The Pi-Rate Ratings

April 6, 2008

A PiRate Look At The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game–April 6, 2008

A PiRate Look At The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game–April 6, 2008


Game Time: Monday, April 7, 2008, 9:21 PM EDT, San Antonio, TX

Television: CBS Network

Radio: Westwood One Radio Affiliates, including (some cities may have two affiliates, but it will air on just one of them-check prior to tip-off):

New York City: WEPN 1050-AM

Los Angeles/San Diego/San Bernardino: XEPE 1700-AM

Chicago: WMVP 1000-AM

Dallas-Ft. Worth: KESM 103.3-FM

Philadelphia: WPEN 950-AM

Houston: KTRH 740-AM/ KBME 790-AM

Miami: WQAM 560-AM

Washington, D.C.: WTEM 980-AM

Atlanta: WCNN 680-AM

Boston: WEEI 850-AM

Detroit: WXYT 1270-AM/97.1-FM

San Francisco: KNBR 680-AM

Phoenix: KGME 910-AM

Seattle: KJR 950-AM

Minneapolis-St. Paul: KFAN 1130-AM/KFXN 950-AM

St. Louis: KMOX 1120-AM/KFNS 590-AM

Baltimore: WBAL 1090-AM

Denver: KKFN 950-AM/KEPN 1600-AM

Portland, OR: WFXX 1080-AM

Cincinnati: WCKY 1530-AM

Cleveland: WKNR 850-AM/WWGK 1540-AM has a live listen link as well



University of Memphis Tigers, Memphis, TN

Colors: Blue and Gray

Coach: John Calipari  182-63 in 8 years at Memphis 375-134 in 16 seasons overall

Assistant Coach: Derek Kellogg

Assistant Coach: John Robic

Assistant Coach: Jose “Chuck” Martin


2008 Record: 38-1


UT-Martin                 102-71

Richmond                    80-63

Oklahoma (n)               63-53

Connecticut (n)            81-70

Arkansas State            84-63

Austin Peay                104-82

Southern Cal (n)          62-58 ot

@ Middle Tennessee   65-41

@ Cincinnati                79-69

Georgetown                 85-71

Arizona                        76-63

Siena                           102-58

Pepperdine                   90-53

East Carolina               99-58

@ Marshall                  68-45

@ Rice                          77-50

Southern Miss.             83-47

@ Tulsa                        56-41

Gonzaga                       81-73

@ Houston                   89-77

UTEP                           70-64

SMU                             77-48

Central Florida            85-64

Houston                        68-59

@ UAB                         79-78

@ Tulane                     97-71

Tennessee                     62-66

Tulsa                             82-67

@ Southern Miss.        76-67

@ SMU                        72-55

UAB                             94-56

Tulane (cusa)               75-56

Southern Miss (cusa)  69-53

Tulsa (cusa)                  77-51


NCAA Tournament

UT-Arlington               87-63

Mississippi State          77-74

Michigan State             92-74

Texas                            85-67

UCLA                        78-63


PPG                            80.2

PPG allowed              61.6

FG %                          46.7

FG % Defense           38.7

3pt %                          35.1

3pt % Defense           30.3

FT %                          61.3

Rebound Avg.           40.8

Opp. Rebound           34.2

Turnovers                  11.7

Opp. Turnovers         15.8

Steals                            8.4

R + T (*)                     14.9

PiRate (^)                   19

SOS (#)                       57.49


(*): This is my special rating to determine extra scoring opportunities.  The formula for R+T is: R+T = R + ((.2*S) * (1.2*T)), where R = Rebound Margin, S = Avg. Steals per game, and T = Turnover Margin.  For Additional Info, see my articles of March 17 and March 18, 2008.


(^): The PiRate Score awards points based on scoring margin, field goal percentage difference, rebounding and turnover margins, and R+T.  A look at the last 200 Final Four teams showed more than 80% of them scoring 12 or above in this stat.  It is actually used to pick teams with the best chance of advancing to the Final Four from the original field, but it is included herein.


(#): SOS = strength of schedule.  For the last few years, I have been using the SOS from CBS.Sportsline.Com and multiplying by 100 to get this value.  I have surmised that these numbers can be used to gauge, by taking the difference, the average number of points per game one schedule is from another.  Thus a PiRate score of 15 versus one of 18 can be considered equal if PiRate 15 has a SOS that is 6 points better than PiRate 18.


