 162011
 

Last year, Kansas and Duke were neck and neck as the Win Probability favorites heading into the tournament. However nearly 50% of fan picks on ESPN and over 50% of the picks on Yahoo! had Kansas as their champion. Which is why on March 19, 2010 I wrote the post: “Q: What’s Wrong With Selecting Kansas in Your Pool? A: You’ve Probably Already Been Eliminated” That was before Kansas was upset. My point was that even if Kansas ultimately were to win the championship, so many other entries had selected them that your pool’s winner would more likely be determined by early round points or tie-breaker rules. In effect, picking such an overwhelming fan favorite was tantamount to drawing a lottery ticket.

This year, fan picks are impressively more rationally distributed (if “rational” is defined as I define it: being in line with Pomeroy ratings.) Ohio State is the biggest favorite, but not out of proportion to its Win Probability. As I type this, some 26% of ESPN entries have Ohio State as the champ, as do some 31% of Yahoo! entries. This compares to a survival rate for OSU of some 24%.

What this means is picking Ohio State is not a lottery ticket this year. If you’re making only a single entry, you need a pretty wacky scoring method, or a pool in the hundreds or thousands to make an entry with OSU as the champ an irrational choice.

 Posted by on March 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm