Superstar statistician Nate Silver is pretty good at reading numerical trends and making predictions. At the age of 31 he was named to Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list, based in part on his showstopping ability to nail 49 of the 50 state outcomes in the 2008 presidential election.
Well now Silver is a scholarly 38, which means he probably is even smarter, but you may not like what his FiveThirtyEight website is serving up as the NCAA tournament goes into full swing today.
According to Silver’s busy staff of data drones, the 25-7 Miami Hurricanes have a 1 percent chance of winning the national championship. In fact, they’re only being given a 14 percent chance of getting past the Sweet 16.
Since the Hurricanes have never advanced beyond the Sweet 16 and they believe this might just be the year, this crunching of numbers also crunches the soul just a bit.
Playing the entire bracket out, one analytical showdown at a time, the Silver machine has Villanova knocking Miami off in the Sweet 16 round and Kansas winning it all. Probably, speaking in probabilities, that is.
If it makes Miami fans feel any better, Florida and FSU aren’t even in the tournament field. That means the Hurricanes’ 1 percent chance of winning the NCAA title is infinitely better than the zero percent I can confidently hang on the Gators and Seminoles.
Would you be mad if I said my prediction is that Miami will get to the Elite Eight and no farther? Sorry I asked.
Hey, it’s foolishness thinking that any man or computer or combination thereof could really see what’s coming in March Madness. That’s why we all love it, and why we’re so upset when the upsets end.
For the record, I’ll take Maryland to knock off Kansas in the Elite Eight round and Oklahoma to win the title.
Also for the record, my guesses have never been good enough to win a routine office pool, much less to take the shine off Silver.