6 rounds.

68 teams.

Thousands of possibilities.

One winner.

Are you ready for the Statsketball Tournament 2017?

Move over bracket builders, Statsketball is the most exciting contest of the season. If you missed our Election Prediction contest, don’t delay this time because now there’s more statistics and more competition.

We already know statistics has the power to best predict a winner, and analytics careers in sports are booming. Whether you enter for fun or to jumpstart your future career as a statistician, you won’t want to miss it.

This is Statistics and The American Statistical Association are challenging high school and undergraduate students to predict the outcome of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness, using statistics rather than luck. We created this contest with Michael Lopez, who may know a thing or two about using statistics in brackets.

Get ready to enter your outcomes in two contests:

Contest 1: “Pick ‘Em”: Upset Challenge

Submit a list of 32 winners to the first-round games.

You will earn two points for each winner picked correctly + seed difference for a lower seeded win.

For example: Correct prediction of a No. 12 seed over a No. 5 seed would be worth 2 + (12 – 5) = 9 points; correct prediction of No. 5 seed win is worth two points.

The winner will be determined by the individual with the most points along with essay considerations for originality and creativity.

Contest 2: “Build Your Own Bracket”: Draft Challenge

You have 224 drafts points to assemble your cohort of teams from the seeded participants.

A team’s draft points (DPs) are determined by their seeding:

No. 1 seeds are 75 DPs; #2, 40; #3, 25; #4, 20; #5, 17; #6, 15; #7, 12; #8, 10; #9, 9; #10, 8; #11, 7; #12, 6; #13, 5; #14, 4; #15, 3; and #16, 1.

Submit your cohort of teams, not to exceed 224 points, with a 300-word description of your statistical techniques and methods to demonstrate your submitted work is original.

For each game, one of your cohort team advances is worth an increasing number of points as the tournament advances: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 for each corresponding round.

The winner will be determined by whose cohort has most points at the end of the tournament wins along with essay considerations for originality and creativity.


Each winner will receive the following prize package, not to mention the prestige, fame, and glory that comes with winning an inaugural intellectual competition put on by This Is Statistics!

  • $200 cash prize
  • A complimentary student membership to the American Statistical Association
  • Statsketball Tournament 2017 winner t-shirt


Who is eligible to participate in the contest?
  • Both contests are open to high school and college undergraduate students.
How can I enter the contest?
  • An online submission form will be available on ThisIsStatistics.org on February 3rd.
When is the deadline for entries?
  • Entries—including picks and essays—for both contests are due by March 13, 2017 at 11:59PM ET.
Can I enter both contests?
  • High school and undergraduate students are welcome to enter one or both contests. Those who enter both contests will need to prepare separate submissions for each contest.


Contact Ashley at adurkin@stantoncomm.com for more information.

Want to save the full rules? Download them here.