Back on March 19th, I wrote about some ways which I processed some NCAA Men’s Basketball data to make predictions for the crazy March Madness tournament, bragging about how well I had done with my analysis most years, beating former President Obama’s Barackets almost all the time, and all. Well, it seems I had really jinxed myself because this year’s March Madness results were so unpredictable that just picking by tournament seedings exactly as they were landed you in the top ten percentile! In other years, you’d be about middle of the pack. That’s because the upsets this year were so generally unpredictable that those looking to find upsets often got stung by getting many wrong, but then also stung by getting many expected winners wrong! Double-whammy, if you will!
With one game still remaining in the Elite 8 of the 2018 Men’s NCAA March Madness tournament (Duke vs Kansas), former President Barack Obama’s Barackets is DONE! He has Villanova in the Final Four, but because he predicted (eliminated) Michigan State would beat them next game, Villanova will be getting no more points for Obama this year. The former POTUS had UNC and Virginia as the other Final Four teams, both of whom had been eliminated early.
So where does this leave the Barackets in the ESPN Standings?
President Obama recently outlined six huge challenges he saw to the tech industry via Wired Magazine. Today, six of the tech industry’s leaders answered back in a very insightful article:
- Tim O’Reilly on tackling inequality
- Chris Dixon on strengthening cybersecurity
- Mark Zuckerberg on ensuring that artificial intelligence helps rather than hurts us
- Yasmin Green on keeping terrorists from using technology to plot and do harm
- Mary Barra on developing tools that will take climate resilience and clean energy mainstream
- Satya Nadella on making it easier for citizens to participate in their government
Recently, President Barack Obama and MIT Professor Joi Ito were interviewed by Wired magazine about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential impact on our future lives. What the President and Professor Ito said are below, which were very enlightening to me. For what it’s worth, I’ll put my two cents afterward, adding a few other observations.
(apologies to Professor Ito for leaving him out of the title but it took away the ring and rhyme with too many more syllables)
Obama came into office like a champ. Don’t start with the trash talk yet. He won the Presidency and you can’t be saying that about anybody else so keep the lid on the trash can for now.
Obama also opened his Barackets campaign picking the ultimate champ, North Carolina, and beat about 90% of all ESPN brackets in 2009.
Fast forward to 2016. It’s been a rough ride in the middle for his March Madness picks. Thrice he has picked Kansas to go all the way, and thrice they have failed him, including Saturday night. He has also failed to pick the correct winner in any other year, if I’m not mistaken. And Mashable shows him to be fairly “average” in his track record.
Kansas’ loss to Villanova Saturday night left the President in just the 47th percentile, meaning 53% of the 12 million brackets entered on ESPN were doing better than him. Worse for him, things will likely only get worse because the one team he has remaining, North Carolina, is the most popular pick remaining, and he doesn’t have them going all the way as 1 in 7 people do. Half the brackets have UNC winning Sunday as does Obama. In other words, lots of people still have other teams remaining in their pool that the President doesn’t, and they can make ground on him, whereas UNC that he has remaining, lots of people also have so he won’t be making grounds on that many. Pending how things turn out, the POTUS could still finish in the upper half of all brackets, but that’s about the best as he’ll do this year. More likely, he’ll tailspin to a crash on his final Barackets submission.
OK, Republicans. Now you can spout your nonsense, as if this has anything to do with how he did in office. 🙂
One person Obama won’t be beating is me, though. I picked Villanova to beat Kansas tonight in my bracket entry, also in the graphic above. I also have UNC going further than da Prez so anything he gains from UNC, I will also gain. He cannot mathematically catch me, in other words, and it’s only half way through the Elite 8 round! I’m also sitting in the top 0.5%, by the way, just for bragging rights while I can in case my brackets crash and burn in the future. 🙂
I will finish 7-1 against Obama during his 8 years of Barackets submission. I was expecting better competition than that, I have to admit. However, I hope Obama will continue to submit his Barackets after he’s out of the Oval Office.
Obama is about hope, right?
Maybe his luck will change for the better then. 🙂
He can only hope so. 🙂