The Pi-Rate Ratings

May 11, 2016

2016 NFL Draft Grades

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 8:24 am

We here at the PiRate Ratings are already hard at work updating our college and pro football ratings for the start of the 2016 season.

One of our most time-taking tasks is to grade the NFL Draft every May.  Unlike the mass media, where they aspire to come up with draft grades on the spot, we believe that there is only one way to possibly grade the draft before any players ever suit up on an NFL field.

For our purposes, the NFL Draft is no different than recruiting is for college football.  We can grade each player as a 1 to 5-star player.  Then, we can look at each team and speculate whether each player will contribute to each team in week 1 of the 2016 season.  That is all that matters for our purposes, because we are attempting to begin the season with the most accurate point rating for each of the 32 NFL teams.

Therefore, when you see the mass media claim that one team aced the draft because they picked up some great players, but none of these players are expected to be major contributors in Week 1, we may not have that team’s draft rated the same way.  Also, if a weak 2015 team now has 2 or 3 new starters thanks to the draft, then it reasons that this team has satisfied needs in a better way than most other teams.

Also, it goes without saying that just about all 32 teams make themselves more talented each year after drafting players, as they plug in better players for what they have released.  Sometimes, a team can be weaker, like when they lose great talent for a variety of reasons, and the new talent is not as talented or experienced.  However, in most years at least 30 teams improve their overall talent from the draft (and from free agency).  Therefore, a team may be rated dead last in draft grades yet still be improved from the year before.  Thus, draft grading is more of a task where we grade the level of improvement in power rating.

It also should be understood that from a draft standpoint, the actual point improvement between the most improved team and team number 32 is minimal, maybe as little as three points.

Here are our 32 numerical grades for the 2016 NFL Draft.

2016 NFL Draft Score Sheet
# Team Grade
1 Jacksonville 4.8
2 Cincinnati 4.2
3 Chicago 4.2
4 Baltimore 4.2
5 Buffalo 4.0
6 Washington 4.0
7 Indianapolis 3.9
8 San Diego 3.8
9 Tennessee 3.8
10 Seattle 3.7
11 Oakland 3.6
12 N. Y. Giants 3.6
13 New Orleans 3.6
14 Miami 3.5
15 Denver 3.5
16 Green Bay 3.5
17 Los Angeles 3.5
18 Houston 3.3
19 San Francisco 3.3
20 Kansas City 3.2
21 Philadelphia 3.2
22 Arizona 3.2
23 Pittsburgh 3.1
24 Minnesota 3.1
25 N. Y. Jets 3.0
26 Cleveland 2.9
27 Dallas 2.9
28 Tampa Bay 2.9
29 Detroit 2.8
30 New England 2.7
31 Atlanta 2.6
32 Carolina 2.0

The difference in actual pointspread value between #1 Jacksonville and #32 Carolina is a mere 2.8 points.  That will affect the game outcomes very negligibly this year.  Of course, there are many other factors used in determining our initial ratings for the teams.  The draft score is just one tiny variable, but it is also one of the most entertaining parts of our rating compilation.  We doubt you would care about reading a post dealing with how age affects pass blocking abilities of offensive lines, or how a new defensive line coach might affect how efficient a pass rush might be compared to the year before.

Most importantly, remember that all of the stuff we do is useful to us only for the next week of scheduled games.  After every team plays game 1, all this work we compile quickly becomes obsolete, replaced by actual game results.

We look forward to your continued support.  Our initial 2016 college ratings should debut around August 10-15, with one conference per day.  Our NFL ratings will follow the release of our college ratings.

 

April 4, 2016

NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship By The Numbers

PiRate Ratings For National Championship Game

Team Team Red White Blue
North Carolina Villanova 1 1 4

Red Rating–Uses an algorithm based on the Four Factors statistics adjusted to strength of schedule

White Rating–The Red Rating with comparative scores added to the algorithm

Blue Rating–An independent rating using an algorithm that does not include any of the Four Factors.

 

Four Factor Statistics

Four Factors    
North Carolina Offense vs. Villanova Defense    
Stat UNC-O Vill-D
EFG% 52.6 46.5
Reb Rate 40.6 29.0
TO Rate 15.3 20.7
FT * 22.1 16.6

 

Villanova Offense vs. North Carolina Defense    
Stat Vill-O UNC-D
EFG% 55.8 47.7
Reb Rate 28.6 30.2
TO Rate 16.3 18.4
FT * 22.2 18.1

 

Explanation of 4-Factors

EFG% = Effective Field Goal %.   [FG+(3pt * 1.5)]/FGA

Reb Rate = Percentage of offensive rebounds off missed shots.  (100* off. reb)/(off. reb + opp def. reb)

TO Rate=Turnovers committed (or forced for defense) per 100 Possessions

FT * = Free Throws Made per 100 Possessions

 

PiRate Criteria

PiRate Criteria UNC Vill.
Scoring Margin 13.2 14.7
FG% Diff 7.1 7.9
Reb Marg. 8.5 1.9
TO Marg. 2.1 2.9
R + T 22.8 10.5
Road W-L 18-5 19-4
SOS 57.74 58.54
Poss/G 70.2 67.5
Win Strk 1 12 9
Win Strk 2 10 7

Scoring Margin = Offense points per game minus opponents points per game

FG% Diff =Difference in offensive FG% and opponents FG%

Reb. Margin = Team rebounds per game minus opponents rebounds per game

TO Margin = Opponents turnovers per game minus team’s turnovers per game

R + T = PiRate Rating’s own invention to estimate additional scoring chances per game over the average team.  The formula is: (Rebound Margin * 2) + (Steals per Game * 0.5) + (6 – Opponents’ Steals per Game) + (Turnover Margin)

An R+T over 20.0 is dominating.  15.0-19.9 is excellent.  10.0-14.9 is very good.  7.0-9.9 is good. 5.0-6.9 is fair.  0-4.9 is not good. Any negative R+T is bad.  These ratings apply to the NCAA Tournament.  Negative R+T rated teams almost always lose in the first game of the Tournament.

