Category: Conference Tournament predictions


Conference Tournaments 2017 – Final Results

March 16th, 2017 — 10:01pm

Quick post today as the big tournament has started, but time to wrap up the Conference Tournament prediction contest. For the first time, Ken Pomeroy takes home the title. Team Rankings still leads with 2 overall titles and my own rankings have 1 title as does KenPom now.

Team Rankings came in a close 2nd while it was a tough year for Predict the Madness, who came in a distant third.

The spreadsheet with this year’s results can be found here.

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Conference Tournament Predictions 2017 – Late Tournaments

March 8th, 2017 — 7:01pm

Last week, I posted the predictions for the 13 early tournaments. Now the other 19 (that’s right, the Ivy League has joined the party) tournaments are set and most are underway, so I’ve updated the Google spreadsheet with all the predictions. KenPom is off to the early lead and looking for his first ever victory in the prestigious Conference Tournament Predictions contest that he doesn’t know he’s in. TeamRankings, the two-time champion, is in 2nd place, while my predictions (the reigning champs!) are trailing the pack.

Cinderella Index – Early Tournaments

In last week’s post, I introduced the Cinderella Index as a way to try and quantify which teams to root for during chamionship week. Let’s see where we stand with those Cinderellas: Continue reading »

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Conference Tournament Predictions 2017 – Early Tournaments and the Cinderella Index

March 4th, 2017 — 7:44am

Thirteen of the conference tournaments kick off early and are all under way. With the lone exception of the America East tournament, they will conclude early as well beginning with the Ohio Valley on Saturday and ending with the Patriot league title on Wednesday. The rest of the tournaments kick off next Monday or after and conclude either next Saturday or on Selection Sunday itself including the first ever Ivy League tournament.

As I’ve done in years past (2013, 2015, 2016), I’ll be tracking my conference tournament predictions against those of both KenPom and Team Rankings. The predictions for the early tournaments are up here on Google drive and I’ll add the remaining tournaments in once their brackets are set.

But while we wait and see how the projections will fare, I want to explain what my rooting interests will be during Championship Week.

Introducing the Cinderella Index

Continue reading »

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Conference Tournament Predictions 2016 – Final Results

March 14th, 2016 — 12:28am

Today is Selection Sunday, representing the start of the NCAA Tournament, but it also marks the end of the conference tournament season.

Earlier, I recapped how my projection system fared in 2015 with conference tournament predictions against Ken Pomeroy and Team Rankings predictions. Unfortunately for myself, the results were the same as when I tracked these in 2013–a 3rd place finish behind 2nd place KenPom and 1st place Team Rankings.

This year, things were finally different and my projections scored a resounding victory over the other two competitors, while Team Rankings edged out KenPom for 2nd place honors. The full results are in a google spreadsheet here. My projections had a strong showing, “winning” over half of the 31 conference tournaments–in 16 conferences I had the lowest cumulative score by conference, with 9 2nd place finishes and 6 3rd places. Team Rankings actually had more last place finishes than KenPom (13-12) but had twice as many 1st places (10-5) which was enough to secure the 2nd place overall finish for TR.

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Conference Tournament Predictions 2015 – Final Results

March 3rd, 2016 — 11:52pm

Three years ago, I compiled predictions for the conference tournaments from three sources–my own, Ken Pomeroy, and Team Rankings. When the dust settled, Team Rankings had narrowly edged out KenPom for the title as I lagged behind a distant third.

I didn’t get around to it in 2014 (though perhaps I can find time to go back and gather predictions from that season), but last year I did track things. Unfortunately, I’m just now getting around to posting it. The results were the same, though this time, Team Rankings won comfortably over KenPom and my own predictions. I’ve posted the full spreadsheet on Google docs, which you can find here. I discuss the scoring system in this post. Since we are posting advancement odds, we don’t have predictions for each individual matchup. Instead, predictions are essentially a rolled up version of all possible matchups. To score them, I use the log of each team’s predictions to get exactly to the round they did. For instance, my predictions for Montana in the Big Sky tournament were 81%/61%/43%, meaning an 81% chance of winning the 1st round and advancing to the semifinals, 61% of reaching the final, and 43% of winning the title. Another way of looking at it is that Montana had a 19% chance to lose in the 1st round (that’s 100% minus the 81% chance to win in the 1st round), a 20% chance of winning one game and then losing in the semis, an 18% chance of winning twice and losing in the final, and, of course, the 43% chance to win it all. Those are the probabilities that are scored.

