Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It's all about the Markov Chains.... ya feel me?

Dude, it's all about the Markov Chains. I'm telling you. Just ask the Georgia Tech professors who picked Kansas to win it all based on their highly proprietary, highly formulaic, satellite bustin', brown-out generating, prediction model. Check it out. In fact their system has picked 30 of the last 36 Final Four teams. Not bad if you ask me. Here's more from the NY Times.

Here is the actual ranking online, called the LRMC ranking. . Guess what team they predicted would win? Kansas..... Guess what team they predicted they would be playing? Memphis. Guess what teams they predicted would be in the other side of the Final Four? UCLA / UNC. Strong.

One of the main keys of their model - margin of victory. In essense, a close win or a close loss count the same.... or close to it. They determined that teams win about half their close games consistently, so why give more points? UNC won more than their fair share of close ones this year, so in LRMC terms - they were lucky. Crush teams and you rack up the LRMC points. Win close ones and it doesn't help you too much. It's interesting because the RPI could never actually use margin-of-victory, because of course that would contribute to poor sportsmanship, running up scores, etc.

In terms of the game, kudos to a lot of guys that had Georgia Tech in their final recruiting lists (Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers, Chris Douglas-Roberts and there were others).

So in the end, Georgia Tech proves yet again that we rock. As to my bracket, I did in fact pick Kansas to win it all. What did that get me? Well, if I hadn't of stunk it up in the early rounds, I might have won something. In the end, in one bracket I finished 5th out of 43, and in the other I finished 5th out of 32. I did have some subtle differences between the two, but in the end I finished about the same.

My crowning bracket still continues to be 2004, where I correctly picked the Final 8, the Final 4, the Final 2, and the National Champion. Yes, I picked GT to go to the Final, and yes, I picked UConn to beat us. What a great year.......... which seems like eons ago.