Road W-L is the teams record in Away and Neutral Games

SOS is strength of schedule as determined by CBS Sports Ratings and multiplied by 100

Poss/G is number of possessions per game

Win Strk 1 & 2 are the teams’ two best winning streaks

 

Player Comparisons By Position

Point Guard PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3pt% FT% Ast/TO
UNC–Berry II 12.6 3.4 3.8 1.5 44.2 36.8 86.4 2.49
VU–Arcidiacono 12.4 2.9 4.3 1.4 43.9 38.9 83.3 2.83
                 
Shooting Guard PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3pt% FT% Ast/TO
UNC–Paige 12.3 2.5 3.7 1.2 39.8 34.8 77.5 2.98
VU–Brunson 9.7 1.8 2.6 0.7 45.5 38.1 77.9 1.39
                 
Small Forward PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3pt% FT% TO/MP
UNC–Jackson 12.3 3.9 2.8 0.6 46.8 27.6 68.1 3.63%
VU–Hart 15.5 6.7 1.9 1.2 51.5 35.8 75.2 5.26%
                 
Power Forward PPG RPG APG BPG FG% 3pt% FT% TO/MP
UNC–Meeks 9.4 5.9 1.1 1.1 56.3 0.0 67.8 6.69%
VU–Jenkins 13.6 3.9 2.2 0.4 45.6 38.4 85.3 4.40%
                 
Center PPG RPG APG BPG FG% 3pt% FT% TO/MP
UNC–Johnson 17.0 10.5 1.5 1.5 61.4 0.0 78.5 6.42%
VU–Ochefu 10.1 7.6 1.7 1.5 62.3 0.0 68.8 5.76%
                 
Bench Big PPG RPG APG BPG FG% 3pt% FT% TO/MP
UNC–Hicks 9.1 4.6 0.7 0.6 61.6 0.0 75.6 6.54%
VU–Reynolds 3.7 4.6 0.4 0.5 64.9 0.0 72.3 4.15%
                 
Bench Swing PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3pt% FT% TO/MP
UNC–Pinson 4.6 3.3 2.9 0.6 40.4 29.0 67.2 6.67%
VU–Bridges 6.5 3.2 0.9 1.1 51.8 29.9 78.7 3.01%
                 
Bench Guard PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3pt% FT% Ast/TO
UNC–Britt 5.5 1.5 1.8 0.7 38.7 32.9 80.0 2.06
VU–Booth 6.7 2.1 2.2 0.7 35.3 30.6 86.6 1.52

April 1, 2016

PiRate Ratings Final Four Statistical Preview

Team Team Red White Blue
Villanova Oklahoma 2 1 2
North Carolina Syracuse 9 7 11

 

Four Factors

Team EFG DEFG OR% DOR% TO% DTU% FT* DFT*
Villanova 55.2 46.8 28.4 28.6 16.3 20.5 22.2 16.8
Oklahoma 54.8 46.4 30.8 30.4 18.0 17.7 20.2 16.6
Syracuse 50.1 47.0 33.4 34.8 18.2 20.4 21.3 16.4
North Carolina 52.5 47.7 40.3 30.0 15.2 18.5 22.3 18.4

 

PiRate Criteria

Team PPG DPPG Mar. FG-M Rb-M TO-M R+T WLRd SOS
Villanova 77.5 63.6 13.9 7.1 1.9 2.8 10.3 18-4 58.54
Oklahoma 80.5 70.4 10.1 5.6 2.3 -0.3 6.5 15-6 58.74
Syracuse 70.1 64.6 5.5 1.7 -0.7 1.5 3.9 10-9 56.21
North Carolina 83.0 69.9 13.1 6.9 8.4 2.2 22.8 17-5 57.74

 

March 26, 2016

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Ratings

Higher Seed Lower Seed Red White Blue
Oregon Oklahoma -1 -1 3
Kansas Villanova 1 -1 4
Virginia Syracuse 7 7 3
North Carolina Notre Dame 9 7 12

March 23, 2016

NCAA Sweet 16 Preview

PiRate Ratings For Thursday and Friday

Higher Seed Lower Seed Red White Blue
Villanova Miami 3 3 2
Oklahoma Texas A&M 2 2 -3
Kansas Maryland 7 3 11
Oregon Duke 1 -1 5
Virginia Iowa St. 2 3 3
Notre Dame Wisconsin 1 1 -2
Syracuse Gonzaga -3 -2 -2
North Carolina Indiana 5 4 9

To those of you that read our annual bracket-picking story last week, you have our sincere apologies.  Never before has our top-rated team lost in its first game in the NCAA Tournament, but Middle Tennessee shocked us for the second time in NCAA Tournament history.  The first time, our founder had two tickets to the 1982 Mideast Regional, and once Kentucky disposed of little Middle Tennessee, he had a solid offer for $850 for each ticket two days later when Kentucky faced Louisville for the first time in a quarter century.  Those tickets became worthless when Middle upset Kentucky.

So, what’s left to say after Michigan State was sent packing?  There isn’t anything to say other than let’s get over it and proceed with our current update.

Because the entire world’s bracket has been busted after the first weekend, most places allow the fan to start anew with the Sweet 16 bracket.  If you still have faith in our system, and we do, since most of the 16 surviving teams fit the criteria, we will show you how we see it from here.

