The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 21, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 22-26, 2016

After improving a bit last week and losing only $23 of our imaginary bank roll, we have decided to expand our plays to include a couple of underdogs we believe can win outright. Thus, two of our four chosen plays this week will return big payoffs of imaginary cash should they come through with winners.
First, we must take care of official business. Last week, we played five parlays, winning $277 and losing $300. For the year, we have now wagered $1,200 in imaginary money, and have a loss of $442 to date, meaning still no return on our unreal investment. We warned you that Money Line Parlays can be really tough, but we love to play them, especially since it costs us nothing.
Here are our picks for this week. Remember, don’t actually wager on these. This is just for fun, and we would never put a dime of real money on these plays, even if it returned over 40% on investment last year. It’s doing squat so far this year.

1. College Parlay at +450
Army over Buffalo
Tulane over Louisiana-Lafayette
Arkansas over Texas A&M

Arkansas is the underdog in this parlay and the reason it offers a return of 4.5 times the amount invested. The Razorbacks have been slowly developing a balanced offense with an improving defense. Winning at TCU is enough to show us that the Hogs are on the way back to great things. Texas A&M has struggled in their two wins over quality opposition, and we believe the Aggies are due for continued struggles.

Army is off to a great start, and the Black Knights now face a Buffalo team that has already lost to a FCS opponent. This could be the type of game that allows the Cadets to play their plebes. Coach Jeff Monken learned well from his mentor Paul Johnson, and the Army rushing attack looks like it could move the ball on most FBS teams this year. They should light up the scoreboard against Buffalo.

Tulane is also running the option under first year coach Willie Fritz. Fritz does not have all the pieces in place yet in New Orleans, but with his Texas ties, it is only a matter of time until the Green Wave are winning once again. For now, TU has an exceptional defense with a clock-consuming offense that allows that defense to stay fresh and strong enough to hold ULL to 10 points, which is few enough that we see the olive green and blue winning this week.

2. College Parlay at +126
Arizona St. over California
Cincinnati over Miami (O)
Minnesota over Colorado St.
Memphis over Bowling Green

Arizona State had to rally in the fourth quarter to win at UTSA, while Cal pulled off a nice home upset of Texas. With the Golden Bears playing in the heat in Tempe, and with ASU’s players more focused, we believe Todd Graham’s Sun Devils will play their best game of the season to date, while Cal has trouble with the heat and the speed of the ASU receivers.

Cincinnati should beat Miami of Ohio by 3 touchdowns, but even if the in-state rival underdogs play their best possible and the Bearcats stink up the joint, Cinti should win by at least 10.

Minnesota is a team flying under the radar. They win, but they don’t win convincingly and don’t win with flashy play. The offense is better than most think, and the defense is not shabby. This Gophers team is not yet the equivalent of the Sandy Stephens’ teams of the early 1960’s, but it could be as good as any in Minneapolis since Laurence Maroney and Bryan Capito were moving the pigskin.

This year’s Memphis team has not really been challenged yet, and Bowling Green is not the team to bring that challenge. The Tigers should have little problem disposing of the Falcons, as this is a different BGU team without Dino Babers at the controls.

3. NFL Parlay at +373
Indianapolis over San Diego
Oakland over Tennessee
Dallas over Chicago

Oakland is the second underdog we will use in our parlays this week. The Raiders’ starting offensive and defensive lines manhandled the Titans starting offensive and defensive lines in the preseason game. Preseason games don’t reveal a lot, but when you see one front consistently moving the opposing front in the same direction, it is a good bet that they will do so no matter the importance of the game. We believe the Raiders will score more points than the Titans are capable of scoring, and thus we go with the underdog.

Indianapolis faces a must-win scenario at home. Even with a sore Andrew Luck, we believe the Colts will find a way to eke out a small win. If not, then the AFC West is going to be one incredible 4-team race.

Dallas should handle the Bears with relative ease. Without Jay Cutler, Chicago will have to play conservatively and hope they can rattle Dak Prescott. We believe that the nifty rookie will continue to play brilliantly week after week and could be the odds-on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

4. NFL Parlay at +143
Miami over Cleveland
New York Giants over Washington
Carolina over Minnesota

If Cleveland couldn’t win with RGIII and John McCown at quarterback, then how can they win with Cody Kessler, who wasn’t good enough to make the active roster when all the QBs were healthy. Miami is not playoff worthy at this point, but Adam Gase can design a game plan that will make Kessler’s debut a nightmare.

The Giants look like the Giants of old when Eli Manning had multiple quality receivers to throw to, and the defense came up with big stops. Well, Manning has multiple quality receivers again, and the defense is coming up with big stops. NY could be looking at a season where they are playing at home in January.

The Carolina-Minnesota match worried us for hours today. The Vikings will have to go without Adrian Peterson, but their defense looks as strong as it has looked since the days of Eller, Page, and company. Meanwhile, there is unrest in Charlotte, and it could carry over to the team. We decided that in the end, we would go with the home team to capitalize on the weakened running game and thus to slow down Sam Bradford.

March 28, 2008

A PiRate Look At The NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional Finals–March 29, 2008

The Elitist of the Elite

A PiRate Preview of The Regional Final Games-March 29, 2008

Eight teams are left, and only Davidson, a team with a 25-game winning streak can be considered a surprise.  Xavier and Louisville may not have been expected to get this far, but both the Musketeers and Cardinals are no big surprises.

All four number one seeds have advanced to the Elite Eight.  Can all four make it to the Final Four for the first time since the current 64/65-team format has been in effect?  It’s possible, but it’s also possible that two of the four top-seeded teams could lose.

Of the eight Sweet 16 round games, seven of them were dull games.  Only the Xavier-West Virginia game was worth watching from start to finish.  Let’s hope the Regional Final games are a little more exciting.

In the statistics shown below, the records are up to date, but the stats do not include the Regional Semifinal games.  Those will be included in next week’s Final Four Previews.

Note:  In the statistics below, you will see a column marked other.  “B” means the player is an exceptional shot blocker.  “S” means the player is exceptional at stealing the ball.  “A” means the player is an excellent passer for assists.  “F” means the player is foul-prone.

West Regional-Phoenix

Saturday, March 29, 2008

6:40 PM EDT

#3 Xavier vs. #1 UCLA

Xavier Musketeers

Record: 30-6

Head Coach: Sean Miller

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

STARTERS

31

Jason Love

F/C

6-09

255

So.

6.1

5.4

57.4

0.0

60.4

B

5

Derrick Brown

F

6-08

225

So.

10.9

6.7

60.2

34.5

72.1

20

C.J. Anderson

F/G

6-06

220

Jr.

10.7

5.9

52.3

0.0

67.3

34

Stanley Burrell

G

6-03

210

Sr.

9.8

2.1

39.1

38.9

83.1

A

24

Drew Lavender

G

5-07

153

Sr.

11.0

2.6

43.6

40.4

86.8

A

KEY RESERVES %

1

Josh Duncan

F

6-09

235

Sr.

12.1

4.7

50.4

41.8

85.4

F

11

B.J. Raymond

G/F

6-06

225

Jr.

10.1

3.1

44.9

41.1

86.1

25

Dante’ Jackson

G

6-05

205

Fr.

