I’ve just created and submitted 4 brackets, one each at different major sports services, to see how far I can take various stats and pick as many winners as possible.
Here, in brief, are the stats I used in each.
Bracket 1 values coaches and schools’ experience in the tournament, plus greater weight for those who have more upperclassmen. By the round of 16, I see just 2 upsets in Loyola-Chicago and Texas. Here’s how this bracket looks at ESPN:
Bracket 2 takes into account a team’s record vs the current Top 50, a team’s closer location to the game site (unless both teams are very far away) and also wins vs better conferences than their own. Upsets: Georgia State, S Dakota State, Iona, New Mexico State. Here’s the bracket, at Yahoo!:
Bracket 3 uses stats at http://www.teamrankings.com … offensive and defensive %, difference between offensive 2pt and 3pt %, and turnovers per possession. Loyola-Chicago is the lone upsetter here. Here’s the bracket, at CBS:
Finally, the composite. Here I had 2 3-way ties to break…one being Gonzaga/Ohio State/S Dakota State….then Cincinnati/Loyola-Chi/Tennessee. I picked out just 5 consensus choices in the South, while the East seems much more solid, giving 9 firm choices.
Here’s how this bracket breaks down:
Loyola-Chicago is my true Cinderella pick….great balanced offense, good defensive efficiency. Their Achilles heel are turnovers. But I like them a ton and hope they can get to the Elite Eight at least.