My 2009 NCAA Tournament Odds
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Brackets are now closed, and the first NCAA tournament game of the 2009 tournament is about to begin. Therefore, it’s time I post my odds of winning the tournament.
I used Kenneth Massey’s least squares method to rate and rank each DI team’s net points per possession per game. In other words, I used this method to rate each team’s offensive points per possession – defensive points per possession on a per game basis.
To get a handle on the distribution of the net points per possession, I assumed it to be normally distributed and used the sample standard deviation throughout the season for each team as that team’s standard deviation for this distribution.
With this distribution, I setup the brackets and calculated the odds of each team advancing to each round based on every possible matchup combination in the tournament.
The spreadsheet below lists the odds of each team making it to the 2nd round:
The spreadsheet below lists the odds of each team making it to the Sweet 16:
The spreadsheet below lists the odds of each team making it to the Elite 8:
The spreadsheet below lists the odds of each team making it to the Final Four:
The spreadsheet below lists the odds of each team making it to the championship game:
The spreadsheet below lists the odds of each team winning the championship:
Put all of this together, and you get my bracket:
Who Wins the Title?
These odds suggest UNC is the favorite to win the 2009 championship. That being said, we only expect them to win roughly 9% of the time. Thus we really don’t expect UNC to win the title, as we expect someone else to win it 91% of the time.
Based on a 5 year sample, this method has performed the best. This is clearly a small sample, and weighting the data differently suggests Memphis is the favorite to win (but just at about 11% of the time). This suggests Henry Abbott hasn’t lost his mind. He’s got as good a selection as any.
I’d like to thank Dr. Amy Langville, Dr. Martin Jones, Kathryn Pedings, and Patrick Moran for helpful guidance and discussion while fine tuning this method. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to the team from Davidson consisting of Erich Kreutzer and Max Win, who will undoubtedly fall to the competing brackets Kathryn and I submitted to ESPN.
Also, a big thanks to Ken Pomeroy for helping me get points per possession data for the last 5 seasons.