Have you filled out your NCAA bracket yet? If so, how did you choose your winners? Did you go through each bracket game by game? Did you have a few brackets, each with a different winner? Did you make your picks based on which school’s mascot you preferred? Do you rely on made-up statistics, such as the historic success of 12 seeds beating 5 seeds? Or maybe you are like my wife and make your picks based on how cool the school names sound (Villanova and Xavier have treated her very well the past few years).
While there are an infinite number of different strategies for picking your bracket, I prefer math-based approaches. NCAA rankings have too many voters who likely have not seen many of the teams play. Going to large media sites like ESPN tends to have too many “shock value” picks, to draw in ratings or generate discussion. Vegas odds are often weighted by money bet and don’t reflect a true win probability. For these reasons, I prefer to glance at LRMC for my tough decisions.
I’m not sure where I first heard of LRMC, but I find it to be a clean, unbiased mathematical representation that is easy to read and apply to your bracket. The research and rankings are done by four Georgia Tech Professors, and it’s all free to find on the internet. Per their website, LRMC stands for ‘Logistic Regression / Markov Chain’, the two primary mathematical techniques they use for their rankings. While this is not the only analytics website out there, it’s an example of an additional tool available to hopefully help you create a winning bracket.