2.4

1.2

35.4

38.1

61.5

S/F

Statistical Analysis

XAV

Stat

Opp

Difference

47.8

FG%

40.6

7.2

39.1

3pt%

33.7

5.4

75.5

FT%

67.6

7.9

35.8

Reb

30.2

5.6

13.1

TO

13.0

-0.1

3.4

BK

3.6

-0.2

5.6

STL

6.6

-1.0

15.3

AST

13.1

2.2

R+T  #

5.47

75.5

PPG

62.7

12.8

PiRate Score

8 *

Schedule Strength

.5720

(*) Missed being 10 by very little

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

& how point values are assigned posted on 3/18/08

NCAA Tournament Results

Georgia

73-61

Purdue

85-78

West Virginia

79-75 ot

U C L A  Bruins

Record: 34-3

Head Coach: Ben Howland

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

STARTERS

42

Kevin Love

C

6-10

271

Fr.

17.3

10.6

55.7

36.5

76.5

B

23

Luc Rich. Mbah a Moute

F

6-08

232

Jr.

8.6

5.5

47.9

20.0

69.4

3

Josh Shipp

F/G

6-05

220

Jr.

12.4

3.2

44.0

32.5

79.2

S

2

Darren Collison

G

6-00

160

Jr.

15.1

2.6

49.4

51.6

87.6

S/A

0

Russell Westbrook

G

6-03

185

So.

12.3

3.8

46.8

31.9

70.5

S/A

KEY RESERVES %

14

Mata-Real, Lorenzo

C

6-09

235

Sr.

3.3

3.7

50.0

0.0

45.2

B/F

12

Alfred Aboya

F/C

6-09

245

Jr.

3.1

2.3

50.0

33.3

52.8

F

41

Dragovic, Nikola

F

6-09

215

So.

2.6

1.4

33.9

23.8

12-12

13

James Keefe

G

6-08

225

So.

2.1

2.4

44.2

28.6

35.7

F

Statistical Analysis

UCLA

Stat

Opp

Difference

47.6

FG%

42.2

5.4

34.6

3pt%

32.5

2.1

73.0

FT%

67.0

6.0

36.3

Reb

27.9

8.4

12.4

TO

14.7

2.3

4.1

BK

2.6

1.5

7.4

STL

4.7

2.7

14.4

AST

11.3

3.1

R+T  #

12.48

73.3

PPG

58.0

15.3

PiRate Score

15

Schedule Strength

.5751

NCAA Tournament Results

Mississippi Valley

70-29

Texas A&M

51-49

Western Kentucky

88-78

UCLA is looking to become the first team since Duke to make it to three consecutive Final Fours.  Of Course the Bruins went to the Final Four every year from 1967 through 1975, so three in a row is now big deal in Westwood.

Xavier is looking to become the first team from the Queen City to make the Final Four since Cincinnati did so in 1992 (The Bearcats also own a five consecutive streak from 1959-1963).

UCLA has a huge intangible in its favor.  The Bruins keep getting the benefit of several officials’ mistakes.  Going back to the end of the regular season when they won back-to-back games over Stanford and California, both ending in controversy, to the Pac-10 Tournament where they won a close game over Southern Cal, to the Texas A&M game in the second round of the Big Dance where the Bruins players were allowed to hold and push with no fouls being called, where the Aggies’ players were whistled for entering the same Zip Code, and it is a pattern that cannot be ignored.  I’m not saying this is a conspiracy.  I’m saying its probably human nature taking its course.  UCLA always got the benefit of the doubt during their great dynasty years.  I remember watching them foul Maryland all over the gym in December of 1973, while Maryland couldn’t get within an arm’s length without being whistled.  Somehow, the Terps had a chance to win at the end that night, but fell short by one basket.

UCLA probably doesn’t need any help to win this game, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them benefit from a few calls or non-calls by the zebras.  While Xavier has the talent to keep this game close, I’m expecting the sons of Westwood to march to the Final Four with a victory.  The matchup between UCLA’s Kevin Love and Xavier’s Jason Love will be what decides this game, and we can make an educated guess which player will win.

Prediction: UCLA 73  Xavier 64

East Regional-Charlotte

Saturday, March 29, 2008

9:05 PM EDT

#3 Louisville vs. #1 North Carolina

 

Louisville Cardinals

Record: 27-8

Head Coach: Rick Pitino

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

STARTERS

4

David Padgett

F/C

6-11

245

Sr.

11.4

4.5

67.7

0.0

65.2

F

1

Terrence Williams

F

6-06

210

Jr.

11.0

7.3

40.5

34.3

56.7

S/A

5

Earl Clark

F/G

6-08

220

So.

10.9

8.0

46.2

23.1

65.5

B

34

Jerry Smith

G

6-01

200

So.

10.5

3.6

44.8

37.7

77.6

S

33

Andre McGee

G

5-10

180

Jr.

6.4

1.6

40.4

40.3

69.8

S/A

KEY RESERVES %

32

Derrick Caracter

F/C

6-09

265

So.

8.5

4.5

55.7

1 of 1

63.1

B/F

10

Edgar Sosa

G

6-01

175

So.

7.6

1.7

38.5

37.4

63.6

3

Juan Palacios

F/C

6-08

250

Sr.

6.4

4.0

44.5

31.3

70.5

S

Statistical Analysis

U of L

Stat

Opp

Difference

46.0

FG%

38.4

7.6

35.2

3pt%

30.6

4.6

64.4

FT%

67.7

-3.3

37.3

Reb

34.5

2.8

13.3

TO

14.6

1.3

4.9

BK

2.7

2.2

8.1

STL

5.7

2.4

15.1

AST

12.2

2.9

R+T  #

5.33

72.3

PPG

60.9

11.4

PiRate Score

9

Schedule Strength

.5852

NCAA Tournament Results

Boise State

79-61

Oklahoma

78-48

Tennessee

79-60

North Carolina Tar Heels

Record: 35-2

Head Coach: Roy Williams

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

STARTERS

50

Tyler Hansbrough

F

6-09

250

Jr.

22.8

10.2

54.1

0.0

81.2

S

21

Deon Thompson

F

6-08

240

So.

8.5

4.8

47.7

0.0

58.6

B/F

1

Marcus Ginyard

G-F

6-05

218

Jr.

7.4

4.5

44.6

42.9

66.3

S

22

Wayne Ellington

G

6-04

200

So.

16.8

4.3

47.9

42.1

81.5

5

Ty Lawson

G

5-11

195

So.

12.9

2.7

52.8

36.0

82.5

S/A

KEY RESERVES %

14

Danny Green

G-F

6-05

210

Jr.

11.3

5.0

46.8

37.1

86.3

BSAF

32

Alex Stepheson

F

6-09

235

So.

4.4

4.8

53.2

0.0

43.2

B/F

11

Quentin Thomas

G

6-03

190

Sr.

3.4

1.5

57.3

25.0

78.1

A

4

Bobby Frasor

G

6-03

208

Jr.

3.2

1.8

34.2

30.0

50.0

S/A

Statistical Analysis

UNC

Stat

Opp

Difference

49.1

FG%

42.4

6.7

38.3

3pt%

33.0

5.3

75.4

FT%

66.9

8.5

44.0

Reb

32.4

11.6

14.3

TO

16.1

1.8

4.6

BK

4.9

-0.3

8.3

STL

7.9

0.4

17.3

AST

13.7

3.6

R+T  #

15.19

89.9

PPG

72.9

17.0

PiRate Score

17

Schedule Strength

.5921

NCAA Tournament Results

Mount St. Mary’s

113-74

Arkansas

108-77

Washington State

68-47

Louisville Coach Rick Pitino has his Cardinals playing the best half-court defense of any team he has ever coached, including his 1996 national champs at Kentucky.  What UL did to Tennessee was amazing Thursday night.  However, for the Cards to have any chance of getting to the Final Four, they will have to play even better defensively tonight.

