Previously, we have looked at Kentucky, Villanova, and Duke’s path to the National Championship. Today, let’s look at the 1 seed in the West: the Wisconsin Badgers.
Wisconsin’s Odds by Round
We’ve released our round by round survival odds for each team that made the tournament. From those numbers, we can determine the chances Wisconsin wins in each round, if they make it there:
Previously, we looked at Kentucky and Villanova’s path to the National Championship. Today, let’s look at a team not nicknamed the Wildcats: the South 1 seed Duke Blue Devils.
We can drill into the data we have used while generating optimized bracket picks for you. Duke’s progression of game win odds, as it turns out, is quite comparable to Villanova’s.
Duke’s Odds by Round
We’ve released our round by round survival odds for each team that made the tournament. From those numbers, we can determine the chances Duke wins in each round, if they make it there:
On Monday we looked at Kentucky’s path to the 2015 NCAA Championship.
Now let’s take a look at the Selection Committee’s overall 2 seed, Villanova, using the projections we generate while calculating our optimized bracket picks.
Not surprisingly, Nova’s chances to cut down the nets are much lower than Kentucky, and not just because Kentucky is their most likely opponent in the Championship Game.
Villanova’s Odds To Win Each Round
With the 2015 bracket now out, we’ve released round by round survival odds for each team that made the tournament. We can use that data to determine the chances Villanova wins in each round, if they make it there:
Optimizing your bracket picks for your scoring system is a critical, yet often overlooked element of NCAA bracket pool strategy. Our customized 2015 NCAA bracket picks “solve” your bracket pool by running millions of computer simulations to identify the best picks for your pool’s rules.
The results of our pool simulations often illustrate some clear inefficiencies in how the general public picks brackets. For instance, most people tend to get too risky in popular scoring systems like 1-2-4-8-16-32, and hurt their chances to win by picking too many upsets early on.
But there are also indications that people in pools that award upset bonus points have the opposite problem, picking too conservatively. If your pool awards big points for seed-based upsets, you seriously need to consider making some risky bets on teams that didn’t land a great seed, but are still legitimate threats to advance.
Best Odds To Be Final Four Cinderellas In 2015
Below are five teams seeded 5 or worse that we calculate as having good odds to go on a deep tournament run.
Picking one of these teams to make the Final Four certainly isn’t the optimal decision in many types of pools. But we’ll be watching these teams closely as potential Cinderellas this year, and they all warrant strong consideration in upset pools.
March Madness brackets often have multiple goals in mind. Everybody wants to get lots of picks right, but the bragging rights that come along with nailing a huge upset pick are tantalizing indeed.
After all, if you pick that 15-seed to upset a 2, and get it right, your legendary show of boldness will be the talk of your bracket pool for years to come.
How Many First Round Upset Picks Should You Make?
There’s really no golden rule to how many first round upsets your should pick; it depends a lot on factors like the scoring system of your pool. Most bracket pickers go too crazy picking upsets, though, especially in the Round of 64. As a result, they actually hurt their overall chances of winning their pool.
If you use our 2015 NCAA bracket picks to optimize your bracket picks this year, you’ll get a huge leg up on those opponents.
But still — sometimes it’s just plain fun to spice up your bracket with a bunch of bold calls, even if it may not be the wisest thing to do. For this post, we’re going to look at teams seeded 11 or higher, and figure out which are the smartest risks of the bunch.
Like everyone else, we’ve been keeping a close eye on Kentucky’s odds of finishing as undefeated national champions. Currently we give them a 41% chance to pull it off.
Of course, with the data we have to generate optimized bracket picks for you, we can dig much deeper than just a single number.
Kentucky’s Odds by Round
With the 2015 bracket now out, we’ve released round by round survival odds for each team that made the tournament. Here are the latest results for Kentucky:
Here at TeamRankings, we’ve developed a sophisticated strategy for winning NCAA bracket pools that relies on several different sources of input data to predict every team’s chances. The end result is our official 2015 NCAA bracket picks.
Since we spend a bunch of time on Selection Sunday gathering and reviewing team ratings and projections from different sources, we figured we’d publish some of the comparative highlights.
What Do Various Predictive Systems Think Of This Year’s Tournament Teams?
We’ve plotted each site’s ranking (not rating) of each of the teams below as a gray dot. If multiple sites have a team at the same rank, the dot is darker. (That’s why Kentucky has just one really dark dot; the Wildcats are unsurprisingly ranked #1 by all five systems.)
It’s 2015 NCAA tournament time, so two things are pretty much certain:
- You are going to get bombarded with bracket picking advice. By the media, friends, family, and that random sketchy looking dude at the bar.
- All that advice will suck. In fact, if you listen to these misguided souls, your odds to win your NCAA bracket pool will probably get worse.
We’ve spent over a decade doing objective, data-driven research into bracket pool strategy. So we can distinguish fact from opinion when it comes to bracket picking tips.
Here are the top five things you need to watch out for. (Or if you’d rather just put the best bracket advice to work for you, check out our 2015 bracket picks.)
Forget Any Bracket Picking Advice That:
1. Ignores your scoring system
Bracket pools come in an astounding array of flavors in terms of scoring systems. Some award a fixed number of points per round for each correct pick; some offer a huge reward for picking the NCAA champion correctly; some give big bonuses for picking seed-based upsets.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year: March Madness, when all of America obsesses over the NCAA Tournament.
By now, the media, coworkers, family, friends and frenemies alike have inundated you with all things March Madness. Articles, tweets, and raging diatribes on the NCAA bracket hit you from all angles — and everyone wants you to enter their bracket pool.
To commemorate the madness this year, we’re doing something new. Using unique data we’ve collected about our customers’ bracket contests, we’re going to share and celebrate all of the amazing varieties of NCAA bracket pools that are out there.
Hopefully, you’ll get some fun new ideas for how to set up your own bracket pool in 2015.
Because when it comes to dreaming up ways to reallocate wealth during March Madness, you all are some seriously creative people. Or just plain insane.
Note: This research was originally conducted in 2014 by Jordan Sperber, and the post was updated for 2015 by TeamRankings.
Selection Sunday always sparks a raging debate among college basketball fans about which four teams deserve a 1 seed from the NCAA Selection Committee.
When it comes to filling out your NCAA bracket, though, the more important question is this:
How much does getting a 1 seed — and seeding in general — actually matter when it comes to NCAA tournament performance?
It’s something our algorithmic models will consider closely as they identify the best bracket pool picks for 2015, and it warrants an objective study.
(Here’s how we build smarter brackets, by the way.)
The No. 1 seed landscape in 2015
As the major conference tournaments get into swing, six teams are battling it out to land a top seed in the 2015 NCAA tournament, according to our 2015 bracketology projections: Kentucky, Villanova, Arizona, Wisconsin, Duke, and Virginia. A couple other teams, Gonzaga and Kansas, are extreme long shots.
1 seeds historically perform very well in the NCAA tournament, so there is understandably a lot of media and fan focus on — or rather, obsession with — that seed line. After all, 1 seeds are (in theory) the four best teams in the country and have (in theory) the four easiest roads to the Final Four.
Still, NCAA tournament 2 seeds share a fairly similar story. So is all this obsession over landing a 1 seed justifiable based on past tournament history? And more generally, just how important is seeding overall?