The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 24, 2019

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Welcome to the inaugural post for the 2019-2020 College Basketball Season.  In past years, we did not issue power ratings until past January 1, because our ratings need a substantial sample size before the variance is negligible.

For those of you new to our basketball ratings, they are nothing like our football ratings.  We use an algorithm based on the Four Factors of basketball combined with schedule strength.  We spent a couple years testing out a system and tweaking the variables until we ended up with what we hope is accurate enough ratings to predict game outcome and maybe, if lucky, a comparison to the Nevada Spread.

Our inspiration comes from baseball sabermetric genius Tom Tango aka Tango Tiger, who we would really love to meet one day after having traded some ideas via the Baseball-Fever site many years ago.  Tango created the Weighted On-Base Average, which is about as positively correlated to run scoring among the well-known sabermetric runs formulas.

Our basketball ratings apply weights to the four factors and then adjust these weights to schedule strength.  It takes about 1,750 games before schedule strength adjustment variance lowers to a minimum number in our calculating loop.  

Since we are beginning our ratings’ publication early this year, we have not yet decided on a set schedule for when we will release updated ratings.  

Starting in January, this is what we will present weekly in our basketball category.

  1. Twice Weekly Power Rating Updates

  2. Predicted Spreads of Games Played Between Power Conference Teams

  3. Weekly Bracketology Updates

  4. Occasional Editorial Or Other Written Information

We went back and looked at what our most read posts were for the 2018-19 season, and by far you chose our feature naming the top 20 candidates to move up to Power Conference head coaching jobs.  In that post, we rated Eric Musselman, then of Nevada, as not only the top coach that could potentially move up to a Power Conference job, we named him the overall best college basketball coach at the present time, ahead of all the legends still coaching.

We based that accolade on the fact that Musselman has improved the overall efficiency of close to 100% of the players he has coached at the college level that have also played for other Division 1 Head Coaches.

Musselman is living up to this accolade in his first year at Arkansas, where the Razorback players that played for another Division 1 Head Coach (either players he inherited at Arkansas or transfers from other teams) have enjoyed massive improvement in total efficiency, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

We will post a new list sometime in February.  Believe it or not, it takes longer to study efficiency ratings for players from one year to the next than it does to figure all the power ratings for 353 teams.

Here are our Opening PiRate Ratings for Christmas Eve, 2019

Power Ratings  12/24/19

 

#

Team

Conference

PiRate

1

Duke

Atlantic Coast

120.7

2

Kansas

Big 12

120.1

3

Ohio St.

Big Ten

119.6

4

Michigan St.

Big Ten

118.9

5

Gonzaga

West Coast

118.4

6

Louisville

Atlantic Coast

117.7

7

Maryland

Big Ten

116.3

8

Arizona

Pac-12

115.9

9

Baylor

Big 12

115.3

10

Dayton

Atlantic 10

115.0

11

Oregon

Pac-12

114.9

12

Butler

Big East

114.8

13

Auburn

Southeastern

114.6

14

Michigan

Big Ten

114.6

15

Florida St.

Atlantic Coast

114.3

16

Kentucky

Southeastern

114.0

17

Memphis

American Athletic

113.7

18

Seton Hall

Big East

113.6

19

San Diego St.

Mountain West

113.5

20

Villanova

Big East

113.5

21

Purdue

Big Ten

113.3

22

Iowa

Big Ten

113.3

23

Penn St.

Big Ten

113.1

24

West Virginia

Big 12

112.7

25

Marquette

Big East

112.6

26

BYU

West Coast

112.5

27

Florida

Southeastern

112.3

28

Texas Tech

Big 12

112.3

29

Indiana

Big Ten

112.1

30

Wichita St.

Big East

112.1

31

Houston

American Athletic

112.0

32

Xavier

Big East

111.8

33

Arkansas

Southeastern

111.7

34

Tennessee

Southeastern

111.6

35

LSU

Southeastern

111.5

36

Iowa St.

Big 12

111.5

37

North Carolina St.

Atlantic Coast

111.5

38

Utah St.

Mountain West

111.4

39

Saint Mary’s

West Coast

111.4

40

North Carolina

Atlantic Coast

111.4

41

Georgetown

Big East

111.3

42

Washington

Pac-12

111.1

43

Virginia

Atlantic Coast

111.1

44

Colorado

Pac-12

111.0

45

Minnesota

Big Ten

110.8

46

Illinois

Big Ten

110.8

47

Creighton

Big East

110.6

48

Oklahoma St.

Big 12

110.5

49

VCU

Atlantic 10

110.1

50

Rutgers

Big Ten

110.1

51

Oklahoma

Big 12

110.0

52

Temple

American Athletic

109.7

53

Wisconsin

Big Ten

109.7

54

Missouri

Southeastern

109.6

55

Alabama

Southeastern

109.4

56

Connecticut

American Athletic

109.2

57

Cincinnati

American Athletic

109.1

58

Stanford

Pac-12

109.0

59

Notre Dame

Atlantic Coast

108.8

60

Syracuse

Atlantic Coast

108.6

61

Mississippi St.

Southeastern

108.6

62

USC

Pac-12

108.5

63

Texas

Big 12

108.3

64

East Tennessee St.

Southern

108.3

65

Virginia Tech

Atlantic Coast

108.0

66

Duquesne

Atlantic 10

107.9

67

Liberty

Atlantic Sun

107.9

68

TCU

Big 12

107.9

69

DePaul

Big East

107.8

70

Yale

Ivy

107.7

71

Davidson

Atlantic 10

107.7

72

Oregon St.

Pac-12

107.7

73

St. John’s

Big East

107.5

74

Arizona St.

Pac-12

107.3

75

UNC Greensboro

Southern

107.2

76

Mississippi

Southeastern

107.1

77

Belmont

Ohio Valley

107.1

78

Pittsburgh

Atlantic Coast

107.1

79

Providence

Big East

107.0

80

Louisiana Tech

Conference USA

107.0

81

Rhode Island

Atlantic 10

107.0

82

Richmond

Atlantic 10

107.0

83

Northern Iowa

Missouri Valley

106.9

84

Furman

Southern

106.8

85

Miami (Fla.)

Atlantic Coast

106.8

86

Georgia

Southeastern

106.7

87

Vermont

American East

106.6

88

Western Kentucky

Conference USA

106.3

89

Kansas St.

Big 12

106.1

90

New Mexico

Mountain West

106.1

91

South Carolina

Southeastern

105.9

92

Clemson

Atlantic Coast

105.7

93

San Francisco

West Coast

105.6

94

Nevada

Mountain West

105.5

95

SMU

American Athletic

105.4

96

Harvard

Ivy

105.2

97

Saint Louis

Atlantic 10

105.1

98

Toledo

Mid-American

105.1

99

Kent St.

Mid-American

105.0

100

Wake Forest

Atlantic Coast

104.9

101

New Mexico St.

Western Athletic

104.8

102

Utah

Pac-12

104.8

103

Boise St.

Mountain West

104.6

104

Northwestern

Big Ten

104.5

105

Akron

Mid-American

104.5

106

UCLA

Pac-12

104.5

107

Georgia Tech

Atlantic Coast

104.4

108

Central Florida

American Athletic

104.3

109

Penn

Ivy

103.9

110

Wright St.

Horizon

103.8

111

Loyola (Chi.)

Missouri Valley

103.8

112

Ball St.

Mid-American

103.8

113

South Florida

American Athletic

103.6

114

Georgia St.

Sun Belt

103.3

115

Fresno St.

Mountain West

103.2

116

George Mason

Atlantic 10

103.1

117

Northern Colorado

Big Sky

102.7

118

Bradley

Missouri Valley

102.7

119

Northern Kentucky

Horizon

102.7

120

UC Irvine

Big West

102.6

121

Murray St.

Ohio Valley

102.6

122

Vanderbilt

Southeastern

102.6

123

Tulsa

American Athletic

102.5

124

Washington St.

Pac-12

102.5

125

North Texas

Conference USA

102.4

126

Radford

Big South

102.3

127

Nebraska

Big Ten

102.3

128

Eastern Washington

Big Sky

102.2

129

Boston College

Atlantic Coast

102.2

130

St. Bonaventure

Atlantic 10

102.1

131

Indiana St.

Missouri Valley

102.1

132

Buffalo

Mid-American

102.0

133

Wofford

Southern

101.9

134

Stephen F. Austin

Southland

101.9

135

Oral Roberts

Summit

101.8

136

UT Arlington

Southland

101.7

137

Hofstra

Colonial Athletic

101.6

138

Colorado St.

Mountain West

101.6

139

Appalachian St.

Sun Belt

101.6

140

Texas St.

Sun Belt

101.6

141

UTEP

Conference USA

101.5

142

Colgate

Patriot

101.5

143

Rider

Metro Atlantic

101.4

144

Missouri St.

Missouri Valley

101.4

145

Bowling Green

Mid-American

101.2

146

Northeastern

Colonial Athletic

101.1

147

Texas A&M

Southeastern

101.0

148

Pepperdine

West Coast

100.9

149

Drake

Missouri Valley

100.9

150

Charleston

Colonial Athletic

100.8

151

Towson

Colonial Athletic

100.8

152

La Salle

Atlantic 10

100.7

153

Stony Brook

American East

100.7

154

UC Santa Barbara

Big West

100.6

155

North Dakota St.

Summit

100.5

156

Southern Utah

Big Sky

100.5

157

Santa Clara

West Coast

100.4

158

Georgia Southern

Sun Belt

100.3

159

Coastal Carolina

Sun Belt

100.2

160

UAB

Conference USA

100.2

161

Florida Int’l.

Conference USA

100.2

162

California Baptist

Western Athletic

100.1

163

Valparaiso

Missouri Valley

100.1

164

Hawaii

Big West

100.0

165

Little Rock

Sun Belt

100.0

166

Northern Illinois

Mid-American

99.9

167

Delaware

Colonial Athletic

99.9

168

Western Carolina

Southern

99.9

169

Charlotte

Conference USA

99.6

170

Central Michigan

Mid-American

99.6

171

Sam Houston St.

Southland

99.6

172

Pacific

West Coast

99.6

173

UNLV

Mountain West

99.5

174

Winthrop

Big South

99.5

175

Ohio

Mid-American

99.4

176

San Diego

West Coast

99.4

177

California

Pac-12

99.4

178

South Dakota St.

Summit

99.3

179

Old Dominion

Conference USA

99.2

180

Marshall

Conference USA

99.0

181

North Florida

Atlantic Sun

99.0

182

South Dakota

Summit

98.9

183

William & Mary

Colonial Athletic

98.9

184

St. Francis (PA)

Northeast

98.8

185

Massachusetts

Atlantic 10

98.7

186

South Alabama

Sun Belt

98.7

187

Oakland

Horizon

98.7

188

Sacred Heart

Northeast

98.7

189

Tulane

American Athletic

98.6

190

Southern Illinois

Missouri Valley

98.6

191

Siena

Metro Atlantic

98.4

192

Dartmouth

Ivy

98.3

193

Iona

Metro Atlantic

98.2

194

Rice

Conference USA

98.1

195

Lafayette

Patriot

98.1

196

Eastern Illinois

Ohio Valley

98.1

197

Eastern Michigan

Mid-American

98.1

198

Sacramento St.

Big Sky

98.1

199

Austin Peay

Ohio Valley

98.0

200

UTSA

Conference USA

98.0

201

Omaha

Summit

97.8

202

Evansville

Missouri Valley

97.8

203

Loyola Marymount

West Coast

97.8

204

Lipscomb

Atlantic Sun

97.7

205

Florida Atlantic

Conference USA

97.6

206

Miami (O)

Mid-American

97.5

207

Portland St.

Big Sky

97.4

208

Air Force

Mountain West

97.4

209

Montana

Big Sky

97.4

210

Loyola (MD)

Patriot

97.4

211

Illinois St.

Missouri Valley

97.3

212

Chattanooga

Southern

97.2

213

Green Bay

Horizon

97.1

214

Samford

Southern

97.0

215

Princeton

Ivy

97.0

216

American

Patriot

96.9

217

Boston U

Patriot

96.9

218

Missouri-KC

Western Athletic

96.9

219

Bryant

Northeast

96.7

220

UC Riverside

Big West

96.7

221

Grand Canyon

Western Athletic

96.6

222

North Dakota

Summit

96.5

223

Columbia

Ivy

96.4

224

Arkansas St.

Sun Belt

96.3

225

Bucknell

Patriot

96.2

226

Nicholls St.

Southland

96.1

227

George Washington

Atlantic 10

96.1

228

Gardner-Webb

Big South

96.1

229

Canisius

Metro Atlantic

96.0

230

Brown

Ivy

96.0

231

Tennessee St.

Ohio Valley

96.0

232

Jacksonville

Atlantic Sun

96.0

233

Youngstown St.

Horizon

95.9

234

Illinois Chicago

Horizon

95.9

235

Albany

American East

95.9

236

Fairfield

Metro Atlantic

95.8

237

Seattle

Western Athletic

95.8

238

Monmouth

Metro Atlantic

95.8

239

Abilene Christian

Southland

95.8

240

James Madison

Colonial Athletic

95.7

241

Purdue Fort Wayne

Summit

95.7

242

Campbell

Big South

95.6

243

Prairie View A&M

Southwestern Athl.

95.6

244

UMass Lowell

American East

95.6

245

Montana St.

Big Sky

95.6

246

Cal St. Bakersfield

Western Athletic

95.6

247

Northern Arizona

Big Sky

95.5

248

Navy

Patriot

95.5

249

Long Island

Northeast

95.5

250

Drexel

Colonial Athletic

95.4

251

Southern Miss.

Conference USA

95.4

252

Saint Joseph’s

Atlantic 10

95.3

253

East Carolina

American Athletic

95.2

254

Milwaukee

Horizon

95.2

255

Fordham

Atlantic 10

95.2

256

Jacksonville St.

Ohio Valley

95.2

257

UC Davis

Big West

95.1

258

Lehigh

Patriot

95.0

259

UNC Asheville

Big South

94.9

260

Louisiana

Sun Belt

94.8

261

Utah Valley

Western Athletic

94.8

262

Quinnipiac

Metro Atlantic

94.8

263

McNeese St.

Southland

94.7

264

Middle Tennessee

Conference USA

94.6

265

Lamar

Southland

94.6

266

Texas Southern

Southwestern Athl.

94.4

267

Western Michigan

Mid-American

94.4

268

Louisiana Monroe

Sun Belt

94.3

269

Mercer

Southern

94.3

270

Weber St.

Big Sky

94.3

271

Cal St. Northridge

Big West

94.2

272

Troy

Sun Belt

94.1

273

UT Rio Grande Valley

Western Athletic

94.0

274

Portland

West Coast

93.9

275

Manhattan

Metro Atlantic

93.9

276

UM Baltimore Co.

American East

93.8

277

Morehead St.

Ohio Valley

93.8

278

NJIT

Atlantic Sun

93.8

279

VMI

Southern

93.7

280

New Orleans

Southland

93.5

281

New Hampshire

American East

93.3

282

Robert Morris

Northeast

93.2

283

Cal St. Fullerton

Big West

93.2

284

Cornell

Ivy

93.2

285

Mount St. Mary’s

Northeast

93.2

286

Saint Peter’s

Metro Atlantic

92.8

287

Bethune Cookman

Mideastern Athletic

92.5

288

Merrimack

Northeast

92.4

289

North Alabama

Atlantic Sun

92.3

290

Texas A&M CC

Southland

92.2

291

Grambling

Southwestern Athl.

92.1

292

Long Beach St.

Big West

91.9

293

Army

Patriot

91.9

294

Norfolk St.

Mideastern Athletic

91.9

295

Wyoming

Mountain West

91.8

296

Citadel

Southern

91.8

297

Fairleigh Dickinson

Northeast

91.6

298

Idaho St.

Big Sky

91.6

299

UNC Wilmington

Colonial Athletic

91.5

300

Detroit

Horizon

91.4

301

Longwood

Big South

91.3

302

UT-Martin

Ohio Valley

91.2

303

Coppin St.

Mideastern Athletic

91.2

304

SE Missouri

Ohio Valley

91.1

305

Western Illinois

Summit

91.0

306

IUPUI

Horizon

90.8

307

Morgan St.

Mideastern Athletic

90.8

308

Charleston Southern

Big South

90.5

309

Wagner

Northeast

90.3

310

St. Francis (NY)

Northeast

90.3

311

Elon

Colonial Athletic

90.1

312

Niagara

Metro Atlantic

90.0

313

Binghamton

American East

90.0

314

Central Arkansas

Southland

89.9

315

Hampton

Big South

89.8

316

Cleveland St.

Horizon

89.8

317

Denver

Summit

89.6

318

Hartford

American East

89.6

319

Alcorn St.

Southwestern Athl.

89.6

320

North Carolina Central

Mideastern Athletic

89.5

321

Cal Poly

Big West

89.3

322

North Carolina A&T

Mideastern Athletic

89.2

323

Florida Gulf Coast

Atlantic Sun

89.2

324

Florida A&M

Mideastern Athletic

89.2

325

Jackson St.

Southwestern Athl.

89.1

326

Eastern Kentucky

Ohio Valley

89.1

327

Stetson

Atlantic Sun

89.0

328

San Jose St.

Mountain West

89.0

329

Tennessee Tech

Ohio Valley

89.0

330

Southern

Southwestern Athl.

88.9

331

SE Louisiana

Southland

88.9

332

Idaho

Big Sky

88.5

333

Houston Baptist

Southland

88.3

334

Holy Cross

Patriot

88.2

335

Maine

American East

87.7

336

Alabama St.

Southwestern Athl.

87.3

337

Marist

Metro Atlantic

87.3

338

USC Upstate

Big South

87.3

339

South Carolina St.

Mideastern Athletic

86.7

340

High Point

Big South

86.5

341

Alabama A&M

Southwestern Athl.

86.4

342

Presbyterian

Big South

86.4

343

Kennesaw St.

Atlantic Sun

85.8

344

Northwestern St.

Southland

85.7

345

SIU Edwardsville

Ohio Valley

85.1

346

Arkansas Pine Bluff

Southwestern Athl.

