Chart of the day (March Madness version)

Nate Silver’s such the political analyst that it’s easy to forget he actually got his start as a baseball analyst.  Silver thus brings the quantitative analysis as only he can to looking at NCAA seeding.  Here’s a telling chart:

Basically, for teams of equivalent strength, you are much better positioned to advance to the Sweet 16 or further by being an 11 or 12 seed than an 8 or 9,  Why?  Because you get to avoid the #1 seed in your second match-up.  And, interestingly #1 seeds tend to truly be the class of the field, as this chart shows:

Looks like there’s as much difference between 1 and 2 as there is between 5 and 11.  There’s a whole lot more cool charts if you are a college basketball fan.  And if you’re not, at least you know not to pick the 8/9 seeds to go far in your pool.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Chart of the day (March Madness version)

  1. itchy says:

    Makes perfect sense, but really interesting that your chances as an 8 or 9 seed are almost the same as a 16 seed.

    And a 12 seed is not much worse than a 6 seed.

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