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Old 2006-03-17, 19:02   #1
Prime95
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Default March Madness 2006

It's fun while it lasts.

Day 1: 15 out of 16 correct. That is not good enough to crack the top 1000 at espn.com's tournament challenge. When I was 11 out of 12 and in 10,000th place it said I was in the 100th percentile. Assuming this is a rounding up of 99.5%, that means there are 2 million or more entries.
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Old 2006-03-17, 19:30   #2
ewmayer
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I don't follow college basketball, so in our annual NCAA championship office pool I always put my $5 in as the "placebo" - i.e. predictions strictly based on seedings. I know it's boring, but I feel I'm doing my part in the way of scientific rigor that way. ;)

For a know-nothing like me the other approach that seems interesting is some form of ranking-weighted simulated annealing, e.g. randomization with the odds of an upset being less for the relatively higher seeds in each game.

George, how many of the first 16 games' outcomes went counter to the relative seedings, and which one did you predict incorrectly?
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Old 2006-03-17, 20:24   #3
Prime95
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I'm not claiming great insight, just good luck.

There were two 5-12, one 6-11, and one 7-10 upsets. Plus there was one 8-9 tossup game. I only missed the 6-11 upset. Very fortunate. Of course with 2 million entries if you don't get the final 4 right and at least 7 of the final 8 right then getting these first rounders right just doesn't matter.

3:00 update. Only 2 of 4 right today. Missed the 3-14 upset and only got one of the two 8-9 tossups correct.

Last fiddled with by Prime95 on 2006-03-17 at 20:24
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Old 2006-03-18, 00:46   #4
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Hope my Arizona Wildcats weren't a problem for you today, George. They finally played up to their potential.

I'm usually lucky to get 60% of the first round right- How do you manage 15 out of 16? Are you combining all the different ranking systems in some magical way? Would a distributed computing system help? My computer's available if it would help get you a few more correct picks.

Norm

Last fiddled with by Spherical Cow on 2006-03-18 at 00:48
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Old 2006-03-18, 02:42   #5
Prime95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spherical Cow
Hope my Arizona Wildcats weren't a problem for you today, George. They finally played up to their potential.

I'm usually lucky to get 60% of the first round right- How do you manage 15 out of 16? Are you combining all the different ranking systems in some magical way? Would a distributed computing system help? My computer's available if it would help get you a few more correct picks.

Norm
Arizona was not a problem, but every other game was. 7 right, 5 wrong today. Most likely no chance of winning.

I don't have any special means of picking a bracket. I will use some math though. ESPN publishes the "national bracket" at http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/nationalBracket If I'm getting good value to pick an upset, I'll do so. For example, The Georgetown (7) vs. Northern Iowa (10) game. Georgetown was being picked by 79% of the entrants. I suspect a 10 seed has at least a 35% chance of winning. So I picked Northern Iowa because 35% of the time I'll be gaining on 79% of the field. A "net positive" bet in the long run

Last fiddled with by Prime95 on 2006-03-18 at 02:42
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Old 2006-03-18, 02:44   #6
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Now its time to root for the UNC Tar Heels! If we don't get to the Final Four this year, we will next year!
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Old 2006-03-18, 03:51   #7
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Uh oh. Down at the half. Time to break out the liquor.
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Old 2006-03-18, 12:21   #8
xilman
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Would someone like to explain what the hell this is about?




Paul
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Old 2006-03-18, 13:47   #9
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Every March, the National Collegiate Atheletic Association (NCAA) stages a basketball tournament. This event has become known as "March Madness" or "The Big Dance." Sixty-five teams are chosen and play in a seeded tournament to determine a national champion college basketball team each year. The first game was last Tuesday. It was the "play in" game to determine the sixty-fourth seeded team in the tournament. Because this team is cannon fodder, no one pays much attention to it. The first big day was Thursday when sixteen games were held at eight different sites. One of the US TV networks, CBS, has had the contract to broadcast the games for twenty years or so. A big change this year is that games from outside the local TV broadcast area are being streamed live on the Internet and edited highlights of the games are available for sale in the Apple iTunes store. This tournament is the biggest sports advertising venue of all in the US. The championship game will be played on April 3.

George completed his "bracket" and predicted the teams that will advance to the different rounds of the tournament, which is known for "Cindarella" teams (a lower seed) winning an upset on occasion. An industry has grown up around the tournament because so many people complete brackets and want to know how well they are doing. Some do this just for fun; many bet money on their "bracketology" prowess. Many offices have betting pools on the tournament. The US economy is said to suffer quite a productivity hit as people pay attention to the tournament rather than their work.
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Old 2006-03-18, 20:50   #10
Orgasmic Troll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman
Would someone like to explain what the hell this is about?




Paul
ok, but you have to explain to me why the non-US parts of this world love soccer
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Old 2006-03-18, 22:23   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95
Uh oh. Down at the half. Time to break out the liquor.
That was close - looks like the NC players appreciated the booze you brought them during the half. Black day for Kansas and Iowa fans, though - much of middle America is probably in mourning today.
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