Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

Trying to appeal to the highest common denominator. I can't give you 110% effort, but I will give you 107.4% effort. If you're a spammer and leave me a comment, I will make fun of you. I use twice as many semicolons compared to most other bloggers

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Brent's Computer vs. the NCAA evperts: Year 3

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This week on NUMB3RS:
Don: we found this notebook full of formulas and calculations, can you help interpret it for us?
Charlie: It looks like whoever used this notebook was filling out their NCAA bracket.

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I don't watch college basketball.

Ever.

If it weren't for the fact that then No. 1 Memphis lost to No. 2 Tennessee last month, I would literally know nothing about this year's college basketball season.

Why should that stop me from filling out an NCAA 64 Tourney bracket?

It's a free country!

I don't have time to watch college basketball. I need that time to take pictures like this:

Rubber Chicken

Some people who have no idea who the teams are pick the winners based solely on the team nickname. That's fun, but picking why a Commodore would win over a Tar Heel justifies the same kind of weird arguments like picking why paper beats rock.

Two years ago, not knowing what I was doing, I did a whole bracket based on formulas and a random number generator. Going up against people who actually knew who the teams were, I beat 2/3 of Americans who filled out a bracket on ESPN.

Last year, I refined my method using historical statistical percentages that were researched by a friend. I did great in the first round! I was ahead of 92% of other people's brackets. Unfortunately, that method did very poorly in all the other rounds, and I finished in the lowest 1%. Admittedly, that's where I should finish as I don't watch any of the games. I didn't get any of the final four right, with Florida losing in the first round. Ouch.

This year, I will use the same method as last year for the first round, and my older method for all the other rounds. In fact, I will fill out all my brackets on a piece of paper without looking up which teams are actually involved, because it doesn't matter.

ESPN allows you to fill out 10 different brackets. Last year it was only 5, so I filled out 5 sets of numbers, then plugged those numbers into the actual brackets and here are the results of each of those brackets which are now on my ESPN.com profile. (and my goofy title for each bracket.)

Bracket 1: Inclement Waffles

Winner: UCLA over no. 3 seed Louisville. The Cinderella team: San Diego

Bracket 2: Audacity of Hoop

This bracket came out all loopy with a bunch of strange upsets all over the place. Texas was the overall winner, but meeting in the final 4 were two No. 5 seeds with Notre Dame winning over Clemson to advance to the finals. No. 10 seeds Arizona and South Alabama each had 3 wins.

Bracket 3: Witticism of Mr. Bagel

This was the exact opposite of bracket 2. Each 1 and 2 seed made it to the round of 8. The overall winner was Memphis and the only Cinderella team was No. 11 Kentucky. What's wild about this was when I ran the numbers, I didn't do all of one bracket first and then move to the next. I did all of the first rounds first, then all of the second rounds. etc...

Bracket 4: Insufficient Bisque Space.

This was a little more normal. The overall winner was UNC. A surprising final 4 entry was local Vanderbilt. I didn't plan this as the "local team who I'm rooting for." I suppose it's possible though as they did knock off Tennessee last month, which was the only other game I heard about from the whole year. The Cinderella team was #14 Cornell.

Bracket 5: Apothecary Fisher

This was weird again. It almost looked like a repeat from bracket #4 as UNC won it all, Vanderbilt made it to the final 4 and Cornell was a Cinderella team. If those three things actually happen, some local sports talk station will hire me as an analyst! One odd thing that was different is that it also had Michigan State in the finals.

ESPN lets me set 10 different brackets and I am too lazy to rerun the numbers, so I virtually held my bracket up to a mirror on Brackets 1 and 3 and filled it out again.

Bracket 6: selffaw tnemelcni

Sienna is the Cinderella team and the finals has Kansas over Stanford

Bracket 7: legab rm fo msicittiw

St. Joseph's is the Cinderella and the finals is UNC over UCLA.

Sometime after the April 7th finals, I'll come back and tell how I did. That is, unless it's so bad that I hang my head in shame for a full year again.

P.S. So let's say you had to pick the teams based on the school nickname. You have the Kent State Golden Flashes against anybody. Your justification would have to get into the realm of the transcendental. Then there's the Georgetown Hoyas. What's a Hoya? According to a brief Google search, Hoya is a company that makes Camera filters. Big Red? Who would win in a three way struggle between a Governor, a Hilltopper and a Boilermaker? I vote for the Hilltopper, but they'd all lose to a Mountaineer, which is also probably the only human of the bunch that could take a Wildcat, except for possibly a Torero.
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