First, let us point out that no surprise teams remain in the tournament.  All 16 teams are consistent top programs, and only Gonzaga fails to come from a Power Conference.  Gonzaga today is what UNLV was 25 years ago and Davidson was 50 years ago.  The Bulldogs should eventually make it to the Final Four.

 

Here are the PiRate Criteria Stats for the remaining 16 teams.

Team PPG Def Marg. FGM RbM TOM R+T WLRd SOS OPos  DPos Pos/G
Villanova 77.5 63.6 13.9 7.3 1.9 2.7 10.0 16-4 58.54 2450 2440 67.9
Miami 75.4 66.7 8.7 5.2 2.4 0.8 9.3 12-6 58.22 2257 2268 66.5
Oklahoma 80.6 70.7 9.9 5.3 2.2 -0.1 6.8 13-6 58.74 2448 2451 72.0
Texas A&M 76.8 66.1 10.7 4.8 4.5 2.3 15.5 11-7 55.70 2506 2500 69.5
Kansas 82.0 67.9 14.1 10.0 5.3 0.7 14.2 15-4 60.22 2548 2550 70.8
Maryland 76.1 66.3 9.7 8.3 3.1 -1.7 7.3 11-7 56.77 2367 2350 67.4
Oregon 78.9 68.5 10.4 4.6 3.4 2.8 14.7 12-6 60.01 2514 2513 69.8
Duke 79.7 70.2 9.5 1.9 -0.3 2.4 6.5 10-7 58.97 2341 2346 67.0
Virginia 70.9 59.5 11.3 7.2 3.8 2.4 13.5 13-7 60.05 2151 2146 61.4
Iowa St. 82.1 74.7 7.4 6.8 -0.2 0.9 4.2 9-9 58.96 2451 2468 72.3
Notre Dame 75.6 70.5 5.1 4.8 2.5 -0.5 7.8 9-9 57.25 2218 2228 65.4
Wisconsin 68.1 63.9 4.3 -0.1 3.0 1.1 10.8 9-7 58.14 2187 2198 64.5
Syracuse 70.4 64.8 5.5 2.2 -0.7 1.2 3.4 8-9 56.21 2233 2236 65.7
Gonzaga 79.4 65.6 13.8 8.9 7.5 -1.0 16.9 17-3 52.35 2392 2404 68.5
North Carolina 81.8 69.3 12.5 6.8 8.3 2.2 22.4 15-5 57.74 2558 2531 70.7
Indiana 82.5 69.0 13.5 6.3 6.9 -0.4 16.8 10-7 53.79 2351 2354 69.2

Here are the 4-Factors Numbers for the remaining 16 teams

Team EFG DEFG OR% DOR% TO% DTU% FT* DFT*
Villanova 55.1 46.3 28.4 28.7 16.4 20.4 21.9 17.0
Miami 54.0 47.7 30.2 29.2 16.4 17.5 25.2 17.7
Oklahoma 54.7 46.7 30.6 30.1 17.9 17.7 20.6 16.2
Texas A&M 51.6 47.1 34.9 29.2 17.4 20.8 22.0 17.9
Kansas 56.7 45.0 32.7 28.3 17.7 18.7 22.6 21.9
Maryland 55.7 46.2 29.8 29.7 19.0 16.6 23.6 16.8
Oregon 52.6 48.2 34.5 30.6 16.4 20.3 24.6 18.2
Duke 53.8 49.1 33.8 34.8 14.0 17.5 25.8 15.8
Virginia 54.8 48.3 30.2 25.4 15.1 19.1 20.8 18.8
Iowa St. 57.1 49.5 26.7 30.2 15.7 16.9 15.7 15.0
Notre Dame 54.1 49.2 33.0 31.5 15.3 14.5 21.4 17.2
Wisconsin 48.6 48.2 33.0 27.6 16.9 18.5 23.2 19.6
Syracuse 50.7 46.8 33.3 35.0 18.5 20.3 21.0 16.7
Gonzaga 55.4 44.7 32.3 25.6 16.8 15.2 22.3 17.2
North Carolina 52.0 47.2 39.9 29.9 15.4 18.6 20.8 17.9
Indiana 58.9 49.4 37.1 28.8 19.7 19.1 20.5 16.7

Sweet 16 Schedule

Thursday, March 23, 2016, Sweet 16 Games
Time (EDT) Network Seed Team Seed Team
7:10 PM CBS 2 Villanova 3 Miami
7:37 PM TBS 2 Oklahoma 3 Texas A&M
9:40 PM CBS 1 Kansas 5 Maryland
10:07 PM TBS 1 Oregon 4 Duke
Friday, March 24, 2016, Sweet 16 Games
Time (EDT) Network Seed Team Seed Team
7:10 PM CBS 1 Virginia 4 Iowa St.
7:27 PM TBS 6 Notre Dame 7 Wisconsin
9:40 PM CBS 10 Syracuse 11 Gonzaga
9:57 PM TBS 1 North Carolina 5 Indiana

 

Here is our updated bracket for the remainder of the tournament.  This uses our PiRate Criteria and is not the same thing as the PiRate Red-White-Blue Ratings above.

Sweet 16

Villanova over Miami

Texas A&M over Oklahoma

Kansas over Maryland

Oregon over Duke

Virginia over Iowa St.

