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Which College Basketball Analyst Has The Least Terrible Bracket So Far?

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With the exciting first two rounds of March Madness 2013 in the books, let’s see how the pundits are faring with their brackets so far. We scored 31 experts from ESPN, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, and CBS Sports, throwing in President Obama for good fun. For a recap of our 2012 rankings, see this post.

The following table ranks the pundits based on their average “Yield” (rightmost column) of their 48 total picks. As a reminder, the Yield measures the average payout, using Vegas odds (futures for Sweet 16), had you placed $1 bets on each of the pundit’s selections. This approach fits well with March Madness, since it mimics bracket scoring systems that award extra points for predicting upsets. We also break out the results for each round, including by Hit Rate (% correct).


Hit Rate (Rd of 64

Yield (Rd of 64)Hit Rate (Rd of 32)Yield (Rd of 32)Hit Rate (Total)Yield (Total)
Seth Greenberg, ESPN69%$0.9775%$1.4271%$1.12
Brad Evans, Yahoo75%$1.1756%$0.8769%$1.07
Andy Glockner, SI72%$1.0769%$1.0671%$1.07
Dennis Dodd, CBS53%$0.7656%$1.5554%$1.02
Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo69%$1.0069%$1.0669%$1.02
Mateen Cleaves, CBS69%$0.9569%$1.1269%$1.01
John Gasaway, ESPN72%$0.9869%$1.0671%$1.01
Pete Gillen, SI72%$1.0256%$0.9767%$1.00
Wally Szczerbiak, CBS69%$0.9669%$1.0669%$0.99
Jeff Goodman, CBS72%$1.0556%$0.8767%$0.99
Jay Bilas, ESPN72%$1.0063%$0.9669%$0.99
"Chalk" (higher seed)69%$0.9469%$1.0669%$0.98
Pete Thamel, CBS72%$1.0456%$0.8567%$0.97
Peter Tiernan, CBS72%$1.0063%$0.9069%$0.96
Dan Wetzel, Yahoo69%$0.9169%$1.0669%$0.96
Barack Obama63%$0.8769%$1.0665%$0.93
Jerry Palm, CBS69%$0.9956%$0.7965%$0.93
Gary Parrish, CBS72%$1.0250%$0.6965%$0.91
Dick Vitale, ESPN66%$0.9163%$0.9065%$0.90
Seth Davis, SI59%$0.8763%$0.9560%$0.90
Greg Anthony, Yahoo66%$0.9156%$0.8863%$0.90
Alaa Abdelnaby, CBS66%$0.9056%$0.8963%$0.90
Kelli Anderson, SI69%$0.9750%$0.6963%$0.88
Colin Cowherd, ESPN69%$0.9450%$0.7163%$0.86
Doug Gottlieb, CBS66%$0.8956%$0.8063%$0.86
Stewart Mandel, SI69%$0.9944%$0.6060%$0.86
Joe Lunardi, ESPN63%$0.8363%$0.9063%$0.86
Gregg Doyel, CBS63%$0.9250%$0.6958%$0.85
Matt Norlander, CBS59%$0.8456%$0.8058%$0.83
Pat Forde, Yahoo59%$0.8156%$0.7958%$0.80
Jeff Borzello, CBS56%$0.7956%$0.7956%$0.79
Andy Katz, ESPN63%$0.8250%$0.6958%$0.78
Luke Winn, SI56%$0.7356%$0.7956%$0.75

Overall, the pundits performed quite poorly, with only 8 of the 31 returning a positive yield and 11 of 31 outperforming “Chalk” (always picking the higher seed). Seth Greenberg of ESPN had the best opening weekend bracket, thanks largely to his pick of Oregon to make the Sweet Sixteen. Brad Evans (Yahoo) and Andy Glockner (SI) tied for the second spot ($1.07), with Evans posting the best Round 1 hit rate (24/32) and Yield ($1.17) of the group.

Here is how the pundits did collectively with their Sweet Sixteen predictions, with only Greenberg picking Oregon and Dennis Dodd (CBS) picking Wichita State. No one pegged La Salle or Florida Gulf Coast to make it.

Team# Pundits
Michigan St.30
Ohio St.30
Miami (FL)28
Wichita St.1
La Salle0
Florida Gulf Coast0

We will update the rankings following the Championship game, using Final Four and Championship futures odds.


Is your bracket already busted? Well, here’s your chance at prediction redemption. PunditTracker allows you to predict each game of the tournament, starting with all the Sweet Sixteen games this week. Click here to make your picks now. The Top 3 Users will become Featured Pundits on our site, meaning that your name could be part of the above rankings next year!

PunditTracker's mission is to bring accountability to the prediction industry by cataloging and scoring the predictions of pundits.

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