Davidson professor develops program to help enhance March Madness brackets

(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)

DAVIDSON, NC (WBTV) - It started as a research project in Davidson Professor Tim Chartier's class. The idea was to use statistics and data from a basketball season to help make more educated picks during the NCAA Tournament bracket selection process.

It's now evolved into something called "bracketology." It's the idea of using complicated math formulas to sort out which teams might fare better in the tournament.

"You can try to use your intuition, but very few of us have much intuition on all 64 teams that play in those first two days," said Professor Chartier. "One way to use the method is simply to use it to get insight on our intuition."

Consider that most people use their memory and perhaps a little research to make their picks. The program Chartier and his students have designed, gives access to thousands of games worth of data and several different variables to weight that data.

Chartier says the method once produced a bracket that beat 97 percent of 4 million others.

But there's one variable no math whiz could ever possibly predict, and that's chance.

Upsets will always happen in sports no matter the teams, but "bracketology" simply gives users a chance to put some serious science into their selection process.

To check out the program, click here.

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