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  • March 2011
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Bracketology 101 for Teens

Obama chose all four #1 seeds to make the Final 4, with Kansas taking it all.

March Madness is now officially underway, and millions of people all over the world, from offices to high schools, have their brackets all filled out and raring to go. Yesterday, President Barack Obama made his picks, as you’ve made yours.

Each year, as more star players bolt for the NBA early, the tournament seems as topsy-turvy as ever. So, how do you make your picks? Some people (me) use a simple combination of seedings and guts. But others use MATH.

You might remember the Five Thirty Eight Blog as the go-to place for election statistics and predictors, but with the NCAA Tournament rearing its ugly head, they’ve dedicated a few posts to the statistical research & analysis that goes into making tournament picks.

The bracket itself is here. The magic (i.e., the heavy data analysis), you can find here.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh also has a few books on the topic, from books about the history of the tournament and its cultural relevance to a thrilling mystery that uses the “Final 4” as its backdrop.

Who do you have taking it all? I’ve got Pitt, UConn, Ohio State, and Kansas in the Final Four, with Kansas beating Ohio State 74-71 to win. See my bracket below (and for those of you doing the ESPN Tourney Challenge, you can compare your points with mine here!).

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main – Teen

2 Responses

  1. Sweet post, Joseph. I’ve still never filled out a bracket — I’ll have to give it a try one of these years. Maybe it will give the Panthers some luck.

    • Hey Joseph –

      Our first round picks were pretty close. Our West and Southwest were exactly the same, and there was only two differences in the Southeast. My East was 8 for 8. That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me I think. Glad to see someone else has a gripe with Tennessee 🙂

      WVU let me down today though 😦 I had them advancing.

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