Minn. Gophers as NCAA champs? Let's stop pretending

Categories: Sports
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Our favorite political stats super genius, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, expanded to predicting the Academy Awards and now he's getting his feet wet in NCAA tournament predictions. This isn't anything new for Silver who made a name for himself making MLB formulas.

So we would all like to see the University of Minnesota shock the world and make us champions. Unfortunately Silver doesn't give us much of a chance.

Check out the stats below.

Silver uses the following power rankings to get an overall prediction of each team's chances of winning:
a) The Pomeroy RPI ratings.
b) The Sagarin ratings ('Predictor' version)
c) The Greenfield Predictive Power ratings;
d) And the Massey ratings.

Here is how he describes his calculations:

All I'm doing is taking the power ratings and translating them into probabilities, through a process that ultimately requires nothing more than addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. To the extent there's much value-add, it's not so much in picking the winners, but in adapting the system to the peculiar scoring rules that your tourney poll might have.

Based on those stats, he gives the Gophers a 1.36 percent chance of making it to the Final Four. And our chance of winning it all? An embarrassingly low 0.11 percent.

Ouch. It will be fun while it lasts.


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