This year is under way. If I get around to it, I may post the predictions for each of the three systems, but either way, I’ll be back in a couple weeks with the final results. Good luck to Ken Pomeroy and Team Rankings; I hope to be able to at least climb out of the cellar this year.

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Conference Tournament Predictions – Final Results

March 18th, 2013 — 5:13pm

Last time, I laid out the method by which I would grade the conference tournament predictions.

The tournaments are over so it’s time to present the results…and it’s not pretty for my predictions.

TeamRankings: -317.53

KenPom: -317.87

Predict The Madness (me): -321.26

Yeah, the latter half of the conference tournaments did not go so well for my system. It’s not the biggest sample, but around 300 games gives us some indication. Perhaps next year I’ll grade all regular season predictions.

And now, it’s time for the real tournament. Enjoy the madness.

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Conference Tournament Predictions – Update 3/14/2013

March 14th, 2013 — 1:17am

As I laid out in my introductory post, I am laying out my conference tournament predictions in order to compare them to other predictions out there. The two that I know of are Ken Pomery’s Log5 predictions and TeamRankings predictions.

In that first post, I proposed a sum of squared errors measure to score each system. After talking with multiple people much smarter and more well-versed in this area than me, I settled on using a logarithmic scoring rule. One way to grade each system’s predictions would be to apply the log to the “winning” probability of each game (for instance if the winning team was given a 75% chance to win, the score for that game would be the log(.75); if the other team were to win, the score would instead be log(.25)). However, each set of predictions simply gives the probability of each team advancing to each round, so we don’t have individual game probabilities. As a replacement, I decided to grade each team based on the predicted odds that they would go exactly as far as they did. Say Team A won their 1st round and quarterfinal games but lost in the semifinals. If the prediction said they had a 75% to make it to the semifinals and a 50% chance to win in the semifinals, then the chance that they win the quarters but lose the semis is 75% – 50% = 25%. Thus, the score for Team A is log(.25). This double counts games, but it double counts every game, so there shouldn’t be a bias. Continue reading »

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ACC, Big Ten, A-10, Big West, Great West, and Big Sky Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 12th, 2013 — 11:43pm

Click here to check out all the conference tournament predictions.

In the final installment of my conference tournament predictions, we look at the remaining 6 conferences. They range from the Big  Ten–one of the best conferences of recent memory–to the Great West, at 5-team conference which doesn’t even receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

In the ACC, it’s Duke out in front…again. NC State was a disappointment, while Miami was a surprise regular season champion. However, with Ryan Kelly back, the Hurricanes are back to doing what the rest of the ACC is used to doing: trying to catch Duke.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
2Duke87.766.947.4
1Miami (FL)75.948.121.8
3North Carolina71.923.211.8
5North Carolina State83.545.222.57.9
4Virginia51.622.16.7
7Maryland71.010.65.01.4
11Clemson55.617.03.11.1
8Boston College60.316.14.50.8
9Georgia Tech39.78.02.30.6
6Florida State44.411.11.50.4
10Wake Forest29.01.70.30.1
12Virginia Tech16.53.20.50.0

The Big Ten was an absolute gauntlet this season. My predictive rankings have 6 teams from the Big Ten in the top 12. That’s right, half of my top 12 are from one conference. Throw in Iowa (27) and Illinois (32) and two-thirds of the conference are 2nd-round-caliber teams. Indiana is the class of this conference, which speaks to just how good the Hoosiers are this year. Unfortunately for them and Michigan and Wisconsin, the three best teams in the conference reside in the same half of the bracket. That gives 2-seed Ohio State a (relatively) easier path to the final and the most likely team to win the tournament should Indiana falter. Whatever happens, it should be an entertaining weekend.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
1Indiana80.152.638.9
2Ohio State86.054.722.6
5Michigan94.553.722.413.8
4Wisconsin46.117.99.7
3Michigan State65.029.38.2
9Minnesota68.216.46.43.1
6Iowa81.932.811.62.4
7Purdue70.312.24.20.9
8Illinois31.83.50.70.4
11Northwestern18.12.20.20.0
10Nebraska29.71.80.00.0
12Penn State5.50.20.00.0

The Atlantic-10 looks like a two-team tournament, with Saint Louis and VCU on a collision path toward the final. Three teams are lurking–Temple, Butler, and La Salle–hoping to crash the party. Those 5 teams may all find themselves in the big dance should things fall into place this week.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
1Saint Louis80.955.533.2
2Virginia Commonwealth76.054.832.5
3Temple69.026.911.1
5Butler61.236.317.07.6
4La Salle46.215.06.3
12Dayton38.817.56.12.6
7Xavier54.812.86.32.3
10Saint Joseph's45.211.24.61.8
11George Washington55.319.14.91.0
8Richmond62.613.54.80.9
6Massachusetts44.711.92.50.5
9Charlotte37.45.61.60.2

Perhaps the most balanced conference tournament of all this year is the Big West. The favorite, Pacific, isn’t even a 1-in-4 chance to win it all, while UCSB is the biggest longshot but still has a 4% chance to pull it off.

