Saturday, March 17, 2012

Visualizing the NCAA Tournament: Round of 32

Let's take an updated look at the NCAA tournament odds we originally posted on Wednesday.

[Note: We're a little late with this post, as Syracuse shook off their issues from yesterday and managed to defeat Kansas State.] The problem is they still have the most difficult road left, with likely matchups against Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Buckeyes are the clear favorites here, with 3.44 expected wins (EWs) in total (i.e., another 2-3 games), compared to the Orangemen's 2.35 [Note: another 1.70 EWs now.] Wisconsin remains just as likely to make it to the Elite Eight, with 2.19 EWs. ACC Champions Florida State eeked out a win yesterday, but if they can make it past Gonzaga they've got a showdown with the Buckeyes. All signs point to an Ohio State Final Four.

This one remains a two-horse race, with UNC slight favorites over Kansas: 3.24 EWs versus 3.04. With 4-seed Michigan having been dispatched by Ohio, South Florida looks ready to make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

This bracket is Kentucky's to lose. With half of the favorites losing in the round of 64, including a stunning 15-over-2 upset of Duke by Lehigh, only #8 Iowa State, #4 Indiana, and #3 Baylor stand between the Wildcats and the Final Four. With 3.91 EWs in this tournament, Kentucky is the clear favorite.

And finally the west, where the team best positioned to make it far is ... 7-seed Florida? Thanks to #15 Norfolk State taking down #2 Missouri, the Gators have to make it through #15 Norfolk State, #3 Marquette, and #1 Michigan State. If the Spartans can get past Saint Louis, though, they'll swing back to the top as the favorite.

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