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

Do you think projected lottery picks are crazy for playing in a tournament where one freak injury could cost them a guaranteed million dollar payday?

Asked by baretron24 about 11 years ago

Not at all, since injuries can, and do, happen in practice and less important games. 

What's your background? Did you study and/or work in statistics and probability?

Asked by JSB about 11 years ago

I have more of a writing background than a statistical one, though I did a fair amount of statistical analysis in grad school. My focus was on judicial politics -- attempting to predict Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals decisions. Trying to predict the Selection Committee's behavior is actually rather similar. 

How many brackets do you play each year? Is there a generally accepted "right number" of brackets to play to ensure you don't take a complete bath in your pools?

Asked by bracket_woes about 11 years ago

I only play one. And again, I'm not the best person to ask about bracket pools, since my focus is more on getting there as opposed to what happens after Selection Sunday. While I do a picks post, my track record on that front is very mixed. 

So much for Bucknell :(

What made you feel so strongly that they had a shot?

Asked by harumph about 11 years ago

Mike Muscala. He didn't have a good game at all and that really cost the Bison. Plus, I watch Butler a lot and wasn't really impressed with how they were playing late in the season.

Why focus only on predicting the field? Isn't projecting the winners where the majority of interest and value lies?

Asked by Falcons4Life about 11 years ago

In my case, I'm a college basketball fan first. So my goal is to primarily show that there is worth in the journey not just the destination. Otherwise, there are two different skill sets at play here. Mine examines the big picture body of work. Picking the bracket focuses more on the small picture. Given that the tournament is a crapshoot and unpredictable things can happen, I stick with what I know and can explain fairly well. 

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 about 11 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. 

Why do you think there've been five 15-2 upsets, but no 16-1's? Obviously they're both longshots, but there's no reason the difference should be THAT much, right?

Asked by corleone about 11 years ago

You wouldn't think so, but consider this. Often the 16s are at a disadvantage because there's a good shot they're unexpected winners from weaker leagues. This season, that description applies to all four teams that were placed in Dayton this season and Western Kentucky. A 15, on the other hand, typically comes from a conference that's a bit more competitive and often these teams also play a slightly stronger non-conference schedule that gives a bit of a boost, especially when it comes to experience when facing a top 8 team.