Math Madness 4: Aftermath

Last night, the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team defeated Kansas University 67-59 to claim the school’s 8th NCAA Championship, just as I predicted about two seconds before tip-off. The point difference with 1:32 left was just 5 points. So, we can debate whether it was a close contest overall, even though the point differential was much larger for most of the game. As far as predictions go, it appears that I am either marginally clever or lucky1.

How did the Kentucky Wildcats pull off the win?

Neither team played with particular efficiency on offense. Their shot selection distributions tended to look like those of average teams, especially in their choice to shoot two point jump shots. As we talked about last night, shooting two point jump shots is correlated with losing.
Continue reading “Math Madness 4: Aftermath”

Math Madness #3: Jump Shots and Expectation

For those of you who do not embrace, much less embody, stereotypical geek indifference to athletics, you may have noticed that it is NCAA basketball tournament time. In fact, the final game between the Kansas and Kentucky is just about to tip-off. Living in the UK, I haven’t watched much college basketball this season, but I’m picking Kentucky in a close one.

Let me tell you why. Continue reading “Math Madness #3: Jump Shots and Expectation”

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