Heading into the first NCAA tournament appearance in school history, what chance does UCI have of upsetting traditional powerhouse Louisville? Let’s break down the numbers.
First, we can take a look at Ken Pomeroy, arguable the foremost college basketball analytics guru, and his website. Using fundamental offensive and defensive ratings, put into an overall rating
with the log5 formula applied, Pomeroy’s calculations put UCI’s chances of advancing at 21.2 percent.
Another area we can look at is gambling spreads. If we take the money line, and we convert it to a probability of victory, we see that UCI has about a 17.4 probability of winning according to the gambling public.
According to this, Louisville is overvalued by gamblers compared to their fundamental numbers. This makes sense, as there are a lot more Louisville fans in the gambling public, shifting the line artificially higher toward their team. However, it seems that the sharps realized this, and the more recent money is coming in on UCI, shifting the odds more toward Pomeroy’s probabilities.
Both the numbers and the public say that this game is going to be an uphill battle for the Anteaters. The odds give UCI about a one-in-five chance of winning this one. That is far from impossible, and there’s a reason they the play the games. UCI is one of the more likely choices for a potential upset win in the first round, and we’ve seen much more unlikely upsets occur in previous tournaments. Also, the Anteaters played then-#2 Arizona superbly earlier this year, maintaining a lead against the Wildcats for most of the game. Anything can happen in this tourney, so let’s sit back and enjoy the ride, let the March Madness begin.