The NCAA Basketball Tournament has been one of the premier college sports events for 80 years. With now 68 teams competing in just a few weeks for the title of National Champion, basketball fans and non-fans alike have vied to predict the winner, along with the most accurate bracket. In recent years, the tournament as a whole is based on more data and analytics than ever, with the improvements in maintaining big data, as well as advances in technology’s power to analyze it. More and more data is able to be logged with the increase in computational power, and more statistics are able to be calculated from these details. While the tournament as a whole is called “March Madness” because of the unpredictable nature, these analytics are becoming increasingly more accurate at predicting the outcomes of all 67 games .
In recent years, Adobe is helping make these analytics more accessible to the average spectator, not just experienced data scientists, sports analysts, or your “bracketeers.” The unpredictable nature of the sport, such as last minute shots, is even calculated (to a more or less predictability) in the analytics, taking into account each teams most exciting games of the season. Last year, Adobe predicted the bracket to the top 2%, and hopes to be even more accurate this year. The data now consists of 3.5 million rows, compared to last year’s 50,000 rows.
Jeff Allen, the senior director of product marketing at Adobe, said, “If everyone can cheat, then it’s not cheating, ” on the company’s Hack the Bracket technology. What do you think about this increased availability of analytics. Is it ruining the fun of the sport, or is it making bracket predicting more fun and accessible to everybody? Do you think the technology will continue to improve, or is the game too unpredictable in nature for even the most advanced capabilities?