Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Cubs at .500

The Cub Reporter used much of the off-season to describe the Cubs' off-season plan as "Project .500". The Cubs have decided to take that to extremes. After each of their ten even-numbered games they have had an even record. This is their sequence of games so far this season:


This looks like the type of sequence someone would make up trying to make the sequence look random.

I noticed this pattern when the Cubs were 7-7, but I wasn't sure if it was that unusual. The fact that they are the first team to go 1-1, 2-2 on up to 10-10, makes this a little more interesting.

Actually maybe we should not view it as that surprising. Assuming that each game has a 50% chance of the Cubs winning and each game is independent, the likelihood of them doing this is 1 in 1024. There have been somewhere over 2300 individual-team baseball seasons, so we might have expected someone to do this. Of course most teams in history had either a greater than or less than 50% probability of winning each game, so that probably explains it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Projected 2011 NCAA Basketball Field

As I did last year, I tried to come up with what my projection would be for the NCAA field if it was 96 teams instead of 68. One assumption I make is that they will take no losing teams. Last year this was a strong assumption, but this year it probably would not have made a difference. I will assume that all of the at-large NIT teams would have made it, plus Missouri St. Since there were 13 automatic bids for the NIT that still leaves eight additional spots to come up with. Wisconsin-Milwaukee was an automatic bid and a five-seed, while Harvard was an at-large and a six-seed. However, making Milwaukee a five-seed meant that they were playing Northwestern which means a lot less travel. I will thus not assume that they would have been selected (see below).

My final eight in order of selection:

Marshall: should be in

Maryland: should be in

Southern Miss: should be in

Minnesota: overall ok record but finished the year 1-9

College of Charleston: good RPI, good record and won regular season conference title

Hofstra: worse RPI than CAA-mate Drexel, but finished higher in conference

Wisconsin-Milwaukee: a UAB-type pick, regular season champion from a highly-rated conference (at least at the 96-team level). The high NIT seed is indicative of strong assessments of this team.

Baylor: Not a good record but from a big-time conference

Last 4 out: Central Florida, Drexel, Iona and Mississippi St.

Next 4 out: Valparaiso, JMU, Kent St. and Tulsa