March Madness Winner

Well, March Madness has come and gone this year. My personal bracket performed . . . fairly poorly. I picked Gonzaga to win it all, so at least I had half the finals right. But I only had 1/4 of the final four. 4/8 of the elite eight, and 7/16 of the sweet sixteen. Granted, it was a year full of quite a few upsets, so I definitely wasn’t alone, but still, I came in 9th in the challenge, out of 15 teams that entered. (More or less)

I say more or less because this year I did three test entries (that counted as part of the 15). The first was autogenerated by coin flip. ESPN randomly chose winners for each game. That bracket came in dead last, which was expected. The second was done using ESPN’s “expert analysis.” Basically it ran through each of the games and picked who they thought would win according to the data they had on each time. That team came in 5th, which was quite a bit better than I expected, and definitely leaves something to be said for the value in just letting the experts make the picks for you.

The third approach was done by just always picking the better seed to win each game. No upsets. No cinderella stories. And that one . . . came in second. If Gonzaga would have won last night, that third bracket would have won the whole thing. Granted, the reason it did so well is that the two “best” seeds went to the finals, but it’s still a little discouraging to think that all that deliberating on who would win which game, and which upsets I had to watch out for, all paled in comparison with just going for the better team each time.

However, the good news is that a human actually beat the ranking system, and so I’m pleased to announce that Rachel Cundick wins the prize and gets to name a character in THE AXEMAN. Which is handy for me, because I don’t really like coming up with names, and I’ve got a number of unnamed characters at the moment who would love having a moniker.

Thanks to everyone who played, and catch you next year!


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