Which NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Games Will Be Closest?
If you didn't watch the NCAA Tournament last week while following along with numberFire Live, then there's no way you got the full experience. This isn't me just selling you on our live, real-time analytics platform, either -- it's dope. It's awesome. And you need to be using it.
Throughout each contest, numberFire Live shows win probability changes based on how a particular matchup is going. If Kentucky's up 15 with just minutes to go, chances are their win probability is hanging out around 99 percent. If it's close throughout, win probability will hover at 50 percent.
Although each game technically opens up at an even 0-0 score, there are favorites. So, accordingly, numberFire Live adjusts for those favorites. In other words, some teams actually have a higher than 50 percent chance of winning the contest even before the first tip occurs.
That's where this article comes into play -- which games, based on our opening win probability numbers, look like they'll be closest in this year's Sweet 16?
Below is a chart showing just that.
|Rank||Game||nF Live Win Probability||Date|
|1||Michigan State vs. Oklahoma||Michigan State, 53%||Friday, 10:07 EST|
|2||Utah vs. Duke||Duke, 55%||Friday, 9:45 EST|
|3||Wichita State vs. Notre Dame||Wichita State, 59%||Thursday, 7:15 EST|
|4||Louisville vs. NC State||Louisville, 60%||Friday, 7:37 EST|
|5||Wisconsin vs. North Carolina||Wisconsin, 66%||Thursday, 7:47 EST|
|6||Arizona vs. Xavier||Arizona, 69%||Thursday, 10:17 EST|
|7||Kentucky vs. West Virginia||Kentucky, 75%||Thursday, 9:45 EST|
|8||Gonzaga vs. UCLA||Gonzaga, 76%||Friday, 7:15 EST|
Not surprisingly, the closest matchup in the Sweet 16 is between a soaring 7-seeded Michigan State team and a 3-seeded Oklahoma squad that's dropped the most nERD points (the number of points we'd expect a team to win by against an average opponent on a neutral court) this tournament among remaining teams. In fact, numberFire Live has the 7 seed opening up with better odds to win than the 3 seed.
One surprise could be the fact that Kentucky doesn't have the highest odds, per the platform. That honor belongs to Gonzaga, who opens up with a 76 percent win probability versus this year's Cinderella, UCLA.
Don't forget to follow these games with numberFire Live!