Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports

An official journal of the American Statistical Association

Editor-in-Chief: Steve Rigdon, PhD

4 Issues per year


CiteScore 2016: 0.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.288
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.358

Online
ISSN
1559-0410
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Building an NCAA men’s basketball predictive model and quantifying its success

Michael J. Lopez
  • Corresponding author
  • Skidmore College – Mathematics and Computer Science, 815 N. Broadway Harder Hall, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Gregory J. Matthews
Published Online: 2015-02-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jqas-2014-0058

Abstract

Computing and machine learning advancements have led to the creation of many cutting-edge predictive algorithms, some of which have been demonstrated to provide more accurate forecasts than traditional statistical tools. In this manuscript, we provide evidence that the combination of modest statistical methods with informative data can meet or exceed the accuracy of more complex models when it comes to predicting the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. First, we describe a prediction model that merges the point spreads set by Las Vegas sportsbooks with possession based team efficiency metrics by using logistic regressions. The set of probabilities generated from this model most accurately predicted the 2014 tournament, relative to approximately 400 competing submissions, as judged by the log loss function. Next, we attempt to quantify the degree to which luck played a role in the success of this model by simulating tournament outcomes under different sets of true underlying game probabilities. We estimate that under the most optimistic of game probability scenarios, our entry had roughly a 12% chance of outscoring all competing submissions and just less than a 50% chance of finishing with one of the ten best scores.

Keywords: basketball; NCAA; predictive modeling; simulations; tournament

References

About the article

Corresponding author: Michael J. Lopez, Skidmore College – Mathematics and Computer Science, 815 N. Broadway Harder Hall, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866, USA, Tel.: +9784072221, e-mail:


Published Online: 2015-02-24

Published in Print: 2015-03-01


Citation Information: Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, ISSN (Online) 1559-0410, ISSN (Print) 2194-6388, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jqas-2014-0058.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter. Copyright Clearance Center

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Qi Ge
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017
[2]
Andrew Hoegh and Scotland Leman
Applied Stochastic Models in Business and Industry, 2017

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in