The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 25, 2018

PiRate Ratings–College Football Week 14

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Friday November 30
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Mid-American Conference Championship Game @ Buffalo
Buffalo Northern Illinois 5.9 6.9 7.0
 

 

Pac-12 Conference Championship Game @ Santa Clara, CA
Washington Utah 5.4 4.5 5.4

 

Saturday November 24
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Big 12 Conference Championship Game @ Arlington, TX
Oklahoma Texas 7.2 7.4 7.6
 

 

Sun Belt Conference Championship Game @ Appy St.
Appalachian St. Louisiana 17.8 17.6 18.0
 

 

Conference USA Championship Game @ Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee UAB 2.3 2.0 2.8
 

 

American Athletic Conference Championship Game @ Central FL
Central Florida Memphis 11.3 10.4 10.8
 

 

Southeastern Conference Championship Game @ Atlanta
Alabama Georgia 12.8 13.4 13.3
 

 

Mountain West Conference Championship Game @ Boise St.
Boise St. Fresno St. 2.7 3.0 3.2
 

 

Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game @ Charlotte, NC
Clemson Pittsburgh 30.3 28.7 31.4
 

 

Big Ten Conference Championship Game @ Indianapolis, IN
Ohio St. Northwestern 15.5 15.4 16.0

Other Saturday Games

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Virginia Tech Marshall 12.6 8.6 10.7
North Carolina St. East Carolina 30.9 29.9 30.5
South Carolina Akron 30.2 28.2 30.4
California Stanford -5.2 -5.0 -5.2

 

FBS FCS
Home Visitor PiRate
Iowa St. Drake 42.7
Liberty Norfolk St. 26.5

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 141.3 139.7 143.1 141.4
2 Clemson 138.8 136.5 139.5 138.3
3 Georgia 128.6 126.3 129.8 128.2
4 Ohio St. 126.3 124.5 126.4 125.7
5 Michigan 125.9 124.5 126.3 125.5
6 Notre Dame 126.3 123.9 125.4 125.2
7 Mississippi St. 124.2 122.6 125.4 124.1
8 Washington 122.0 119.9 122.4 121.4
9 Oklahoma 121.5 120.2 121.3 121.0
10 Missouri 121.1 119.6 122.1 120.9
11 Penn St. 119.3 117.0 119.0 118.4
12 L S U 117.6 116.7 118.4 117.6
13 Auburn 116.8 115.6 118.1 116.8
14 West Virginia 117.3 116.1 116.5 116.6
15 Iowa 117.2 115.3 116.6 116.4
16 Utah 116.6 115.3 117.0 116.3
17 Washington St. 115.8 114.7 115.5 115.3
18 Miami 115.8 114.4 115.4 115.2
19 Florida 115.2 113.6 115.7 114.8
20 Texas A&M 114.6 113.6 115.1 114.4
21 Central Florida 114.0 114.4 114.5 114.3
22 Stanford 114.5 112.3 114.5 113.8
23 Texas 114.3 112.8 113.7 113.6
24 Iowa State 113.5 111.8 112.9 112.7
25 Georgia Tech 113.1 111.9 112.7 112.6
26 S. Carolina 112.9 111.7 112.6 112.4
27 Kentucky 112.7 111.4 112.5 112.2
28 Syracuse 112.7 111.4 112.2 112.1
29 N. Carolina St. 112.5 111.6 111.7 111.9
30 Fresno St. 111.8 111.3 111.8 111.7
31 Boise St. 111.5 111.4 112.0 111.6
32 Oregon 111.2 110.9 111.8 111.3
33 Michigan St. 112.0 109.9 111.3 111.1
34 Boston College 111.6 109.4 111.1 110.7
35 Utah St. 109.7 110.9 110.6 110.4
36 Northwestern 110.7 109.2 110.4 110.1
37 Arizona St. 110.2 108.9 109.8 109.6
38 Purdue 110.0 108.3 109.7 109.3
39 Pittsburgh 109.5 108.7 109.0 109.1
40 Oklahoma St. 109.6 108.0 109.5 109.0
41 Duke 109.4 107.4 108.6 108.5
42 Wisconsin 109.3 106.9 108.4 108.2
43 California 108.3 106.3 108.3 107.6
44 U S C 107.1 105.6 106.2 106.3
45 Texas Tech 107.0 105.4 105.7 106.0
46 Virginia 106.2 106.1 105.4 105.9
47 Vanderbilt 105.7 105.7 106.1 105.9
48 Temple 105.5 105.8 106.1 105.8
49 Wake Forest 106.8 105.0 105.0 105.6
50 T C U 106.5 105.2 105.1 105.6
51 Memphis 104.7 106.0 105.7 105.5
52 Nebraska 105.4 104.2 104.9 104.8
53 Kansas St. 104.8 103.6 104.1 104.2
54 Ohio U 103.3 104.5 104.2 104.0
55 Virginia Tech 104.3 103.1 103.5 103.6
56 Army 103.1 103.8 103.3 103.4
57 Cincinnati 102.7 104.1 103.2 103.3
58 Baylor 103.8 102.2 103.4 103.1
59 Florida St. 103.7 102.4 102.8 102.9
60 Ole Miss 102.5 101.8 102.7 102.3
61 Minnesota 102.8 101.4 102.3 102.2
62 Arizona 102.1 100.7 102.4 101.7
63 Maryland 102.4 100.9 101.5 101.6
64 BYU 100.9 101.5 101.9 101.4
65 Houston 101.1 101.6 101.2 101.3
66 Indiana 101.4 100.2 101.1 100.9
67 Buffalo 99.6 101.6 100.9 100.7
68 N. Carolina 100.7 100.0 100.7 100.5
69 Toledo 99.4 100.9 99.6 100.0
70 U C L A 100.7 100.1 99.2 100.0
71 Appalachian St. 98.7 100.6 100.3 99.8
72 Tennessee 98.6 99.0 98.0 98.5
73 Colorado 98.4 98.5 98.5 98.5
74 Kansas 98.4 97.1 97.5 97.7
75 Wyoming 97.2 97.7 97.2 97.3
76 Middle Tennessee 96.2 98.2 97.4 97.3
77 Miami (O) 95.7 97.6 97.8 97.0
78 U A B 95.9 98.2 96.6 96.9
79 Northern Illinois 96.2 97.1 96.4 96.6
80 N. Texas 95.7 98.2 95.7 96.5
81 Air Force 95.6 96.2 95.9 95.9
82 Eastern Michigan 95.2 96.6 95.5 95.8
83 Arkansas 96.7 94.3 95.7 95.6
84 Marshall 94.2 97.0 95.3 95.5
85 Florida Atlantic 94.4 95.6 94.8 94.9
86 Nevada 94.8 94.9 94.6 94.8
87 San Diego St. 94.6 94.7 94.8 94.7
88 SMU 94.2 93.7 93.2 93.7
89 Tulane 93.0 93.5 92.7 93.1
90 Troy 91.4 93.0 92.9 92.4
91 Arkansas St. 91.2 92.8 92.9 92.3
92 Georgia Southern 90.5 92.4 91.2 91.4
93 Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.0 90.3 91.0
94 South Florida 90.5 91.9 90.1 90.8
95 Western Michigan 89.8 91.4 90.7 90.7
96 Tulsa 90.0 89.8 90.0 89.9
97 Louisiana Tech 89.0 90.9 89.3 89.7
98 Southern Miss. 88.2 91.4 89.0 89.6
99 Rutgers 90.2 89.1 89.1 89.5
100 Navy 88.7 90.5 88.8 89.4
101 Illinois 89.6 89.0 88.6 89.1
102 UL-Monroe 85.9 86.7 86.5 86.4
103 Akron 85.6 86.5 85.1 85.8
104 W. Kentucky 84.1 87.0 84.7 85.3
105 Louisiana 83.3 85.5 84.8 84.5
106 Colorado St. 83.5 84.2 83.3 83.7
107 U N L V 83.2 84.1 83.3 83.5
108 Oregon St. 84.4 82.5 83.4 83.4
109 Louisville 83.9 83.3 82.7 83.3
110 East Carolina 83.1 83.2 82.7 83.0
111 Charlotte 81.8 84.4 82.7 83.0
112 New Mexico 82.6 83.3 81.8 82.6
113 Hawaii 82.2 83.8 81.7 82.6
114 Massachusetts 80.9 82.3 81.2 81.5
115 Bowling Green 80.5 81.4 80.9 80.9
116 Old Dominion 79.7 82.9 79.6 80.8
117 San Jose St. 80.4 81.3 79.8 80.5
118 Ball St. 79.9 81.9 79.7 80.5
119 Liberty 80.4 79.9 80.4 80.3
120 Central Michigan 79.0 81.0 79.0 79.7
121 Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.9 79.3
122 Coastal Carolina 76.0 78.1 76.3 76.8
123 Georgia St. 75.6 77.2 75.6 76.1
124 U T S A 73.6 77.2 74.0 75.0
125 South Alabama 73.4 75.2 73.8 74.1
126 Texas State 72.8 75.2 73.1 73.7
127 N. Mexico St. 72.3 73.8 72.3 72.8
128 Rice 70.0 72.7 69.0 70.6
129 Connecticut 70.2 70.5 69.3 70.0
130 U T E P 68.8 71.8 68.6 69.7

