Methodology - 2023 March Madness Picks

Updated April 21, 2024 at 04:14 PM

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How This Works

The 2023 March Madness picks are primarily based on FiveThirtyEight's projections/probability forecast for the tournament, available here. It combines those predictions with my own attribute for team scoring power, called PPG Index. (Points-Per-Game) You can read more below.

Where The Data Comes From

The FiveThirtyEight values of course come straight from their site, and for the scoring data I export each team's ESPN stats into the model, which can be viewed by clicking that green button at the top of this page.

How The PPG Index Works

Average PPG (PLayer)

The PPG Index first looks at the team's average PPG for each scoring player, just as is.

Team PPG (Total)

The index then factors in the team's average offensive scoring throughout the season as a whole.

Finding Our Index Value

The index essentially divides the Team PPG by 10, adds it to the average player PPG, and multiplies the result by 100 to get our index value. These values, similar to Elo or other power rankings, are designed to be in the 1000-2000 range.

How I Forecast The Probability

Once I have the FiveThirtyEight probability and the PPG index, the rest is pretty simple. I simply compare the two teams' PPG Indexes as percentages of their sum, and then average those percentages with FiveThirtyEight's. Please note that given the fact the 538 is a much more sophisticated model, it is weighted as 70% of the calculation, whereas the other 30% of the prediction is from my formula. Once we have the final probability, we have our picks!