HSAC is a student-run organization at Harvard University dedicated to the quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management. This blog features the original contributions of Harvard undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and affiliates. HSAC does research for several sports-related publications and companies. Please contact us at harvardsportsanalysis@gmail.com if you have any questions or want more information.

NBA POWER Rankings

By Harrison Chase, Matt Goldberg, and Kurt Bullard Earlier this year, we debuted NFL POWER rankings based on win probability curves. The general idea was that we would used a modified version of the Colley method, where instead of treating all wins equally, we would weigh the win by the ‘dominance’ of the win, as …Read More

The Payout of Surprise Onside Kicks Has Never Been Higher

By Kurt Bullard In March, the NFL instituted a new rule that would move touchbacks on kickoffs to the 25-yard line, a move that received a good amount of backlash from media and fans alike. I wrote an earlier article discussing the possible implications of such a rule, such as increased scoring and an increased …Read More

Grand Larceny LA: Rams’ Trade as Bad as the RGIII Deal

By Kurt Bullard This morning, a trade was announced between the Rams and Titans in which Tennessee sent the rights to the first overall pick to Los Angeles for a boat-load of picks, including the Rams’ 2016 and 2017 first-rounders. Those with good memory might remember that the Rams were on the opposite side of …Read More

The 2015 Royals Dominated the American League

By Adam Gilfix Tonight, the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets will play their first game of the 2016 season at Kauffman Stadium.  Just over five months ago, these two teams squared off at Citi Field when the Royals captured a World Series title in Game Five, one year removed from a heartbreaking loss …Read More

Pitching and Defense in the Ivy League

By Mikeal Joseph Parsons Since Henry Chadwick created the box score at the turn of the twentieth century, baseball, perhaps more than any other sport, has been the subject of statistical analysis as a basis to improve performance.  With stats kept for batting average, on-base percentage, earned run average, slugging percentage–just to name a few–baseball has …Read More

This is One of the Most Upset-Heavy NCAA Tournaments Ever

By Daniel Alpert Round one of March Madness 2016 is in the books. From 15-seeded Middle Tennessee taking down Michigan St. to UNI hitting a half-court buzzer-beater to sink Texas, this year’s first round was full of upsets. Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there has been an average of about 6 …Read More

It’s the ACC’s Tournament

 By Dylan McDonough It’s the ACC’s tournament, we’re all just living in it. Through the first two rounds, one of the biggest stories of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament – besides record-setting upsets, unprecedented comebacks, and drama galore – has to be the dominance of the Atlantic Coast Conference. A record six teams from the …Read More

The Sweet 16: The Chalkiest Round of March Madness

By Benedict Brady As we get deeper into the March Madness tournament, it is tough to weight the importance of a team’s seed with its performance in previous tournament games this year. While most people would not initially pick an 11-seed over a 2-seed in the Sweet Sixteen, many more consider it a possibility once …Read More

Kicking Off Spring: The Impact of the New Touchback on Kickoff Return Strategy

By Kurt Bullard The NFL is months away from starting, but even in the midst of March Madness, the league managed to grab headlines. Yesterday, the NFL announced that it would move the touchback to the 25-yard line, inciting a lot of backlash from the media and fans alike. At the surface, this looks like …Read More

HSAC’s 68 Facts: March Madness 2016

By William Ezekowitz Here’s a dirty little secret about March Madness. The difference between a bad bracket and a good bracket is skill, but the difference between a good bracket and a great bracket is luck. Anyone who has won their pool has gotten lucky. A lot of these games are basically coin flips or …Read More