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Who Makes the NCAA Tournament? Researchers at Illinois Can Help


Logo of NCAA March Madness 2018.

University of Illinois researchers have created invented a decision-tree model to simulate the process used by National Collegiate Athletic Association's Selection Committee for choosing college teams to participate in the NCAA Tournament.

Credit: National Collegiate Athletic Association

University of Illinois researchers think they have found a way to predict the selection of basketball teams for the NCAA Tournament.

The researchers invented a decision-tree model to simulate the process used by the tournament's Selection Committee, by comparing teams in pairs and evaluating which is the more dominant; their model correctly predicted 90% of the teams "on the bubble" between 2012 and 2016.

University of Illinois professor Sheldon Jacobson notes the model selected one team not chosen by the Committee each year, suggesting "There is a certain amount of human input and uncertainty that goes into the selection process."

From Illinois College of Engineering
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