84.8

347

Howard

Mideastern Athletic

83.9

348

Incarnate Word

Southland

83.4

349

MD Eastern Shore

Mideastern Athletic

82.1

350

Central Connecticut

Northeast

81.6

351

Delaware St.

Mideastern Athletic

81.2

352

Chicago St.

Western Athletic

80.3

353

Mississippi Valley St.

Southwestern Athl.

77.5

 

Alphabetical

 

#

Team

Conf.

PiRate

1

Abilene Christian

Southland

95.8

2

Air Force

Mountain West

97.4

3

Akron

Mid-American

104.5

4

Alabama

Southeastern

109.4

5

Alabama A&M

Southwestern Athl.

86.4

6

Alabama St.

Southwestern Athl.

87.3

7

Albany

American East

95.9

8

Alcorn St.

Southwestern Athl.

89.6

9

American

Patriot

96.9

10

Appalachian St.

Sun Belt

101.6

11

Arizona

Pac-12

115.9

12

Arizona St.

Pac-12

107.3

13

Arkansas

Southeastern

111.7

14

Arkansas Pine Bluff

Southwestern Athl.

84.8

15

Arkansas St.

Sun Belt

96.3

16

Army

Patriot

91.9

17

Auburn

Southeastern

114.6

18

Austin Peay

Ohio Valley

98.0

19

Ball St.

Mid-American

103.8

20

Baylor

Big 12

115.3

21

Belmont

Ohio Valley

107.1

22

Bethune Cookman

Mideastern Athletic

92.5

23

Binghamton

American East

90.0

24

Boise St.

Mountain West

104.6

25

Boston College

Atlantic Coast

102.2

26

Boston U

Patriot

96.9

27

Bowling Green

Mid-American

101.2

28

Bradley

Missouri Valley

102.7

29

Brown

Ivy

96.0

30

Bryant

Northeast

96.7

31

Bucknell

Patriot

96.2

32

Buffalo

Mid-American

102.0

33

Butler

Big East

114.8

34

BYU

West Coast

112.5

35

Cal Poly

Big West

89.3

36

Cal St. Bakersfield

Western Athletic

95.6

37

Cal St. Fullerton

Big West

93.2

38

Cal St. Northridge

Big West

94.2

39

California

Pac-12

99.4

40

California Baptist

Western Athletic

100.1

41

Campbell

Big South

95.6

42

Canisius

Metro Atlantic

96.0

43

Central Arkansas

Southland

89.9

44

Central Connecticut

Northeast

81.6

45

Central Florida

American Athletic

104.3

46

Central Michigan

Mid-American

99.6

47

Charleston

Colonial Athletic

100.8

48

Charleston Southern

Big South

90.5

49

Charlotte

Conference USA

99.6

50

Chattanooga

Southern

97.2

51

Chicago St.

Western Athletic

80.3

52

Cincinnati

American Athletic

109.1

53

Citadel

Southern

91.8

54

Clemson

Atlantic Coast

105.7

55

Cleveland St.

Horizon

89.8

56

Coastal Carolina

Sun Belt

100.2

57

Colgate

Patriot

101.5

58

Colorado

Pac-12

111.0

59

Colorado St.

Mountain West

101.6

60

Columbia

Ivy

96.4

61

Connecticut

American Athletic

109.2

62

Coppin St.

Mideastern Athletic

91.2

63

Cornell

Ivy

93.2

64

Creighton

Big East

110.6

65

Dartmouth

Ivy

98.3

66

Davidson

Atlantic 10

107.7

67

Dayton

Atlantic 10

115.0

68

Delaware

Colonial Athletic

99.9

69

Delaware St.

Mideastern Athletic

81.2

70

Denver

Summit

89.6

71

DePaul

Big East

107.8

72

Detroit

Horizon

91.4

73

Drake

Missouri Valley

100.9

74

Drexel

Colonial Athletic

95.4

75

Duke

Atlantic Coast

120.7

76

Duquesne

Atlantic 10

107.9

77

East Carolina

American Athletic

95.2

78

East Tennessee St.

Southern

108.3

79

Eastern Illinois

Ohio Valley

98.1

80

Eastern Kentucky

Ohio Valley

89.1

81

Eastern Michigan

Mid-American

98.1

82

Eastern Washington

Big Sky

102.2

83

Elon

Colonial Athletic

90.1

84

Evansville

Missouri Valley

97.8

85

Fairfield

Metro Atlantic

95.8

86

Fairleigh Dickinson

Northeast

91.6

87

Florida

Southeastern

112.3

88

Florida A&M

Mideastern Athletic

89.2

89

Florida Atlantic

Conference USA

97.6

90

Florida Gulf Coast

Atlantic Sun

89.2

91

Florida Int’l.

Conference USA

100.2

92

Florida St.

Atlantic Coast

114.3

93

Fordham

Atlantic 10

95.2

94

Fresno St.

Mountain West

103.2

95

Furman

Southern

106.8

96

Gardner-Webb

Big South

96.1

97

George Mason

Atlantic 10

103.1

98

George Washington

Atlantic 10

96.1

99

Georgetown

Big East

111.3

100

Georgia

Southeastern

106.7

101

Georgia Southern

Sun Belt

100.3

102

Georgia St.

Sun Belt

103.3

103

Georgia Tech

Atlantic Coast

104.4

104

Gonzaga

West Coast

118.4

105

Grambling

Southwestern Athl.

92.1

106

Grand Canyon

Western Athletic

96.6

107

Green Bay

Horizon

97.1

108

Hampton

Big South

89.8

109

Hartford

American East

89.6

110

Harvard

Ivy

105.2

111

Hawaii

Big West

100.0

112

High Point

Big South

86.5

113

Hofstra

Colonial Athletic

101.6

114

Holy Cross

Patriot

88.2

115

Houston

American Athletic

112.0

116

Houston Baptist

Southland

88.3

117

Howard

Mideastern Athletic

83.9

118

Idaho

Big Sky

88.5

119

Idaho St.

Big Sky

91.6

120

Illinois

Big Ten

110.8

121

Illinois Chicago

Horizon

95.9

122

Illinois St.

Missouri Valley

97.3

123

Incarnate Word

Southland

83.4

124

Indiana

Big Ten

112.1

125

Indiana St.

Missouri Valley

102.1

126

Iona

Metro Atlantic

98.2

127

Iowa

Big Ten

113.3

128

Iowa St.

Big 12

111.5

129

IUPUI

Horizon

90.8

130

Jackson St.

Southwestern Athl.

89.1

131

Jacksonville

Atlantic Sun

96.0

132

Jacksonville St.

Ohio Valley

95.2

133

James Madison

Colonial Athletic

95.7

134

Kansas

Big 12

120.1

135

Kansas St.

Big 12

106.1

136

Kennesaw St.

Atlantic Sun

85.8

137

Kent St.

Mid-American

105.0

138

Kentucky

Southeastern

114.0

139

La Salle

Atlantic 10

100.7

140

Lafayette

Patriot

98.1

141

Lamar

Southland

94.6

142

Lehigh

Patriot

95.0

143

Liberty

Atlantic Sun

107.9

144

Lipscomb

Atlantic Sun

97.7

145

Little Rock

Sun Belt

100.0

146

Long Beach St.

Big West

91.9

147

Long Island

Northeast

95.5

148

Longwood

Big South

91.3

149

Louisiana

Sun Belt

94.8

150

Louisiana Monroe

Sun Belt

94.3

151

Louisiana Tech

Conference USA

107.0

152

Louisville

Atlantic Coast

117.7

153

Loyola (Chi.)

Missouri Valley

103.8

154

Loyola Marymount

West Coast

97.8

155

Loyola (MD)

Patriot

97.4

156

LSU

Southeastern

111.5

157

Maine

American East

87.7

158

Manhattan

Metro Atlantic

93.9

159

Marist

Metro Atlantic

87.3

160

Marquette

Big East

112.6

161

Marshall

Conference USA

99.0

162

Maryland

Big Ten

116.3

163

Massachusetts

Atlantic 10

98.7

164

McNeese St.

Southland

94.7

165

MD Eastern Shore

Mideastern Athletic

82.1

166

Memphis

American Athletic

113.7

167

Mercer

Southern

94.3

168

Merrimack

Northeast

92.4

169

Miami (Fla.)

Atlantic Coast

106.8

170

Miami (O)

Mid-American

97.5

171

Michigan

Big Ten

114.6

172

Michigan St.

Big Ten

118.9

173

Middle Tennessee

Conference USA

94.6

174

Milwaukee

Horizon

95.2

175

Minnesota

Big Ten

110.8

176

Mississippi

Southeastern

107.1

177

Mississippi St.

Southeastern

108.6

178

Mississippi Valley St.

Southwestern Athl.

77.5

179

Missouri

Southeastern

109.6

180

Missouri-KC

Western Athletic

96.9

181

Missouri St.

Missouri Valley

101.4

182

Monmouth

Metro Atlantic

95.8

183

Montana

Big Sky

97.4

184

Montana St.

Big Sky

95.6

185

Morehead St.

Ohio Valley

93.8

186

Morgan St.

Mideastern Athletic

90.8

187

Mount St. Mary’s

Northeast

93.2

188

Murray St.

Ohio Valley

102.6

189

Navy

Patriot

95.5

190

Nebraska

Big Ten

102.3

191

Nevada

Mountain West

105.5

192

New Hampshire

American East

93.3

193

New Mexico

Mountain West

106.1

194

New Mexico St.

Western Athletic

104.8

195

New Orleans

Southland

93.5

196

Niagara

Metro Atlantic

90.0

197

Nicholls St.

Southland

96.1

198

NJIT

Atlantic Sun

93.8

199

Norfolk St.

Mideastern Athletic

91.9

200

North Alabama

Atlantic Sun

92.3

201

North Carolina

Atlantic Coast

111.4

202

North Carolina A&T

Mideastern Athletic

89.2

203

North Carolina Central

Mideastern Athletic

89.5

204

North Carolina St.

Atlantic Coast

111.5

205

North Dakota

Summit

96.5

206

North Dakota St.

Summit

100.5

207

North Florida

Atlantic Sun

99.0

208

North Texas

Conference USA

102.4

209

Northeastern

Colonial Athletic

101.1

210

Northern Arizona

Big Sky

95.5

211

Northern Colorado

Big Sky

102.7

212

Northern Illinois

Mid-American

99.9

213

Northern Iowa

Missouri Valley

106.9

214

Northern Kentucky

Horizon

102.7

215

Northwestern

Big Ten

104.5

216

Northwestern St.

Southland

85.7

217

Notre Dame

Atlantic Coast

108.8

218

Oakland

Horizon

98.7

219

Ohio

Mid-American

99.4

220

Ohio St.

Big Ten

119.6

221

Oklahoma

Big 12

110.0

222

Oklahoma St.

Big 12

110.5

223

Old Dominion

Conference USA

99.2

224

Omaha

Summit

97.8

225

Oral Roberts

Summit

101.8

226

Oregon

Pac-12

114.9

227

Oregon St.

Pac-12

107.7

228

Pacific

West Coast

99.6

229

Penn

Ivy

103.9

230

Penn St.

Big Ten

113.1

231

Pepperdine

West Coast

100.9

232

Pittsburgh

Atlantic Coast

107.1

233

Portland

West Coast

93.9

234

Portland St.

Big Sky

97.4

235

Prairie View A&M

Southwestern Athl.

95.6

236

Presbyterian

Big South

86.4

237

Princeton

Ivy

97.0

238

Providence

Big East

107.0

239

Purdue

Big Ten

113.3

240

Purdue Fort Wayne

Summit

95.7

241

Quinnipiac

Metro Atlantic

94.8

242

Radford

Big South

102.3

243

Rhode Island

Atlantic 10

107.0

244

Rice

Conference USA

98.1

245

Richmond

Atlantic 10

107.0

246

Rider

Metro Atlantic

101.4

247

Robert Morris

Northeast

93.2

248

Rutgers

Big Ten

110.1

249

Sacramento St.

Big Sky

98.1

250

Sacred Heart

Northeast

98.7

251

Saint Joseph’s

Atlantic 10

95.3

252

Saint Louis

Atlantic 10

105.1

253

Saint Mary’s

West Coast

111.4

254

Saint Peter’s

Metro Atlantic

92.8

255

Sam Houston St.

Southland

99.6

256

Samford

Southern

97.0

257

San Diego

West Coast

99.4

258

San Diego St.

Mountain West

113.5

259

San Francisco

West Coast

105.6

260

San Jose St.

Mountain West

89.0

261

Santa Clara

West Coast

100.4

262

SE Louisiana

Southland

88.9

263

SE Missouri

Ohio Valley

91.1

264

Seattle

Western Athletic

95.8

265

Seton Hall

Big East

113.6

266

Siena

Metro Atlantic

98.4

267

SIU Edwardsville

Ohio Valley

85.1

268

SMU

American Athletic

105.4

269

South Alabama

Sun Belt

98.7

270

South Carolina

Southeastern

105.9

271

South Carolina St.

Mideastern Athletic

86.7

272

South Dakota

Summit

98.9

273

South Dakota St.

Summit

99.3

274

South Florida

American Athletic

103.6

275

Southern

Southwestern Athl.

88.9

276

Southern Illinois

Missouri Valley

98.6

277

Southern Miss.

Conference USA

95.4

278

Southern Utah

Big Sky

100.5

279

St. Bonaventure

Atlantic 10

102.1

280

St. Francis (NY)

Northeast

90.3

281

St. Francis (PA)

Northeast

98.8

282

St. John’s

Big East

107.5

283

Stanford

Pac-12

109.0

284

Stephen F. Austin

Southland

101.9

285

Stetson

Atlantic Sun

89.0

286

Stony Brook

American East

100.7

287

Syracuse

Atlantic Coast

108.6

288

TCU

Big 12

107.9

289

Temple

American Athletic

109.7

290

Tennessee

Southeastern

111.6

291

Tennessee St.

Ohio Valley

96.0

292

Tennessee Tech

Ohio Valley

89.0

293

Texas

Big 12

108.3

294

Texas A&M

Southeastern

101.0

295

Texas A&M CC

Southland

92.2

296

Texas Southern

Southwestern Athl.

94.4

297

Texas St.

Sun Belt

101.6

298

Texas Tech

Big 12

112.3

299

Toledo

Mid-American

105.1

300

Towson

Colonial Athletic

100.8

301

Troy

Sun Belt

94.1

302

Tulane

American Athletic

98.6

303

Tulsa

American Athletic

102.5

304

UAB

Conference USA

100.2

305

UC Davis

Big West

95.1

306

UC Irvine

Big West

102.6

307

UC Riverside

Big West

96.7

308

UC Santa Barbara

Big West

100.6

309

UCLA

Pac-12

104.5

310

UM Baltimore Co.

American East

93.8

311

UMass Lowell

American East

95.6

312

UNC Asheville

Big South

94.9

313

UNC Greensboro

Southern

107.2

314

UNC Wilmington

Colonial Athletic

91.5

315

UNLV

Mountain West

99.5

316

USC

Pac-12

108.5

317

USC Upstate

Big South

87.3

318

UT Arlington

Southland

101.7

319

UT Rio Grande Valley

Western Athletic

94.0

320

UT-Martin

Ohio Valley

91.2

321

Utah

Pac-12

104.8

322

Utah St.

Mountain West

111.4

323

Utah Valley

Western Athletic

94.8

324

UTEP

Conference USA

101.5

325

UTSA

Conference USA

98.0

326

Valparaiso

Missouri Valley

100.1

327

Vanderbilt

Southeastern

102.6

328

VCU

Atlantic 10

110.1

329

Vermont

American East

106.6

330

Villanova

Big East

113.5

331

Virginia

Atlantic Coast

111.1

332

Virginia Tech

Atlantic Coast

108.0

333

VMI

Southern

93.7

334

Wagner

Northeast

90.3

335

Wake Forest

Atlantic Coast

104.9

336

Washington

Pac-12

111.1

337

Washington St.

Pac-12

102.5

338

Weber St.

Big Sky

94.3

339

West Virginia

Big 12

112.7

340

Western Carolina

Southern

99.9

341

Western Illinois

Summit

91.0

342

Western Kentucky

Conference USA

106.3

343

Western Michigan

Mid-American

94.4

344

Wichita St.

Big East

112.1

345

William & Mary

Colonial Athletic

98.9

346

Winthrop

Big South

99.5

347

Wisconsin

Big Ten

109.7

348

Wofford

Southern

101.9

349

Wright St.

Horizon

103.8

350

Wyoming

Mountain West

91.8

351

Xavier

Big East

111.8

352

Yale

Ivy

107.7

353

Youngstown St.

Horizon

95.9

 

Ratings By Conference

 

#

American Athletic

PiRate

1

Memphis

113.7

2

Houston

112.0

3

Temple

109.7

4

Connecticut

109.2

5

Cincinnati

109.1

6

SMU

105.4

7

Central Florida

104.3

8

South Florida

103.6

9

Tulsa

102.5

10

Tulane

98.6

11

East Carolina

95.2

Avg

American Athletic

105.8

#

American East

PiRate

1

Vermont

106.6

2

Stony Brook

100.7

3

Albany

95.9

4

UMass Lowell

95.6

5

UM Baltimore Co.

93.8

6

New Hampshire

93.3

7

Binghamton

90.0

8

Hartford

89.6

9

Maine

87.7

Avg

American East

94.8

#

Atlantic 10

PiRate

1

Dayton

115.0

2

VCU

110.1

3

Duquesne

107.9

4

Davidson

107.7

5

Rhode Island

107.0

6

Richmond

107.0

7

Saint Louis

105.1

8

George Mason

103.1

9

St. Bonaventure

102.1

10

La Salle

100.7

11

Massachusetts

98.7

12

George Washington

96.1

13

Saint Joseph’s

95.3

14

Fordham

95.2

Avg.

Atlantic 10

103.6

#

Atlantic Coast

PiRate

1

Duke

120.7

2

Louisville

117.7

3

Florida St.

114.3

4

North Carolina St.

111.5

5

North Carolina

111.4

6

Virginia

111.1

7

Notre Dame

108.8

8

Syracuse

108.6

9

Virginia Tech

108.0

10

Pittsburgh

107.1

11

Miami (Fla.)

