FCB Analytics has created a tool to help you pick better college basketball brackets. Click on Analytic Predictor link then scroll over your team of interest to get probabilities of winning at each stage. We also display the probabilities for all the teams in the tournament going all-the-way, and match that back against their ranking position coming into the tournament.
You can use this tool to pick all of your brackets by looking at the teams with the highest probability of winning, but you’ll have more success using it as an augmentation to your own bracket picking skills. Remember, picking upsets is difficult, and while we built a model that does a good job predicting most of the time, you are heavily penalized if you fail to predict an upset early on. So if you have good reason to disagree with our estimated probabilities, feel free to use your own judgment. However, if you have no idea of why you are picking one team over another, feel free to use our estimates as guide posts.
Lastly, we wanted to provide a benchmark to compare your bracket picking skills against. It’s been said that picking winners is in college brackets is a lot like flipping a coin. So FCB Analytics ran a simulation on prior tournament outcomes by picking winners using virtual coin-flips and then taking the average amount of correct teams. We found that by randomly picking bracket winners you should expect to get about 23 correct picks out of the 67 possible winners. However, we estimated a less than 2% probability of picking the college basketball champion.
FCB Analytics also built its own predictive model and ran simulations to see how we would have fared in the 2014 college basketball brackets. According to our results, we averaged 48 out of 67 winners predicted correctly, and picked the college basketball champion 46% of the time. Much better than flipping a coin, but far from a perfect bracket.
See if you can do better in 2015.