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Central Florida 114.0 114.4 114.5 114.3 8-0 11-0
Temple 105.5 105.8 106.1 105.8 7-1 8-4
Cincinnati 102.7 104.1 103.2 103.3 6-2 10-2
South Florida 90.5 91.9 90.1 90.8 3-5 7-5
East Carolina 83.1 83.2 82.7 83.0 1-7 3-8
Connecticut 70.2 70.5 69.3 70.0 0-8 1-11
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Memphis 104.7 106.0 105.7 105.5 5-3 8-4
Houston 101.1 101.6 101.2 101.3 5-3 8-4
SMU 94.2 93.7 93.2 93.7 4-4 5-7
Tulane 93.0 93.5 92.7 93.1 5-3 6-6
Tulsa 90.0 89.8 90.0 89.9 2-6 3-9
Navy 88.7 90.5 88.8 89.4 2-6 3-9
AAC Averages 94.8 95.4 94.8 95.0
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Clemson 138.8 136.5 139.5 138.3 8-0 12-0
Syracuse 112.7 111.4 112.2 112.1 6-2 9-3
N. Carolina St. 112.5 111.6 111.7 111.9 5-3 8-3
Boston College 111.6 109.4 111.1 110.7 4-4 7-5
Wake Forest 106.8 105.0 105.0 105.6 3-5 6-6
Florida St. 103.7 102.4 102.8 102.9 3-5 5-7
Louisville 83.9 83.3 82.7 83.3 0-8 2-10
Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Miami 115.8 114.4 115.4 115.2 4-4 7-5
Georgia Tech 113.1 111.9 112.7 112.6 5-3 7-5
Pittsburgh 109.5 108.7 109.0 109.1 6-2 7-5
Duke 109.4 107.4 108.6 108.5 3-5 7-5
Virginia 106.2 106.1 105.4 105.9 4-4 7-5
Virginia Tech 104.3 103.1 103.5 103.6 4-4 5-6
N. Carolina 100.7 100.0 100.7 100.5 1-7 2-9
ACC Averages 109.2 108.0 108.6 108.6
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average B12 Overall
Oklahoma 121.5 120.2 121.3 121.0 8-1 11-1
West Virginia 117.3 116.1 116.5 116.6 6-3 8-3
Texas 114.3 112.8 113.7 113.6 7-2 9-3
Iowa State 113.5 111.8 112.9 112.7 6-3 7-4
Oklahoma St. 109.6 108.0 109.5 109.0 3-6 6-6
Texas Tech 107.0 105.4 105.7 106.0 3-6 5-7
T C U 106.5 105.2 105.1 105.6 4-5 6-6
Kansas St. 104.8 103.6 104.1 104.2 3-6 5-7
Baylor 103.8 102.2 103.4 103.1 4-5 6-6
Kansas 98.4 97.1 97.5 97.7 1-8 3-9
Big 12 Averages 109.7 108.2 109.0 109.0
Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Ohio St. 126.3 124.5 126.4 125.7 8-1 11-1
Michigan 125.9 124.5 126.3 125.5 8-1 10-2
Penn St. 119.3 117.0 119.0 118.4 6-3 9-3
Michigan St. 112.0 109.9 111.3 111.1 5-4 7-5
Maryland 102.4 100.9 101.5 101.6 3-6 5-7
Indiana 101.4 100.2 101.1 100.9 2-7 5-7
Rutgers 90.2 89.1 89.1 89.5 0-9 1-11
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Iowa 117.2 115.3 116.6 116.4 5-4 8-4
Northwestern 110.7 109.2 110.4 110.1 8-1 8-4
Purdue 110.0 108.3 109.7 109.3 5-4 6-6
Wisconsin 109.3 106.9 108.4 108.2 5-4 7-5
Nebraska 105.4 104.2 104.9 104.8 3-6 4-8
Minnesota 102.8 101.4 102.3 102.2 3-6 6-6
Illinois 89.6 89.0 88.6 89.1 2-7 4-8
Big Ten Averages 108.8 107.2 108.2 108.1
Conference USA
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Middle Tennessee 96.2 98.2 97.4 97.3 7-1 8-4
Marshall 94.2 97.0 95.3 95.5 6-2 8-3
Florida Atlantic 94.4 95.6 94.8 94.9 3-5 5-7
Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.0 90.3 91.0 6-2 8-4
W. Kentucky 84.1 87.0 84.7 85.3 2-6 3-9
Charlotte 81.8 84.4 82.7 83.0 4-4 5-7
Old Dominion 79.7 82.9 79.6 80.8 2-6 4-8
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
U A B 95.9 98.2 96.6 96.9 7-1 9-3
N. Texas 95.7 98.2 95.7 96.5 5-3 9-3
Louisiana Tech 89.0 90.9 89.3 89.7 5-3 7-5
Southern Miss. 88.2 91.4 89.0 89.6 4-4 6-5
U T S A 73.6 77.2 74.0 75.0 2-6 3-9
Rice 70.0 72.7 69.0 70.6 1-7 2-11
U T E P 68.8 71.8 68.6 69.7 1-7 1-11
CUSA Averages 85.8 88.5 86.2 86.8
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average Conf. Overall
Notre Dame 126.3 123.9 125.4 125.2 x 12-0
