Oddacious


Collecting my notes on sports analytics and other assorted topics

NBA March Madness

How to bring the world's best tournament to the world's top basketball league

For sports fans, March Madness is an event like no other. It’s where the top 64+ teams in college basketball get together to play a win-or-go-home single elimination tournament. Every year I wonder why the NBA doesn’t get in on the action.

Looking to Year 2

Hockey Pool Part 3: Models and draft strategy

So let's talk a little bit about another drafter child, the simul_drafter (or “Sim” for short), and how I designed her. Sim can, at each pick, simulate the rest of the draft. Then Sim calculates how far ahead or behind our resulting team is, by our team-level metric, versus the best other team (I could compare against average, but really I want to be able to beat the next best team). If I do this across a selection of players, I can figure out which one resulted in the best overall pick.

My rookie year

Hockey Pool Part 2: From the draft through the playoffs

My season turned around when I figured out that I really wasn't playing the game. I wasn't taking advantage of simple tactical moves that would help me win categories, at no cost. When I awoke to this and started playing, along with making a couple of trades to balance out my roster, things started looking up.

Thinking about hockey pools

Hockey Pool Part 1: Getting my head around the problem

I'd never been in a hockey pool before. Not a real one. I had done a couple of simple ones, with René and other classmates, but those were pick-em-and-leave-em. That was by design. We all wanted to focus on grad school (and drinking – two non-mutually exclusive concepts) and didn't want the winner to be the person who slacked off on studying the most. Most of my effort then was drafting. I played with no bench, no lineup changes, no trades. Now I was invited to a real pool. How was that going to work out?