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Rogue
03-15-2009, 07:46 PM
Ok,, many of us fill out a bracket sheet.
How many this year will pick Duke as our National Champion ?

Since about 1990, I've probably picked Duke,, at least 16 times to win the tourney. Also, I've never won a pool.

geraldsneighbor
03-15-2009, 07:48 PM
There would be a lot more banners in CIS if things held to the way I picked my bracket.

wolfpackdevil
03-15-2009, 08:09 PM
Ok,, many of us fill out a bracket sheet.
How many this year will pick Duke as our National Champion ?

Since about 1990, I've probably picked Duke,, at least 16 times to win the tourney. Also, I've never won a pool.

I have Duke beating Pitt, and then UNC to get to the title game.

But I have Louisville beat the Devils in the championship

Ben63
03-15-2009, 08:09 PM
Duke loses to Villanova. And if we get by them we will lose to Pitt. Pitt will be the national champion.

-jk
03-15-2009, 08:16 PM
I simply cannot pick against Duke. The folks in my pools love that fact, but a fact it remains.

Duke wins. Every year.

-jk

rthomas
03-15-2009, 08:24 PM
Having watched many games in the BE and having watched WVU beat Villanova like a drum, I think that Duke can beat them and I would not pick against Duke in that game if I were you.

And having watched the BE and the ACC, I think Duke has as good of a chace as anyone. They win my bracket.

KenTankerous
03-15-2009, 08:27 PM
Western Kentucky over Illinois AND Gonzaga in the south.

The Hilltoppers are the new Gonzaga. But they can't hang with the heels...

Exiled_Devil
03-15-2009, 11:07 PM
Duke loses to Villanova. And if we get by them we will lose to Pitt. Pitt will be the national champion.

This seems a popular choice. I don't get it. We score more per game (78 to 76) and allow fewer (65 to 67) and we have a much harder schedule (SOS of 3 vs SOS of 30)

I say we handle Nova, and give Pitt a game that could go either way.

EDIT: Hold that, I think that UCLA could bet 'Nova before they even get to us.

ice-9
03-15-2009, 11:10 PM
I simply cannot pick against Duke. The folks in my pools love that fact, but a fact it remains.

Duke wins. Every year.

-jk


Ditto. I'd rather be wrong 99% of the time picking Duke than be wrong 1% of the time picking someone else and actually having Duke win.

Acymetric
03-15-2009, 11:53 PM
I simply cannot pick against Duke. The folks in my pools love that fact, but a fact it remains.

Duke wins. Every year.

-jk

I'm glad I'm not alone here. My bracket is probably about 65% what I want to happen, 25% gut feeling, and 10% based on stats. I rarely win, but I usually do alright, and I have tons of fun pulling for the teams in my bracket.

COYS
03-16-2009, 12:51 AM
Having watched many games in the BE and having watched WVU beat Villanova like a drum, I think that Duke can beat them and I would not pick against Duke in that game if I were you.

And having watched the BE and the ACC, I think Duke has as good of a chace as anyone. They win my bracket.

I completely agree with regards to Nova. WVU is a dangerous team. They are in Pomeroy's top 10 (www.kenpom.com) and are good on offense and on defense. Quite frankly, I'd rather see Nova. To that end UCLA is also perfectly capable of knocking off Nova and, provided we advance, I would not be surprised to see the bruins lurking in the sweet sixteen in place of the Wildcats.

1999ballboy
03-16-2009, 03:26 AM
I usually participate in 2 pools, and I submit a different bracket for each. Probably about 85% of my picks are the same in each, but I've always picked one with my heart and one with my head. So I always have Duke winning it all in one, while in the other I have the team I truly think will win. Sometimes, that's Duke as well. This year, I think it'll have to be Pittsburgh. This has been my favorite Duke team since at least my freshman year, which was 2005 (when we were picked to finish 5th in the ACC preseason and ended up a 1 seed in the tournament, and had the unforgettable 71-70 win over UNC at home). However, I'm just not sure it's our year. If G stays, I believe next year is our year.

brevity
03-16-2009, 03:32 AM
Don't know if this is worth creating a new thread yet, but is there going to be a DBR group in the ESPN Tournament Challenge like last year (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7860)? I did really well picking Kansas/Memphis then, and can probably go nowhere but down.

NYC Duke Fan
03-16-2009, 06:17 AM
I do not have stats to back this up but it is only from memory. Teams that are not suppose to win their conference championships but surprisingly do ,usually do not fare well in the tournament.

It this is true than Temple, Miss.St, and USC might be early round exists.

This does include Duke, Purdue or Missouri who were not surprise winners of their conference tournaments even though they were not number 1 seeds.

Rogue
03-16-2009, 06:42 AM
I'm glad I'm not alone here. My bracket is probably about 65% what I want to happen, 25% gut feeling, and 10% based on stats. I rarely win, but I usually do alright, and I have tons of fun pulling for the teams in my bracket.

It's nice to know, I'm NORMAL in picking Duke to win it ALL, and knowing I won't win the pool in doing so lol.