106.8

12

Clemson

105.7

13

Wake Forest

104.9

14

Georgia Tech

104.4

15

Boston College

102.2

Avg

Atlantic Coast

109.5

#

Atlantic Sun

PiRate

1

Liberty

107.9

2

North Florida

99.0

3

Lipscomb

97.7

4

Jacksonville

96.0

5

NJIT

93.8

6

North Alabama

92.3

7

Florida Gulf Coast

89.2

8

Stetson

89.0

9

Kennesaw St.

85.8

Avg

Atlantic Sun

94.5

#

Big 12

PiRate

1

Kansas

120.1

2

Baylor

115.3

3

West Virginia

112.7

4

Texas Tech

112.3

5

Iowa St.

111.5

6

Oklahoma St.

110.5

7

Oklahoma

110.0

8

Texas

108.3

9

TCU

107.9

10

Kansas St.

106.1

Avg

Big 12

111.5

#

Big East

PiRate

1

Butler

114.8

2

Seton Hall

113.6

3

Villanova

113.5

4

Marquette

112.6

5

Wichita St.

112.1

6

Xavier

111.8

7

Georgetown

111.3

8

Creighton

110.6

9

DePaul

107.8

10

St. John’s

107.5

11

Providence

107.0

Avg

Big East

111.2

#

Big Sky

PiRate

1

Northern Colorado

102.7

2

Eastern Washington

102.2

3

Southern Utah

100.5

4

Sacramento St.

98.1

5

Portland St.

97.4

6

Montana

97.4

7

Montana St.

95.6

8

Northern Arizona

95.5

9

Weber St.

94.3

10

Idaho St.

91.6

11

Idaho

88.5

#

Big Sky

96.7

#

Big South

PiRate

1

Radford

102.3

2

Winthrop

99.5

3

Gardner-Webb

96.1

4

Campbell

95.6

5

UNC Asheville

94.9

6

Longwood

91.3

7

Charleston Southern

90.5

8

Hampton

89.8

9

USC Upstate

87.3

10

High Point

86.5

11

Presbyterian

86.4

Avg

Big South

92.7

#

Big Ten

PiRate

1

Ohio St.

119.6

2

Michigan St.

118.9

3

Maryland

116.3

4

Michigan

114.6

5

Purdue

113.3

6

Iowa

113.3

7

Penn St.

113.1

8

Indiana

112.1

9

Minnesota

110.8

10

Illinois

110.8

11

Rutgers

110.1

12

Wisconsin

109.7

13

Northwestern

104.5

14

Nebraska

102.3

Avg

Big Ten

112.1

#

Big West

PiRate

1

UC Irvine

102.6

2

UC Santa Barbara

100.6

3

Hawaii

100.0

4

UC Riverside

96.7

5

UC Davis

95.1

6

Cal St. Northridge

94.2

7

Cal St. Fullerton

93.2

8

Long Beach St.

91.9

9

Cal Poly

89.3

Avg

Big West

96.0

#

Colonial Athletic

PiRate

1

Hofstra

101.6

2

Northeastern

101.1

3

Charleston

100.8

4

Towson

100.8

5

Delaware

99.9

6

William & Mary

98.9

7

James Madison

95.7

8

Drexel

95.4

9

UNC Wilmington

91.5

10

Elon

90.1

Avg

Colonial Athletic

97.6

#

Conference USA

PiRate

1

Louisiana Tech

107.0

2

Western Kentucky

106.3

3

North Texas

102.4

4

UTEP

101.5

5

UAB

100.2

6

Florida Int’l.

100.2

7

Charlotte

99.6

8

Old Dominion

99.2

9

Marshall

99.0

10

Rice

98.1

11

UTSA

98.0

12

Florida Atlantic

97.6

13

Southern Miss.

95.4

14

Middle Tennessee

94.6

Avg

Conference USA

99.9

#

Horizon

PiRate

1

Wright St.

103.8

2

Northern Kentucky

102.7

3

Oakland

98.7

4

Green Bay

97.1

5

Youngstown St.

95.9

6

Illinois Chicago

95.9

7

Milwaukee

95.2

8

Detroit

91.4

9

IUPUI

90.8

10

Cleveland St.

89.8

Avg

Horizon

96.1

#

Ivy

PiRate

1

Yale

107.7

2

Harvard

105.2

3

Penn

103.9

4

Dartmouth

98.3

5

Princeton

97.0

6

Columbia

96.4

7

Brown

96.0

8

Cornell

93.2

Avg

Ivy

99.7

#

Metro Atlantic

PiRate

1

Rider

101.4

2

Siena

98.4

3

Iona

98.2

4

Canisius

96.0

5

Fairfield

95.8

6

Monmouth

95.8

7

Quinnipiac

94.8

8

Manhattan

93.9

9

Saint Peter’s

92.8

10

Niagara

90.0

11

Marist

87.3

Avg

Metro Atlantic

94.9

#

Mid-American

PiRate

1

Toledo

105.1

2

Kent St.

105.0

3

Akron

104.5

4

Ball St.

103.8

5

Buffalo

102.0

6

Bowling Green

101.2

7

Northern Illinois

99.9

8

Central Michigan

99.6

9

Ohio

99.4

10

Eastern Michigan

98.1

11

Miami (O)

97.5

12

Western Michigan

94.4

Avg

Mid-American

100.9

#

Mideastern Athletic

PiRate

1

Bethune Cookman

92.5

2

Norfolk St.

91.9

3

Coppin St.

91.2

4

Morgan St.

90.8

5

North Carolina Central

89.5

6

North Carolina A&T

89.2

7

Florida A&M

89.2

8

South Carolina St.

86.7

9

Howard

83.9

10

MD Eastern Shore

82.1

11

Delaware St.

81.2

Avg

Mideastern Athletic

88.0

#

Missouri Valley

PiRate

1

Northern Iowa

106.9

2

Loyola (Chi.)

103.8

3

Bradley

102.7

4

Indiana St.

102.1

5

Missouri St.

101.4

6

Drake

100.9

7

Valparaiso

100.1

8

Southern Illinois

98.6

9

Evansville

97.8

10

Illinois St.

97.3

Avg

Missouri Valley

101.2

#

Mountain West

PiRate

1

San Diego St.

113.5

2

Utah St.

111.4

3

New Mexico

106.1

4

Nevada

105.5

5

Boise St.

104.6

6

Fresno St.

103.2

7

Colorado St.

101.6

8

UNLV

99.5

9

Air Force

97.4

10

Wyoming

91.8

11

San Jose St.

89.0

Avg

Mountain West

102.1

#

Northeast

PiRate

1

St. Francis (PA)

98.8

2

Sacred Heart

98.7

3

Bryant

96.7

4

Long Island

95.5

5

Robert Morris

93.2

6

Mount St. Mary’s

93.2

7

Merrimack

92.4

8

Fairleigh Dickinson

91.6

9

Wagner

90.3

10

St. Francis (NY)

90.3

11

Central Connecticut

81.6

Avg

Northeast

92.9

#

Ohio Valley

PiRate

1

Belmont

107.1

2

Murray St.

102.6

3

Eastern Illinois

98.1

4

Austin Peay

98.0

5

Tennessee St.

96.0

6

Jacksonville St.

95.2

7

Morehead St.

93.8

8

UT-Martin

91.2

9

SE Missouri

91.1

10

Eastern Kentucky

89.1

11

Tennessee Tech

89.0

12

SIU Edwardsville

85.1

Avg

Ohio Valley

94.7

#

Pac-12

PiRate

1

Arizona

115.9

2

Oregon

114.9

3

Washington

111.1

4

Colorado

111.0

5

Stanford

109.0

6

USC

108.5

7

Oregon St.

107.7

8

Arizona St.

107.3

9

Utah

104.8

10

UCLA

104.5

11

Washington St.

102.5

12

California

99.4

Avg

Pac-12

108.0

#

Patriot

PiRate

1

Colgate

101.5

2

Lafayette

98.1

3

Loyola (MD)

97.4

4

American

96.9

5

Boston U

96.9

6

Bucknell

96.2

7

Navy

95.5

8

Lehigh

95.0

9

Army

91.9

10

Holy Cross

88.2

Avg

Patriot

95.8

#

Southeastern

PiRate

1

Auburn

114.6

2

Kentucky

114.0

3

Florida

112.3

4

Arkansas

111.7

5

Tennessee

111.6

6

LSU

111.5

7

Missouri

109.6

8

Alabama

109.4

9

Mississippi St.

108.6

10

Mississippi

107.1

11

Georgia

106.7

12

South Carolina

105.9

13

Vanderbilt

102.6

14

Texas A&M

101.0

Avg

Southeastern

109.0

#

Southland

PiRate

1

Stephen F. Austin

101.9

2

UT Arlington

101.7

3

Sam Houston St.

99.6

4

Nicholls St.

96.1

5

Abilene Christian

95.8

6

McNeese St.

94.7

7

Lamar

94.6

8

New Orleans

93.5

9

Texas A&M CC

92.2

10

Central Arkansas

89.9

11

SE Louisiana

88.9

12

Houston Baptist

88.3

13

Northwestern St.

85.7

14

Incarnate Word

83.4

Avg

Southland

93.3

#

Southern

PiRate

1

East Tennessee St.

108.3

2

UNC Greensboro

107.2

3

Furman

106.8

4

Wofford

101.9

5

Western Carolina

99.9

6

Chattanooga

97.2

7

Samford

97.0

8

Mercer

94.3

9

VMI

93.7

10

Citadel

91.8

Avg

Southern

99.8

#

Southwestern Athletic

PiRate

1

Prairie View A&M

95.6

2

Texas Southern

94.4

3

Grambling

92.1

4

Alcorn St.

89.6

5

Jackson St.

89.1

6

Southern

88.9

7

Alabama St.

87.3

8

Alabama A&M

86.4

9

Arkansas Pine Bluff

84.8

10

Mississippi Valley St.

77.5

Avg

Southwestern Athletic

88.6

#

Summit

PiRate

1

Oral Roberts

101.8

2

North Dakota St.

100.5

3

South Dakota St.

99.3

4

South Dakota

98.9

5

Omaha

97.8

6

North Dakota

96.5

7

Purdue Fort Wayne

95.7

8

Western Illinois

91.0

9

Denver

89.6

Avg

Summit

96.8

#

Sun Belt

PiRate

1

Georgia St.

103.3

2

Appalachian St.

101.6

3

Texas St.

101.6

4

Georgia Southern

100.3

5

Coastal Carolina

100.2

6

Little Rock

100.0

7

South Alabama

98.7

8

Arkansas St.

96.3

9

Louisiana

94.8

10

Louisiana Monroe

94.3

11

Troy

94.1

Avg

Sun Belt

98.7

#

Western Athletic

PiRate

1

New Mexico St.

104.8

2

California Baptist

100.1

3

Missouri-KC

96.9

4

Grand Canyon

96.6

5

Seattle

95.8

6

Cal St. Bakersfield

95.6

7

Utah Valley

94.8

8

UT Rio Grande Valley

94.0

9

Chicago St.

80.3

Avg

Western Athletic

95.4

#

West Coast

PiRate

1

Gonzaga

118.4

2

BYU

112.5

3

Saint Mary’s

111.4

4

San Francisco

105.6

5

Pepperdine

100.9

6

Santa Clara

100.4

7

Pacific

99.6

8

San Diego

99.4

9

Loyola Marymount

97.8

10

Portland

93.9

Avg

West Coast

104.0

 

All the PiRates wish you a Merry Christmas

or

A Happy Chanukah

or 

A Happy Kwanzaa

or 

A Festive Yule

or

A Happy Remaining Days of December

or 

Just A Plain and Simple Happy Existence

Thank You for continuing to visit the PiRate Ratings, and remember all information here is free and worth exactly what you paid for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 22, 2019

Fun Stuff For Stats Buffs-Part 3: Efficiency

Before getting into the meat of this final installment, I must apologize in advance for the brevity in this last segment.  Time constraints have made it impossible to thoroughly peruse individual offensive and defensive efficiency.

That may be a good thing for you the reader, because you can read the dictionary about as quickly as you can go through all the steps involved in calculating individual efficiency.  Suffice it to say that there are several parts to this calculation.  One must have a lengthy formula on a spreadsheet where a player’s and his team’s statistics can be inputted, and the spreadsheet spits out the numbers.

If you really want to know the entire process, then you absolutely must purchase the book by the number one authoritative source on the matter.

The book is: Basketball on Paper: Rules and Tools for Performance Analysis by Dean Oliver.  You might be able to find it in a library, as it is included in the catalog of more than 750 libraries throughout the nation, more than likely at a local college or university library near you.

Just to show you how involved the formulas are, it takes 18 separate calculations from start to finish for each player’s offensive number and almost as many for his defensive number.

The NCAA Selection Committee will use Team Offensive Efficiency and Team Defensive Efficiency in their process of picking the at-large teams and seeding all 68 teams.  This is rather simple and can be explained briefly.

Offensive Efficiency = Points scored per 100 possessions

Defensive Efficiency = Points allowed per 100 possessions.

In the 21st Century, possessions are kept as a statistic, but if you cannot find this number, you can estimate it very accurately by this formula.

Team Possessions = FG Attempts + (.475* FT Attempts) – Offensive Rebounds + Turnovers

In the NBA, substitute .44 for .475 in FT Attempts.

Obviously, round the product from the Free Throw Attempts formula to the nearest whole number.

Let’s look at some examples for a game, a season to date, and some past seasons.

Example #1. Nevada vs. Air Force, January 19, 2019

Nevada defeated Air Force 67-52 last Saturday in Reno.  The Wolfpack totally shut down the Falcons’ offense, while Air Force played capable defense on the perimeter, forcing Nevada players to hurry their three-point shots.

For the game, Nevada had 57 total field goal attempts, 23 free throw attempts, 9 offensive rebounds, and 14 turnovers.

To calculate possessions, plug the numbers into the equation:

57 + (.475 * 23) -9 + 14 = 73

For Air Force, their stat line included 51 total field goal attempts, just 9 free throw attempts, 3 offensive rebounds, and 21 turnovers.

51 + (.475 * 9) -3 + 21 = 73

Possessions must be equal or off by one or two between the teams, because after one team completes a possession, the other team gets the ball.  Two is the most advantageous one team can have over the other in possessions.  This comes about when the team that gets the opening tap also gets the last possession of the first half, as well as the first and last possession of the game.  It happens very rarely, because in order to have the first and last possession of both halves, there must be an odd number of jump ball calls in the first half so that the team that got the opening tap also gets the first possession of the second half..

Let’s get back to the calculation.

Nevada scored 67 points on 73 possessions

67/73 = 0.918 or 91.8 points per 100 possessions

Air Force scored 52 points on 73 possessions

52/73 = .712 or 71.2 points per 100 possessions

 

Example #2: Gonzaga vs. San Francisco, January 12, 2019

In this key West Coast Conference game with first place in the league on the line, Gonzaga went to the Bay and beat the Dons 96-83.

Gonzaga: 69 FGA, 21 FTA, 12 Off Reb, 4 TOV

69 + (.475 * 21) – 12 + 4 = 71 possessions

USF: 69 FGA, 25 FTA, 14 Off Reb, 5 TOV

69 + (.475 * 25) – 14 + 5 = 72 possessions

Gonzaga 96 points on 71 possessions = 1.352 points per possession or 135.2 points per 100 possessions.

San Francisco 83 points on 72 possessions = 1.153 points per possession or 115.3 points per 100 possessions.

 

Example 3: Michigan Wolverines to date

Michigan used to win games by three-point barrages and fast break points and limited defense.  Then, after assistant coach Luke Yaklich came to Ann Arbor to install his multiple defenses, the Maize and Blue became just as tough on the defensive side if not better defensively.

So far this year, the Wolverines have these offensive and defensive stats through 18 games.

Offense: 1,021 FGA, 318 FTA, 165 Off. Rebounds, 175 Turnovers in 18 games

1021 + (.475 * 318) – 165 + 175 = 1,182 total possessions and 65.7 possessions per game.

Michigan has scored 1,306 points in 18 games.

1,306 / 1,182 * 100 = 110.5 points per 100 possessions.

Michigan’s Defense has given up: 1,003 FGA, 210 FTA, 142 off. Rebounds, and  237 turnovers.

1,003 + (.475 * 210) – 142 + 237 = 1,198 total possessions and 66.6 possessions per game.

Michigan has surrendered 1,027 points in 18 games.

1,027 / 1,198 * 100 = 85.7 points per 100 possessions.

A raw point spread between two teams can be estimated by combining their offensive and defensive points 100 possessions and factoring in strengths of schedule and home court advantage.

Let’s look at State vs. Tech in an imaginary matchup.

State has an offensive efficiency of 110 points per 100 possessions and a defensive efficiency of 90 points per 100 possessions against a schedule 3 points weaker than average.  They average 76 possessions per game, and their home court advantage is worth 3 points.

Tech has an offensive efficiency of 102 points per 100 possessions and a defensive efficiency of 99 points per 100 possessions against a schedule 8 points better than average.  They average 66 possessions per game.

For the year in question, the national average for possessions is 70 per game, so State plays at a tempo of about 8.6% above average, while Tech plays at a tempo of about 5.7% below average.  Because it is easier for one team to slow pace down more than it is for another team to speed pace up (unless they press full court for most of the game), it can be estimated that this game will have about 69 possessions.

If State outscores its opponents by 20 points per 100 possessions, in 69 possessions, this equates to 13.8 points.

If Tech outscores its opponents by 3 points per 100 possessions, in 69 possessions, this equates to 2.07 points.

To this point, State looks like an 11.73 point favorite over Tech, but this is not the case.  Schedule strength and home court advantage must be included.

If Tech’s schedule on average has been about 11 points tougher per game than State, you then add those 11 points in Tech’s favor.  Now, the State’s advantage has been reduced to 0.73 points.  Tech’s home court advantage is 3 points, so the expected outcome would be State by 3.73, or 4 points.

This is a crude method once used by the PiRate Ratings, as the Blue Rating.  We no longer use this method, as there are more accurate ways to determine pointspreads, namely using algorithms of the Four Factors with schedule strengths, home court advantage, and road team disadvantage.

