This is the time of year when even the most casual of sports fans turn their attention to baskets, brackets, and the big dance that is March Madness. Even before the games tip off next week, there’s plenty of college hoops drama to be found. Some teams find themselves in a precarious position, desperately fighting to either preserve their places in the postseason tournament or to somehow kick the door in to secure a precious berth.
Researchers at Unanimous A. I. were interested in trying to determine which of 16 teams on the bubble were likely to get a bid for March Madness on Selection Sunday this weekend. The research team brought together 35 enthusiastic college hoops fans in an UNU Swarm to rank the prospects of these 16 teams. Which teams can breathe easy on Sunday? Which teams will have their dreams shattered? The Unanimous A.I. pre-tournament college basketball swarm ranked all these bubble teams.
Using the ranked lists of swarm participants, researchers had this UNU put the teams in order from least likely to get a bid on Sunday at the bottom on up to the handful of teams who are guaranteed and invitation to “the dance.” As you can see by the chart, the UNU swarm thinks fans of USC, Marquette, Providence and even struggling Xavier can breathe a bit easier this weekend.
We also asked this same group to think hard about how the NCAA Tournament might play out in the coming weeks, and to try to predict which teams would end up in the Final Four. This is an even tougher task than trying to figure the teams on the bubble due to the number of variables that are possible between now and the Final Four games in April.
Although this ranked list is highly speculative, it’s worth noting the amount of faith the UNU Swarm had in returning champions Villanova, as well as a Kansas team that suffered a humiliating conference tourney loss just before the swarm was convened. Perhaps also worth paying attention to is the lack of confidence the swarm showed in Gonzaga, despite the Zags having nearly bulldozed to a perfect record this year.
Unanimous A.I. is far from finished with March Madness. We’ll be back next week with our tournament picks and brackets, and we’ll continue to follow the tournament until they’re cutting down the nets in Phoenix.