In the long, drawn-out days between Selection Sunday and the beginning of the round of 64, college basketball fans have two pastimes: filling out their brackets and complaining about the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s decisions.This year was especially ripe for the latter, with grievances coming in from all corners of the college basketball universe. (Hint: When even the No. 1 overall seed — in this case, Kansas — has room for complaint, the committee might not have done its best work.) But how much does this stuff really matter? Can small changes to the committee’s decisions make a big difference to a team’s odds of going deep in the tourney?To figure this out, we used the same method that drives our March Madness predictions and randomized the bracket around the committee’s S-curve rankings — the actual 1-68 ranking of teams the committee uses to guide the seedings and overall placement of teams in the bracket. Because the committee doesn’t adhere strictly to the S-curve within each “seed line” — it has the leeway to place teams according to factors (like geography) that go beyond balancing each region’s strength — we can judge how much the committee’s decisions at the margins affected each team’s chances of advancing to various rounds. And because we’re keeping teams in the same S-curve slots as the committee’s, we can examine these differences without delving into alternate universe-type scenarios in which the crusty old voters valued the teams differently.Here are the teams whose odds to get to the Sweet 16 and Final Four were helped and hurt the most. As far as the championship is concerned, these tweaks don’t matter much; most teams’ odds of winning it all were affected by less than a percentage point. But in terms of advancing to prestige benchmarks like the Sweet 16 and Final Four, the draw can have a relatively large effect. By being in a favorable region, for instance, Oklahoma’s Final Four odds were boosted by 12.1 percentage points, while Villanova was dinged by 4.4 points because it was dropped into the same region with Kansas.And that’s just looking at the committee’s deviations from its own S-curve. What if the crusty old voters did value the teams (slightly) differently? In another simulation, we randomized the S-curve itself, giving a team the potential to move up or drop down into the top or bottom half of the next “seed line.” For instance, a No. 3 seed could have moved up into one of the bottom two slots on the S-curve for No. 2 seeds or just as easily dropped into one of the top two slots for No. 4 seeds. For each of those random draws, we simulated the bracket and then tracked how much each team’s odds changed in their most and least favorable draws.Here are the results when we model the S-curve this way: By Neil Paine and Jay Boice More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Our sports podcast Hot Takedown previews March Madness. For top teams, the difference between its 20th- and 80th-percentile draw was 10 to 15 percentage points of Final Four probability, all due to the whims of its position on the S-curve.Certainly, there are more factors determining how far a team goes in the NCAA Tournament than simply its starting point in the bracket. But in a wide-open field in which every edge counts, even small shifts in probability can add up.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 March Madness Predictions. Embed Code
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, Bahamas, February 1, 2017 – While voters wrangle over the relevance of Free National Movement leadership, its former leader and former Prime minister of The Bahamas is today in the Tribune telling Bahamians to get out and register to vote. Voter apathy is high, voter registration turn out is low and the trend is troubling with General Elections set to be called anytime now. The three term Prime Minister for the FNM said in the article, “It is a very important exercise in democracy. The higher the percentage of people who register, the higher the percentage of people who vote. It’s the one opportunity that people have to determine who is going to govern them and notwithstanding whatever issues that might confront people, it’s the most effective means people have to determine the direction of their country by registering to vote and so I encourage them to vote.” The Parliamentary Registration Department says just over half of who registered last elections have showed up at registration centers; recorded now at just under 88,000 Bahamians. The Tribune caught the retired country leader and his wife at Government High School, where they were registering themselves. #MagneticMediaNews Related Items:Former PM Ingraham says register to vote Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Cori GauffTwitter/WimbledonIn one of the biggest upsets that Wimbledon has witnessed, Cori Gauff, known as Coco to her friends, an American whose age, 15, is less than the length of Venus Williams’ career, knocked out the latter in the very first round of the grass court Grand Slam. So, who is this lady who has suddenly catapulted herself into the spotlight? Let’s learn a few things about her.To begin with, the teenage prodigy hails from Georgia but has