By Chris Nay, IBM Research Communications
Every year, top U.S. men’s college basketball teams enter a month-long tournament for a chance to be crowned champion. And it always stirs up fan and pundit predictions to pick potential winners of all 63 games.
To really give the pot a stir this year, Berkshire Hathaway, Quicken Loans and Yahoo Sports teamed up to create the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. Choose every match up correctly and win $1B.
While the odds of picking a perfect bracket in the challenge were steep, it didn’t put off millions of basketball fans everywhere from filling out brackets. However, it only took 48 hours, 25 games (and several upsets) for every bracket to be eliminated. (See an infographic that breaks down the bracket data.)
What the data told us
IBM Research worked with Berkshire Hathaway, who provided the bilion dollar prize, and Quicken Loans, who provided the data, to set up a private SoftLayer cloud to protect and ensure the integrity of the bracket’s data. But as data and analytics geeks, the team couldn’t help wonder about what insights they could glean from people’s picks. Was there was any logic to the madness?
As you can see in the infographic, participants who hunted for Cinderella didn’t necessarily have any more success than those who went chalk. As we head toward the last three games this weekend, the data predicts a Florida vs. Wisconsin final … with a win for Florida!
Predictions by Percentage