My Wake Forest and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) daughter got the last soccer laugh, well-enjoying watching her dad (me) eat analytics crow. A few weeks ago, responding to her bravado that all four top seeds in the D1 women’s soccer tournament were from the ACC, I used RPI rankings to counter that regular season data actually had the Big Ten as the top conference going into post-season, from my calculations slightly edging the ACC. The presumption was that the Big Ten and ACC would joust through the six rounds of the tournament.

It didn’t end up that way. Three of this year’s final four teams are from the ACC, with the Big Ten laid to rest in the quarterfinals. Just as bad for the Big Ten, ACC teams won five of the six head-to-head matches between the conferences. Alas, to my daughter’s taunts I could just meekly respond that analytics is probability, not math.

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