been raised in Florida. She has good sporting pedigree. Her father had been a basketball player at university level and her mother had been a gymnast in Florida State University. The precocious talent had been identified as a potential future great even before her famous win over Venus.The company that manages her – Team 8 – was created by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick. Federer commented on her before her match and expressed his delight at the progress being made by the rising star. “I’m super happy for her. I saw the last couple of games when she qualified. Obviously everybody was waiting to see what the draw was going to be like. I think that’s fascinating, that she plays Venus now. It’s a great story. Coco is a nice girl, works really hard. I think she’s obviously got a wonderful future ahead of herself,” the 20-time Grand Slam winner said. Cori Gauff after her victory of Venus WilliamsTwitter/WimbledonHer victory over Venus had an irony to it. It were the Williams sisters that inspired Coco to take up tennis and aim to be a champion. She expressed her fanfare for Venus before facing her in the first round. “I have nothing to lose, playing against one of the greatest players of all time. I’m just super honoured that I get to share the court with her. Not many people get to play Wimbledon at 15 so I’m just happy that I’m one of them,” the young lady remarked in an interview to American network NBC prior to her match.Her excitement at having achieved a victory against one of her idols was fully expressed after the match. She told BBC: “Honestly I don’t really know how to feel. That’s the first time I have ever cried after winning a match. I don’t even know how to explain how I feel. I had to tell myself to stay calm, I have never played on such a big court. I had to remind myself of the lines on the court. Everything around it might be bigger, but the lines are the same.”She just told me congratulations and to keep going and good luck. I told her thank you for everything. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her, she is so inspiring and I always wanted to tell her that, even though I met her before I didn’t have the guts to tell her then.”Even the most successful tennis player of the current generation and younger sister of Venus, Serena Williams expressed her admiration for the teenager before the match. “She’s so cool. She’s a great girl. I love her dad. They’re just really cool people. It’s a great moment for her and for Venus. She’s playing against a player that actually reminds me of Venus. I think I might, might watch. I always get nervous watching Venus.”
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is presiding over the cabinet meeting at the secretariat on Monday. Photo: PIDThe cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft Broadcast Bill 2018 with a provision to form a seven-member Broadcast Commission to provide licences to broadcast media, including online ones and to bring those under discipline, reports UNB.The approval came at the weekly meeting of the cabinet held at the secretariat with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.The cabinet also approved the draft of Mass Media Employees (Services Conditions) Bill 2018 in principle with a provision to constitute wage board for journalists and employees of all media houses, including electronic ones.As per the Broadcast Bill, a five-member search committee will place its report before the president to form the seven-member Broadcast Commission, said cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam while briefing reporters after the meeting.He said the president will appoint members of the commission, including a chairman and with at least a female member.”The Broadcast Bill 2018 is a new one which was framed following consultations with all stakeholders. The Bill has been placed (in the cabinet) to bring the broadcast media, including online one, under discipline,” said the cabinet secretary.The Broadcast Commission will have the authority to provide licences to broadcast media and revoke those. But the commission will have to take prior permission from the government in case of providing any licence in this regard.As per the Bill, the commission will have to dispose of any complaint to be lodged against any media house within 30 days after receiving it.It will have the authority to suspend or revoke the licence of any broadcast media on seven grounds.About the Mass Media Employees (Services Conditions) Bill 2018, Shafiul Alam said the wage board will be applicable for journalists and employees of all the media outlets, including print and electronic, as per the Bill.According to the Bill, the working hours for media employees will be 36 hours in a week instead of 48 hours, while the casual leave will be 15 days instead of 10 days and the earned leave will be 100 days instead of 60 days annually, he said.Besides, the festival leave will be 10 days in a year, recreation leave will be one month after every three years, and the maternity leave will be six months in place of the existing eight weeks.If anyone or organisation violates the provisions of the Bill, s/he will be fined Tk 50,000-Tk 500,000 lakh, the cabinet secretary said.