Jodi Lo | Friday, March 27, 2015
March is coming to a close, and because of this, I would like to talk about the inevitable end of March Madness. So how is your bracket doing? Great? You’re going to win your pool? Not so hot? Well I’m here to remind you that if your bracket isn’t 100 percent accurate then you are pretty normal. I’m checking ESPN right now to see who has the most accurate bracket so far in the country. And even jghayes2932, who leads the country in accuracy, only has 620 points out of the possible 640 points.
Sure jghayes2932 has the most accurate bracket in a pool of millions of entries, but he still does not have a perfect bracket. No one has a perfect bracket and perhaps that is the beauty of March Madness. Being in computer engineering I know several different ways one can formulate an algorithm and system to pick all of the teams and decide who is going to make it to the top. My favorite algorithm so far is from the Wall Street Journal, which has a Madness Meter. The Wall Street Journal literally has a setting accepting the fact that statistics, skill and strategy might not always guarantee a win. Sometimes what determines a win over a loss is the heart of the team and how much that team wants to win; two discerning factors that are not quantifiable and yet are perhaps the most important factors to a team.
So back to brackets, if you also did not take into consideration the heart and drive to win in a team, don’t worry, you are not the only one. If you are one of the people to have an awful, shaming bracket then let me cheer you up. In the annual The Observer Group, where what will be won isn’t money but bragging rights over every other department, my personal bracket has been destroyed. I am no longer in last place, but I am in the penultimate position. Not surprising considering the fact I picked Villanova to make it to the final four, did not see Baylor and SMU getting upset and forgot that Wichita State is a grossly underrated team while KU is a grossly overrated team. It comes out that I may not be the ultimate loser in The Observer Group, but my PCT stands at 4.4 percent (meaning my bracket is in the bottom 5 percent of brackets in terms of accuracy).
My bracket is bad. But I would like to defend myself in stating that sure it is difficult to be in the top 95th-percentile but it is also just as difficult to be in the bottom 5th-percentile (assuming the graph is a bell curve). And we should all be impressed with the people who do really well in their bracket and people who do really poorly in their brackets because it takes just as much talent to be in the bottom 5 percent as it takes to be in the top 5.
Also, go Irish! Beat Stanford!
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.