another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I picked the wrong two 16-seeds.

It's NCAA tournament time, and pretty much the only interesting four days of the college basketball season (which is four days more than the NBA season has - sorry, I'm not a basketball fan).

So, I have a couple half-assed theories on the NCAA tournament:
  1. 1. Every year, two #12 seeds beat the #5 seeds in the first round.
  2. 2. Every year, three of the found #9 teams will beat the #8 seeds.

This is pretty much just observation, but it holds true most of the time (theory #2 fell a bit short this year). And, they seem to have some supportable reasons:
  1. 1. Seed #12 tends to get the best of the small-conference teams. On the other hand, #5 seeds often are teams from big conferences that have good records but the team is on the downtrend. Records too good to drop lower, but not good showings of late that would pull them into one of the top four seeds. So, the small-conference team has the momentum, the team chemistry, but no one treats their conference seriously. Note a lot of this argument can also hold for #11 vs #6, a bit less for #13 vs. #4, but they happen (as seen this year).

  2. 2. On the other hand, the difference between #8 and #9 seeds is negligible. Could have gone either way. But now the #9 seed has just a little bit to prove, so they ride that incentive.

The big problem with my #12 vs. #5 explanation is that it fell apart this year. Two #12 seeds beat their #5 opponent, but they were exactly the opposite ones from what I was expecting.

Villanova isn't from a small conference. There were a bubble team, the kind that often gets seeded a little higher like #11).

Western Kentucky is from a small conference, but Drake is from a mid-major, not one of the classic major conferences. They were convincing enough that they got a bit higher seed than mid-major winners usually get.

The #12 seeds that fit my model exactly are the ones that lost.

Oh well. I'll be interested through tomorrow (especially when we get the two second-round #12 vs. #13 games), but then it will be baseball time.


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