This year’s NCAA Tournament has been a wild ride, upsets throughout the rounds.
As a reminder, my selections for this year’s tournament:
And the methodology behind those choices:
Some notes on the tourney proceedings:
Remember, the goal was to choose a bracket that, if correct through even the Elite 8, was likely to finish near the top of the leaderboard.
We did that, even though the selections didn’t come to pass.
There’s no financial value in finishing respectably—it’s top 15 (out of 600+) or bust.
To give yourself the best odds of doing that, you have to risk a bracket that could finish near the bottom.
- My brackets will end up finishing in the bottom half of the pool field. Disappointing, but I entered the competition knowing a non-win was a likely outcome. Given the expected choices made by many of competitors, the selections throughout my bracket were sound.
- Despite the early finishes of Duke and Kentucky, my entries finished with a decent score. Of course, like 500+ other entries, we’re out of the money entering tonight’s title game.
Pour a little out for the homies.
- Michigan state going down in Round 1 chopped the legs off most brackets around the country, (it wasn’t a kill shot if you infused some risk in your bracket).
- Anyone who went all chalk, sporting the most common Final Four setup of “Kansas, Carolina, Oklahoma/Oregon, Michigan State/Virginia” was finished at this point. You’d have no way of making up those points, as so many other brackets had the same picks as you, providing few opportunities to get back to the top of the heap. The fact that so few had selected Duke to emerge from its region left me with a pulse after the Michigan State loss.
- Wichita State loss in Round 2 was a big one, too. That was such a value pick….shame it didn’t work out.
- Despite being an 11th seed, they were a “pick’em” choice against Arizona (and a FAVORITE to beat Miami in Round 2). 65% of America picked Arizona in Round 1 and even more had Miami winning that potential matchup in Round 2.
- Selecting Wichita State to move past the first two rounds—at minimum—represented the kind of variance value pick a sharp player can only dream of.
You take your shots and hope for the best.