Predicting the champion in all 32 college basketball conferences – The Athletic


With the calendar flipping to a new year, conference play will kick into gear. For me, that means it’s time for the computer to spit out projections for conference champions. The format is similar to last year’s version, when my computer’s top choice prevailed in 21 of the 32 conferences, beating all known human prognostications.

I can’t guarantee another victory like that, but my human friends often have a couple of biases at this point in the season that cause them to struggle against my computer. First, they can overreact to early-season information. Just because the preseason favorite has lost a game or two that it shouldn’t have doesn’t mean we should completely scramble the league hierarchy. And second, humans tend to overvalue strength of schedule. A team can be good even if it doesn’t play a good schedule.

But perhaps the biggest strength of this approach is that it can properly handle the unbalanced schedules that are common in today’s era of…

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