Bracketologist

Bracketologist

BracketDobberSBN

Arlington, VA

Male, 34

I'm currently the resident bracketologist for SB Nation and I've been attempting to accurately project the NCAA Tournament field since 2006. My goal is not only to be correct in picking at-large teams and the seeding of all 68 teams, but to inform the public about the process and how the sometimes bashed college basketball regular season does really have importance. I'd be glad to answer your questions on how the field of 68 is put together, but I won't be much help with your bracket picks.

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26 Questions

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Last Answer on May 03, 2013

Best Rated

What was your most accurate bracket ever?

Asked by brikhaus over 6 years ago

In terms of selection, I got all (then) 34 at-larges right in 2008. In terms of seeding, which is more important since it's more difficult, I've done the best this season and last.

If you had a REALLY inaccurate year picking the 68 teams, would your job be in jeopardy?

Asked by L-train over 6 years ago

Considering that I'm trying to predict the behavior of a group of 10 on my own, I wouldn't think so. Plus, the "picking 68 teams" is an exaggeration. In any given season, a maximum of four or five spots is really up for grabs at the end, and usually (like this season) it's a few less.

Were you psyched to see Nate Silver getting so much spotlight? Do you feel like that sort of validates the type of stuff you work on?

Asked by kickpush23 over 6 years ago

I enjoyed Nate Silver's success as a person with two poli sci degrees. However this is a little bit different because I don't rely as much on computers as he does. Much of what I do relies more on history and anecdotal evidence. 

Sounds like the team selection process has improved over time, but what do you think the Committee still needs to improve upon?

Asked by boomshakala... over 6 years ago

The Committee really needs to stop pushing the RPI so much, since it's not a basketball-specific metric (the NCAA uses it for various sports to compare teams). It also creates an issue when evaluating schedules, particularly since everyone's RPI and SOS pull into one another and it creates a feedback loop.

On the schedule front, I think the numbers get too much emphasis over the intent. Take Virginia, for example. While there were several teams on the Cavaliers schedule who probably weren't going to be very good, they did schedule a few CAA teams that in most years would have been an RPI boost. Plus, they played two of them away from Charlottesville (at George Mason and Old Dominion on a neutral court). They got burned by those good intentions when the CAA turned out to be historically bad this season. In short, the Committee should recognize that not all "bad games" are created equal.

When it comes to brackets, how much of an advantage do you think the seasoned college b-ball fan has over a non-fan who does 1-2 days of research?

Asked by dennis d. over 6 years ago

Not much actually. I've found that I usually did better with my picks back when I was in high school and college, when I didn't build a bracket every few days over three months. Now, I feel like I overanalyze it. 

What team(s) do you think got screwed this year?

Asked by baselineJ over 6 years ago

No one really. Tennessee was the team I missed, and they came closest, but they also got swept by Ole Miss and Georgia, lost to Alabama in the SEC quarterfinals, and failed to crack 40 against Virginia and Georgetown. If that's the team that's the most screwed this season, I'd say the Committee did a terrific job.

How did you become a bracketologist? And given the randomness of March Madness outcomes, what makes any one college hoops fan more qualified to be a bracketologist than any other?

Asked by Pete T. over 6 years ago

One of my friends challenged me to put together a bracket when I was in grad school, in 2002. I put it aside for a few years and decided that I could probably do a good job if I did it more frequently. 

Any fan could probably do it, but most probably don't have the interest in rules, procedures and organizational minutiae that I do. It's not the simplest thing in the world to do, even if it looks like it.