Students Prove Statistics Key to Predicting Success in College Basketball

Move over cool uniforms and intriguing mascots. As part of the ASA’s new student contest, “2017 Statsketball Tournament,” high-school and undergraduate students have shown statistics can predict success and even surprise in the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness.

Statsketball 2017 is comprised of two challenges: the “Pick ‘Em” Upset Challenge and the “Build Your Own Bracket” Draft Challenge.

The most popular projections for the Upset Challenge (based on the collection of student entries) include the following:

  • The most predicted upset is for Wichita State (seed 10) to defeat Dayton (seed 7), with 77 percent of entries making this prediction
  • Other popular upset picks include 10-seed Marquette over 7-seed South Carolina (62 percent of entries) and 12-seed Middle Tennessee over 5-seed Minnesota (60 percent of entries)

As for the Draft Challenge, the students’ selections of teams shied away from 1-seed teams that had a low risk, high cost. The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), which was a 3-seed, was the most selected draft team. Interestingly, students often selected middle-seeded teams for their brackets due to their bargain draft point cost and chances of advancement.

“Sports statistics and analytics is a popular specialization in the fast-growing career field of statistics and data analysis. This contest offers students a chance to look at the numbers driving headlines about one of the most exciting sporting events of the year,” said ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein.

Stay tuned for more exciting contest revelations! Winners will be announced after the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game on April 3.