Rand: Political whiz Nate Silver takes on NCAA tourney projections

  • Updated: March 20, 2013 - 12:36 AM

Gophers men’s basketball fans should hope Silver is as right about The Big Dance as he was about the political shuffle

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Andre Hollins and the Gophers rolled over Penn State at Williams Arena on March 2, but they haven’t won since, dropping three in a row. Still, stats guru Nate Silver picks the Gophers to beat UCLA.

Photo: KYNDELL HARKNESS, Star Tribune

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Nate Silver became a household name during the 2012 election season when his Five Thirty Eight blog on the New York Times website became required reading for political junkies on both sides of the party line. Silver used advanced metrics to project races, pretty much nailing President Obama’s re-election before it even happened.

Gophers men’s basketball fans should hope Silver is as right about The Big Dance as he was about the political shuffle. On his blog this week, Silver projected several things about this year’s NCAA tournament. Here is a snapshot of information that might be most relevant to a Gophers fan or bracket picker:

• He gives Minnesota a 61.9 percent chance of defeating sixth-seeded UCLA in the opener on Friday in Austin. That’s the seventh-highest percentage of any team in the South Region even though the Gophers are the No. 11 seed.

• That said, Silver only gives the Gophers a 13.9 percent chance of reaching the Sweet 16. Much of that has to do with how much Silver’s numbers seem to favor Florida, the No. 3 seed in the South and Minnesota’s likely opponent in the round of 32 if the Gophers get past UCLA. Silver gives Florida a 12.7 percent chance of winning the national title — tops in the region and third best of the entire field. He calls their abundance of close losses a matter of “luck” and writes, “Had Florida split its single-digit games, for instance, it would have gone 29-4 this year, which may be a better indication of its strength.”

• He gives Minnesota a 2.4 percent chance of reaching the Final Four. So he’s saying there’s a chance! Indiana is tops among Big Ten teams and No. 2 overall behind Louisville with a whopping 52.3 percent chance of reaching the Final Four. Ohio State (23.8 percent), Michigan (12.8), Michigan State (10.6), Wisconsin (9.5) and Illinois (1.6) round out the percentages for the rest of the Big Ten teams.

• Looking for another sleeper in your office pool? Try Davidson. Silver gives the No. 14 seed in the East a 34.2 percent chance of defeating No. 3 Marquette in its first game and a 15.8 percent chance of making the Sweet 16.

MICHAEL RAND

 

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Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
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Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
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Baltimore 1
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Tampa Bay 4
Cleveland 1 Top 6th Inning
Kansas City 0
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Chicago WSox 0
Texas 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Houston 0
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Arizona 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Top 3rd Inning
St. Louis 1
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San Diego 0
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UNLV 13 FINAL
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Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
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Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
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Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
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Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
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Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
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(12) Georgia 45
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(23) North Carolina 49
Ohio U 14 4th Qtr 2:58
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 3 3rd Qtr
(4) Oklahoma 31
Stephen F Austin 10 3rd Qtr
(20) Kansas State 28
Fresno State 7 2nd Qtr 0:53
(15) USC 31
Southern Miss 0 2nd Qtr 2:20
Miss State 21
Texas-El Paso 14 2nd Qtr 12:59
New Mexico 7
North Texas 0 2nd Qtr 9:13
Texas 13
(1) Florida State 10 2nd Qtr 11:14
Oklahoma State 0
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(13) LSU
Idaho 0 Delayed
Florida 0
South Dakota 9:30 PM
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Tennessee
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Louisville
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TX-San Antonio
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Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
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Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 2nd Half 25:00
Montreal 1
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Chicago 0
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
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Montreal 20
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Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 64 4th Qtr 0:32
Indiana 71
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2014 season     
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