Speed Reads

Numbers don't lie

Nate Silver has mathematical proof that the NCAA botched the March Madness bracket

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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.