Monday, April 8, 2013

NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game (2013)

Below is an excerpt from our article in the NY Times, based on quant research of factors related to sports psychology, 
...we focused on factors that might help predict the winner of the N.C.A.A. tournament championship game between Louisville and Michigan. Last year’s article correctly selected Kentucky to win the national title.
With an eye toward key concepts of sport psychology, we looked at factors like big-game experience, leadership behind the bench, leadership on the court, error control and consistency. 

Consistency:  The team with the higher 3-point shooting percentage has won 11 of the last 14 title games.  Free-throw shooting percentage is also a measure of consistency, and teams with the higher free0throw percentage have gone 10-4 over the past 14 championship games.
In the table below, we list the performance of the Final Four teams in consistency categories like 3-point shooting and free-throw percentage.  We also included turnovers and a defensive measure because these are also championship traits.
3-pt shooting%32.9%38.3%
Free-throw %70.7%70.0%
Turnovers per game12.59.4
FG shooting defense39.2%42.3%

Who Will Win the Big Game?  Louisville has more championship factors in its favor, by a narrow 4-3 margin.  Based on our championship factors and season statistics, we developed a Monte Carlo simulator for college basketball, similar to the methodology we used for our football analyses.  The most frequently-occurring score was  Louisville 70, Michigan 69.

Read more here: