Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NCAA March Madness Bracket Tips (2011 Edition)

Last year I wrote a post around March Madness time about displaying some interesting trends about the percentage of seeds advancing in the tournament. I originally based the stats off of the past eight seasons. Since then I went back and included the past 25 seasons as well as the results that followed the trends last year.

In the first round:
· #12 seeds upset the #5 seeds 14 of 32 possible times, or 44% (25 season average is 34%, last year it was 25% with #12 Cornell beating #5 Temple)
· 22% of #4 seeds go down (25 year-21%, last year #4 Vanderbilt was upset)
· Meanwhile only 6% of #3 seeds lose their first game (25 year is higher at 15%, last year #3 Georgetown screwed up my bracket in the opening game)

In the second round:
· More #5 seeds make the sweet 16 than #4 seeds, (15 to 10) (25 year range is closer with #4 seeds making it 43-36 times, but last year backed it up with #5 Butler and #5 MSU advancing while only one #4 seed Purdue made it)
· Only 3 (or 9%) of #1 seeds were upset (25 year is slightly higher at 12%, which #1 Kansas’s stunner to Northern Iowa proves can be even higher)
· Meanwhile 38% of #2 seeds have been upset by the #7/#10 winner (25 year average is at 36%, and #2 Villanova’s loss to St. Mary’s was the wrong #2 I picked to fall)
· Only 5 times (or 16%) has a region gone #1, #2, #3, #4 (Which did not happen again last year)

Sweet 16 round:
· 78% of #1 seeds make the elite eight (The 25 year average is a little less at 73% and was only 50% when #1 Syracuse joined Kansas at home early as well last year)
· On the other side of the region, 78% are either #2 or #3 seeds (71% for 25 year average and 75% last year)

Elite Eight round:
· Only one time in 30 years of the 64 team bracket has all four #1 seeds made the Final Four (Which was no exception last year)
· 44% of #1 seeds make the Final Four (The 25 year average is also at 44%, while only #1 Duke made it last year)
· #2 seeds make it 25% of the time (22% over 25 years, and 25% last year with only #2 West Virginia surviving their region)
· If you add up all the seeds that make the final four, the average total is 9.25. Meaning if you pick all #1 seeds, that’s less than half the average, or if you throw in a #11 George Mason with a #3, #2, and #1, that’s double the average. (The 25 year average is 9.88, and last year’s average of 13 (#1, #2 #5, #5) was slightly above average)

While last year followed these patterns pretty closely, it does not mean I picked the correct upsets and did not win my pool. Boo. Maybe I should listen to this blog which analyzes travel time and preseason polling.

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