Example 4: Villanova 2018 season

The Wildcats won their second national championship in three years last season, finishing with a 36-4 record.  They scored 3,463 points and allowed 2,807 points in 40 games.

Here are their pertinent stats to calculate efficiency.

Field Goal Attempts: 2,440

Opponents: 2,401

Free Throw Attempts: 718

Opponents: 641

Offensive Rebounds: 380

Opponents: 378

Turnovers: 426

Opponents: 512

Possessions: 2,440 + (.475 * 718) – 380 + 426 = 2,827 (70.7 possessions per game)

Opponents: 2,401 + (.475 * 641) – 378 + 512 = 2,839 (71.0 possessions per game)

Offensive Efficiency

3,463/2,827 * 100 = 122.5 points per 100 possessions

Defensive Efficiency

2,807/2839 * 100 = 98.9 points per 100 possessions

 

How does this compare to past national champions?  Because offensive rebounding stats were not officially kept until this century, it can only be estimated for the 20th Century.  No doubt the UCLA teams of 1967 thru 1969 and 1972 and 1973 would be off the charts great, as the Bruins dominated in every aspect of the game during their dynasty years.

There are some very fine teams that won championships in recent years, so let’s look at the national champions during this time.  The number shown is the total scoring margin per 100 possessions.  Of course, schedule strength is not equal for these teams, but on the whole, there is not a lot of difference, as these champions all played schedules between 5 and 10 points above the national average.

When adjusted to schedule strength, here are the 10 best teams in the 21st Century using the PiRate Ratings formula.

2008: Kansas 124.0

2001: Duke 123.6

2018: Villanova 122.9

2010: Duke 122.1

2013: Louisville 121.8

2005: North Carolina 121.7

2012: Kentucky 121.5

2015: Duke 121.3 

2016: Villanova 120.9

2009: North Carolina 120.3

2007: Florida 120.1

2002: Maryland 119.6

2004: Connecticut 117.9

2006: Florida 117.1

2017: North Carolina 117.0

2011: Connecticut 115.8

2003: Syracuse 115.1

2014: Connecticut 111.6

Note that the national champions through these seasons were not necessarily the highest rated team by efficiency.  For instance, Connecticut was not considered a factor at the end of the 2011 regular season.  They finished tied for 9th in the Big East, and thus they had to play in the opening round of the conference tournament.  To win the conference tournament, they would have to do something never done before or since–win five games in five days.  The Huskies became the big story of Championship Week win Coach Jim Calhoun rode his star guard Kemba Walker to the title, winning five games in five days at Madison Square Garden, as Walker performed for his friends and family from the Bronx, averaging 26 points per game by taking it to the hoop and drawing enough fouls to shoot 54 free throws in just five games.

The Huskies were on a roll, and they won six more games in the Big Dance.  They finished 11-0 and still only rose to 15.8 points better than average against an average schedule.  Before this 11-game streak, UConn was just 9-9 in the conference.  However, the Huskies had played a very difficult schedule that included 18 ranked opponents, in which they went 12-6 in those games.  All nine of their losses came to NCAA Tournament teams, so strength of schedule was terribly important in factoring their adjusted efficiency.

 

2019 Top Efficiency

By now, you must want to know which teams are at the top in total efficiency?  It should come as no surprise that the NET Ratings and the Efficiency Ratings are about the same.

Virginia, Duke, Michigan State, Gonzaga, and Tennessee are at the tops in adjusted efficiency, or to put it bluntly, what the NCAA Selection Committee will look at.  Likewise, these are also the top five teams in NET Ratings, so if the Selection Committed picked the bracket today, four of these five would be your number one seeds, and the fifth would be the top number two seed.

This doesn’t mean that one of these five teams will win the national championship, but the odds are that from this group of five, there is about a 50-50 chance that one will win the title.  Of course, this is only a mid-season ranking.  The ranking on March 17.

 

Individual Efficiency

I won’t begin to explain individual offensive and defensive efficiency, as my only recommendation it to read Basketball on Paper, as Oliver is the Bill James (or Tom Tango) of basketball analysis.

Let me just list which players from the power conferences rate at the top.

Can you guess who is the current number one player in efficiency?  I bet if you had one free guess to win a car on a game show, you’d win the car.

The best player in college ball today is the best player in total efficiency.  It comes as no surprise that Duke’s Zion Williamson is number one, and he is far ahead of the field.  Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke is a distant number two, and Wisconin’s Ethan Happ is almost as far being Clarke in third place as Clarke is behind Williamson.

Before you think that this rating is due to just these three players being great, let me add that their coaches and teammates are also important in this rating.  Coach Mike Krzyzewski has produced a lot of highly efficient players.  Sure, most of them were McDonald’s All-Americans, but there are some of these 5-star players in recent history that are not all that efficient.

Vanderbilt’s Simi Shittu was the Number 7 overall player in this current freshman class, a 5-star McDonald’s All-American.  The Commodores are one of the least efficient teams from a Power Conference, and Shittu’s numbers have headed south once SEC play began, and the opposition quickly learned his liabilities.  Shittu actually owns a negative offensive efficiency rating through 17 games, and an even worse rating in five conference games, as he has negative efficiency in both offense and defense.  It doesn’t help his efficiency when he has a 7.8% three-point accuracy, low free throw percentage, and a high turnover percentage.  I have heard comparisons made to former St. John’s 5-star player Wayne McKoy from the 1970’s, when McKoy went from top player in the freshman class to never playing in the NBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 3, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For February 4-5, 2017

 

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Syracuse Virginia -7 -6 -9
Duke Pittsburgh 15 16 12
Boston College Louisville -15 -13 -15
North Carolina St. Miami (Fla.) -1 -1 1
Wake Forest Georgia Tech 11 12 11
North Carolina Notre Dame 9 8 9
Georgetown Seton Hall 3 3 7
DePaul Marquette -10 -8 -9
Creighton Xavier 6 5 5
Villanova St. John’s 17 19 19
Maryland Purdue -2 -3 1
Penn St. Rutgers 8 6 8
Illinois Minnesota -2 1 -1
Michigan Ohio St. 7 8 2
TCU Texas 8 6 5
Kansas Iowa St. 11 10 10
Baylor Kansas St. 9 9 14
West Virginia Oklahoma St. 11 13 7
Texas Tech Oklahoma 7 9 7
Oregon Arizona 2 4 5
Stanford Utah -3 -3 -2
Oregon St. Arizona St. -6 -2 -1
Washington St. USC -7 -8 -5
Washington UCLA -11 -10 -6
South Carolina Georgia 8 6 6
Vanderbilt Ole Miss 6 6 8
Mississippi St. Tennessee -4 -1 -6
Missouri Arkansas -6 -4 -3
Florida Kentucky 1 4 1
Alabama Auburn 6 7 9
LSU Texas A&M -3 -2 -6
Cincinnati Connecticut 14 14 14
Tulsa SMU -6 -6 -6
Gonzaga Santa Clara 27 20 23
San Diego Saint Mary’s -15 -16 -16

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, February 5, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Florida St. Clemson 8 6 8
Wisconsin Indiana 9 7 4
Iowa Nebraska 7 6 3
California Colorado 5 6 8

PiRate Ratings Top 25

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Villanova
  3. Louisville
  4. West Virginia
  5. Kansas
  6. Kentucky
  7. North Carolina
  8. Virginia
  9. Duke
  10. Florida
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Baylor
  13. Arizona
  14. Purdue
  15. UCLA
  16. Cincinnati
  17. Florida St.
  18. Oregon
  19. Creighton
  20. St. Mary’s
  21. Notre Dame
  22. SMU
  23. Butler
  24. South Carolina
  25. Wichita St.

ACC

  1. Louisville
  2. North Carolina
  3. Virginia
  4. Duke
  5. Florida St.
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Clemson
  8. Wake Forest
  9. Virgnia Tech
  10. Miami
  11. Syracuse
  12. Georgia Tech
  13. North Carolina St.
  14. Pittsburgh
  15. Boston College

Big East

  1. Villanova
  2. Creighton
  3. Butler
  4. Xavier
  5. Marquette
  6. Seton Hall
  7. Georgetown
  8. Providence
  9. St. John’s
  10. DePaul

Big Ten

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Purdue
  3. Maryland
  4. Northwestern
  5. Michigan St.
  6. Michigan
  7. Minnesota
  8. Indiana
  9. Ohio St.
  10. Iowa
  11. Illinois
  12. Penn St.
  13. Nebraska
  14. Rutgers

Big 12

  1. West Virginia
  2. Kansas
  3. Baylor
  4. Oklahoma St.
  5. Iowa St.
  6. Kansas St.
  7. TCU
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Texas

Pac-12

  1. Arizona
  2. UCLA
  3. Oregon
  4. Utah
  5. USC
  6. California
  7. Colorado
  8. Stanford
  9. Arizona St.
  10. Washington
  11. Washington St.
  12. Oregon St.

SEC

  1. Kentucky
  2. Florida
  3. South Carolina
  4. Arkansas
  5. Tennessee
  6. Georgia
  7. Vanderbilt
  8. Alabama
  9. Auburn
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Ole Miss
  12. Mississippi St.
  13. LSU
  14. Missouri

Games You Will Want to Watch 

All Times Eastern Standard

SATURDAY

Maryland vs. Purdue 12:00 PM on ESPN

Creighton vs. Xavier 3:00 PM on Fox

North Dakota St. vs. South Dakota 3:00 PM on ESPN3

Oregon vs. Arizona 4:00 PM on ESPN

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame 6:00 PM on ESPN

Harvard vs. Princeton 7:00 PM on ESPN3

Wichita St. vs. Illinois St. 8:00 PM on ESPN2

Florida vs. Kentucky 8:15 PM on ESPN

SUNDAY

Wisconsin vs. Indiana 1:00 PM on CBS

The Groundhog may have seen his shadow to forecast 6 more weeks of winter, but cheer up.  Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training in 10 days.

New England 24  Atlanta 20

Use this at your own expense–we do not gamble.  Some experts are going heavy on the UNDER the last 36 hours, and computer sims say it is a sharp selection, but still we won’t wager a penny.

January 20, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For January 21-22, 2017

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Boston College North Carolina -17 -20 -15
Notre Dame Syracuse 10 9 10
Florida St. Louisville 2 1 2
North Carolina St. Wake Forest -1 1 -1
Virginia Georgia Tech 17 20 22
Duke Miami (Fla.) 10 11 14
Kansas Texas 17 19 15
Oklahoma Iowa St. -2 -4 -3
Texas Tech Oklahoma St. 3 5 3
Kansas St. West Virginia -4 -7 -1
TCU Baylor -1 -2 -6
Villanova Providence 17 19 15
DePaul Butler -13 -16 -17
Creighton Marquette 9 9 14
Rutgers Nebraska 1 -2 -6
Purdue Penn St. 14 16 14
Michigan Illinois 6 8 -1
Indiana Michigan St. 8 8 3
Minnesota Wisconsin -1 -4 5
Washington St. Colorado -5 -6 -7
UCLA Arizona 7 6 1
Oregon Stanford 15 18 14
Washington Utah -4 -3 -6
Oregon St. California -11 -14 -11
Florida Vanderbilt 14 14 11
Texas A&M Georgia 1 3 3
Missouri Ole Miss -3 -4 -8
Auburn Alabama 2 1 -2
Kentucky South Carolina 14 17 14
Tennessee Mississippi St. 7 5 10
Arkansas LSU 13 14 13
Gonzaga Portland 31 32 26

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, January 22, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Seton Hall St. John’s 9 10 10
Ohio St. Northwestern 1 2 2
Xavier Georgetown 10 10 7
Clemson Virginia Tech 6 8 8
USC Arizona St. 10 10 10

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Top 25 (A Four Factors Metric-Based Ranking)

  1. Villanova
  2. Kentucky
  3. Kansas
  4. Virgina
  5. North Carolina
  6. Gonzaga
  7. Louisville
  8. Wisconsin
  9. West Virginia
  10. Baylor
  11. Arizona
  12. Butler
  13. UCLA
  14. Creighton
  15. Oregon
  16. Florida St.
  17. Duke
  18. Cincinnati
  19. Notre Dame
  20. Florida
  21. Purdue
  22. St. Mary’s
  23. South Carolina
  24. SMU
  25. Kansas St.

 

ACC

  1. Virginia
  2. North Carolina
  3. Louisville
  4. Florida St.
  5. Duke
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Clemson
  8. Miami (Fla)
  9. Wake Forest
  10. Syracuse
  11. Virginia Tech
  12. Pittsburgh
  13. North Carolina St.
  14. Georgia Tech
  15. Boston College

Big East

  1. Villanova
  2. Butler
  3. Creighton
  4. Xavier
  5. Marquette
  6. Seton Hall
  7. Providence
  8. Georgetown
  9. St. John’s
  10. DePaul

Big Ten

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Purdue
  3. Indiana
  4. Northwestern
  5. Minnesota
  6. Michigan St.
  7. Maryland
  8. Michigan
  9. Ohio St.
  10. Illinois
  11. Penn St.
  12. Nebraska
  13. Iowa
  14. Rutgers

Big 12

  1. Kansas
  2. West Virginia
  3. Baylor
  4. Kansas St.
  5. Iowa St.
  6. Texas Tech
  7. TCU
  8. Oklahoma St.
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Texas

Pac-12

  1. Arizona
  2. UCLA
  3. Oregon
  4. Utah
  5. USC
  6. California
  7. Colorado
  8. Stanford
  9. Washington
  10. Arizona St.
  11. Washington St.
  12. Oregon St.

SEC

  1. Kentucky
  2. Florida
  3. South Carolina
  4. Georgia
  5. Arkansas
  6. Alabama
  7. Tennessee
  8. Mississippi St.
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Vanderbilt
  11. Ole Miss
  12. Auburn
  13. LSU
  14. Missouri

Must Watch Games This Week

Saturday

Notre Dame vs. Syracuse on ESPN at 12PM EST

Florida St. vs. Louisville on ESPN at 2PM EST

UCLA vs. Arizona on CBS at 4PM EST

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin on Big Ten Network at 4:30 PM EST

Kentucky vs. South Carolina on ESPN at 6PM EST

TCU vs. Baylor on ESPNU at 8PM EST

 

Sunday

Ohio St. vs. Northwestern on ESPN at 1PM EST

Watch football afterwards

 

We hoped to have our first 30 Bracketology Guru report of the season today, but to date we have only received lists from 11 gurus.  Apparently, the guys and one gal prefer to wait until the weekend games have been played, so we will try to debut our annual bracketology report Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

January 16, 2017

The Best of the Best and Where They Might Be Vulnerable

Every year about this time, a group of anywhere from a half dozen to 30 college basketball teams rank as possible national title contenders.  In some years, only a handful of teams have reasonable title aspirations.  In some years, there are no clear cut favorites, and many teams could become Cinderella’s with the perfect fit for the glass slipper.

There has been a bit of a paradigm shift in college basketball the last two seasons.  It wasn’t much of a change, but lowering the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds has done a world of good for the game.  The 14% less time per possession has led to 8-12 more possessions per game for each team.  Teams that three years ago averaged 65 possessions per game are today pushing the ball to the tune of 80 possessions per game.

Contrary to what may have been predicted, offensive efficiency has not gone down.  It has gone up, because the layup and dunk off a fast break when the attacking team has a number’s advantage has led to more points per possession.  The offensive increase has once again made college basketball as exciting as it was in its hey days of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Also contrary to belief, the increased pace has not created a new UCLA dynasty in the men’s game like U Conn has done with the women’s side.  There are more than enough quality athletes throughout the nation and the world to make 100 teams competitive enough to win an NCAA Tournament game and 25 teams strong enough to reel off six consecutive wins after March 10.

We are not saying that the following 25 teams are the best 25 in the nation.  We have taken a sampling of the top teams from power conferences, the two or three current leaders from among the leagues just shy of being a power conference, as well as a couple of teams from mid-major conferences.

Today’s first look at the contenders will concentrate on showing you how the Four Factors and some of our own PiRate Ratings criteria can isolate where a contender might be vulnerable come NCAA Tournament time.  When it comes time for the teams to have one shining moment, the game changes a little.

In the past, teams that got to the Dance by beating opponents at the foul line sometimes floundered in the tournament, because officials let the players have a little more leeway before blowing their whistles.

Additionally, some teams that went 28-4 in the regular season but did so by running opponents out of the gym or holding onto the ball in a slower-paced offense found that quality opponents like they faced in the Dance did not succumb to their methods of operation.

Likewise, some full court pressure teams that entered the Dance with large scoring margin advantages (often padded by beating poor teams by 40 points), found that quality ball-control teams did not turn the ball over and allow these teams to score in transition.  These pressing teams had little half-court offense and quickly fell to teams that turned the ball over 10 times per game.

Today, we look at 25 chosen teams to tell you where they can exploit other quality teams, and also where they are vulnerable.  As you will see in this first look, there are no teams today that are not totally vulnerable in some way.  Thus, there is no clear-cut favorite to cut down the nets in Phoenix on April 3.  In point of fact, as we see it today, there are a couple dozen quality teams capable of making the Final Four, and yet all of these teams have an Achilles’ Heel and could lose before the Sweet 16 commences.

Before we get into the meat of this report, there could be a few readers not totally familiar with the Four Factors in basketball.  It is not rocket science.  The Four Factors (applies to both offense and defense) are:

  1. Field Goal Efficiency
  2. Turnover Rate
  3. Offensive Reboundin Rate
  4. Free Throw Rate

Field Goal Efficiency: [FGM+(3ptM * 0.5)]/FGA

Where FGM is field goals made; 3ptM is three-pointers made; and FGA is field goals attempted.  If your favorite team attempted 60 shots in a game and made 28 of these shots with 8 coming as three-pointers, then their FG Efficiency is [28+(8*0.5)]/60 which equals .533 or 53.3%

The difference between the offensive FG efficiency and the defensive FG efficiency is the FG efficiency margin.  This is by far the most important contributory part to winning in basketball, which is obvious, since the object of the game is to put the ball in the basket and score points, while limiting the opponents from putting the ball in the basket.

