Unfortunately, I didn’t move on to the final four of the TeamRankings blogging competition. It was fun while it lasted though, and thanks again to TeamRankings for putting it on and providing great data (which I will continue to use for NCAA tourney simulations).
It was a great third round and a so-so fourth round for my simulations. Here’s the update on the initial brackets that I’ve been tracking:
I set up the first four brackets by always choosing the “better” team according to the ranking listed on the left. The last row uses my simulations to pick the winner. I stumbled a little in round 2, but recovered strongly in the elite eight (6 out of my initial 8 predictions made it, with only Missouri and Michigan State coming up short). Pomeroy and Sagarin’s rankings proved the best at predicting the final four — both missed only Louisville (they each had Michigan State). I missed Louisville and Ohio State (I had Syracuse, by a nose).
If I forgive bracket mistakes and re-pick each game based on who actually played, here are the success rates using each method:
I was pretty excited about that 7 for 8 in round 3! I only missed Louisville’s win over Michigan State. There are a number of things I’d like to improve about my simulation method, but the tournament results this year suggest that I’m on the right track.
Without further adieu, here are my final four simulation predictions:
- Kentucky, 74.9% of simulations over Louisville
- Ohio State, 52.2% of simulations over Kansas
In the simulations, Kentucky dominates Louisville in nearly every efficiency statistic (35% of potential offensive rebounds to 30%, 48% on two pointers to 43%, 35% on three pointers to 31%). Kentucky wins by 8.4 points on average, which is right at the line of 8.5 on many sports books.
The Ohio State – Kansas match up is basically a dead heat by my simulations, although Ohio State is favored by 2.5 points on sports books (the average differential in the simulations is only 0.3 in favor of Ohio State). Although I predict that Ohio State will shoot a better percentage in general (51% to 50% on twos and 34% to 32% on threes), Kansas has a better predicted offensive rebound percentage (31% to 27%) and turnover percentage (14% to 16.5%), so they will get a few extra chances. It should be a very close game.
My predicted final is no different. I have Ohio State winning 51.3% of simulations against Kentucky. I’ll take Ohio State, but it’s really too close to call.