Army 103.1 103.8 103.3 103.4 x 9-2
BYU 100.9 101.5 101.9 101.4 x 6-6
Massachusetts 80.9 82.3 81.2 81.5 x 4-8
Liberty 80.4 79.9 80.4 80.3 x 5-6
N. Mexico St. 72.3 73.8 72.3 72.8 x 3-9
Indep. Averages 94.0 94.2 94.1 94.1
Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Ohio U 103.3 104.5 104.2 104.0 6-2 8-4
Buffalo 99.6 101.6 100.9 100.7 7-1 10-2
Miami (O) 95.7 97.6 97.8 97.0 6-2 6-6
Akron 85.6 86.5 85.1 85.8 2-6 4-7
Bowling Green 80.5 81.4 80.9 80.9 2-6 3-9
Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.9 79.3 1-7 2-10
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Toledo 99.4 100.9 99.6 100.0 5-3 7-5
Northern Illinois 96.2 97.1 96.4 96.6 6-2 7-5
Eastern Michigan 95.2 96.6 95.5 95.8 5-3 7-5
Western Michigan 89.8 91.4 90.7 90.7 5-3 7-5
Ball St. 79.9 81.9 79.7 80.5 3-5 4-8
Central Michigan 79.0 81.0 79.0 79.7 0-8 1-11
MAC Averages 90.3 91.7 90.7 90.9
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Boise St. 111.5 111.4 112.0 111.6 7-1 10-2
Utah St. 109.7 110.9 110.6 110.4 7-1 10-2
Wyoming 97.2 97.7 97.2 97.3 4-4 6-6
Air Force 95.6 96.2 95.9 95.9 3-5 5-7
Colorado St. 83.5 84.2 83.3 83.7 2-6 3-9
New Mexico 82.6 83.3 81.8 82.6 1-7 3-9
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Fresno St. 111.8 111.3 111.8 111.7 7-1 10-2
Nevada 94.8 94.9 94.6 94.8 5-3 7-5
San Diego St. 94.6 94.7 94.8 94.7 4-4 7-5
U N L V 83.2 84.1 83.3 83.5 2-6 4-8
Hawaii 82.2 83.8 81.7 82.6 5-3 8-5
San Jose St. 80.4 81.3 79.8 80.5 1-7 1-11
MWC Averages 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Washington 122.0 119.9 122.4 121.4 7-2 9-3
Washington St. 115.8 114.7 115.5 115.3 7-2 10-2
Stanford 114.5 112.3 114.5 113.8 5-3 7-4
Oregon 111.2 110.9 111.8 111.3 5-4 8-4
California 108.3 106.3 108.3 107.6 4-4 7-4
Oregon St. 84.4 82.5 83.4 83.4 1-8 2-10
South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Utah 116.6 115.3 117.0 116.3 6-3 9-3
Arizona St. 110.2 108.9 109.8 109.6 5-4 7-5
U S C 107.1 105.6 106.2 106.3 4-5 5-7
Arizona 102.1 100.7 102.4 101.7 4-5 5-7
U C L A 100.7 100.1 99.2 100.0 3-6 3-9
Colorado 98.4 98.5 98.5 98.5 2-7 5-7
Pac-12 Averages 107.6 106.3 107.4 107.1
Southeastern Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Georgia 128.6 126.3 129.8 128.2 7-1 11-1
Missouri 121.1 119.6 122.1 120.9 4-4 8-4
Florida 115.2 113.6 115.7 114.8 5-3 9-3
S. Carolina 112.9 111.7 112.6 112.4 4-4 6-5
Kentucky 112.7 111.4 112.5 112.2 5-3 9-3
Vanderbilt 105.7 105.7 106.1 105.9 3-5 6-6
Tennessee 98.6 99.0 98.0 98.5 2-6 5-7
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Alabama 141.3 139.7 143.1 141.4 8-0 12-0
Mississippi St. 124.2 122.6 125.4 124.1 4-4 8-4
L S U 117.6 116.7 118.4 117.6 5-3 9-3
Auburn 116.8 115.6 118.1 116.8 3-5 7-5
Texas A&M 114.6 113.6 115.1 114.4 5-3 8-4
Ole Miss 102.5 101.8 102.7 102.3 1-7 5-7
Arkansas 96.7 94.3 95.7 95.6 0-8 2-10
SEC Averages 114.9 113.7 115.4 114.6
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Appalachian St. 98.7 100.6 100.3 99.8 7-1 9-2
Troy 91.4 93.0 92.9 92.4 7-1 9-3
Georgia Southern 90.5 92.4 91.2 91.4 6-2 9-3
Coastal Carolina 76.0 78.1 76.3 76.8 2-6 5-7
Georgia St. 75.6 77.2 75.6 76.1 1-7 2-10
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Arkansas St. 91.2 92.8 92.9 92.3 5-3 8-4
UL-Monroe 85.9 86.7 86.5 86.4 4-4 6-6
Louisiana 83.3 85.5 84.8 84.5 5-3 7-5
South Alabama 73.4 75.2 73.8 74.1 2-6 3-9
Texas State 72.8 75.2 73.1 73.7 1-7 3-9
Sun Belt Averages 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

