The Biggest Upset

Each year I tell myself I will not blog about How Upsetting the NCAA Tournament is as my sports posts are usually among my least visited posts. However, I always cave in and write a few posts.

This year is no exception as The Biggest Upset in NCAA Tournament history took place tonight. I just have to write about it.

I turned on the TV tonight to one of the other games but soon saw that a big upset was in the making so I switched to the UMBC vs. Virginia game. I was sitting there trying to remember what UMBC stood for. The first thing that came to mind was United Missouri Bank Corporation, but I knew that was not right.

A quick search found that UMBC was the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Do you know of any famous alumni of UMBC? I looked through a list and found one that I knew who was πŸ™‚

Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes on the Food Network graduated with a History degree from UMBC.

Now back to the game:

In the history of the NCAA Tournament a 16 seed had never beaten a 1 seed. However UMBC had Virginia on the ropes as I started watching. It was soon apparent that history was in the making.

Not only was Virginia a 1 seed, but they were also the top overall seed in the tournament. UMBC as the winner of the American East Conference was the overall 63 seed in the 68 team tournament.

It was interesting to watch the faces of the players and fans. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat was very apparent as the realization of the big upset set in.

2018 NCAA Tournament, Greatest Upset, Geeky STatsYesterday I had already started tracking the Bracket Points (BP) and Upset Factor (UF) for the tournament, and tonight I updated my spreadsheet to also include the games for today.Β  I wanted to see how the tournament this year was stacking up. How much did the biggest upset influence the results.

Bracket Points, Upset Factor, NCAA Tournament, UMBC, Greatest UpsetHere is an example of a Perfect Bracket where the top seeded team always wins to illustrate what Bracket Points (BP) are in my system. In the first round, which was just completed, there is one BP added for each game where the expected seed wins.

Upset Factor (UF) is the difference in seeds when the lower seed wins. In the case of UMBC beating Virginia the UF is 15 (16-1).

2018 NCAA Tournament, Greatest Upset, Geeky STatsAfter the first round this year the BP is 23 and the UF is 49. This means that in the 32 games that 23 times the expected team won and that there were 9 upsets.

You can see that in the South region only 4 games went as expected with a total UF of 30. Half of the UF came from the UMBC/Virginia game. The West and Midwest regions went pretty much as expected with only one upset apiece and the East had three but the seed differences were not as high.

There are 6 double-digit seeds going to the 2nd round which is about average for the tournament. There were three 9 seeds that won, but this usually does not have much effect on the overall UF or BP in a tournament.

NCAA Tournament, Greatest Upset, UMBC, VirginiaMy next question was how does this stack up to recent years. My first comparison was to the first round of 2016 which was very upsetting. In 2016 there were 10 double-digit seeds that advanced to the second round. There were a total of 13 upsets and the UF was a staggering 73. The Midwest Region had a UF of 29 from 5 upsets.

Basketball Tournament, 2013 NCAA First Round, Biggest UpsetsIn 2013 the West Region had a UF of 31 from 5 upsets. I only have my round-by-round stats back to 2007, but most likely this is the record for a region in the first round. I guess I need to do more number crunching πŸ™‚

NCAA Tournament, Greatest Upset, UMBC, VirginiaLast year the tournament went a little closer to the expected with only 6 upsets in the first round and a total UF of only 26.

NCAA Tournament, Greatest Upset, UMBC, VirginiaThe least upsetting first round in the last 12 years was 2007 with only 5 upsets with 3 of them being 9/8.

I also looked to see how many Perfect Regions there have been since 2007. In a Perfect Region the 1-8 seeds all have to win. Would it surprise you that there have only been 3 Perfect Regions in the last 12 years?

Overall with the exception of the massive 16/1 upset this year is about average when it comes to upsets πŸ™‚

I wonder if anyone besides UMBC fans filled out their bracket with this upset?

Stay tuned as I will at least write one more post at the end of the tournament, but I probably won’t be able to contain myself and there will most likely be more πŸ™‚



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