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Midwest Regional NCAA Basketbal 2013: Louisville is #1. Duke counts down to playing Louisville... Or do they?

Stashed in: Awesome, So you're saying there's a chance..., Basketball, March Madness 2013, Nate Silver

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NCAA Basketball S-Curve no longer exists in 2013.

So says Barry Petchesky:

To even make it to Atlanta, Louisville has to escape a quadrant that includes Duke, Michigan State, mid-major power St. Louis, frisky Oklahoma State, and even Pac-12 champs Oregon, who are 21-4 when star point guard Dominic Artis plays. Any one of these teams is capable of a Final Four run, but the real eyebrow-raiser is Duke—to most observers, the third- or fourth-best team in the nation.

Just a few years ago, the tournament selection process would have kept Duke, most likely the committee's highest-rated 2-seed, away from overall No. 1 Louisville. It was called the "S-curve," and it worked kind of like a snake draft. The best No. 1 would tend it find itself with the worst No. 2, the best No. 3, the worst No. 4, and so on, in an attempt to better balance the regional brackets. But the S-curve is dead.

It's been on its way out for a few seasons, as we saw last year when the committee gave an unprecedented peek into the selection process. 

All four teams with a certain seed—say, the twos—are still ranked, but rather than be distributed by that ranking, geographic rewards and uniform conference distribution take precedence.

Committee chair Mike Bobinski confirmed in an interview last night that the S-curve wasn't used at all this year.

This means that the committee may have had Duke at No. 6 overall, but keeping them away from top-seeded Louisville took a backseat to considerations like separating Louisville and Georgetown/Marquette/Syracuse, keeping the various Big Ten powerhouses away from each other, and rewarding the Blue Devils by keeping them fairly close to home.

Okay, so this year Midwest is the Region of Death.

Is a Louisville-Duke showdown inevitable? Or can Michigan State, St. Louis, Oklahoma State, or Oregon take them out?

Nate Silver says:

Nate Silver NCAA 2013 Midwest Prediction

Gonzaga is a #1 Seed! Woo!

2013 NCAA Bracket

Blindfold brackets if you want to try without knowing which team you're picking:

Nate Silver's bold predictions:

Louisville has a 23 percent chance of winning.

Indiana has a 19.6 percent chance of winning.

Florida has a 12.7 percent chance of winning.

Kansas has a 7.5 percent chance of winning.

Everyone else combined has a 37.2 percent chance of winning.


All of Nate Silver's analysis:

What about THE ZAGS!!!

6.1 percent chance of winning. Barely higher than the second seed in the region, Ohio State.

Nate Silver Gonzaga Zags 2013 NCAA March Madness Prediction


Winners and losers of the March Madness 2013 draw:

Winner: The selection committee. With both the at-large field and the seeds, the committee did as well as could be expected. A few quibbles, including Cal-UNLV, but no major gaffes.

Loser: Kentucky. The defending champion missed the cut. So much for the committee selling out for TV ratings.

Winners: Middle Tennessee State and La Salle. They made the cut -- the last two, in fact -- ahead of Kentucky and all its future pros.

Loser: Indiana. The Hoosiers lost the competition for the No. 1 overall seed and, as a result, would play their Sweet 16 game in Washington, D.C. -- instead of Indianapolis.

Winner: Gonzaga. The first team outside the six power conferences to receive a No. 1 seed since Memphis in 2008. And the Zags have a dream draw.

Loser: Louisville. The No. 1 overall seed is in the same region as Duke and Michigan State. Yikes.

Winner: The Mountain West. Five teams in the tournament, four of them seeded No. 8 or higher.

Loser: The Pac-12. Five teams in the tournament, three of them seeded 10 or lower.

Winner: Arizona. The draw sets up well for the Wildcats, if they can get past Belmont in the round of 64.

Loser: Oregon. The Ducks were a No. 11 seed before getting dropped one line for bracketing purposes. That's five spots below a team they beat twice, UCLA.

Winner: The little (and medium) guys. Teams from outside the six major football conferences collected 11 at-large bids (equaling last year's total).

Loser: The SEC. Three paltry bids and once again, no teams from Alabama. No matter. Spring football is underway.

Winner: Mike Bobinski. The committee chairman (and Xavier athletic director) was ready for the tough but fair questions thrown his way by CBS analysts.

Loser: Ron Wellman. The Wake Forest athletic director takes over from Bobinski next year and has a high bar to clear.

Winner: The third round. Three delicious matchups loom: Kansas-North Carolina, UCLA-Florida and New Mexico-Arizona.

Loser: Duke. With their starting five intact, the Blue Devils beat Ohio State and Louisville and lost just one game. And yet they're a No. 2 with Michigan State and Louisville in their path.

Winner: Chaos. With no dominant teams and (mostly) balanced regions, the next three weeks should be off the charts.

Harvard ruined New Mexico-Arizona, and Minnesota ruined UCLA-Florida. Dammit.

I'm calling it for Oregon, right here, right now.

What?! Why Oregon?

Nate Silver has them at under 2 percent:

Nate Silver NCAA 2013 Midwest Prediction

Unless you're reading something I'm not?

So a win would be H U G E.

Well, yeah. But you're so likely to lose. I mean the actual Nate Silver odds are 0.0%.

That's not good. :)


And now you say:

So you're saying there's a chance.... - PandaWhale

Bingo.  :-)

I love this page you made about 8 infallible ways to fill out your bracket:

Thank you!

12th ranked Oregon beat 5th ranked Oklahoma State, 68-55.


Next up they face off against #4 Saint Louis on Saturday...

And how about Harvard disposing of New Mexico? Boom goes the dynamite!

Now it gets interesting .....

Go Oregon go!

Oregon ducks cheerleaders gif

And Oregon advances to the Sweet 16!!!

How did you know? Nate Silver only gave them 17.5% chance of Sweet 16!

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