🏀 Do you love data? 🏀 Do you love basketball? 🏀 Welcome to March Madness! 🏀
It's March again! Time to fill out a bracket. If you want to put some thought (or research) into your choices, you can download a printable version from FanDuel.
The first game begins on Thursday (3/16) at 12:15pm ET. Until the game starts, you can create a bracket at espn.com.
If college basketball isn't your thing, 2023 might be the year to fill out a bracket anyway. It's predicted to be a super competitive tournament, without any obvious choices for the fans who have been watching all season. According to ncaa.com, there's no clear favorite team to win the 2023 tournament.
This year, everybody has a chance of picking the winner! 🏀
Also, the intersection of sports predictions and data is fascinating. We can use the regular season stats as a starting point, but tournament performance is a variable no model can predict. In fact, it is nearly impossible to create a perfect March Madness bracket (keep reading to learn exactly how hard it is!).
But, it might be fun to try, right?
March Madness Spotlight: Toward Data Science
Sports fan or not, the science that goes into ranking teams based on their previous performance is a compelling topic. Toward Data Science authors show us how data has become one of the biggest superstars in the March Madness tournament. 🤩
Jane Thompson has some great advice on building a winning bracket.
Giovanni Malloy explains the NET rankings system in college basketball.
Just for Fun Spotlight: Be the Trivia Hero
The Best Schools has compiled a list of 25 fun facts about the March Madness tournament. Why just speculate about the odds of creating a perfect bracket when you can impress your friends with the real number?
Did you know that you are more likely to win the lottery than to create a perfect bracket? 👀
...and how much does employee productivity decline during March Madness? 😬
Future Creator Spotlight: Opportunities Available!
🏀 Are you working on a data project tied to March Madness? Are you blogging about how your picks are doing vs. professional sports analyst picks?
If so, let us know and we would love to feature your project in a future edition of Data Columns!
🧐 Are you learning about data analysis or hoping to build a sample portfolio of your work?
Check out Kaggle, an invaluable compilation of data and code for projects. The site has over 50,000 free and public datasets, including one for March Madness. If your data skills are already sharp, sign up for one of their contests and you might win some $$$.