Podcast: Pure Bracket Wisdom

Pure Bracket Wisdom is a daily podcast that gets you ready to win your pool in 2019.  Episodes are about 10 minutes and cover bracket strategies as well as preview top teams.

1. How to predict March Madness

If you want to win your pool, analytics can help, especially with the most important decision in your bracket. This is my story of how I started making tournament predictions.

2. The one thing you must get right

Analytics can help you win your pool, but not if you screw this up.  Steph Curry and a 3 point shooting contest serve as an analogy to understand this crucial point.

3. Michigan

John Beilein’s teams had traditionally featured brilliant offense. So why is this program now a defensive juggernaut, with questions about whether they have enough offense to make a deep run?

4. Virginia

Tony Bennett has another terrific team in 2019. One player in particular stands out. But does last year’s catastrophic upset as a 1 seed to a 16 seed matter?

5. Gonzaga

Gonzaga has the NBA level talent to compete with the best teams in the nation. But how does one account for their weak in-conference schedule?

6. How to think contrarian

To win larger pools, you need to go against the public and think contrarian.

7. Kentucky

Kentucky might not be the best team in the nation by the analytics. However, there is one predictor of tourney success that likes the Wildcats and has them ahead of Duke, Virginia and Gonzaga.

8. Three point shooting teams

Live by the three, die by the three. Should you avoid picking three point shooting teams as champion? The data behind this question.

9. Duke

Duke was the favorite to win the tournament. Then Zion destroyed his shoe and hurt his knee. How do we evaluate this talented group of freshmen?

10. Bracket analysis

Does any favorite have an easier path to the Final Four? Which region might be the most interesting?

Finally!! Win probabilities for the 2019 NCAA tournament

The field of 68 is set, and I’ve used my college basketball team rankings to calculate the win probabilities for each team. 

In addition, the results gets shown in an interactive data visualization. Hover over a team to get its probability to advance through each round. Hover over a game to see the odds that each team wins that game.

To check it out, click here.

You can get the tournament win probabilities by hovering over the center dot.  However, sometimes it’s easier to look at these results in a list. 

Here are the win probabilities for the top 20 teams in 2019.

1. Virginia, 21.0%
2. Duke, 18.2%
3. North Carolina, 12.5%
4. Gonzaga, 12.0%
5. Michigan State, 10.9%
6. Tennessee, 6.5%
7. Michigan, 6.3%
8. Kentucky, 4.5%
9. Texas Tech, 2.2%
10. Purdue, 1.0%
11. Florida State, 0.8%
12. Wisconsin, 0.5%
13. Houston, 0.5%
14. Virginia Tech, 0.5%
15. Kansas, 0.4%
16. Iowa State, 0.4%
17. LSU, 0.3%
18. Auburn, 0.3%
19. Buffalo, 0.2%
20. Louisville, 0.2%

You can use these numbers to apply the contrarian ideas I write about in my book How to Win Your NCAA Tournament Pool.

Or, if you don’t have much time, you can let me do the work for you.  My full bracket advice optimizes your chances to win your pool.  To learn more, click here.

Podcast: Adam Stanco on predicting March Madness, Part 2

This episode of The Football Analytics Show is the second of two with Adam Stanco of the Pac-12 Network. He’s a hoops expert and educates us on:

  • the player that makes Virginia a national title contender
  • whether Gonzaga can make a deep run in the tournament
  • the team with more NBA talent than any other college basketball team, even Duke

To listen here, click on the right pointing triangle.

To listen on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Introducing: Pure Bracket Wisdom

Pure Bracket Wisdom is a daily podcast to get you ready to win your NCAA tournament pool in 2019.

To check out the trailer, click here:

The 10 part daily series launches on March 11th, 2019.  To subscribe on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Podcast: Adam Stanco on predicting March Madness, Part 1

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, Adam Stanco of the Pac-12 Network joins me to break down the top college basketball teams.  In this first of two episodes, we get into:

  • Duke, with and without Zion Williamson
  • Whether Michigan has enough offense to make a deep tourney run
  • Whether Michigan or Michigan State has a higher ceiling

Adam is a hoops expert and has an uncanny ability to catch things outside the numbers.  Remember, thirty some games is still a small sample size.

There’s also an announcement for my new March Madness audio project.

To listen here, click on the right pointing triangle.

To listen on Apple Podcasts, click here.