Illinois professor develops the first-ever NCAA women's tournament simulator

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
For the first time ever, NCAA women's basketball fans can indulge in their own tournament simulator. (Getty Images)
For the first time ever, NCAA women's basketball fans can indulge in their own tournament simulator. (Getty Images)

For seven years, a University of Illinois professor has published a men’s NCAA tournament bracket simulator popular around the Urbana-Champaign campus. This year, in what’s believed to be the first of its kind, Sheldon Jacobson has unveiled a simulator for the women’s competition, and it will function to predict all 63 tournament games with just as much accuracy.

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In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Jacobson said he received an influx of requests to create a similar concept for the women’s side, yet admits he didn’t have the capacity to accomplish such a feat. That all changed this year, and he was able to gather statistics from the last 25 years to follow through on everyone’s request.

“People would send me emails, saying great data and they would start saying what about the women’s game,” Jacobson said. “We didn’t have the bandwidth support to develop it right away.”

Jacobson understands more attention is generally given to the men’s games, but he hopes with this reveal audiences will also consider viewing the women’s matches as well.

“It gives people a chance to appreciate the women’s game more,” he said.

[Best bracket wins $1M: Enter our free contest now! | Printable bracket]

The McGill University graduate lauds that his methodology isn’t based on emotion, and there are more than nine quintillion combinations from the past 25 years for his data to consider.

A famous face has already complimented Jacobson’s work. Per the AP, Rebecca Lobo, a recent inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame, is a fan. So is Her Hoops Stats, which focuses solely on gathering information for women’s players and teams.

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