After not getting to finish off Bracketology 2020, it felt good to have Bracketology 2021 come to a proper close. Now that the bracket has been revealed, us bracketologists can be ignored for another 10 months until January 2022 when we will return to make you irrationally upset yet again. But there’s still one more thing to do: a Bracketology 2021 review.
Before we get into how I did, you can check out my final bracket here to see for yourself what I predicted an hour before the Selection Show began.
Bracketology 2021 in Review
With a Paymon Score of 356, I tied for 70th in the Bracket Matrix with six other bracketologists out of 203 total brackets. So, I finished comfortably in the top half, but you couldn’t consider me an oracle.
How is that score determined? As explained on the Bracket Matrix’s website, the Paymon Score is how brackets are graded using a system created by Paymon at PH Sports. It grants three points for every team a bracketologist correctly predicts as in the field, then another three points for every team that is correctly seeded. One point is awarded for teams placed one seed line above or below its real seeding from the committee. No points are given for teams put two or more seed lines away.
So, with 67 of the 68 teams in the field picked correctly, 46 of the 68 teams’ seeds accurately predicted and another 17 one seed line away, I scored a total of 356. This is my highest-ever Paymon Score, surpassing my 347 mark in 2019, in now six completed seasons as part of the Bracket Matrix.
That sounds great, and I am content with it. But upon review, it turns out that this season was a great one for those in bracketology, which does make some sense. With the weirdness of this season, it was either going to go predictability or completely out of left field. It turns out to have gone the predictable path. That means Paymon Scores are way up across the board.
The best Paymon Score was 372 by Patrick Stevens of the Washington Post, which is insane. The highest possible score is 408. Congratulations to him for the 2021 victory!
Out of the 203 bracketology entrants in 2021, only three correctly picked the 68 teams in the field. Louisville missing out was missed by nearly everyone in the running.
Louisville was the only team I missed on, which was the same for many others. I predicted the Cardinals in the field and Wichita State out, but the committee disagreed.
How these results affect the five-year rankings is yet to be seen as those are expected to be updated this week. Currently, I sit at No. 43 out of 133 who had been in the Bracket Matrix for at least three seasons, and I’m expecting a bit of a drop. But, I won’t know for sure until it’s updated. Here’s to hoping for good news!
In all, I feel I did okay. I would have liked to have done better with my bracketology, and there are some picks that I had a bit of a feeling about but still went with (Oklahoma as a No. 7 and Florida State as a No. 5, for example), and they turned out wrong. Still, I can’t be too upset, especially considering the absurdity of this season.
There were a few notable victories, though: I finished two points better than ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, tied FOX’s Mike DeCourcy, and beat Andy Katz, CBS’s Jerry Palm, Yahoo’s Michael Lazarus and other big-name bracketologists by a wide margin. Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not meaning to rub this in or claim some sort of supremacy. I finished 70th and am ranked No. 43 – I am under no delusions of where I stand.
But I started doing this more than 10 years ago as a literal child scrapping together whatever information I could find on the internet and studied the committee, its criteria and its decisions for years. I am quite literally just a dude with an internet connection, but I’ve managed to yet against finished with and head of many people who get paid decently to talk about bracketology on national television. I started 10-plus years ago doing it myself privately with a pad and paper, then in middle school with a Blogpost website I now couldn’t tell you, then with The Left Bench I co-founded while in college, and now to my baby Nothing But Nylon. It feels good.
My goal every season is to win the whole thing, and I’ve been close before, finishing in the top 10 in 2015. I haven’t done as well since, though I have been consistently above average. Hopefully my Bracketology 2022 review will explain how I won!
Thank you to those of you who have followed along this season and put any stock in what I think. The site stats for my bracketology and the Bubble Watch series were way up from ever before, and I am very appreciative of that. That anyone would take my opinion to mean something is flattering, and I am thrilled to provide college basketball fans with this information. My adoring fans mean so much.
Lastly, if bracketology is something that interests you and you’d like to learn more, either to start yourself or so you can better understand how it all works, my DMs are always open. You can always send your questions to me on Twitter or to Nothing But Nylon on Twitter, and I’ll be happy to educate you on whatever you’d like to know.
Trust me, bracketology isn’t that hard – it just takes an understanding how the committee makes its decisions. It is fairly easy to get 67 of the 68 teams in the field picked correctly, and getting 66 of the 68 is incredibly simple. Don’t let the daunting-looking numbers fool you!