Category Archives: Uncategorized

Remember the Quarterfinal Rule

As the major conference tournaments get rolling this week, remember the Quarterfinal Rule – any team that fails to advance past their conference tournament quarterfinal WILL NOT win the national championship. The are no exceptions to the Quarterfinal Rule.  I’ll update this post as top teams are eliminated before their conference semifinals. 

2023 Teams Eliminated from National Title Contention

The Eye Test Vs. Data Analytics

I went to a game last night just for fun.  The teams are irrelevant for the purpose of this conversation; suffice to say that both were middling, neither has a shot at the NCAA tournament and none of it has implications of national merit.  But man, it’s almost March and it’s college basketball, it was a blast!  15,590 fans just having a great time sending off the seniors and hoping for a shift in fortunes during the Conference Tournament.

The beauty of CBB is that anyone can be a Cinderella.  As I watched the event, the home team played the best game of their season.  They were balanced on offense, they shutdown the other team’s two main threats.  They rebounded well, controlled their turnovers and staved off multiple run attempts of their foe.  At one point they were up by 21 and I thought to myself, “Man, if they play like this, who knows, three good games in the conference tourney and they could slip into an automatic bid.” I was impressed and drinking the Kool-aid.

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Mad Max in the Final Four

It is often easier to eliminate Final Four candidates than to identify them. 

For instance, if you look back through the history of all Final Four participants for the last 35 years or so, there doesn’t seem to be a common thread in the data that can be pointed to as a sure fire indicator that a particular team is going to win it all come March. (At least not yet, finding that is our goal…)

What we can identify are teams that lack characteristics germane to all Final Four teams. One of the best indicators is how well a team does on the road. 

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Top 2022 NCAA Tournament Championship Contenders

To win your bracket pool, you’ve gotta pick the right champ (in standard scoring formats). The final game is worth as much as the first 32 games combined.

This year’s model has been trained and the simulation of the tournament completed. According to the simulation results, these are the teams with the best chances to win the tournament.

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2022 Providence and other good-seed-bad-computer-rank teams from past tournaments

“I’m sorry, Dave. Providence isn’t as good as their record and projected seed would indicate.”

With 2 weeks and some change until Selection Sunday, Providence has built an excellent resume. Projected as a 4-seed in the Bracket Matrix, Providence is:

  • 22-3 overall
  • 8-2 road/neutral record
  • First place in a strong (potentially 7 tournament bids) Big East
  • 5-2 Q1 record
  • 12-3 Q1/Q2 record

…and yet, receive little-to-no love from the computers. Providence is ranked 28, 31, 41, and 46 in the NET, Sagarin, BPI (ESPN), and KenPom rankings – not even close to what we’d expect from a 4-seed.

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Top Final Four Contenders in the West Region

Win your bracket pool by using simulation results from’s computer model that amazingly predicts NCAA Tournament outcomes. 

No surprise – Gonzaga’s the favorite. Perhaps the biggest surprise is USC’s not insignificant 8% chance of winning the region. There is a 90% chance the winner will be one of five teams…

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Top Final Four Contenders in the East Region

Win your bracket pool by using simulation results from’s computer model that amazingly predicts NCAA Tournament outcomes. 

Michigan is the only team with a greater than 50% chance of winning their region. Problem is, Michigan won’t be full strength – at least for the first two rounds – due to Isaiah Livers’ injury. Soooo… huge caveat in this region. I suggest discounting Michigan’s chances and boosting everyone else’s. By how much? I wish I could tell you. According to Jeff Borzello, Michigan, in the past 2 seasons, is 33-9 with a healthy Livers and 6-6 otherwise. All 12 games without him came last season.

There is an 85% chance the winner will be one of five teams…

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2021 NCAA Tournament Team Computer Ratings by Region

Use these tables to compare team computer ratings for the teams that are in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. These ratings have predictive value and can be used to make relative team strength comparisons. Check out computer rankings for these teams here.

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