The Dayton Flyers can win the NCAA tournament — the whole thing. ESPN’s website, the FiveThirtyEight, says so.
OK, there’s one caveat. The FiveThirtyEight gives the Flyers a 0.1 percent chance of winning six games in three weeks and capturing the NCAA championship.
The site uses something called Elo Ratings to predict games. It writes, “They rely on relatively simple information — specifically, the final score, home court advantage, and the location of each game. (College basketball teams perform significantly worse when they travel a long distance to play a game.) They also account for a team’s conference — at the beginning of each season, a team’s Elo rating is regressed toward the mean of other schools in its conference — and whether the game was an NCAA tournament game.”
The FiveThirtyEight gives No. 7 seed UD a 52 percent chance of beating No. 10 Syracuse on Friday, an 11 percent chance of reaching the Sweet 16, a 5 percent chance of reaching the Elite Eight and a 2 percent chance of making the Final Four.
Kansas is the tournament favorite with a 19.1 percent chance of winning the title. North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Villanova are the only other teams with a better than 5 percent chance of winning.