Although it is too late to effect anyone’s bracket, I have a few historical visualizations which strongly indicate how the tournament will play out.
Round 1 – Seeds and Conference match ups, covered in previous post
I posted earlier this week with predictive charts for the first round. Historically, seeds 1-4 get a pass, the remaining games come down to conference match ups. Notable pics include Rhode Island over Creighton and Middle Tennessee over Minnesota both based on past conference match ups.
Round 2 and 3, Still about seeds and conference match ups
There are a limited number of seed combinations for the round 2 games. I have charted total number of wins for the low and high seed in each of these combinations. I have added a line at 65%. Above this, low seed is a good pick.
Seed holds up well as a predictor into round 2, as a matter of fact it works better in round 2. There are three exceptions. The 3 vs 11 match-up come in at a win for seed 3, about 65% of the time. The 4 vs 5 match-up is a coin toss. Seed is meaningless which isn’t unexpected. The 7 vs 15 is also a coin toss. Seed 7 does better than expected at every level of competition.
For these iffy match-ups, here is a conference heat map for round 2:
Here is the match-up bar chart for round 3:
We can still see some solid data to chose the lower seed in many of the match ups. The questionable match ups are more numerous and there are a couple of counter intuitive bars as well. If you are looking for an upset, take 7 over 3, or 8 over 4.
I have included a heat map. This one simpler than previous heat maps. Fewer conferences see round 3:
The elite eight is more complex
Here is a look at who makes it to the Elite 8 by conference.
This chord chart shows the relationship between seed, the Elite 8 and the Final 4. This is where we can see Cinderellas and what I call Step Sisters. A Step Sister makes it to ball, but doesn’t win the kingdom.
Looking at Step sisters, notice the 7 and 8 seeds are slightly over represented, while 6s don’t make it to the ball as often. A seed 6 has never made it as far as the Final Four. The highest seed to make it to the Championship game, is an 8. I’d call that a Cinderella.
Here’s the full list of high seed teams which have made it to Championship game in the last 20 years: Butler, seeded 8, 2011. The 2014 Championship was played between Connecticut, seeded 7 and Kentucky, seeded 8. Connecticut won.
Having a closer look at the Championship game, here is a look at how seeds fair in the big game:
And last, every conference and team which has won the Championship in the last 20 years: