Google Picks American

I’m not really the biggest sports fan in the world. I follow my teams, and even get excited about them, but I don’t really care much for the arena of sports beyond that narrow window. Hedda, on the other hand, is a machine. She follows the teams, the stats, the players, and does it all unconsciously. It’s second-nature to her! For example, this evening, we were talking about the upcoming NCAA tournament, and was explaining why she thinks Kansas is going to win it all. “Uh, they’re Kansas!”

That kind of deep, fundamental understanding is beyond me. I’ve given up even hoping to attain it. Instead, I have taken a more computable approach to filling out the brackets for this year. My algorithm is simple: The team with the more hits reported by Google on the day the brackets are announced (today, March 16, 2008) will win any given contest. So, in the contest between Kansas and Portland St., the former is slated to win the game 202,000,000 to 7,960,000.

A couple of caveats: These rankings are specific to the moment I ran the scripts. Google hits change constantly, as more data is indexed, so I’m not going to change my predictions as the tournament progresses. Also, I have decided to search for a particular school exactly as it appears on the bracket. This makes it so I could fairly easily screen-scrape the brackets from the HTML version of the official CBS brackets, minimizing the amount of manual work I had to do.

So, without further delay, my bracket!

Brian's Bracket

For the geeks out there, here’s the data and script I used for sorting.