Wisconsin over Notre Dame

Gonzaga over Syracuse

North Carolina over Indiana

 

Elite 8

Texas A&M over Villanova

Kansas over Oregon

Virginia over Wisconsin

North Carolina over Gonzaga

 

Semifinals

Kansas over Texas A&M

North Carolina over Virginia

 

Championship

Kansas over North Carolina

March 19, 2016

NCAA 3rd Round Picks–Sunday, March 20, 2016

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:04 pm
Higher Seed Lower Seed Red White Blue
Villanova Iowa 5 4 8
Notre Dame Stephen F. Austin -1 4 -3
Oklahoma VCU 6 4 -1
Syracuse Middle Tennessee 6 10 5
Maryland Hawaii 3 6 7
Texas A&M Northern Iowa 7 9 10
Xavier Wisconsin 6 4 8
Oregon St. Joseph’s 5 4 8

 

Schedule

Time (EDT) Network Higher Seed Lower Seed
12:10 PM CBS Villanova Iowa
2:40 PM CBS Notre Dame Stephen F. Austin
5:10 PM CBS Oklahoma VCU
6:10 PM TNT Syracuse Middle Tennessee
6:45 PM TBS Maryland Hawaii
7:45 PM TruTV Texas A&M Northern Iowa
8:40 PM TNT Xavier Wisconsin
9:40 PM TBS Oregon St. Joseph’s

 

 

March 18, 2016

NCAA 3rd Round Picks–Saturday, March 19, 2016

Higher Seed Lower Seed Red White Blue
Miami Wichita St. -1 2 -3
Duke Yale 4 6 11
Kentucky Indiana 2 1 3
Iowa St. UALR 6 6 8
Virginia Butler 7 6 9
Kansas Connecticut 7 4 15
Utah Gonzaga -2 -1 -1
North Carolina Providence 10 8 22

 

Saturday Schedule

Time (EDT) Network Higher Seed Lower Seed
12:10 PM CBS Miami (Fla.) Wichita St.
2:40 PM CBS Duke Yale
5:15 PM CBS Kentucky Indiana
6:10 PM TNT Iowa St. UALR
7:10 PM TBS Virginia Butler
7:45 PM CBS Kansas Connecticut
8:40 PM TNT Utah Gonzaga
9:40 PM TBS North Carolina Providence

 

March 16, 2016

PiRate Ratings For NCAA Tournament Round of 64

Thursday, March 17        
Higher Seed Lower Seed Red White Blue
Kansas Austin Peay 22 23 31
Colorado Connecticut -3 -2 -4
Arizona Wichita St. 1 4 1
Miami Buffalo 12 13 14
Baylor Yale 3 3 11
Duke UNC-Wilmington 6 8 12
North Carolina Florida Gulf Coast 19 21 25
USC Providence 1 1 3
Indiana Chattanooga 10 8 11
Kentucky Stony Brook 11 10 10
Virginia Hampton 20 25 33
Texas Tech Butler -1 -1 -2
Purdue UALR 6 7 17
Iowa St. Iona 8 10 13
Seton Hall Gonzaga 1 -1 -1
Utah Fresno St. 7 8 15
     
Friday, March 18        
Higher Seed Lower Seed Red White Blue
Maryland South Dakota St. 6 7 8
California Hawaii 5 6 11
Iowa Temple 8 6 9
Villanova UNC-Asheville 13 14 22
Oregon Holy Cross 22 25 35
St. Joseph’s Cincinnati 1 -2 1
Texas Northern Iowa 5 6 10
Texas A&M Green Bay 9 12 18
Oregon St. VCU -2 -4 -4
Oklahoma Cal State Bakersfield 11 13 20
Notre Dame Michigan 2 3 1
West Virginia Stephen F. Austin 6 8 12
Wisconsin Pittsburgh 1 1 -1
Xavier Weber St. 13 13 17
Dayton Syracuse -1 -1 2
Michigan St. Middle Tennessee 16 16 21

March 15, 2016

2016 NCAA Tournament Bracket Selection

The PiRate Ratings have been in existence for more than 40 years.  Only in the last 14, have we included college basketball in our menu, and only in the last 11 years, have we presented this website to the public.  In that time, there is one day each year where more people congregate to this site than on any other day.  It’s not the Super Bowl week, or the eve of the New Year’s Day Bowl games.  For many years running, it is this day and this entry that has brought more people here than any other.  Bracket picking has become part of the American and even international culture to the point where people that do not normally follow basketball can be found filling out brackets like they are scratching the $2 lottery cards.

 

One day more than a decade ago, our founder had some time on his hands, and he started researching the past statistics of the NCAA Basketball Champions.  Then, he began copying their statistics to a spreadsheet.  It then expanded to include all the Final Four teams, and eventually included the top teams in the nation that lost unexpectedly.

 

What he discovered was that there were specific statistical similarities in the Final Four teams and National Champions of past years.  Looking at that year’s NCAA Field, he isolated three of the Final Four teams by examining each team’s statistics and comparing them to Final Four teams of the past.

 

In 2006, this system found George Mason as a dark horse contender and in another medium, our founder wrote that the Patriots were a team to watch out for as a legitimate Final Four contender.  Overnight, the system was “discovered” by other media outlets that brought our founder a lot of notoriety, and when he started this site, many that had followed him, or had seen his system reported on by Yahoo and Fox, came here.

 

Now that the history lesson is over, let’s get into the meat of this system.  You can read about it more in depth in Monday’s submission:  https://piratings.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/bracketnomics-505-the-advanced-level-course-in-bracket-picking-2/

 

These are our criteria points.

