Review of Last Year’s Bracket and Changes to S-Curve Formula for 2011-2012

The biggest change to this year’s formula is the addition of non-conference strength of schedule.  After leaving off Colorado and Virginia Tech from last year’s tournament, the committee repeatedly emphasized that these 2 teams did not have a strong non-conference schedule.  With the addition of non-conference strength of schedule, this year’s formula is even more heavily weighted towards schedule strength than last year’s.  As a result you will see some unlikely teams seeded high in this bracket, those teams that have played difficult schedules so far.

The other controversy from last year’s bracket was some highly unexpected seeding around the 7-12 seeds.  This is what we see when comparing the brackets of bracket experts listed in the bracket matrix to the actual bracket created by the committee last year:

UCLA (7 seed) – Only 4 brackets had UCLA as high as a 7 seed
Michigan (8 seed) – Nobody had Michigan as high as an 8, only 11 brackets had them as a 9
Butler (8 seed) – 2 brackets had Butler at 8, only 12 as a 9
Old Dominion (9 seed) – 6 brackets had ODU worse than 8, 13 at 8, all others better
Georgia (10 seed) – 2 brackets had Georgia as a 10 or better, only 9 brackets at 11, all others 12 or out
Missouri (11 seed) – Only 1 bracket had Missouri at 11, 3 as a 10, all others better
Marquette (11 seed) – Only 10 brackets had Marquette at 11 or worse
Utah St (12 seed) – Only 4 brackets had Utah St at 11, all others better
Richmond (12 seed) – Only 4 brackets had Richmond at 12

Daily Bracket is only as good as the committee is consistent.  The S-Curve Formula is based on previous years’ brackets to give a score to various aspects of a team’s profile and rank them according to the formula.  The seeding in last year’s bracket was not in line with past years’ brackets.  If the committee comes up with some wacky seeding this year, then the Daily Bracket may not be around in the future.

Even though the seeding in the tournament was off, the Daily Bracket did correctly pick 2 teams in the bracket that most had left off (VCU and UAB).  The 2 teams that the formula did not get right, Clemson and USC, were among the last 4 teams left off the final Daily Bracket.

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