forecasting poorly

March 23, 2013

(moderately tweaked excerpt from here)

How hard would it be to get ALL of the first round games in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament wrong? I mean, that would be pretty tough, right? Given that among the multiple millions of brackets submitted to ESPN this year, none got all the first round games right, it would seem hard to do the inverse too, right? So i’m thinking that next year i organize the “anti-confidence” NCAA pool. Instead of gaining points for every game you correctly predict, it’ll consist of losing points for every game you get right. I.e., your aim will be to incorrectly pick as many games as possible. It would seem easy to incorrectly pick the champ, final-four and even the elite 8. But my hunch is that people would even struggle to get all Sweet 16 teams wrong (see e.g., this year’s Kansas State, Wisconsin, La Salle, Ole Miss “pod”), and missing every team making the round of 32 would be almost impossible.

I think we’re going to have to put this to the test. Something like -1 point for every first round game right, -2 for round 2, -4 for sweet 16, -8 for elite 8, -16 for final 4 picks, -32 for final 4 winners and -64 for getting the champ right. Highest score (closest to zero) wins. How poorly do you think you could do?