Giant Killers: History Lessons

Learning from the past makes forecasting upsets much easier.

Originally Published: March 18, 2009
By Peter Keating | ESPN Insider

As we have rolled out our Giant-Killer predictions for first-round upsets in the NCAA tournament, we've been getting a lot of queries that turn out to be different versions of the same question:

  • Why have we told people to stay away from Virginia Commonwealth versus UCLA when analysts across the country are picking Eric Maynor & Co. as the underdog du jour?
  • Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.