Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight is back up today with predictions for the forthcoming NCAA tournament, tabbing Louisville as the odds-on favorite even though the Cardinals are only a fourth seed in the tourney. The pick isn't a total shocker, despite the somewhat middling seed for Louisville, since many observers believe the talented team is as probable as any in the field to take home the crown.
At any rate, Silver's site relaunch is much anticipated. The 36-year-old gained fame in 2012 for correctly projecting the presidential election in favor of Barack Obama for The New York Times while others had pegged challenger Mitt Romney to win. He parted ways with NYT last summer after forging a deal with ESPN, which is promoting his NCAA data on its homepage today.
ESPN is looking to create a stats-driven channel with a similar blog-styled draw to Grantland, the Bill Simmons vehicle the sports leader launch in 2011. Silver's been ramping up staff for the last several months.
E*Trade is an early advertiser on FiveThirtyEight, running banner and box ads on the site.