When do most of you pick unc-ch to exit this year ??in Greensboro or Memphis ? :D

CDu
03-16-2009, 07:35 AM
I do not have stats to back this up but it is only from memory. Teams that are not suppose to win their conference championships but surprisingly do ,usually do not fare well in the tournament.

It this is true than Temple, Miss.St, and USC might be early round exists.

This does include Duke, Purdue or Missouri who were not surprise winners of their conference tournaments even though they were not number 1 seeds.

Teams that surprisingly win their conference tournaments should not be expected to do very well in the NCAAs. Simply by the fact that they weren't supposed to win, we can infer that there are better teams in their conference (based on the regular season). The regular season should be a better predictor of NCAA tournament success than conference tournaments, as there is a lot more information. So a weaker/bad team that gets hot/lucky and wins their tournament should, on average, return to their weaker/bad form and do poorly in the NCAA tournament.

To go a bit further, teams that surprisingly win their tournaments are much more likely to be higher (i.e. worse) seeds in the tournament. Thus, they're likely to be underdogs even in the first game. For example, the teams you listed (Temple, Miss St, and USC) are are all double-digit seeds. They will be expected to lose in the first round. And if they happen to pull an upset in the first round, they will be heavily expected to lose in the second round.

pamtar
03-16-2009, 07:51 AM
I do not have stats to back this up but it is only from memory. Teams that are not suppose to win their conference championships but surprisingly do ,usually do not fare well in the tournament.

It this is true than Temple, Miss.St, and USC might be early round exists.

This does include Duke, Purdue or Missouri who were not surprise winners of their conference tournaments even though they were not number 1 seeds.

As soon as I read this thread title I thought of Carmelo and Syracuse.

blueprofessor
03-16-2009, 08:03 AM
I do not have stats to back this up but it is only from memory. Teams that are not suppose to win their conference championships but surprisingly do ,usually do not fare well in the tournament.

It this is true than Temple, Miss.St, and USC might be early round exists.

This does include Duke, Purdue or Missouri who were not surprise winners of their conference tournaments even though they were not number 1 seeds.

of 24 NCs won their conference tourney in the same year.
Four of the NCs came from conferences that did not have a conference tourney.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/sports/ncaabasketball/15conference.html

Best regards--Blueprofessor:)

GoingFor#5
03-16-2009, 08:20 AM
I pick Duke every year. This year will be no different. 1995 was a long time ago, but I believe I went on strike and did not complete a bracket. In 1996, we were an 8 seed and I still had us going all the way. Unfortunately, when your champion loses in the first round, you aren't going to do very well.

Troublemaker
03-16-2009, 08:24 AM
What do you guys have for Cinderellas/upsets in your bracket?

Maybe some categories are needed:
- Biggest 1st round upset?
- Lowest seeded team in the Sweet 16?
- Lowest seeded team in the Elite 8?
- Surprise Final Four team?
- Upset you don't have the guts to pick but really, really want to?
- Upset that's not really an upset?
- Anything else you can think of

I recommend choosing lots of upsets for your bracket this year. Don't get suckered into picking chalk just because four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four last season in an unusually strong year for college basketball. There's a lot more parity this year and I expect a wild tournament.

If you want some objective data for this opinion, check out Pomeroy: http://kenpom.com/stats.php Compare the ratings for the top teams this season to the tops teams in seasons past. 2009 looks a lot like 2006. Even if you disagree with a specific team's rating (I think UNC is a better team than Memphis, for example), odds are, Pomeroy does a good job capturing the strength (or lack thereof) of the overall field.

Now, obviously, the odds of you picking the right upsets are pretty low. That's the nature of the beast. But at least you'll stand a chance of getting lucky, picking correctly, and winning your office pool with an upset-minded approach. Meanwhile, the chalk-filled brackets are going to get blown up, imo -- you don't stand any less of a chance going for upsets as you would going for chalk. Like I said, I'm expecting a wild tournament.

MChambers
03-16-2009, 08:29 AM
and we should all be Gonzaga fans for the next two weeks!

Wander
03-16-2009, 08:30 AM
North Dakota State!

Troublemaker
03-16-2009, 08:43 AM
Here's what I have in one of my money brackets:

- Biggest 1st round upset? Utah St, WKU, Wisconsin
- Lowest seeded team in the Sweet 16? BYU over UConn, USC over MichSt
- Lowest seeded team in the Elite 8? BYU
- Upset you don't have the guts to pick but really, really want to? Cornell over Mizzou, ETSU over Pitt
- Upset that's not really an upset? USC over BC and then Mich St.

Troublemaker
03-16-2009, 08:53 AM
and we should all be Gonzaga fans for the next two weeks!

I agree, and I have the Zags beating UNC in half of my brackets. Because this tournament is going to be cra-zee, Gonzaga might actually end up being the best team UNC has to face on the way to the national championship (if the Zags aren't upset before the Sweet 16). My greatest fear is UNC going to the Final Four and finding like two 4 seeds and a 7 seed waiting for them or something like that.

whereinthehellami
03-16-2009, 09:18 AM
Pitt is going to be tough. I like their toughness and experience.