Conference Ratings

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 114.9 113.7 115.4 114.6
2 B12 109.7 108.2 109.0 109.0
3 ACC 109.2 108.0 108.6 108.6
4 BTEN 108.8 107.2 108.2 108.1
5 PAC12 107.6 106.3 107.4 107.1
6 AAC 94.8 95.4 94.8 95.0
7 MWC 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
8 IND 94.0 94.2 94.1 94.1
9 MAC 90.3 91.7 90.7 90.9
10 CUSA 85.8 88.5 86.2 86.8
11 SUN 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

Top Group of 5

Central Florida will get the New Year’s 6 Bowl Bid with a win over Memphis this week in the CUSA Championship Game.  If Memphis pulls off the upset, then UCF could still sneak in depending on how the loss looks.

Should UCF fall by a considerable margin because Mackenzie Milton is out for the season, then Boise State could move above the Golden Knights should the Broncos defeat Fresno State for the second time.

Should Fresno State beat Boise State, and Memphis beat Central Florida, then there could be some issues with the awarding of Bowl Bids.  Because Army doesn’t play Navy until December 8, and the announcement of the bowl bids is December 3, then Army could be excluded even if they blowout Navy by 50 points.  In this instance, Central Florida would probably still get the bid at 11-1.  Had Army defeated Duke at the beginning of the season, then at 11-1 with a loss only to Oklahoma (a game they came close to winning), then the Bowl Committee would have been in a heap of trouble, having to make alternate announcements pending what Army did versus Navy.

At 10-2, Army may still get a chance to play a Power 5 opponent in a bowl game.  Coach Jeff Monken would be a cinch to be offered a Power 5 job if he was not in the Paul Johnson mode.  Monken’s triple option offense is stronger than Georgia Tech’s this year, and his defense is considerably better.

 

Playoff and Bowl Projections

This week, you will see many of the bowl projection sites beginning to come to agreement on the top bowl games.  No doubt, almost every projection will have Alabama in the Cotton Bowl against either Oklahoma or Ohio State, while Clemson and Notre Dame will be in the Orange Bowl.

We thought about this for a long time Saturday night as Clemson and Alabama continued to dominate.  It looked so much like the Playoffs could be narrowed to two teams.  However, we thought about something.  Georgia is not going to lay over and die for the Crimson Tide to roll over.  The Bulldogs have a bad taste in their mouth from last year, where they could smell the National Championship Trophy in the second half of the title game, before some freshman named Tua came off the bench in the second half and looked like a combination of Joe Montana, Brett Favre, John Elway, and Doug Flutie.

We have noticed the teams that have given Alabama the most trouble through the Nick Saban years.  These teams have physical defenses and offenses with dual-threat quarterbacks that can act as another running back while still passing like stars.  Think about Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, or DeShaun Watson.  Even Chad Kelly had legs and could take off and run.  These are the teams that gave the Crimson Tide the most trouble in the last decade.

In the last few weeks, Alabama’s defense has been exposed by this read and react style of offense.  The Citadel’s triple option basically embarrassed Alabama in the first half.  Auburn’s spread option offense did some damage, but Jarrett Stidham does not have the legs to motor on the keeper like the QBs that have outscored Alabama to victory.

Here’s the thing.  Just like Alabama last year, Georgia has their not-so-secret weapon sitting on the bench waiting to be this year’s Tua Tagovailoa.  Freshman sensation Justin Fields possesses the same skills as Newton, Manziel, and Watson.  He has the potential to lead Georgia to an upset victory and totally throw the FBS Playoffs into disarray.

What if Georgia beat Alabama?  Assuming Clemson easily dismisses Pittsburgh, then Clemson would be number one, Georgia and Notre Dame would be number two and three in either order, and Alabama would fall to number four.  Ohio State and Oklahoma would be left out.  Forget Central Florida.  Even if Bama beats Georgia, Northwestern beats Ohio State, and Texas beats Oklahoma, a Georgia team at 11-2 would get into the playoffs before UCF.

If Georgia were to upset Alabama, then four SEC teams would most likely make the NY6 bowls.  The Bulldogs and Tide would make the playoffs.  Florida would most likely make the Peach Bowl, and LSU would probably edge out Penn State and others for the Sugar Bowl.

There are 81 bowl eligible teams as of today.  Virginia Tech is a win over Marshall this weekend from becoming bowl eligible and making it  82.  Liberty can get to 6-6 with a win over Norfolk State, but they have already been eliminated from bowl eligibility as a transition team to FBS once 78 teams became bowl eligible.