North Carolina is an unstoppable force right now.  Sure, Washington State held them to 67 points, but the Cougars didn’t do it with great defense.  They slowed the game down, making it a low possession game.  UNC still had a fantastic points per possession stat in the game.

I expect the Tar Heels to get their first taste of playing in an NCAA Tournament game that isn’t decided by the under 12 timeout in the first half.  The Heels may even get extended into the second half before they put this one away.

Prediction: North Carolina 78  Louisville 69

South Regional-Houston

Sunday, March 30, 2008

2:20 PM EDT

#2 Texas vs. #1 Memphis

Texas Longhorns

Record: 31-6

Head Coach: Rick Barnes

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

STARTERS

32

Connor Atchley

F/C

6-10

225

Jr.

19.2

2.9

44.3

38.0

77.9

B

5

Damion James

F/G

6-07

227

Jr.

13.2

10.7

46.4

44.6

56.3

B

24

Justin Mason

G

6-02

185

So.

7.1

4.3

42.2

34.2

66.2

A

3

A.J. Abrams

G

5-10

155

Jr.

16.6

2.8

42.8

38.1

80.9

14

D.J. Augustin

G

5-11

175

So.

19.2

2.9

44.3

38.0

77.9

A

KEY RESERVES %

1

Gary Johnson

F

6-07

235

Fr.

5.7

4.0

41.6

0.0

55.6

F

34

Dexter Pittman

C

6-10

293

So.

2.7

2.3

54.8

0.0

60.5

B/F

15

Alexis Wangmene

F/C

6-08

240

Fr.

2.2

2.4

42.3

0.0

66.0

B/F

Statistical Analysis

UT

Stat

Opp

Difference

45.3

FG%

38.8

6.5

39.1

3pt%

32.6

6.5

68.2

FT%

67.9

0.3

38.1

Reb

35.1

3.0

9.6

TO

12.1

2.5

5.3

BK

2.8

2.5

6.0

STL

4.6

1.4

13.1

AST

12.4

0.7

R+T  #

6.60

75.5

PPG

64.4

11.1

PiRate Score

9

Schedule Strength

.5950

NCAA Tournament Results

Austin Peay

74-54

Miami (Fla.)

75-72

Stanford

82-62

Memphis Tigers

Record: 36-1

Head Coach: John Calipari

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

STARTERS

3

Joey Dorsey

F/C

6-09

265

Jr.

7.0

9.7

64.7

0.0

37.9

B/F

2

Robert Dozier

F

6-09

215

Jr.

9.4

6.7

45.1

29.0

68.5

B

14

Chris Douglas-Roberts

G/F

6-07

200

Jr.

17.3

4.2

54.7

42.7

68.4

5

Antonio Anderson

G

6-06

210

Jr.

8.4

3.7

40.9

32.8

56.6

A

23

Derrick Rose

G

6-03

205

Fr.

14.1

4.3

46.9

35.1

68.4

A

KEY RESERVES %

20

Doneal Mack

G

6-05

175

So.

7.7

1.8

39.7

37.1

66.7

F

0

Shawn Taggart

F/C

6-10

230

So.

5.8

4.2

51.0

37.5

63.9

B/F

1

Willie Kemp

G

6-02

175

So.

5.3

1.1

38.2

36.6

57.1

F

15

Andre Allen

G

5-10

205

Sr.

3.4

1.2

31.5

29.6

40.6

F

Statistical Analysis

Mem

Stat

Opp

Difference

46.6

FG%

38.5

8.1

35.3

3pt%

30.3

5.0

59.2

FT%

66.9

-7.7

40.9

Reb

34.2

6.7

12.0

TO

16.3

4.3

6.2

BK

3.3

2.9

8.5

STL

5.8

2.7

16.2

AST

10.7

5.5

R+T  #

15.47

79.8

PPG

61.1

18.7

PiRate Score

19

Schedule Strength

.5749

NCAA Tournament Results

Texas-Arlington

87-63

Mississippi State

77-74

Michigan State

92-74

Memphis looked every bit as talented as the UNLV 1990-91 team Friday Night against Michigan State.  Sure, they surrendered some easy baskets, but they out-rebounded a Tom Izzo-coached team by nine boards!  That doesn’t happen often, if ever.  When you have a player like Derrick Rose, who can come off the bench and score 27 points and Robert Dozier who can almost record a double double while playing just half the game, and you see how complete this team really is.  Who says the Tigers cannot hit free throws?  26-35 is going to win a lot of close games.

Texas isn’t just horse fodder.  The Longhorns are talented enough to advance to the title game.  Just imagine how great this team would be if Kevin Durant had decided to play just one more season.  D.J. Augustin and A.J. Abrams won’t be intimidated by the Tigers’ defense, and the deadly duo can force Memphis to become lax in the paint.  Then, Connor Atchley and Damion James will take over inside. 

Give Texas some home court advantage for playing in Houston, but give Memphis that little extra to get over the hump and avoid falling in the Elite Eight round for the third consecutive year.  They won’t be denied a third straight time-not with this much talent.

Prediction: Memphis 78  Texas 75

Midwest Regional-Detroit

Sunday, March 30, 2008

5:05 PM EDT

#10 Davidson vs. #1 Kansas

Davidson Wildcats

Record: 29-6

Head Coach: Bob McKillop

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

STARTERS

15

Thomas Sander

F

6-08

220

Sr.

7.6

4.9

57.9

23.1

53.3

F

41

Andrew Lovedale

F

6-08

215

Jr.

6.7

5.4

53.6

0.0

66.7

F

14

Max Paulhus Gosselin

G/F

6-06

205

Jr.

3.6

3.5

36.7

12.5

65.5

S

30

Stephen Curry

G

6-03

185

So.

25.7

4.6

48.8

44.4

88.8

S/A

2

Jason Richards

G

6-02

185

Sr.

12.9

3.1

41.8

32.4

74.8

A

KEY RESERVES %

5

Boris Meno

F

6-08

230

Sr.

7.3

5.6

49.5

5.6

66.7

22

Will Archambault

G/F

6-06

210

So.

5.2

1.9

39.1

27.8

69.0

F

24

Bryant Barr

G

6-04

195

So.

5.1

1.0

38.9

40.5

64.7

23

Stephen Rossiter

F

6-07

230

So.

3.1

3.4

60.3

0.0

67.6

S/F

Statistical Analysis

DC

Stat

Opp

Difference

47.1

FG%

42.3

4.8

36.2

3pt%

35.6

0.6

72.3

FT%

63.1

9.2

36.6

Reb

32.7

3.9

12.1

TO

16.9

4.8

3.3

BK

2.4

0.9

8.1

STL

5.6

2.5

17.1

AST

13.5

3.6

R+T  #

13.23

78.6

PPG

63.5

15.1

PiRate Score

14

Schedule Strength

.5252

NCAA Tournament Results

Gonzaga

82-76

Georgetown

74-70

Wisconsin

73-56

Kansas Jayhawks

Record: 34-3

Head Coach: Bill Self

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

STARTERS

32

Darnell Jackson

F

6-08

250

Sr.

11.5

6.7

62.3

33.3

69.5

0

Darrell Arthur

F

6-09

225

So.