Turnover Rate:  TOV/100 Possessions figured as:  [TOV/(FGA+(FTA*0.475)+TOV]*100 and expressed as a percentage

This is a simple metric.  All it seeks to discover is how many turnovers does a team commit for every 1oo possessions.  There is a small adjustment in what qualifies as a possession for this metric as opposed to actual possessions.  Offensive rebounds are not factored into the possession counting here, as once a team secures an offensive rebound, they have already attempted a shot without committing a turnover.  The chance for a turnover after this is limited and can skew the real rate at which a team turns the ball over or forces their opponent to turn the ball over.

If your team committed 14 turnovers in a game in which they took 60 field goal attempts and 25 free throw attempts, their turnover rate for that game was: [14/(60+(25*.475)+14]*10o which comes to: 16.3%

Offensive Rebounding Rate: [OR/(OR+ Opponents’ DR)]*100, 

Where OR is offensive rebounds and DR is defensive rebounds.

If your team had 12 offensive rebounds, and their opponent had 32 defensive rebounds, your team’s offensive rebounding rate was: [12/(12+32)] * 100 which is 27.3%

Obviously, the compliment to this is defensive rebounding rate, which is the same formula applied to the opponents’ rebounding.

Free Throw Rate: FTM/100 Possessions or (FTM/[FGA+(FTA*0.475)-OR+TOV]) *100

There is a difference of opinion on how the expert analytics gurus figure this metric.  Some simple use FTA/FGA.  Some prefer FTM/FGA.  We have heard arguments in favor of both of these metrics, but we really liked a paper written by The Harvard Sports Analysis Collective’s John Ezekowitz, who argued for the metric we chose above in his February 21, 2011, paper entitled Re-examining The Four Factors: The Case For Free Throws Made Per 100 Possessions.

Putting It All Together

The key to the four factors is finding an algorithm in which the results of each team can be turned into some form of a rating or to produce a spread for a game between teams.  What good is it to know that Team A has X, Y, Z, and W rates in the four factors, and their opponent has a little better X and Z, and weaker Y and W rates.  So, where does that get us?  Only when the Four Factors can be turned into a rating of some sort is the data useful to the fan.

The PiRates tried for a few years to come up with an accurate rating from the Four Factors.  Our original mistake was assuming the different factors would not affect the college game any different than it does the NBA, where the numbers were determined to be 40% FG efficiency, 25% turnover rate, 20% offensive rebounding rate, and 15% free throw rate.

This did not make for an accurate rating when applied to college teams and uses to compare them in a point spread sort of way.  Whereas the NBA teams basically play equal schedules in terms of strengths of opponents (once enough games had been played), this cannot be said of the college game, where one team’s schedule could be as much as 20 points per game stronger than another team’s schedule.  Also, in the NBA, every team plays 41 home games and 41 road games.  The top college teams might schedule 19 home games, 3 neutral games, and just 9 road games.

We also realized that not all turnovers are the same.  A steal is worth more than any other type of turnover, because the ball remains live, and the defense frequently finds itself with a 2 on 1 or 3 on 2 fast break opportunity following a high percentage of their steals.  In the college game, more full court pressure can lead to steals that produce a lot of easy baskets, whereas in the NBA, this is a rare occurrence.

After much trial and error, we came up with three separate algorithms that when back-tested in past seasons produced acceptable predictive results.

Now, we can take a look at these 25 teams and make some assumptions based on their four factors data to date.  We can add some PiRate Rating data (like our unique R+T formula) to polish our beliefs.

The numbers you see below are our Blue Rating Scores for each of the Four Factors plus the Strength of Schedule score, the R+T rating, and the teams rating in true road and neutral games (neutral games when a team plays in another gym in their area against an out of town team does not count–like Kansas playing a Big East team in Kansas City).

AAC

Cincinnati: FG 6.4  TO 0.8  OR 0.6  FT 0.2  SOS 56.1  R+T 18.4 Rd W-L 4-2

The Bearcats do not excel in any one factor, but they are better than average in all factors.  Their SOS is good but not great, and their R+T rating is very good.  They will benefit from having extra scoring opportunities.  Cinti will run into trouble against big muscle teams from the power conferences, and they will struggle against teams that play choking man to man defense.  However, this team has enough talent to make it to the second weekend of the Big Dance.

ACC

Virginia: FG 12.0   TO 4.7   OR 4.3   FT -1.2   SOS 59.6   R+T 16.2   Rd W-L 6-1

The Cavaliers are going to be a tough out for any opponent in the NCAA Tournament.  Their style of defense will destroy teams that cannot shoot from the perimeter, and the Cavs will also exploit teams that do not have excellent passers.  To beat UVa, you must be able to pass the ball quick enough from the strong side to the weak side and then penetrate their interior defense for either an open look inside or a pass to a wide open three-point shooter.  Virginia will not beat itself.  Wisconsin and Arizona could be trouble for the Cavs, whereas Virginia could be a tough out for a team like Florida.

North Carolina: FG 6.4  TO 3.7   OR 17.4   FT 7.7   SOS 58.9   R+T 33.6   Rd W-L 7-3

The Tar Heels have the look of a Final Four team.  However, they have some small vulnerabilities.  First, they are not the best shooting team in Chapel Hill history, in fact far from it.  They do make up for this by being the best offensive rebounding team in college basketball.  They are not that shabby in the turnover department either, and thus, they have the best R+T rating in many years.  By the time the season moves into March, UNC will either be unbeatable and peaking at the right time or a major disappointment due to fatigue and injuries.  This is one team we cannot see losing prior to the Sweet 16, as they will be a 1 or 2 seed and no 15 or 16 seed can compete with them, with only a slim chance that a 7 or 8 seed can keep a game within single digits.

The team that beats UNC will be the team that can muscle their way under the basket and make the rebounding part of the equation only a minor Tar Heel victory.  Said team will also have to force the Heels into a few more turnovers than normal and produce some quick points off those turnovers.  West Virginia and Kentucky are the teams that will give UNC fits, while a great shooting team like UCLA or Gonzaga will find that they must do more than shoot lights out to beat this team.

Florida St.: FG 11.2   TO 2.8   OR 2.5   FT 2.4   SOS 58.6   R+T 15.6   Rd W-L 4-2

The Seminoles are going to be a tough match-up for teams outside the ACC that have never played against them.  Their style of play will lead to large victories in the early rounds of the tournament, but once FSU faces stiff competition, their inconsistent style of play will hurt their chances.  There will be many teams with a resume similar to theirs from amongst the power leagues.  FSU will be more like a poor man’s Kentucky.  They might win by 20-30 in the opening game, and they might make it to the Sweet 16 by way of a double digit win in their next game, but once they get to the Sweet 16, the Seminoles should be a quick out against a quality opponent like Villanova, Kansas, or Oregon.

Louisville: FG 6.5   TO 4.8  OR 7.9   FT 1.7   SOS 62.9   R+T 20.3   Rd W-L 5-2

Don’t dismiss this edition of Cardinals.  Rick Pitino knows how to coach in March, and there is enough talent at the Yum Center to guide UL to the Final Four.  The Cards have played a tough schedule to date and pulling off numbers like their current Four Factors against the opposition they have faced is a sign of a top 10 team.  In most years, these numbers would be the best in the nation, and even in a year where there are many great teams, these numbers stick out as among the best.

To beat the Cards, it is going to take a team that can shut off their inside game and force UL to beat them from the perimeter.  Not many teams can do this, but there are some potential teams out there that can send the Cards home, such as Virginia from their own league, Oregon, and Purdue.

Notre Dame: FG 8.5   TO 4.0   OR 0.2   FT 3.8   SOS 56.3   R+T 11.2   Rd W-L 5-2

The Fighting Irish have been consistently good for several years but with also a consistent liability.  Notre Dame has not been a dominant rebounding team since Digger Phelps retired.  While, the Irish have numbers strong enough to indicate they are Sweet 16 worthy, they do not have the dominating inside game that will get them to Phoenix.  A host of quality teams are out there that can hit the glass and limit ND to one shot per possession, and the Irish are bound to face one of them if they make it to the Sweet 16.  Baylor, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Kentucky could send Mike Brey’s bunch home to Indiana.  On the other hand, Notre Dame could be a tough opponent for UCLA, Villanova, or Maryland.

Big 12

West Virginia: FG 7.2    TO 16.0   OR 5.8   FT 5.1   SOS 53.7   R+T 27.2   Rd W-L 5-2

The jury is still out on this team, even though our PiRate Blue metrics say that Coach Bob Huggins has the currently top team in the land.  Huggie Bear’s Mountaineers have to prove they can sustain these fat metric ratings against the top teams.  WVU’s SOS is rather low for a Power Conference team, and they have yet to face Kansas or any tough team on enemy hardwood.  Their toughest road game to date came against Texas Tech, and they flunked that exam.

If WVU can keep their TO rate at astronomically high numbers and also maintain their better than average rebound rate, they are capable of making it to Phoenix.  Whereas many pressing teams eventually run into a team that does not fret the pressure and actually exploits it for points, WVU is more than your typical on the line/up the line gimmick defense.  This team can win by dominating on the glass, getting the ball inside for easy baskets, hitting the three, and playing strong half-court defense.  Once again, until they play Kansas a couple times, Kansas State on the road, as well as road trips to Iowa State and Baylor, it is too early to make a logical call on this team.

Baylor: FG 11.1   TO -0.2   OR 9.5   FT 8.1   SOS 61.8   R+T 20.5   Rd W-L 6-1

 

Scott Drew has been to the Elite 8 before, and this Baylor team looks like his next Elite 8 club.  Until the Bears face a team that can force the issue and pressure the ball, they look like a favorite to advance in each round.  As West Virginia showed, Baylor is not equipped to handle crazy pressure.  Other teams that might exploit this weakness include Virginia, Butler, Kentucky, and Florida.  And, if a mid-major like UNC-Wilmington or Middle Tennessee meets the Bears in the round of 32, Baylor will have to bring their A-game to avoid a major upset loss.

Kansas: FG 11.2   TO 1.7   OR 6.2  FT 0.1   SOS 59.1   R+T 16.4   Rd W-L  4-1

The Jayhawks have been flying under the radar if that is possible, but now that KU has ascended to the top of the charts, they will be on the center stage every game they occupy the penthouse.  Bill Self always has a contender in Lawrence, so this should come as no surprise when we say that the Jayhawks have the right stuff to make it all the way to the Final Four.  They can shoot the ball with the best of them, and they can defend the ball with the best of them.  They are not world-beaters anywhere else, but their other metrics are quite strong.  And, they have produced these numbers against a very good schedule.  KU has another big bonus, something they had when they won the title back in 1988.  With a star like Frank Mason III, teams will have to concentrate and dedicate another defender to stop this star.  That might work against some teams, but KU has five or six other players that can carry the team, so it is impossible to really double up on Mason.  If you are old enough to remember 1988, this reminds us of Danny Manning.

Big East

Villanova: FG 12.1   TO 1.6   OR 4.1    FT 9.6   SOS 61.1    R+T 16.1    Rd W-L 8-1

The Wildcats have proven so far this year to be good enough to repeat as National Champions, and in point of fact, at this point in the season compared to last year, they are a better team.  The rub is that so are about 30 other dominating teams.  VU has been putting teams away by getting their regulars into foul trouble from making quick moves to the basket.  Unlike other teams with very high FT rates, they are less likely to suffer from how the game is called differently in the Big Dance, because officials will blow their whistles on drives to the basket that produce contact.

Considering ‘Nova has put up these gaudy numbers against A+ competition, and they have an 8-1 record away from Philly, they are more than capable of making it back to Phoenix.  But, as Alabama just found out in football, getting back to the title game and winning it, are in different universes.  Villanova wants no part of North Carolina in a rematch.

Creighton: FG 12.5   TO 2.7   OR -3.4   FT 2.7    SOS 58.8   R+T 7.3    Rd W-L 7-0

Every year, one or two highly-rated teams gets sent home from the Dance early by a mid-major team that can exploit the power team’s weakness.  Creighton has the resume of a power team that could be susceptible to an early round loss.  Their negative rebounding rate might be covered up by other assets during the regular season, but come tournament time, just about every opponent they might face will be able to exploit this poor metric.  If their TO rate was really good, they could overcome this liability, but this is not the case, as the Blue Jays are just average or a little below in this department as well.  Their R+T rating is too low to make it to the Elite 8, and the Sweet 16 is their ceiling.  If they make it to the Sweet 16, teams like Baylor, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Kentucky can beat them by double digits.

Butler: FG 6.5   TO 5.1   OR 0.1   FT 2.1   SOS 61.3  R+T 10.0   Rd W-L 5-3

When Butler made back-to-back appearances in the National Championship Game, their Four Factors numbers were consistently good but not outstanding in any category.  This Butler team has somewhat inconsistent numbers compared to those Bulldog teams, but at the same time, they are stronger in the turnover rates and have played a much tougher schedule to date than those teams that won five tournament games.

Butler is probably a little too inconsistent this year to win five games and make it to the championship.  They might be better equipped to beat a North Carolina or Kansas than the 2010 and 2011 teams, but this Bulldog edition could easily stub its toe right out of the gates and not get a chance to upset teams like the 2010 and 2011 teams did (Syracuse, Kansas State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and Florida).

Big Ten

The Big Ten has been able to make it to the Final Four multiple times in recent years, but no league team has cut down the nets since Michigan State in 2000 (Maryland was in the ACC when they won in 2002).  There are a couple teams this year capable of giving it a good try.

Wisconsin: FG 8.9  TO 3.9  OR 15.9   FT 2.6    SOS 52.7  R+T 28.8   Rd W-L 4-3

The Badgers have played a rather weak schedule to date, and that could send their current numbers much lower once the better Big Ten opponents have been faced away from Madison.  With Bronson Koenig, Ethan Happ, and Nigel Hayes, the Badgers have a trio of quality players good enough to carry them to the Final Four.  In past years, overall team speed was an issue with this team, but the Badgers have quickness, finesse, and power this year.  UW has been much, much better at home than away from home, and a lot of teams that go 18-0 at home and 9-6 away from home leave the Dance early.  A quality team that is headed to the Elite 8 usually wins 70% or more of its games away from home, and UW is just 4-3 at this point.  Of course, those three losses came to Creighton, North Carolina, and Purdue.  Recent road wins against Marquette and Indiana could be an indication that UW is on the verge of breaking out and becoming a serious contender.

Maryland: FG 6.1  TO 0.5   OR 3.4  FT 7.5  SOS 56.4   R+T 8.8  Rd W-L 6-0

An aside: Back in the days when only one team per conference went to the NCAA Tournament, Maryland had a team that was good enough to win the national championship but was just a couple points away from getting a chance to play in it.  The 1974 Terrapins went 23-5.  Their five losses represent the best five-loss team in history.  Loss number one came at the hands of #1 UCLA in Pauley Pavillion to open the season (Bruins had won more than 70 consecutive games), in a game in which the officiating was very generous to the Bruins and yet UM lost by just one point and had a chance to win the game at the buzzer.  Loss number two came at North Carolina State, who had won 35 of its previous 36 games (lone loss to UCLA) and who would be the eventual national champs.  This loss was a six-point loss, and the Terps led this game into the second half before a Wolf Pack rally won it for the home team.  Loss number three came on the road against #4 North Carolina, yet another contest where UM had a chance to win until late in the second half.  The Terps only home loss came against NC State, who by now would not lose again until the following season.  This loss to the Pack was another close affair with UM losing by six after leading in the second half.  You can probably guess where loss number five came.  Once again, NC State topped UM in the ACC Championship Game in what is probably the best every ACC Title game.  State won by a score of 103-100 in overtime.  Maryland’s 23 wins were mostly lopsided affairs.  Even the two other contests against North Carolina were not close, as the Terps won by 11 in College Park and by 20 in Greensboro in the ACC Tournament semifinals.

What has that got to do with this year’s Terp team?  Nothing, except this year’s UM team will be in the Big Dance even if they do not win the Big Ten Tournament or the regular season title.  However, this year’s UM team is primed to be an early round upset loser, because it is nowhere near as talented as that 1974 team that featured John Lucas, Tom McMillen, and Len Elmore.  That UM team out-shot quality opposition by 11%, out-rebounded them by 11 per game, and outscored them by 17 points per game.

Purdue: FG 10.1  TO -0.7  OR 10.5  FT 8.3   SOS 55.9  R+T 19.7   Rd W-L 5-2

We could give another history lesson on this Big Ten team.  Purdue has been to the Final Four twice before, but both times, it was with teams that played an entirely different style of basketball from this team and from all the teams during the Gene Keady era.

We have a lot of respect for Coach Keady and his successful disciples, including current Boilermaker coach Matt Painter.  However, history has not been kind to the “Keady system” in NCAA Tournament history.  Purdue never made it to the Final Four with all the highly-ranked teams of the 1980’s and 1990’s and seldom made it past the second game.  Case in point, last year, the Boilermakers left the Dance immediately, losing to Arkansas-Little Rock in their first game.

Why is it that Purdue has under-performed so consistently for so many years?  Coach Keady and his disciples strongly advocate an intelligent offensive half-court set and tough man-to-man defense to prevent good shots.  That works well in the regular season, as teams like this routinely play smart ball and beat all the teams they are supposed to beat, and even upset some better teams.  But, when you get into the second week of March, the opposition is usually as good as you at shooting and preventing good shots.  Games are more frequently decided by which team gets more opportunities to shoot.  Thus rebounding and turnover margin play significantly more important roles than they do in the regular season.  Purdue has not been a consistently tough team on the boards, and they do not pressure the passing lanes.

This year’s Boilermaker squad is one of the best rebounding teams in Mackey Arena in a long time, but once again, PU is stinking it up in the turnover rate metric.  The rebounding strength could get Painter’s squad past the first game and maybe even into the Sweet 16, but when the Boilermakers run into a team like Butler, Kentucky, or Florida, or even a Mid-major like UNC-Wilmington or Middle Tennessee, they are going to have a tough time advancing.  And, should they find West Virginia in their bracket…..

