Its a Huge Upset When All the World Cup Favorites Win

Warren Buffett has a great investment track record. So perhaps it’s no accident that he declined to offer $1 billion for correctly predicting the outcome of all World Cup knockout stage games, as he did for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament games.The odds of winning Buffett’s NCAA challenge were about one in 7.4 billion, assuming you chose the favorite in each game as selected by FiveThirtyEight’s NCAA model. But the odds of correctly filling out a 16-team knockout tournament such as the World Cup are much shorter.In fact, though there have been some thrilling matches in the knockout stage so far — six of 12 have gone to extra time and only two were decided by more than one goal — the favorite has advanced every time (at least as according to the FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup predictions).Here is the breakdown so far. The following table lists the win probability for the FiveThirtyEight favorite as of the day of the match, along with the cumulative probability of the model having called all knockout stages correctly up to that point in time.For instance, the probability of correctly identifying the winners in each of the first four knockout matches — Brazil over Chile, Colombia over Uruguay, the Netherlands over Mexico and Costa Rica over Greece — was about 23 percent, or one chance in 4.3. And the chance of going 12 for 12, as the FiveThirtyEight favorites have done so far, is just one in 75.It’s an upset, in other words, when all the favorites prevail. On average, we’d have expected three or four upsets through this point in the knockout round.Of course, there are four matches left — counting the World Cup’s third-place playoff between the two semifinal losers. According to the FiveThirtyEight forecasts, Brazil is favored over Germany on Tuesday (even after accounting for Neymar’s injury) and Argentina is slightly favored over the Netherlands on Wednesday. To complete a perfect knockout bracket, Germany would then need to beat the Netherlands in the consolation game while Brazil prevailed over Argentina in the final.All of the remaining matches look pretty close, so the FiveThirtyEight forecasts are likely to fail at some stage. If the model gets the matches right, however, it will have made good on a 1-in-553 chance of calling all 16 knockout stage winners correctly.Incidentally, this isn’t the huge success for the FiveThirtyEight model that it might seem. The FiveThirtyEight forecasts are probabilistic. Teams listed as 75 percent favorites are supposed to win about 75 percent of the time over the long run — not much less than that but also not any more often. There are supposed to be some upsets. If 75 percent favorites are winning 100 percent of the time over the long run instead, that means the forecasts are miscalibrated and overestimating the chances for the underdogs.In this case, the success of the favorites does seem to be mostly a matter of luck. Three games have gone to a penalty shootout so far — pre-match favorites might have a slight edge in those but not much of one. Mexico, meanwhile, was a few minutes away from defeating the Netherlands, and the U.S. was a few inches away from beating Belgium.The best way to test probabilistic forecasts is to check their calibration and to compare them against alternative probabilistic estimates. For example, if your model says that the U.S. has a 40 percent chance of beating Belgium and the consensus betting line gives the U.S. just a 25 percent chance instead, you should bet on the Americans — even though you expect Belgium to win most of the time. So far, the FiveThirtyEight forecasts have done well against consensus betting lines when used in this fashion — although that could reflect good luck, too. read more

