Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March Madness

This is the requisite NCAA Tourney post. The match-ups have been set and game times determined. Everyone now has to make their picks. This is something I always love doing, yet historically, am very poor at.

This year I have been reading a handfulof different blogs and websites which talk about the various odds involved in the tournament. A professor at St. Joseph's has a terrific website where he ran a Monte Carlo simulation to determine the most statistically likely bracket. Monte Carlo is a type of statistical simulation where you take small random events and simulate these events over long periods of time within the context of a larger system. For the purposes of this tournament, the game outcomes are the small events and the overall bracket is the larger system.

Gene Wojciechowski from ESPN.com shadowed odds makers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants. The guys at LVSC are the ones who set the initial spreads on all the tournament games, which are then dispersed to all the casinos. His behind the scenes account is particularly interesting.

Additionally, Doug Drinen who runs Pro-Football-Reference, has a good article on how to fill out your office pool, from a mathematical perspective. His results will surprise you.

I will be traveling to Lexington, KY tomorrow to catch the 1st and 2nd rounds which will be held in Rupp Arena. Highlights will include Greg Oden and Mike Conley from Ohio St, Acie Law from Texas A&M, and Rick Pitino leading Louisville against Stanford.