Monday, March 15, 2010

Analyzing the NCAA Tournament Regions

When the brackets come out, everyone scrambles to look at which region is the easiest and who has the simplest path to the Final Four.  The great thing about a ratings system is that analysis just falls out without any subjectivity.  So without further adieu, here is a breakdown of the regions using the week 18 ratings from my computer.

For each region, I list the average rating, the average rating for the 1-12 seeds (so as not not have the lower teams skew this too much), and the average ranking for each of those groups too.  The bold indicates the toughest rating/ranking and the italics the easiest.

RegionAvg. RatingTop-12 Avg. RatingAvg. RankingTop-12 Avg. Ranking
South (Duke)86.48088.88649.87522.083
West (Syracuse)86.25988.36049.43825.667
East (Kentucky)86.12088.18449.526.25
Midwest (Kansas)86.08888.28354.12530.5

From this, it would appear that Duke has the toughest road to the Final Four with the highest average ratings and the highest ranking for the top-12 seeds.  And Kansas, as should be the case given they are the top seed overall, has the easiest road.

This goes against some of the analysis I've seen that claims Duke has the easiest road.  Clearly the computer disagrees and we'll have to compare bracket performance to determine whose is right.

Questions?  Comments?