Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NCAA 1st round selections

I was chuffed to start 1-0 by backing Mount St. Mary’s -7 in the play-in game.

In the first round, Lady Godiva fancies:

Thursday games

Belmont +20 over Duke
West Virginia -2 over Arizona
Xavier -8.5 over Georgia
Purdue -3 over Baylor
Portland State +22.5 over Kansas
Kent State -2 over UNLV
Wisconsin -11.5 over California-Fullerton
USC -2 over Kansas State
Notre Dame -6.5 over George Mason
Washington State -8.5 over Winthrop
Michigan State -6.5 over Temple
Pittsburgh -9 over Oral Roberts
Cornell +14.5 over Stanford
Marquette -6 over Kentucky
MVSU +32 over UCLA
Texas A&M -2 over Brigham Young

Friday games

Clemson -6 over Villanova
Vanderbilt -6.5 over Siena
Drake -4 over Western Kentucky
Connecticut -11 over San Diego
Mount St. Mary’s +31.5 over North Carolina
Indiana -1 over Arkansas
UMBC +16.5 over Georgetown
Davidson -2 over Gonzaga
Texas Arlington +24.5 over Memphis
Mississippi State -2.5 over Oregon
Austin Peay +15.5 over Texas
Miami -1 over Saint Mary’s
American +19.5 over Tennessee
Butler -4 over South Alabama
Boise State +13 over Louisville
Oklahoma -1.5 over Saint Joseph’s

22 overdogs and 10 underdogs

Be warned. I do not follow basketball. My picks are based on academic analysis of statistics.

It is interesting to note how different college basketball is from professional football. Overdogs favoured by more than 12 points win 95% of college basketball games outright. I don't know the comparable NFL stats, but I doubt that the outright winning percentage of heavy NFL favourites is anything close to 95%. However, in college basketaball the point spread turns nearly half of overdogs' straight-up victories into losses or ties against the spread.

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