How Interesting Can A Basketball Tournament Be?


The United States is about to spend a good bit of time worrying about the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. It’s a good distraction from the women’s basketball tournament and from the National Invitational Tournament. Last year I used this to write a couple essays that stepped into information theory. Nobody knowledgeable in information theory has sent me threatening letters since. So since the inspiration is back in season I’d like to bring them to your attention again:

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

9 thoughts on “How Interesting Can A Basketball Tournament Be?”

    1. I’d be glad to, actually. The calculations aren’t hard. It’s gathering the data, the number of times any particular score’s come up, that’s the challenge. I’m fortunate that my particular sports statistic mania is baseball, which has a century and a half of obsessive detail on everything. It’s such a rich field.

      Anyway, if you — or anyone — knows of a record of how many times the various possible goal counts have come up, I’d be glad to work out the information content of a game’s score.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, thank you. I have a tendency to write a connected set of essays and then fail to make a unifying page like this that makes it easier for people to know whether they’ve read it all. I should assemble more like it. It’s good for new readers and probably also my Google page ranking.

      Liked by 1 person

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