Starting Lineup


Note: Positions given may differ from player’s recognized position.  Some teams consider their five starters to be different from the five historical positions, while I list them by the positions they play on the offensive end of the floor.

Center: #3 Joey Dorsey, 6-9 260 Sr.

6.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 64.0% FG, 0-1 3pt, 37.8% FT, 0.5 ast, 1.9 blk, 1.1 stl

Strengths:  Powerful inside player who can hit the offensive glass and get easy putbacks.  Excellent defender in the post. Can run the fast break and finish like a smaller player.


Weaknesses: Foul-prone. Has very little offensive game outside of 6 feet, and a terrible foul shooter.


Power Forward: #2 Robert Dozier, 6-9 215 Jr.

9.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 44.3% FG, 29.0% 3pt, 67.5% FT, 1.0 ast, 1.9 blk, 1.1 stl

Strengths: Aside from shot blocking, he alters shots with his long arms.  He can rebound on both ends of the floor and gets a lot of junk baskets with his offensive rebounding skills.  He can hit the jumper out to 15 feet.


Weaknesses:  Doesn’t move well away from the ball.  Can become foul-prone.  Shot selection can be suspect.


Small Forward: #14 Chris Douglas-Roberts, 6-6 200 Jr.

18.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 54.4% FG, 44.3% 3pt, 71.4% FT, 1.8 ast. 0.5 blk, 1.2 stl

Strengths: Excellent at creating offense by moving with and without the ball.  Good jump-shooter with a threat to drive to the hoop if being overplayed.  Good position defense.  Excellent on the fast break.


Weaknesses:  Can be taken to the basket by more powerful frontcourt players.  Can steal the ball from him when he drives to the basket.


Shooting Guard: #5 Antonio Anderson, 6-6 200 Jr.

8.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 41.0% FG, 33.6% 3pt, 57.7% FT, 3.5 ast, 0.3 blk, 1.2 stl

Strengths: Best defender on the team and one of the best in the nation.  Can play any of the three backcourt positions.  Good first step in drives to the basket.  Strong passer.


Weaknesses: Outside shooting is suspect.


Point Guard: #23 Derrick Rose, 6-4 195 Fr.

14.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 48.0% FG, 34.7% 3pt, 71.1% FT, 4.6 ast, 0.4 blk, 1.2 stl

Strengths: The entire package!  Rose is Magic Johnson minus four inches.  Outside shooing is good and improving; ability to drive to the hoop is outstanding.  Runs the offense as competently as any other collegian, and he’s just a freshman.


Weaknesses:  Can begin to hurry when opponents slow the tempo down.


Key Reserves


#20 Doneal Mack, 6-5 170 So. G/F

7.1 ppg. 1.7 rpg, 39.0% FG, 36.5% 3pt, 66.7% FT, 12.7 minutes/G


#0 Shawn Taggart, 6-3 230 So. F/C

6.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 50.9% FG, 37.0% 3pt, 64.6% FT, 16.9 minutes/G


#1 Willie Kemp, 6-2 165 So. G

5.2 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 38.3% FG, 36.7% 3pt, 64.0% FT, 14.1 minutes/G

