Saturday, April 7, 2012

Brackets: Post-mortem

Prior to the NCAA tournament starting, I published four different brackets based on my betting market rankings.  Here's how they fared:

The first bracket I published was part of the March 12 rankings post.  This bracket was based on mechanically picking the higher ranked team for each matchup.  I then published three more brackets in this post, with an eye towards picking some "optimal" upsets that could help separate you from the pack (with a little luck).

I entered all four of these brackets into Yahoo's Tourney Pick'em challenge, and am using Yahoo's 1-2-4-8-16-32 scoring system to evaluate them.

Risk LevelBracket NameYahooPercentileCorrectChampion
BoringBetting Market Analyticslink95th45 out of 63Kentucky
RiskyWeekend in Vegaslink55th38 out of 63Ohio State
RiskierBet the Farmlink30th30 out of 63Ohio State
RiskiestJerome Kerveillink35th27 out of 63Ohio State

My self-described "boring" bracket actually performed pretty well, beating 95% of the Yahoo brackets.  This is largely due to picking Ohio State and Kansas to upset #1 seeds Syracuse and North Carolina to make it to the Final Four (and picking Kentucky as champion, of course).  But those were hardly unique picks, as you would have picked the same if you had followed the rankings according to Ken Pomeroy or Team Rankings' "Best" Bracket.

The "riskier" brackets did not fare as well, although I was true to my word when I said: "Getting risky will give you a small probability of winning the pool, and a large probability of failing spectacularly".

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