13.1

6.2

54.0

16.7

70.4

B/F

25

Brandon Rush

G/F

6-06

210

Jr.

13.0

5.0

42.5

43.9

77.6

15

Mario Chalmers

G

6-01

195

Jr.

12.6

3.1

52.5

47.1

73.3

S/A

3

Russell Robinson

G

6-01

205

Sr.

7.4

2.8

42.3

31.3

76.6

S/A

KEY RESERVES %

4

Sherron Collins

G

5-11

205

So.

9.5

2.0

47.9

36.8

76.5

S/A

24

Sasha Kaun

C

6-11

250

Sr.

7.1

3.9

61.1

0.0

54.4

B/F

45

Cole Aldrich

C

6-11

240

Fr.

2.9

3.1

51.9

0.0

64.7

B/F

5

Rodrick Stewart

G

6-04

200

Sr.

2.9

2.3

49.3

31.3

60.7

Statistical Analysis

KU

Stat

Opp

Difference

50.8

FG%

38.0

12.8

40.1

3pt%

33.7

6.4

69.6

FT%

68.4

1.2

38.8

Reb

30.9

7.9

12.8

TO

15.8

3.0

6.0

BK

2.6

3.4

8.9

STL

6.2

2.7

18.4

AST

11.3

7.1

R+T  #

14.31

81.4

PPG

61.4

20.0

PiRate Score

21

Schedule Strength

.5594

NCAA Tournament Results

Portland State

85-61

UNLV

75-56

Villanova

72-57

I have to admit that Stephen Curry and company did something I didn’t think they could do-they blew Wisconsin off the floor Friday night.  I underestimated just how fluid the Wildcats play.  This is actually their third trip to the Elite 8, with the other two coming in 1968 and 1969 (they lost both times to North Carolina by one possession).

Kansas is the team to beat.  The Jayhawks can dominate the game at both ends of the floor and in the stat book,  as they showed against ‘Nova Friday night.  I believe the Jayhawk defense will be able to combat the numerous perimeter screens set and keep Curry from putting up numbers reminiscent of Austin Carr when he played in the NCAA Tournament for Notre Dame.

I’m going with the Jayhawks, because I think they are as good as any National Champion in the last quarter century.  Davidson won’t lose because they are a small school from the Southern Conference.  In my opinion any other team in the field would also lose if they played Kansas in the Elite 8.

Prediction: Kansas 75  Davidson 60

March 26, 2008

From Sweet To Elite–A PiRate Look At the NCAA Sweet 16 Games March 26, 2008

 

From Sweet To Elite

A PiRate Preview of Sweet 16 Games-March 26, 2008

The pretenders are gone, except for maybe one or two, and now the NCAA Tournament begins to get serious.  More than four of the remaining teams in the field have the entire pedigree and most of them have three or more of the required statistics in my Final Four criteria, so picking winners is going to be a crapshoot.

This week, I am going to add a statistic to the category today.  When you get to the Sweet 16, obviously all the teams have won at least two games in a row.  If they also won their conference tournament, then they have now won five or even six games in a row.  Some of these teams probably entered their conference tournament on a winning streak.  That’s what we are looking for in this stat.  No points are assigned, but if a team has a 10 or more-game winning streak, and they are from one of the power conferences, use that to decide in toss-up situations (after strength of schedule has first been applied).

This could mean that the team is playing better ball today than they played earlier in the season.  Thus, their cumulative statistics are lagging a little bit.

Without further adieu, here are the PiRate Sweet 16 game previews.

Note:  In the statistics below, you will see a column marked other.  “B” means the player is an exceptional shot blocker.  “S” means the player is exceptional at stealing the ball.  “A” means the player is an excellent passer for assists.  “F” means the player is foul-prone.

East Regional-Charlotte

Thursday, March 27, 2008

7:27 PM EDT

#4 Washington State vs. #1 North Carolina

Washington State Cougars

Record: 26-8

Head Coach: Tony Bennett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Aron Baynes

C

6-10

270

Jr.

10.3

5.9

59.4

0.0

66.4

F

34

Robbie Cowgill

F

6-10

211

Sr.

7.4

5.0

55.6

0.0

68.2

 

25

Kyle Weaver

F

6-06

201

Sr.

12.2

5.2

47.4

38.1

74.4

A/S

2

Derrick Low

G

6-02

196

Sr.

14.1

1.8

43.5

39.1

78.4

S

10

Taylor Rochestie

G

6-01

186

Jr.

10.7

3.2

47.6

43.8

80.4

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

Daven Harmeling

F

6-07

216

Jr.

5.7

2.1

43.2

38.5

75.0

 

52

Caleb Forrest

C/F

6-08

228

Jr.

3.5

2.1

51.6

20.0

77.8

F

4

Nikola Koprivica

G/F

6-06

211

So.

2.6

1.0

39.2

13.8

67.6

S

Statistical Analysis

 

WSU

Stat

Opp

Difference

48.0

FG%

41.3

6.7

37.5

3pt%

33.0

4.5

73.1

FT%

72.2

0.9

29.8

Reb

29.1

0.7

10.2

TO

13.2

3.0

2.9

BK

2.5

0.4

6.2

STL

4.3

1.9

13.9

AST

10.2

3.7

 

R+T  #

 

5.16

67.0

PPG

56.1

10.9

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

10

Schedule Strength

 

.5613

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Winthrop

71-40

 

Notre Dame

61-41

 

North Carolina Tar Heels

Record: 34-2

Head Coach: Roy Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

Tyler Hansbrough

F

6-09

250

Jr.

22.8

10.2

54.1

0.0

81.2

S

21

Deon Thompson

F

6-08

240

So.

8.5

4.8

47.7

0.0

58.6

B/F

1

Marcus Ginyard

G-F

6-05

218

Jr.

7.4

4.5

44.6

42.9

66.3

S

22

Wayne Ellington

G

6-04

200

So.

16.8

4.3

47.9

42.1

81.5

 

5

Ty Lawson

G

5-11

195

So.

12.9

2.7

52.8

36.0

82.5

S/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Danny Green

G-F

6-05

210

Jr.

11.3

5.0

46.8

37.1

86.3

BSAF

32

Alex Stepheson

F

6-09

235

So.

4.4

4.8

53.2

0.0

43.2

B/F

11

Quentin Thomas

G

6-03

190

Sr.

3.4

1.5

57.3

25.0

78.1

A

4

Bobby Frasor

G

6-03

208

Jr.

3.2

1.8

34.2

30.0

50.0

S/A

 

Statistical Analysis

 

UNC

Stat

Opp

Difference

49.1

FG%

42.4

6.7

38.3

3pt%

33.0

5.3

75.4

FT%

66.9

8.5

44.0

Reb

32.4

11.6

14.3

TO

16.1

1.8

4.6

BK

4.9

-0.3

8.3

STL

7.9

0.4

17.3

AST

13.7

3.6

 

R+T  #

 

15.19

89.9

PPG

72.9

17.0

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

17

Schedule Strength

 

.5921

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Mount St. Mary’s

113-74

 

Arkansas

108-77

 

Washington State’s style of play is the one style that North Carolina does not like to play.  The Tar Heels are going to try to make this a transition game by trying to play like they are the Denver Nuggets and the Cougars are the Seattle Supersonics.  This ploy will either work, and Carolina will force WSU out of its comfort zone, or the Tar Heels will force their shots and allow State to tighten the screws.