If you are a fan of a Mountain West, Mid-American, or Sun Belt Conference team that is 6-6 today, you better cheer hard for Marshall to knock off Virginia Tech.  There are already three teams too many for the bowls, and if the Hokies win, they will jump over any of the Group of 5 teams hoping to land in a bowl.  Teams like Eastern Michigan, Miami of Ohio, Wyoming, and Louisiana-Monroe are holding out for a miracle.  At most one of these teams will make it to a bowl, and if Virginia Tech wins this weekend, all four are likely to have empty envelopes.  Eastern Michigan could still top Western Michigan, but the Broncos have a larger fan base than the Eagles.

What you see below is our look at the bowls should Georgia beat Alabama.  You can look at all the others on the Internet to see what it would look like if the status quo remains, but we believe you will want to read this alternative look.

 

Bowl Conferences Team 1 Team 2
New Mexico MWC CUSA Utah St. Louisiana Tech
Cure AAC SBC Memphis Troy
Las Vegas MWC Pac-12 Boise St. Arizona St.
Camellia MAC SBC Northern Illinois Appalachian St.
New Orleans CUSA SBC Southern Miss. Louisiana
Boca Raton AAC CUSA South Florida Florida Int’l.
Frisco AAC At-Large Tulane [Army]
Gasparilla AAC CUSA [Duke] UAB
Bahamas MAC CUSA Toledo North Texas
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Ohio U Nevada
Birmingham AAC SEC Cincinnati [Wake Forest]
Armed Forces AAC Big 12 Houston TCU
Dollar General MAC SBC Buffalo Georgia Southern
Hawaii CUSA MWC Middle Tennessee Hawaii
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA [Western Michigan] Marshall
Quick Lane ACC Big Ten Boston College Purdue
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 Baylor [San Diego St.]
Independence ACC SEC Virginia [BYU]
Pinstripe ACC Big Ten Pittsburgh Wisconsin
Texas Big 12 SEC Iowa St. Mississippi St.
Music City ACC/Big Ten SEC Georgia Tech Missouri
Camping World ACC Big 12 Syracuse West Virginia
Arizona MWC SBC Fresno St. Arkansas St.
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 Texas Utah
Belk ACC SEC North Carolina St. South Carolina
Peach At-large At-large Michigan Florida
Military AAC ACC Temple Virginia Tech
Sun ACC Pac-12 Miami (Fla.) California
San Francisco Big Ten Pac-12 Minnesota Stanford
Liberty Big 12 SEC Oklahoma St. Vanderbilt
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Iowa Oregon
Gator ACC/Big Ten SEC Northwestern Auburn
Outback Big Ten SEC Michigan St. Texas A&M
Fiesta At-large At-large Central Florida Washington St.
Citrus ACC/Big Ten SEC Penn St. Kentucky
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Ohio St. Washington
Sugar Big 12 SEC Oklahoma LSU
FBS PLAYOFFS
Cotton Notre Dame Georgia
Orange Clemson Alabama
Championship Game Georgia Alabama
Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections
Advertisements

April 1, 2012

NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Preview

Welcome back to the PiRate Ratings’ Bracketnomics.  A quick tutorial about Bracketnomics:  We have studied numerous statistical factors of all Final Four Teams from the 1950’s until 2011.  We isolated the statistical similarities of those teams and found certain shared statistical characteristics.  For the last eight years, we have been applying it to the NCAA teams trying to discover which ones shared these same statistics as the Final Four teams of yesteryear.  In five of the last seven years, we were pretty spot on with our selections.  For instance, in 2009, whenKentucky,Kansas, andOhioStatewere listed as the heavy tri-favorites, our system showed Duke to be the top-rated team.  We went with Duke even though the Blue Devils were not being highly considered.  Now admittedly, we did not seeButlercoming through to the Finals that year, or last year either, but we did rateButleras one to watch to get to the Elite 8.

If you want all the details behind our PiRate Criteria Score, please refer to our Bracketnomics 505, 2012 edition at: https://piratings.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/bracketnomics-505-2012-edition/

 

2012 PiRate Ratings Final Four Preview—Championship Game

Monday, April 2, 2012, 9:23 PM EDT

The Superdome—New Orleans

CBS Television—Announcers: Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, and Steve Kerr

 

#1S Kentucky Wildcats (37-2) vs. #2MW Kansas Jayhawks (32-6)

Las Vegas Line: Kentucky by 6 ½

Over/Under: 137

 

In our founder’s lifetime, the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have met in the World Series four times (1963, 1977, 1978, and 1981), splitting them two titles apiece.  The two greatest franchises have not gone to a seventh game since 1956.

 

This is what the sports public gets to enjoy Monday night.  Kansas and Kentucky are the two most fabled basketball powers in the NCAA.  However, this is the first time the Jayhawks and Wildcats have met in the National Championship.

 

The game’s inventor, James Naismith was Kansas’s first head coach.  He turned the reins over to Phog Allen.  Allen led KU to the voted National Championship in 1922 and 1923.  One of his players on those teams was Adolph Rupp.

 

Kentucky Coach John Calipari and Kansas Coach Bill Self have a history.  Self’s lone National Championship came over Calipari in his lone appearance in the finals when Kansas came from behind to beat Memphis 75-68 in overtime. 

 

We expect this game to rival that one in excitement.  If you are a basketball fan, this game should be one you will definitely watch. 

 

These teams met at Madison Square Garden on November 15, and Kentucky won 75-65.  After battling to a 28-28 tie, Kentucky scored 11 consecutive points on a layup by Jones, a dunk by Davis, a dunk by Jones, a three-pointer by Teague, and a two-point jumper by Teague, in a three-minute stretch.  The Wildcats then pulled away to a 17-point lead and maintained a double-digit spread until the final seconds.

 

The Rosters, Scores, and Statistics

 

Kentucky Wildcats

 

No.

