The Kentucky Wildcats have been the favored team throughout the entire 2011-12 college basketball season. They sat at No. 1 for much of the year. They came into the NCAA Tournament as the top overall seed, even among fellow No. 1 seeds. Heading into tonight, they are definitely the favored candidate to win the national championship over the Kansas Jayhawks. But try telling that to the team at What If Sports whose simulation places Kansas on top of Kentucky after literally thousands of sims.
Ryan Fowler writes, “Keeping with tradition, we re-simulated the title game 2,001 times. To our surprise, the Jayhawks won the first batch of games over 54 percent of the time. Due to the close margin of victory and simulation trend favoring Kentucky each round prior, we elected to run the title game 2,001 more times. This was not to give an edge to the Wildcats, but to verify that the sim-engine did, indeed, favor Kansas in a head-to-head matchup. It did.”
WhatIfSports.com is all about sports simulations, so they’ve been at this for a long time. Whether or not this means anything is up to individual discretion, but it shows that the game tonight might not be as decided as some would like to predict. Kansas has shown an ability to upend predictions thus far in the tournament. Tonight might turn out to be the greatest example of all.