Matthew Orsi

Document Type


First Faculty Advisor

Bishop, James


Sports; Playoffs; Probability


Bryant University

Rights Management

All rights retained by Matthew Orsi and Bryant University


The purpose of this Senior Capstone project is to analyze the distinctions between existing playoff systems. In particular, we are looking to analyze the differences between the standard single-elimination tournament (which the NCAA has used since the inception of the tournament) and other potential options: double-elimination and multiple game series. Popular sports such as Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association all use multiple game series for their playoffs. This project will use probability theory and simulation to determine the likelihood of different seeds winning a championship as well as the expected number of victories by seed in each tournament format. In addition, a comparison of playoff earnings versus general team expenditures are examined for three playoff structures.