The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 18, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Saturday, March 19, 2022

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:07 pm

Saturday’s Games–NCAA, NIT, CBI, and The Basketball Classic

Saturday, March 19, 2022
BaylorNorth Carolina7.3
UCLASaint Mary’s4.6
Murray St.Saint Peter’s9.0
ArkansasNew Mexico St.7.9
Texas A&MOregon3.9
Wake ForestVCU4.8
BYUNorthern Iowa6.7
DrakePurdue Ft. Wayne9.5
Stephen F. AustinUNC Asheville5.7
Middle TennesseeCal Baptist6.8
UTEPWestern Illinois6.6
PortlandNew Orleans8.2

TeamO-EffD-EffSOS37+ 3ptOReb%-45% vs. 2ptFT Rate 37R + T New RateR+T Old Rate
N. Carolina276458.036.230.448.329.610.015.7
Saint Mary’s63957.335.027.846.023.97.313.2
Murray St.354048.435.336.048.331.315.224.0
Saint Peter’s2593448.335.332.043.537.15.09.0
N. Mexico St.877350.732.633.745.634.88.114.5

Bracketnomics Predictions

Baylor vs. North Carolina

Baylor is just a tad stronger across the board and has a lot more NCAA Tournament experience on the bench and on the court.  Baylor should win but not by a large margin.

Kansas vs. Creighton

This has all the looks of a large margin victory for the Jayhawks   Creighton’s offense looks to be in trouble against Kansas’s defense, and spurtability heavily favors KU.

Tennessee vs. Michigan

This should be a close game with several lead changes.  Michigan’s interior defense may be a tad vulnerable to Tennessee’s inside muscle, but, the Wolverines’ offense is considerably better overall than Tennessee’s offense.  Schedule strength and R+T Ratings are basically a wash.  Solely on the interior defense, Tennessee gets the nod.

Providence vs. Richmond

Can Richmond make the Sweet 16 with an R+T Rating that shows the Spiders receive little or no Spurtability?  Providence is not a pushover, but the Friars are most likely not going to advance past the Sweet 16.  Providence has the advantage in every one of these stats.  Richmond beat Iowa by playing a much better half court game than the Big Ten Tournament champs.  Providence’s win over South Dakota St. was a little more hustle points over half court game, and it gets really difficult for a team to keep winning the half court game over and over, especially when the other team has the decided Spurtability advantage.  Look for the Friars to advance.

UCLA vs. Saint Mary’s

This game could stay close for quite a long time.  UCLA has the clear-cut edge in the essential stats, but the edge is not large enough to call the Bruins a prohibitive favorite.  The key here is the FT rate, where UCLA might be a little quicker and force SMC to commit more than their usual number of fouls.  UCLA needs to keep its starters on the floor more than the average tournament team, and the Gaels do not figure to force key players to go to the bench with foul trouble.  Give the edge to the Bruins but don’t expect a big blowout.

Murray St. vs. Saint Peter’s

In all but one respect, these teams are rather evenly matched.  Murray State has a huge R+T Rating advantage, 15 points to be exact in the old counting stat version and three times more in the rate stat version.  What this means is that the Racers are likely to enjoy one major spurt or multiple smaller spurts and pull away from the Peacocks at some point in the game.  Saint Peter’s won’t have the ability to play catch-up after a large spurt.  The Racers will be an interesting Sweet 16 team.

Arkansas vs. New Mexico St.

This game has special meaning with yours truly, ye old PiRate Captain.  Five years ago, when he was the head coach at Nevada, I called Eric Musselman the best Mid-Major head coach and a sure thing success wherever he ended up in a power conference.  When he was hired by Arkansas, I predicted he would return the Razorbacks to the prominence they enjoyed under Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson and have Arkansas competing for a shot at the Final Four within five years.  He is only in year three, and he almost made the Final Four last year.  

New Mexico State head coach Chris Jans is my current top Mid-Major coach in college basketball.  It is my belief that when he gets a power five coaching job, he too will produce the results Muss is producing in Fayetteville.

Now, about this game: Arkansas has a bit too much defensive abilities for the Aggies to consistently score in this game.  The difference in schedule strength and the slight evidence that the Razorbacks have a little more quickness is enough to call this one in Arkansas’s favor.  Don’t discount NMSU; Jans can coach undermanned talent and keep games close.  The Aggies can keep this game close and even have a chance to pull the upset, but the Razorbacks have about a 65% chance of winning this game.  Arky goes to the Sweet 16 again.

Gonzaga vs. Memphis

Don’t automatically dismiss Memphis in this game.  While Gonzaga has a decisive Bracketnomics advantage, Memphis has two superior aspects that can be used to exploit the 1-seed, and both work together to strengthen the advantages.  

Memphis has an exceptional offensive rebounding advantage in this game.  The Tigers are one of a small handful that have an O Reb% in excess of the magical 37%.  Memphis also exceeds the 37% margin in FT rate, which shows the Tigers have explosive quickness to the rim.  If Gonzaga gets into foul trouble in this game, all their other advantages will be neutralized.

Gonzaga is still the pick here, but this game should be a lot closer than expected, and Memphis will have a chance to pull off the big upset if Gonzaga fouls too much.

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