11 April 2014

Rating Systems Challenge: 2014 Review and Historical Results


Photo Credit: Puneet & Anshu Nanda

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.

In defeating the 8 Kentucky Wildcats last Monday night, the 7 Connecticut Huskies completed an improbable run for the 2014 National Championship. No system under review here picked Connecticut to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Along the way they beat three teams that at least one system put in the Final Four: Kentucky, 4 Michigan State and the top-seeded Florida Gators.

The surprise of a National Championship game featuring two schools whose seeds added up to fifteen resulted in the lowest scoring Rating Systems Challenge since 2011—when a 3rd-seeded Connecticut defeated an 8th-seeded Butler in a Final Four that included also included a 10th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth. The preseason polls defeated the other systems this year, but it was a Pyrrhic victory.

07 April 2014

Rating Systems Challenge: Coaches, Columnists Conquer Computers, Cash


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.

Hot dog, we have a wiener!

There were three upsets on Saturday. In the first, 7 Connecticut upended overall #1 seed Florida. In the second, the 8 Kentucky took down 2 Wisconsin. As a result of the first and second upsets, the AP and USA Today NCAA Basketball polls issued all the way back on November 4, 2013 (using chalk as a tiebreaker) succeeded in picking a more successful bracket than any competing system, be those systems advanced computer models, betting markets, or the opinions of the NCAA Selection Committee.

Perhaps (or perhaps not, as this is not really a new phenomenon) more surprisingly, those ninety-seven Associated Press and USA Today voters in November beat out the opinions of those same ninety-seven Associated Press and USA Today voters from three weeks ago.

05 April 2014

Rating Systems Challenge: Huskies, Wildcats Look to Sink Systems


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.

One big upset sent a rating system to the Great Bracket in the Sky last Sunday when 8 Kentucky's defeat of 2 Michigan eliminated Lunardi RPI's chances of winning the 2014 Rating Systems Challenge. No final standings were negatively impacted by 7 Connecticut's upset of 4 Michigan State, although it did deprive the ESPN National Bracket, FiveThirtyEight, Vegas and the preseason polls a chance to score some extra points and move up the percentile ladder.

Today's Final Four match-ups threaten to make or break the remaining contenders: Vegas, FiveThirtyEight or the preseason polls.