Pac-12

UCLA: FG 14.2   TO 0.3   OR -1.0   FT 3.2   SOS 53.4   R+T 10.0   Rd W-L 8-1

This might be the most exciting team to watch, but this UCLA team suffers from the same issues that Purdue suffers from as stated above.  When the Bruins are hot, they can put any team away, and their win at Kentucky showed this.  However, they will run into defenses that can slow them down when they get to March, and the Bruins do not have what it takes to get additional scoring chances through rebounding and turnover margin.  Additionally, the Bruins have played a lot of cupcakes this year, and a lot of their shooting stats have been aided by playing weak defensive teams.  Until they are ousted thought, Lonzo Ball and company promise to give the fan his or her money’s worth.

Oregon: FG 10.2   TO 3.0   OR 7.5   FT 6.5   SOS 57.1   R+T 19.5   Rd W-L 5-2

The Ducks could be a contender for the Final Four.  After a slow start, Oregon has now won 14 consecutive games and looks like the team the pundits expected they would be this season.  The Ducks have a really tough closing stretch in the regular season with seven consecutive tough games between February 4 and 25.  Included in this slate is a three-game stretch against Arizona, UCLA, and USC, with the latter two on the road.  If Oregon can come through this three-week stretch without injuries or undue fatigue, this team can repeat its performance of last year and maybe make it one round past what it did last year.  That would mean they make it to Phoenix.

Arizona: FG  8.3  TO 0.6   OR 7.3   FT 10.4   SOS 58.1   R+T 20.2   Rd W-L 5-2

At first glance, Arizona’s numbers don’t look much different than Oregon’s above.  Look a little closer.  This is a team that relies a bit too much on free throw rate and is vulnerable against a team that can pressure the ball and force turnovers.  Arizona wants no part of West Virginia, but they could fall prey to a lesser pressure team or a team that turns the ball over less than 10 times a game like Virginia.  In their loss to Gonzaga, the Wildcats turned the ball over nine times in the first half and didn’t shoot well, and Gonzaga pulled out to a double digit lead.  Arizona did get to the foul line several times, but they missed too many foul shots to get back in the game.  This is likely to happen to them in an NCAA Sweet 16 game if UA makes it that far.

SEC

Kentucky: FG  9.1  TO 6.7   OR 7.4   FT 4.7   SOS 61.1   R+T 22.3   Rd W-L 6-1

This is always a tough team to figure out.  Annually, John Calipari recruits the top talent in the nation to Lexington, and Kentucky has better talent than every team on its schedule.  However, that talent is almost always freshmen, and even five McDonald’s All-Americans as college freshmen are bound to play a bit inconsistently.  On any given night, these future NBA stars are liable to blow out an average team by 30 to 40 points.  On any given night, these future NBA stars are liable to fiddle around and allow a mediocre team to stay in contention.

In Kentucky’s favor, these freshmen will have 33 to 35 games of experience by the time the NCAA Tournament begins, and the Wildcats will have a 1 or 2 seed, able to get to the Sweet 16 just by showing up.  Once at the Sweet 16, this team will have the talent and tools to keep winning, but they will still be just raw enough to lay an egg and go home with a disappointing loss.

It will take a muscle team to beat Kentucky, one that can throw its weight around on the glass, make their fouls count more like unnecessary roughness penalties in football, and has the ability to outscore the Wildcats from behind the arc.

Florida: FG 3.1  TO 6.6  OR 1.7   FT 8.9   SOS 63.0   R+T 11.4   Rd W-L 8-3

Here is a really interesting team.  At first glance, this Florida team looks like many of the Florida teams under former coach Billy Donovan.  The Gators’ ball-hawking defense tends to lead to more scoring opportunities for the orange and blue than for their opponents.  However, the really good Gator teams under Donovan played incredible half-court defense.  This Gator team is a bit weak defending inside, and that will be their downfall in March.  The Gators are adequate but not great shooting the ball, and when they don’t force a turnover, they are not great at stopping the ball from going through the opponents’ basket.

One thing in UF’s favor is their schedule has prepared them to play top-flight teams.  Outside of the league Florida played Seton Hall, Miami, Gonzaga, Florida State, and Duke.

South Carolina: FG 7.8   TO 4.9   OR 4.6   FT -5.4   SOS 56.2   R+T 13.9   Rd W-L 4-2

You have to look at South Carolina’s statistics a bit differently than just viewing their numbers.  This is a tale of two teams.  There is the USC team that is 11-0 when its best player, Sindarius Thornwell has been healthy enough to play, and there is the USC team that is 3-3 when Thornwell has not played.

The bad news for SEC teams is that Thornwell is close to 100% well again, and the Gamecocks are 4-0 in the league because of it.  A healthy Thornwell is a threat to record a triple double or score 20 points and pull down a dozen boards, while playing exemplary defense.

If the Gamecocks stay healthy this year, they look like a near lock to make the Dance, and once they get there, we have faith in Coach Frank Martin that they will play multiple games.  USC’s defense is tournament worthy, and they have just enough offense to pull away in the second half.  Their major liability is at the foul line, where they commit more than an average number of fouls.  However, this stat suffered considerably during Thornwell’s absence.  Since his return, the Gamecocks have a much better showing.

The Rest

Gonzaga: FG 15.6  TO 1.6   OR  2.6  FT 5.6   SOS 55.9  R+T 16.9   Rd W-L 7-0

Gonzaga faces a similar task that Wichita State faced in 2014, when they went 34-0 in the regular season.  The Bulldogs are the last undefeated team standing at 17-0, and the way they dominated St. Mary’s Saturday night, many sports professionals are calling for an undefeated regular season.  They still have to go to St. Mary’s, and they have to play at BYU, so they could still lose one or two regular season games this year.

Gonzaga has been a number one seed before as well as the top-ranked team in the nation, and things did not go all that well for the Bulldogs.  In 2013, the Zags entered NCAA Tournament play with a 31-2 record.  They almost became the first number one seed to lose to a 16-seed, when they had to hold on to narrowly edge Southern University in the Round of 64.  Then, GU fell in the Round of 32 to Wichita State, and the Shockers rolled to the Final Four from there.

Might things be different this year for Mark Few’s squad?  Gonzaga looks a lot like UCLA.  They are not quite as good shooting the ball, but they are a tad better defending the ball.  They are considerably better on the boards, but by the time the Dance begins to tap, their strength of schedule will have dropped to a point where they may not be ready to face a quality team in the Sweet 16.  The Kyle Wiltjer Gonzaga team that made it to the Elite 8 was more equipped for the tournament than this year’s squad, so we believe Gonzaga will fall in the Sweet 16 round.

Nevada: FG 5.4   TO -1.8   OR 3.5   FT 9.8   SOS 52.3   R+T 8.0   Rd W-L 8-3

If you consider Gonzaga not to be a mid-major, then Nevada is the best non Power Conference team in the West this year, but the Wolfpack are a paper tiger.  They do not have the numbers to be a serious contender like some former Mountain West Conference teams in the past.  Their low R+T number coming from a below average schedule strength means Nevada is likely to exit the Dance quickly and by double digits.  We wanted to include them here today so you can compare them to the two mid-majors most likely to advance to the second weekend this year.

UNC-Wilmington: FG 3.8   TO 7.1   OR 3.7   FT -2.0  SOS 51.2   R+T 12.9  Rd W-L 9-2

UNCW gave Duke a big scare last year in the Round of 64, and this year’s team is better, capable of making a run to the Sweet 16.  Coach Kevin Keatts is a Rick Pitino disciple, and we would not be shocked to see Keatts taking over a big time program sooner rather than later.  He has all the tools to be a star on the big stage, and his team plays like it deserves a shot on basketball’s Broadway.

UNCW’s biggest liability is their negative FT rate.  This has come about because the Seahawks commit a lot of fouls with their pressure defense.  We tend to believe that some of this has been because they have played a lot of games on the road, where the officials whistled them for more fouls than they would have received had they been at home.  When the NCAA Tournament begins, a lot of the plays in which they might have been whistled for a foul in the regular season will no longer draw a foul call.

UNCW is the poor man’s West Virginia, and they could easily be this year’s Stephen F. Austin.  Beware if your favorite big time program makes the Tournament and they draw this team, and your team is like Purdue, Baylor, UCLA, Arizona, or Creighton.  The Seahawk press can produce a quick burst of points and put your team behind the eight ball.

Middle Tennessee: FG 3.7  TO 5.0  OR 7.4  FT -2.5  SOS 56.3  R+T 17.5  Rd W-L 8-1

If you like UNCW’s chances, then you’ll love Middle Tennessee’s chances this year.  This is the CUSA team that upset Michigan State in last year’s tournament, and this year’s Blue Raider squad is maybe 10 points better than last year’s group.  Middle Tennessee actually played UNCW over the Thanksgiving holiday and beat the Seahawks by five.  The Blue Raiders went on the road to Ole Miss and destroyed the Rebels in the first half with a 29-point halftime lead before coasting to a 15-point win.  They repeated the performance against SEC neighbor Vanderbilt winning by 23 and never being challenged.

The Blue Raiders could have 30 wins when the NCAA Tournament begins, and it would not surprise us if they receive a seed as high as 9 or 10.  Of course, this would mean they would play a 1 or 2 seed in the Round of 32 should they win their first game.  The Blue Raiders’ fans should root for your team to draw a team like Purdue, Notre Dame, Creighton, Butler, or Maryland in the first game and not someone like West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Oregon, or Kentucky.  Of course, these teams are most likely to be encountered after the opening game, which means the Blue Raiders should be a hot pick in the Round of 64.

We did not include the 25 best teams in this presentation.  There are many other quality teams like Indiana, Duke, Miami, TCU, Xavier, Akron, Illinois State, California, Utah, USC, and New Mexico State.

We hope you enjoyed this piece and learned a little about how the Four Factors has been part of the new analytical study of basketball.

Coming Friday: We take our next stab at the Field of 68, and if we can get our gurus to send us the information in time, we will debut our annual Bracketology Guru report.  Shout out to the Gurus that have not done so–please return the email we sent you to tell us if you plan to participate this year.  If we do not have enough information to debut our guru composite, we will attempt to select 68 teams ourselves.

January 13, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For January 14-15, 2017

PiRate Red-White-Blue Spreads For The Weekend

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Clemson Virginia -1 -4 -6
Louisville Duke 4 1 4
Pittsburgh Miami (Fla.) 5 1 7
North Carolina Florida St. 9 8 3
Virginia Tech Notre Dame 6 -1 -1
Syracuse Boston College 8 14 9
Kansas Oklahoma St. 10 13 14
Texas West Virginia -16 -15 -6
Kansas St. Baylor 1 -4 -9
TCU Iowa St. 2 -1 3
Oklahoma Texas Tech 6 -4 -2
Georgetown Connecticut 15 8 9
Providence Seton Hall -3 -1 -1
St. John’s Villanova -4 -15 -16
Butler Xavier 3 4 8
Marquette DePaul 19 17 13
Penn St. Minnesota 2 -4 -4
Michigan Nebraska 1 9 1
Illinois Maryland 1 1 6
California Washington St. 13 17 19
Utah UCLA -11 -8 -1
Stanford Washington 2 4 10
Oregon Oregon St. 27 26 26
Florida Georgia 11 12 10
Mississippi St. Texas A&M 3 -1 -6
LSU Alabama 7 -2 -3
Kentucky Auburn 23 24 23
Arkansas Missouri 15 16 15
South Carolina Ole Miss 9 8 6
Vanderbilt Tennessee -1 2 6
         
Games Scheduled for: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
North Carolina St. Georgia Tech 14 11 14
Indiana Rutgers 16 18 19
Ohio St. Michigan St. 4 2 -4
Northwestern Iowa 1 6 8
Colorado USC 1 -1 4

 

The PiRate Top 25 For January 13, 2017

  1. West Virginia
  2. Kansas
  3. Kentucky
  4. Villanova
  5. Virginia
  6. North Carolina
  7. Gonzaga
  8. UCLA
  9. Florida St.
  10. Baylor
  11. St. Mary’s
  12. Wisconsin
  13. Louisville
  14. Duke
  15. Butler
  16. Arizona
  17. Florida
  18. Cincinnati
  19. Creighton
  20. Oregon
  21. Notre Dame
  22. Purdue
  23. Xavier
  24. Wichita St.
  25. Iowa St.

ACC

  1. Virginia
  2. North Carolina
  3. Florida St.
  4. Louisville
  5. Duke
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Clemson
  8. Virginia Tech
  9. Miami (Fla)
  10. Wake Forest
  11. Pittsburgh
  12. Syracuse
  13. North Carolina St.
  14. Georgia Tech
  15. Boston College

Big East

  1. Villanova
  2. Butler
  3. Creighton
  4. Xavier
  5. Seton Hall
  6. Marquette
  7. Providence
  8. Georgetown
  9. St. John’s
  10. DePaul

Big Ten

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Purdue
  3. Minnesota
  4. Michigan St.
  5. Indiana
  6. Northwestern
  7. Michigan
  8. Maryland
  9. Ohio St.
  10. Iowa
  11. Illinois
  12. Penn St.
  13. Nebraska
  14. Rutgers

Big 12

  1. West Virginia
  2. Kansas
  3. Baylor
  4. Iowa St.
  5. Kansas St.
  6. Texas Tech
  7. Oklahoma St.
  8. TCU
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Texas

Pac-12

  1. UCLA
  2. Arizona
  3. Oregon
  4. California
  5. USC
  6. Utah
  7. Colorado
  8. Stanford
  9. Washington
  10. Arizona St.
  11. Washington St.
  12. Oregon St.

SEC

  1. Kentucky
  2. Florida
  3. South Carolina
  4. Georgia
  5. Arkansas
  6. Alabama
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Vanderbilt
  9. Tennessee
  10. Ole Miss
  11. Mississippi St.
  12. Auburn
  13. LSU
  14. Missouri

Games To Watch This Weekend Because They Will Be Fun To Watch

Best 3 Saturday

Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s   (ESPN2 at 10 PM EST)

Butler vs. Xavier   (Fox Sports 1 at 2 PM EST)

Clemson vs. Virginia  (WatchESPN at 12:00 PM EST)

Best of The Rest

Louisville vs. Duke   (ESPN at 12:00 PM EST)

North Carolina vs. Florida St.  (ESPN at 2 PM EST)

Kansas St. vs. Baylor   (ESPNU at 4:30 PM EST)

Utah vs. UCLA   (Pac-12 Network at 6 PM EST)

Princeton vs. Yale   (ESPN3 at 8 PM EST)

Coming Next Week–We take the top national contenders and break down what area of the game an opponent must master in order to beat each one.  We’ll use our Four Factors Algorithms to analyze where each of the top teams might have an Achilles Heel, and maybe which teams have no apparent weakness.

January 6, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For January 7-8, 2017

Early Look At Mid and Low Major Conferences
As we take our first look at the conferences that should receive just one NCAA Tournament bid, we are in total agreement among the lot of us that 22 leagues will definitely produce just one tournament team–the winner of their conference tournament, or in the case of the Ivy League, the regular season conference championship, and it is likely that a 23rd league will receive just one bid.

Let’s take a look at the 23 probable one-bid leagues.

America East
Vermont, MD.-Baltimore Co., UMass-Lowell, and Stony Brook are tied for first, but only with 1-0 conference marks. Vermont is 11-5 overall, with two losses to top 25 teams.

Atlantic Sun
Conference play has yet to begun, but Florida Gulf Coast and Jacksonville look strong in the pre-conference. FGCU lost at Michigan State by just one point, while Jacksonville sports the top won-loss record at 12-5. We believe overall that this league is stronger than it has been in recent years, but no at-large bid is possible this year.

Big Sky
Eastern Washington, Southern Utah, and Weber State have begun the conference race at 2-0, with Montana a half-game back at 2-1. EWU owns a hot home court advantage, and they already have four overtime wins in their 15 games played.

Big South
With losses by 55 to Creighton, 37 to George Mason, and 31 to Texas Tech, you would not expect Longwood to be on top in the conference race at 3-0, but the Lancers from tiny Farmville, Virginia, own first place by themselves by a game over Radford, UNC-Asheville, Winthrop, Campbell, and Liberty. UNCA lost at Ohio State by a bucket.

Big West
It’s a down year in this league, as no team looks capable of avoiding a 15 or 16-seed. Most of the members in this league perform poorly away from home, and we expect this year’s race to be won with a record as low as 10-6. UC-Irvine, Long Beach State, and UC-Davis appear to be the top teams, but there is not much separating the teams at this point. While somewhat mediocre, this league could put on one of the most exciting conference tournament’s this season.

Colonial Athletic
UNC-Wilmington is on the cusp of competing for a spot on the bubble, but at this point, it looks like they would have to win the CAA Tournament to get into the Big Dance. The Seahawks join Charleston, Northeastern, and James Madison at 3-0 in league play. Northeastern is the hot team at this point. The Huskies have won six games in a row, including four on the road, with one of those coming at Michigan State.

Conference USA
Middle Tennessee is 2-0 in the league and 12-3 overall, as well as 2-0 against SEC teams, but the Blue Raiders would be a long shot in the at-large sweepstakes this year. If Middle wins the automatic bid with a record in the vicinity of 29-5, they could receive an 11 seed and possibly a 10 seed. Chief challengers to the Blue Raiders this year are Marshall, Louisiana Tech, and Western Kentucky. Keep an eye on Marshall, as their unique fast-paced philosophy can give the Thundering Herd a big advantage against teams lacking depth, especially at conference tournament time.

Horizon
No, it’s not a Super Bowl preview, but Oakland and Green Bay look like the top two teams in this league. Actually, both of these teams are close runners-up to Valparaiso at this point. The Crusaders are 1-0 in the conference and 11-3 overall, with wins over Alabama, BYU, and Rhode Island. Northern Kentucky and Wright State have shown signs of moving up into the top tier with the big three.

Ivy
This is still the one holdout league that does not sanction a post-season conference tournament. Thus, one hot team can become the first official invitee to the Big Dance, but in recent years, this has not happened. There is no clear-cut favorite to win the crown as the first conference games commence next weekend. Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Penn look to be the leading contenders at this point, but this group is not setting the woods on fire.

Metro Atlantic
After a sluggish first month of the season, Canisius has found its groove. The Golden Griffins have reeled off seven consecutive wins, averaging 88.6 points per game. With approaching road games with Iona and Fairfield, if Canisius wins both, they will be in the driver’s seat in the MAAC. Pre-season favorite Monmouth has not been as strong as expected and just lost three games in a row. Still, you cannot dismiss the Hawks, as they have non-conference win over Memphis and an overtime loss to South Carolina. Monmouth beat Canisius and can gain command by pulling off the sweep when they face them in Buffalo on January 16.

