Nate Silver Breaks Down March Madness

Your office may face a hit to productivity this week as staffers scramble to fill out March Madness brackets. Not here of course; we at the Chamber remain dutifully focused. For example, I'm writing this important blog … about college basketball.

Analyst/number cruncher Nate Silver gained a great deal of acclaim during the 2012 election by accurately predicting President Obama's return to the White House (although he also has a reputation for fantasy baseball prognosticating). So now he takes a crack at the 2013 NCAA tournament. Here's an excerpt, but read the entire piece for A LOT more detail:

Even before the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament bracket was announced on Sunday, there was plenty of discussion about how much parity there was in this year’s field. The chatter only increased after Louisville, the No. 1 overall seed, was placed in a brutally tough Midwest region that also includes Duke and Michigan State.

This condition is nothing new, however. Parity has been the rule for some time in the N.C.A.A. tournament.

Louisville is in fact the nominal favorite to win the tournament despite its tough draw, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. Still, Louisville has only a 23 percent chance of doing so, just ahead of Indiana at 20 percent.

In 2012, the FiveThirtyEight formula listed Kentucky as the tournament favorite. That call looks prescient since the Wildcats went on to win. Still, the result involved as much luck as skill, since the forecast gave Kentucky just a 27 percent chance of winning, only modestly better than Louisville and Indiana this year.