Nate Silver is a famed political number-cruncher, and was once a revered baseball statistician. So when he goes to fill out his March Madness bracket, he doesn’t just pick whichever names sound good. Instead, the New York Times writer has analyzed data from all the tournament games dating back to 2003 and used it to create a computer prediction model, which takes into account four sets of computer rankings, the tournament seeds, and the AP preseason rankings.
“There are a lot of factors that we did evaluate that turned out not to matter much,” he reveals, like free-throw shooting or coach experience. “Don’t buy into the hype—the hype about a ‘hot’ team, or one that ‘knows how to win’ … or most of the other stuff that people talk about on television.” Of course, Silver’s advice isn’t perfect either. His prediction, which you can see here, picks all four 1-seeds to go to the final four. And we all know how likely that is.