Projecting the 2016 NCAA Tournament Champion

After a great deal of hours put into data compilation, statistical analysis, and number crunching, I have finished my model. My goal was to be able to compile a formula that projects the likelihood that any one of the given teams in the field of 68 wins the NCAA Tournament. There are a good amount of extra variables, such as distance traveled and overall team tournament experience, that I wished to include. However, I was not able to compile some of these due to time constraints and my bracketology work.

In the end, the final version of the model includes a whopping 29 variables. The data collected and analyzed featured statistics and results from the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments ranging from 2010 to 2015. Based on previous years, it appears that the most important variables in determining a team’s likelihood of making the final four include: strength of schedule, preseason AP poll points, offensive and defensive efficiency, and offensive rebound percentage. Once a team makes the final four, the amount of tournament wins and the tournament winning percentage of the coach of each team becomes more relevant.

Tournament Projections

Do with the information and projections above what you will, and good luck to anyone filling out  a bracket – March is the best time of the year!


The Daily 1-3-1 (February 18th)

1  Thought from the Games Last Night

If I was the coach of a potential 2 or 3 seed, I would want to avoid drawing North Carolina as the 6 or 7 in my sub-regional.

Even with James Michael McAdoo dealing with foul trouble for the entirety of the game, the Heels were able to go on the road and beat a decent Florida State team. This team is fast, athletic, and is the only team to have knocked off a full-strength Michigan State squad – I don’t care if that game took place in early December; it’s still very impressive.


3  Games to Watch Tonight

i. George Washington @ Richmond, NBC Sports Network – 7 PM
This game has Bubblicious written all over it; hopefully it doesn’t lose its intrigue and flavor as fast as the infamous chewing gum. The Colonials are looking to save their season and tournament hopes after back-to-back losses to VCU and Massachusetts. They control their own destiny, with two opportunities to get quality road wins this week – at Richmond and at Saint Louis. The Spiders are right on the cusp of the field – they must defend home court against the other top teams in the A10 to earn a tournament birth.

ii. (19) Texas @ (17) Iowa State, ESPN2 – 7 PM
It is a forgone conclusion that Kansas is the class of the Big 12. Who is the second best team in the conference? I think this game will do a lot to answer that question. The Cyclones have been less than impressive in their last two games, getting throttled by West Virginia and surviving at home against Texas Tech. Texas has yet to play the conference elite on the road, and this will be the start of a 4-game stretch that also features games in Lawrence and Norman; it’s time for the Longhorns to prove they belong in the conversation of contenders for a deep tournament run.

iii. (9) Villanova @ Providence, Fox Sports 1 – 7 PM
The Wildcats have been able to take care of business against everyone in the Big East not named Creighton, but on the road at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center isn’t going to be a cakewalk (stretch of a pun somewhat intended). Providence is in a similar situation to Richmond – another tournament-caliber conference foe is coming onto their floor, and they’re smack dab in the center of the bubble. If the Friars want to feel more comfortable about their tournament chances, they should probably win this game or their season finale at Creighton; winning this game seems like a much more feasible task.


1  Bold Prediction for Tonight’s Slate

Marshall Henderson will attempt at least 7 three-point field goals, and will make less than half of those attempts.

He’s a dog without a leash, and Andy Kennedy has enabled him and allowed that to happen – for better or for worse. Henderson’s antics are polarizing, his confidence is incessant, and he’s never afraid to risk taking the blame in order to earn the glory. I’m fairly confident that John Calipari will have the Wildcats ready to shut him down and shut his mouth.