  1. A scoring margin of 8 or more points, with special credit going to 10 or more points
  2. A field goal % margin of 7.5% or more  with special credit going to 10% or more
  3. A rebound margin of 5 or more
  4. A positive turnover margin (meaning they force more than they commit)
  5. An average of 7 or more steals per game
  6. An R+T Rating of 15 or more (the Bracketnomics 505 post for an explanation of R+T
  7. A member of a Power Conference and a Strength of Schedule of 54.00 or more
  8. A Won-Loss percentage in away and neutral games of 75% or more
  9. A 10-game winning streak or 2, 6-game winning streaks during the season

Let’s get to it.  Here are the teams that qualify under each criterion.  Remember, as you look at these statistical criteria, that there is a large caveat.  The Stephen F. Austin’s and Stony Brook’s had schedules on average that were 10-15 points weaker than the Michigan State’s and Kansas’s.  Do not look at this data and make conclusions that are not meant to be made.  We will put the data into a bracket-picker for you at the conclusion.

Scoring Margin

Team PPG D PPG Mar.
Stephen F. Austin 80.7 63.2 17.6
Michigan St. 79.8 63.4 16.4
Wichita St. 73.2 59.3 14.0
Kansas 81.6 67.6 13.9
Gonzaga 79.7 66.2 13.5
Indiana 82.3 68.9 13.4
Stony Brook 76.8 63.4 13.4
Villanova 77.0 63.7 13.3
Purdue 77.7 64.6 13.1
North Carolina 82.3 69.5 12.8
West Virginia 79.2 66.6 12.6
Arizona 81.2 68.9 12.3
Yale 75.2 63.1 12.0
Kentucky 79.7 68.3 11.4
UALR 70.9 59.6 11.3
Hawaii 77.6 66.5 11.1
Virginia 70.4 59.7 10.7
Texas A&M 75.9 65.5 10.4
Connecticut 73.4 63.1 10.3
Cincinnati 73.2 62.9 10.3
Xavier 81.3 71.0 10.3
Duke 79.1 68.8 10.3
Oklahoma 80.4 70.4 10.0
VCU 77.2 67.3 9.9
Weber St. 76.7 66.9 9.9
Cal State Bakersfield 73.0 63.2 9.8
Maryland 76.1 66.3 9.8
Oregon 78.8 69.1 9.7
Butler 80.6 71.2 9.4
Vanderbilt 76.8 67.3 9.4
Iowa 78.1 68.7 9.4
Chattanooga 75.8 66.6 9.2
Miami 75.6 66.8 8.8
South Dakota St. 76.3 67.8 8.5
Utah 77.6 69.1 8.5
UNC-Asheville 75.6 67.5 8.2
Pittsburgh 76.0 67.9 8.1
California 75.1 67.0 8.1

 

Field Goal % Margin

Team FG-M
Michigan St. 10.7
Kansas 9.8
Gonzaga 8.7
Purdue 8.0
Maryland 8.0
Kentucky 7.8
Connecticut 7.8
Utah 7.6
Vanderbilt 7.5

 

Rebound Margin

Team Rb-M
Michigan St. 11.7
Yale 11.1
Purdue 10.6
Arizona 9.2
Colorado 8.9
West Virginia 8.4
North Carolina 8.3
Baylor 7.9
Stony Brook 7.8
Xavier 7.5
Pittsburgh 7.4
Gonzaga 7.3
Indiana 7.3
California 6.7
Kentucky 5.4
South Dakota St. 5.4
Dayton 5.3
Kansas 5.2
Hampton 5.1
Florida Gulf Coast 5.0

 

Turnover Margin

Team TO-M
Stephen F. Austin 6.2
Wichita St. 5.5
Green Bay 4.8
Fresno St. 4.3
West Virginia 4.1
VCU 4.0
UNC-Wilmington 3.8
Tulsa 3.5
UALR 3.5
Cal State Bakersfield 3.1
Providence 3.1
Butler 2.9
Cincinnati 2.8
Oregon 2.8
Villanova 2.7
Iowa 2.7
UNC-Asheville 2.7
Virginia 2.7
Southern 2.6
Texas A&M 2.6
Fairleigh Dickinson 2.4
Duke 2.4
North Carolina 2.2
Holy Cross 2.2
Michigan 2.1
Texas 2.1
Oregon St. 2.1
Northern Iowa 2.0
Temple 1.9
Chattanooga 1.8
Hawaii 1.5
Syracuse 1.4
Middle Tennessee 1.4
Stony Brook 1.4
Xavier 1.4
St. Joseph’s 1.3
Iona 1.3
Kentucky 1.3
Wisconsin 1.2
Connecticut 1.1
Miami 1.0
Kansas 0.9
Iowa St. 0.8
Baylor 0.8
Texas Tech 0.8
South Dakota St. 0.3
USC 0.2

 

Steals

Team Avg. 
West Virginia 9.9
Green Bay 9.5
UNC-Asheville 9.3
Stephen F. Austin 9.1
VCU 8.8
Fresno St. 8.2
Syracuse 8.1
Cal State Bakersfield 8.0
Cincinnati 7.9
Baylor 7.9
Hawaii 7.9
Chattanooga 7.8
Oregon 7.6
Fairleigh Dickinson 7.6
Iona 7.6
UNC-Wilmington 7.5
Southern 7.5
Oregon St. 7.5
Xavier 7.3
Seton Hall 7.3
Wichita St. 7.2

 

R+T

If you read our post yesterday, you  must know by now that the R+T rating is as valuable in the NCAA Tournament as raw meat at the tiger’s exhibit at the zoo.  No team wins the national title with low R+T ratings, and teams with negative and very low R+T ratings exit the tournament quickly.

This season, no major conference teams enter the Dance with negative R+T ratings.   However, there are a handful with low positive R+T ratings.

Unlike the other criteria, we include every team in this criterion.  It is PiRate Gold.  Basically, the higher the number, the more this team is likely to score easy baskets during the game and prevent the opponent from scoring.  When players tend to be tight at the beginning of the tournament, R+T ratings can tell you which are most likely to get dunks and layups, two shots that stay true when outside jumpers and even close-in jumpers tend to be off.  Also, when two excellent defensive teams face off against each other, and baskets are hard to come by, the high R+T teams will score some “cheap” points and most likely be the winner.

