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Bryan Clair

Deciding which teams to pick in your NCAA basketball pool? Then you’re faced with a classic decision problem—and here, science can help. The Conversation

On one hand, you want to pick good teams, the “favorites,” because those teams seem more likely to win. On the other hand, you want to pick some weaker teams, the “underdogs,” so your bracket will stand out from the rest and win the pool. These two opposing forces make for an interesting math problem, because somewhere in the middle is an optimal solution.

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