I’m thinking that with a fine home team advantage (UNC just won the ACC Tournament in Charlotte), and a 13-game winning streak in which the team has returned to full strength, the Tar Heels are going to win this one with ease.  It won’t be a repeat of their first two games in the tournament, but UNC will win by 10-15 points.  Washington State will slow the game down and force Carolina to work hard in the half-court, but Carolina will score enough points in transition and get enough second-chance points to eventually force the Cougars away from their comfort zone.

Prediction: North Carolina 76  Washington State 60

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Approximately 10:00 PM EDT

#3 Louisville vs. #2 Tennessee

Louisville Cardinals

Record: 26-8

Head Coach: Rick Pitino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

David Padgett

F/C

6-11

245

Sr.

11.4

4.5

67.7

0.0

65.2

F

1

Terrence Williams

F

6-06

210

Jr.

11.0

7.3

40.5

34.3

56.7

S/A

5

Earl Clark

F/G

6-08

220

So.

10.9

8.0

46.2

23.1

65.5

B

34

Jerry Smith

G

6-01

200

So.

10.5

3.6

44.8

37.7

77.6

S

33

Andre McGee

G

5-10

180

Jr.

6.4

1.6

40.4

40.3

69.8

S/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

Derrick Caracter

F/C

6-09

265

So.

8.5

4.5

55.7

1 of 1

63.1

B/F

10

Edgar Sosa

G

6-01

175

So.

7.6

1.7

38.5

37.4

63.6

 

3

Juan Palacios

F/C

6-08

250

Sr.

6.4

4.0

44.5

31.3

70.5

S

Statistical Analysis

 

U of L

Stat

Opp

Difference

46.0

FG%

38.4

7.6

35.2

3pt%

30.6

4.6

64.4

FT%

67.7

-3.3

37.3

Reb

34.5

2.8

13.3

TO

14.6

1.3

4.9

BK

2.7

2.2

8.1

STL

5.7

2.4

15.1

AST

12.2

2.9

 

R+T  #

 

5.33

72.3

PPG

60.9

11.4

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

9

Schedule Strength

 

.5852

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Boise State

79-61

 

Oklahoma

78-48

 

Tennessee Volunteers

Record: 31-4

Head Coach: Bruce Pearl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Wayne Chism

F/C

6-09

242

So.

9.9

5.8

46.6

31.5

54.5

B/F

1

Tyler Smith

F

6-07

215

So.

13.7

6.8

54.1

38.9

71.1

S/A

2

Jajuan Smith

G/F

6-02

195

Sr.

14.5

3.7

46.2

38.2

76.5

S/A

5

Chris Lofton

G

6-02

200

Sr.

15.5

3.2

40.6

39.2

83.2

S

30

J.P. Prince

G/F

6-07

205

So.

8.3

3.3

50.0

16.7

55.7

S/A/F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

Ramar Smith

G

6-02

200

So.

7.5

2.4

44.6

22.7

60.3

S/A/F

32

Duke Crews

F/C

6-07

233

So.

5.4

4.1

50.5

0.0

66.7

F

15

Jordan Howell

G

6-03

190

Sr.

4.3

1.5

32.6

31.9

65.7

A/F

33

Brian Williams

C

6-10

267

Fr.

2.9

3.5

60.3

1 of 2

50.0

F

34

Ryan Childress

F

6-09

235

Jr.

2.4

2.5

36.7

18.8

61.1

S/A/F

Statistical Analysis

 

UT

Stat

Opp

Difference

46.1

FG%

42.7

3.4

35.9

3pt%

31.2

4.7

65.8

FT%

66.9

-1.1

38.0

Reb

37.0

1.0

13.1

TO

18.2

5.1

3.4

BK

4.0

-0.6

9.2

STL

5.8

3.4

17.9

AST

13.4

4.5

 

R+T  #

 

12.26

82.5

PPG

69.7

12.8

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

13

Schedule Strength

 

.6063

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

American

72-57

 

Butler

76-71 ot

 

This should be the most exciting game in the Sweet 16.  Both teams press full-court, although they do it differently.  Tennessee’s press tries to steal the ball or force turnovers against the inbounds pass and then backs off into more of a token press once opponents successfully pass the ball inbounds.  The Vols will then surprise their opponents by going to full pressure in an attempt to start a scoring run.  Louisville’s press is the infamous match-up, multiple press that Rick Pitino has used successfully at Boston U, Providence, and Kentucky.

Turnovers and rebounding will play a greater than normal part in deciding this game.  When two good pressing teams face off, usually the eventual winner will get several additional scoring attempts due to turnovers and offensive rebounds off fast break situations.  In the end, I believe Tennessee’s press will fare a little better than Louisville’s.  The Vols have more depth and will have a better chance of wearing down the Cardinals than vice versa.  Unfortunately for the winner, it looks like this game will take a great deal more energy to win than the North Carolina-Washington State game.

Prediction: Tennessee 75  Louisville 72

West Regional-Phoenix

Thursday, March 27, 2008

7:10 PM EDT

#12 Western Kentucky vs. #1 UCLA

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Record: 29-6

Head Coach: Darrin Horn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40

Jeremy Evans

F/C

6-09

190

So.

6.0

5.2

62.4

42.1

65.4

B

35

D.J. Magley

F

6-09

260

Fr.

4.8

3.3

51.4

0.0

61.3

F

32

Courtney Lee

G/F

6-05

200

Sr.

20.5

4.8

49.0

40.4

82.5

S

5

Ty Rogers

G

6-03

195

Sr.

6.5

2.2

45.4

37.4

63.2

 

3

Tyrone Brazleton

G

6-00

180

Sr.

13.9

2.7

44.6

41.7

67.1

A/F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

A.J. Slaughter

G

6-03

180

So.

7.6

2.1

43.9

44.0

76.5

S/F

20

Orlando Mendez-Valdez

G

6-01

180

Jr.

5.8

1.6

42.5

39.4

78.3

A/F

21

Boris Siakim

F

6-07

225

Sr.

4.8

3.8

55.1

14.3

69.0

F

30

Steffphon Pettigrew

G/F

6-05

220

Fr.

3.9

2.9

40.5

25.0

70.8

F

Statistical Analysis

 

WKU

Stat

Opp

Difference

47.6

FG%

42.1

5.5

39.4

3pt%

33.1

6.3

70.0

FT%

70.3

-0.3

35.0

Reb

31.9

3.1

14.4

TO

17.8

3.4

3.7

BK

2.6

1.1

7.9

STL

6.3

1.6

12.7

AST

11.5

1.2

 

R+T  #

 

9.55

77.3

PPG

66.1

11.2

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

13

Schedule Strength

 

.5123

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Drake

101-99 ot

 

San Diego

72-63

 

U C L A  Bruins

Record: 33-3

Head Coach: Ben Howland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

42

Kevin Love

C

6-10

271

Fr.

17.3

10.6

55.7

36.5

76.5

B

23

Luc Rich. Mbah a Moute

F

6-08

232

Jr.

8.6

5.5

47.9

20.0

69.4

 

3

Josh Shipp

F/G

6-05

220

Jr.

12.4

3.2

44.0

32.5

79.2

S

2

Darren Collison

G

6-00

160

Jr.

15.1

2.6

49.4

51.6

87.6

S/A

0

Russell Westbrook

G

6-03

185

So.

12.3

3.8

46.8

31.9

70.5

S/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Mata-Real, Lorenzo

C

6-09

235

Sr.

