Everyone’s got a bracket. Offices, schools, groups, they’ve all got a bracket pool. Odds are, if you’re reading this, you probably do too. Or, at least, you’ve filled out a bracket for this year’s NCAA Tournament. Millions have. But it’s hard to distinguish your bracket from others, especially in a year like 2015, where overwhelming favorite Kentucky might take some of the excitement out of the process.
With that in mind, General Sentiment applied its web data analytics to make our own picks. Instead of comparing rosters and scouting reports, though, we looked at each team’s web sentiment score for the season and let that dictate our picks. Teams that had the strongest, most positive support throughout the year would advance in General Sentiment’s bracket.
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The results were fascinating. The system picked a final four of Wisconsin, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Iowa State. The biggest upsets picked were No. 14 Georgia State over No. 3 Baylor and No. 6 Baylor as well as No. 12 Wyoming over No. 4 Louisville in the second round. At the end of it all, General Sentiment projected that Wisconsin would cut down the nets with a 59-49 victory over Oklahoma.
While not a normal way of bracket prognosticating, the results were in-line with many experts. Most of the top teams as far as sentiment, including Kentucky, are among the tournament’s favorites. There are some interesting teams thrown into the mix, most notably No. 12 Stephen F. Austin and No. 14 Georgia State making it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen. But beyond that — and a No. 6 Butler appearance in the Elite Eight, this bracket is surprising, but surprisingly safe, as well. Check it out below! And feel free to use our picks to guide yours. Good luck!
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