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Let’s Take a Look at Bing’s March Madness Predictions

With Bing’s access to users’ search queries and ability to analyze the social trends and how it pertains to March Madness, the employees at Microsoft believe they’ve developed the ultimate tool in winning March Madness brackets. Regardless of your basketball knowledge and how much college basketball you’ve watched this year, the odds of selecting a perfect bracket are infinitesimally low – illustrated by the fact that nobody’s ever had a perfect bracket.

While knowing a thing or two may help with your company bracket, Bing can help those who haven’t watched a single minute of basketball compete for their office bragging rights. Over the past few years, Bing Predicts has been giving users the win percentage for every March Madness matchup, making it easier for the casual fan to make their bracket.

Before we dive into some of Bing’s noteworthy predictions for this year’s March Madness, let’s look at how Bing Predicts works. Bing Predicts is the algorithm Microsoft developed to help determine the outcomes of future events, whether it be the Olympics, reality TV contests, award shows, or sporting events. By collecting aggregate search data from its users, Bing Predicts has been particularly effective at determining the winners of voting-based contests like American Idol.

While predicting the outcomes of sporting events can’t be determined using popular opinion, Bing, therefore, takes a different approach. While Las Vegas odds makers rely on mathematical models to gain their edge, Bing uses its search data to gather expert opinions and search trends relating to the specific strengths and weaknesses of certain teams.

This near-infinite data Bing has at their fingertips has amounted to the following March Madness predictions:

  • Every 12 seed will win in the first round
  • Louisville will beat the #1-seeded Kansas in the Elite 8
  • Villanova will repeat, if they proceed to the National Championship game
  • Middle Tennessee (12-seed) will once again advance to the 2nd round, beating the favored Minnesota (5-seed) – (Middle Tennessee upset powerhouse Michigan St. last year in the first round)
  • The perpetually underperforming Gonzaga (#1 seed) will lose to Arizona in the Elite 8

As well as Bing Predicts has performed in the past, it’s model has already lost in one of its selections. Notre Dame has defeated Princeton, whom Bing predicted was going to upset Notre Dame. Although aggregate data can be helpful, somebody selecting a perfect bracket will be nothing short of a miracle.

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