I attached my Duke centric bracket that I'm going to use to fill out my picks. I love me some March Madness.

HaveFunExpectToWin
03-16-2009, 09:34 AM
Ok,, many of us fill out a bracket sheet.
How many this year will pick Duke as our National Champion ?

Since about 1990, I've probably picked Duke,, at least 16 times to win the tourney. Also, I've never won a pool.

There are at least three times you should have won your pool by implementing this method.

I always pick Duke too, I feel like I'm being unfaithful if I don't.

mr. synellinden
03-16-2009, 09:35 AM
... Will lose.

Last year was the first team all four number one seeds made it to the final four, and I don't think any of them will this year.

I like Memphis, Duke, Gonzaga and West Virginia. And I like Duke to beat Memphis in the championship.

I think Gonzaga is going to catch UNC napping, get Hansb(*%(*& in foul trouble and stun the heels in the Sweet 16. I think Wake's height and a rejuvenated Jeff Teague will take care of Louisville in the Sweet 16, but they will lose to Huggy-Bear in the Elite Eight. I see Duke beating FSU for a fourth time after the Seminoles use their height to wear down DeJuan Blair and Toney Douglas goes off against Pitt. And finally, I see Memphis beating BYU in the regional final. BYU will pull the biggest upset of the tourney beating UConn in the second round.

ice-9
03-16-2009, 10:42 AM
Since this is the thread where we're going to discuss brackets...I'll repost my thoughts on each region (from the dedicated regional threads) here:


EAST

This is a decent draw for Duke. There are a few potential red flags but overall, this is a decent bracket because of potential upsets that can happen which would prove favorable to us.

Texas is definitely a dangerous opponent. I personally fear teams with talent that underperformed in the regular season -- some of those teams have the tendency to finally play to their potential when every game is potentially their last. Texas would certainly qualify. However, there is a reasonable chance that they would get upset by Minnesota. Minnesota is a very good defensive team and Texas' problem is offense. If Tubby can beat Barnes, Minnesota would be a very favorable second round match-up for us.

Villanova looms as a potential Sweet 16 opponent. Unfortunately, it seems like we got the strongest 3 seed (I'd much rather play against Kansas, Missouri or Syracuse). Villanova can hurt us with their quick guards, but they don't have anyone inside that will cause us to deviate from our normal game plan. But look who Villanova would have to go through to get to the Sweet 16: UCLA or VCU. It'll probably be UCLA, a senior laden team with good guards. Further, Howland's teams usually play great defense. I think there is a very good chance that UCLA can upset Villanova, and UCLA would be a reasonable team for us to face in the Sweet 16. Don't forget that UCLA is another team highly ranked in the preseason.

Pittsburgh is our 1 seed. Again, this looks bad because we probably got the second worse 1 seed for us (UNC being the worse). But I think Pitt can potentially have a very, very tough path to the Elite 8. First, they will have to play Tennessee or Oklahoma St. I think the latter is overrated, but the former is underrated -- Tennessee is well coached and played the second toughest schedule in the country. The Vols have a chance of upsetting Pitt. I'm not sure Florida State can get to the Sweet 16 (they have an incredibly tough first round against a disciplined Wisconsin team and will likely have to beat Xavier), but IF Florida State can meet Pitt in the Sweet 16...I smell upset. Rematches are difficult on the team that won the first time, and Pitt just narrowly beat FSU this season. If FSU can get there, they have a decent chance of beating Pitt.

And even if we do end up playing Pitt in the Elite 8, I still like our chances. It'll practically be a rematch of last year's game, where Pitt beat us in OT, but since then we've improved much more than they have.

We're peaking at the right time this year and the bracket -- if not favorable -- is at least decent. I have a good feeling about April.


SOUTH

UNC has got to be the overall favorite in this tournament, and they HAVE to be the prohibitive favorite to come out of this region. True, they are worse off without Ginyard, but consider they still have a disruptive PG, an extremely productive center, lots of shooters and lots of big men. This is a team built for post-season success.

Not only that, but this bracket is about as favorable as can reasonably expected for our beloved Tar Holes.

Butler is a nice mid major team. LSU is the class of the SEC, but that's not saying much considering how pathetic the SEC is this year. UNC should crush them both.

Gonzaga won the last 9 out of 10 matches, and handily too, but they were all against inferior conference opponents. Except Tennessee, every decent team they've faced -- Memphis, Utah, Arizona -- they've lost. And even against the Vols they won in OT. Gonzaga is probably the weakest 4 seed, and UNC got 'em.

The other side of the bracket has a lot of good teams -- but that's exactly why it's favorable to UNC. Arizona State, Syracuse, Clemson and Oklahoma all have a decent chance of making it to the Elite Eight. If any of the teams besides Oklahoma get there, it'll have to be considered a big gain for UNC. Arizona State is a good but not great team. Syracuse got a 3 seed because they overachieved in the Big East tournament, not because they truly are one of the nation's 12 best teams. Clemson is dangerous but have faded down the stretch.

