From The Chronicle:
It’s that time of year when your office mates start saying “bracketology,” when everyone claims to know all about college basketball, and questionable research says businesses stand to lose an estimated $1.2-billion in productivity for every hour employees spend focused on the NCAA tournament instead of their jobs.
It’s also the time of year when some news organizations try to tell you how to use statistics to fill out your bracket and win your office pool (or, this year, $1-billion from Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans). Still others produce creative “alternative” brackets based on variables that are mostly unrelated to the actual game of basketball. Call it March Madness for the data geek in all of us.
Slate takes the cake this year, with an interactive bracket that allows you to choose from 15 metrics to determine your tournament champion. They range from the potentially relevant “tournament history” to the patently absurd “team with a dog mascot.” Harvard University, not surprisingly, wins the tournament if you look at average SAT score, while George Washington University, which made the tournament this year for the first time since 2007, wins if you go by highest sticker price. ...
Last year The New Yorker did pretty well in its pool by picking winners according to who spends the most money on men’s basketball. That method produced 36 correct picks out of 63 games. ... The magazine did particularly well in the Eastern region, where it correctly picked all but two of the games. It also correctly selected 11 of the Sweet 16 teams and four of the Elite Eight.
The New Yorker hasn’t made this year’s picks yet, so we thought we’d help out. This year’s winner (using 2012-13 financial data for men’s basketball) is the University of Louisville, which won the actual championship last year. (The magazine had Louisville falling to to Duke in the Elite Eight in its bracket last year.)
Coincidentally I picked Louisville to win it all for a second year in a row. It is part of year two of my UK one-and-done angst. For a second year in a row UofL is led by a senior guard.