Monday, March 25, 2013

Upset Picks Review

I previously posted the Prediction Machine's top ten upset picks for the first round.  How did it do?  In the table below I've added a column for MOV -- a negative number indicating that the underdog (Away Team) won the game.

HomeAwayUpsetMOV
Notre DameIowa St.17.4-18
San Diego St.Oklahoma7.115
MemphisSt. Mary's2.52
Oklahoma St.Oregon2.4-13
N.C. StateTemple2.2-4
IllinoisColorado2.18
Colorado St.Missouri1.812
CreightonCincinnati1.64
PittsburghWichita St.1.6-18
UNLVCalifornia1.5-3
ButlerBucknell1.512
North CarolinaVillanova1.27

According to the PM, the Notre Dame-Iowa St. game had significantly higher upset chances than any other game, and in fact Iowa State won the game handily.  The PM also liked Oklahoma to upset San Diego State, but State won that game handily.

The next tier of upset possibilities (> 2) was less likely, but the PM also went 50% in this tier.  (Actually 75%.  Although I marked it as a missed upset here, after the play-in game, the PM had St. Mary's as an outright favorite in the game against Memphis, so the Upset probability was for actually for Memphis to win!  The Upset metric remained almost the same, by the way.)

The next tier is below the cutoff for consideration as an upset, although both the Wichita State and Cal upsets were identified here.  (And Cincinatti, Missouri and Bucknell were all popular upset picks by pundits.)

Combined with last year's results, it appears that the PM's algorithm for detecting likely upsets works fairly well.  (Note that whether the PM should include the upset in its bracket is a different question!)

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