March Madness Is Here. Are You Ready To #HackTheBracket Again?

by Jeff Allen

posted on 03-18-2019

College basketball is big news every March, when more than 5.6 million viewers on average per game watch the “March Madness” NCAA basketball tournament.

Along with the amazing games the tournament produces, roughly 70 million people create brackets to predict the outcome of each one. Given all the guesswork involved, the odds of randomly filling out a perfect bracket are about one in nine quintillion! (Compare that to the odds of winning the $1 billion Powerball lottery last October, which was about 1 in 300 million.) Mathematicians have tried to use models to improve the odds, but even that doesn’t guarantee a perfect score.

Last year we decided to get involved in the fun. For the first time ever, we opened Adobe Analytics to the general public for free so fans could better predict March Madness winners based on which team had a statistical advantage in each category. And it worked: our bracket generated leveraging Adobe Analytics data finished in the 98th percentile.

This year, we’re bringing it back. And, it’s better.

The success rate of Adobe Analytics-generated brackets is no surprise to us, considering the plethora of data it can analyze, such as height, offensive rating, and free throw percentage. Adobe Analytics also slices and dices the data however you want it to.

Using data from Sportradar, we loaded into Adobe Analytics the intelligence of more than 56,000 games with over 100 key metrics that could be used to predict winners. We included just about everything — from three-point shooting, to effective field goal percentage, to offensive and defensive rebounding.

As a result, the way one fan looks at the data will be very different from what another fan looks at. Our hypothesis: when you uncover what is leading to the NCAA players’ and teams’ best performances with Adobe Analytics, your odds of creating a successful bracket skyrockets.

Here’s what’s different this year:

Basketball fans everywhere: we invite you again to #HackTheBracket, and let’s see if we can bring our bracket success rate even higher. Click here to get started. And see how you can win tickets and travel to this year’s championship game in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 8.

Topics: News

Products: Analytics