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Georgia Tech Professors Predict Final Four Match ­ps


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North Carolina vs. Duke basketball

Zimbio

The Logistic Regression Markov Chain (LRMC), a computer-ranking system designed by Georgia Institute of Technology professors, predicts that the basketball teams from the universities of North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Memphis, and Louisville will reach the NCAA Final Four. The ranking system predicts that the finals will be between North Carolina and Memphis, with North Carolina winning the championship. "There are a few instances where it disagrees with the seeding," says professor Joel Sokol, one of LRMC's developers. "On the other hand, our system agrees with the awarding of fewer at-large bids for mid-majors than in the past."

LRMC was developed by professors Sokol, Paul Kvam, and George Nemhauser. So far, the program has proven to be impressively accurate at predicting tournament results. Last year, LRMC correctly identified all Final Four participants. It also correctly predicted that Kansas would defeat Memphis in the championship. The LRMC formula accounts for scoreboard results, which teams are competing, home-court advantage, and previous margins of victory.

In addition to predicting winners, LRMC offers insight into teams that hold more, or less, potential than the NCAA seedings would indicate. For example, the 2008 predictions identified overrated teams such as Duke, Vanderbilt, and Connecticut, which all lost in the early rounds, and identified West Virginia and Kansas State as potential spoilers.

From Georgia Institute of Technology
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