Need help with your NCAA bracket? A KU professor has built a statistical model

Gonzaga is most likely winner of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, according to a University of Kansas professor’s statistical model.

Jonathan Templin, associate professor of educational psychology, has developed a model that rates teams on how well they score, how well they defend, their home court advantage and their level of consistency. Templin’s algorithm ran 10,000 tournament simulations. Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the West region, emerged as the champion 24.6 percent of the time.

Villanova, Duke and Kentucky are also good bets, according to Templin’s system. His algorithm thinks St. Mary’s, a No. 7 seed, is the most likely Cinderella story. The Gaels make the Final Four in 15.3 percent of Templin’s brackets.

Templin’s system likes Kansas — the team finished No. 3 in his team rankings. But the model worries about KU’s draw in the tournament, which may require the Jayhawks to beat Louisville and Kentucky to reach the championship game.

The model thinks Kansas State is likely to beat Wake Forest in tonight’s game to make the field of 64.

Templin has a Ph.D. in quantitative psychology. He has published research related to improving math education and predicting the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease. He’s also sports fan and the co-mentor of a KU student club for those interested in sports analytics, according to a KU news release.

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