Breaking Down Brackets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Although we won't admit it most NCAA bracket picks are made based on a little knowledge, some hunches, coin flip guesses, and our personal hatred of certain teams. Not these guys.
"Whatever the math says no matter how much we think it maybe should flip we never variate from that," says Davidson Mathematics Professor Tim Chartier.
Chartier and three of his students use two models that take who a team plays during the season and the point differential to pick their winners. Sounds easy right?
"We have 347 unknown ratings and 347 equations. We use a computer to solve all of those simultaneously," Chartier explains.
Then these mathematicians run various models to take momentum into consideration.
"The last two weeks games which should cover most of the conference tournaments would be weighted the highest," says Davidson student Erich Kreutzer.
Their goal: "Take a team that's performed really well all season but whoever makes the seeds just hasn't really noticed," says Davidson student Colin Thomson.
Last year one of the Davidson methods was in the top 97% of 4.6 million brackets submitted to ESPN.
This year President Obama says he's taking Kansas over Kentucky to win it all, Erich & Colin see it a little differently.
"I have Kansas over Duke in the finals," says Kreutzer. Thomson's bracket has the same winner.
Using math or gut instincts, officially no one has ever turned in a perfect bracket.
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