Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NCAA lemmings finish in 25th place in their NCAA pool



Yes, it’s time for the annual Malt Shop Logic post. Not the annual NCAA post. The annual post. Yes, friends: it has come to this. MSL is one un-MSL moment away of being relegated to the dustbin of the blogosphere.

But then where would I post this stuff?

Let’s start by grounding ourselves in why you read this. Here are a few things I said last year (which I’ll repeat in this post even though it’s all still on the front page:

So, when you’re picking a national champion this year, you might want to pick one of these five teams:

Region
Seed
Team
OQ
DQ
ASM
South
3
Florida
14.1
7.1
21.1
East
1
Indiana
5.0
16.1
21.1
West
1
Gonzaga
9.4
11.0
20.5
Midwest
1
Louisville
9.8
9.6
19.4
Midwest
2
Duke
5.1
12.5
17.6

Score one for my system. How about this gem:

Did you also know that 22 of the 36 Final Four teams in the last nine years had a top 10 ASM that season? And that 27 of 36 had a top 15 ASM that season? So, assuming that the top rated ASM in each region won’t all make the final four, you should expand your search to these 15 teams:

Region
Seed
Team
OQ
DQ
ASM
South
3
Florida
14.1
7.1
21.1
East
1
Indiana
5.0
16.1
21.1
West
1
Gonzaga
9.4
11.0
20.5
Midwest
1
Louisville
9.8
9.6
19.4
Midwest
2
Duke
5.1
12.5
17.6
West
7
Notre Dame
4.6
12.6
17.3
West
8
Pittsburgh
12.4
3.7
16.1
South
1
Kansas 
7.5
8.4
15.9
West
11
Belmont
6.4
9.2
15.6
West
2
Ohio State
8.9
6.3
15.2
East
4
Syracuse
7.8
7.3
15.2
South
4
Michigan 
3.9
11.1
15.0
South
5
Virginia Commonwealth
4.5
10.1
14.6
Midwest
11
Saint Mary's
4.8
9.5
14.3
Midwest
7
Creighton
4.7
9.3
14.1

Score two for my system (i.e., Louisville, Syracuse and Michigan were all in the top 10 ASM scores for major conference teams).

And then, my favorite:

What I’m suggesting this year is not rigid adherence to the system. And to look for bargains compared to the wisdom of the crowds as laid out in this excellent Slate article. For example:
·         Take the East Region. According to ESPN.com, the crowd has Indiana winning this region 44 percent of the time and Miami winning it 37 percent of the time. But Syracuse has the second highest ASM in the region (behind Indiana). Might be worth a flier on them in one of your brackets because at worst, only 19 percent of your pool might pick them.

That’s three in my favor. In fact, the Syracuse item won me one pool and got me to second place in the largest pool I play in.

So now that you remember why you read this, let’s go into the details about this year.