OVER-VALUED AND UNDER-DOGGED: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE SEEDING OF MID-MAJOR TEAMS IN THE NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Keywords:NCAA Basketball Tournament, Selection Committee Seeds, Betting Lines, Final Spreads, Conference Affiliations.
AbstractWe test whether the NCAA Selection Committee’s tournament seeding process is biased with respect to teams from the Mid-Major conferences, by analyzing Seeds, Spreads, Betting Lines, and the participants’ conference affiliations for the 819 games of the 13 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments played from 2000 to 2012. We demonstrate that the Selection Committee overvalues Mid-Major teams that receive a favorable seed and undervalues those that receive unfavorable seeds. Because Mid-Major teams receive more unfavorable seeds than favorable ones, by a nearly two-to-one ratio, the net results are to the detriment of the Mid-Major conferences. We show that the betting market appears to acknowledge the Selection Committee’s bias and makes adjustments.
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