Speed Reads

March Madness

Nate Silver: March Madness final a total toss-up


Your bracket is busted, and who can blame you? In hindsight, the only safe bet in this soon-to-be-over NCAA Tournament was that there were no safe bets. So after improbable runs through the competition, seventh-seeded University of Connecticut and eighth-seeded Kentucky will meet Monday night in the title game — a matchup that only 0.016 percent of all brackets submitted to ESPN predicted.

On paper, the two teams may seem evenly matched. And in fact, they pretty much are — at least according to FiveThirtyEight's forecasting model. As Nate Silver explains, Kentucky was a slight favorite to win after both teams advanced Saturday night, but the news that starting center Willie Cauley-Stein would miss the game due to injury dropped the Wildcats' odds to 49.9 percent.

Still, that's much better than the 1.9 percent chance Kentucky had at the tournament's outset to go all the way, per FiveThirtyEight's model. As for UConn: They started off with a 0.6 percent chance to win it all. How far they've both come.