3.3

3.7

50.0

0.0

45.2

B/F

12

Alfred Aboya

F/C

6-09

245

Jr.

3.1

2.3

50.0

33.3

52.8

F

41

Dragovic, Nikola

F

6-09

215

So.

2.6

1.4

33.9

23.8

12-12

 

13

James Keefe

G

6-08

225

So.

2.1

2.4

44.2

28.6

35.7

F

Statistical Analysis

 

UCLA

Stat

Opp

Difference

47.6

FG%

42.2

5.4

34.6

3pt%

32.5

2.1

73.0

FT%

67.0

6.0

36.3

Reb

27.9

8.4

12.4

TO

14.7

2.3

4.1

BK

2.6

1.5

7.4

STL

4.7

2.7

14.4

AST

11.3

3.1

 

R+T  #

 

12.48

73.3

PPG

58.0

15.3

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

15

Schedule Strength

 

.5751

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Mississippi Valley

70-29

 

Texas A&M

51-49

 

On the surface, this looks like a mismatch that will end with the top-seed blowing the Cinderella 12-seed out of the gym.  While the Bruins could win by 20 points, the Hilltoppers are the type of team that can make UCLA get into a transition game.  This game will be played much like the North Carolina-Washington State; one team will try to get the other team to play a different style of ball than they are accustomed to playing.

Where I think the game will turn is inside the paint.  UCLA has too many horses for Western to stop.  If the Bruins can defend the WKU perimeter, they will eventually control the game, because UCLA will pound the ball inside and dominate on the glass.  It comes down to what time in the game that will happen.  I think WKU can keep it close for a time; I’m just not sure what time it will be.  Thus, I am expecting the Bruins to survive but not by 20 points.

Prediction: UCLA 65  Western Kentucky 58

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Approximately 9:45 PM EDT

#7 West Virginia vs. #3 Xavier

West Virginia Mountaineers

Record: 26-10

Head Coach: Bob Huggins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

43

Jamie Smalligan

C

7-00

265

Sr.

2.2

1.9

29.5

18.3

71.4

A/F

11

Joe Alexander

F

6-08

230

Jr.

16.8

6.3

46.3

27.5

82.1

B/A

1

Da’Sean Butler

F

6-07

225

So.

12.9

6.1

49.6

37.1

63.7

F

22

Alex Ruoff

G

6-06

215

Jr.

13.8

3.4

47.7

41.4

83.1

S/A

14

Darris Nichols

G

6-03

200

Sr.

10.8

3.3

44.6

39.2

70.9

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Joe Mazzulla

G

6-02

210

So.

5.7

2.9

46.7

47.4

64.8

A/F

35

Wellington Smith

F

6-07

215

So.

5.1

3.8

42.4

25.0

54.2

B/F

41

John Flowers

F

6-07

195

Fr.

4.6

2.5

43.3

28.6

38.0

B/F

Statistical Analysis

 

WVU

Stat

Opp

Difference

45.4

FG%

41.9

3.5

35.9

3pt%

35.1

0.8

69.0

FT%

65.8

3.2

35.9

Reb

33.6

2.3

11.3

TO

15.8

4.5

5.1

BK

2.5

2.6

7.0

STL

5.6

1.4

15.4

AST

11.3

4.1

 

R+T  #

 

9.86

74.8

PPG

63.1

11.7

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

11 *

Schedule Strength

 

.5616

 

(*) Barely missed being 13

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Arizona

75-65

 

Duke

73-67

 

Xavier Musketeers

Record: 29-6

Head Coach: Sean Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31

Jason Love

F/C

6-09

255

So.

6.1

5.4

57.4

0.0

60.4

B

5

Derrick Brown

F

6-08

225

So.

10.9

6.7

60.2

34.5

72.1

 

20

C.J. Anderson

F/G

6-06

220

Jr.

10.7

5.9

52.3

0.0

67.3

 

34

Stanley Burrell

G

6-03

210

Sr.

9.8

2.1

39.1

38.9

83.1

A

24

Drew Lavender

G

5-07

153

Sr.

11.0

2.6

43.6

40.4

86.8

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Josh Duncan

F

6-09

235

Sr.

12.1

4.7

50.4

41.8

85.4

F

11

B.J. Raymond

G/F

6-06

225

Jr.

10.1

3.1

44.9

41.1

86.1

 

25

Dante’ Jackson

G

6-05

205

Fr.

2.4

1.2

35.4

38.1

61.5

S/F

Statistical Analysis

 

XAV

Stat

Opp

Difference

47.8

FG%

40.6

7.2

39.1

3pt%

33.7

5.4

75.5

FT%

67.6

7.9

35.8

Reb

30.2

5.6

13.1

TO

13.0

-0.1

3.4

BK

3.6

-0.2

5.6

STL

6.6

-1.0

15.3

AST

13.1

2.2

 

R+T  #

 

5.47

75.5

PPG

62.7

12.8

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

8 *

Schedule Strength

 

.5720

 

(*) Barely missed being 10

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Georgia

73-61

 

Purdue

85-78

 

The PiRate Criteria reveals West Virginia to be a slight favorite in this game.  I’m on the fence personally.  I like both of these teams’ hustle and the ability to put team ahead of the individual.  While the Tennessee-Louisville game looks like the most exciting, this game looks like the most balanced.  These two teams could play 10 times and split the games five to five.

So, where do I see the game being decided?  If I had to pinpoint one area, it would be the versatility of West Virginia to change its lineup from short and quick to tall and muscular.  Bob Huggins will find the right combination in the second half, and the Mountaineers will advance to the Elite Eight for the second time in four years.

Prediction: West Virginia 74  Xavier 69

South Regional-Houston

Friday, March 28, 2008

7:27 PM

#3 Stanford vs. #2 Texas

Stanford Cardinal

Record: 28-7

Head Coach: Trent Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

42

Robin Lopez

C

7-00

260

So.

10.3

5.7

54.2

1 of 1

65.2

B

11

Brook Lopez

F

7-00

255

So.

19.0

8.1

46.9

0.0

78.2

B

44

Fred Washington

F

6-05

215

Sr.

4.5

4.1

48.2

20.0

53.2

A/F

4

Anthony Goods

G

6-03

205

Jr.

10.3

2.1

37.2

35.2

74.6

 

1

Mitch Johnson

G

6-01

190

Jr.

6.7

4.3

43.3

39.7

66.2

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

Lawrence Hill

F

6-08

215

Jr.

8.7

4.9

41.3

36.5

74.6

 

31

Taj Finger

F

6-08

200

Sr.

5.9

4.3

55.3

22.2

74.2

F

22

Kenny Brown

G

6-01

200

Jr.

4.3

1.3

43.8

38.3

70.8

 

2

Landry Fields

G/F

6-07

200

So.

3.8

2.0

35.5

34.5

60.7

A/F

 

Statistical Analysis

 

Stan

Stat

Opp

Difference

45.2

FG%

39.3

5.9

36.6

3pt%

33.4

3.2

69.5

FT%

66.6

2.9

39.1

Reb

31.1

8.0

12.3

TO

11.7

-0.6

5.2

BK

2.4

2.8

4.4

STL

5.8

-1.4

14.6

AST

9.9

4.7

 

R+T  #

 

7.37

71.2

PPG

61.0

10.2

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

8 *

Schedule Strength

 

.5547

 

 

(*) Barely missed being 12

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Cornell

77-53

 

Marquette

82-81 ot

 

 

Texas Longhorns

Record: 30-6

Head Coach: Rick Barnes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

Connor Atchley

F/C

6-10

225

Jr.

