« Projecting the Tournament: 2nd Round | Main | Projecting the Tournament: NIT Edition »

Projecting the Tournament: Second chances

March 23, 2009  |  By Benjamin Miraski

Inevitably, the question around the office this morning is “How’s your bracket?”

Most people at this point are probably feeling good. That’s because once again, chalk has dominated the competition.

And there is no surprise in that. The computer was confident that there were four teams better than all the rest. All four of those are still alive and the only team that is starting to look like they could challenge them is Connecticut.

But then again, most of that is thanks to their record-setting victory over what was the worst MRI-rated team in the tournament, Chattanooga.

If you are keeping track of your bracket at ESPN, a ten-point difference at this point is worth over 400,000 spots in the standings, which makes the computer situation a little tenuous at this point.

You see, the computer has 500 points over at ESPN. After 24 correct first-round picks, the computer swept through the second round, getting all but one game correct that it could. That leaves the computer with 13 of its original Sweet Sixteen picks.

The MRI can still win seven of eight games on Thursday and Friday and three of its Final Four are still alive.

Those 500 points on ESPN are good enough for the 82.2 percentile. It ranks 826,119 out over nearly 5 million entries.

That’s better than almost ESPN personality you can think of.

Those guys on PTI? They are at least 70 points back and have to go almost perfect to beat the computer.

Around the Horn? Currently eating dust from the computer’s exhaust fan.

Only Mike and Mike have the jump on the circuit board at this point.

But given that West Virginia flamed out like all good Bob Huggins teams, it is entirely possible that the computer could start to lose some ground. Here’s hoping for someone to trip up Louisville.

Go Arizona, Kansas and Michigan State. (USC would have been better. No one would have had that.)

With most second chance tournaments starting with this weekend’s games, here is the Sweet Sixteen redux for those of you willing to trust the microchips.

Sweet Sixteen:
Louisville over Arizona: 85.72%
Kansas over Michigan State: 60.24%
Connecticut over Purdue: 72.32%
Memphis over Missouri: 72.32%
Pittsburgh over Xavier: 78.23%
Duke over Villanova: 72.32%
North Carolina over Gonzaga: 78.23%
Oklahoma over Syracuse: 66.70%

Expected Wins: ~6 – My bets would be on Syracuse and Villanova, but knowing the percentages, Michigan State is probably a better bet than Nova.

Elite Eight:
Kansas over Louisville: 51.61%
Memphis over Connecticut: 70.31%
Pittsburgh over Duke: 60.24%
North Carolina over Oklahoma: 78.23%

Expected Wins: ~3 – If Kansas gets this far, look for them to be the best option to pull the upset. Although in order to get the two teams from one conference in the Final Four, Duke could be pulling this one out.

Final Four:
Memphis over Kansas: 72.32%
North Carolina over Pittsburgh: 60.24%

Memphis over North Carolina: 51.61%

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 23, 2009 11:09 AM