With both the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments both heading to the Sweet 16, and the NIT down to a “Spectacular 7” with three more quarterfinals tonight to determine the Final Four, let’s review where things stand with my 18th annual NCAA & NIT Pools.

In the men’s pool, Jon Caplin, a sports statistician in Chicago and Becky’s cousin, led for most of the weekend, but relinquished sole possession of first place when his predicted Creighton-over-Duke upset didn’t come true. Eric Morisset, our friend in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood, tied Jon at that point, and they are the co-leaders heading into the second weekend, with 173 points out of a possible 240. Six contenders are just a point behind at 172: Ginny Zak (Becky’s mom), Jeff Freeze (2008 women’s pool champ), Brian Kiolbasa (2005 men’s pool champ), Joshua Hammond, Ken Stern and Elizabeth Styles. Full standings here. Possible outcomes here.

In the women’s pool, Jon Caplin also led after a 15-1 first day, but tumbled to 61st place with a 13-3 second day and an 11-5 second round. In his place, Lauren Fowler (a.k.a. NDLauren) took the lead for a time, then was tied by Joe Hiegel when #6 Delaware upset #3 UNC — and then both she and Hiegel were surprassed by Scott Anglemyer when #6 LSU upset #3 Penn State. Now it’s Angelmyer, of Shawnee, KS, leading with 196 points out of a possible 240; Fowler, of Smyrna, GA, and Hiegel, of Wisconsin, tied for second with 193 points; and the quartet of Greg Kagan, Ken Wagner, Michael Rosenkrantz and Gary Kirby (2007 & 2008 NIT pool champ) a point behind them with 192. Full standings here. Possible outcomes here.

Finally, in the NIT Pool, Steve Vivier of Connecticut (father of Brendan’s best childhood friend Sean Vivier) and Ross Binder of Minneapolis (editor of the Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants) are tied with 162 of a possible 207 points. Randy Styles (winner of the LRT’s Bowl Pick ’em Contest and Oscar Pool in 2011), Gidal Kaiser and Michael Watkins are close behind with 159 points each. Full standings here. Possible outcomes here. More details information about “what-if scenarios” will be available after tonight’s games.

Again, for more frequent updates, “like” the pools’ Facebook Page. Also, follow me on Twitter.

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Comments on "Pool leaders: Morisset & Caplin, Anglemyer, Vivier & Binder"

3 Responses to “Pool leaders: Morisset & Caplin, Anglemyer, Vivier & Binder”

  1. JD Says:

    Next year I suggest making an “all-chalk” bracket to see how we stack up to picking (non-)upsets and the like. The surprising number of upsets in the women’s tournament (except, of course, for Iowa State) has thrown me for a loop.

  2. Mike Says:

    He already does that for the men’s pool. It’s the entry labeled “All Favorites”

  3. Mike Says:

    So, this isn’t the style of write up Brendan does, but I did pull together some data.

    In the men’s pool, there are 22 contestants still alive. Ranked in order of the number of the remaining 128 scenarios in which they win, we have:

    Matt Thomsen 22
    Ryan Kessler 19
    Mike Boyd 12
    Mike Wiser 10
    Joshua Krause 9
    Pat McGriff 7
    Jimmy Smith 7
    Joe Wright 5
    Ian Auzenne 5
    Kevin Pilz 4
    Brooks Mason 4
    Joe Hiegel 4
    Mike Rollins 4
    John Schultz 4
    Tony Miller 4
    Yvette Webster 3
    Lief Olsen 2
    Rhett Umphress 2
    John Bishop 2
    Michael Crow 1
    Paul Freelend 1
    Erin Hall 1

    (The obsessed reader will notice that this sums to 132, not 128 — there remains a possibility for a tie for first, which I count in the victory totals of anyone who is part of that tie)

    However, not all scenarios are equally likely. As an example, Ryan Kessler wins in 19 of the remaining scenarios…but in every one of the scenarios in which he wins, either Marquette or Wichita State wins the overall tournament. In contrast, Joe Hiegel wins in only 4 scenarios, but these are the 4 scenarios where Florida beats Louisville in the championship, a much more likely result.

    To try to quantify probabilities of contestants winning, I took data from 538, the statistical projection site run by Nate Silver. He has listed the probabilities of each team winning in each of the remaining rounds. Using that data, I calculated what the probability of a team winning a game is conditional on knowing that it has advanced to that game. These numbers are incomplete, as they don’t take into account, the way Nate’s model does but doesn’t provide enough data to easily replicate, how likely a team is to win against a given particular opponent. That is, if Louisville defeats Duke, the numbers I am providing give them the same probability of advancing to the championship whether they play Ohio State or Wichita State to get there. Nevertheless, it’s a reasonable starting point.

    Taking this into account, we can rank the remaining contestants on their probability of winning the pool.

    Jimmy Smith 12.22 %
    Joe Hiegel 11.59 %
    Mike Boyd 10.95 %
    Matt Thomsen 10.90 %
    Joshua Krause 8.80 %
    Mike Wiser 8.07 %
    Pat McGriff 7.60 %
    Michael Crow 6.53 %
    Kevin Pilz 3.383 %
    Paul Freelend 3.380 %
    Ian Auzenne 3.36 %
    Yvette Webster 3.30 %
    John Schultz 1.92 %
    Rhett Umphress 1.71 %
    Mike Rollins 1.56 %
    Ryan Kessler 1.50 %
    Lief Olsen 1.10 %
    Brooks Mason 0.76 %
    Joe Wright 0.69 %
    Tony Miller 0.14 %
    Erin Hall 0.10 %
    John Bishop 0.02 %

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