Tim Duncan Moved The Spurs Up The RetiredJersey Rankings

FRANCHISESEASONSPLAYERS W/ RET. JERSEYSCAREERWITH FRANCHISE Celtics6720521.8491.7 Jazz437277.6232.0 Spurs508254.4250.7 1951 to present. Includes franchise lineages as defined by (e.g., the Oklahoma City Thunder entry also includes players whose numbers were retired by the Seattle SuperSonics)Source: Magic2800.00.0 76ers6710502.2295.2 Timberwolves2812.21.4 Pistons679252.2206.6 Pelicans29113.34.9 Before Duncan’s number was retired, the Spurs’ retired-jersey crew ranked ninth all-time; now it’s in fourth place, behind the Boston Celtics and the Lakers — no shock there — as well as the Philadelphia 76ers, who’ve had a surprising number of truly great players contribute for them over the years. But if San Antonio eventually retires the numbers of current Spurs Manu Ginobili (38.1 VAR with the club) and Tony Parker (37.0), the Spurs could pass the 76ers for third, particularly because the closest Philadelphia has to a jersey-retirement candidate is ex-Sixer (and current Warrior) Andre Iguodala (17.5) — and because Iggy was no fan favorite, I doubt he’ll even be considered for the honor.Duncan also gives the Spurs an average of 31.3 VAR per honored player, which ranks fourth among all franchises — and is higher than that of both Boston (24.6) and Philly (29.5). The gold standard in this department belongs to the Chicago Bulls (36.0), who’ve retired only four players’ numbers — Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and multi-time All-Stars Bob Love and Jerry Sloan. (Artis Gilmore and Chet Walker must be wondering what they have to do for their numbers to be taken out of circulation.) But the Spurs’ retired-jersey strategy has struck a nice balance between upholding quality and not being overly picky; San Antonio has discontinued a player’s number every 6.3 years, more than twice as frequently as Chicago’s 12.8-years-per-player ratio. (Duncan’s No. 21 became the eighth number the Spurs have retired.3At least, according to Technically, Bruce Bowen allowed San Antonio to unretire his No. 12 for LaMarcus Aldridge to wear, although I still included Bowen in the Spurs’ VAR total.)Other teams have less lofty standards of inclusion. As part of their apparent plan to commemorate every single member of their Bill Russell-era teams, the Celtics honored “Jungle” Jim Loscutoff despite his career average of 6.2 points per game, to go with a miniscule 8.3 lifetime Player Efficiency Rating (15.0 is league-average) and .017 Win Shares per 48 minutes (average is around .100). (In fairness, Loscutoff’s number was later kept active for Dave Cowens, a much better player.) Utah enshrined Darrell Griffith, whose nickname (“Dr. Dunkenstein”) was far superior to his stats (14.6 PER, .049 WS/48), and Portland honored Lionel Hollins (13.0 PER, .059 WS/48) even without a cool moniker to point to. Nate Thurmond became a Hall of Famer because of his performance as a Warrior, but his number was retired by Cleveland even though he played fewer than 12 percent of his career games as a Cav.Of course, winning titles like the Spurs have (five since 1999) is a surefire way to grease the wheels of jersey-retirement. It’s no coincidence that the bottom seven teams in the list above have won zero combined championships, and they’ve only retired three jerseys in total: One for a beloved local legend who played for a different franchise in the same city, and two for players who died during their careers. (Meanwhile, take the Knicks as a counterexample: They’ve won only two titles, and seven of their nine retired jerseys honor a player or coach4Yes, 12 coaches have had their “jerseys” retired, with the number often taking the form of their coaching victory total with the franchise (i.e., the number 832 is “retired” for Phoenix in honor of Cotton Fitzsimmons’s 832 career coaching wins). from those championship squads.)San Antonio wasn’t scrounging for numbers to retire before Duncan came along — it had already raised George Gervin’s iconic No. 44, and David Robinson’s No. 50 was well on its way, to go with some of their less-heralded teammates. But like he did for the Spurs as a franchise, Duncan has now elevated their honorees to the upper echelon of the NBA.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Knicks678198.5162.9 Bucks498313.6150.7 Thunder506145.8100.8 COMBINED VALUE ABOVE REPLACEMENT OF RETIRED JERSEY PLAYERS Nets507163.874.9 With Duncan, the Spurs have elite laundry hanging in the rafters Grizzlies2200.00.0 Cavaliers477139.099.2 Bulls514153.2143.8 Pacers504126.3111.0 Lakers6714672.8471.7 Wizards564103.379.4 Nuggets505165.8111.5 Heat293149.139.4 Mavericks37234.132.7 Suns499266.1173.5 Trail Blazers4710181.0135.5 Hornets1315.81.4 Warriors676210.4133.7 Rockets505224.7144.8 Raptors2200.00.0 Clippers4700.00.0 Hawks675157.3131.8 While he was playing, Tim Duncan lifted the San Antonio Spurs up the list of the most successful teams in NBA history. Now that he has retired, Duncan — thanks to his recently retired jersey — has also made the AT&T Center rafters among the most talent-filled in the league.To rank every team’s group of retired numbers, I grabbed data from’s franchise pages and then filtered out honored non-players — like longtime Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn (who has a microphone-themed banner hanging alongside the jerseys of Magic Johnson and company) or the No. 6 in Orlando, which is retired “in honor of the fans.” (Because they’re the “sixth man.” Get it?) For each team, I added up the total amount of value above replacement (VAR)1A cumulative value statistic based on a combination of Player Efficiency Rating and Win Shares per 48 minutes. generated by those players, both over their entire pro careers (across all franchises)2For my purposes, ABA statistics were given the same weight as NBA ones, because most former ABA teams that joined the NBA have retired the numbers of their ABA-era stars. and during their time with the specific franchise in question. Here’s the list, ranked by the latter category, to avoid ridiculous situations like the Miami Heat’s getting credit for Michael Jordan, whose jersey the team retired even though he never played for it. Kings679229.6173.4 read more

