March Madness FiveThirtyEight Model Challenge

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March 20, 2014 at 10:19 am  •  Posted in Predictive Analytics by  •  0 Comments

As part of the Advanced Statistics Class I’m teaching this term, I’ve asked students to build a regression model attempting to replicate Nate Silver’s March Madness Sweet 16 Predictions.

Nate’s model is built using a variety of factors:

Nate also makes adjustments for injuries and travel distance but we didn’t have time to include these factors in class.

In preparation for class today I built a model using only two variables: NCAA Seed Order and Sonny Moore’s ratings and was able to reproduce Nate’s % Chance of Reaching Sweet 16 with a fairly high level of accuracy. For stats nerds here is some model output:

Regression Statistics
Multiple R 0.9694
R Square 0.9398
Adjusted R Square 0.9370
Standard Error 6.3795
Observations 68

 

ANOVA
df SS MS F Significance F
Regression 3 40662.94 13554.31 333.05 0.00000000
Residual 64 2604.68 40.70
Total 67 43267.62

 

I don’t want to share the regression equation itself because that might ruin the fun for my students. But, here is a comparison chart showing my predictions versus Nate’s along with the raw data further below. You are welcome to use these data for the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. All I ask is if Warren Buffet sends you a big check please send me half. Might cover a small portion of the college tuition expenses for my 3 kids over the next 15-20 years.

 

MarchMadnessModelCompare

 

Team Nate Me Residuals
Florida 83.9460 83.8147 0.1313
Louisville 78.3270 79.7111 -1.3841
Michigan 73.8490 66.7303 7.1187
Arizona 72.6880 80.4752 -7.7872
Wisconsin 71.8360 61.6824 10.1536
Virginia 70.7820 76.3386 -5.5566
Duke 70.4410 60.9141 9.5269
Kansas 67.0390 59.9023 7.1367
Michigan State 66.5930 55.4831 11.1099
Villanova 64.4580 71.9180 -7.4600
UCLA 62.6920 46.1987 16.4933
Wichita State 59.3560 67.9480 -8.5920
Creighton 54.3760 53.2811 1.0949
Syracuse 50.1450 48.7612 1.3838
Iowa State 46.3800 45.9931 0.3869
San Diego State 42.5320 34.9598 7.5722
Ohio State 40.0770 35.8186 4.2584
North Carolina 36.3760 33.4644 2.9116
Kentucky 33.9020 22.6230 11.2790
Baylor 33.8120 26.6866 7.1254
Oklahoma 33.3590 30.5882 2.7708
Virginia Commonwealth 28.6660 37.0897 -8.4237
Connecticut 26.3150 28.9027 -2.5877
New Mexico 22.1610 22.2339 -0.0729
Cincinnati 19.4840 36.6941 -17.2101
Oregon 19.1420 21.3953 -2.2533
Memphis 16.6600 14.6652 1.9948
North Dakota State 14.5470 4.7441 9.8029
Oklahoma State 14.4280 19.1470 -4.7190
Pittsburgh 13.6190 20.2434 -6.6244
Gonzaga 12.6190 22.0542 -9.4352
Texas 12.6190 16.2179 -3.5989
Arizona State 12.5200 5.6537 6.8663
Providence 12.1140 11.0555 1.0585
St. Louis 12.0300 25.9545 -13.9245
Tennessee 11.9940 18.3063 -6.3123
George Washington 11.9910 8.6488 3.3422
Harvard 11.6070 8.6408 2.9662
New Mexico State 9.5620 -0.3737 9.9357
Iowa 9.3960 14.8457 -5.4497
Nebraska 9.1640 12.2987 -3.1347
Stanford 8.9180 10.9164 -1.9984
Saint Joseph’s 8.3540 11.1070 -2.7530
Dayton 7.6260 6.1262 1.4998
BYU 6.9540 9.0155 -2.0615
Kansas State 6.6050 10.5180 -3.9130
Massachusetts 6.2340 15.3853 -9.1513
North Carolina Central 5.1300 3.1089 2.0211
Xavier 4.8220 8.8253 -4.0033
Tulsa 4.4580 4.2679 0.1901
Stephen F. Austin 4.1830 -2.4063 6.5893
Louisiana-Lafayette 2.6470 -0.4934 3.1404
Manhattan 2.5570 1.7351 0.8219
Delaware 2.3160 -1.5629 3.8789
North Carolina State 2.2640 6.6363 -4.3723
Colorado 2.2420 6.3846 -4.1426
Western Michigan 2.1510 -0.7670 2.9180
American University 2.0690 3.2675 -1.1985
Mercer 1.9350 1.6642 0.2708
Eastern Kentucky 1.8820 -0.5050 2.3870
Wofford 1.0120 -0.3110 1.3230
Milwaukee 0.8740 -1.6194 2.4934
Coastal Carolina 0.5670 -0.1038 0.6708
Weber State 0.2660 2.1002 -1.8342
Albany 0.1130 4.7816 -4.6686
Cal Poly 0.0910 5.2246 -5.1336
Mount St. Mary’s 0.0800 3.0392 -2.9592
Texas Southern 0.0450 1.9538 -1.9088

 

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