Honesty hour: I was a little skeptical of how this whole experiment in bracketology would work out, but like an east-coast two seed, I must admit defeat. There are some pretty interesting trends emerging from this small sample in the science of selection. (Look at that, I’m so worked up I’m alliterating)
For starters, the current leader — with the most correct picks and the best possible fynal score — is a close friend of the Cut, Brittany. She still has all her Elite 8 picks in play and can finish with an astounding 176 points if the chips fall her way. I spoke to her on Saturday to ask about the approach she used to make her picks and the answer was something about a “gut feeling” or “woman’s intuition.” I think that’s just code for She-Devil Magic.
The stats actually support my She-Devil Magic theory, as three of the four women in the pool are among the top 10. If not for my fifth-place standing, both FynalCut contributors would be positioned behind their significant others. (Yes, place innuendo here)
The only match for our female friends? Robots. Well, math, but we all know that’s just robot DNA. Ken Pomeroy‘s efficiency ratings are up to their old tricks of serving as the top barometer of tournament talent. The bracket we filled out based on his rankings is currently tied for first — losing only Duke from its Elite 8. The RPI and Sagarin ratings are not far behind, in an eight-way tie for seventh place (along with both FynalCut girls and a small child).
As for the epic battle between bloggers and “professionals,” well, those other guys (and girl) are proving why they get paid. (except for you Seth Davis — you’ve got some explaining to do) SI’s Luke Winn and Pete Gillin’s mug from CBS are tied for third just two points back from our leaders, then I am the lone blogger among the top 10, tied with Sports Illustrated’s Kelli Anderson for fifth place. Our own FynalCut creator and Seth Davis are bringing up the rear among sports analysts. Sorry buddy — full disclosure is a part of journalism. At least you can claim to be as good as Seth Davis…
The absolute worst scores, however, belong to the “Places I’ve been” bracket (school in Indiana, brother at Kent State, cousin at Marquette…), a small child is just ahead of that one, and just ahead of a 7-year old: our only two entrants with on-court experience. Former Hoosier Rod Wilmont and Ft. Wayne Mad Ants head coach Jaren Jackson have first week scores of 34 and 37, respectively.
The lessons here: Just cuz you played or coached the game, doesn’t make you any better at predicting it (isn’t that right Bobby Knight? Pittsburgh? Really?); analysts hold the upper hand on bloggers (as if their whole “making money” wasn’t enough); robots hold the upper hand on analysts (proving they will soon replace every job); and fellas, don’t ever, ever underestimate the power that is wielded by women on a daily basis. And that’s a lesson that extends beyond basketball.
[Keep visiting the Cut this week for more thorough breakdowns of the first weekend. We’ll look into what separated the men from the boys, the women from the men, and pretty much everybody from “The Sports Guy” and his wife. Also, a look ahead to what might go down in Rounds III and IV.]