19.2

2.9

44.3

38.0

77.9

B

5

Damion James

F/G

6-07

227

Jr.

13.2

10.7

46.4

44.6

56.3

B

24

Justin Mason

G

6-02

185

So.

7.1

4.3

42.2

34.2

66.2

A

3

A.J. Abrams

G

5-10

155

Jr.

16.6

2.8

42.8

38.1

80.9

 

14

D.J. Augustin

G

5-11

175

So.

19.2

2.9

44.3

38.0

77.9

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Gary Johnson

F

6-07

235

Fr.

5.7

4.0

41.6

0.0

55.6

F

34

Dexter Pittman

C

6-10

293

So.

2.7

2.3

54.8

0.0

60.5

B/F

15

Alexis Wangmene

F/C

6-08

240

Fr.

2.2

2.4

42.3

0.0

66.0

B/F

 

Statistical Analysis

 

UT

Stat

Opp

Difference

45.3

FG%

38.8

6.5

39.1

3pt%

32.6

6.5

68.2

FT%

67.9

0.3

38.1

Reb

35.1

3.0

9.6

TO

12.1

2.5

5.3

BK

2.8

2.5

6.0

STL

4.6

1.4

13.1

AST

12.4

0.7

 

R+T  #

 

6.60

75.5

PPG

64.4

11.1

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

9

Schedule Strength

 

.5950

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Austin Peay

74-54

 

Miami (Fla.)

75-72

 

 

Stanford poses a tough match-up with two mobile seven footers in their starting lineup.  Texas isn’t one of those teams that will have problems.  The Longhorns’ defense should force the Cardinal to shoot too many outside shots, something they don’t want to do.  I expect this game to be lower scoring than average, as Stanford will try to pound it inside the paint and will find it difficult to get the ball there consistently.

When Texas has the ball, I expect the ‘Horns to put the ball in D.J. Augustin’s hands and let him break down the Stanford defense.  It won’t work all night, but it will work enough times to move Texas on to the Regional finals.

Prediction: Texas 69  Stanford 61

Friday, March 28, 2008

Approximately 10:00 PM EDT

#5 Michigan State vs. #1 Memphis

Michigan State Spartans

Record: 27-8

Head Coach: Tom Izzo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Goran Suton

C

6-10

245

Jr.

8.7

8.2

53.6

9.1

77.6

F

2

Raymar Morgan

F

6-07

225

So.

14.2

6.1

56.2

30.3

67.8

 

1

Kalin Lucas

G

6-00

180

Fr.

10.2

1.6

43.1

37.0

76.4

A

11

Drew Neitzel

G

6-00

185

Sr.

14.1

2.5

40.9

40.1

86.0

A

5

Travis Walton

G

6-02

190

Jr.

3.6

2.0

38.7

0.0

73.2

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Chris Allen

G

6-03

195

Fr.

5.9

1.1

37.1

37.0

80.0

 

15

Durrell Summers

G

6-04

195

Fr.

4.9

2.4

50.8

50.0

75.5

 

41

Marquise Gray

F

6-08

235

Jr.

4.5

3.8

60.7

0.0

65.0

F

34

Drew Naymick

C

6-10

250

Sr.

4.3

4.2

66.3

0.0

77.4

B/F

 

Statistical Analysis

 

MSU

Stat

Opp

Difference

48.0

FG%

39.8

8.2

37.4

3pt%

31.1

6.3

73.9

FT%

66.6

7.3

37.2

Reb

29.9

7.3

13.7

TO

12.3

-1.4

4.3

BK

4.0

0.3

5.9

STL

5.9

0.0

17.5

AST

12.3

5.2

 

R+T  #

 

5.32

71.1

PPG

61.7

9.4

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

8

Schedule Strength

 

.5636

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Temple

72-61

 

Pittsburgh

65-54

 

 

Memphis Tigers

Record: 35-1

Head Coach: John Calipari

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Joey Dorsey

F/C

6-09

265

Jr.

7.0

9.7

64.7

0.0

37.9

B/F

2

Robert Dozier

F

6-09

215

Jr.

9.4

6.7

45.1

29.0

68.5

B

14

Chris Douglas-Roberts

G/F

6-07

200

Jr.

17.3

4.2

54.7

42.7

68.4

 

5

Antonio Anderson

G

6-06

210

Jr.

8.4

3.7

40.9

32.8

56.6

A

23

Derrick Rose

G

6-03

205

Fr.

14.1

4.3

46.9

35.1

68.4

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

Doneal Mack

G

6-05

175

So.

7.7

1.8

39.7

37.1

66.7

F

0

Shawn Taggart

F/C

6-10

230

So.

5.8

4.2

51.0

37.5

63.9

B/F

1

Willie Kemp

G

6-02

175

So.

5.3

1.1

38.2

36.6

57.1

F

15

Andre Allen

G

5-10

205

Sr.

3.4

1.2

31.5

29.6

40.6

F

 

Statistical Analysis

 

Mem

Stat

Opp

Difference

46.6

FG%

38.5

8.1

35.3

3pt%

30.3

5.0

59.2

FT%

66.9

-7.7

40.9

Reb

34.2

6.7

12.0

TO

16.3

4.3

6.2

BK

3.3

2.9

8.5

STL

5.8

2.7

16.2

AST

10.7

5.5

 

R+T  #

 

15.47

79.8

PPG

61.1

18.7

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

19

Schedule Strength

 

.5749

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

The PiRate Criteria show this game as a blowout, but I think Michigan State has a chance at the upset.  If the Spartans play with the same intensity as they displayed against Pittsburgh, they will keep this game within striking distance.

Memphis didn’t play poorly against Mississippi State, but the Tigers couldn’t put the Bulldogs away in the second round. 

The game will come down to how many extra shots Michigan State gets due to their rebounding acumen versus how many extra fast break opportunities Memphis gets due to their ability to force turnovers and have a numbers advantage.

Prediction: Memphis 74  Michigan State 67

Midwest Regional-Detroit

Friday, March 28, 2008

7:10 PM EDT

#10 Davidson vs. #3 Wisconsin

Davidson Wildcats

Record: 28-6

Head Coach: Bob McKillop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

Thomas Sander

F

6-08

220

Sr.

7.6

4.9

57.9

23.1

53.3

F

41

Andrew Lovedale

F

6-08

215

Jr.

6.7

5.4

53.6

0.0

66.7

F

14

Max Paulhus Gosselin

G/F

6-06

205

Jr.

3.6

3.5

36.7

12.5

65.5

S

30

Stephen Curry

G

6-03

185

So.

25.7

4.6

48.8

44.4

88.8

S/A

2

Jason Richards

G

6-02

185

Sr.

12.9

3.1

41.8

32.4

74.8

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Boris Meno

F

6-08

230

Sr.

7.3

5.6

49.5

5.6

66.7

 

22

Will Archambault

G/F

6-06

210

So.

5.2

1.9

39.1

27.8

69.0

F

24

Bryant Barr

G

6-04

195

So.

5.1

1.0

38.9

40.5

64.7

 

23

Stephen Rossiter

F

6-07

230

So.

