In 2015, Ranker’s voters predicted seven teams in the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight. With the field for the Sweet 16 now set, we can see how well our rankings can predict how far a particular team will in this year’s tournament. This has been a historically tumultuous season of college basketball. Top-10 teams lost regularly, upsets were commonplace, and no teams were safe.
We can use Ranker’s data to see which team is having a year that matches their historical reputation as a powerhouse, and vice versa. Ranker visitors drew a clear line around North Carolina, Michigan State, Kansas and Villanova as favorites to make it into the Final Four. Kentucky is notable because it ranks highest in the overall best college programs poll, but is not predicted by our voters to end up in the Final Four. Villanova, which is not ranked among the top historical teams, is the main outlier of teams that aren’t as strong in the same way that Kentucky and UNC are, yet is expected to have a good tournament showing.
The rankings provide an insight into how our voting data is based on the current season instead of a bias towards teams based on their longstanding reputations.
Here are our results from the 2015 tournament:
Here are our results for this year’s tournament: