Question: Why did you create this website?
Answer: The web site was created as an educational project with undergraduate computer science students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The objective of their project was to translate academic research into a user-friendly website. The end product demonstrates this translation.
Question: Why does the website not give probabilities for the early rounds of the tournament?
Answer: The model embedded in the web site cannot be applied with sufficient accuracy for the games in the round of 64 and the round of 32.
Question: Can the website build a bracket for me?
Answer: The bracket generator can be used to build a bracket, by sampling across the 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible brackets. Since we do not attempt to predict the outcome of the games, the bracket generator is blind to the team themselves and the results. The only information it uses are the seed matchups.
Question: The odds that the model gives seem quite unlikely. Is this correct?
Answer: Yes. Given the large number of possible combination of seeds, any single combination of seeds occurs with a small probability. For example, there are over 16 million possible Elite Eight combinations. Therefore, the most useful way to use the website is to compare seed combinations to determine their relative odds.
Question: Can the website be used for next year’s tournament?
Answer: Yes. After this year’s tournament is complete, the input data for the model will be updated to reflect this year’s tournament results so that the web site can be used for the following year’s tournament. The update will become available no later than February 1.
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