Sweet 16!

WOW! What an opening weekend to the tournament! There is no measurement methodology available that could have accurately predicted these games. Someone with some lucky guesses, sure. But there is no science available that could have seen this coming. Science aside though, there were some great games.

Looking to the second weekend though, we have some compelling match-ups on Thursday and Friday. I still like St. Mary’s to continue on their way over Baylor and then face off against Duke for the regional championship. I LOVE St. Mary’s style of play and they are very skilled at it.

My Midwest bracket is totally blown up – I have one team remaining in Ohio St. Two teams I really liked coming into the tourney – Kansas and Georgetown – really shocked everyone. Kansas’ measure was the best by nearly one and one-half standard errors over Kentucky. That means that they would have been expected to beat even the #5 team (West Virginia) two out of three meetings. They were prohibitive favorites against Northern Iowa with a difference of just over 12 logits in their measures! Kansas would have been expected to beat UNI nearly every single time they played. UNI found that one time out of more than 1000 that would take to beat a team with a measure that much greater than their own. This was an extremely unexpected result. I wasn’t going to analyze the tournament games but, with this upset, I would like to see the model’s degree of unexpectedness. I will discuss that in another post.

Georgetown surprised me greatly too. They didn’t just get beat by Ohio, Ohio beat them soundly and scored 99 points on top of that. Georgetown was one of the better defensive teams in the country and the Big East Conference tournament performance put an exclamation point on their season by showing that they were just as good as WVa, Syracuse or Villanova. The Big East’s performance in the tournament so far has also been a big surprise. Perhaps, the Big East isn’t as good as we all thought. Of the eight teams in the tournament from the Big East, only two remain.

Regarding my bracket picks, I did my best to stick to the measures with only one exception. I really felt Siena would take down a hampered Purdue squad. Without their leading scorer in Robbie Hummel, I felt Purdue was ripe for the picking in the first round. They have proven me wrong with an exclamation point.

Looking forward to Thursday!

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