NCAA basketball: postmortem for Round 1

Herewith an update on how the
2008 NCAA Bracket Econbrowser Challenge
stands after round 1.

As you can see from the leaderboard for our ESPN Econbrowser group, day 1 leader M. Goodrum (who had 5 separate entries correctly predicting all of the first 16 games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament), has slipped into a 14-way tie for 8th place with a still very respectable 24 out of 32; (you can view each person’s predictions by clicking on the entry name on the leaderboard). I’m also in that tie for 8th place with each of my 3 entries. (1) “Seed”, which simply picked the higher seeded team in each match, would also have 24/32– but what’s the fun of that, even if it’s the most rational thing to do? (2) “Benchmark” always picks the favorite from Team Rankings, which is not always the top seed, but has the same success rate so far. (3) “Hamilton1″ was for fun, whose most successful bet so far looks like the call for #12 seed Villanova to make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

John Whitehead from Environmental Economics is in a two-way tie for second place, on the strength among other things of his correct call for 12th-seeded Western Kentucky to upset #5 Drake. Then again, he also incorrectly picked #11 Kentucky to upset #6 Marquette. Do I see a pattern here?

In undisputed first place at the end of round 1 is C. Unsworth, who predicted exactly 3 upsets in round 1 (Kansas State, Davidson, and Texas A&M) and was right about each.