Remember, like in all other criteria here, schedule strength and power conference membership are as equally important at R+T rating and must be considered as the co-primary factor.

Team R+T
Michigan St. 26.7
West Virginia 25.3
Yale 23.4
North Carolina 22.4
Purdue 20.9
Stony Brook 20.7
Arizona 20.3
Baylor 20.0
Xavier 19.9
Wichita St. 19.7
Stephen F. Austin 18.2
Pittsburgh 17.5
Indiana 17.3
Cincinnati 17.2
Kentucky 16.7
Colorado 16.6
Gonzaga 16.5
Cal State Bakersfield 15.9
   
Near Qualifiers  
Hawaii 14.8
Texas A&M 14.7
Butler 14.6
Kansas 14.6
Oregon 14.4
Dayton 14.1
VCU 14.0
   
Good R+T  
South Dakota St. 13.9
California 13.9
Virginia 13.2
Florida Gulf Coast 12.8
Fresno St. 12.4
Chattanooga 12.3
Hampton 11.7
St. Joseph’s 11.2
UNC-Asheville 11.2
Wisconsin 11.1
UNC-Wilmington 10.6
Seton Hall 10.5
Villanova 10.0
   
Best of the Rest  
Miami 9.5
Iowa 9.5
Utah 9.4
Connecticut 9.4
Buffalo 9.3
Middle Tennessee 9.1
UALR 9.1
Weber St. 9.0
Notre Dame 8.1
Maryland 7.8
Duke 7.3
Austin Peay 7.3
Oklahoma 7.1
   
Okay in Early Rounds  
USC 6.8
Green Bay 6.8
Providence 6.0
   
In Danger  
Michigan 4.9
Texas Tech 4.3
Iona 4.2
Iowa St. 4.1
Tulsa 3.8
Southern 3.6
Vanderbilt 3.4
Temple 3.3
Texas 3.3
Oregon St. 2.4
Syracuse 2.2
   
Quick Losers  
Northern Iowa -1.9
Fairleigh Dickinson -4.1
Holy Cross -5.2

 

Strength of Schedule

These are the teams from Power Conferences with SOS of 54.00 or better.  No National Champion has ever had a SOS under 54.00, and all but a small number of Final Four teams in the 64 to 68-team field have possessed SOS under 54.00.

Team SOS
Kansas 60.22
Virginia 60.05
Oregon 60.01
Texas 59.88
Baylor 59.49
Utah 59.33
Duke 58.97
Iowa St. 58.96
Texas Tech 58.94
Oregon St. 58.77
Oklahoma 58.74
West Virginia 58.59
Villanova 58.54
California 58.52
Miami 58.22
Wisconsin 58.14
North Carolina 57.74
Kentucky 57.45
Notre Dame 57.25
Pittsburgh 56.86
Xavier 56.82
USC 56.79
Maryland 56.77
Iowa 56.69
Purdue 56.54
Colorado 56.45
Vanderbilt 56.44
Seton Hall 56.24
Syracuse 56.21
Michigan 55.96
Michigan St. 55.75
Dayton 55.73
Providence 55.71
Connecticut 55.70
Texas A&M 55.70
St. Joseph’s 55.49
VCU 55.24
Tulsa 54.97
Cincinnati 54.70
Arizona 54.69
Butler 54.61
Temple 54.61

 

10-Game Winning Streak or 2, 6-Game Winning Streaks

Team Win Streaks
Stephen F. Austin 20 5
Stony Brook 18 3
Kansas 13 13
Michigan St. 13 9
Wichita St. 12 6
Indiana 12 5
North Carolina 12 5
Xavier 12 5
Yale 12 5
Oklahoma 12 4
California 12 3
VCU 12 3
Virginia 11 7
Purdue 11 5
UNC-Wilmington 11 5
Colorado 11 3
Texas A&M 10 8
UALR 10 6
Texas Tech 10 5
Pittsburgh 10 4
Chattanooga 9 8
Villanova 9 7
West Virginia 8 7
Arizona 8 6
Hawaii 8 6
Oregon 8 6
Providence 8 6
Weber St. 8 6
St. Joseph’s 7 7
Gonzaga 7 6
Cal State Bakersfield 6 6
Middle Tennessee 6 6
Northern Iowa 6 6
South Dakota St. 6 6

 

Won-Loss Record Away From Home Floor

Team Won Lost Pct
Gonzaga 15 3 83.3
Hawaii 10 2 83.3
Michigan St. 15 3 83.3
St. Joseph’s 15 3 83.3
Chattanooga 16 4 80.0
UALR 15 4 78.9
Villanova 14 4 77.8
Kansas 12 4 75.0
Xavier 12 4 75.0
       
Near Miss      
Dayton 11 4 73.3
North Carolina 13 5 72.2
Stephen F. Austin 13 5 72.2
UNC-Wilmington 13 5 72.2
Seton Hall 12 5 70.6
       
