How to Win Your NCAA Tournament Pool

cover_screenshotYou want to win your March Madness pool. The money is nice, but the bragging rights are even better.

However, it seems so difficult to win your pool. You don’t have the time to do the hours of research required to study all teams.

I have a better way for you.

My book How to win your NCAA tournament pool combines analytics and strategy to maximize your chances of winning. Analytics gives you an edge over others in predicting winners. Strategy lets you exploit the biases of others in picking the best bracket.

This is the book for:

  • People who don’t think March Madness can be predicted. You’ll be surprised how often analytics can predict the winner of tourney games, even before it starts. See the Introduction Chapter.
  • People who think you should just pick the team with the highest win probability as champion. You need think contrarian. See Chapter 3.
  • People who don’t have 10 hours to research their bracket. A simple 3 step process helps you make the most important decision for your bracket.
  • People who love March Madness. This book recounts the excitement of past tourneys through an optimal bracket.

How to Win Your NCAA Tournament Pool, revised and updated for 2016, is the first book that explains how to fill out your bracket based on pool size. This is the only genuine way to maximize your odds of winning.

I won two pools, one of them had 100 entries, and the other had 20 entries. It felt great winning the pool, bragging rights in my office were almost better than the money won!

— Ryan Peters, Omaha, Nebraska, 2015.

To get the professionally edited ebook from the Amazon Kindle Store, click here.

About the author

Ed_Feng_headshotHi, my name is Ed Feng. As a college basketball junkie in grad school, I wrote code to use Ken Pomeroy’s numbers to fill out my bracket. After that, people stopped inviting me into their pools.

Years later, I developed a ranking algorithm for sports teams based on my research in the mathematics of randomness. This led to The Power Rank, my site devoted to better predictions through analytics.

March Madness has played a huge role in my sports analytics journey from the beginning. In 2012, SB Nation made a gorgeous video on my tourney analytics and data visualizations.

In addition, here’s an unsolicited email about my rankings and predictions.

You’ll be glad to know that I have been and continue to be in first place in my family bracket, and yesterday the message board was abuzz with talk of my first 8 picks being perfect. My police officer cousin threatened to subpoena my IP address to make sure I had picked before the games started. I explained my picks and posted a link to The Power Rank website, which prompted my uncle to cry foul about my research methods!

— Tom Kellogg, Madison, WI.

Using your NCAAB rankings I placed second in an 800 man contest.

— Steve Bell, Canton, Georgia, 2016.

A study by FiveThirtyEight.com found my 2015 tournament predictions to be the most accurate.

As a data scientist and writer, I contribute regular columns to Bleacher Report and the Detroit News. My content has also appeared on Sports Illustrated, Deadspin, and Grantland.

How to win your NCAA tournament pool

My research reveals the following lessons on filling out your bracket.

  • Can tournament games be predicted at all? You might be surprised how often one particular team wins, and why this matters in small pools. See Chapter 1.
  • How to pick the right pool. You might as well light your entry fee on fire if you enter the wrong pool. See Chapter 2.
  • The contrarian approach to winning a medium sized pool that will make sense to no one but you. This is the key to avoiding the luck of others in your pool. See Chapter 3.
  • The little secret about which teams to not pick as champion. It has to do with college basketball’s ultimate weapon. See Chapter 5.
  • Your true odds of winning a pool based on its size. My Monte Carlo simulations give you the best possible estimates.

Here’s how one reader won his pool in 2015.

I played 2 contrarians (Arizona & Duke) in a middle size pool. I used your advice in picking the games (rather than waste time looking for sleepers etc.). Going into tonight, I would take 1st with a Duke win or take 3rd with a loss.

–Randy Athay, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, 2015.

Get my predictive analytics

There is no guarantee that you’ll win your pool. Even with the best strategy, luck can slap you in the face. Grandma, who doesn’t know the difference between John Calipari and Nick Saban, picks every sleeper team that makes the Sweet 16 and wins the pool.

However, analytics can greatly reduce the role of luck in your pool results. In about 10,000 words and 7 visuals, this book shows you the best strategy based on pool size. In addition, I provide an honest look at your chances of winning a pool.

Ed Feng’s book isn’t just fun, but an indispensible guide to having a fighting chance to win your pool this year. If you haven’t read Ed’s analysis, you are starting well behind the competition.

— Craig Ross, author of The Obscene Diaries of a Michigan Fan and The Search for the Unified Field Theory (Football Version).

There are two ways to get my March Madness book.

Get the audiobook on how to win your pool

The audiobook How to win your NCAA tournament pool is read by the author and professionally edited. It contains over 55 minutes of content.

To purchase the audiobook package for $9.99, click on “Buy the audiobook package How to Win Your NCAA Tournament Pool.”


Buy the audiobook package How to Win Your NCAA Tournament Pool

Get the ebook on how to win your pool

The professionally edited ebook is available for $2.99 on the Amazon Kindle Store.

If you have any questions, click here.

Get a free sample of the book

Still unsure? You can read the Introduction chapter of the book by signing up for my email newsletter.

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