Collegiate

Stats Sunday: NCAA Fantasy Draft Data Analysis

Now that the NCAA Championships are over, lets take a quick look back at the crowd wisdom found over at our NCAA Fantasy Fencing app.

Our Champion

First and foremost, a quick shout out to our winner this year – Cameron Allen. He won by a comparatively commanding 3 points. That’s the largest margin until you get to around 32nd place. Every other place until then was differentiated by just 1 point, making a 3 point lead quite impressive.

Most Drafted Fencers

Next, lets look at the top 4 most drafted fencers:

NameSchoolWinsWin %VotesVote %
Lee KieferUniversity of Notre Dame2083.33%24586.27%
Alexander MassialasStanford University1666.67%23984.15%
Eli DershwitzHarvard University2187.50%21073.94%
Katharine HolmesPrinceton University2083.33%19869.72%

Probably not coincidentally, the top 4 picks are also the only US Olympians in the field (editor’s note: for clarification, Elanor Harvey is also an Olympian but not a US Olympian). Perhaps most interestingly, Lee Liefer and Alex Massialas are both #1 in the world in foil, but they weren’t universally picked. They were the top picks, but 40-something people each didn’t bet on them.

Below the Olympic tier, the vote count drops about 40 points to create a clear-cut secondary favorites tier specifically in Women’s Saber:

NameSchoolWinsWin %VotesVote %
Sage PalmedoPrinceton University1250.00%14551.06%
Adrienne JarockiHarvard University1562.50%14149.65%

Sage Palmedo and Adrienne Jarocki were the 5th and 6th most drafted fencers, respectively. And clear favorites for Women’s Saber.

Below that, we drop another 20-ish points to reach the contested top picks zone.

NameSchoolWinsWin %VotesVote %
Anna Van BrummenPrinceton University1770.83%12042.25%
Andrew MackiewiczPennsylvania State University1458.33%10235.92%
Sam MoelisColumbia University-Barnard College1666.67%9934.86%
Justin YooUniversity of Pennsylvania1562.50%9934.86%
Francesca RussoUniversity of Notre Dame2083.33%9734.15%

Everyone in this area is strong and generally highly favored, but the votes are a lot more split than they are for the previous picks.

And just below this zone is the strong second Women’s Foil zone:

NameSchoolWinsWin %VotesVote %
Margaret LuColumbia University-Barnard College2187.50%8830.99%
Sabrina MassialasUniversity of Notre Dame1979.17%8028.17%
Eleanor HarveyThe Ohio State University1979.17%7626.76%

All three of these Women’s Foilists were such strong picks that generally speaking, everyone’s second Women’s Foil vote was fairly evenly spread amongst Margaret Lu, Sabrina Massialas and Elanor Harvey. Which goes to show how strong the Women’s Foil event was because there were very few other votes distributed to any other Women’s Foilists besides these three and Lee Kiefer.

From here, the vote count drops rapidly into the long tail – a quick, even descent to the bottom without much differentiation.

Most Underrated

The most underrated fencers of the event were Andras Nemeth of St John’s and Alanna Goldie of Ohio State. Andras won the NCAA title in Men’s Foil, but only garnered 3 votes in total. Alanna won 19 of 24 bouts and came in second place only to Lee Kiefer but only got 9 votes in total.

Iman Blow and Maia Chamberlain come in a close third and fourth place for most underrated, both with 19 wins each but 13 and 18 votes respectively. Maia also finished second out of pools, and tied for third overall in the Women’s Saber event.

Theoretical Teams

If you went into the draft and only picked Notre Dame, the eventual NCAA Team Champion, you would’ve come out with 186 points that would’ve landed you a 27th place finish. Not bad, but not great.

If you followed the wisdom of the crowds and only picked the most frequently voted on athletes from each event, you would’ve scored 201 points, landing you tied for 12th. Pretty good, but not strong enough to truly be in contention for the top spot.

These theoretical teams show that it really does take some insider, specialized knowledge to be able to do well at Fantasy Fencing for the NCAA Championships. Or be a superb guesser.

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