Mid-American
The MAC once was worthy of multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament, but in recent years, this league has been down some. Akron, Ohio, and Eastern Michigan have separated a bit from the rest of the pack in this league, and these three top contenders are just talented enough to compete in the Round of 64. Home court advantanges are rather strong in this league, so expect the teams to beat up on each other, leaving no team with a conference mark better than 14-4.

Mideastern Athletic
The MEAC has frequently been given #15 and #16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, but this league consistently produces teams capable of pulling off huge upsets. The league does not get the credit it deserves, because the teams tend to begin the season slowly and develop as the year progresses. We like what UNC-Central has done to this point, and it would not surprise us if the Eagles make a run to 20 regular season wins. UNCC won at Missouri and led at LSU by as much as 13, before the Tigers came back to win in the final minute.

Missouri Valley
This is a caveat one-bid league. Wichita State would be on the bubble if the Shockers won 25 games but not the MVC Tournament title. However, at this point, we do not see a serious contender to knock WSU off the perch at Arch Madness. Illinois State currently shares first with the Shockers with a 3-0 league mark, but WSU looks to be double digits better than any league opponent. Sure, some team is liable to upset the Shockers, but we don’t see WSU losing more than two conference games, and they have as good a chance at running the table in the league as the do at losing twice.

Mountain West
The MWC has taken quite a tumble this year, as this looks like a sure one-bid league. Nevada and Boise State are this year’s quality clubs, but they do not have at-large approved resumes. Normal power San Diego State has begun league play at 0-2, so this does not look like the Aztecs’ year.

Northeast
It looks like a strong possibility that the conference tournament champion in this league will be headed to the opening round (first four) in Dayton. The NEC is rather weak this year, even though second division Wagner has a win at Connecticut. Fairleigh Dickinson has a game and a half lead in the race with a perfect 3-0 mark, but the Knights tumbled off their horses outside of league play. Keep an eye on Long Island. The Blackbirds are just 9-7 and 2-1 in the league, but most of their losses have been close, and they did beat St. John’s.

Ohio Valley
In past years, both Murray State and Belmont have done quite well in NCAA Tournament play. The two contenders already have moved to the top of the standings in their respective divisions, and it looks like they might square off when the bid is on the line in March.

Patriot
Bucknell and Boston U are tied at 3-0 in league play with Loyola (MD), Holy Cross, and Lafayette a game back at 2-1. Lehigh looked like a top contender in the preseason, taking Xavier to the final gun before losing by 3 and winning at Mississippi State, but the Mountain Hawks lost at home to Loyola to fall to 1-2 in league play.

Southern
This will be an exciting conference race with five teams competing for the regular season title. Furman, East Tennessee, Chattanooga, Samford, and UNC-Greensboro are about equal, and the five could stay within two games of each other all season. A multiple tie in the 14-4 and 13-5 range is quite possible.

Southland
Stephen F. Austin has lost the magic, as it left town for Stillwater, Oklahoma. Now, this league is wide open. New Orleans, and Nicholls State, two teams not expected to contend for league honors, currently are unbeaten in league play.

Southwestern Athletic
In recent years, the SWAC champion has known it would be headed to Dayton, and chances are strong that could happen again this year. In recent years, multiple league members have been ineligible for postseason play due to low APR scores, but that number has been reduced to just Alcorn State this year, and the Braves are an also-ran in the SWAC this year. Jackson State and Texas Southern have begun league play at 2-0, with Arkansas Pine-Bluff at 1-0. Grambling and Southern are 1-1, and most of their out of conference losses have been closer than normal for this league. We believe Southern might be the best representative for this league this year.

Summit
Bigger schools better keep an eye on this league. Whoever draws the conference tournament champion better not overlook their opponent, because their is quality in numbers in the Summit League this season. North Dakota State got hot at the right time, and the Bison are 3-0 in league play. Fort Wayne can play quality defense, bang the boards, and run the fast break like a team from the 1970’s. The Mastodons beat Indiana and gave a good game against Notre Dame. They can score points in spurts, and they average close to 90 points per game.

Sun Belt
UT-Arlington is off to a 12-3 start with a 2-0 mark in conference play. Included in those dozen wins is a big upset of Saint Mary’s, but as each day passes, that win does not look so much like an upset, just more like one really good team beating another really good team. Still, the Mavericks do not have enough on their resume to contend for a bubble spot. Arkansas State is also 2-0 in the league, but the Red Wolves do not have a signature win that gives them a shot at the bubble. Their win at Georgetown could look better in March than it does now, but still we see only one team making the dance from this league.

Western Athletic
New Mexico State is 1-0/14-2, but the Aggies’ best win is only against Arizona State. This is not enough to merit bubble consideration, so if NMSU runs the table in the league and then loses in the WAC Finals, they could be NIT bound at 30-3. UT Rio Grande Valley is a hot team with seven wins in eight games, and the Vaqueros can fill the nets with buckets, but they don’t play enough defense to do damage in the Dance.

Multiple Bid Leagues
45 bids remain after the 23 one bid leagues are accounted for. Those 45 bids will go to nine conferences, an average of five per league. Of course, some of the nine leagues will receive just two or three bids, unless an upset winner earns the automatic bid. Let’s look at those now.

American Athletic
Cincinnati and SMU appear to be in good shape for now. The Bearcats (2-0/12-2) are ranked in the top 25 and have a win at Iowa State. Cinti can strengthen their hold on an at-large bid with a win at Houston (3-0/12-3) tomorrow. SMU (3-0/13-3) currently owns a nine-game winning streak, but they have yet to record a win over a top 25 team (they have yet to play one). They do own a win over Pittsburgh as well as losses to Michigan and USC. Central Florida is in the mix at 3-0/12-3. They present a monster matchup problem with 7 foot 6 inch center Tacko Fall hitting 80% of his shots (95% are within a foot of the basket or dunks) and pulling down double digit rebounds while playing a one-man zone in the low post.

Atlantic 10
Dayton and Rhode Island look like the class of the league at this point, but both teams have a watchful eye on VCU. Two of the three should make the Dance, and it is possible that this league will send a third team there as well, but for now, we are sticking with two for sure.

West Coast
Gonzaga and St. Mary’s should both get bids, but SMC cannot afford to slip and lose more than two conference games. A win at Dayton is not enough to guarantee the Gaels an at-large bid. They will have to go 12-2 in league play or beat Gonzaga one time out of three.

39 Bids Left for 6 Power Leagues
Of the remaining six power leagues, we will give only 3 bids to the SEC. Kentucky, Florida, and one other team from among South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, and Alabama should receive bids.
The Pac-12 will send 3 or 4 teams. UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon look good at this point, while USC and California vying for a possible fourth bid.

We are going with 5 Big East bids: Villanova, Xavier, Butler, Creighton, and Marquette.

6 bids go to the Big Ten: Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, and either Northwestern, Ohio State, or Michigan State.

The Big 12 could send 8 teams dancing: Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, TCU, and Oklahoma State would all be in the tournament if the season ended today.

The ACC will reign supreme in this year’s Dance Party. As of this moment, we have an incredible 10 teams in the tournament: Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest all have tourney-worthy resumes.

This brings us to 65 bids. The remaining three bids are reserved for three possible conference tournament surprise winners. If the three do not emerge, then the at-large possibles to secure the bids would come from a pool of these teams: an additional SEC team from the group of Arkansas, Georgia, and Alabama; yet another ACC team from among Syracuse, North Carolina State, and Pittsburgh; Houston from the AAC; an additional Big Ten team from the group of Northwestern, Michigan State, and Ohio State; an additional Pac-12 team from the USC/Cal pairing; and Wichita State, should the Shockers finish highly-ranked but fail to win the MVC Tournament.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Top 10
1. West Virginia
2. Villanova
3. Kentucky
4. Baylor
5. Kansas
6. Duke
7. North Carolina
8. Gonzaga
9. UCLA
10. Virginia

ACC
1. Duke
2. North Carolina
3. Virginia
4. Louisville
5. Florida State
6. Clemson
7. Notre Dame
8. Miami (FL)
9. Virginia Tech
10. Wake Forest
11. Pittsburgh
12. Syracuse
13. North Carolina St.
14. Georgia Tech
15. Boston College

Big 12
1. West Virginia
2. Baylor
3. Kansas
4. Texas Tech
5. Iowa St.
6. Kansas St.
7. Oklahoma St.
8. TCU
9. Oklahoma
10. Texas

Big East
1. Villanova
2. Xavier
3. Butler
4. Creighton
5. Marquette
6. Seton Hall
7. Georgetown
8. Providence
9. St. John’s
10. DePaul

Big Ten
1. Purdue
2. Wisconsin
3. Michigan
4. Indiana
5. Minnesota
6. Northwestern
7. Michigan St.
8. Ohio St.
9. Maryland
10. Illinois
11. Iowa
12. Nebraska
13. Penn St.
14. Rutgers

Pac-12
1. UCLA
2. Arizona
3. Oregon
4. USC
5. California
6. Utah
7. Colorado
8. Stanford
9. Arizona St.
10. Washington
11. Washington St.
12. Oregon St.

SEC
1. Kentucky
2. Florida
3. South Carolina
4. Arkansas
5. Georgia
6. Alabama
7. Tennessee
8. Vanderbilt
9. Texas A&M
10. Ole Miss
11. LSU
12. Auburn
13. Mississippi St.
14. Missouri

This Weekend’s Spreads

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Syracuse Pittsburgh 4 4 -4
Duke Boston College 24 28 24
Florida St. Virginia Tech 8 10 13
Georgia Tech Louisville -12 -16 -19
Notre Dame Clemson 3 5 5
North Carolina North Carolina St. 14 15 9
West Virginia TCU 13 15 6
Kansas St. Oklahoma 9 8 9
Baylor Oklahoma St. 10 11 21
Kansas Texas Tech 11 11 13
Iowa St. Texas 11 11 8
Georgetown Butler -3 -4 -1
Seton Hall DePaul 14 15 16
Providence Dayton -1 1 -4
Xavier St. John’s 14 16 15
Villanova Marquette 11 13 19
Penn St. Michigan St. -1 -3 -4
Michigan Maryland 6 7 -1
Indiana Illinois 10 11 2
Washington Oregon St. 10 12 10
Arizona St. Utah -1 -2 -2
Washington St. Oregon -11 -16 -19
Arizona Colorado 12 11 15
Georgia Missouri 14 14 17
South Carolina Texas A&M 7 5 8
LSU Mississippi St. 6 4 11
Florida Tennessee 12 12 15
Auburn Ole Miss 3 1 -6
Alabama Vanderbilt 3 3 1
Kentucky Arkansas 16 17 17

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Nebraska Northwestern 1 -2 4
Purdue Wisconsin 4 3 7
Iowa Rutgers 9 10 8
Minnesota Ohio St. 6 6 13
Virginia Wake Forest 10 15 12
UCLA Stanford 19 18 8
USC California 4 2 1

December 29, 2016

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For December 29, 2016

Welcome to the PiRate Ratings’ return to college basketball coverage.  There are changes in the numbers this season, and we are excited to debut our annual Red-White-and-Blue Ratings for the 2016-17 college basketball season.

First, we have tweaked our Blue formula algorithm this year by giving a little more emphasis to true shooting percentage and the complimentary defensive metric in limiting shooting percentage.  In recent seasons, turnover margin has begun to mean a little bit less than it did a decade ago, and there are fewer truly dominant rebounding teams out there.  So, the college game for the time being is all about making shots and preventing the other team from making shots.  It sounds silly, as that should be all that matters (hitting baskets and stopping the other team from making them), but turnovers and rebounds gives teams more opportunities to take shots and make shots, while reducing the number of opportunities teams give to their opponents.  Rebounding and turnover rates are still vital, as we merely reduced the percentage of the total contribution by a couple basis points.

Next up, we plan on totally revising our NCAA  Tournament Bracketology data this season.  Our old formula has been performing with mediocre results in recent years, and we have decided to go 80% Four Factors and 20% PiRate Criteria this season and see what happens.  The R+T factor will still be part of our presentation, as it is still very effective at weeding out pretenders from contenders.

Until the Big Dance, we will concentrate our efforts on conference games and big non-conference games between teams from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC.  Because we have to input the stats for every team for every game, it is not possible to do this for every Division I game.  But, because all we need for our ratings are the current updated stats, we can always rate any game, thus, if we want to rate a Missouri Valley Conference big game, we can add it to the slate.

Additionally, following the New Year’s, expect our chosen selections to run just one day a week, most likely Friday, and it will include that weekend’s games.  We will also provide commentary on the entire division, as we tend to receive a lot of readership when we report on the low-major and mid-major conferences.

Let’s get started with this week’s pre-New Year’s report.

PiRate Top 10

thru games of 12/28/16

  1. Villanova
  2. Virginia
  3. Duke
  4. West Virginia
  5. Kansas
  6. Baylor
  7. North Carolina
  8. Louisville
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Kentucky

ACC

  1. Virginia
  2. Duke
  3. North Carolina
  4. Louisville
  5. Florida St.
  6. Clemson
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Miami
  9. Virginia Tech
  10. Syracuse
  11. Wake Forest
  12. Pittsburgh
  13. North Carolina St.
  14. Georgia Tech
  15. Boston College

This league is so loaded this year that #13 North Carolina State is strong enough to compete for the SEC Championship.  Only the bottom two are considered out of the running for an NCAA  Tournament bid.

Big East

  1. Villanova
  2. Butler
  3. Xavier
  4. Creighton
  5. Marquette
  6. Seton Hall
  7. Georgetown
  8. Providence
  9. St. John’s
  10. DePaul

Until they lose, reigning national champion Villanova rules the roost in the league and nationally.  The Wildcats had a close one last night against the cellar dweller, but one game does not knock them off their perch, as long as it is a win.  As of today, it looks like five teams would make the Dance.

Big Ten

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Purdue
  3. Michigan
  4. Indiana
  5. Northwestern
  6. Ohio St.
  7. Maryland
  8. Minnesota
  9. Michigan St.
  10. Iowa
  11. Illinois
  12. Nebraska
  13. Penn St.
  14. Rutgers

It looks like Northwestern is in line to finally make it to the Big Dance.  A strong 12-2 start for the Wildcats needs only a winning conference record and one conference tournament win to get that elusive bid.

Big 12

  1. West Virginia
  2. Kansas
  3. Baylor
  4. Texas Tech
  5. Kansas St.
  6. Iowa St.
  7. TCU
  8. Oklahoma St.
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Texas

Yes, the Longhorns and Sooners bring up the rear as conference play is set to begin.  The other 8 teams look to be NCAA Tournament bound as of today with the top 3 teams the equal of the top three in the ACC.

Pac-12

  1. UCLA
  2. Arizona
  3. Oregon
  4. USC
  5. Colorado
  6. California
  7. Utah
  8. Stanford
  9. Washington
  10. Arizona St.
  11. Oregon St.
  12. Washington St.

Even with UCLA’s last second loss at Oregon, the Bruins stay atop the Pac-12 standings.  This league looks like a 4 or 5-bid league as of now.

SEC

  1. Kentucky
  2. Florida
  3. South Carolina
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Arkansas
  6. Georgia
  7. Ole Miss
  8. Alabama
  9. Tennessee
  10. Vanderbilt
  11. Auburn
  12. LSU
  13. Mississippi St.
  14. Missouri

Kentucky and Florida rank well ahead of the other dozen in this league this year.  South Carolina, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Georgia sit on a separate shelf above the remaining eight teams.  This could be as little as a two-bid league but no more than a four-bid league as of now.

Low and Mid-Major Teams in the mix for at-large bids

It is getting more difficult to label Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s as Mid-Major teams.  The two WCC powers are both in our top 25 teams this week.

Cincinnati out of the American Conference is really a power team, even though the AAC has lost some prestige.  SMU is in the same boat, but the Mustangs need to do a little more work to be a for sure at-large team this year.

Wichita State has earned the same privilege as Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.  The Shockers belong in the list of at-large possibles.

The only real low-major team in consideration for a possible at-large bid would be UNC-Wilmington from the Colonial Athletic Association.  UNCW has the talent to get to the Sweet 16, and they scared the daylights out of Duke in the NCAA Tournament last year.

This Week’s Selections

Normally, this would be a list for Saturday/Sunday games, but due to the New Year’s Holiday, we are beginning with a list of Thursday games.  Once again, we will concentrate only on the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC conference games, as well as any games among highly ranked teams.

Each Rating is derived from the Four Factors with separate algorithmic equations.  An explanation of the Four Factors follows below.

Games Scheduled for: Thursday, December 29, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Texas A&M Tennessee 8 11 9
Auburn Georgia 1 2 -3
Ole Miss Kentucky -12 -7 -8
LSU Vanderbilt 2 5 -3
Arkansas Florida -1 -4 -7
St. John’s Butler -6 -8 -11
Gonzaga Pepperdine 25 24 28
Loyola Marymount Saint Mary’s -10 -11 -14

The Four Factors in basketball are:

  1. Effective Field Goal Percentage
  2. Turnover Rate
  3. Offensive Rebounding Rate
  4. Free Throw Rate

These factors apply to both offense and defense, so in effect each team has Eight Factors.

Effective Field Goal Percentage

[FG +(0.5*3pt)]/FGA (expressed as a percentage)

Where FG is field goals made, 3pt is 3-point shots made, and FGA is field goal attempts

If a team makes 25 of 55 field goals and sinks 6 three-pointers, their EFG% is:

[25+(0.5*6)]/55 = 50.9% or 50.9

Turnover Rate

TOV/[FGA+(0.475*FTA)+TOV] (expressed as a percentage)

Where TOV is turnovers, FGA is Field Goal Attempts, and FTA is Free Throw Attempts

If a team commits 12 turnovers, takes 55 field goal attempts and 23 free throw attempts, their turnover rate is:

12/[55+(.475*23)+12]=15.4%

Offensive Rebounding %

OR/(OR+Opponents DR) (expressed as a percentage)

Where OR is offensive rebounds and DR is defensive rebounds

If a team gets 8 offensive rebounds, and their opponents get 26 defensive rebounds, their Offensive Rebounding % is:

8/(8+26) = 23.5%

Free Throw Rate

Basketball analytics gurus differ on how to rate this stat.  We align with those that favor free throws made per 100 possessions.

