March Madness in the Wild

I was sitting in my office last semester and this really tall guy walked past my door. I kind of did a double take he was so tall. A few seconds later he came back and knocked on my door. He asked if my office mate was there so he could hand in some homework. I told him that he wasn’t around, but I could take the homework and give it to him when I saw him. He thanked me and left. It was Hasheem Thabeet. So in honor of Mr. Thabeet handing in his STAT 1100 homework to me, I have started a Yahoo! tourney pick’em group.

Join the Stats in the Wild Yahoo! Tournament Challenge. Join group #166142. Good luck.

Every year in March I start to care about college basketball. I even build some half-assed model’s to do my bracket. I finished in the 99th percentile of all yahoo brackets last year by managing to pick the champion, the two finalists, and all four final four teams. (My goal for a long time was to pick all four of the final four. I’ve been stuck on three out of four since high school.) Anyway, in order to make my predictions, I build several models and then I combine the results.

Here’s some thoughts on the tournament based on those models:

Most overrated teams in the tournament:
1. LSU: The SEC is a great football conference and a mediocre basketball conference, (at least this year) and LSU is leading the charge of mediocre teams in this conference. LSU only wins their first round game because they play Butler. Speaking of Butler…..
2. Butler: They lost to Wisconsin Green Bay, Wisconsin Milwaukee and Loyola Chicago. Then they lost to Cleveland State in their tournament. Although in their defense they did beat IU-South Bend 87-33. They played two top 25 teams all year and they went 1-1. Ohio state (who is no longer in the top 25) and Xavier (another over rated team). Speaking of Xavier…..
3. Xavier: Look. I’m a Umass fan, (from the days of Roe, Camby, Dana Dingle, Donta Bright, Derek Kellogg) but the A-10 stinks. Xavier deserves to be in the tourney, but as 4 seed? I doubt it. This is the team the closed it’s regular season 4-4 with losses to Duquesne, Dayton, Charlotte, and Richmond, then lost to Temple in their conference tournament. I’m not exactly inspired by the musketeers. Florida State beats them in the second round by 10.
4. Dayton: An at large bid? So Dayton is better than St. Mary’s, Penn State, Florida, Auburn, Creighton, and Miami? That’s what the selection committee is saying.
5. Boston College: USC should dispose of them in the first round. USC by 12.

Most Underrated teams in the tournament
West Virginia: I’ve got West Virginia as a Sweet sixteen team. They are going to dismantle Dayton in the first round, then beat Kansas by 2. Then they have a good chance against Michigan State for a shot at the Elite 8.
Wisconsin: I think they got screwed with a 12 seed, and then by drawing a very good FSU 5 seed. If they can get past this game, they should cruise into the sweet sixteen past Xavier.

First round upsets: USC over BC.

Most likely 13 seed to win first round: Cleveland State
Most likely 12 seed to win first round: Arizona
Most likely 11 seed to win first round: Utah State
Most likely 10 seed to win first round: USC
Most likely 9 seed to win first round: Butler (Only because LSU stinks too.)

Biggest 3 seed blowout: Missouri
4 seed: Washington
5 seed: Illinois
6 seed: West Virginia
7 seed: Cal
8 seed: Ohio State

First number 1 seed gone: UConn

Good first round bets:
Washington -220
FSU -145
Utah -110
Illinois -200
Arizona St -200
Michigan +190 (This price is fantastic)
Texas A and M +115
Oklahoma St +115 (Seriously? They’re an inderdog here?)
Ohio St -160

And finally, the offical final 4 picks of Stats in the Wild (Drumroll Please):
UNC, Pitt, Memphis, and Lousiville with UNC beating Memphis in the finals 76-75.

Also, I am picking San Diego State to win the NIT with a 72-67 win over Miami in the finals.

And for my boys in the NIT…..what? Thy’re not even in the NIT. Bring back Calipari!
Go U.
Go U – Mass.
Go Umass!


Posted on March 18, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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