March Madness bracketology: Using data, science and more to predict the winners

Microsoft, the NCAA’s official bracketologist, hopes to improve its 73 percent accuracy rate (Severino Galván, The Denver Post) Using big data, machine learning and the wisdom of the crowd helped Microsoft pick 73 percent of the winners in last year’s March Madness. This year, its Bing Predicts tool includes NCAA stats, new and revised rules and “millions of data points” from searches and social networks to produce a bracket out of the 9 quintillion (that’s 9 with 18 zeros behind it) possible outcomes. “Last year, we had 73 percent accuracy and finished in the top 30 percent of brackets on ESPN.com,” said Laura Jones, a Microsoft spokeswoman. “That was our first year, and our algorithms get better every year.” Using data science to analyze college basketball teams could get you…


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