The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 16, 2010

A PiRate Bracketnomics Sample–The Play-in Round

A PiRate Bracketnomics Sampler

The Play-in Game


Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Time: 7:30 PM EDT

Site: Dayton, OH

Teams: Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions (17-15) vs.

             Winthrop Eagles (19-13)

For those of you who have not read out Bracketnomics tutorial from Sunday, March 14, you need to scroll down and peruse it carefully so this will mean something to you.

Almost all bracket competitions around the country allow you to submit your picks as late as Thursday morning, one hour before game time.  You get the play-in winner as a free pick in your bracket, mostly because it is a logistical nightmare to add a separate space on the competition form.

We always believe you should wait until the latest possible time to submit your picks.  You never know when a team’s star player might come down with a cold or flu, and that is vital information.

Now, let’s take a look at tonight’s play-in game between Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Winthrop.  We will show how the PiRate Bracketnomics formula applies.

Here are the raw numbers for both of the teams.

Stat UAPB Winthrop
Scoring Margin -0.3 1.0
FG% Difference 0.4 -1.5
Rebound Margin 6.6 1.7
Turnover Margin -2.9 3.2
Steals/G 6.8 8.8
R+T 1.9 8.5
Schedule Strength 45.5 46.7
W-L Away Games 9-14 7-11
Raw Score -11.46 -2.29
Favorite   9.2


The PiRate system sees this game as a great one of contrasts.  UABP has a superior inside game, but they Golden Lions cannot handle the ball well enough to withstand the Eagles’ superior perimeter defense.  Winthrop will force numerous turnovers and pick up a couple of easy baskets in this game, and then their defense will turn up the screws and force UAPB to rush their shots.

We see this as a sloppy, low-scoring game and will take Winthrop to win by 9 points in the neighborhood of 64-55.  The Eagles will provide no competition for Duke on Friday.

Coming tomorrow, we will tell you which teams are contenders, which are pretenders, and which are possible dark horses.  We will give you these tidbits today.  One team rated much higher than all the others (and is thus our pick to win it all), and that school is from one of the Big Six conferences and in the Top 10.  One of the smaller conference teams was the only one of the 65 to score in the top echelon of every important statistic, with strength of schedule being their only liability, while another mid-major came very close to matching that feat and had a decent strength of schedule.

Only two teams of the 65 were eliminated immediately based on a negative R+T rating, and a record 22 teams this year possess the usual necessary criteria to win four times and advance to the Final Four.  A dozen more rate so close to the necessary number, that we wouldn’t be shocked if any of 35 teams make it to Indianapolis in April. 

Many pundits proclaim this to be an off year in college basketball with no real dominant team, but our ratings show it to be a balanced year with many teams good enough to dominate this tournament in a real off year.

So, come back tomorrow for an in-depth look at bracket picking plus a detailed look at Thursday’s and Friday’s 32 first-round games.

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