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Wizard
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Wizard 
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
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April 9th, 2019 at 2:54:23 PM permalink
I just updated my March Madness page with the 2019 data. With the new data, following the Wizard basic strategy, the probability of a perfect bracket has dropped to 1 in 55,380,246,801. It was 1 in 42,743,890,552 after the 2018 season.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Wizard
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Wizard 
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
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April 9th, 2019 at 4:06:52 PM permalink
Here are some comments on this 35th March Madness season:

  • After the first round, narrowing the field from 64 to 32, the average seed was exactly 6. As a basis of comparison, since the tournament started in 1985, the average is 5.81.
  • The biggest upset in the first round (based only on the seeds) was 13-seed U.C. Irvine (yay!) beating the 4-seed Kansas State.
  • In the second round, narrowing the file from 32 to 16, favorites did very well. In all 16 games, the higher seeded team won 15 times. The only upset was 5-seed Auburn beating 4-seed University of Kansas. Again, a favored Kansas school losing.
  • After the second round, the average seed was 3.06, compared to an average of 4.51. This ties a record with season 1 for the lowest average seed number after round 2. It also reverses a trend of lower seeded teams (or higher seed numbers) making it further in the tournament. From 2008 to 2018 the average seed after the second round was always 5 or more.
  • After the second round, 15 of the 16 surviving teams were a 1 to 5 seed. The only exception was 12-seed University of Oregon surviving.
  • After the third round, narrowing the field from 16 to 8, the average remaining seed was 2.25. On average it is 3.18. 12-seed Oregon got knocked out so all eight remaining teams were seeded 1 to 5. Three of the four number one seeds survived to this point.
  • The fourth round, narrowing the field from 8 to 4, saw three out of four upsets. A 2-seed beat a 1-seed, a 3-seed beat a 1-seed, and a 5-seed beat a 2-seed. Surviving to the Final Four were a 2, 1, 3, and 5 seeds. The average seed surviving to the Final Four was 2.75. The average at this point is 2.82, so the trend of favorites winning almost every game in rounds 2 and 3, finally ended. I usually root for the underdog, so I like to see this.
  • The fifth round, narrowing the field from 4 to 2, saw 1-seed Virginia beating 5-seed Auburn and 3-seed Texas Tech beating 2-seed Michigan State. The average seed remaining was obviously 2. The average at this point is 2.33.
  • As we know, the final game saw 1-seed University of Virginia beating 3-seed Texas Tech. This is the third year in a row a 1-seed has won the whole enchilada. Based on the 35 seasons played to date, a 1-seed wins 62.9% of the time.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Cheeks
Cheeks
Joined: Mar 19, 2021
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March 19th, 2021 at 7:25:27 AM permalink
I created an excel model to try and remove all human bias. It was my attempt at coming up with something based on the prior probabilities of an upset that would differentiate my picks from others'.
Press F9 and you get a new, printable bracket that is populated by seed #s for each matchup. So if a #1 is playing a #1 the user has to choose the team.

For each matchup, a random number is generated and if it falls in the probability of an upset then the underdog (based on seed) wins. For any matchup with minimal history, I use the average of an upset by the difference in seed #s. For example a 9 seed has played a 2 seed only twice. But if you sum all of the games with a difference of seven, the probability of an upset is .285.

For differences of 10 and 12, I interpolated since there are only 13 games total.

When I made picks myself I would always do horribly. I've improved substantially in pools that reward upsets.

Just thought i'd share this. I welcome any comments!
Cheers, Cheeks
gordonm888
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gordonm888 
Joined: Feb 18, 2015
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March 19th, 2021 at 7:55:42 AM permalink
The ESPN Tournament Bracket challenge allows you to autofill a bracket randomly according to one of several different ways:

Each matchup in the bracket you generate is given win/loss percentages according to:

1. Seed, or
2. BPI (ESPN's power rating index accounting for Win/Loss, opponents strength, win margin and injuries), or
3. Completely random (50/50)

However, the win/loss percentages are created, the autofill routine uses an RNG to pick a winner for each matchup.

ESPN allows each person to fill out up to 25 brackets. I filled out 50 brackets for my wife and I and about 35 of them were generated using autofill based on BPI.

When filling put large numbers of brackets my goal was not to place a lot of brackets in the top 10% - it was to maximize our chances of placing a bracket in the top 0.1%.
So many better men, a few of them friends, are dead. And a thousand thousand slimy things live on, and so do I.

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