Staggeringly accurate statistician Nate Silver has already predicted Oscar winners, presidential candidates and Super Bowl champions — and now his uncanny knack for numbers has yielded his latest masterpiece: the official 2013 Nate Silver March Madness predictions.
According to Silver, who doesn’t suggest we “throw darts at the wall to pick your tournament bracket” despite how much we may want to, Louisville is the most likely team to win the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at 23 percent favorability. Indiana is second with a 19.6 percent chance, with Florida (12.7 percent) and Kansas (7.5 percent) coming in third and fourth, respectively.
“Louisville is in fact the nominal favorite to win the tournament despite its tough draw,” Silver predicts.
Parity seems to be Silver’s operative word when analyzing this year’s field of 68 teams, a point he makes by highlighting overall No. 1 seed Louisville’s placement in the “brutally tough Midwest region that also includes Duke and Michigan State.”
Still, he contends that selection committee did an admirable job setting up the field:
“While the absolute difference in the strength of the teams may be on a long-term decline,” he said, “the N.C.A.A. tournament selection committee seems to be doing a better job of sorting them out. There were relatively few controversies this year in the bracket picks; in fact, a large number of professional and amateur analysts anticipated the 68-team field exactly.”
That’s not to say there won’t be plenty of controversies about which teams will ultimately advance through each round and who the eventual National Champion will be.
If, however, you decide to trust the math of a guy who has predicted 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 presidential election and a perfect 50 for 50 in 2012 — as I do — definitely check out his full March Madness predictions here for a game-by-game breakdown of who is mathematically most probable to advance based on a series of complex criterion, including the NCAA “S-curve”, recent injuries, preseason rankings and the like.
Happy bracket hunting, folks. This ammunition — paired with ESPN bracketology guru Joe Lunardi’s predictions — ought to put you well ahead of the field.
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