For a twist on picking your basketball tournament bracket picks, read the latest paper from Sheldon Jacobson and graduate student Doug King. By studying past tournament performance using statistical tools, they find that the seedings are important, but mainly for the first two rounds. The deeper you get into the tournament, the seedings become less effective at predicting winners.
“What we are revealing statistically is something that college basketball fans probably already knew in their gut – that a team’s seeding provides some indication as to how well it is going to do, but it does not necessarily give you the definitive predictor,” Jacobson said. “In the Sweet Sixteen round, the rankings still hold, but just barely. From the Elite Eight round and onward, you might as well pick names out of a hat.”
Watch the video here.
On a related note, I wonder if twitter can enhance the tournament experience. I am going to attempt to tweet during the the tournament. Please join me to discuss the quantitative side of the tournament. I just signed up for twitter and have no idea what I am doing, so I need your expertise on this. My twitter feed is on the right side of this blog. March Madness + OR = 🙂