Last week I provided advice for how to pick one’s NCAA bracket. It’s only fair that I hold myself accountable and update the results. There was some good and some bad.

The Good

I said don’t pick Duke and came within one how did that not go in tip-in of being proven right within days. Whether they go on to win from here or not, this is pretty clearly not the 1991 UNLV team and thus shouldn’t have been picked by 40% of the country.

The Bad

I suggested the public picks too many favorites and suggested an approach that relies on the historic frequency of upsets. Instead, favorites won at a historic rate.

Typically, top 4 seeds capture 10 of the sweet 16 spots. This year, they got 14! Since the modern format began in 1985, only 12.5% of the regions have seen the top 4 seeds all advance. In other words, only once every two years should we see one region have all four favorites advance. This year, we had two regions where all four favorites advanced. That is only the fourth time this has happened.

To take it one step further, all 16 betting favorites won over the weekend! That is unprecedented. Also, 15 of the 16 lower seeds won (#5 Auburn over #4 Kansas was the only exception).

The Results

So it was an incredible first two rounds for chalk and that shows in the results of my bracket experiment.

The leader is the consensus approach which used the picks of the masses on ESPN and in a close second is the chalk method which just picked the lowest seeds in every game.

At the bottom, sadly, is the stock picking method of trying to research historic trends and blend in some anti trend picks to stick out. Next to last is the contrarian method which is essentially the opposite of the consensus approach. Finally, in the middle is the analytics approach which also tends to be anti-consensus.

The experiment though is far from over! All five strategies have each of their final four teams alive and 7 or 8 of their Elite Eight picks. So it is still a wide open contest!

FYI, if you missed them last week, I also wrote about AM Best and FASB in addition to basketball!