Posted by Neil Paine on March 16, 2011
Lots of good NCAA Tournament links to throw Slate Magazine's way this week...
First, here's Ken Pomeroy (him again!) on why the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is a terrible metric for the committee to use when picking the field of 64 68. Like the hated BCS formula, it doesn't use margin of victory, thus discarding a great deal of key information about relative team strengths. Worse yet, it weighs a team's strength of schedule three times as heavily as its W-L%, making the teams you play more important to your ranking than whether you actually beat them.
Next, we have a great piece by Chris Wilson that (unfortunately) gives away the big secret of winning an NCAA pool: go by the numbers on the majority of your bracket, but be sure to choose a contrarian champion. This is why I'm picking Texas to win -- of all the non-#1 seeds, the Longhorns captured the most titles in my 10,000-bracket simulation. Then again, that strategy is nullified if you play with other people who know it, so be wary of how savvy your pool-mates are.
Finally, Justin Peters researched the most popular majors among players on this year's Tourney teams. Turns out that basketball players "tend to choose majors that emphasize leadership, teamwork, and communication—basically, everything you'd need to successfully execute the flex offense." This is probably why, as Peters writes, business was the runaway #1 when it came to player majors.