Bracketology: Statistician Misses Cinderellas, Outperforms Tournament Committee


Wes Colley

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Remember Wes Colley?  He’s a senior research scientist at University of Alabama in Huntsville and he runs a BCS computer system.  We got his rankings for the NCAA bracket.

This is Colley a few weeks ago: “Nothing interesting to report in the first few rounds.  No Cinderellas this year.”

This is Colley now: “It’s fun this year to have some Cinderellas emerge.  I think a little bit more this year than most.”

Colley knows about Cinderellas.  After all, it was 14-seed Harvard that took down New Mexico in the first round — New Mexico being the team Colley’s rankings had winning it all.

But the numbers just can’t account for everything.

“When you have these mid-majors, there’s always that question: Can they really deliver the goods under that spotlight?  Obviously, New Mexico was not ready for primetime,” said Colley.

But Colley says when he goes to judge his rankings, he doesn’t measure them against the outcome of the tournament.

Good thing.

He’s looking instead to compare them to the tournament seedings.

Colley explains, “I’m doing sort of one upset better than the committee, so I’m happy with that.  Any time I can be close to or even beat the committee, I believe that to be a success for the rankings.”

A success for the rankings, but if you followed them like I did, your bracket might have a few disappointments.

For what it’s worth, Colley’s rankings have Louisville beating Michigan in the championship.

Colley the basketball fan comes down on the same side of the matchup.

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