Nate Silver's 2013 NCAA Tournament Forecast

By Jason Priestas on March 19, 2013 at 12:30a
Nate Silver gives Ohio State a 5.8% chance to win the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Nate Silver, best known for calling the presidential winner in all 50 states last year (along with nearly all of the Senate races), just released his forecast for the 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament and he gives Ohio State the sixth-best odds to cut down the nets at 5.8%.

Silver goes on to provide odds for each team to advance by round and he has the Buckeyes with a 94.1% chance to win their second round matchup with Iona, a 73.2% chance to make the Sweet 16, a 45.9% chance to make the Elite 8 and then a 23.8% chance to make the Final Four and a 12.7% chance to make it to the championship game.

Ohio State's Odds of Winning by Round
RND of 32 Sweet 16 Elite 8 Final 4 Finals Champions
94.1% 73.2% 45.9% 23.8% 12.7% 5.8%

Louisville is his favorite with a 22.7% chance to win the championship, while Indiana checks in second at 19.6% and Florida is third at 12.7%.

Among the remaining Big Ten teams of note, Michigan is given 2.4% odds, Michigan State 2.1%, and Wisconsin 1.5%.

You can read up on his methodology in detail here, but in short, here it is:

Mostly these projections are based on a series of computer rankings that have had strong predictive power in the past. (Unlike the N.C.A.A.’s dubious R.P.I. formula, each of these computer systems accounts for margin of victory along with wins and losses.) To a lesser extent, the forecasts also rely on the N.C.A.A.’s 68-team “S-curve” — how it rated every team in the field — and preseason rankings, which serve as a measure of a team’s underlying talent level.

As for the West Region, Silver had the following to say:

What differentiates [No. 1 seed Gonzaga] is geography, something that is always a high-risk, high-reward proposition for teams in the western part of the country. If they’re placed in the West region, as Gonzaga is this year, they may benefit from playing a number of games against jet-lagged teams. Gonzaga could still face tough games against No. 8 Pittsburgh and No. 5 Wisconsin, for instance, teams that the computers regard as underseeded, but it will be easier when those games are played in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, rather than in Newark or Charlotte, N.C. Ohio State, conversely, faces a potential Round of 16 game against No. 3 New Mexico, a team that the computers are not all that fond of but whichwould be playing closer to home.

The Buckeyes tipoff against No. 15 Iona Friday night at 7:15 p.m. on CBS.


Comments Show All Comments

BrooklynBuckeye's picture

Aaron Craft doesn't get jet lag anymore because he flies the plane, it's like motion sickness in a car.

Jason Priestas's picture

That's just science.

Seth4Bucks's picture

I'm liking our chances as long as it's not a singing contest

I really love Craft and what he brings to the team. But good lord, he couldn't carry a tune to save his life.

D. Anthony's picture

It's a hell of a lot easier to predict political races when you can poll people who can tell you as an absolute, who they are going to vote for etc... This could only work in basketball if we had some absolutes like,  we know Ohio State is going to shoot 60% from 3pt range in the tourney and lead in rebounding and assists...without plugging in what can for the most part be considered a given or absolute, these predictions aren't very reliable at all.

D. Anthony

AndyVance's picture

Actually, Silver's methodology isn't half bad, and is at worst an improvement over the oft-maligned RPI and far more transparent than ESPN's new faux-metric. Hell, it predicted UK would win last year, so he can at least hang his hat on that, I suppose...

Torpedo Vegas's picture

I don't think Silver is claiming to make predictions here. He is just making a forecast of possible outcomes. If they played this tournament 100 times, Louisville would only win 22/23 of those times and they're his favorite. In short, you and Nate Silver are on the same page here.

jeremytwoface's picture

Florida at 12.7%? Hmmm....

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

740's picture

unlucky that this was posted here, seeing as my bracket was based on sagarin and kenpom, too. so, our brackets are the same, and now i'm screwed in the espn pool. this is my nightmare. commence meltdown.