Raymond’s highly scientific predictions for the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament

Once again, it's time for Raymond to come up with an absurd, arbitrary criterion for filling out his NCAA bracket.

This year, I look at the number of fans of the basketball team's official Facebook page, or one tenth of the number of fans of the school's athletic department, whichever is greater. The fraction 1/10 is completely arbitrary, but that's what makes this algorithm highly scientific.

Notes on this year's algorithm:

  • Counting fans also includes people who hatewatch the team. I accept this, because if a lot of people hate a team, it's probably because they're "too good."
  • There are over a hundred thousand fans of the stub page for North Carolina Basketball. Too bad they don't count.
  • Others who don't count: Fans of unofficial pages. Now, you might think that this is an unscientific exclusion, becaus a fan of an unofficial page is still a fan. On the other hand, if an unofficial page out-draws the official page, then I blame the school for doing a bad job. Also: highly scientific.
  • Syracuse has not one but two spam pages for their basketball team. (You can tell it's a spam page because it has no meaningful content and was set up by a person selling SEO services.) Both of them have more fans than the official page, one of them by a factor of over 100×.
  • Some schools have a Facebook icon on their Athletics page, but it links to ESPN. I guess I know who their sponsor is.
  • Montana's Facebook icon links to the Facebook home page. Somebody wasn't paying attention in "Web design 101" class.

Once the field has been narrowed to four teams, the results are determined by a coin flip. (I should have done this when the field reduced to eight teams rather than four, but I messed up and am too lazy to fix it. That's what make this highly scientific.)


  • Correct predictions are in green.
  • Incorrect predictions are in red.
  • (!) marks upsets correctly predicted.
  • (*) marks upsets predicted but did not take place.
  • (x) marks actual upsets not predicted.

Opening Round Games

Middle Tennessee (2,509) Saint Mary's
Saint Mary's (2,654)
Liberty (3,281) Liberty
North Carolina A&T (4,324a)
Boise State (26,559a) Boise State
La Salle 1 (3,010a)
James Madison (247) James Madison
Long Island (755a)

Group 1

1 Louisville (45,835) Louisville
(50,525) (*)
16 Liberty (3,281)
8 Colorado State (1,915) Missouri
9 Missouri (357,124a)
5 Oklahoma State (3,428) Oregon
(50,525) (!)
12 Oregon (505,253a)
4 Saint Louis (4,209a) New Mexico State
(690) (*)
13 New Mexico State (6,902a)
6 Memphis (64,967a) Memphis
Michigan State
11 Saint Mary's (2,654)
3 Michigan State (69,455) Michigan State
14 Valparaiso (3,664)
7 Creighton (8,175) Cincinnati
(12,660) (*)
10 Cincinnati (126,600a)
2 Duke (82,675) Duke
15 Albany (4,060a)

Group 2

1 Kansas (126,999) Kansas
(126,999) (x)
16 Western Kentucky (7,513a)
8 North Carolina (686,843a) North Carolina
9 Villanova (33,889)
5 VCU (17,954a) Akron
(2,245) (*)
12 Akron (2,245)
4 Michigan (433,854a) Michigan
13 South Dakota State (867)
6 UCLA (14,376) UCLA
(14,376) (x)
11 Minnesota (10,389)
3 Florida (1,086,046a) Florida
14 Northwestern State (2,299)
7 San Diego State (18,304a) Oklahoma
(39,465) (*)
10 Oklahoma (394,654a)
2 Georgetown (28,997a) Georgetown
(2,899) (x)
15 Florida Gulf Coast (2,120)

Group 3

1 Indiana (132,015) Indiana
16 James Madison (247)
8 NC State (10,409) NC State
9 Temple (538)
5 UNLV (5,822) UNLV
(5,822) (x)
12 California (1,001)
4 Syracuse (2,528) Montana
(7,702) (*)
13 Montana (77,020a)
6 Butler (87,481a) Butler
11 Bucknell (1,596)
3 Marquette (18,379) Marquette
14 Davidson (523)
7 Illinois (77,222) Illinois
(77,222) (x)
10 Colorado (7,961)
2 Miami (11,061) Miami
15 Pacific (4,850a)

Group 4

1 Gonzaga (3,698) Gonzaga
Wichita State
(10,446) (!)
Ohio State
16 Southern (3,884a)
8 Pittsburgh (86,187a) Wichita State
9 Wichita State (10,446)
5 Wisconsin (26,509) Wisconsin
(26,509) (x)
12 Mississippi (3,198)
4 Kansas State (46,355a) Kansas State
(4,635) (x)
13 Boise State (26,559a)
6 Arizona (36,578a) Arizona
Ohio State
11 Belmont (3,956a)
3 New Mexico (97) Harvard
(778) (!)
14 Harvard (7,781a)
7 Notre Dame (254,683a) Notre Dame
(25,468) (x)
Ohio State
10 Iowa State (13,968)
2 Ohio State (33,536) Ohio State
15 Iona (2,549a)


Duke Indiana
Kansas Ohio State
Ohio State
Comments (12)
  1. John says:

    This bracket seems more likely to happen than most of the previous brackets you've come up with.

  2. What does the "a" mean?

  3. John says:

    @Maurits:  I assume it means fans of the entire athletic department, which he then divides by 10 before making the comparison according to his formula.

  4. Jim says:

    This not fair, for the big University such as Ohio State, they have more than 100,000 student. The St. Mary can never compete with that!

  5. Brian Marshall says:

    @Jim: And Division I basketball is fair? Can St. Mary's recruit the same people as Ohio State, or Duke? When taken to the extreme, if sports was "fair", we may as well just flip a coin. It's the unfairness, and the stories that come out of how individuals and teams react to that unfairness, that makes sports interesting.

    Raymond, any thoughts that instead of using the absolute value of the "scientific" process and picking a winner, you could use the numbers to weigh the outcome of a percentile die roll? That way Gonzaga at #1 would at least have a chance to win over #9 Witchita State. Or would that be too "unscientific" (that is to say, less fun.)

    [I already used that highly scientific technique in 2008. It took a huge amount of time to format the results of manual dice-rolling, so I'm not inclined to try it again. -Raymond]
  6. Jim says:

    Right, they have more teams this year, even Harvard??

  7. Shawn says:

    Unless I'm missing something, it looks like you have Ohio St as an upset over Kansas in the final four since they're at 33,536 and Kansas is at 126,999.

    While Indiana would still win it all, Kansas would at least make it to back-to-back title games.

    [The final games are decided by a coin flip. -Raymond]
  8. Miles Archer says:

    Not a bad choice. Too bad there's no way to separate basketball fans from football fans. Oregon for instance has tons more fans since their football team has been good lately.

  9. Nick says:

    I don't know, having a Facebook icon actually go to Facebook's home page isn't the worst thing ever. Imagine if, instead, it went to some other service that started with an f or even some service that didn't even start with f (like MySpace)!

  10. Programmerman says:

    I like that you called the groups by number instead of their geographic regional names to avoid the inevitable question about why, for instance, a west coast team plays in the east region.

  11. Ian says:

    It looks like there is a slight problem with your final four pairings.

    You have Group 1 paired with Group 3, and Group 2 paired with Group 4.

    It should be Group 1 paired with Group 4, and Group 2 paired with Group 3.

    Time to re-flip!

  12. Nick says:

    @Ian: If it's possible for Indiana to play Ohio State in the final, does it really matter who the coin says they'll beat? It doesn't meaningfully affect the outcome when the only goal is to select winners. Seems like an edit is better than a reflip.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content