Scouting the 2009 NCAA Tournament

I’m going to devote a few posts over the coming weeks to identifying sleeper picks and the top overall teams for the 2009 NCAA Tournament.  No one gets his or her bracket exactly right, but it’s fun to try, and I hope to provide some helpful information to that end.

We’re getting to the part of the season where we have enough data to determine the pecking order for teams in the NCAA Tournament.  Of course, the NCAA has their way of doing things, via the RPI, but we can do them one better by using the best college basketball stats available.

My plan is to break this into four different posts: small conferences, middle-of-the-road conferences, power conferences, and top overall teams.  I plan to identify sleepers by comparing their actual statistical performance to popular perception, as judged by polls and other resources like Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology and the RPI rankings.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks, and let me know if I leave out a deserving team or miss the mark on a team I include on my list.

Below, you can see how I fared with my picks last year.  Correct picks are highlighted green, and incorrect picks are red, with the actual results in blue.  The numbers represent the team’s chance of winning a game in that round, based on KenPom’s winning percentages and Log5 analysis.

I’m bound to get lucky every now and then, but don’t expect me to get the national champ right every year.  I think 2000 (Michigan State) was my last correct title-winning pick.


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