3.1

3.4

60.3

0.0

67.6

S/F

Statistical Analysis

 

DC

Stat

Opp

Difference

47.1

FG%

42.3

4.8

36.2

3pt%

35.6

0.6

72.3

FT%

63.1

9.2

36.6

Reb

32.7

3.9

12.1

TO

16.9

4.8

3.3

BK

2.4

0.9

8.1

STL

5.6

2.5

17.1

AST

13.5

3.6

 

R+T  #

 

13.23

78.6

PPG

63.5

15.1

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

14

Schedule Strength

 

.5252

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Gonzaga

82-76

 

Georgetown

74-70

 

Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 31-4

Head Coach: Bo Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

Brian Butch

F/C

6-11

245

Sr.

12.4

6.7

45.7

30.7

65.8

 

1

Marcus Landry

F

6-07

230

Jr.

10.9

5.4

46.9

35.8

76.0

 

45

Joe Krabbenhoft

G/F

6-07

220

Jr.

7.5

6.6

47.6

18.5

75.5

A

3

Trevon Hughes

G

6-01

190

So.

11.6

3.1

39.8

31.9

68.8

S/A

22

Michael Flowers

G

6-02

185

Sr.

9.5

3.8

45.4

41.8

70.0

S/A/F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

Jason Bohannon

G

6-02

195

So.

8.1

2.4

43.2

38.9

87.3

 

34

Greg Stiemsma

C

6-11

260

Sr.

3.4

3.0

55.6

0.0

84.2

B/A/F

30

Jon Leuer

F

6-10

215

Fr.

3.0

1.3

47.2

46.2

48.3

 

Statistical Analysis

 

UW

Stat

Opp

Difference

45.1

FG%

38.0

7.1

35.6

3pt%

30.5

5.1

70.7

FT%

68.2

2.5

36.0

Reb

30.3

5.7

12.2

TO

13.8

1.6

3.3

BK

2.9

0.4

6.3

STL

6.2

0.1

12.7

AST

9.8

2.9

 

R+T  #

 

8.12

67.6

PPG

53.9

13.7

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

13

Schedule Strength

 

.5518

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Cal State Fullerton

71-56

 

Kansas State

72-55

 

The criteria for these two teams are close.  Davidson’s long winning streak does not count as a tiebreaker, as the Wildcats are not from a power conference.  Wisconsin has won 12 in a row, so the winning streak does apply to the Badgers.  Wisconsin’s perimeter defense is strong with Flowers, Hughes,  and Krabbenhoft able to shut down any opponents’ outside game.  I expect the Badgers to hold Stephen Curry under 20 points.

When Wisconsin has the ball, they will set up the outside shot by going inside to Butch and Stiemsma first.  Unlike Georgetown, when Davidson tries to pack their defense inside, Wisconsin will exploit it with the three-bombs of Flowers and Bohannon. 

Prediction: Wisconsin 66  Davidson 55

Friday, March 28, 2008

Approximately 9:45 PM EDT

#12 Villanova vs. #1 Kansas

Villanova Wildcats

Record: 22-12

Head Coach: Jay Wright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33

Dante Cunningham

F

6-08

230

Jr.

10.4

6.4

54.9

0.0

69.1

S/F

0

Antonio Pena

F

6-08

230

Fr.

7.0

4.3

48.0

33.3

69.1

 

22

Dwayne Anderson

G/F

6-06

215

Jr.

6.4

4.8

50.7

33.3

64.3

S

10

Corey Fisher

G

6-01

200

Fr.

9.2

1.8

35.7

34.2

74.0

A

1

Scottie Reynolds

G

6-02

190

So.

16.0

3.1

41.6

38.1

77.8

S/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

Shane Clark

F

6-07

205

Jr.

7.0

4.3

43.5

29.1

84.1

F

24

Corey Stokes

G

6-05

220

Fr.

6.4

2.5

36.5

29.8

90.0

F

3

Malcolm Grant

G

6-00

185

Fr.

5.6

0.8

39.0

46.6

84.1

A/F

5

Casiem Drummond

C

6-10

275

So.

4.9

4.5

52.4

0.0

44.4

B/F

 

Statistical Analysis

 

VU

Stat

Opp

Difference

43.3

FG%

43.4

-0.1

34.8

3pt%

36.3

-1.5

72.8

FT%

68.1

4.7

36.1

Reb

33.3

2.8

14.3

TO

16.4

2.1

2.8

BK

4.6

-1.8

8.0

STL

6.6

1.4

13.6

AST

12.9

0.7

 

R+T  #

 

6.83

73.2

PPG

69.4

3.8

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

-1

Schedule Strength

 

.5586

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Clemson

75-69

 

Siena

84-72

 

 

Kansas Jayhawks

Record: 33-3

Head Coach: Bill Self

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Player

Pos

Height

Weight

Cl.

Pts.

Reb.

FG%

3pt%

FT%

Other *

 

STARTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

Darnell Jackson

F

6-08

250

Sr.

11.5

6.7

62.3

33.3

69.5

 

0

Darrell Arthur

F

6-09

225

So.

13.1

6.2

54.0

16.7

70.4

B/F

25

Brandon Rush

G/F

6-06

210

Jr.

13.0

5.0

42.5

43.9

77.6

 

15

Mario Chalmers

G

6-01

195

Jr.

12.6

3.1

52.5

47.1

73.3

S/A

3

Russell Robinson

G

6-01

205

Sr.

7.4

2.8

42.3

31.3

76.6

S/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY RESERVES %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Sherron Collins

G

5-11

205

So.

9.5

2.0

47.9

36.8

76.5

S/A

24

Sasha Kaun

C

6-11

250

Sr.

7.1

3.9

61.1

0.0

54.4

B/F

45

Cole Aldrich

C

6-11

240

Fr.

2.9

3.1

51.9

0.0

64.7

B/F

5

Rodrick Stewart

G

6-04

200

Sr.

2.9

2.3

49.3

31.3

60.7

 

 

Statistical Analysis

 

KU

Stat

Opp

Difference

50.8

FG%

38.0

12.8

40.1

3pt%

33.7

6.4

69.6

FT%

68.4

1.2

38.8

Reb

30.9

7.9

12.8

TO

15.8

3.0

6.0

BK

2.6

3.4

8.9

STL

6.2

2.7

18.4

AST

11.3

7.1

 

R+T  #

 

14.31

81.4

PPG

61.4

20.0

 

 

 

 

PiRate Score

21

Schedule Strength

 

.5594

 

 

 

 

(#) For an explanation of R+T, PiRate Score, and Schedule

Strength, see “Bracketnomics 505” posted on 3/17/08

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament Results

Portland State

85-61

 

UNLV

75-56

 

The team with the best criteria plays the team with the worst criteria.  I  have the criteria from the 1985 Championship Game, the one where the all-time biggest Cinderella, Villanova, upset the Goliath Georgetown.  Villanova’s PiRate criteria was -2, while Georgetown’s was 19, for a difference of 21.  The difference in this game is 22, so it would be an even bigger upset in the bits and bytes of the PiRate Computer.

Kansas has the perfect PiRate Criteria fingerprint for a National Championship.  The Jayhawks have a perfect score.  Very few teams, other than ones coached by John Wooden, have been able to outscore their opponents by 20 points per game, shoot almost 13% better from the field, out-rebound their opponents by eight per game, force three more turnovers per game than they commit with nine of those coming on steals, and have seven legitimate offensive threats all in the same season.  When it happens, you have a team for the ages.  Kansas looks like that sort of team, and until someone can knock them off, I sticking with the boys from Lawrence to go all the way.

Prediction: Kansas 80  Villanova 64

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