Seed Distributions for March Madness 2014: A Tool for Bracketologists

Probability Model

To illustrate the results of the seeding distribution analysis, the odds against a particular set of four seeds reaching the Final Four is shown by selecting any four seeds and clicking Show Results.

Final Four Seed Combination

     

Odds:

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Relative Likelihoods

To assess the relative likelihood of two sets of four seeds reaching the Final Four, pick two sets of four seeds and click Show Result to obtain the relative likelihood of one set of four seeds reaching the Final Four versus the other set of four seeds reaching the Final Four.

Set of Seeds A:
Set of Seeds B:

Final Four Seed Distribution

Using the analytical approach described in Jacobson et al.2, the following table lists the number of times that each seed reached the Final Four since 1985, and the number of times that each seed was expected to have appearred.

Seed Final Four Appearances Expected Number of
Final Four Appearances
1 47 42.85
2 25 27.03
3 14 17.05
4 13 10.76
5 6 6.78
6 3 4.28
7 0 2.70
8 4 1.70
9 1 1.07
10 0 0.68
11 3 0.43
12 0 0.27
13 0 0.17
14 0 0.107
15 0 0.068
16 0 0.043

Using a X2 goodness of fit test, the test statistic value (with 15 degrees of freedom) is 24.67 resulting in a p-value of 0.055, which suggests an acceptable fit to the truncated geometric distribution.

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