The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 22, 2014

PiRate Ratings 2014 NCAA Tournament–Round Three Preview

Record in Round 2: 26-6 (81.3%)   Total for Tournament: 26-6 (81.3%)

 

The PiRate Criteria held up quite well in the opening two rounds.  In our preliminary comments Monday, we mentioned six major conference teams that our criteria said were vulnerable to first game exits.  Of those six (Arizona St., Connecticut, Nebraska, North Carolina St., Ohio St., and Oklahoma St.), five lost, with only UConn advancing.  We gave you five double-digit seeds that we thought could pull upsets in their first game (Harvard, Mercer, North Carolina Central, North Dakota St., and Stephen F. Austin), and four of those teams beat their favored opponent.

 

Here are the matchups for Saturday’s Round 3 games with our criteria comparisons.  Remember, the criteria spread is not the predicted spread for each game.  We have commenced with adding a predicted score from the interpretation of the criteria spread.

 

Look for Sunday’s games to post here some time Saturday evening.

 

Round 3 Schedule

Time

Region

Seed

Team

Seed

Team

Network

12:15 PM

South

1

Florida

9

Pittsburgh

CBS

2:45 PM

Midwest

4

Louisville

5

Saint Louis

CBS

5:15 PM

Midwest

2

Michigan

7

Texas

CBS

6:10 PM

West

4

San Diego St.

12

North Dakota St.

TNT

7:10 PM

South

3

Syracuse

11

Dayton

TBS

7:45 PM

West

2

Wisconsin

7

Oregon

CBS

8:40 PM

East

4

Michigan St.

12

Harvard

TNT

9:40 PM

East

2

Villanova

7

Connecticut

TBS

 

 

Florida vs. Pittsburgh

This should be much closer than people might expect.  Florida has the advantage in shooting, but Pitt has the advantage on the boards.  The Gators have a slight edge in turnover margin, but Pitt has the R+T advantage.

 

PiRate Criteria: Florida by 1                       Prediction: Florida 66  Pittsburgh 62

 

Louisville vs. Saint Louis

Louisville has the advantages on all fronts—shooting, rebounding, turnover margin, and the all-important R+T advantage.  The Billikens’ only chance in this game is to control the tempo and take smart shots, hoping to catch UL on a cold-shooting afternoon.

 

PiRate Criteria: Louisville by 8                   Prediction: Louisville 71  Saint Louis 57

 

Michigan vs. Texas

Michigan has a considerable shooting advantage, but Texas should capitalize on numerous extra scoring opportunities thanks to a superior R+T advantage.  This one will provide the viewer with an extreme contrast where the finesse team plays the power team.

 

PiRate Criteria: Michigan by 2                    Predication: Michigan 72  Texas 68

 

San Diego St. vs. North Dakota St.

North Dakota St. is the best shooting team in the tournament, but San Diego St. is one of the top defensive teams in the Dance.  The Aztecs’ biggest assets are their ability to force opponents into turnovers and into taking poor shots.

 

PiRate Criteria: San Diego St. by 3             Prediction: San Diego St. 78  North Dakota St. 71

 

Syracuse vs. Dayton

Syracuse could have a bad shooting night, but the Orange should still prevail.  Their major advantage on the glass combined with Dayton’s propensity to get sloppy handling the ball at times, should be the difference inthis game.

 

PiRate Criteria: Syracuse by 2                    Prediction: Syracuse 64  Dayton 58

 

Wisconsin vs. Oregon

This game is the closest of the Saturday games according to PiRate Criteria.  Shooting ability is even; rebounding is as well.  Oregon’s defense is better at forcing turnovers, but Wisconsin is one of the best at not turning the ball over.  A slight advantage in schedule strength tilts this game to the Badgers.

 

PiRate Criteria: Wisconsin by less than 1   Prediction: Wisconsin 68  Oregon 67

 

Michigan St. vs. Harvard

Michigan St. has small advantages across the board thanks to a much more difficult schedule.  Harvard could keep it close for some time, but the Spartans will eventually pull away to a comfortable margin.

 

PiRate Criteria: Michigan St. by 6              Prediction: Michigan St. 74  Harvard 62

 

Villanova vs. Connecticut

Connecticut has a negative R+T rating, and we cannot select any negative R+T team to win after the round of 64.  Villanova should neutralize UConn’s rebounding strength in the middle.

 

PiRate Criteria: Villanova by 4                   Prediction: Villanova 74  Connecticut 64

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