This year there have been some big upsets in the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.
But, how upsetting has it been compared to previous tournaments?
Each year, I keep track of two numbers during the tournament. The first is UF or Upset Factor. The second one is BP or Bracket Points.
UF (Upset Factor) is a number that is a sum of the seed differences when a lower seed knocks off a team with a higher seeding. For instance, when a 15 seed knocks off a 2 seed the UF is incremented by 13. If a 9 seed knocks off an 8 seed then the UF goes up by 1. If a 10 seed beats a 15 seed, there are no UF points since the higher seed was the winner.
BP (Bracket Points) is probably familiar to most sports fans. When scoring your bracket you get 1 point for a first round win, 2 points for the second round and then 4, 8, 16 and 32 for the following rounds. Basically, you fill out a bracket with the higher seeded team winning each game. If your bracket matches the reference bracket and they win, then you get points. For the Final Four, the points are given when a #1 seed wins.
So, now for the big question after the third round: How upsetting is this tournament?
The UF for the third round was 23 and the BP was 12.
If we look at the total BP we find that the lowest year was 2011 with only 57 BP. The only team that can earn more BP is Kansas as the one seed is expected to win in the fourth round and in the Final 4. If Kansas loses, this will be the new all time low for BP. However, if Kansas wins out then the BP would more than double to 110. This would be about at the average for a tournament.
The UF is the second highest through the third round as some of the upsets have been big ones. This will also be reflected in the next category. There has only been one year with lower UF numbers after the third round.
Another stat I keep track of is the number of double digit seeds that advance to each round. The third round started with four double digit seeds. In the third round two of the double digit seeds won and advanced to the Elite 8. There have been five years where this has happened.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the tournament turns out. Will this year remain near the bottom in BP? Will the right upsets take place that will add up to 17 more UF?
The records are 2011 with a BP of only 57 and 2021 with a UF of 128.
Both of these records could possibly be broken if Kansas loses in the next round.