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.