Alright, so we let our gut-wrenching fear admiration of robots go a little overboard here at the Cut, but might I stress a point I made last month that math is really just robot DNA. How does this ridiculous robot/math rant have anything to do with sports? Cuz the soulless bastards just won our pool!
As you may or may not recall, we started a pool this year to find out who can truly claim to be king when it comes to predicting the NCAA Tournament. Are there truly “experts?” Do bloggers know more than there bad grammer let’s on? Or is it all a fruitless quest to try and predict the totally random?
Well, I’m not licensed bracketologist, but based on our results that answer to that last question is a resounding, “Hell no!”Quite the opposite. If this year has proven anything it’s that the tournament is far more predictable than we make it out to be — at least this year it was.
As evidence, we present Exhibit A: Ken Pomeroy. The man’s revolutionary new approach to ranking basketball teams (judging them on efficiency per 100 possessions as opposed to anything based on their final score results) was able to clean up in our pool and earn the man computer program first prize. And for its prize: 0110010 1110010 0011100. Yup, out of the kindness of our hearts. Congrats!
From there, however, we get to the goods. In other words, the pwning of the pros. Second place went to yours truly — coming in only 11 points shy of the Pomeroy rankings, and guessing 46 games correct (the computer got 48). Third place went to Ft. Wayne Mad Ants Head Coach and former NBA-er Jarren Jackson — the only participant who gave Memphis any respect. Fourth place was fellow blogger Eamonn Brennan aka Postman E, who you may know from AOL Fanhouse, We are the postmen, and I’m pretty sure there are another two or 20 he contributes to out there. Rounding out the top five was the RPI rankings.
What do we learn here? Well, obviously that bloggers are smarter that “real reporters.” Or at least the ones that have unhealthy infatuations with Bob Dylan and the Wu Tang movie masterpiece “Iron Fist Pillage.” But on the whole, it also revealed that taking a serious approach to the bracket does pay off. Sure, inevitably Sue from accounting will catch a break and take the pot, but our friend Brittany was the only “casual fan” in our experiement to finish in the top 20. And she even faltered down the stretch.
The bigger thing to take away is the rising significance of stats in sports. These number crunchers are for real folks.They are able to sift through all of Dick Vitale’s rants and Billy Packer’s insensitive comments to find some real objective measuring sticks by which to judge these teams. And in closing: 0110010 0110010 0011101 1100101 1100010!
SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! I was actually able to interview Ken Pomeroy a couple of times for an article I wrote for popularmechanics.com. Rather than bore you with details here, I’ll just let you know that if you are interested in his pool-winning formula for ranking teams there is a much more thorough breakdown of his method riiiggggghhht HERE!
Oh also, just to let it me known, Bill Simmons finished second to last in between a small child and the “Places I’ve Been” bracket. The small child was the one ahead of him.