2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket

Paul Dirac - Inventor of bra-ket-ology
My NCAA Basketball rankings have been updated with the latest point spreads for the upcoming tournament games.  The goal of my ranking system is to harness the collective wisdom of the betting market, as revealed by the Vegas point spreads.  See here and here for more background.

As I did last year, I have completed a bracket based on my rankings (for each matchup, I select the higher ranked team).  Here is a pdf version of the completed bracket.  I have also entered the bracket in Yahoo's Tourney Pick'em so I can track progress.  Last year, I also created riskier brackets that attempted to pick the most likely upsets (if you're in a pool with a lot of people, you're going to have to take some chances in order to separate yourself from the pack).  I don't have time to put those together this year, but I can highlight some potential matchups where an upset seems most likely.

The Bracket

Florida is the top ranked team according to my rankings, and is thus expected to win the tournament, despite being a 3 seed.  This is consistent with the Ken Pomeroy rankings, which has Florida as the top ranked team.  That being said, there is not much separating the top 3 teams, with Florida, Indiana, and Louisville all within a point of each other.  According to the actual Vegas futures markets, Louisville is the favorite to win the tournament, followed by Indiana and then Florida.

Potential Upsets

The default bracket I provided already has some upsets predicted (e.g. #6 seed Arizona over #3 seed New Mexico, #11 seed Minnesota over #6 seed UCLA, #11 St. Mary's over #6 Memphis, etc.).  Here are some potential games where the better seeded team only had a slight edge:

  • #8 Pittsburgh over #1 Gonzaga - My rankings predict that Pittsburgh will only be a 1 point underdog against Gonzaga, assuming both teams advance to the second round.  Historically, one point underdogs have won about 49% of the time.
  • #7 San Diego State over #2 Georgetown - San Diego State is projected to be just a 2 point underdog to the Hoyas.  2 point underdogs win about 44% of the time.
  • #10 Iowa State over #7 Notre Dame - Iowa State is only a one point underdog to Notre Dame (this comes directly from the point spread, you don't need my rankings for this one)
  • #3 Marquette over #2 Miami (FL) - Assuming both teams advance to the Sweet Sixteen, Marquette is expected to be just a 1.5 point underdog to the U.

Time permitting, I hope to track tournament probabilities (via Monte Carlo simulation) as I did last year, but I can't make any promises this year (the day job keeps me pretty busy these days).
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