Okay in Early Rounds      
Stony Brook 11 5 68.8
Middle Tennessee 13 6 68.4
West Virginia 13 6 68.4
South Dakota St. 14 7 66.7
Weber St. 13 7 65.0
Oklahoma 11 6 64.7
Miami 10 6 62.5
Oregon 10 6 62.5
Providence 10 6 62.5
Yale 10 6 62.5
Virginia 11 7 61.1
Hampton 12 8 60.0
Cal State Bakersfield 10 7 58.8
Utah 10 7 58.8
Wichita St. 10 7 58.8
Iona 11 8 57.9
UNC-Asheville 11 8 57.9
Baylor 8 6 57.1
Green Bay 12 9 57.1
Connecticut 9 7 56.3
Fresno St. 9 7 56.3
Maryland 9 7 56.3
Purdue 9 7 56.3
Texas A&M 9 7 56.3
Temple 10 8 55.6
Northern Iowa 11 9 55.0
Duke 7 6 53.8
Arizona 8 7 53.3
Butler 8 7 53.3
Cincinnati 8 7 53.3
Indiana 8 7 53.3
Fairleigh Dickinson 9 8 52.9
Kentucky 9 8 52.9
Michigan 9 8 52.9
VCU 9 8 52.9
Buffalo 10 9 52.6
Austin Peay 11 10 52.4
Iowa 8 8 50.0
Tulsa 8 8 50.0
Wisconsin 7 7 50.0
       
Homers      
Southern 10 11 47.6
Pittsburgh 6 7 46.2
Iowa St. 7 9 43.8
Notre Dame 7 9 43.8
Syracuse 6 9 40.0
Texas 6 9 40.0
Colorado 6 10 37.5
Oregon St. 5 9 35.7
Texas Tech 5 9 35.7
California 5 10 33.3
USC 5 10 33.3
Holy Cross 6 13 31.6
Vanderbilt 5 11 31.3
Florida Gulf Coast 4 9 30.8

 

Ranked by Criteria Met

After the number of criteria met, we have included “Alpha Dog” and repeated R+T ratings.  Alpha Dog refers to whether this team has played a difficult enough schedule and is a member of a power conference.  While there are cases where George Mason and Wichita State make the Final Four, the cases are very rare, and we go with the tendencies that have worked so well in the past.

 

The teams that qualify with 5 criteria and are also Alpha Dogs with qualifying R+T ratings have been highlighted in blue.  These are the top contenders this year.

Team Criteria Met Alpha Dog R+T
Xavier 8 Yes Yes
Kansas 7 Yes No
Michigan St. 7 Yes Yes
West Virginia 7 Yes Yes
Gonzaga 6 Yes Yes
Kentucky 6 Yes Yes
North Carolina 6 Yes Yes
Purdue 6 Yes Yes
Arizona 5 Yes Yes
Pittsburgh 5 Yes Yes
Stony Brook 5 No Yes
Villanova 5 Yes No
Baylor 5 Yes Yes
Chattanooga 5 No No
Cincinnati 5 Yes Yes
Hawaii 5 No No
Oregon 5 Yes No
Stephen F. Austin 5 No Yes
VCU 5 Yes No
California 4 Yes No
Colorado 4 Yes Yes
Connecticut 4 Yes No
Indiana 4 Yes Yes
South Dakota St. 4 No No
St. Joseph’s 4 Yes No
Texas A&M 4 Yes No
UALR 4 No No
Virginia 4 Yes No
Wichita St. 4 No Yes
Yale 4 No Yes
Cal State Bakersfield 4 No Yes
Butler 3 Yes No
Duke 3 Yes No
Iowa 3 Yes No
Maryland 3 Yes No
Miami 3 Yes No
Oklahoma 3 Yes No
Providence 3 Yes No
Texas Tech 3 Yes No
Utah 3 Yes No
Vanderbilt 3 Yes No
Oregon St. 3 Yes No
Syracuse 3 Yes No
UNC-Asheville 3 No No
UNC-Wilmington 3 No No
Iowa St. 2 Yes No
Michigan 2 Yes No
Middle Tennessee 2 No No
Temple 2 Yes No
Texas 2 Yes No
Tulsa 2 Yes No
USC 2 Yes No
Weber St. 2 No No
Wisconsin 2 Yes No
Fairleigh Dickinson 2 No No
Fresno St. 2 No No
Green Bay 2 No No
Iona 2 No No
Seton Hall 2 Yes No
Southern 2 No No
Dayton 1 Yes No
Florida Gulf Coast 1 No No
Hampton 1 No No
Holy Cross 1 No No
Northern Iowa 1 No No
Notre Dame 1 Yes No
Austin Peay 0 No No
Buffalo 0 No No

 

Xavier rates as the top contender, but we are a bit concerned about the Big East Conference remaining as a Power Conference.  While three other Big East teams made the tournament, this league has not fared well since the break-up of the teams that formed the American Conference.

Last year, five Big East Teams made the NCAA Tournament.  St. John’s lost in the second round (round of 64) to San Diego State; Providence lost handily in their first game to Dayton; Butler lost in the third round to Notre Dame (round of 32); and 1-seed Villanova lost in the third round to North Carolina State.  Only Xavier made it to the Sweet 16, and the Musketeers had a relatively easy trip to the West Regional second weekend by defeating an Ole Miss team that just barely made the tournament as a play-in team from Dayton and then Georgia State after GSU upset Baylor.

We are not eliminating Xavier from consideration, but we are knocking them down a few notches.  Thus, our actual top-ranked team according to our Criteria ratings is Michigan State.

Now, before we drive you crazy, ponder this.  No Big Ten team has won the national title, since the Spartans pulled the trick in 2000.  Coach Tom Izzo has taken MSU to five subsequent Final Fours, and Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin have made it to the Final Four in recent years.

Concerning the Big 12, overall number one seed Kansas does not qualify under the R+T rating.  However, the Jayhawks just barely miss out with an R+T of 14.6, and after a first game breeze, KU’s R+T rating could easily hit 15.  We are not going to dismiss Kansas because they come up short by a hair of having a great Final Four resume.

