The baseline productivity model yesterday was 12-4. Our over-ride rules gave us Murray State, but we missed Richmond and UTEP. Next year we will have an interactive mechanism that will allow you to pick which over-ride rules you want on and off. Until then, you will have to trust us.
Here are our comments on yesterday’s games.
Northern Iowa-UNLV: Our model selected Northern Iowa.
Tennessee-San Diego State: We are glad we told you to look at this closely, but we weren’t picking the upset. Both teams were under-seeded in our opinion.
Georgetown-Ohio: Nobody outside of Athens, Ohio, selected Ohio. Ohio went 13 for 23 from the three-point line. Georgetown made eight three-pointers. Ohio won by 14. Ohio becomes the 4th lowest RPI team to win an NCAA Tournament game.
Butler-UTEP: The over-ride rule on long-term bracket trends worked against us here. We figured this was the second most likely 5-12 upset. In hindsight, this was a bad pick. Other over-ride rules would have prevented making this pick regarding last year’s performance, which takes us to the next two games.
Richmond-St. Mary’s: Coaches rarely win in their NCAA Tourney debut. Couple that with Richmond not going to the tourney last year and those over-ride rules should have prevailed. This game puts a lot of egg on our face.
Marquette-Washington: Washington will virtually replace UTEP in our long-term bracket trends and this one makes sense on several dimensions. First, the productivity margin between the two teams is razor thin. Marquette was over seeded (Marquette was 50 in the RPI, Washington was 41). Plus Washington coming from a major conference should help them in their march to the Sweet 16.
ODU-Notre Dame: This was our most confident upset pick and we prevailed. Again Notre Dame was overseeded (RPI of 49). Watching UConn vs. Northeastern combined with their identical conference affiliations made us feel better about this one.
Texas-Wake: Wake won. None of these teams are worthy of any further mention. The model was wrong, period.
Murray State-Vandy: This is where our over-ride rule prevailed. Vandy had too small of a margin of error and Murray State had impressive offensive and defensive FG%, but that isn't why we picked them. We picked them for long-term bracket trends, combined with overall likelihood of upset based on productivity margin.
What to expect or not expect now:
Being flexible is important in building the best bracket. Key news and NIT results since Selection Sunday play a role in our bracket picks. Examples of this are the suspension of California's starting forward Omondi Amoke and conference results in the NIT Tournament. With this information, you may now decide to pick Louisville over California and NIT results could change your view on NCAA® Tournament chances as noted in an earlier blog entry.
We are not changing our final bracket picks because this was the first impression on Selection Sunday. We do want to use all the information available to us to help you build a better bracket. The lesson learned is to return to the blog often for breaking news and key facts that may improve your bracket.