Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beating the favorites in the NCAA Basketball Championship

The NCAA basketball tournament had 32 teams remaining after four days of play. Although I haven't watched a full game of basketball all season and only a few partial games (mostly University of Virginia games) my NCAA bracket is doing extremely well heading into the round of 32.

In the play-in [First Four] games on Tuesday and Wednesday I picked three winners (Clemson, UT San Antonio, and VCU) in the four games for a 75-percent success rate.

The round of 64:

In the round of 64 I picked nine teams to upset a higher ranked team of which five teams (Marquette, Richmond, VCU, Florida State, and Gonzaga) succeeded. My unsuccessful upset picks were Georgia to beat Washington, Memphis to beat Arizona, Penn State to beat Temple, and Belmont to beat Wisconsin. There were actually seven upsets in the 32-game round of 64 of which I picked five - not too shabby, eh? The only upsets I missed were Morehead State University over Louisville and Illinois over UNLV.

In the round of 64 I picked 26 of the 32 winners for an 81-percent success rate in the round.

For the tournament as a whole so far I have picked 29 of 36 winners for an 80-percent success rate.

If I had picked all of the favorites (higher seeds) in all of the round of 64 games, I would have had only 25 winners or a 78-percent success rate.

The round of 32:

The best I can do in the round of 32 is get 15 winners in the 16 games. I picked Memphis to get to the Sweet 16 but they are gone (losing to Arizona). I am looking to West Virginia to upset Kentucky, Cincinnati to upset Connecticut, Florida State to upset Notre Dame, Butler to upset Pittsburg, and Kansas State to upset Wisconsin. But, anything can happen in this tournament.

Looking further ahead.

With luck in the current round I am picking the Elite 8 to be Ohio State, Syracuse, Duke, San Diego State, Kansas, Purdue, Butler and BYU (all still in the tournament); the Final 4 to be Ohio State, Duke, Purdue, and BYU; and Ohio State to beat BYU in the championship game.

There are 67 games in the tournament. With 29 winners in 36 games so far I cannot do any worse than 43-percent success - but if I get the rest correct, I will reach an incredible 60 out of 67 for an approximately 90-percent success rate.

Unfortunately I didn't get my bracket into any contests. But then again I am very surprised at my success rate so far and my bracket might be a wreck by Sunday night. Those last second shots - missed or made - could have changed my bracket success significantly. Perhaps it was my Irish grandmother Sarah Malarky sending the luck of the Irish to me this round.

Let the games continue......

No comments: