Saturday, March 18, 2017

2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament 32 Teams Left

I liked Eric's map idea so much I decided to copy it for this. Sad to say it has been a dull tournament this year. We all tune into the first round of games looking for the big upsets, but this year even the upsets weren't upsets. Let's go over the tournament quickly and then talk about my bracket challenge.

East Region:  The only upset here came with USC an 11 seed beating SMU a 6.  Truth is in listening to experts talk about this leading up to the games there were some who thought SMU was not that good.  Also USC is a major school in a major conference.  Not quite the upset we are used to seeing in the first round. 

Next up in the East.  Villanova vs Wisconsin, Virginia vs Florida, USC vs Baylor, South Carolina vs Duke.

West Region:  Once again the 11 beat the 6 and once again this was not a surprise upset.  Maryland was struggling down the stretch and Xavier is a traditional team from a power conference. 

Next up in the West.  Gonzaga vs Northwestern, Notre Dame vs West Virginia, Xavier vs Florida State, Saint Mary's vs Arizona.

Midwest Region:  Two upsets in the Midwest.  Michigan State beat Miami (Florida) a 9 over an 8, and Rhode Island an 11 upset Creighton a 6.  Once again these were not that shocking since a lot of people were picking Rhode Island, but that is three 11's with upsets. 

Next up in the Midwest.  Kansas vs Michigan State, Iowa State vs Purdue, Rhode Island vs Oregon, and Michigan vs Louisville.

South Region:  There were two upsets here.  Middle Tennessee State a 12 over Minnesota a 5, and Wichita State a 10 over Dayton a 7.  No one would consider either of these games an upset and I would say most people I heard picking games this week, picked both of these wins.  Perhaps the team I felt most sorry for in the tournament was Dayton.  They worked so hard to land a 7 seed and then the NCAA stuck them with a 30 win team as a 10 seed. 

Next up in the South.  North Carolina vs Arkansas, Middle Tennessee State vs Butler, Cincinnati vs UCLA, and Wichita State vs Kentucky.

The Bracket Challenge

Each year I make a bracket based off of a computer program I wrote and track how well I do.  Last year I created a couple of different models.  This year I am tracking all three models as well as brackets based on the RPI, Sagarin ratings, and Ken Pomeroy ratings. 

Here are our records after the first round of games. 

Sagarin - 27 Points, 187 Possible
Model1 - 26 Points, 184 Possible
KenPom - 26 Points, 180 Possible
Model2 - 25 Points, 183 Possible
RPI - 25 Points, 185 Possible
Model3 - 24 Points, 134 Possible

Model3 was always meant to be a higher risk bracket.  So far in the last two years of testing it, it has not done too well so I might need to rework that model. 

Here are the predicted winners of the tournament in these brackets. 

Gonzaga  (Sagarin & KenPom)
Kansas (Model1, Model2)
Villanova (RPI)
Oregon (Model3)

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