As it becomes clearer which teams will land top slots in the NCAA tournament, which of the Giants are safest? Well, that's a relative question, because when we assess the vulnerability of highly ranked teams, sometimes we find that the results from our statistical model offset mis-seedings. For example, Kansas is heading for a 1-seed, according to Joe Lunardi's latest projections, even though the Jayhawks rank just 10th in BPI. But Kansas shares many of the same statistical traits with successful overdogs in the past and ranks as the fourth-safest Giant, according to our model. So Kansas really is as upset-proof as a typical top seed. On the other hand, Duke ranks eighth in BPI but has just the 17th-highest Giant Rating -- appropriate for the 4-seed the Blue Devils look likely to land.
In a few cases, however, our analysis rates teams as stronger than either their BPI or their projected seeds indicate. These are the Goliaths who are safer than they look, both from traditional and standard analytical viewpoints. In other words, these are the Giants who can make chalk pay.