FiveThirtyEight.com, the new venture by stats guru Nate Silver and ESPN launched today and to kick off his more sports-centric statistical takes Silver's new site decided to use their algorithms to predict the NCAA Tournament.
The Western Michigan Broncos, a 14-seed in the Tournament, has an 11 percent chance to beat Syracuse in Round 2 on Thursday according to 538. The Broncos have a two percent chance of advancing on past the third round with a less than one percent chance of advancing past that.
How did 538 come up with these numbers? Well considering Silver's predictions of the 2012 Presidential election I'd say it's really some form of black magic, but the site has a less sinister (and more scientific) explanation. Basically the numbers are derived by taking in a range of factors including composite power rankings, the team's placement on the NCAA S-curve, injuries, geography and the hair of a black goat. That last bit may or may not be my own addition.
You can view all the predictions in the interactive graphic on the new FiveThirtyEight.com.