2013 Madometer soars to record 25% insanity

Yesterday’s blood-letting drove the Madometer to new heights. The Minnesota upset-that-wasn’t-an-upset was foretold by practically every bracket model. There were signs that Cal could take UNLV, and even indications that LaSalle might upset Kansas State. But hardly any numbers liked the Ole Miss upset. And then there was the Florida Gulf Coast stunning of Georgetown–which reader Alex loudly and confidently called. He’s quit his day job and bought a ticket to Vegas.

When the first round ended late last night, there we seven upsets–and the Madometer was all the way up to 25.0%. I’m going to wait for the results of round two, but if it goes any higher, I’m going to have to redesign the darn thing. Heck, even if all the higher seeds win over the weekend, the Madometer will still show 17.9% unpredictability. And, amazingly, if things go chalk throughout the rest of the dance, it will only settle to 12.0% madness. That’s already crazier than eight of the past 28 dances.¬†Of course, the madness will continue. Some of the higher seeds looked very shaky. Gonzaga, Kansas and Marquette seem like good candidates for early exits.

As bad as it all was, the upsets didn’t do serious damage to anyone’s bracket–unless you had Georgetown, New Mexico or Wisconsin going beyond the Sweet 16. I took a quick look at the bracket models last night–and they’re mostly in the 45-85 percentile range on ESPN. But the difference between good and bad at this point is about three picks. The real shakeout is about to happen. I’ll report on the state of the models later today.

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19 Responses to 2013 Madometer soars to record 25% insanity

  1. Alex says:

    Peter – What did I say! FGCU and Minnesota! I want my own column next season! Lol. I predict again FGCU wins over SD St. Any other upsets I’ll tell u later.

    • Allen says:

      Hah, mostly everyone had Minnesota. All the brackets picked them and UCLA lost one of their best players to injury in the Pac-12 tournament.

      The Georgetown call was pretty spectacular, though.

    • PH says:

      Nice pick Alex. Not to steal any of your thunder it was a great pick but I picked Gulf Coast on here myself along with La Salle and Davidson. Just sayin.

  2. kweidling says:

    Interesting blog about #1 seed winning margin and the implications for later games.


  3. Mike L. says:

    A quick question.
    You use 4 or greater seed differential as the definition of an upset. Does that hold throughout all the rounds? To me, a 4 over a 1 and a 5 over a 1 is the same thing, but your definition only says the 5 is an upset. Just curious.

    • ptiernan says:

      Mike – I’ve been hard and fast on the four-seed difference. No disagreement on the 1v4, but I had to draw a line somewhere. That’s why the Madometer approach may be more accurate.

      • Tom says:

        On the other hand, the Madometer approach has some flaws. If San Diego State wins, that’s a 7 in the Sweet 16 which effectively counts as another upset because the 2 is not advancing.

        Early-round upsets thus can throw it off even if there aren’t any more upsets.

        • ptiernan says:

          Fair enough. That’s why you have to combine upset totals and Madometer. The Madometer merely measures deviation from perfect high seed advancement. Applied consistently, it offers a good comparison with past tourneys.

          • Tom says:

            But, the advantage of the Madometer is that it incorporates the magnitude of the upsets. A 6-over-2 upset, or even a 12-over-5, isn’t the same as a 15-over-2.

          • ptiernan says:

            True. That’s why I like to look at both measures.

  4. Tom says:

    And if Western Kentucky had hit a couple of jump shots, this would have been even crazier.

  5. ptiernan says:

    Zags go down Lemme see: there were four big underachieving or snakebit coaches in the West: Few, Dixon, Alford and Brey. And they all failed yet again to meet seed expectations. Amazing. Anyone have Wichita State, Ole Miss or LaSalle in their Elite Eight?

    • Tom says:

      Well, technically, Marshall was a snakebit coach as well (though that characterization isn’t terribly fair due to all those 16-seed Winthrop teams.)

      • ptiernan says:

        True. But he was more Dunphyish than Fewish. (I’m tourney punchy…)

        • Tom says:

          Right. This is only his third tourney where he’s been seeded better than 14.

          That might be an adjustment worth looking into. Jim Calhoun would have been called “snakebit” at one point after five tourneys and no Elite Eights, but those were all at Northeastern when he was getting really low seeds.

          • ptiernan says:

            It’s a least worth listing the snakebit in order of average seed. By that ranking, my guess is that Alford would be the biggest offender, followed by Few, then Brey. Of course, i could do the math…but it’s early.

    • Mike L. says:

      Hi Pete,
      Thanks for your answer to my earlier question.
      I knew this tourney was going to be crazy so I actually had all 3 of those teams in the Elite 8. I had them beating other teams from other regions. You know the LOU-ORE game, it doesn’t even count; I just penciled in Ole Miss to move on to the E8 in that match-up. LOL.
      You know the committee is going to get grief for the Zags 1-seed, but let’s be honest, MIA or GTOWN may not have faired any better.

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