When it comes to projections, no one beats FiveThirtyEight New York Times blogger and statistician Nate Silver. Silver's forecast of election night results was frighteningly accurate and garnered national attention, and now he has shifted his focus to the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Silver's bracket predicts Louisville as the most likely winner, with a 22.7% chance of cutting down the nets.
This is hardly the first venture into sports for Silver. In addition to predicting elections, Silver developed the PECOTA system to predict MLB results, so it is a good idea to pay attention to his results. This is the third year Silver has predicted NCAA Tournament results, last year he tabbed eventual-champion Kentucky as the favorites with a 26.7% chance of winning the tournament.
As for his 2013 projections, after Louisville at a 22.7% chance to win, Indiana is considered the next-most likely with a 19.6% chance to win. Surprisingly, Florida, the No. 3 seed in the South Region, is the third-most likely to win it all, with a 12.7% chance of a championship.
In the Midwest Region, Silver gives Louisville a 52.9% chance of making the Final Four. No. 2 seed Duke is given an 18.3% chance and No. 3 seed Michigan State a 10.6% chance.
In the West Region, things are more wide open. Gonzaga is the favorite with a 33.4% chance of making the Final Four, but No. 2 seed Ohio State is not far behind with a 23.8% chance. After them No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 3 New Mexico, and No. 6 Arizona are all given between an 8.1 and 9.5% chance to reach the Final Four.
In the East, Indiana is the heavy favorite with a 52.3% chance to make the Final Four. No. 2 Miami is given a 12.7% chance and No. 4 Syracuse a 11.7% chance.
Finally, in the South, No. 3 Florida is given a 37.1% chance to win the region with top-seed Kansas given a 31.6% chance. No. 4 Michigan has a 12.8% chance to reach Atlanta, while No. 2 seed Georgetown is given only a 6.9% chance. The South is also home to what Silver believes is the most likely upset (not counting a nine over an eight as an upset) with No. 11 Minnesota given a 61.9% chance to beat No. 6 UCLA.
His projections are based on computer rankings with a history of predictive success, as well as a few other factors. A detailed explanation of his methodology can be found here.
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