SdTeamSemisFinalsChamp
2Pacific69.740.224.4
3Cal Poly63.434.218.5
1Long Beach State58.036.317.8
4California-Irvine52.126.312.1
5Hawaii47.922.59.8
6California-Davis36.614.07.0
8Cal State Fullerton42.014.86.3
7California-Santa Barbara30.311.74.1

I’m not even going to say anything about the Great West, but here are the predictions.

SdTeamSemisFinalsChamp
1NJIT56.132.3
3Chicago State63.831.3
5Utah Valley69.334.418.1
2Texas-Pan American36.214.5
4Houston Baptist30.79.53.8

It feels like every year, but once again Montana and Weber State are the overwhelming favorite to meet for the Big Sky championship. My predictive rankings actually rank Weber State as a better team than Montana (#126 versus #188), but the conference gives the #1 seed every advantage possible. The whole tournament is on Montana’s home floor, only the top 7 teams qualify meaning the #1 seed receives a bye to the semifinals and only has to win two games, and the semifinals are re-seeded so should an upset occur in the first round Montana will be the beneficiary. All of that puts the Grizzlies right at 50/50 with Weber State close by at 41%.

SdTeamSemisFinalsChamp
1Montana87.250.0
2Weber State86.672.740.8
5Northern Colorado51.711.63.0
3North Dakota64.913.52.8
4Montana State48.310.82.8
7Northern Arizona13.41.40.4
6Southern Utah35.12.80.2

That does it for this year’s conference tournament predictions. I’ll report back after the conclusion of all the tournaments with how my predictions fared against KenPom and TeamRankings (and maybe I’ll report some intermediate results some time this week).

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SEC, Big 12, C-USA, Pac-12, SWAC, and Southland Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 12th, 2013 — 7:10pm

Click here to check out all the conference tournament predictions.

It’s a weak SEC, but they do have one Final Four contender in Florida. That combination makes the Gators overwhelming favorites. Behind them are bubble teams galore, with Kentucky as the most likely to unseat Florida, but they are without star Nerlens Noel.

SdTeam2nd RdQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
1Florida96.086.371.9
2Kentucky73.242.410.7
6Missouri86.148.625.76.3
3Mississippi48.721.94.9
5Tennessee87.554.08.23.1
7Arkansas70.922.38.81.4
4Alabama43.84.61.2
8Georgia43.92.30.80.3
11Texas A&M63.610.42.50.40.2
10Vanderbilt29.14.50.80.0
9Louisiana State56.11.70.10.0
12South Carolina64.19.91.90.00.0
13Mississippi State35.92.60.30.00.0
14Auburn36.43.50.20.00.0

As always, Kansas is the favorite, though the field is a better bet. Kansas State tied the Jayhawks for the regular season title but it’s the 3-seed Oklahoma State that has the best chance to knock off Kansas.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
1Kansas89.565.444.3
3Oklahoma State59.940.819.4
2Kansas State72.931.111.2
6Baylor40.121.89.0
5Iowa State57.119.28.9
4Oklahoma42.912.25.1
7Texas85.826.16.21.4
8West Virginia79.710.03.00.7
9Texas Tech20.30.50.20.0
10Texas Christian14.21.00.10.0

In my update on potential Bid Stealers, the top two teams that could turn a 1-bid league into a 2-bid league were Middle Tennessee and Memphis. Well, Middle Tennessee already lost in the Sun Belt tournament, and while other bracketologists aren’t quite as high on their at-large chances as my system is, they do all agree that Memphis is a tournament lock regardless. The worse news for bubble teams is that the rest of the conference–led by 2-seed Southern Miss–provides enough competition to make it more likely than not that someone besides the Tigers wins the C-USA tournament.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
1Memphis81.764.945.3
2Southern Mississippi77.753.126.4
3Texas-El Paso76.631.610.6
5Tulsa55.716.26.0
4East Carolina44.310.23.7
7Alabama-Birmingham64.516.98.23.5
8Tulane57.210.84.82.2
6Houston87.022.75.61.0
9Marshall42.87.53.90.8
10Southern Methodist35.55.41.50.5
11Rice13.00.70.00.0

