Monday, March 18, 2013

NCAA March Madness 2013 Recap ATS

I myself do not watch American college basketball, but official Godiva toy boy fiancé Archibald can't get enough roundball. Every year he organizes a friendly, non-profit office pool for the NCAA men's tourney.

Instead of picking bracket winners, players in his pool pick winners against the point spread each and every day as the tournament unfolds. The winner of his winner-take-all pool is the contestant who picks the most winners against the spread over 67 matches including the play-in games. All matches are weighted equally.

To humour Archibald, I participate by relying on economists' studies showing that "heavy" underdogs win more than their fair share of college basketball games against the point spread, while "non-heavy" overdogs win slightly more than 50% (although this particular result is not statistically significant).

I finished 30-36-1 on the road to the final. I was pleased to get the final right by picking with overdog favourite Louiville -4 over Michigan.

Over 6 years since 2008 of swimming naked (of roundball knowledge) in Archibald's pool, I am losing at 190-196-7.

Just by picking all overdog favourites in every NCAA tournament game for the past 6 years, you would have finished ahead of me every year and would be sporting a 201-185-7 or 52% record ATS starting with 2008. I tried something different this year by going with Cincinatti Professor Michael Magazine's tip that his statistical model shows the No. 11 seeds as underseeded by the selectors and undervalued by oddsmakers and bettors. But, those picks went 0-3.

Lady G vs. President Obama
President Obama picks winners straight-up with no point line for each bracket and round.

He got UNC right as the 2009 winner. After a tough time in 2010 and 2011 with none of his final 4 picks coming through, he correctly picked 5 of the elite 8 this year and 6 of 8 in 2012. Not too shabby. When he picks upsets in the early rounds, I can identify games where Lady Godiva and the Baracketer-in-Chief disagree. In Obama's first 5 years in office, I am 15-26 womano-a-mano against the Baracketer. I won 5-3 in 2009 and 2-1 this year, but the President can boast that he defeated Lady G 22-8 from 2010 through 2012.

And, speaking of mano-a-womano, kudos to the President for also picking the women's NCAA brackets.