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Quant Facts

Applying numbers to sporting events.

Who Will Win the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament?

Championship factors related to sports psychology were studied -- based on research with Dr. Jay Granat, psychotherapist. The results are based on championships going back several decades – and across major sports including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and professional tennis and golf.

Our work has shown that traits associated with hard work, focus on fundamentals, consistency, and minimizing errors can help to win championships. Indeed, these factors may be overlooked by many. Since our book, Who Will Win the Big Game came out in 2010, our published predictions based on these sports psychology "quant facts” have correctly predicted the winner of major sports events more than 60% of the time – while picking underdogs regularly.  In this article, we apply these results to the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game between North Carolina and Villanova.  

Leadership - On the Court

Data has shown that leadership on the court has a major impact on the odds of winning championships.  Although most sports we analyze are team sports, the team with better individual leadership tends to win more championships than not.  In NCAA Men's Basketball, teams that have more Consensus All-Americans (First of Second team) -- have won 60% of championship games.  North Carolina (NC), with PF Bryce Johnson, is the only All-American on the court in tonight's championship game.  Edge: NC. 

Leadership - Behind the Bench

Leadership behind the bench is even more strongly-related to winning the big game.  The coach with more Final Four victories has taken about two-thirds of the championships.  This edge also goes to North Carolina, with Roy Williams' storied career.  Edge: NC.

Defense

Our research has shown that defense does indeed win championships.  This is especially true in college basketball title games.  Teams with the better FG% defense have won an overwhelming percentage of NCAA championship games.  This edge goes to Villanova, with its .402 FG% defense versus NC's .413.  Edge: Villanova.  

Consistency

Consistency, as a sports psychology factor, is typically more related to winning championships than "shinier" stats.  In college basketball, the three-point shot has gained in importance over the years.  Villanova has been shooting very well, and they take this factor as well, .359 to NC's .319 3PT%.  Edge: Villanova.  

Fundamentals

Attention to the basics and fundamentals can be as important as skill and athleticism -- especially in close games.  The team with a higher free-thrown percentage (FT%) has won an overwhelming percentage of championship games.  Villanova takes this category, .782 to NC's .748.  Edge: Villanova.  

Summary: Leadership vs. "Game"

Interestingly enough, tonight's championship game will come down to NC's leadership versus Villanova's "game."  That is, NC takes both leadership factors: on the court and behind the bench.  Villanova takes each of the statistical game categories.  This prompted us to take a look at "strength of schedule" -- which gives a very slight edge to NC.  Still, with the quant fact sports psychology factors favoring Villanova 3-2, our official prediction will be on Villanova.  

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Carlton Chin, a graduate of MIT, is a portfolio strategist and fund manager -- and has worked on sports analytics with sports organizations. Jay Granat is a psychotherapist and founder of StayIntheZone.com. They are authors of “Who Will Win the Big Game? A Psychological & Mathematical Method” and have previously been quoted by the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, and ESPN.  

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Let the Madness begin!     Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament is set to start and March Madness has officially arrived.  Based on a variety of metrics and power ratings, below is a list of teams that will give your bracket value.  This is especially true for bracket pools that reward "picking underdogs."  That is, certain pools are structured to award more points for picking worse seeds.

Value in 2016 NCAA March Madness Brackets

Arizona (No. 6 seed)

Wichita St (11)

Duke (4) -- partly because the West Regional may be wide open (some would argue that the West is the weakest region)

Kentucky (4)

WVU (3)

Purdue (5)

Gonzaga (11)

Michigan St (2)

Kansas (1) -- a No. 1 seed, but a consensus top dog in the tournament. 

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Carlton Chin, a graduate of MIT, is a portfolio strategist and fund manager -- and has worked on sports analytics with sports organizations.  Carlton is co-author of “Who Will Win the Big Game? A Psychological & Mathematical Method” and has been quoted by the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, and ESPN.  

© 2016 SportsBlog.com. All rights reserved. Interactive One Millennial
Be the first to Like or Reblog this post
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Championship factors related to sports psychology were studied -- based on research with Dr. Jay Granat, psychotherapist. The results are based on championships going back several decades – and across major sports including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and professional tennis and golf.

Our work has shown that traits associated with hard work, focus on fundamentals, consistency, and minimizing errors can help to win championships. Indeed, these factors may be overlooked by many. Since our book, Who Will Win the Big Game came out in 2010, our published predictions based on these sports psychology "quant facts” have correctly predicted the winner of major sports events more than 60% of the time – while picking underdogs regularly. The results below are based on every Super Bowl ever played, since the first Super Bowl in January 1967.

Defense

Across all major sports, the numbers show that defense has a greater relationship with winning championships -- than offense. Defense is associated with hard-nosed, gritty work. Defense is typically more consistent – and interestingly, can overcome glitzy offenses - which may have "run up numbers" against weaker opponents. A large majority of Super Bowls (62%) has been won by the team with the better defense, measured by "points against." Both the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos have strong defenses, but Denver takes this category.  Edge: Denver.

Minimizing Errors

Champions need to execute at a high-level, while minimizing errors and mistakes. The quarterback, as the team’s offensive leader, has a major impact in determining championships. In particular, quarterback interceptions during the regular season are great predictors of Super Bowl success. The team with fewer interceptions during the regular season has gone on to win a majority of all Super Bowls. Cam Newton and the Panthers had a strong season -- leading the NFL in offense and points scored this year, while throwing just 10 INTs.  Denver struggled at the quarterback position, throwing 23 INTs.  Edge: Carolina.

Consistency

Even with today’s high-powered NFL offenses, ball control remains one of the most important offensive indicators studied in both professional and college football. The team with a better running game, as measured by "average yards per rush," has won a majority of all Super Bowls. The Panthers edged Denver in this consistency category. Edge: Carolina.

Defensive Consistency

Similarly, stopping your opponent’s running game is related to winning the big game. The team with the better rushing defense has a leg up in winning the Super Bowl. Denver led the league in this category during the regular season. Edge: Denver.

Big Game Experience and Summary

Denver appeared in the 2014 Super Bowl (although they were blown out by Seattle that year). Results have shown, however, that big game experience can be an indicator of success. This factor goes to Denver, tipping the "quant fact" scales in favor of Denver, 3-2. This will be another battle of offense versus defense.  Since inception, the quant facts have won at a rate of more than 60% even while picking underdogs from time to time.  For the 2016 Super Bowl, we are going with an underdog again!  At the time of this article, Denver is a 6-point underdog.    

Other Popular Articles

Super Bowl Square Pool Odds - By Quarter -- updated for 2016; VERY popular article

Original "Who Will Win" article(Wall St. Journal on 2010 Super Bowl)

2015 World Series - Prediction

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Paper

Carlton Chin, a graduate of MIT, is a portfolio strategist and fund manager -- and has worked on sports analytics with sports organizations.  Jay Granat is a psychotherapist and founder of StayIntheZone.com.  They are authors of “Who Will Win the Big Game? A Psychological & Mathematical Method” and have previously been quoted by the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, and ESPN.  


© 2016 SportsBlog.com. All rights reserved. Interactive One Millennial
Be the first to Like or Reblog this post
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