Madness? What Madness? We have the analytics!


Once again NCAA men’s basketball is peaking – and so is talk of brackets and bubble-busters, bad calls and buzzer beaters, what-ifs and what the … happened?

At SAS, we love it. Not just because (some of us) are big hoops fans. Speaking of buzzer beaters and what-ifs, this Tarheel fan is still wondering what happened with Duke, and whether that unlikely 3-pointer will land UNC in the at-large bucket.

No, we love it because our three favorite business professors are back at it, using sports to trick sleepy MBA students into grasping the “aha!” of analytics.

Jay Coleman, Allen Lynch and Mike DuMond will again apply SAS to predict "at-large" teams, those not earning automatic tournament bids. So far, looks pretty good for Carolina. And OK, Duke.

The professors say the Dance Card suggests that the tournament selection committees are remarkably predictable – which might diffuse some arguments about bias and influence. Is that a good thing?

If you want to know more about SAS analytics, and how business analytics in general are making the difference between stagnation and success, there’s plenty of information for you.

Of course, if you want to see where your team sits and how the odds may change, bookmark their NCAA Tournament "Dance Card" – and prepare to win some bets with your buddies.

Or better yet, come back here,, to kick in your three points worth as we get closer to Selection Sunday and the tournament tipoff.


About Author

Diane Lennox

PR Services Manager

Diane Lennox is PR Services Manager for SAS, the leader in business analytics software and services. A 30-year veteran in marketing communications and writing for all media, she has spent the past six years supporting SAS' internal PR agency by managing the Global PR Resource Center (internal), acting as international liaison with dozens of country PR managers, guiding PR measurement and monitoring, overseeing communications and media training, supporting the blogging and social media program and providing SEO guidance. She does not do windows.


  1. Mike Nemecek

    NC State is projected by the Dance Card model to be the last team in the NCAA Tournament heading into its big game tonight with fellow bubble denizen Miami. Per Dance Card professor Mike DuMond, the Wolfpack needs a win; otherwise it can kiss its chances good-bye.

    See Mike's video here:

    • Win delivered as needed (NCSU 70, VT 58). I've heard some say NCSU will need two wins in the ACC Tourney (BC and UVA) to get a NCAA bid. True?

      • Suzanne Gordon on

        We more than delivered with win's over Miami and then VT besides it's just a bunch of sportscasters guessing anyway! Who knows what the selection committee will do. Also the automatic bye from the ACC into the tournament is the winner of the ACC tournament not the regular season champion.

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