Don’t believe the numbers on Villanova vs North Carolina

unc_logoI’m all about numbers for making predictions at The Power Rank. Head over to the predictions page on any given day of the year outside the MLB All-Star break to get a good idea of how a game should turn out.

With the NCAA Tournament title game tonight, the numbers give Villanova a 1.2 point edge over North Carolina.

And why not? Villanova has been on a tear, capped by a 44 point annihilation of Oklahoma in the Final Four.

However, these numbers are on the wrong side of this game. Let me explain.

My algorithm tends to weight games against good teams more, and Villanova had some good fortune from behind the arc against quality competition. Their 50% from three over the last 4 games (35-70) is significantly better than their 33% entering the tournament.

I also calculate market rankings based on the closing point spreads in the markets, a predictor not as affected by the noise of game results. These numbers rate Villanova about 1.2 points worse than North Carolina.

The markets have held steady at North Carolina by 2.5 points. That might be a bit high, but I do think the talented Tar Heels should have a better than 50% chance to beat Villanova.

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