The *only* game that should give UNC pause is a Griffin-powered Oklahoma. Even then, UNC's guards are more than capable of winning this game even if Hansbrough is neutralized. Further, Oklahoma hasn't looked the same since Griffin became injured and I'd argue pre-injury Oklahoma was overrated anyway due to a favorable schedule.

This year, there are simply NO EXCUSES for our biggest rival. If they're not in the Final Four they have no one to blame but themselves. This bracket is just about as good as they could've possibly asked for.


WEST

By far the region with the most question marks. The West can either be wide open or a battle at every round.

#1: Just how good is UConn without Dyson? We don't have a very good benchmark because their three losses since then were against Pittsburgh, who had a good chance of beating them even with Dyson, and Syracuse in an epic 6 OT match. I submit that we don't know just how good UConn is today compared to the UConn that had Dyson in the lineup.

#2: Memphis is a huge mystery. They did not do well in nonconference play when they had to face good teams. They did extremely well in conference play where they had to face lousy teams. Which Memphis is the real Memphis?

#3: Sure, Missouri did well in a weak Big 12, but this is also a team that lost to Nebraska and Illinois out of the Big 12. I'm also generally suspicious of teams that rely on the press in the NCAA tournament. No clue really just how good this Tigers team is.

Beyond the top three seeds, this bracket is definitely tough. You have Maryland, a giant killer that Memphis may have to deal with in the second round. Purdue is the Big 10 tournament champ and Washington is the best the Pac-10 has to offer. Marquette may have lost one of its leaders but it's still good enough to lose to Villanova by only 1 point in the Big East tournament.

IF the top three seeds are strong teams, then this region is tough.

IF the top three seeds turn out to be weak teams, then this region is wide, wide open, because there are a lot of lower seeded teams that can cause the upset.

For my bracket I'm assuming that Memphis is a contender while UConn is the pretender.


MIDWEST

I actually think this might be the toughest region.

Louisville and Michigan State are strong 1 and 2 seeds. Michigan State is a balanced team that has played very well since getting their big man back. Moreover, they won the Big Ten handily and the Big Ten is a strong conference this year. We barely beat them in the Challenge and they are #2 in the RPI. Watch out for the Spartans -- they can really do some damage this year.

In addition to a strong top line, this bracket is tough because there are so many lower seeded teams that can cause the upset:

- WVa, definitely the most dangerous 6 seed in the tournament. This is an underrated, well coached team that defeated Pitt in the Big East tournament. If I was Kansas I'd be sweating a potential match against WVa. This is the one 6 seed I did NOT want to see in Duke's bracket.

- Boston College are proven giant killers and Michigan State may have to face them in the second round! Yikes. I'm sure Louisville fans will be doing a lot of cheering that game.

- Is there any more difficult 4 seed than Wake Forest? This is a team formerly ranked #1 in the nation! Louisville would have a very difficult time getting past them in the Sweet 16 should they meet. If Wake plays with maturity (i.e. not like a freshman team as they did in the ACC tourney), they have a reasonable chance of winning this entire region.

- Finally, the easiest 5-12 upset pick for me is Utah-Arizona. Arizona is a team with two first round NBA draft talent. They should win and give Wake a brief scare before folding.

This is a tough, tough region. I wouldn't want Duke to be Michigan State in this bracket. About the only weak thing in this region is Kansas as a 3 seed, and even then, the defending champs aren't exactly chopped liver.


FINAL FOUR

In my Final Four I have Louisville defeating Michigan State, Memphis defeating UConn, UNC defeating Oklahoma, and Duke defeating Pittsburgh. I know, I went all chalk in drawing up the Elite Eight. :) But there's a good reason. Just like last year the top four teams -- i.e., the four 1 seeds -- distinguished themselves from the rest of the field, so is the case this year with the top eight teams. UNC, UConn, Pitt, Louisville, Duke, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Memphis all season long have been clearly a cut above everyone else (though I'd add Wake Forest to that mix). The national champ will arise from this group.

Kedsy
03-16-2009, 10:52 AM
What do you guys have for Cinderellas/upsets in your bracket?

I hate to say this, because I root for 91.67% of the league, but three of the most probable upsets are (12) Wisconsin over (5) Florida State, (10) USC over (7) BC, and (10) Michigan over (7) Clemson.

Kedsy
03-16-2009, 10:59 AM
Michigan State is a balanced team that has played very well since getting their big man back. Moreover, they won the Big Ten handily and the Big Ten is a strong conference this year. We barely beat them in the Challenge and they are #2 in the RPI. Watch out for the Spartans -- they can really do some damage this year.

This confuses me. We played Purdue, not Michigan State in the Challenge, and we beat them pretty handily. UNC destroyed Michigan State in the Challenge. Also, Michigan State is not #2 in the RPI, they're either #5 or #6.

CathyCA
03-16-2009, 11:03 AM
I always pick Duke to win when I fill out my brackets.

I've won my pool three times. (1991, 1992 and 2001).

hurleyfor3
03-16-2009, 11:15 AM
I'm picking a UConn/unc final. If the armageddon scenario happens at least I'll make a buck out of it.

