A logistic regression/Markov chain model for NCAA basketball

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Naval Research Logistics, ISSN: 0894-069X, Vol: 53, Issue: 8, Page: 788-803

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Kvam, Paul H.; Sokol, Joel
Mathematics; Engineering; Decision Sciences; NCAA basketball; Markov chain model; logistics regression; Applied Statistics
article description
Each year, more than $3 billion is wagered on the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament. Most of that money is wagered in pools where the object is to correctly predict winners of each game, with emphasis on the last four teams remaining (the Final Four). In this paper, we present a combined logistic regression/Markov chain model for predicting the outcome of NCAA tournament games given only basic input data. Over the past 6 years, our model has been significantly more successful than the other common methods such as tournament seedings, the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, the RPI, and the Sagarin and Massey ratings. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.