The COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for the cancellation of both the men’s and women’s 2020 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I basketball tournaments. Starting from the point when the Division I tournaments and unfinished conference tournaments were canceled, we deliver closed-form probabilities for each team of making the Division I tournaments, had they not been canceled, under a simplified method for tournament selection. We also determine probabilities of a team winning March Madness, given a tournament bracket. Our calculations make use of conformal win probabilities derived from conformal predictive distributions. We compare these conformal win probabilities to those generated through linear and logistic regression on college basketball data spanning the 2011–2012 and 2022–2023 seasons, as well as to other publicly available win probability methods. Conformal win probabilities are shown to be well calibrated, while requiring fewer distributional assumptions than most alternative methods.
The American Statistician (ISSN 0003-1305; e-ISSN 1537-2731)
Chancellor Johnstone & Dan Nettleton (2023) Using Conformal Win Probability to Predict the Winners of the Canceled 2020 NCAA Basketball Tournaments, The American Statistician, DOI: 10.1080/00031305.2023.2283199