# Tag: Final Four

## Final Four Math — 2011

This year’s March Madness has brought us a Final Four with no #1 or #2 seeds, unique in NCAA tournament history. But the absence of high-seed teams has not dulled enthusiasm for the last three games. In fact, some sports pundits are trumpeting the “Cinderella” factor: can a #11 seed, Virginia Commonwealth University, pull off the all-time, unexpected upset?

But no matter who matter who wins the game, the bookies win their money. The bookie’s odds always include a built-in percentage for the house. In 2009 I calculated the Las Vegas Final Four edge at 9.8%; in 2010, the edge was larger (14.3%). This year the edge, if you can actually get these published odds, is unbelievably small…only 2.2%!

## Betting the Final Four–2010

If you bet on the Final Four (or on almost anything), the bookie’s odds always include a built-in percentage for the house. Last year I calculated the Las Vegas Final Four edge at 9.8%.

This year the edge is so big (20.8%) that something must be wrong!

What is the overlap between the set of all rabid NCAA Basketball Tournament fans and the set of all knee-jerk despisers of anything Islamic? I suspect the intersection is large.

If so, then the first two rounds of March Madness may promote more US-Islamic tolerance than all the State Department visits Hillary Clinton can schedule.