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Projecting the Tournament: 2nd Round

March 21, 2009  |  By Benjamin Miraski

Sure your bracket is busted. I know the MRI's bracket is. The MRI had West Virginia running to the Final Four.

That didn't work out so well.

If it had happened, along the way, the Mountaineers would have needed to win two 50-50 games against Kansas and Louisville. That is tough no matter who you are.

But it couldn't even win its first game, and that is going to make it very interesting as the tournament goes forward. That's because the MRI is usually right in it until the end. The breaking point of the pre-tournament picks doesn't usually come until later in the rounds.

Then again, maybe it was to be expected. The MRI got 24 of 32 games correct in the first round. It was only expecting to correctly pick 25 of the 32 (add up the percentage and you get the expected win numbers for those statistically challenged).

Not too shabby.

That has the computer in the 77.7 percentile on ESPN's Bracket Challenge. So even with the upsets, the computer is beating two-thirds of the country.

We'll see how that goes the rest of the way missing a key piece of the puzzle. I can't imagine it will go well.

So on to the second round, for those of you who are maybe placing friendly wagers. I know that many people also have second-chance Sweet Sixteen brackets, so don't fear, we will give you a sneak peek at who you should be expecting to be in that.

Louisville over Siena – 78.24%
Cleveland State over Arizona – 51.66%
Kansas over Dayton – 82.66%
Michigan State over USC – 78.24%
UConn over Texas A&M – 82.66%
Washington over Purdue – 51.66%
Missouri over Marquette – 70.28%
Memphis over Maryland – 93.51%
Pitt over Oklahoma State – 85.69%
Xavier over Wisconsin – 72.33%
UCLA over Villanova – 51.66% (Count Villanova as home team)
Duke over Texas – 82.66%
North Carolina over LSU – 85.69%
Gonzaga over Western Kentucky – 82.66%
Syracuse over Arizona State – 51.66%
Oklahoma over Michigan – 82.66%

Expected wins: ~12 so expect about four upsets along the way today. My bets are Arizona, 'Nova and USC make a little noise. The other is a toss-up.

The MRI Rankings are copyright 2009 by MRISports.com. Ben Miraski is a freelance reporter, edits and writes for MRISports.com and is a featured blogger on FanIQ. He also is the Northwestern Wildcats Examiner for Examiner.com. Readers can contact Ben at bmiraski@mrisports.com


Posted March 21, 2009 9:10 AM