University of Kansas Jayhawks, Lawrence, KS

Colors: Crimson and Blue

Coach: Bill Self 141-32 in 5 years at Kansas 348-137 in 15 years overall

Assistant Coach:  Danny Manning

Assistant Coach: Joe Dooley

Assistant Coach: Kurtis Townsend


2008 Record: 36-3


UL-Monroe                107-78

Missouri-KC                85-62

Washburn                    92-60

Northern Arizona       87-46

Arizona                        76-72 ot

Fla. Atlantic                 87-49

@ Southern Cal           59-55

Eastern Washington   85-47

DePaul                          84-66

Ohio U                          88-51

@ Georgia Tech          71-66

Miami (FL)                  78-54

Yale                              86-53

@ Boston College        85-60

Loyola (MD)                90-60

@ Nebraska                 79-58

Oklahoma                    85-55

@ Missouri                   76-70

Iowa State                    83-59

Nebraska                      84-49

@ Kansas State            75-84

@ Colorado                 72-59

Missouri                       90-71

Baylor                         100-90

@ Texas                       69-72

Colorado                      69-45

@ Oklahoma State      60-61

@ Iowa State               75-64

Kansas State                88-74

Texas Tech                 109-51

@ Texas A&M            72-55

Nebraska (B12)           64-54

Texas A&M (B12)       77-71

Texas (B12)                  84-74


NCAA Tournament

Portland State              85-61

UNLV                                      75-56

Villanova                      72-57

Davidson                      59-57

North Carolina            84-66


PPG                            80.7

PPG allowed              61.3

FG %                          50.8

FG % Defense           37.9

3pt %                          39.9

3pt % Defense           32.9

FT %                          69.8

Rebound Avg.           38.7

Opp. Rebound           30.9

Turnovers                  13.1

Opp. Turnovers         15.6

Steals                            8.8

R + T (*)                     13.1

PiRate (^)                   19

SOS (#)                       55.94


Starting Lineup


Center: #00 Darrell Arthur, 6-9 225 So.

12.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 53.8% FG, 16.7% 3pt, 69.6% FT, 0.8 ast, 1.4 blk, 0.5 stl

Strengths: Great leaper with speed and quickness.  Decent shooting range up to 15 feet.  Excellent low post moves and inside shooting touch.


Weaknesses: Major problem with committing fouls.  Good defenders can steal the ball from him when he drives to the basket.


Power Forward: #32 Darnell Jackson, 6-8, 250 Sr.

11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 62.5% FG, 2-6 3pt, 68.7% FT, 1.1 ast, 0.5 blk, 0.8 stl

Strengths: Tough inside player who can rebound the ball and get second-chance points.  Good post defender when it comes to preventing the ball from entering the post.  Doesn’t make silly mistakes.


Weaknesses: Not much quickness may allow Dozier to have a much better than normal game.  Defense is not great once opponent gets ball in the low post.


Small Forward: #25 Brandon Rush, 6-6 210 Jr.

13.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 43.2% FG, 42.3% 3pt, 78.3% FT, 2.1 ast, 0.8 blk, 0.8 stl

Strengths: Plays taller than 6-6.  Has excellent speed and quickness.  Excellent shooting range to the NBA 3-point line.  Very tough perimeter defender who can also guard a bigger opponent.


Weaknesses: Not much explosiveness to the hoop when he has the ball.  If forced to go to the left, he just about won’t shoot or drive.


Shooting Guard: #15 Mario Chalmers, 6-1 190 Jr.

12.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 52.1% FG, 47.3% 3pt, 73.4% FT, 4.4 ast, 0.6 blk, 2.4 stl

Strengths: Great shooting range.  Excellent passing skills, strong on the ball defender and has tricky quickness to jump in passing lanes.


Weaknesses: Not a great ball-handler for his position and could be prone into making turnovers against Memphis’s pressure defense.


Point Guard: #3 Russell Robinson, 6-1 205 Sr.

7.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 42.1% FG, 31.8% 3pt, 77.9% FT, 4.1 ast, 0.4 blk, 2.0 stl

Strengths: One of the best defensive players in college ball.  Can smother a high-scoring opponent.  Plays intelligently and won’t make many mistakes,


Weaknesses: Not a great shooter.  

Key Reserves


#4 Sherron Collins, 5-11 205 So. G

9.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 46.5% FG, 36.6% 3pt, 76.8% FT, 23.5 minutes/G


#24 Sasha Kaun, 6-11 250 Sr. C

7.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 62.6% FG, 0 3pt, 54.1% FT, 17.6 minutes/G


#45 Cole Aldrich, 6-11 240 Fr. C

2.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 51.8% FG, 0 3pt, 68.4% FT, 8.4 minutes/G



Las Vegas Spread: Memphis by 1 ½ points with Over/Under of 146.5 points.

PiRate System: About the same-Memphis by a tiny amount


My personal thoughts:  This game will be decided by the pace of the backcourts.  If Kansas’s outstanding perimeter defenders repeat their performance of the last game against North Carolina, they will slow Memphis down.


Depth could be a factor, but with the extra timeouts, Kansas won’t feel the effects of not having Rodrick Stewart, while Memphis won’t miss a beat without Andre Allen.


If I had to make a pick against the spread, I’d go with KU at +1.5 and Under 146.5.


I picked Kansas to win the National Championship before the season and before the start of March Madness, so I’m sticking with the Jayhawks to cut the nets.  Enjoy!

This is the last blog entry for a month.  Look for a Kentucky Derby Preview on Friday, May 2. 


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