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Use OR for your NCAA Picks

Joel Sokol and his LRMC method have made their picks for this year’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament. Joel’s method is based on work he did with Paul Kvam on a “Logistic Regression/Markov Chain Model for NCAA Basketball” published in Naval Research Logistics. This approach agrees in part with the NCAA selectors in that the predicted final four are the four number one seeds. It disagrees strongly with some of the rankings though. It would not have put UNC as a number one seed at all, let alone the top number one seed, preferring Duke over UNC. The number six seeds, who the NCAA ranks, presumably, 24-27 or so, are ranked 16 (Marquette), 24, 26, and 34 (Oklahoma). My city’s Pitt Panthers, an NCAA 4, seed are only ranked 23rd by Sokol’s method. Perhaps the biggest difference is 11th seed Kansas State, who is 19th (4th seed) under LRMC.  Kansas State over USC is also the big first round upset.