Interview sports games How We Made “Spot the Ball”

How We Made "Spot the Ball"

Even among the many wonderful World Cup interactives and news apps we saw this year, the NYT’s Spot the Ball was a standout, both in conception and execution. We spoke with the team behind it about the project’s design, world-class Photoshopping, and surprising inspiration.

Project bots Twitter sports #botweek How We Made @NailbiterBot

How We Made @NailbiterBot

The first full round of March Madness is Christmas morning for college basketball fans: 2 days, 32 games, lots of upsets and late-game drama. Last week, on the first full day of the tournament, WNYC transportation reporter Jim O’Grady casually mentioned that he couldn’t keep tabs on all the action during the day. He wished he could get a text message whenever a game was coming down to the wire so he would know when to neglect his professional responsibilities and tune in for the end. I started kicking around the idea in my head a little, and after work my colleague Jenny Ye and I decided to take a break from writing weird JavaScript to write some more weird JavaScript. The result was @NailbiterBot, a humble Twitter bot that posts a tweet whenever an NCAA tournament game is close late in the second half.

Project sports models prediction Inside the Predict-o-Tron

Inside the Predict-o-Tron

The HuffPost Predict-o-Tron is a tool we built to let people make their own March Madness bracket predictions using basketball statistics, expert ratings, and results from the past four tournaments.

There are some interesting tidbits to be found in the data, although they all need to be qualified with the understanding that model performance is based on only four years of data, which leaves us at risk of overfitting. This means that slider combinations that appear to do very well for the past four years may not continue to perform as well if expanded to the past 10 years. With that said, it looks like the experts are very good at picking a bracket, taller teams tend to do better than shorter teams, younger teams do better than older teams, and teams with more depth (both in scoring and playing time) do better than teams with less depth.

Project second screen chat socket.io Tabletop Instagram Heroku Twitter sports Fast Hacks: GameDay Live

Fast Hacks: GameDay Live

The Daily Emerald’s Ivar Vong breaks down a homepage takeover experiment.