Bob Huggins has guided two teams to the Final Four, one at Cincinnati and one at West Virginia.  This year’s Mountaineer squad is better than the one he took to the Final Four and about on par with the great Bearcat team with Nick Van Exel, Corey Blount, Anthony Buford, and Herb Jones in 1992, where Cinti led Michigan in the second half before falling late by a couple points in the National Semifinals.

The shorter shot clock combined with Huggie Bear’s incredible full-court press makes the Mountaineers awfully dangerous against teams that have not previously played WVU.  There was a time when a long string of pressing teams won the national championship, but with slower paces, that style of play stopped being as effective.  Now, with the pace increased by about 7.5% thanks to the shorter shot clock, the press is a more potent weapon.  Even when a team breaks the press, they have less time to set up their offense and find a good shot.  The liability of pressing is that it can wear a team down, but WVU goes deep off the bench, and in the NCAA Tournament, media time outs are longer, allowing players more time to recover from fatigue.

Gonzaga made it to the Elite 8 last year, the zenith of the Mark Few era.  The Bulldogs did not win any big games this year until they finally bested Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament Championship.  The Zags have a very formidable frontcourt, but they fall well short in schedule strength, where there 52.35 reduces their criteria score down to Sweet 16 or worse status.

Kentucky and North Carolina are sitting pretty in the Criteria Ratings, as both meet 6 of the criteria, come from Big Conferences with high schedule strength, and most importantly, both merit recognition based on R+T ratings.  Being two of the most elite programs is not part of our criteria, but we also don’t totally exclude that fact.  They are the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals of college basketball.

Let’s look at how the PiRate Criteria see the brackets.  Wednesday night, after the last game in Dayton concludes, we will post our Red-White-Blue Picks for each game.  These are our everyday ratings and do not include the criteria listed herein.  These ratings use an algorithm incorporating the Four Factors.

As you will notice, while this season was tabbed a unique one with a lot of parity, we actually believe the top programs are more ready to dominate this tournament than in recent years.

First Four

Fairleigh Dickinson over Florida Gulf Coast

Wichita State over Vanderbilt

Southern over Holy Cross

Michigan over Tulsa

 

Round of 64

Kansas over Austin Peay

Colorado over Connecticut

Maryland over South Dakota St.

California over Hawaii (very close–almost a tossup)

Arizona over Wichita St. (or Vanderbilt)

Miami over Buffalo

Iowa over Temple

Villanova over UNC-Asheville

Oregon over Southern (or Holy Cross)

Cincinnati over St. Joseph’s [Lower Seed Picked]

Baylor over Yale

Duke over UNC-Wilmington (Criteria says this is closer than you might think)

Texas over Northern Iowa (very close)

Texas A&M over Green Bay

VCU over Oregon St. [Lower Seed Picked]

Oklahoma over Cal State Bakersfield (but watch out, CSUB has upset-worthy data)

North Carolina over Fairleigh Dickinson (or Florida Gulf Coast)

Providence over USC [Lower Seed Picked] (a weak game by criteria)

Indiana over Chattanooga (If UC still had Casey Jones, the Mocs would actually be favored)

Kentucky over Stony Brook (we do not see any chance that SBU will contend)

Michigan (or Tulsa) over Notre Dame [Lower Seed Picked] (Irish have lousy criteria numbers)

West Virginia over Stephen F. Austin (SFA got a lousy seed, as they are Sweet 16 worthy)

Pittsburgh over Wisconsin

Xavier over Weber St. (should be very ugly and possibly a 35+ point win)

Virginia over Hampton

Butler over Texas Tech [Lower Seed Picked]

Purdue over UALR

Iowa St. over Iona (expect a 90-80 type game)

Gonzaga over Seton Hall [Lower Seed Picked]

Utah over Fresno St. (could be close)

Syracuse over Dayton [Lower Seed Picked]

Michigan St. over Middle Tennessee

 

Round of 32

Kansas over Colorado (closer than expected)

California over Maryland

Arizona over Miami

Villanova over Iowa

Oregon over Cincinnati (almost dead even)

Baylor over Duke (Blue Devils missing defense in the paint)

Texas A&M over Texas

VCU over Oklahoma (big upset sends jump-shooting team home)

North Carolina over Providence

Kentucky over Indiana

West Virginia over Michigan

Xavier over Pittsburgh (should be excitingly close)

Virginia over Butler (should be close for 40 minutes)

Purdue over Iowa St.

Gonzaga over Utah (lowest seed in Sweet 16)

Michigan St. over Syracuse

 

Sweet 16

Kansas over California

Arizona over Villanova 

Baylor over Oregon (1 of 2 #1 seeds going out in this round)

VCU over Texas A&M

North Carolina over Kentucky (should be Final Four game)

West Virginia over Xavier (total toss-up and expected best game of the round)

Purdue over Virginia (2nd #1 seed going home in this round)

Michigan St. over Gonzaga

 

Elite 8

Kansas over Arizona

Baylor over VCU

West Virginia over North Carolina (3rd #1 seed departs)

Michigan St. over Purdue

 

Semifinals

Kansas over Baylor

Michigan St. over West Virginia

 

National Championship

Michigan St. over Kansas

March 14, 2016

NCAA Tournament Preview–First Four Round

Here are the opening Red-White-Blue Ratings picks for the First Four Round of the NCAA Tournament. These four games will be played in Dayton on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Check back Tuesday afternoon for our bracket picking process based on our PiRate Criteria posted Monday afternoon.

 

Higher Seed Lower Seed Red White Blue
Vanderbilt Wichita St. -1 -1 -2
Florida Gulf Coast Fairleigh Dickinson 6 6 8
Michigan Tulsa 1 1 2
Southern Holy Cross 2 5 4

 

 

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