UrinalCake
03-16-2009, 11:40 AM
If I'm in a money pool, I'll pick the opposite of what I want to happen in real life. That way no matter what happens, I'll still be happy. Of course, winning a few bucks is little consolation for UNC winning it all :rolleyes:

MChambers
03-16-2009, 11:44 AM
If I'm in a money pool, I'll pick the opposite of what I want to happen in real life. That way no matter what happens, I'll still be happy. Of course, winning a few bucks is little consolation for UNC winning it all :rolleyes:

for what you are doing is an emotional hedging strategy. I do it, too. But I don't think I can pick UNC.

Memphis Devil
03-16-2009, 12:09 PM
Midwest: Wake v. Kansas - Wake wins
West: Ucon v. Mizzou - Mizzou wins
East: Duke v. Pitt - Duke wins
South: UNC v. 'Cuse - UNC wins

Wake v. Mizzou - Wake wins
Duke v. UNC - Duke wins

NC Game: Duke v. Wake - Duke wins (78-75)

Rogue
03-16-2009, 12:17 PM
There are at least three times you should have won your pool by implementing this method.

I always pick Duke too, I feel like I'm being unfaithful if I don't.

Actually, I have picked the national champion, but that doesn't guarantee a pool win.. brackets can get busted early if you don't pick well in all four regions.. I don't :eek:

Schwarz
03-16-2009, 12:26 PM
for what you are doing is an emotional hedging strategy. I do it, too. But I don't think I can pick UNC.

I do the emotional/financial hedging as well, but I will pick UNC to win because I am usually wrong.

1999ballboy
03-16-2009, 12:50 PM
Biggest 1st round upset?
Mississippi State over Washington. I have not been convinced all year that Washington is that good, and Mississippi State is just hot lately.

- Lowest seeded team in the Sweet 16?

Maybe Western Kentucky. Haven't settled on that one yet. If I chicken out on that pick, then Boston College.

- Lowest seeded team in the Elite 8?

West Virginia

- Surprise Final Four team?

Missouri

- Upset you don't have the guts to pick but really, really want to?

North Dakota State over Kansas. I love Ben Woodside and the Bison, and they are a terrific story this year, but they haven't played anyone of the Jayhawks' caliber and I'm afraid they will not pull this off. Look for Woodside to make some headlines by proving he can play with Collins, though.

Also, LSU over UNC. It could happen. LSU is way underseeded (so is Butler, for that matter), and either team will really be a tough second-round game for the Heels. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't think Carolina could pull it out. Wouldn't it be great if they didn't though?

- Upset that's not really an upset?

I think most of my upsets really are upsets. It seems a lot of people are picking W. Kentucky over Illinois, and I am too. I like BC over MSU as well as West Virginia over Kansas in the Midwest (ACC and Big East > Big 10 & 12).

- Anything else you can think of

Games I still can't decide: Clemson/Michigan and Utah/Arizona. Clemson hasn't looked the same of late, and Duke fans know what Michigan can do when they're on. Depends which Michigan team shows up. As for Utah/Arizona, I think Utah was way overseeded, but I think Arizona never should have been in the field. This Arizona team is the worst team with two future lottery picks I can ever remember. I don't want to pick the upset that everyone seems to be picking because I'm bitter about their inclusion, but I think it might happen. Lots of people didn't think George Mason belonged in the tournament in '06, and look what they did. They were out to prove something.

[/QUOTE]

Bluedog
03-16-2009, 01:08 PM
Prediction models:
(1) Associated Press (AP) poll of sportswriters
(2) Coaches poll by ESPN/USA Today
(3) Seedings by the tournament selection committee
(4) Ratings Percentage Index (RPI)
(5) Sagarin ratings published in USA Today
(6) Massey ratings
(7) Las Vegas betting odds
• Sheridan’s odds
• Game-by-game Vegas point spreads from Statfox (Vegas)
• Kaplan and Garstka’s method (KG) that derive team ratings

Conclusion: Vegas picks are the best, but they are game-by-game, so you cannot use them to fill out your bracket. For the best bracket picks, use Sheridan’s odds against winning.

Best to worst: Sheridan>Massey>AP>ESPN=Seed>KG>Sagarin=RPI

Source: Kvam, P. & Sokol, J.S. (2006). A logistic regression/Markov chain for NCAA basketball. Naval Research Logistics, 53 (8), 788-803.

Here are some stats I gathered a couple years ago (so slightly out of date):

First round
High seed Low seed High win pct
1 16 100%
2 15 95%
3 14 83%
4 13 80%
5 12 67% At least one #12 seed has beaten a #5 in the first round every year except one since 1988. Over the last six tournaments, #5 seeds are only 13-11 vs. #12 seeds.
6 11 69%
7 10 60%
8 9 47%

Second round
Seed(s) Pct that make Sweet 16
1 86%
2 56% vs #10 seeds
3 45%
4 44%
10/11/12 47% when win first round
13/14 19% when win first round

Sweet Sixteen
#1 Seeds: Overall, 61 of 88 (69%) have made it to the Elite 8.

