Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WhatIf March Madness Mock Up

Time to take a brief diversion from baseball to give some computer generated predictions on what's going to happen in March Madness. Over at What If Sports they did their March Madness preview. However, since they simulate theirs a bunch of times it does take out a lot of the randomness that we've come to know in March.

Since the site gives the ability to simulate match ups one by one, I took the bracket and did one off simulations from the Round of 64 through the title game. Here is what happened:

SOUTH:

Florida over Albany
Pittsburgh over Colorado
VCU over Stephen Austin
Tulsa over UCLA
Ohio State over Dayton
Syracuse over Western Michigan
New Mexico over Stanford
Kansas over Eastern Kentucky

The biggest upset here was Tulsa winning the 13-4 match up as Steve Alford continues to disappoint in the tourney.

Pittsburgh over Florida
VCU over Tulsa
Syracuse over Ohio State
Kansas over New Mexico

In my actual bracket, I had Florida winning the title. However, this doesn't happen here as they get upset by a Pittsburgh team that was struggling to beat high level competition all year.

VCU over Pittsburgh
Syracuse over Kansas

We nearly had ourselves a rematch of the Elite 8 match up from 2011 when VCU beat Kansas to reach the Final Four

VCU over Syracuse

In this scenario, VCU's havoc system gets a return trip to the Final Four

EAST:

Virginia over Coastal Carolina
George Washington over Memphis
Cincinnati over Harvard
Michigan State over Delaware
Providence over North Carolina
Iowa State over NC Central
St. Josephs over UConn
Villanova over Milwaukee

Out of the four regions, this was the least crazy first round bracket. Yes, there were a few minor upsets but all of them came from conferences with multiple teams in the tourney (Providence, George Washington, St. Josephs)

Virginia over George Washington
Michigan State over Cincinnati
Iowa State over Providence
Villanova over St. Josephs

The Round of 32 went all chalk.

Virginia over Michigan State
Villanova over Iowa State

As did the Sweet 16, guaranteeing that two teams in the final four will start with the letter V.

Villanova over Virginia

WEST:

Arizona over Weber State
Gonzaga over Oklahoma State
North Dakota State over Oklahoma
New Mexico State over San Diego State
Baylor over Nebraska
Creighton over UL-Lafayette
Oregon over BYU
Wisconsin over American

The top two seeds barely survived upsets and we saw a couple small conference schools (North Dakota State & New Mexico State pull off upsets)

Arizona over Gonzaga
North Dakota State over New Mexico State
Baylor over Creighton
Wisconsin over Oregon

Got ourselves three BCS programs and one Cinderella team looking to make noise

North Dakota State over Arizona
Baylor over Wisconsin

#12 over #1 upset in the Sweet Sixteen...can they continue this magic into the final four?

Baylor over North Dakota State

No

MIDWEST:

Wichita State over Cal Poly
Kentucky over Kansas State
St. Louis over NC State
Louisville over Manhattan
Tennessee over UMass
Mercer Over Duke
Arizona State over Texas
Wofford over Michigan

The first half of the bracket played to form. The second part, went all out crazy as the 10, 11, 13 & 15 all advance. In addition, Coach K gets humbled a bit as he gets upset by Mercer in the first round and ends up with less wins (0) than teams the Atlantic 10 gets into the Final 4 (1).

Wichita State over Kentucky
St. Louis over Louisville
Mercer over Tennessee
Wofford over Arizona State

Wichita State continues to take care of business while we have ourselves a 13/15 match up in the Sweet Sixteen

Wichita State over St. Louis
Mercer over Wofford

Wichita State comes one step closer to perfection, Mercer comes one step closer to outdoing conference mates Florida Gulf Coast for greatest Cinderella run of all time. Will they get it done in this mock up.

Mercer over Wichita State

YES. Wichita State did handle a couple quality opponents (Kentucky & St. Louis) but did not survive the anarchy portion of the bracket which gave us a 13 seed in the final four

FINAL FOUR:

VCU over Villanova
Baylor over Mercer

Baylor over VCU

So we get ourselves a 5, 2, 6 & 13 seed in the final four and under this simulation, Baylor wins its first national title. Will we get anything resembling this crazyness over the next few weeks? We'll find out soon enough.