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Image credit: USA Today Sports / Reuters

Google will predict Final Four performance based on in-game data (updated)

The info will be revealed just before the start of the second half.
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USA Today Sports / Reuters

Google has been working closely with the NCAA during this year's tournament, but now, during the Final Four, the company will be using predictive analytics to make predictions about second half performance. The wrinkle here is that the team will use data from the first half of the game to come up with their prediction during halftime. They'll then create an ad right in the Alamodome, which will air before the beginning of the second half of the game.

The analytics that the Google Cloud team will be using to make the predictions will be based on the interesting facts they've uncovered while analyzing NCAA data: "everything from who blocks more shots per minute (for the record: juniors) to whether teams with a certain type of animal mascot cause more March Madness upsets (hint: meow)," according to a blog post.

But the team wondered whether they could do more if they used machine learning and their analytics to figure out what might happen during a game, based on how the teams were performing before halftime. That's why they're trying this halftime experiment using Google Cloud Platform tech. You can learn more about exactly what they are trying to do over at their blog.

While this is certainly exciting for basketball fans, the Cloud Platform team is hoping that the techniques they use, and what they learn from the experience, will be broadly applicable. The team will break down what their results were after the Final Four.

Update 3/30/18 12:44PM ET: This post has been updated to clarify that Google isn't picking winners during this process, but instead it will make predictions about overall performance.

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