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

Hometown (Last School)

1

Darius Miller

G

6-08

235

SR

Maysville,Ky.(MasonCounty)

3

Terrence Jones

F

6-09

252

SO

Portland,Ore.(Jefferson)

4

Jon Hood

G

6-07

215

JR

Madisonville,Ky.(North Hopkins)

5

Jarrod Polson

G

6-02

185

SO

Nicholasville,Ky.(West Jessamine)

10

Twany Beckham

G

6-05

205

JR

Louisville,Ky.(MississippiState)

12

Ryan Harrow

G

6-02

175

SO

Marietta, Ga. (N.C. State)

13

Sam Malone

G

5-11

190

FR

Scituate,Mass.(Scituate)

14

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

F

6-07

232

FR

Somerdale,N.J.(St. Patrick)

20

Doron Lamb

G

6-04

210

SO

Queens,N.Y.(OakHillAcademy)

23

Anthony Davis

F

6-10

220

FR

Chicago,Ill.(Perspectives Charter)

25

Marquis Teague

G

6-02

189

FR

Indianapolis,Ind.(Pike)

30

Eloy Vargas

F

6-11

244

SR

Moca,Dominican Republic(Miami-Dade CC)

32

Brian Long

G

5-09

150

FR

Dumont,N.J.(River Dell)

33

Kyle Wiltjer

F

6-09

239

FR

Portland,Ore.(Jesuit)
 

Coaches and Staff

 

 
 

John Calipari – Head Coach

 

 

OrlandoAntigua- Assistant Coach

 

Kenny Payne – Assistant Coach

 

John Robic – Assistant Coach

 

 

Results

 

Opponent

UK

Opp

Marist

108

58

(n)Kansas

75

65

(n)PennState

85

47

(n) Old Dominion

62

52

Radford

88

40

Portland

87

63

St. John’s

81

59

North Carolina

73

72

at Indiana

72

73

Chattanooga

87

62

Samford

82

50

Loyola (Md.)

87

63

Lamar

86

64

Louisville

69

62

(n) Arkansas-Little Rock

73

51

South Carolina

79

64

atAuburn

68

53

atTennessee

65

62

Arkansas

86

63

Alabama

77

71

atGeorgia

57

44

at L S U

74

50

Tennessee

69

44

atSouth Carolina

86

52

Florida

78

58

at Vanderbilt

69

63

Ole Miss

77

62

atMississippiState

73

64

Vanderbilt

83

74

Georgia

79

49

atFlorida

74

59

(n) L S U

60

51

(n)Florida

74

71

(n) Vanderbilt

64

71

ncaaWestern Kentucky

81

66

ncaaIowaState

87

71

ncaa Indiana

102

90

ncaa Baylor

82

70

ncaaLouisville

69

61

 

 

Statistics

Player

G-GS

Min

Avg

FG-Att

Fg%

3 FG-Att

3Pt %

Ft-Att

Ft%

Anthony Davis

39-39

1245

31.9

209-327

.639

3-20

.150

140-197

.711

Doron Lamb

39-34

1214

31.1

168-357

.471

73-157

.465

118-143

.825

Terrence Jones

37-33

1085

29.3

173-347

.499

16-48

.333

98-156

.628

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

39-38

1210

31.0

156-319

.489

13-50

.260

140-188

.745

Marquis Teague

39-39

1269

32.5

140-338

.414

24-77

.312

83-116

.716

Darius Miller

39-11

1018

26.1

141-297

.475

55-147

.374

55-69

.797

Kyle Wiltjer

39-0

458

11.7

71-161

.441

35-80

.438

22-27

.815

Sam Malone

6-0

13

2.2

3-6

.500

0-0

.000

0-0

.000

Eloy Vargas

32-1

196

6.1

12-36

.333

0-1

.000

4-13

.308

Brian Long

12-0

17

1.4

0-1

.000

0-0

.000

2-4

.500

Jarrod Polson

11-0

31

2.8

0-2

.000

0-1

.000

1-4

.250

Twany Beckham

16-0

44

2.8

0-1

.000

0-0

.000

0-0

.000

 

 

               
Kentucky

39

7800

200.0

1073-2192

.490

219-581

.377

663-917

.723

Opponents

39

7800

200.0

867-2317

.374

214-678

.316

416-599

.694

 

 

               
Player

Reb O

Reb D

Tot

F-DQ

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

Anthony Davis

115

284

399

76-1

45

38

180

51

561

Doron Lamb

14

92

106

70-0

57

43

2

19

527

Terrence Jones

95

170

265

87-3

51

60

66

48

460

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

101

190

291

95-5

74

86

36

39

465

Marquis Teague

16

83

99

89-1

188

107

11

37

387

Darius Miller

35

69

104

85-0

82

56

11

33

392

Kyle Wiltjer

26

44

70

44-0

16

27

17

5

199

Sam Malone

0

2

2

0-0

1

4

0

0

6

Eloy Vargas

20

36

56

25-0

2

6

10

3

28

Brian Long

1

1

2

0-0

0

0

0

0

2

Jarrod Polson

0

4

4

4-0

1

5

0

2

1

Twany Beckham

2

6

8

0-0

2

1

0

1

0

Team

50

57

107

9

         
Kentucky

475

1038

1513

578-10

519

442

333

238

3028

Opponents

476

775

1251

734-x

411

457

128

212

2364

 

 

               
Player

Scoring

Rebounding

         
Anthony Davis

14.4

10.2

         
Doron Lamb

13.5

2.7

         
Terrence Jones

12.4

7.2

         
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

11.9

7.5

         
Marquis Teague

9.9

2.5

         
Darius Miller

10.1

2.7

         
Kyle Wiltjer

5.1

1.8

         
Sam Malone

1.0

0.3

         
Eloy Vargas

0.9

1.8

         
Brian Long

0.2

0.2

         
Jarrod Polson

0.1

0.4

         
Twany Beckham

0.0

0.5

         
Team    

2.8

         
Kentucky

77.6

38.8

         
Opponents

60.6

32.1

         

 

 

 

Kansas Jayhawks

 

No.       Player                           Pos      Ht         Wt        Yr         Home Town (Last Team)

0          Thomas Robinson          F          6-10      237       JR        Washington, D.C./Brewster [N.H.] Academy

1          Naadir Tharpe                G          5-11      170       FR        Worcester, Mass./Brewster [N.H.] Academy

2          Conner Teahan              G          6-06      212       SR       Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst HS

