Sunday, March 16, 2014

Actual Selection Results and Bracketology Scoring

Well, the results are in.  After several surprises and snubs, my bracketology score (explained below) was 330.  That's 9 points better than my bracket last year, and hopefully good enough for a ranking in the top half of the 100+ bracketologists in the matrix.

The "Paymon" bracketology score works like this: 6 points for a team on the correct seed line, 4 points for a team within one seed line, and 3 points for a team correctly picked in the field but more than one line away from its actual seed.

I ended up with 35 teams on the correct line (210 pts), 24 teams within one seed line (96 pts), 8 teams picked correctly in the field but more than one line away from their actual seed (24 pts), and one team picked incorrectly - SMU instead of NC State.

It's been interesting watching true NCAA analysts fail miserably at wearing bracketology hats.  Doug Gotlieb said Louisville as a #4 was the biggest surprise he's ever seen, and Ron Wellman (selection committee chair) gave him a good lesson in bracketology.  It's about a team's entire resume from November through March, not just how good they are playing on Selection Sunday.

My top three surprises are...
1. New Mexico on the 7-line.  The committee clearly weighed a lack of top-100 wins very heavily for New Mexico, but not for their fellow Mountain West team San Diego State, who had one fewer top-100 win than the Lobos and lesser or equal metrics in every other resume field except for wins/losses.
2. St. Joseph's on the 10-line.  As I noted earlier this afternoon, I clearly reached a bit too far in putting the Hawks on the 7-line, but their resume certainly deserves better than a 10.  Their top-25, top-50, and top-100 numbers are better than six or seven of the eight teams on the 8 and 9 lines (all but GWU and maybe Kentucky).  Pittsburgh in particular is a huge stretch at the first 9-seed, as their RPI, SOS, top-25 wins, top-50 wins, top-100 wins, and last-10 record are worse than St. Joe's.
3. NC State in the field.  I'm not particularly surprised that SMU didn't get into the field, as Ron Wellman made a good point about their poor SOS.  What surprises me is that NC State was chosen over teams like Minnesota, Florida State, and Missouri.  I believe that's a bit of over-reaction by the committee to their win over Syracuse.

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