Computational journalist, FiveThirtyEight
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Inside the Predict-o-Tron
The details of the Huffington Post’s NCAA forecasterPosted on
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.