Monthly Archives: January 2014

Signs of Cinderella

I’ve been plowing through the 2014 Seed Guide for the last week, and that’s got me thinking about the makeup of Cinderellas. I’ve just completed some research on the 11 through 14 seeds in round one and discovered six factors … Continue reading

Posted in Key Factors, Upset Spotting | Leave a comment

2014 top teams aren’t just weak; they’re weak together

I was intrigued by one of Ken Pomeroy’s recent blogposts at You can read the whole thing here, but this is the part that caught my attention: Every year, someone will talk about how much parity there is college … Continue reading

Posted in Measuring Madness, Tourney Trends | 8 Comments

Michigan on, Ohio State off basic champ list—but 13 teams pass one of three tests

Last week, Michigan wasn’t even among the AP’s top 20 teams. Now they’ve passed the basic champ test. Meanwhile, their archrival Ohio State has lost its cred. The basic champ test works like this: the last 13 champs in a … Continue reading

Posted in Champ Credentials | 4 Comments

Seed advancement rate chart: a basic tool for bracket success

I am deep in the midst of writing the 2014 Seed Guide. This is the massive study of every seed match-up that has ever occurred over the 29 years of the 64-team era. If there were only one resource you … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Concepts, Bracket Tools | Leave a comment

CNN interview about Quicken Loan’s $billion perfect bracket promotion

Yesterday, I joined Carol Costello of CNN for a short three-minute segment on the news of Quicken Loans and Warren Buffett teaming to offer one billion dollars for a perfect bracket. I came armed with some stats and tips for … Continue reading

Posted in General News | Leave a comment

The magic of margin, revisited

The next two feature articles I’m working on are the all-consuming 2014 Seed Guide and my analysis of Key Performance Indicators. In both of these pieces, the value of scoring margin figures prominently. The fact is, scoring margin is just … Continue reading

Posted in Tourney Trends | 10 Comments

Duke and Pitt earn champ credentials—but only one has the right efficiency numbers

A week ago, just seven teams passed the traditional champ test—with Louisville losing out only because of a weak SOS. This week, ten teams have the inside track to cut down the nets in 2014. As you probably know by … Continue reading

Posted in Champ Credentials | 2 Comments

How does high scoring affect champion predictions?

One year ago today, the top 20 teams in the AP Top 25 averaged scoring 75.8 points a game—and only one team (Indiana) averaged more than 80. Fast-forward past the new “no touch” refereeing rules to today, and the AP’s … Continue reading

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2014 “Tips for Toss-up Picks” is here

I just posted this year’s premium installment on picking toss-up games to the TIPS+ section. This study lays out strategies to outperform the 56.7% success rate that higher seeds enjoy in “toss-up” match-ups. These are games that pit teams within … Continue reading

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Quality curve confirms the weakness of this year’s top teams

The last time I compared the Pythagorean values of the top 20 teams (heretofore the “KenPom Top 20”) to their historical counterparts, we saw that this year’s “elite” were markedly worse than any top 20 in the last decade. This … Continue reading

Posted in Measuring Madness | 1 Comment