Final Four or Sweet Sixteen? Predicting a Team’s Success

by Laura Hilby
Faculty advisor: Dr. Stan Ullerich and Tim McDaniel

Aside from scoring points, what are the most important statistical variables in determining which basketball team will advance to the Final Four? Will these same variables matter in determining a team’s success of making it to the Sweet Sixteen? Logit regression analysis through PASW will allow me to create an exploratory model to see if any differences occur. Data from the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball tournament 2006 through 2010 will be collected to support my analysis and includes, but is not limited to, rebound margin, the years of coaching experience, free-throw percentage, and other characteristics. To answer these questions, I am going to test for the significance of included variables in predicting a team’s success. After performing extensive analyses and statistical tests, I will be able to support or reject my prior assertions. The overall goal of this project is to determine the most important statistical variables of a team advancing to the Final Four or Sweet Sixteen, and to observe if these variables differ between my two conclusions.