Silver Goes for Gold, Again: Third Time a Charm?

Published on 26-Mar-2013 by J Square Humboldt

Basketball - NCAA Mens    NCAA Basketball Daily Stake

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Silver Goes for Gold, Again: Third Time a Charm?

To his credit, Nate Silver has never claimed to be a tout. When he's got his own blog on the Grey Lady's platform, he doesn't need the hassle, hype, or cheesiness. Or the money.

Nailing presidential elections will do that for a dude.

Silver owes his meteoric rise in the public eye to his precocious ability to analyze baseball, the most stat-oriented activity this side of hunting for Higgs bosons. He's still a celebrity among the cruncheristadors, those masters of the universe and their aspiring wannabes, who hold Big Data as holy.

But as we saw with the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl, Silver's crystal ball can still cloud over.  Whatever one thinks of politics, there's still more chaos in games than there will ever be in campaigns. What makes Silver relevant is his willingness to not only announce his conclusions but explain in detail how he arrived at them in a formulaic fashion.

Silver's blog is entitled FiveThirtyEight and is where he discusses his forecast -- in success percentage -- of this season's March Madness national champion. View the link for specifics. To summarize, Silver has three teams separated from the field and has updated his success percentages based on the current state of each regional bracket:

  • Louisville ... up to 32.4% from 23.8%
  • Florida ... up to 21.3% from 13.2%
  • Indiana ... down to 10.9% from 18.4%

The miracle workers from Florida Gulf Coast might have had the greatest increase of success percentage, moving from 0.001% to 0.02%, but that would only satisfy some pools on Wall Street where traders literally treat teams' success percentages as a liquid commodity and trade futures. You won't be seeing that on Bovada. And according to Silver, you won't be seeing the Eagles past their encounter with Florida.

Here's a measured summary of each team's chances from a perspective of intangibles. The favorites are Louisville and Indiana.

So, whether the source is a super-geek or a sportswriter, the big brands get the nod. It will be up to Florida Gulf Coast -- or any other team in the field -- to look for a flaw in the Matrix.

This isn't a perfect world. The flaw is there. Somewhere.