FT/[FGA+(0.475*FTA)+TOV-OR] (expressed as a percentage)

Where FT is Free throws made, FGA is field goal attempts, TOV is turnovers, and OR is offensive rebounds

If a team made 17 out of 23 free throw attempts with 55 field goal attempts, 12 turnovers, and 8 offensive rebounds, their FT Rate is:

17/[55+(0.475*23)+12-8] = 24.3%

The Red, White, and Blue Ratings use these statistics (both offensively and defensively) for the first 8 parts of the equation.  Part Number 9 is Strength of Schedule, and each rating adjusts a little differently for this.  Part Number 10 is Home Court Advantage (as well as occasional away from home disadvantage for teams that play much worse away from home than at home).

These 10 parts are then put through three separate algorithms to come up with three different ratings.  The difference in the ratings is the spread for the game.

 

February 26, 2016

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For February 27-28, 2016

It is about that time.  In just four days, the first conference tournaments will commence, starting the Championship Fortnight and another three weeks of March Madness (bleeding into April) that basketball junkies wait for each year like it is a month of Black Fridays for shopaholics.

Yes, you can feel the symptoms coming on.  Thousands upon thousands of basketball fans will begin to falsely raise the reported cases of influenza on days in which their team is playing a weekday game during working hours.  Call it 8th-seeditis, a malady that can last one or two days when a fan’s favorite team must play that 2:00 PM game on Thursday and possibly Friday if they win the first game.

We here at the PiRate Ratings can no longer provide our doctor’s notes to your employer.  We can no longer buy that much ink, so you will have to go to your local walk-in clinic on the eve of your team of choice’s run.

 

Here is your appetizer course.   These 11 leagues kick things off next week with conference tournament action.

Starting Tuesday, March 1

Conference Site Dates Format
Atlantic Sun
Higher Seeds
March 1, 3, 6
Stetson Ineligible. 8 to 4 to 2 to 1
Seed Home Seed Visitor Time TV
1 North Florida 8 USC Upstate 7:30 PM ESPN3
2 N.J.I.T. 7 Stetson 7:30 PM ESPN3
3 Jacksonville 6 Lipscomb 7:00 PM ESPN3
4 Florida-G.C. 5 Kennesaw St. 7:05 PM ESPN3

 

Conference Site Dates Format
Patriot Higher Seeds March 1, 3, 6, 9 10 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

Final standings are not set as this league still has one set of games to play.  Bucknell and Lehigh have clinched two of the four quarterfinal home seeds, while Boston U, Army, Navy, and Colgate are contending for the other two spots.

Holy Cross has clinched the 9th seed, and Lafayette has clinched the 10th seed, and both teams will play Tuesday night on the road.

Loyola of Maryland will host a First Round game Tuesday night as either the 7th or 8th seed.

American and Navy can both be the 7th seed and face a First Round game at home.  American can move up to a 6th seed or fall as far as an 8th seed, while Navy can still earn anywhere from a 3rd to 7th seed.

First Round and Quarterfinal games will be available through the Patriot League TV Network at:  http://campusinsiders.com/network/patriot_league/live

 

Starting Wednesday, March 2

Conference Site Dates Format
America East Higher Seeds March 2, 7, 12 UMass-Lowell Ineligible. 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

Stony Brook has clinched the regular season title and at worst a bid to the NIT, but they are the heavy favorite in this league.  The Seawolves have home court advantage throughout the tournament.  Albany has clinched the second seed and will host a quarterfinal round game and a semifinal round game should they advance.

New Hampshire and Vermont are currently tied for third, but Vermont holds the tiebreaker for the 3rd seed should the two remain tied.

There are too many variables to include in this write-up for the final four spots.  Hartford, Maine, and Binghamton are currently tied for 5th with UMBC one game back in last place.

All Quarterfinal and Semifinal Round games will be available on ESPN3.

 

Conference Site Dates Format
Northeast Higher Seeds March 2, 5, 8 Top 8 Qualify. 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

Bryant and Central Connecticut have already been eliminated from the field as the 9th and 10th place teams in a league where only the top 8 make the tournament.

Wagner clinched the regular season title and will be the 1st seed.  There are 32 different scenarios involving the other six teams, much too many to list here.  Sacred Heart, St. Francis (Bklyn), Fairleigh-Dickinson, and Mount St. Mary’s all have a chance to earn the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seeds.  Sacred Heart and FDU cannot drop lower than a 4th seed.

Long Island, Mount St. Mary’s, St. Francis (Bklyn), and St. Francis (Pa)  can earn the 5th or 6th seed.

St. Francis (PA), Long Island and Robert Morris can drop to the 7th seed, while LIU and RMU can both be the 8th seed, but SFP can drop no lower than a 7th seed.

All Quarterfinal Round games will be available through NEC Frontrow:  http://www.necfrontrow.com/

 

Conference Site Dates Format
Ohio Valley Nashville March 2-5 Top 8 Qualify. 8 to 6 to 4 to 2 to 1 

Belmont once again has secured the regular season championship and will be the top seed.  The Bruins and the 2nd Seed will both earn a double bye to the Semifinal Round.

In the Opening Round on Wednesday, the 5th seed will play the 8th seed at 7:00 PM EST, and the 6th seed will play the 7th seed at 9:00 PM EST.  The winner of the first game will advance to face the 4th Seed on Thursday, and the winner of the second game will play the 3rd Seed on Thursday.  On Friday, Belmont will play the team that advances from the 4-5-8 side of the bracket, while the 2nd Seed will play the team that advances from the 3-6-7 side of the bracket.

Seven of the eight teams have clinched a spot in the tournament.  Besides Belmont, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, UT-Martin, Morehead State, Murray State, and Eastern Illinois will be headed to Nashville.

One spot remains open to be decided between Austin Peay and Eastern Kentucky, both currently tied at 6-9 in the OVC.  EKU holds the tiebreaker edge, but the Colonels play at 10-5 Tennessee Tech tomorrow, while Austin Peay hosts 2-13 SEMO.

All 1st Round and Quarterfinal Round games will be available through the OVC Digital Network:  http://www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com/watch/?Live=3312

Starting Thursday, March 3

Conference Site Dates Format
Big South Buies Creek, NC March 3-6 11 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

First Round games on Thursday will pit the 6th seed against the 11th seed; the 7th seed against the 10th seed; and the 8th seed against the 9th seed.

Opening Round games will be available at Big South Sports Network:  http://www.bigsouthsports.com/live

Quarterfinal Round games will be available at ESPN3.  #1 will play #8 or 9, #2 will play #7 or 10, #3 will play #6 or 11, and #4 will play #5.

Currently, Winthrop, High Point, and UNC-Asheville are tied for first with Coastal Carolina one game back and still alive for the top seed.

Campbell is the host team for this tournament.

 

Conference Site Dates Format
Metro Atlantic Albany March 3-7 11 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

The MAAC plays a 20-game conference schedule, and there are still two games left for most of the teams.  Monmouth once held a firm grasp on the top spot as well as a decent chance at earning an at-large NCAA Tournament bid should they come up short, but the Hawks are limping to the finish line and are in danger of missing out altogether.  A 16-point home loss to Iona makes the Gaels the hot team in the MAAC.  Iona has won seven of eight games to move within striking distance of the regular season title, even though Monmouth concludes with home games over bottom division Rider and Niagara.

Don’t discount Siena.  The Saints are the host team for the MAAC Tournament, and at 12-7 in league play, they are the lone team to defeat Iona during the Gaels’ run.

Fairfield is the other hot team in league play.  The Stags have won six games in a row, including an impressive decision over Siena.

First Round games on Thursday will only be available to subscribers to MAAC TV, which charges a fee for games:  https://www.nmnathletics.com/PremiumVideo.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17400

Quarterfinal Round games on Friday will air on ESPN3.

 

Conference Site Dates Format
Missouri Valley St. Louis March 3-6 10 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

It’s called, “Arch Madness,” and the MVC Tournament is always exciting, even when 1st seed Wichita State is dominating.  This year’s Arch Madness promises to continue in the excitement department, because even if the Shockers win their Quarterfinal and Semifinal Round games with ease, their Championship Game opponent promises to be up to the task to give WSU a good game on CBS on Sunday.

Evansville and Illinois State are currently tied for second and can only play Wichita in the Championship Round.  Both teams competed against the Shockers in the regular season with ISU winning in Normal.  The Redbirds close out the regular season facing Wichita State on Senior Day for their fabulous guards, so the Purple Aces have a better chance of earning the number two seed, but not an easy chance, as they close at home with Northern Iowa.

UNI and Southern Illinois are limited to the 4th and 5th seeds, and no matter which team finishes where, in order to get to the Finals, they will have to play Wichita State (unless the shockers lose to the 8 or 9 seed in the Quarterfinals).

The First Round and Quarterfinal Round games will air on the MVC TV Network: http://www.archmadness.com/

 

Starting Friday, March 4

Conference Site Dates Format
Colonial Athl. Baltimore March 4-7 10 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

UNC-Wilmington and Hofstra are tied for first with one game remaining in the regular season for both.  The rivals split their regular season series winning on the other team’s home floor.  With numerous possibilities in this weekend’s games, Hofstra has a slightly better chance than UNCW of earning the top seed if the two teams remained tied.

William & Mary and Towson are currently tied for 3rd with James Madison one game behind in 5th.  Towson wins all ties for the #3 seed, so W&M can only take the 3rd seed by winning at JMU while Towson loses at UNCW.

All First Round and Quarterfinal Round Games will air on CAA TV:  http://portal.stretchinternet.com/caa/

 

Conference Site Dates Format
Southern Asheville, NC March 4-7 10 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

Chattanooga once had this race in the bag, even with the loss of their best player since early in the season.  The Mocs have now dropped two of their previous four games to fall back within range of East Tennessee with two conference games left to be played.

Furman and Wofford are tied for third and will finish third and fourth in either order.  The Paladins have the better chance of getting the 3rd seed.

Western Carolina and UNC-Greensboro are tied for 5th, and both teams end the year playing their best ball.  UNCG won at Chattanooga by 15.

Mercer was once in contention for the regular season SoCon title, but the Bears have lost six straight games to fall to seventh place with a Sunday finale at Greensboro.

The tournament is in Asheville, which should be beneficial for WCU coming from nearby Cullowhee.

All 1st Round and Quarterfinal Round games will air on ESPN3.

 

Conference Site Dates Format
West Coast Las Vegas March 4-5, 7-8 Pacific is Ineligible  9 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1

If BYU beats Gonzaga, and San Francisco upsets Saint Mary’s, it will create a 3-way tie for first between BYU, SMC, and GU.  The tiebreaker would then give the regular season title and top seed to BYU, since they were 1-1 against fourth place Pepperdine, while SMC was swept by the Waves.

Gonzaga and BYU must win the tournament to receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  Saint Mary’s has a slim chance to earn an at-large bid should the Gaels win their regular season finale and make it to the Championship Game, but they better not count on it.

This is one of four tournaments taking place in Las Vegas.

The First Round game and two of the Quarterfinal Round games will air on BYU TV: http://www.byutv.org/

The other two Quarterfinal Round games (#2 vs. #7 & #1 vs. #8 or 9) will air on ESPN2.

 

Here are this week’s Red-White-Blue Picks of the Top Conferences

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, February 27, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Boston College Georgia Tech -9 -12 -7
Syracuse North Carolina St. 6 7 10
Miami (Fla.) Louisville 3 2 5
Florida St. Notre Dame -1 -1 -2
Virginia North Carolina 2 3 3
Kansas Texas Tech 12 9 11
Texas Oklahoma -2 -1 1
Oklahoma St. West Virginia -5 -6 -4
Iowa St. Kansas St. 10 8 12
TCU Baylor -6 -7 -7
Georgetown Butler 1 1 -2
Marquette Villanova -8 -7 -5
Providence DePaul 13 16 14
Northwestern Rutgers 16 18 17
Purdue Maryland 4 4 3
Utah Arizona 2 1 4
Stanford UCLA 1 2 3
Georgia Ole Miss 3 5 -1
Mississippi St. South Carolina 2 -1 3
Vanderbilt Kentucky 1 2 -2
Missouri Texas A&M -9 -10 -8
Alabama Auburn 10 11 9
Tennessee Arkansas 3 2 4
LSU Florida 2 1 4

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, February 28, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Pittsburgh Duke -2 -2 -4
Wake Forest Virginia Tech 1 1 -2
Seton Hall Xavier -1 1 -4
Creighton St. John’s 16 18 20
Michigan St. Penn St. 20 18 22
Ohio St. Iowa -4 -2 -5
Wisconsin Michigan 5 6 4
Illinois Minnesota 6 7 9
Colorado Arizona St. 6 7 10
Oregon St. Washington St. 12 14 11
California USC 6 6 5
Oregon Washington 10 8 7

February 19, 2016

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For February 20-21, 2016

They are in the stretch.  In less than two weeks, the first conference tournaments will begin, and three weeks from Sunday, we will know which 68 teams will play meaningful games into the third week of March.

Before we look at this weekend’s Red, White, and Blue ratings’ selections, let’s take a closer look at “The Bubble.”

As of today, we estimate that 24 teams are currently part of “The Bubble.”  Of those 24 teams, 14 of them are currently listed as “in the Dance,” and 10 are listed as NIT-Bound.

There is a catch here.  The good side of The Bubble tends to shrink as conference tournament play continues.  Whereas some teams play their way onto The Bubble and into the discussion, the number of available places for Bubble teams shrinks when a team not in the discussion gets hot and wins an automatic bid, reducing the number of spots for teams in the gray area.

As a for instance, let’s say that North Carolina State upsets three teams and wins the ACC Tournament this year.  The Wolf Pack would obviously receive an automatic bid, while the other big ACC teams already considered in the field but not as a Bubble team also receive bids.  This causes one Bubble team that is listed as in to be bumped to see their bubble burst.

Here is a look at our 24 Bubblers, showing which 14 would be drinking at the Dance bubbler today.

If you don’t know what a bubbler is, ask somebody from Wisconsin.

Team Conf. Overall RPI Vs. T50  Vs.T100 Rd RPI L12 Seed Weekend
Connnecticut 9-4 19-7 36 3-3 7-7 21 9-3 7 at Cincinnati
Providence 7-7 19-8 37 2-5 8-5 13 5-7 7 OFF
Syracuse 8-6 18-9 39 5-6 7-8 43 8-4 8 vs. Pitt.
Colorado 8-6 19-8 33 3-7 7-8 38 7-5 8 at UCLA
Pittsburgh 7-6 18-7 41 2-5 5-7 5 6-6 9 at Syracuse
Wisconsin 8-5 16-10 48 4-5 8-6 24 8-4 9 vs. Illinois
Seton Hall 8-5 18-7 44 1-4 7-7 41 7-5 10 at St. John’s
Michigan 9-5 19-8 54 1-3 8-8 42 7-5 10 at Maryland
Oregon St. 6-7 15-9 32 6-5 8-9 60 5-7 10 at Oregon
Texas Tech 6-7 16-9 28 5-7 7-8 61 5-7 11 at Okla. St.
Cincinnati 9-5 19-8 60 3-4 5-7 34 8-4 12 Vs. U Conn
Temple 10-3 16-9 66 4-5 6-7 96 9-3 12 at Houston
Butler 7-7 18-8 58 2-6 6-7 28 7-5 12 at Villanova
Alabama 7-6 16-9 30 4-5 7-8 35 7-5 12 vs. Miss. St.
Tulsa 9-5 17-9 45 2-4 6-8 55 9-3 1st out at Cent. Fla.
Clemson 9-5 16-10 89 5-5 7-7 99 8-4 2nd out vs. N. C. St.
Saint Mary’s 12-3 21-4 67 0-1 4-2 97 9-3 3rd out at Gonzaga
Florida St. 6-8 16-10 61 2-7 7-10 68 6-6 4th out at Va. Tech
LSU 9-4 16-10 81 3-5 6-7 50 7-5 5th out at Tennessee
Vanderbilt 7-6 15-11 62 3-7 4-9 75 7-5 6th out vs. Georgia
St. Bonaventure 9-4 17-7 49 2-2 4-5 71 8-4 7th out at Dayton
Geo. Washington 8-5 19-7 46 2-3 4-4 76 7-5 8th out at U Mass
Creighton 8-6 17-10 83 2-6 4-9 77 7-5 9th out OFF
Washington 7-7 15-11 73 5-5 10-12 53 5-7 10thout vs. Stanford

 

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Louisville Duke 3 4 6
North Carolina Miami (Fla.) 6 6 3
Syracuse Pittsburgh 6 5 7
Virginia Tech Florida St. -3 -3 -5
Clemson North Carolina St. 4 5 2
Georgia Tech Notre Dame -2 -1 -4
Texas Baylor 5 6 5
West Virginia Oklahoma 4 4 6
Kansas St. Kansas -5 -2 -7
Iowa St. TCU 17 18 15
Oklahoma St. Texas Tech -1 -2 -2
Georgetown Xavier -4 -3 -8
DePaul Marquette -2 -5 -3
Villanova Butler 11 10 12
Rutgers Penn St. -6 -7 -4
Nebraska Ohio St. 3 1 2
Indiana Purdue 5 3 6
Washington Stanford 7 7 8
Oregon Oregon St. 10 8 11
UCLA Colorado 5 3 2
South Carolina Florida 2 2 3
Vanderbilt Georgia 8 6 3
Alabama Mississippi St. 6 6 7
Auburn Ole Miss -4 -5 -3
Tennessee LSU 1 1 3
Texas A&M Kentucky 1 3 -3
Arkansas Missouri 10 10 8
Gonzaga Saint Mary’s 6 6 6

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, February 21, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Wake Forest Boston College 9 10 8
St. John’s Seton Hall -12 -14 -15
Maryland Michigan 3 8 9
Wisconsin Illinois 11 11 10
USC Utah 6 6 5
Washington St. California -9 -10 -6
Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.