March Madness: Will Michigan Beat Loyola-Chicago in Final Four? AI Predicts

Loyola Ramblers Men's Basketball on Facebook

Loyola-Chicago is the Cinderella to end all Cinderella, as the Missouri Valley champion looks to become the first ever 11 seed to reach the championship game.

To do that, they must first defeat the Michigan Wolverines, who look like the best-coached team in the tournament after a string of impressive wins. And said coach — John Beilein — has even said he would be rooting for the Ramblers if not for the fact he was coaching against them. This is a bonkers story, and it’s about to get another chapter.

To predict the result of this and other games, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the bracket. About 60 college basketball fans worked together as a hive mind to make picks. As you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a little golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the answer they thought was the most likely outcome. As the users saw the puck move toward a particular outcome, it triggers a psychological response. They readjust their decision-making, building toward a consensus.

Unanimous A.I.

The swarm favors the Wolverines here, though not with a ton of certainty. It’s a low confidence pick with only 76 percent brainpower behind it. Michigan might be the better team on paper, but Loyola-Chicago has made a habit of beating teams better than them on paper.

Read more from Inverse: The Perfect NCAA Bracket Is A.I.’s Biggest Sports Challenge Yet

Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our previous article explains. For instance, the swarm picked this year’s Oscar winners with 94 percent accuracy. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk.

The game tips off Saturday at 6:09 p.m. Eastern on TBS.

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