Monday, March 13, 2017

NCAA March Madness 2017 ATS Recap

Official Godiva toy boy and fiancĂ© Archibald organizes a friendly, non-profit office pool for the NCAA men's tourney. Instead of picking bracket winners, players in dearest Arch's pool pick winners against the spread (ATS) 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. 

I finished 32-31-4 ATS (including the 4 play-in matches = 2-2 play-in, 18-14 round 1, 7-8-1 round 2, 3-3-2 sweet 16,1-2-1 elite 8, 0-2 final 4). I ended up above the 50% line because in the final, I took UNC -1.5 over Gonzaga. (Doesn't the name Gonzaga remind you of the lead character in the 1960s Japanese horror classic: King Kong vs. Gonzaga.)

I finished 33-34 ATS including the play-in matches in both 2016 and 2015 and lost the finals both years.

I rely 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).

After almost 10 years since 2008 of swimming naked (of roundball knowledge) in Archibald's pool, I am ephen-stephen at 313-313-15. Clearly, no evidence that I have a good system for picking March madness winners ATS.

Just by picking all overdog favourites in every NCAA tournament game for the past decade, you would be sporting a 318-308-15 record ATS which is not statistically significantly different from even-stephen.

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

The President got UNC right as the 2009 and 2017 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 in 2013 and 2014 as well as 6 of 8 in 2012 and 2015. Not too shabby. This year he picked 10 of the sweet 16.

When he picks upsets in the early rounds, I can identify games where Lady Godiva and the Baracketer-in-Chief disagree. This year, I finished 8-3 ATS against the Baracketer. In 9 years, I am 32-33-1 womano-a-mano against the Baracketer.

Speaking of mano-a-womano, kudos to the former President and hopefully future Speaker of the House for also picking the women's NCAA brackets.