The Science of Bracketology

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
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Contingencies - March/April 2009
The computerized ranking system of three Georgia Tech professors could keep you from taking a bath in your annual March Madness office pool. ...It all began after Georgia Tech missed out on participating in the annual tournament some years ago. Sports analysts had considered the team to be a win or two short of making the field. Discussing the team's fate, professors Paul Kvam and Joel Sokol recalled a game in which Georgia Tech was defeated by the University of Tennessee on a last-second half-court shot. Sokol, an assistant professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, says that he and Kvam, a professor of statistics, wondered whether the improbable shot really meant that Georgia Tech was a worse team than if the shot had failed. To test their thesis, they did some research and found that close games are essentially tossups, with the higher-ranked opponent winning barely more than half the time. As a result, the professors concluded, winning a close game shouldn't be worth as much as winning easily. Read more>>>

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  • Created By: Barbara Christopher
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 5, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:06pm