The Pac-12 isn’t as bad as it has been, but it’s still not great. Arizona, despite their #4 seed, is the clear favorite. But the rest of top 5 plus 8-seed Stanford all have reasonable shots to take the auto bid.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
4Arizona74.254.241.4
3Oregon70.944.118.8
2California70.533.611.3
1UCLA55.319.510.2
5Colorado74.021.611.26.3
8Stanford60.330.910.45.7
6Washington53.815.77.52.0
11Washington State46.213.45.81.4
7Southern California64.122.47.61.3
9Arizona State39.713.83.31.1
12Oregon State26.04.21.40.5
10Utah35.97.11.40.0

A conference has to be pretty bad for the 220th-best team to be an 80% favorite. And, well, the SWAC is that bad. The only other team that could compete with Southern is Texas Southern and they are ineligible for the conference tourney. Of note is that even in a group of terrible teams, one teams stands out from the pack. Grambling is so bad this year that they are 96% likely to lose to the 6-seed and 339th-ranked (out of 347) team in the country, Alabama A&M. That’s impressive ineptitude.

SdTeamSemisFinalsChamp
1Southern89.180.0
2Jackson State56.332.56.8
6Alabama A&M96.010.84.2
3Alcorn State50.824.83.8
5Alabama State43.723.32.8
4Prairie View49.219.42.4
7Grambling4.00.10.0

The Southland tournament features one of the best low-major teams in Stephen F. Austin. They have a 62% chance to join the big dance, but Northwestern State and Oral Roberts could both stand in the Lumberjacks way.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
1Stephen F. Austin89.662.0
2Northwestern State56.921.5
3Oral Roberts81.338.513.8
5Nicholls State64.441.55.31.5
4Southeastern Louisiana43.04.01.0
6Sam Houston State66.514.84.20.2
8McNeese State35.615.51.10.0
7Central Arkansas33.53.90.40.0

Next up: the final installment including the ACC, Big Ten, Atlantic 10, Big West, Great West, and Big Sky.

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Big East, Mountain West, and WAC Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 11th, 2013 — 8:57pm

Click here to check out all the conference tournament predictions.

Georgetown got the #1 seed but 2-seed Louisville is the big favorite here. Pittsburgh is actually the most likely team to emerge from Georgetown’s half of the bracket.

SdTeam2nd RdQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
2Louisville86.266.147.6
4Pittsburgh61.244.120.6
5Syracuse87.438.223.99.7
3Marquette58.118.76.9
1Georgetown57.520.86.7
6Notre Dame85.040.49.74.0
9Cincinnati68.831.99.22.8
10St. John's (NY)53.57.83.51.1
7Villanova46.56.02.00.4
8Providence31.210.61.90.2
12Seton Hall48.96.70.50.10.0
14DePaul54.28.40.80.00.0
11Rutgers45.86.60.70.00.0
13South Florida51.15.90.10.00.0

New Mexico is the top seed and Colorado State is the best team and 2-seed, but it’s host UNLV that is the favorite to win the Mountain West tourney. Ah, the powers of home court. The final four with the three aforementioned teams plus San Diego St. should be a lot of fun to watch. All four teams are ranked between 15th and 33rd in my predictive rankings with UNLV actually the worst of the four.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
3Nevada-Las Vegas86.950.034.8
2Colorado State90.245.728.7
1New Mexico76.543.016.7
4San Diego State68.135.714.6
5Boise State31.913.63.5
8Wyoming64.618.06.40.7
6Air Force13.13.10.7
7Fresno State9.81.20.2
9Nevada35.45.51.30.1

Denver is a near coin-flip to win the WAC. Top seed Louisiana Tech and 3-seed New Mexico State should provide some stiff competition, however. Utah State has a decent shot to upset.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
2Denver93.163.547.1
1Louisiana Tech89.257.522.4
3New Mexico State75.730.919.1
5Utah State70.232.38.9
6Idaho24.34.31.5
4Texas-Arlington29.87.70.8
9Texas-San Antonio59.17.71.70.2
7Texas State49.63.90.80.0
8San Jose State40.93.10.80.0
10Seattle50.43.00.50.0

Next up: the SEC, Big 12, C-USA, Pac-12, SWAC, and Southland tip off Wednesday.

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