Elite Eight
#1 Seeds: 21-21 (50%) make the Final Four when playing a #2 or #3 seed. When playing any seed lower than 3, the #1s have won 15 of 19 games (79%).

Cinderallas end here: Large underdogs (defined by being 4 or more seeds lowers) have won 5 of 28 games in this round (18%).


Predicting the Final Four
Looking at the #1 Seeds:
Since the expansion to 64 teams in 1985, how many teams in the Final Four were seeded #1?
All Four: one time (2008)
Three: three times (1993: three #1s and a #2; 1997 & 1999: three #1s and a #4)
Two: ten times
One: eight times
Zero: one time (2006)

There have been 88 Final Four teams in the last 21 years. Their seeds:
Seed / Number of teams / Pct of total that has been this seed / Percentage of total this seed or higher
1 36 40 40
2 19 22 63
3 12 14 76
4 9 10 86
5 4 5 91
6 3 3 94
7 0 0 94
8 3 3 98
9 0 0 98
10 0 0 98
11 2 2 100

Championship
• 13 of the last 23 champions were #1 seeds (57%)
• Since 1979 (when the NCAA started seeding teams), the #1 team in the polls going into the tournament has only won the National Championship four times (1982 North Carolina, 1992 Duke, 1995 UCLA and 2001 Duke).
• Since 1979, only five times has a championship game featured two #1 seeds.
• Undefeated and one-loss teams: No team entering the tournament in this status has won the championship since Indiana in 1976. There have been five such teams that lost.

Factors proven to matter:
(1) Overall Record
(2) Experience
(3) Road Results
(4) Recent Play (last ten games)
(5) Hidden Home Court Advantage
(6) Easy Buckets (assist/turnover ratios and points in the paint)
(7) Points per Game
(8) Conference vs. Non-Conference Play
(9) Individual Matchups
(10) Consistency
(11) Lower seeds – Automatic bids or at-large berth?

Factors that have proven not to matter:
(1) Bench depth
(2) Conference Champions from major conferences
(3) RPI

Having said all that, I think I'll have Pitt, Lville, UNC, and Memphis in final four with Pitt taking it all. Upset specials in the first round include arizona over utah, southern cal over bc, miss st over washington, maryland over cal, vcu over ucla, western ky over IL, and michigan over clemson.

DBFAN
03-16-2009, 01:50 PM
I think Wake Forest may be primed to make the biggest splash in this tourney. If UCON makes it far enough (which I don't think they will, because the Big East will be exposed as usual) to play Wake, the only thing that UCON has for them is size, and they will not bother WF. Without Dyson, UCON is done. Wake has a very good chance of winning this region. If I were a betting man, that is where I would put my money for upsets.

gwwilburn
03-16-2009, 06:47 PM
I really, really wanted to pick Portland State over Xavier, but just couldn't do it and have FSU beating them instead.

captmojo
03-16-2009, 09:44 PM
I'm a homer. I don't care what anyone says about me for being one.

I made my final four forecast in snrub Sunday night and I'll stick with it, favorites and upsets.


They are:


Duke/Oklahoma:eek:(I wish it weren't so)
Louisville/Connecticut

That's as far as I go for now.

KrazyKfan
03-16-2009, 09:50 PM
I want to see as man upsets as possible. The sooner the Big East teams and UNC leave the field the better.

I have VCU as my big upset, BC and Purdue going to the Elite Eight, Clemson beating Oklahoma, and Syracuse in the Final Four.

I'd LOVE to see North Dakota State pull off a big upset, and if Binghamton wasn't matched up with us I'd like to see how far they could go. THAT IS NOT THE CASE ANYMORE! GO DUKE!

ice-9
03-16-2009, 09:53 PM
This confuses me. We played Purdue, not Michigan State in the Challenge, and we beat them pretty handily. UNC destroyed Michigan State in the Challenge. Also, Michigan State is not #2 in the RPI, they're either #5 or #6.

Oops -- I actually meant we (the ACC) barely beat them (the Big 10) and they (the Big 10) are #2 in RPI. Sorry about that.

gwwilburn
03-16-2009, 10:00 PM
I'm a homer. I don't care what anyone says about me for being one.

I made my final four forecast in snrub Sunday night and I'll stick with it, favorites and upsets.


They are:


Duke/Oklahoma:eek:(I wish it weren't so)
Louisville/Connecticut

That's as far as I go for now.
I have the exact same final four. I haven't gotten one completely right for as long as I can remember, but I have picked two national champions right this decade, with Duke and Kansas.

captmojo
03-16-2009, 10:07 PM
I have the exact same final four. I haven't gotten one completely right for as long as I can remember, but I have picked two national champions right this decade, with Duke and Kansas.

I usually only look one day at a time with the exception of examining Duke's region in depth, imagining scenarios. This time I tuned out the talking heads on the tube and went one region at a time, coming up with this. i hate having to go against Capel, but if it happens...it does.

