Friday, March 17, 2023

Coaches Bracket 97th Percentile; Top Bracket Picks UConn over Bama for Title

In an opening round in which 1-seed Purdue lost to FDU, 2-seed Arizona lost to Princeton, and 4-seed Virginia lost to Furman, some ask how anyone can have a winning bracket. They forget that in bracket challenges you don't need to run faster than the bear, only then the other brackets that probably did not have those upsets either.

For that reason, most of the brackets we posted are performing well.

The bracket that adjusts ratings by the coaches history of deep runs has hit 25 of 32 games correctly to be in the 97th percentile after one round. However, that bracket has one big problem - UVa as the national runner up and therefore should actually fall to the bottom of this list by the end with a maximum of 1310 possible.

The second strongest bracket right now is the bracket adjusting KenPom by the level of NBA talent on the team, and while one win behind the Coaches bracket at 24 of 32 correct, it has the much higher ceiling including Houston beating Alabama for the title. The concern here is Houston's point guard and NBA prospect Marcus Sasser still looked very injured now, and heading into a virtual road game against Auburn in Birmingham.

Therefore we have printed the bracket below that seems the strongest long term - the bracket based on KenPom minus injuries to the team. Like the NBA bracket in the previous paragraph, the 24 of 32 is in the 87th percentile, but the UConn over Alabama title game looks a bit more realistic and this bracket did close the night picking Florida Atlantic over Memphis.

The other two brackets are largely in tact, with the bracket that adjust for point guard play showing a Houston over Marquette title game, while the bracket adjusted for hottest teams picks UConn to beat Alabama for the title.

In the first two games Saturday, the Hottest Teams bracket should surge up on the others as the only bracket that had San Diego State beating UVa - so if they beat Furman they add the equivalent of two first round wins.

The next game is the big one between Tennessee and Duke. The Injury, NBA and Hottest Team backets pick Duke, while the Coaches and Venue pick Tennessee.

The percentages and max points are from the ESPN Bracket challenge.

Bracket KenPom plus    Champion    Runner-Up     Correct      Percentile      Max Pts
CoachesKansasVirginia25 of 3297%1310
NBA TalentHoustonAlabama24 of 3287%1700
InjuriesUConnAlabama24 of 3287%1580
Point GuardsHoustonMarquette22 of 3263%1740
Hottest TeamsUConnAlabama22 or 3263%1700

Here is the injury bracket.

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