Nate Silver is good at predicting things. He predicts elections. He predicts poker hands. He predicts sports results. He predicts… the first time one of his followers will get laid. [Kidding. That’s a nerds joke. Settle down, nerds.] His new site, FiveThirtyEight, launched this week and it has had a heavy focus on the statistical oddity that is the NCAA Tournament. I linked to their bracket the other day. Today, Silver brings us a post dedicated to Villanova and their chances for a Final Four run:
But there’s disagreement over the Villanova Wildcats, the No. 2 seed in the East region. Our model gives them a 21 percent chance of advancing to Arlington, which is barely lower than Virginia (23 percent) and Michigan State (24 percent). In contrast, just 9 percent of participants in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge picked Villanova from the East, as compared to 46 percent for Michigan State and 23 percent for Virginia.
It’s sometimes smart to pick a team with slightly longer odds, provided that few participants in your office pool are doing so. The logic is as follows: If you pick Michigan State, and the team reaches the Final Four, that will be helpful — but chances are that about half your co-workers will have picked Sparty as well. You’ll probably need to choose at least one or two more Final Four teams correctly, or have a killer first and second round, to have much chance of finishing at the top of your pool.
YOU HEAR THAT? NATE SILVER IS TELLING YOU IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO PUT VILLANOVA IN YOUR FINAL FOUR. IF NATE SILVER LIKES THE CATS, I LIKE THE CATS. MEOW! – LICKS SELF – MEOW!
Now, about those nerds…
H/T to Kevin