4          Justin Wesley                F          6-09      220       SO       Fort Worth, Texas/North Crowley HS/Lamar

5          Jeff Withey                    C          7-00      235       JR        San Diego, Calif./Horizon HS

10         Tyshawn Taylor             G          6-03      185       SR       Hoboken, N.J./St. Anthony HS

15         Elijah Johnson               G          6-04      195       JR        Las Vegas, Nev./Cheyenne HS

20         Niko Roberts                 G          5-11      175       SO       Huntington, N.Y./Saint Anthony’s HS

21         Christian Garrett            G          6-03      170       FR        Los Angeles, Calif./IMG Academy

22         Merv Lindsay                 G          6-07      195       FR        Moreno Valley, Calif./Canyon Springs High School

23         Ben McLemore              G          6-05      185       FR        St. Louis, Mo./Christian Life Center [Texas]

24         Travis Releford              G          6-06      207       JR        Kansas City, Mo./Bishop Miege HS

25         Jordan Juenemann         G          6-03      195       SR       Hays, Kan./Hays HS

31         Jamari Traylor               F          6-08      215       FR        Chicago, Ill./IMG Academy [Fla.]

40         Kevin Young                  F          6-08      185       JR        Perris, Calif./Perris High School/Loyola Marymount

 

 

Coaches

 

Bill Self – Head Coach

Joe Dooley – Assistant Coach

Kurtis Townsend – Assistant Coach

Danny Manning – Assistant Coach

 

Results

Opponent

KU

Att.

Towson

100

54

(n) Kentucky

65

75

(n)Georgetown

67

63

(n) UCLA

72

56

(n) Duke

61

68

FloridaAtlantic

77

54

South Florifa

70

42

Long Beach St.

88

80

OhioState

78

67

(n) Davidson

74

80

atSouthern Cal

63

47

Howard

89

34

North Dakota

84

58

KansasState

67

49

atOklahoma

72

61

atTexasTech

81

46

IowaState

82

73

Baylor

92

74

atTexas

69

66

TexasA&M

64

54

at Iowa State

64

72

Oklahoma

84

62

at Missouri

71

74

at Baylor

68

54

OklahomaState

81

66

atKansasState

59

53

TexasTech

83

50

atTexasA&M

66

58

Missouri

87

86

atOklahomaState

70

58

Texas

73

63

vs.TexasA&M

83

66

vs. Baylor

72

81

ncaaDetroit

65

50

ncaa Purdue

63

60

ncaaNorth CarolinaState

60

57

ncaaNorth Carolina

80

67

ncaaOhioState

64

62

 

Statistics

Player

gp-gs

min

avg

fg-fga

fg%

3fg-fga

3fg%

ft-fta

ft%

Thomas Robinson

38-38

1204

31.7

255-500

.510

7-14

.500

157-232

.677

Tyshawn Taylor

38-37

1267

33.3

218-457

.477

57-151

.377

135-196

.689

Elijah Johnson

38-37

1218

32.1

143-331

.432

66-197

.335

32-46

.696

Jeff Withey

38-38

936

24.6

111-203

.547

0-0

.000

123-155

.794

Travis Releford

38-37

1176

30.9

118-233

.506

25-78

.321

67-102

.657

Conner Teahan

38-2

801

21.1

68-186

.366

51-151

.338

26-31

.839

Kevin Young

37-0

421

11.4

47-98

.480

3-9

.333

33-49

.673

Jordan Juenemann

15-1

47

3.1

8-18

.444

1-6

.167

2-6

.333

Justin Wesley

37-0

324

8.8

17-30

.567

0-0

.000

11-26

.423

Merv Lindsay

12-0

26

2.2

5-9

.556

1-3

.333

0-1

.000

Naadir Tharpe

32-0

175

5.5

11-38

.289

6-22

.273

1-2

.500

Niko Roberts

7-0

14

2.0

0-4

.000

0-1

.000

0-2

.000

Christian Garrett

7-0

15

2.1

0-0

.000

0-0

.000

0-0

.000

Anthony West

1-0

1

1.0

0-0

.000

0-0

.000

0-0

.000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total……….

38

7625

200.7

1001-2107

.475

217-632

.343

587-848

.692

Opponents……

38

7625

200.7

803-2120

.379

230-680

.338

504-700

.720

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Player

Reb-O

Reb-D

Reb-Tot

Fl-DQ

a

to

blk

stl

pts

Thomas Robinson

108

338

446

105-2

71

103

34

42

674

Tyshawn Taylor

7

80

87

76-0

183

133

6

51

628

Elijah Johnson

15

109

124

91-2

135

69

2

54

384

Jeff Withey

78

160

238

95-1

28

48

136

23

345

Travis Releford

62

101

163

78-0

68

37

7

45

328

Conner Teahan

25

55

80

64-1

40

36

1

27

213

Kevin Young

52

59

111

61-0

24

29

15

20

130

Jordan Juenemann

1

7

8

4-0

2

2

1

1

19

Justin Wesley

26

33

59

69-1

1

11

14

6

45

Merv Lindsay

0

3

3

3-0

1

0

1

1

11

Naadir Tharpe

3

7

10

12-0

21

22

0

7

29

Niko Roberts

0

2

2

4-0

3

2

0

2

0

Christian Garrett

1

1

2

0-0

1

1

0

0

0

Anthony West

0

0

0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

Team

60

40

100

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total……….

438

995

1433

662-7

578

497

217

279

2808

Opponents……

407

806

1213

703-x

424

522

126

249

2340

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Player

Scoring

Rebounding

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Robinson

17.7

11.7

 

 

 

 

 

Tyshawn Taylor

16.5

2.3

 

 

 

 

 

Elijah Johnson

10.1

3.3

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Withey

9.1

6.3

 

 

 

 

 

Travis Releford

8.6

4.3

 

 

 

 

 

Conner Teahan

5.6

2.1

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Young

3.5

3.0

 

 

 

 

 

Jordan Juenemann

1.3

0.5

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Wesley

1.2

1.6

 

 

 

 

 

Merv Lindsay

0.9

0.3

 

 

 

 

 

Naadir Tharpe

0.9

0.3

 

 

 

 

 

Niko Roberts

0.0

0.3

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Garrett

0.0

0.3

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony West

0.0

0.0

 

 

 

 

 

Team

 

2.6

 

 

 

 

 

Total……….

