Blog Entry

Podcast: Nate Silver, John Gasaway talk mock

Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:30 am
This is the room where the magic, and brain cramps, got made. (NCAA)

By Matt Norlander

The podcast reaches its wonky zenith today. John Gasaway, the driving force behind Basketball Prospectus, and Nate Silver, renowned New York Times political blogger and NCAA tournament projector, join me. Both were at the mock selection meetings last week in Indianapolis.

The process was a lot of fun, a lot of work and a bit flawed. All aspects are covered in the podcast. If you're interested in learning how the bracket is built, there is no better source of knowledge for enlightenment than today's 40-minute conversation. It easily could have been two hours. If you like getting smart, follow John and Nate on Twitter, if you aren't already.

Enjoy -- the tournament starts in 22 days. 

  • From the beginning: Nate tells us why he was intrigued by the mock selection and what good he thinks it does do for his research. John shares his overview of the process as well.
  • 6:06: Why some of the process was unnecessarily tedious.
  • 8:16: Taking you into the room and sharing the details of who was in there, what we did when, etc.
  • 10:15: Expounding on my column, Nate and John explain why the RPI is still an undeniably big part of committee evaluation.
  • 19:25: Going over the bracketing and seeding. What fun! If only we had more time to do it.
  • 24:46: Regions and lack of balance all over the bracket. We get into why that's inevitable. This is a lot of Nate discussing his work related to travel and why the West Coast's lack of good teams also plays into this. Additionally, John makes the case for more rematches in the tournament.
  • 31:55: The teams or scenarios that surprised us the most after hours of evaluations.
  • 37:00: Pod wrap-up with good reviews of the NCAA and perspective on how tough this job is to do but also reinforcing how easy it would be to implement better data into the process and make the master seeding less flawed.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast -- whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Since: Mar 15, 2012
Posted on: March 15, 2012 8:14 pm

Podcast: Nate Silver, John Gasaway talk mock

I love the podcast. Especially with you Matt, and Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish.  You guys crack me up.  However, I'm sad to hear that ads are creeping in to this podcast. This is the problem with Mike Lupica's, Yahoo's, etc.  You get trapped listening to the ads, which is means for cancellation.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or