It is time again for March Madness.
The brackets for the NCAA Basketball tournament are now set and the games will begin later this week.
How upsetting will the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament the year?
There are two stats that I keep during the tournament each year.
UF (Upset Factor) is a number that is a sum off the seed differences when a lower seed knocks of a team with a higher seeding. For instance, when a 15 seed knocks off a 2 seed the UF is incremented by 13. If an 9 seed knocks off a 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 the bracket with the higher seeded team winning each game. You then add up the points based on the tourney results. For the Final Four, the points are given when a #1 seed wins.
Disclaimer: The First Four is ignored as all four games are against teams of equal seeding. There are no upsets in the First Four games. The traditional first round is now sometimes referred to as the second round. It is the first round to me.
I usually will write about these stats after each weekend of games, but they are usually the least viewed of my posts. Should I continue? I will keep the stats anyway, but maybe I won’t write about them this year.
Will this be a big year for upsets, or will it be a tournament that goes according to plan.
There are usually a lot of upsets, but is it because of the selection committee? If the selection was perfect there would be no upsets and the higher ranked team would always win. However, we know there are far too many variables to the games and it is not always the better team that wins. Sometimes it is just the way that the ball bounces.
The tournament in some ways is more about coaching than the skills of the players. Which coach will best utilize the skills of their player with a strategy that takes advantage of weaknesses of the other team?
Will a team from a small school beat the big schools?
Will the more experienced players hold up better under the stress of the tournament? Will teams that have nothing to lose play the games of their life to upset the favorites?
A lot to think about when filling out a bracket. However, I have stopped filling out brackets and just look at the stats as the tournament unfolds. A lot less stress to just watch and not worry about my team winning.