- Numbers don't lie March 17
The selection committee that sets the NCAA tournament field has a difficult task: pick a few dozen of the best teams in the game, rank them all, and place them in a bracket according to a bunch of quirky rules. Naturally, there are bound to be some mistakes. Take the seemingly egregious decision to place Louisville — fresh off an ACC tournament title, and ranked fifth overall in the latest AP poll — as a No. 4 seed.
Well that choice really was totally bogus, according to math — or, more accurately, according to a couple of statistical models.
First up, Ken Pomeroy's comprehensive ranking system — which weighs all sorts of advanced statistical input, like offensive and defensive efficiency — pegs the Louisville Cardinals as the second-best team in all of college hoops. Meanwhile, Nate Silver's bracket predictions give Louisville the best chance of winning the title. Sure, some of that has to do with the varying degrees of competition Louisville and other tourney teams will face, but it still suggests the Cardinals are much stronger than their paltry No. 4 seeding would indicate.
That said, please nobody pick Louisville to win it all. I already have them going all the way.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- Deficit scolds are the most crazed ideologues in America
- A scientific fact-check of 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 7 language habits that reveal your age
- The disturbing lessons of Arizona's un-American execution
Subscribe to the Week