21 March 2013

Rating Systems Challenge, 2013 Edition

This post is one in a series investigating how the various college basketball rating systems predict the men's NCAA Tournament. Click here to read the rest.

It's great to be back!

Welcome to the third season of the Rational Pastime Rating Systems Challenge. For each system we constructed a bracket in which the higher-rated team always wins (with the exception of the National Bracket and the LRMC Bayesian systems, which construct their own brackets).

Each of these systems will compete against a pure chalk bracket and millions of individual players in the ESPN Tournament Challenge format. We will track the systems and see how well they perform over the course of the tournament.

Chalk wins in the case of ties or an absence of information. In the case of Vegas numbers, we use their round of 64 lines for the first match ups and the national championship odds for the remainder. Play-in games are not considered. We will update the standings after each day of tourney play.

The following systems' Final Four projections are presented in the table below. More information is available after the jump.

The methodology has not changed significantly from the previous year's. We added an efficiency model from Sports Reference. The ESPN Computer picks replace the ESPN Simulation model in our standings. If you would like to see these systems' raw picks, click the links on the spreadsheet above.

Last year, there was overwhelming support for overall #1 seed, Kentucky. The Wildcats' NCAA Championship victory validated the consensus. This year, there more parity among the contenders. While 1 Louisville and 1 Indiana are overwhelming favorites to advanced to the Final Four, there is significant support for 1 Gonzaga and 3 Florida. More the half pick Louisville to advance to the finals, with nine systems picking Indiana to go just as far.

Louisville, this year's Overall #1, is the consensus favorite, but various systems pick Indiana, Gonzaga, Florida or 2 Duke.

If you're looking to make picks for the first round, there is strong consensus that minor underdog 9 Missouri will topple Colorado state. The most favored 10-seed upset is Colorado over Illinois. Half the systems predict that 11 Minnesota will beat 6 UCLA in the Round of 64.

Remember to continue to check in with us after every day of tournament play. We will be updating the scores and percentiles of each system once the Madness is underway.

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