March Madness!

I just filled out my NCAA playoff bracket, because I’m a fan of statistics - not basketball. Though I have to admit I’ve enjoyed watching a little basketball from time to time, and I have to admit that it is one of the more humane professional sports... at least in terms of head injuries!

Wait. Statistics? What are we talking about.

Well Nate Silver, watch him on the Daily Show just below, is a statistician who uses rather straight-forward  and robust models to predict outcomes, most notably of the elections based on adjusted polling data. When there’s no election to track he does things like sports and the Oscars.

 

Here's my bracket:

It’s 100% based on the probabilities that Mr. Silver created. Why? Well, mostly for fun, but also out of solidarity with a “pundit” who is willing to make a prediction, say why and see if he if right or wrong and then figure out why.

So this isn’t so much a conversation about basket ball at all, but a conversation about basing your conclusions on information and sticking by them then learning from them. If you remember back to the 2012 Election there were a lot of people who seemed to learn VERY little from being wrong. I think this is because their predictions and analysis were based more on what they wanted than on what they knew.

Now go back and watch the interview again - Nate makes an important point about how fantastically and unaccountably wrong pundits are. Then go to ESPN and fill out your bracket and see if you can beat the algorithm!

 

 


Arthur Morris is principal at tenlitrea consulting firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. While playing center for John Adams Junior High School in Rochester, MN he scored six points in a row. Deciding that it was only down from there he promptly and permanently retired and went on to create an Ultimate Frisbee League.   

 

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