73.9

37.7

 

 

 

 

 

Opponents……

61.6

31.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

PiRate Criteria Ratings

Criteria Stat

Kentucky

Pts

Kansas

Pts

Scoring Margin

17.0

8.50

12.30

6.2

FG% Margin

11.6

5.80

9.6

4.8

Rebound Margin

6.7

4.00

5.8

3.5

TO Margin

0.4

0.20

0.6

0.3

R + T *

8.40

3.40

7.98

3.2

Schedule  Strength ^

.5768

2.70

.5898

4.0

Road W-L% #

90.5

4.50

72.7

2.5

TOTAL

UK

29.10

KU

24.5

 

 

* R+T is the PiRate Ratings’ estimate of the margin of extra scoring opportunities per game for each team.  The formula is: (Rebounding Margin) + (0.2 *  Avg. Steals Per Game) + (1.2 * Turnover Margin).  The result shows how many more scoring opportunities the team gets than its opponents.  If the R+T is 10, that means a team averages 10 more scoring opportunities per game over its opponents.

 

^ Strength of Schedule is taken from the RPI ratings from Statsheet.com.

 

# Road W-L% includes true road games and neutral site games.

 

The Position Matchups

Point Guard: UK—Marquis Teague  KU—Tyshawn Taylor

Taylor had the better night at MSG, but Teague was playing in just his second collegiate game back on November 15.  This time around, Teague is the equal of the senior Taylor.  Taylor is a little better offensively, but his advantage will be neutralized to a great extent, because he will not be able to beat Teague to the basket and score with Jones and Davis waiting to send shots into the eighth row in the stands.

 

Advantage: Draw

 

Shooting Guard: UK—Doron Lamb  KU—Elijah Johnson

Lamb is a considerably better shooter with the ability to get open.  Johnson has a tendency to take unwise shots at times, the type that can turn into Kentucky fast breaks.

 

Johnson’s edge comes as a second point guard.  KU can reverse the ball to the opposite side, and Johnson is like a second assist specialist on the floor.

 

This will be one of three big keys in this game. 

 

Advantage: Kentucky, but very slight

 

Small Forward: UK—Michael Kidd-Gilchrist  KU—Travis Releford

Kidd-Gilchrist has a 25-pound weight advantage without giving away much in quickness to Releford.  Releford is a better defensive player than Kidd-Gilchrist, but the Wildcats only need him to stay out of foul trouble and keep the perimeter defenders from ganging up on the other two big men.

 

Advantage: Kentucky, but very slight

 

Power Forward/Center: UK—Terence Jones  KU—Jeff Withey

We had to do some changing here, because Withey will be assigned to Jones and not Davis.  This is an excellent matchup, but Jones is the better player.  Withey is probably the second best shot blocker in the nation, and he could swat away three to five shots in this game, but Jones will outshine him Monday night.

 

Jones did not have a great game against Louisville, while Withey played well against Ohio State.  We believe in the law of averages and think the unknown key in this game is that Jones is sitting on one big college finale.  We’ve seen this before.  Look for Jones to be the special factor in this game.

 

Advantage: Kentucky

 

Power Forward/Center: UK—Anthony Davis  KU—Thomas Robinson

Going back to the Yankees/Dodgers analogy, this is Sandy Koufax against Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson against Steve Garvey, and Mickey Mantle against Duke Snider.

 

Davis is the best player in the nation, while Robinson is maybe number three if not number two.  Both of them will be pressing at the start, and the other key will be if one gets a couple of quick fouls.  All in all, these two future NBA stars will put on a great show for the audience, but in the end, we do not expect the game to be decided here.  Both will have good but not great games.

 

Advantage: Draw

 

Bench: UK—Darius Miller, Kyle Wiltjer, Eloy Vargas  KU—Connor Teahan, Kevin Young, Justin Wesley

 

Miller and Teahan are almost sixth starters, as they play almost as much as the starting fives on their teams.  Wiltjer and Young play about 10-12 minutes per game, while Wesley and Vargas see minutes only to spell starters that have to come out for a break.  With the longer timeouts in these games, Wesley and Vargas are not going to see much action.  In fact, Wesley did not play for the first time this season Saturday night.

 

Because none of the bench players is going to be asked to do much, there will be no advantage here.

 

Advantage: Draw

 

Coaching: UK—John Calipari  KU—Bill Self

These two successful coaches have ties to the same school, and that school is Kansas.  Calipari was an assistant at Kansas during the Larry Brown era, and when he left to move to the top assistant position at Pitt, Self replaced him in Lawrence.

 

Self also served as an assistant at his alma mater, Oklahoma State under two former Kentucky coaches—Leonard Hamilton (an assistant under Joe B. Hall) and Eddie Sutton.

 

Both coaches know their stuff.  They motivate their players to play tenacious defense and to work the ball into the paint for close-in shots.  This type of play wins in the Big Dance.

 

Advantage: Draw

 

Prediction:  We mentioned three keys in this game.  The first key is at the 2-guard position.  Lamb is the type of player that does not feel pressure.  If he gets a hot hand from outside, it will be lights out for the Jayhwaks.  Johnson has to stick to Lamb and not give him open looks.  He also has to contribute with three or more assists, meaning Kansas will be able to reverse the ball and avoid Davis inside.

 

The second key is the matchup of the two superstars.  If one gets into early foul trouble, the other will break loose and control the game.  Because the officials will know they can affect the outcome by whistling one of the two, we do not foresee this being a problem.

 

It is the third key where we believe this game will be decided.  We do not believe Withey, with help from Robinson, will be able to stop Jones.  Jones is sitting on a great game, and he has one left to prove us.  Calipari asked him to step down as the go-to guy, and he will motivate Jones to go out and prove that he can still carry the ‘Cats.

 

Only one team can beat Kentucky, and that is Kentucky.  The Wildcats will consider this a disappointing season if they lose.  They won’t.  We chose Kentucky at the start to win this tournament, and we were successful in picking three of the final four with Ohio State and Kansas.  We have to stick with the one we predicted three weeks ago.

 

Kentucky 72  Kansas 66

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.