Bratyas IlaGurhoishaa A theatrical masterpiece

first_imgThe first show of ‘IlaGurhoishaa’ was staged on March 6 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. The audience gave a standing ovation to a peerless stage presentation of sheer finesse, precision and high quality. Theatre Platform, Khardah, since its inception in 1992 has produced more than 30 plays before and this is the latest. ‘IlaGurhoishaa’, the latest play written by the playwright Bratya Basu, is based on the story of a king, Maharaja Bir Narayan of the ‘Koch’ dynasty of seventeenth century Bengal and Assam. It is a tragic tale of the king which reflects the destiny of his lecherousness. Basu has again shown his remarkable flair of exploring complexities and controversies from the lost pages of history, this time from the history of the ‘Koch’ tribe of Cooch Behar. He admitted to have first conceived the idea from a book, Brihat Banga written by Dinesh Chandra Sen. Dinesh Chandra claimed to know about the history from the caretaker of the palace, Joynath in 1842, who had been advised by the chief advisor of King Harendranarayan, Kalichandra Lahiri, to write down the history.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The rich legacy and empire built by Maharaja Nara Narayan who died in 1621 was enjoyed by his successors and the practice of polygamy was prevalent. It was not unusual for the kings to ignore the consent of the girls or women they were attracted to before marrying them. The use of force in such cases was often practiced. In the narrative, Maharaja Bir Narayan got attracted to a young woman and used his shrewd tactics to propose her, knowing fully well that she was betrothed to a young disciple of her poor father. But she committed suicide soon, in the king’s palace and her lover and her teacher-father decided to take revenge of her death.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThey planned a disastrous end to the life of the king. Bratya Basu has expectedly entwined his imagery prowess with the historical backdrop to create this unbelievable saga of love, violence and death featuring the psychoanalytical complexities of human desires. The king with multiple wives is unable to keep any count over his children. The story reaches its literary climax when the king becomes a victim of his own lustful desires of objectifying any female that he gets attracted to. The playwright therefore uses his literary dexterity to oscillate between the logic of the psyche to the realms of imagination and fiction, thereby adding a different manifestation to the notion of Electra complex and naming it ‘IlaGurhoishaa’. Debasish, the director of the group, should be congratulated for pulling up another brilliant production on stage after ‘Kankra’. He admitted to having been bowled over by the play and the construction of the plot. He explained, ‘I tried to build the play frame by frame with the flicker of a Greek tragedy the way the playwright has penned the progress of the irreversible catastrophe.’ The treatment used in the direction of the play was similar to that of a Greek tragedy in theatre. The use of masks to create eerie and mystic effects was appropriate to generate the perfect feel of a tragic thriller. Some gruesome moments of killings of vengeance were performed intricately. The highlights of the production included the minimalistic use of props and sharply focused lights synchronised with digital background music and live music by Shuvodeep Guha. The detailed and technically strong sword-fight sequences with special effects pushed the audience to the edge of their seats. Tapan Das, the man behind the martial arts training, deserves a salute for making it possible on stage. The success of the action scenes reflects the professionalism of the actors and their relentless practice. The sharpness and strength of the script had a perfect resonance with the theatrical production. Goutam Haldar won the hearts of the audience by his aura and mannerism. The amazing combination of shrewdness and vulnerability, aggression and softness in the character drawn by the playwright was magnificently performed by this actor of great callibre. Senjhuti Mukherjee’s performance helped the play reach the height it did. Equally mesmerising was the level of performance of the new-comer Sumit Kumar Roy. He was the repository of tremendous energy and physical fitness on stage.last_img read more