Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Settling a Score

The Wall Street Journal's daily sports page features a set of projected scores from AccuScore. Today's scores had the following two college men's basketball games:

NCAA Basketball: (5) Duke 77.1, Iowa St. 74.4

NCAA Basketball: (10) Michigan St. 68, (17) Wisconsin 63

I don't know how AccuScore makes projections, though I intend to find out. But I find it curious that Duke, the 5th ranked team in the country, is projected to beat unranked Iowa State by a mere 2.7 points, while 10th ranked Michigan State is expected to beat 17th ranked Wisconsin, its Big Ten rival, by 5.0 points. So Michigan State is projected to beat Wisconsin by a wider margin than Duke is projected to beat Iowa State, even though Michigan State is ranked lower than Duke, and their opponent, Wisconsin, is ranked higher than (unranked) Iowa State. As I said, I don't yet know how AccuScore makes these projections (or why one game has decimals in its projections, while the other does not). But something doesn't figure.


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