Mailbag: The past success of Giant Killers

Updated: March 18, 2011, 10:21 AM ET
By Peter Keating

As full slates of NCAA tournament games finally get under way, we thought this would be a good time to put together some last-minute Giant Killer ideas and respond to questions from you, our loyal readers. On a few occasions, we've engaged in the debates raging over Giant Killers in the comments to our posts, drawing this classic response from Tom Butters of Toronto: "Hi Peter, thanks for the explanation. The column is still lame ... But thanks for explaining why." Now it's time to address your queries in more detail.

First things first: We exclude teams from our analysis because of the definitions of Giants and Killers, not because we dislike them. For those of you still wondering why Gonzaga is a Giant or whether Georgia is a potential Killer or what our statistical model thinks of Wofford, you can find links to our methodology and our evaluations of the matchups in every region of the tournament on right side of our Giant Killers blog.

Next, thanks where it is due -- to all of you who have offered feedback, whether through the GK Mailbag or in comments sections on our blog or elsewhere. We'd like to give a particular shout-out to Zachary Richardson of Denver, whose comments and questions, last year and this, prodded us to make significant improvements to the part of our statistical model that predicts head-to-head outcomes.

Now, into the mailbag for a few pressing questions:

Anonymous asks: "What is the breakdown of Win-Loss records for teams in each group of [Giant Killer success] percentages?"