Raymond’s highly scientific predictions for the 2014 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 followers of of the basketball team's official Twitter account, or one tenth of the number of followers of the school's athletic department if the school's basketball team does not have its own dedicated Twitter account. The fraction 1/10 is completely arbitrary, but that's what makes this algorithm highly scientific. And yes, 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."

This works similarly to last year's algorithm based on Facebook Likes, but now I'm using Twitter because Facebook is for old people. That may be why last year's predictions were so awful.

Once the field has been narrowed to four teams, the results are determined by a coin flip. (I should be doing this when the field reduced to eight teams rather than four, but I've been doing it wrong for so long, it's now a tradition. Also: highly scientific.)


Opening Round Games

NC State (23,060a) NC State
(2,306)
Xavier (6,394a)
Albany (3,969a) Mount St Mary's
(942)
Mount St Mary's (942)
Iowa (34,643) Iowa
(34,643)
Tennessee (33,945)
Cal Poly (777) Cal Poly
(777)
Texas Southern (1,551a)

Group 1

1 Florida (16,048) Florida
(16,048)
Florida
(16,048)
Florida
(16,048)
Kansas
(71,239)
16 Mount St Mary's (942)
8 Colorado (9,395) Colorado
(9,395)
9 Pittsburgh (5,661)
5 VCU (10,966a) SF Austin
(1,387)
UCLA
(13,052)
12 SF Austin (1,387)
4 UCLA (13,052) UCLA
(13,052)
13 Tulsa (1,512)
6 Ohio State (35,574) Ohio State
(35,574)
Syracuse
(41,327)
Kansas
(71,239)
11 Dayton (7,612)
3 Syracuse (41,327) Syracuse
(41,327)
14 Western Michigan (351)
7 New Mexico (17,182a) Stanford
(4,886)
Kansas
(71,239)
10 Stanford (4,886)
2 Kansas (71,239) Kansas
(71,239)
15 Eastern Kentucky (1,741)

Group 2

1 Arizona (17,523) Arizona
(17,523)
Arizona
(17,523)
Arizona
(17,523)
Wisconsin
(30,913)
16 Weber State (3,365a)
8 Gonzaga (9,559) Oklahoma State
(14,271)
9 Oklahoma State (14,271)
5 Oklahoma (15,869) Oklahoma
(15,869)
Oklahoma
(15,869)
12 North Dakota State (1,538)
4 San Diego State (13,813a) San Diego State
(1,381)
13 New Mexico State (4,510a)
6 Baylor (18,310) Nebraska
(18,484)
Nebraska
(18,484)
Wisconsin
(30,913)
11 Nebraska (18,484)
3 Creighton (13,585) Creighton
(13,585)
14 Louisiana-Lafayette (909)
7 Oregon (15,640) Oregon
(15,640)
Wisconsin
(30,913)
10 BYU (12,953)
2 Wisconsin (30,913) Wisconsin
(30,913)
15 American (1,629)

Group 3

1 Virginia (8,022) Virginia
(8,022)
Memphis
(35,231)
Michigan State
(63,034)
North Carolina
(153,062)
16 Coastal Carolina (4,763)
8 Memphis (35,231) Memphis
(35,231)
9 George Washington (2,811)
5 Cincinnati (15,545) Cincinnati
(15,545)
Michigan State
(63,034)
12 Harvard (3,059)
4 Michigan State (63,034) Michigan State
(63,034)
13 Delaware (9,419)
6 North Carolina (153,062) North Carolina
(153,062)
North Carolina
(153,062)
North Carolina
(153,062)
11 Providence (9,413a)
3 Iowa State (26,881) Iowa State
(26,881)
14 North Carolina Central (868)
7 Connecticut (10,417) Connecticut
(10,417)
Connecticut
(10,417)
10 St Joseph's (2,608)
2 Villanova (3,574) Villanova
(3,574)
15 Milwaukee (3,719a)

Group 4

1 Wichita State (15,957) Wichita State
(15,957)
Kentucky
(62,164)
Kentucky
(62,164)
Duke
(102,300)
16 Cal Poly (777)
8 Kentucky (62,164) Kentucky
(62,164)
9 Kansas State (445)
5 Saint Louis (6,604) Saint Louis
(6,604)
Louisville
(14,844)
12 NC State (23,060a)
4 Louisville (14,844) Louisville
(14,844)
13 Manhattan (3,290)
6 Massachusetts (5,863) Iowa
(34,643)
Duke
(102,300)
Duke
(102,300)
11 Iowa (34,643)
3 Duke (102,300) Duke
(102,300)
14 Mercer (2,749a)
7 Texas (14,097) Texas
(14,097)
Michigan
(96,095)
10 Arizona State (4,941)
2 Michigan (96,095) Michigan
(96,095)
15 Wofford (945)

Finals

Kansas (3) Kansas
(3)
Kansas
(3)
North Carolina (2)
Wisconsin (1) Wisconsin
(1)
Duke (0)

Oh, and if you need some advice on how to fill out your bracket, you can watch Slate's Mike Pesca fill out his. Okay, maybe he's not giving advice, so the whole if/then thing was a bit of a lie. Chris Wilson has actual advice.

Comments (7)
  1. me says:

    Wisconsin always chokes in the first or second round.  Source, I went to Wisconsin.

  2. bored says:

    The number of rounds in the NCAA tournament does not approach infinity. The elapsed time of the last minute of the clock does.

  3. mikeb says:

    I'm going to enter this in Warren Buffet's billion dollar bracket challenge.  

    If I'm lucky, Raymond won't bother and I won't have to split the billion. I call "dibs" – so no one else better do this.

  4. Fun fact: the expected number of rounds that a given entrant will last in a single-elimination tournament is two*. So Wisconsin apparently does as well as can be expected.

    *Well, OK, it *approaches* two as the number of entrants (and hence the number of rounds) approaches infinity.

  5. Ted says:

    Go Heels! The choice to move to a coin flip for the final four once again shows that the officials are clearly biased against us. This actually isn't that ridiculous a bracket this year: There are one or two in the early rounds that seem odd, but pretty quickly it collapses to a very reasonable prediction.

  6. Larry Hosken says:

    I think you could get this published if you sprinkled the phrase "big data" in there a few times.

  7. Larry Hosken says:

    …or if you made it a post on some site called SB Nation: http://www.sbnation.com/…/ncaa-bracket-picks-2014-twitter-followers-are-all-that-matter

Comments are closed.

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