Monday, March 25, 2019
The NCAA Tournament is finally here! Will we see another No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed? Will Gonzaga finally win its first national championship? Will Zion Williamson’s shoe explode again? We can’t tell you exactly what will happen over the next three weeks, but we can help steer you in the right direction when picking your bracket using our March Madness prediction model. You can read about how the system works here, and read on to learn what the model has to say about the top seeds’ fates, dark horses and Cinderellas to watch, and favorites to avoid. Let the madness begin…
This is the Trump Docket, where we track some of the most important legal cases of the Trump presidency and how their results could shape presidential power. Questions, comments, or thoughts about cases to cover? Email us here.
Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
We started off the 2020 cycle with an informal heuristic: While many long shots would run for president, we would focus our coverage on candidates who had previously held elected office; others would have to earn enough media attention to prove they should be taken seriously. When businessman Andrew Yang, a political rookie, launched his presidential campaign with a New York Times profile in February 2018, he didn’t meet our standard for coverage. But Yang now looks likely to qualify for the Democratic primary debates this summer, so here is our belated take on the strengths and weaknesses of his candidacy.
There has been a debate, both in the run-up to and since last week’s launch of Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign, about his ideology and policy positions. It has two dimensions. First, people are asking whether O’Rourke actually stands for much of anything — or if his candidacy is just about his perceived charisma and electability. And second, they are asking whether he is a true liberal/progressive — or if he should be classified as a moderate (compared with the other 2020 candidates) or as a more centrist Democrat (based on his voting record in Congress).
At 5:03 a.m. on Monday, Politico published a story on former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s “rocky rollout” to his presidential campaign, which launched last week.
After nearly two years of watching and waiting, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is finally complete. Attorney General William Barr announced on Friday that Mueller has submitted his confidential report, summarizing key information from the investigation.
In filling out the men’s NCAA Tournament bracket this year, you might have noticed that fewer obvious upsets are popping up than in previous seasons. According to the FiveThirtyEight March Madness model, only one game in the first round — No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 8 Ole Miss in the South region — features the worse-seeded team as an outright favorite (at 53 percent), compared with three such upset picks last season, two in 2017 and a whopping six in 2016. At the same time, truly promising Cinderellas are more difficult to identify in this year’s bracket as well, with the most probable double-digit seeds to make the Final Four being major-conference members Florida (No. 10 in the West region) and Ohio State (No. 11 in the Midwest). Did the committee get things weirdly right this year? And for bracket-pickers, is that even a good thing?
No one wants to be the person who sends four No. 1 seeds into their bracket’s Final Four. If you need help making some creative picks, Neil Paine offers suggestions for sleepers in the 2019 men’s NCAA Tournament in the video above.