I don't see very many upsets. I do see many that may take Maryland too lightly.

Indoor66
03-17-2009, 08:03 AM
I do see many that may take Maryland too lightly.

IMO, the larger question is whether Maryland will take Maryland too lightly. :eek:

bjornolf
03-17-2009, 09:31 AM
I agree that Pitt has to be one of the frontrunners. However, one must not forget that Pitt has never made it past the sweet 16. Of course, this is probably their best chance. I just thought that was interesting.

Chitowndevil
03-17-2009, 11:59 AM
There are a couple of picks that are giving me trouble.

The first is (5) Illinois vs. (12) Western Kentucky. Yes, Chester Frazier is hurt. Yes, last year's WKU squad made a Sweet 16 run (which I had in my brackets). This year's WKU squad, however, is NOT last year's. They are awful defensively despite playing at a nearly 5 possessions/game slower pace. They get a third of their scoring from the perimeter. Illinois is superb defensively, on the perimeter in particular, and took care of Michigan without Frazier.

The second, and you will all think I'm nuts here, is BYU-UConn. Play along with me for a moment and assume BYU wins its first round game. BYU, on paper, legitimately looks like they could beat UConn. They are efficient at both ends of the floor: high FG% from inside and outside the arc, low turnovers, supberb defensive rebounding. They've got four starters above 37% from 3 on significant attempts, and also have some real height (3 players at least 6-10, 3 starters at least 6-6).

blueprofessor
03-17-2009, 12:50 PM
with very interesting upset possibilities.:D

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123724570347948481.html

Check chart and %s for first round games. See Duke and UNC and Pitt.



Best--Blueprof:)

hurleyfor3
03-17-2009, 04:04 PM
Hmmm, no one's mentioned Gonzaga over Cackalacky in the Sweet 16 yet. Recall Gonzo took a fully healthy UConn to overtime early in the year.

MChambers
03-17-2009, 04:09 PM
Hmmm, no one's mentioned Gonzaga over Cackalacky in the Sweet 16 yet. Recall Gonzo took a fully healthy UConn to overtime early in the year.

I did, at the beginning of page 2 of this thread. I think it's a great upset pick (like Wisconsin over FSU, sad to say).

Chitowndevil
03-17-2009, 04:27 PM
Wisconsin is actually favored over FSU according to Pomeroy rating as well as the predictor component of Sagarin's rating. Same thing with USC over Boston College, in fact USC is actually fairly heavily favored (66% by Pomeroy).

Rogue
03-17-2009, 04:39 PM
DUKE/ ok

vs the winner of

Kansas / Memphis

DUKE over Memphis :D ( tidbit, Calipari played basketball for UNCW 1980, I sort of wish he'd had take the NCSU job just to get into roy's head :p )


unc-ch loses to Oklahoma in Memphis.
My neice goes to Ok,, should be some interesting text that day :cool:

Philadukie
03-17-2009, 07:19 PM
Ok, someone please talk me down on some of the upsets I really want to pick.

The first one is N. Dakota St. over Kansas. My reason: four seniors, first time in tourney, and DID YOU SEE THAT CROWD ON SELECTION SUNDAY? Also, Kansas, in my opinion, has not looked impressive at times this year.

The next one is Portland St. over Xavier. My reason: I haven't watched Xavier much this year, but I've felt that they were overrated ever since we beat them. Also, their conference tourney play was not impressive, and they've stumbled a bit at the end of the season. More importantly however, Boise is rather close to Portland, and I think this will feel like a home game to Portland St.

That's it for the big ones. However, I do have Missouri going to the Final Four, beating Memphis in the Elite 8. This is simply based on the "eye test." I've watched Missouri a couple times this year, and I really liked the way they play. I don't think Tyreke Evans will handle the pressure well. Any thoughts?

A few other points: I like Michigan over Clemson, because I think Beilen can get his guys focused and ready for one great performance at least. I like Siena over Ohio St., but because the game is in Dayton, I feel OSU gets the edge. And, like most everyone else, I think Western Kentucky will beat Illinois.

My Final Four (unless convinced otherwise): Louisville, Missouri, Pitt, UNC.

Championship: L-ville, UNC.

Winner: L-ville

BlueintheFace
03-17-2009, 08:35 PM
Cleveland state with the huge upset... count on it!

-bdbd
03-18-2009, 12:55 AM
Don't know if this is worth creating a new thread yet, but is there going to be a DBR group in the ESPN Tournament Challenge like last year (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7860)? I did really well picking Kansas/Memphis then, and can probably go nowhere but down.

I've set up a couple pools on ESPN already, and it isn't difficult. Is there serious interest in doing one here?


I have UNC and Duke meeting in the FF, and a Louisville/Memphis matchup on the other side. Alas I am a "emotional insurance" guy too -- so I have UNC vs MEM in the finals, with Kerlina winning it all in a close one (based on TH shooting about 30 freethrows...and all of the Louisville Bigs getting fouled out by the refd on marginal calls).


