What a PlayStation 3 thinks of the NCAA Tournament

As a semi-unemployed kind of fresh out of college kid, I have lots of free time on my hands. Since the NCAA Tournament field was announced on Sunday, I’ve spent some of my free time doing a fun Spring favorite of mine. That is, simulating the NCAA bracket on the latest college basketball video game – which this year is EA Sports NCAA Basketball 09.

My PlayStation 3 sure came up with some odd scenarios, but that is why I chose to do 40 simulations. I figure that is the best way to get a feel for the way the gaming system feels about the brackets overall. So, take the results at whatever value you feel they deserve. Here is the breakdown of what happened.

Midwest Region

1st Round Records (W-L: Team that won the series)

1) Lousiville vs. 16) Morehead State (you can’t do the field of 65 on the game, so I just picked Morehead State to win tonight’s Opening Round game against Alabama State): 30-10: Louisville.

8) Ohio State vs. 9) Siena: 23-17: Siena.

5) Utah vs. 12) Arizona: 22-18: Arizona.

4) Wake Forest vs. 13) Cleveland State: 27-13: Wake Forest.

6) West Virginia vs. 11) Dayton: 23-17: West Virginia.

3) Kansas vs. 14) North Dakota State: 28-12: Kansas.

7) Boston College vs. 10) USC: 24-16: USC.

2) Michigan State vs. 15) Robert Morris: 30-10: Michigan State.

Sweet 16 Appearances: Louisville 23, Kansas 19, USC 18, Michigan State 16, Arizona 13, Utah 11, West Virginia 10, Siena 9, Wake Forest 8, Cleveland State 8, Dayton 6, Ohio State 5, Boston College 5, North Dakota State 5, Morehead State 3, Robert Morris 1.

Elite 8 Appearances: Louisville 21, Kansas 13, Michigan State 9, Siena 7, USC 6, West Virginia 5, Wake Forest 3, Cleveland State 3, Utah 2, Dayton 2, North Dakota State 2, Ohio State 1, Arizona 1, Boston College 1.

Final 4 Appearances: Louisville 12, Kansas 7, Michigan State 6, Siena 3, USC 2, West Virginia 2, Cleveland State 2, Dayton 2, Utah 1, Wake Forest 1, North Dakota State 1, Boston College 1.

West Region

1) UConn vs. 16) Chattanooga: 29-11: UConn.

8) BYU vs. 9) Texas A&M: 20-20: Draw.

5) Purdue vs. 12) Northern Iowa: 34-6: Purdue.

4) Washington vs. 13) Mississippi State: 27-13: Washington.

6) Marquette vs. 11) Utah State: 28-12: Marquette.

3) Missouri vs. 14) Cornell: 25-15: Missouri.

7) California vs. 10) Maryland: 21-19: Maryland.

2) Memphis vs. 15) Cal State Northridge: 31-9: Memphis.

Sweet 16 Appearances: Memphis 23, Purdue 23, UConn 22, Marquette 17, Washington 13, Missouri 11, Maryland 9, Chattanooga 6, BYU 6, Texas A&M 6, Utah State 6, California 6, Cornell 6, Northern Iowa 2, Mississippi State 2, Cal State Northridge 2.

Elite 8 Appearances: Memphis 17, UConn 15, Purdue 11, Marquette 10, Washington 9, Missouri 5, California 4, Maryland 4, Chattanooga 3, BYU 1, Mississippi State 1, Cal State Northridge 1.

Final 4 Appearances: Memphis 10, UConn 8, Purdue 8, Washington 5, Marquette 4, Chattanooga 3, BYU 1, California 1.

East Region

1) Pitt vs. 16) East Tennessee State: 26-14: Pitt.

8) Oklahoma State vs. 9) Tennessee: 22-18: Oklahoma State.

5) Florida State vs. 12) Wisconsin: 22-18: Florida State.

4) Xavier vs. 13) Portland State: 27-13: Xavier.

6) UCLA vs. 11) VCU: 29-11: UCLA.

3) Villanova vs. 14) American: 27-13: Villanova.

7) Texas vs. 10) Minnesota: 23-17: Texas.

2) Duke vs. 15) Binghamton: 38-2: Duke.

Sweet 16 Appearances: Duke 21, Villanova 17, UCLA 16, Pitt 15, Florida State 15, Xavier 15, Oklahoma State 12, Texas 12, Tennessee 9, Minnesota 7, Wisconsin 6, VCU 5, Portland State 4, East Tennessee State 4, American 2.

Elite 8 Appearances: Duke 15, Xavier 10, Texas 8, Oklahoma State 7, UCLA 7, Villanova 7, Tennessee 6, Florida State 6, Pitt 6, Minnesota 3, Portland State 2, Wisconsin 1, East Tennessee State 1.

Final 4 Appearances: Duke 10, Xavier 5, Tennessee 4, Texas 4, Pitt 3, Oklahoma State 3, Florida State 3, UCLA 3, Villanova 2, Minnesota 2, Wisconsin 1.

