March Madness: Will Villanova Beat Kansas in the Final Four? AI Predicts

Kansas Men's Basketball on Facebook

It’s a battle of tournament blue bloods as the Villanova Wildcats and the Kansas Jayhawks face off. While the other top seeds disappeared in the rounds opening weekend — you might have heard something about what happened to Virginia — these two are ready to give March Madness its most titanic clash.

Who will win the game? Villanova has looked like the best team in the tournament, but Kansas may be coming off the best win against the best opponent with its overtime triumph over Duke.

To predict the result of this and other games, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the bracket. About 45 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 Villanova will win, but only with low confidence and 76 percent brainpower. Admittedly, a good chunk of the dissent is tilted toward picking the Wildcats with high confidence, but there’s no certainty that Kansas will lose here.

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 8:49 p.m. Eastern on TBS.

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