Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NCAA Stats and Qualification Game Pick

Toy boy Archibald's pal Jarhead refuses to release his NCAA men's basketball pool picks. I shouldn't be surprised that an ex-military man would classify everything top-secret.

But, Jarhead did point me to two academic analyses of NCAA historical data:



The professors disagree about the particular issue they are debating -- whether large numbers of college basketball games are fixed. In my personal opinion, the two professors are more persuasive who discount the game-fixing story in favour of their explanation of how basketball games unfold as the clock winds down.

But, all the professors agree about the basic data. And, for purposes of playing friendly, non-profit office pools, all that counts is whether there appear to be any small opportunities to exploit. One interesting fact to come out of these papers is that a simulation reducing lines by half a point raises the overdog winning percentage against the point spread by 2 full percentage points.

Based on what I learned in these articles, here is my pick for the qualification game:

Mount Saint Mary's -7 over Coppin State

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