South Region

1) North Carolina vs. 16) Radford: 35-5: North Carolina.

8) LSU vs. 9) Butler: 29-11: LSU.

5) Illinois vs. 12) Western Kentucky: 23-17: Illinois.

4) Gonzaga vs. 13) Akron: 32-8: Gonzaga.

6) Arizona State vs. 11) Temple: 31-9: Arizona State.

3) Syracuse vs. 14) Stephen F. Austin: 31-9: Syracuse.

7) Clemson vs. 10) Michigan: 20-20: Draw.

2) Oklahoma vs. 15) Morgan State: 34-6: Oklahoma.

Sweet 16 Appearances: North Carolina 28, Gonzaga 23, Arizona State 18, Syracuse 16, Oklahoma 16, Michigan 12, Clemson 12, LSU 8, Western Kentucky 8, Illinois 7, Butler 3, Temple 3, Akron 2, Stephen F. Austin 2, Radford 1.

Elite 8 Appearances: North Carolina 18, Arizona State 14, Gonzaga 12, Syracuse 8, Clemson 6, Oklahoma 6, Illinois 4, LSU 3, Stephen F. Austin 2, Michigan 2, Western Kentucky 2, Butler 1, Temple 1.

Final 4 Appearances: North Carolina 11, Gonzaga 10, Syracuse 5, Oklahoma 3, Arizona State 3, Stephen F. Austin 2, LSU 1, Illinois 1, Clemson 1, Michigan 1.

Final 4 Breakdown

Championship Game Appearances: Duke 7, Kansas 7, Memphis 6, Louisville 5, North Carolina 5, Gonzaga 5, Washington 4, UConn 3, Michigan State 3, UCLA 3, Oklahoma 3, Arizona State 3, Siena 2, West Virginia 2, USC 2, Marquette 2, Pitt 2, Tennessee 2, Xavier 2, Syracuse 2, Wake Forest 1, North Dakota State 1, BYU 1, Purdue 1, California 1, Oklahoma State 1, Florida State 1, Villanova 1, Minnesota 1, Texas 1.

NCAA Championships: Louisville 4, Duke 4, North Carolina 3, Gonzaga 3, Kansas 2, UConn 2, Washington 2, Memphis 2, Xavier 2, UCLA 2, Oklahoma 2, West Virginia 1, USC 1, Michigan State 1, Purdue 1, Marquette 1, California 1, Pitt 1, Tennessee 1, Villanova 1, Syracuse 1, Texas 1, Minnesota 1.


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9 Responses

  1. It’s a shame Chattanooga couldn’t break through that Final 4 barrier. I think they’d take 3 Final Four appearances, though.

  2. Tennessee was one of the forty champions? I’ll take it! lol… I had a friend do something similar, and by similar I mean that he did the exact same thing but only simulated it once… and the Final 4 was Kansas vs Mizzou and Duke vs UNC… we decided that something like that couldn’t happen because the world would explode from all of the tension leading up to those two games, haha.

  3. Yea. The game was not too fond of the Big East with the exception of Louisville. It thought Pitt was straight garbage. Usually if the Panthers didn’t lose to East Tennessee State in the first game, they wouldn’t get passed the Sweet 16 (just like in real life) very much. As you can see by them going to 15 Sweet 16’s out of 40 but just six Elite 8’s.

    The funniest for a while was Villanova. I think it was through 21 simulations and they were a mediocre 13-8 in the first round, but had made 13 Sweet 16 appearances, which was the most at that time. Needless to say, they cooled off.

  4. Oh…and I was surprised how many different teams won Championships. Normally there are a lot fewer. I remember the first time I did this was freshman year with Nick and Dave and out of 40 sims North Carolina seriously won like 21 or 22 of them. Needless to say, they won the National Title in real life that year too.

  5. What a hoot! That is quite a mix your PS3 kicked out. It will be interesting to see how your virtual results rate on the reality scale once all the dust settles and the defending champion crowned once again! ;-)

  6. Wow! If the real-life games play-out anywhere close to this, my bracket is hosed!

  7. VolHawk – I kept last year’s brackets and graded them just for fun. I stopped after the second round because the PS3 (it was a PS2 last year) had spit out so much crap. Haha.

    I think it could be a valuable tool with far more testing…..just like any statistical matter. I mean if I had the energy to do like 1,000 simulations and tabulate the results, I think there could be a small degree of validity in what it produced. On the 40 simulation scale, it is just hilarious to see what it spits out.

    My actual favorites aren’t when Chattanooga went to the Final 4, but when Cal and Minnesota somehow won the whole thing. Most of the time those teams didn’t make the Sweet 16, but on some simulations they just went all the way out of nowhere.

  8. I have Xavier, Marquette and Minnesota all losing in the first round… and all of them won at least one championship in the simulations lol.

  9. Hey! Gratis for the Blog post! I’m finding it very fascinating. I’m going to bookmark this blog and return. can you tell me where i can find more information on this? Keep up the great work, have a great day!

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