He accurately predicted the winner of all 50 states (and D.C.) in the 2012 presidential election. He also got 31 of 33 states senatorial races right. And he had Kentucky winning it last year. If I was a betting man, and I had an empty bracket in front of me, I’d look to NYTimes FiveThirtyEight statistics guru Nate Silver for inspiration. But in case you want the sparknotes (when have you ever turned that offer down), we’ve cherry picked the 10 most insightful analyses he has given us for this year’s tourney. Just remember me when you’re spending your winnings…
10) This year’s tournament resembles 2012 in that there is no outright favorite. Plan accordingly.
9) (10) Colorado and (7) Illinois have virtually the same likelihood of advancing, making this game a toss up.
8) (8) N.C. State is the clear favorite (72% chance of advancing) against (9) Temple in the one of those pesky toss up games.
7) Be wary of Miami (teams that overachieved during the season tend to do the opposite in the tournament, and vice versa.)
6) Having to travel from Spokane to Atlanta may hurt (1) Gonzaga in the Final Four.
5) (3) Florida is underseeded. They’re 5% more likely to win the whole thing than (1) Kansas.
4) Potential First round upset: (3) Marquette has only a 65% of beating (14) Davidson
3) First round upset: (9) Missouri over (8) Colorado St.
2) First round upset: (11) Minnesota over (6) UCLA
1) (1) Louisville is the best team in the country and will have minimal travel distance all tournament.
Hey, wait a minute Nate Silver, you said there was no outright favorite?! Well, he did, but the margins this guys uses to determine “outright favorite” and “wide open tournament” are pretty slim. Suffice it to say, last year he had Kentucky as a 26.7% favorite, while this year, Louisville is only 22.7% favorite. Now go win your office pool and shut up that loudmouth Kevin over in sales.
(Photo Via Getty, H/T New York Times)