This post is part of a series tracking the successes and failures of various NCAA Men's Basketball ranking systems and bracket models throughout the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Click here to check out the full series.
The first full day of NCAA Tournament play was full of surprises. There were five upsets, several near-upsets and more overtime games than there have been in years. It was a surprising day for the Rating Systems Challenge, too, with perennial laggard Nolan Power Index leading after the first day. This is a system that has finished last or next-to-last in the previous two years and has yet to beat Pure Chalk in the three years I've been tracking them. Yet, here they are today at the top of the leaderboard, beating 99.8% of all other ESPN Tournament Challenge brackets.
Nolan Power Index pulled ahead primarily due to their pick of 12 North Dakota State over 5 Oklahoma. NPI's only miss was a game almost everyone missed—11 Dayton's upset of 6 Ohio State. In fact, the systems generally performed well: more than half finished in the 90th percentile, and all of them did as well or better than chalk. While Ohio State's collapse killed some Sweet Sixteen picks, each system's Elite Eight remains intact.
As a group, the systems performed well on a key bracketology test: identifying upsets. The only one they missed was the aforementioned Flyers-Buckeyes affair, and the only false positive was 10 Arizona State, a school that was a few tenths of a second away from taking 7 Texas to overtime.
As you can see in the chart above, the systems identified another six potential upsets in Friday's slate. Will they come to pass? Will there be an upset that none of the systems picked? How will those upsets affect their chances of putting up big points in the later rounds? Check back tomorrow or follow along on Twitter to find out.