March Madness: Will Xavier Beat Texas Southern? A.I. Predicts

The Xavier Musketeers are one of the country’s top-scoring teams, with an offense that has powered them all the way to the number one seed in the West Regional.

The Musketeers will open the tournament against Texas Southern, who defeated North Carolina Central in Wednesday’s play-in game to make the round of 64. History says the Tigers won’t stand much chance. After all, no 16 seed has ever toppled a number one seed in the history of the men’s tournament.

To predict the result of this and other games, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. About 50 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 predicts with high confidence that Xavier will walk away victorious in its opening game. The hive mind came to this conclusion with 78 percent of its brain power, which is actually a little low. Leave the tiniest doors open for an upset, maybe, but not much of one.

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 on Friday at 7:20 p.m. Eastern in Nashville, Tennessee on TBS.

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