There has been at least one 5-12 upset in 7 out of the last 8 years of the NCAA tournament.
The year there were none? Last year. That’s no fun, especially when there were three in 2014 and 2015, each. Three!
If that trend continues, that spells some worry for this year’s 5 seeds: Maryland, Indiana, Baylor and Purdue.
March Madness means that you usually have to pick at least one 5 seed to fall in the first round, but which will it be?
Well I have a solution. If you listened to my first ever Leborts Report podcast, you will know that I have been working on a LRelo rating for basketball teams and decided to apply it to the college teams in the playoffs. Essentially, it will tell me which teams play the best on the court – similar to the Player Efficiency Rating in the NBA.
If we populate all of the team stats into my LRelo rating system, we can generate a random number to predict the winner based on their win percentage. Using excel, I generated 10,000 simulations.
Here are the results
- The #5 seeds all have a 9.3% chance of advancing without any upsets.
- The most likely upset includes Yale over Baylor, which resulted in 8.5% of my 10,000 simulations.
- The second most likely upset includes both South Dakota State over Maryland and Chattanooga over Indiana at 7.6% of my simulations.
|Outcomes||Count of Winner||Percentage|
|Maryland, Baylor, Purdue, Indiana||929||9.3%|
|Maryland, Yale, Purdue, Indiana||845||8.5%|
|South Dakota State, Baylor, Purdue, Indiana||764||7.6%|
|Maryland, Baylor, Purdue, Chattanooga||759||7.6%|
|Maryland, Baylor, Arkansas-Little Rock, Indiana||727||7.3%|
|Maryland, Yale, Purdue, Chattanooga||661||6.6%|
|South Dakota State, Yale, Purdue, Indiana||642||6.4%|
|South Dakota State, Baylor, Arkansas-Little Rock, Indiana||622||6.2%|
|Maryland, Yale, Arkansas-Little Rock, Indiana||605||6.1%|
|South Dakota State, Baylor, Purdue, Chattanooga||593||5.9%|
|Maryland, Baylor, Arkansas-Little Rock, Chattanooga||590||5.9%|
|South Dakota State, Yale, Purdue, Chattanooga||496||5.0%|
|South Dakota State, Yale, Arkansas-Little Rock, Indiana||471||4.7%|
|Maryland, Yale, Arkansas-Little Rock, Chattanooga||469||4.7%|
|South Dakota State, Baylor, Arkansas-Little Rock, Chattanooga||449||4.5%|
|South Dakota State, Yale, Arkansas-Little Rock, Chattanooga||378||3.8%|
Based on another analysis I did in 2014, the 5-12 match-ups result in a 32% upset probability. That means I need to pick at least one and possibly two 12 seeds to advance.
Looks like this year, based on my stats, I’ll be picking Yale and South Dakota State to upset.
Matt Strobel writes for the Leborts Report. If you liked the article, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, @LebortsReport.
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