Upsets? I like VCU to beat an underperforming UCLA squad. I think Mich is dangerous for Clemson (which is certainly NOT peaking). I think LSU could challenge UNC in round 2 (but not predicting the upset at this point). W. Kentucky to beat IL - I like thast one. Minor upset: Expect Syracuse to beat OK in the Sweet 16. USC seems ready to do some damage - first BC for sure, then maybe MSU??? I do think Wake could surpise, or even beat Louisville. First round could be tough on the ACC, then get much better in rounds 2 and 3. Big East is similar.

In the pool I run in my office, UNC seems the most popular N.C. right now, with Louisville next most popular to win it all, then Pitt. And a surpring number of Memphis picks. I actually like Duke's odds better than UCON(victs) - and so does Sagarin....

-BDBD :confused:

mgtr
03-18-2009, 03:30 AM
I am going to ride the Duke horse all the way -- best chance in a while. However, I am afraid of Pitt and Oklahoma. The others don't scare me. I may be brain-damaged, but they don't scare me as those two do.

Saratoga2
03-18-2009, 05:38 AM
What do you guys have for Cinderellas/upsets in your bracket?

Maybe some categories are needed:
- Biggest 1st round upset?
- Lowest seeded team in the Sweet 16?
- Lowest seeded team in the Elite 8?
- Surprise Final Four team?
- Upset you don't have the guts to pick but really, really want to?
- Upset that's not really an upset?
- Anything else you can think of

I recommend choosing lots of upsets for your bracket this year. Don't get suckered into picking chalk just because four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four last season in an unusually strong year for college basketball. There's a lot more parity this year and I expect a wild tournament.

If you want some objective data for this opinion, check out Pomeroy: http://kenpom.com/stats.php Compare the ratings for the top teams this season to the tops teams in seasons past. 2009 looks a lot like 2006. Even if you disagree with a specific team's rating (I think UNC is a better team than Memphis, for example), odds are, Pomeroy does a good job capturing the strength (or lack thereof) of the overall field.

Now, obviously, the odds of you picking the right upsets are pretty low. That's the nature of the beast. But at least you'll stand a chance of getting lucky, picking correctly, and winning your office pool with an upset-minded approach. Meanwhile, the chalk-filled brackets are going to get blown up, imo -- you don't stand any less of a chance going for upsets as you would going for chalk. Like I said, I'm expecting a wild tournament.

A lot of smoke has been blown by coaches in the major conferences pointing to how tough each said their conferences were. Any team can lose in a single elimination tournament with bad matchups, with tough calls and also with injuries. It should be more indicative of the quality of ball to look at how well teams from the conferences do. I have WF, BC, Maryland, FSU, Duke, UNC and Clemson advancing out of the first round. I have WF, FSU, UNC, Duke and Clemson into the sweet sixteen. Beyond that, I have Duke and UNC into the great eight.

To compare, I have Louisville, WVa, UConn, Pitt and Syracuse into the great 8, leaving only one other spot, which I expect Missouri to hold.

I think the Big 10 will wash out as usual as well as the Pac 10 (12).

Would love to see the ACC do a little better and in my view, FSU has a shot if they play Pitt.

I noticed ND struggling last night in the NIT against UAB. Maybe the Big East isn't as good as claimed. Time will tell.

davekay1971
03-18-2009, 08:14 AM
My two big upset picks:

1) VCU over UCLA - I think a lot of people have this, so it probably won't happen.

2) Gonzaga over UNC. Something about this game strikes me as a huge potential upset. First of all, I think Mark Few can outcoach Huckleberry Hound 7 days a week. Second he'll have 5 days to prepare. Third, you just have to think the Gonzaga players have been hearing UNC hype all year and would just love to make some noise by upsetting the Greatest Team Ever.

THE TOE doesn't come into this upset prediction at all. I think Huckleberry's milking it for all it's worth, waiting for another tarhole-manufactured Willis Reed moment. But IF Lawson is really unable to play, look out for Butler.

Memphis Devil
03-18-2009, 12:36 PM
That's it for the big ones. However, I do have Missouri going to the Final Four, beating Memphis in the Elite 8. This is simply based on the "eye test." I've watched Missouri a couple times this year, and I really liked the way they play. I don't think Tyreke Evans will handle the pressure well. Any thoughts?



As I posted earlier here, I like this pick as well. When I filled out my bracket, I made this pick based equally on gut instinct and a disdain for Memphis (mainly Calipari). Having said that, much of what I have read in the last two days seems to support this pick. Missouri is equally strong both offensively and defensively.

Duke wins my bracket every year!

dukebluelemur
03-19-2009, 02:51 PM
A little late for changing brackets, but I just found the Sagarin Tourney Projection simulation bracket thing... http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=17&f=2755&t=4088367

Interesting stuff, an a lot of things jump out that are, to me, somewhat counter-intuitive.

Like Fl. State (5 seed) having a .16% chance of winning it all. Compared to some other schools... UCLA (6) 3.79%, WV (6) 4.39%, Tenn (9) .34% even Arizona (12) .19% is higher (though at those percentages its hardly a material difference.)

I wonder what about the Noles the formula doesn't value?