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NCAA Tournament Games: The Real Nitty-Gritty

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  • Coleman Jay

    (University of North Florida)

  • Lynch Allen K

    (Mercer University)

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    Abstract

    The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee annually selects its national championship tournament's at-large invitees, and assigns seeds to all participants. As part of its deliberations, the Committee is provided a so-called "nitty-gritty report" for each team, containing numerous team performance statistics. Many elements of this report receive a great deal of attention by the media and fans as the tournament nears, including a team's Ratings Percentage Index (or RPI), overall record, conference record, non-conference record, strength of schedule, record in its last 10 games, etc. However, few previous studies have evaluated the degree to which these factors are related to whether a team actually wins games once the tournament begins. Using nitty-gritty information for the participants in the 638 tournament games during the 10 seasons from 1999 through 2008, we use stepwise binary logit regression to build a model that includes only eight of the 32 nitty-gritty factors we examined. We find that in some cases factors that receive a great deal of attention are not related to game results, at least in the presence of the more highly related set of factors included in the model.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 1-27

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:5:y:2009:i:3:n:8

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