The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 3, 2023

PiRate Ratings College–Friday, February 3, 2023

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:02 am

Friday’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorSpread
AkronKent St.-0.7
Ball St.Eastern Michigan12.1
DartmouthBrown-1.1
HarvardYale-3.6
IonaMount St. Mary’s15.0
ManhattanSiena-5.9
NevadaAir Force12.0
NiagaraCanisius4.6
PennColumbia15.6
PrincetonCornell1.7
QuinnipiacFairfield7.9
RiderSaint Peter’s7.4
Saint LouisVCU2.5
San Diego St.Boise St.3.1
UNLVFresno St.10.2

Friday’s PiRate Ratings

#TeamPiRateConference
1Tennessee120.2Southeastern
2Alabama119.9Southeastern
3Houston119.7American Athletic
4UCLA117.7Pac-12
5Connecticut117.6Big East
6Purdue117.5Big Ten
7Kansas116.4Big 12
8Texas116.3Big 12
9Arizona116.2Pac-12
10Gonzaga115.7West Coast
11Marquette115.7Big East
12Creighton115.4Big East
13TCU115.0Big 12
14Baylor114.9Big 12
15Saint Mary’s114.7West Coast
16Rutgers114.4Big Ten
17Arkansas114.1Southeastern
18Indiana113.9Big Ten
19Virginia113.9Atlantic Coast
20Xavier113.8Big East
21Illinois113.6Big Ten
22Iowa St.113.5Big 12
23West Virginia113.2Big 12
24Auburn113.2Southeastern
25Iowa113.1Big Ten
26Kansas St.112.9Big 12
27Duke112.7Atlantic Coast
28North Carolina112.6Atlantic Coast
29Maryland112.4Big Ten
30Kentucky112.4Southeastern
31Ohio St.112.3Big Ten
32Oklahoma St.112.3Big 12
33San Diego St.112.2Mountain West
34Providence112.1Big East
35Boise St.112.1Mountain West
36Florida112.0Southeastern
37Memphis111.6American Athletic
38Miami (Fla)111.5Atlantic Coast
39North Carolina St.111.0Atlantic Coast
40Texas A&M110.9Southeastern
41Michigan St.110.9Big Ten
42USC110.7Pac-12
43Utah St.110.5Mountain West
44Missouri110.5Southeastern
45Seton Hall110.5Big East
46Oklahoma110.3Big 12
47Penn St.110.1Big Ten
48Virginia Tech110.1Atlantic Coast
49Florida Atlantic109.9Conference USA
50Mississippi St.109.8Southeastern
51Texas Tech109.8Big 12
52Oregon109.8Pac-12
53New Mexico109.7Mountain West
54Utah109.7Pac-12
55Cincinnati109.3American Athletic
56Northwestern109.2Big Ten
57Michigan109.2Big Ten
58Nevada109.0Mountain West
59Liberty108.9Atlantic Sun
60Colorado108.7Pac-12
61Dayton108.7Atlantic 10
62Arizona St.108.6Pac-12
63UAB108.6Conference USA
64Washington St.108.5Pac-12
65Wisconsin108.4Big Ten
66Clemson108.4Atlantic Coast
67Oral Roberts108.3Summit
68Villanova108.1Big East
69Pittsburgh108.0Atlantic Coast
70Central Florida107.9American Athletic
71Wake Forest107.8Atlantic Coast
72BYU107.5West Coast
73Sam Houston St.107.5Western Athletic
74Marshall107.3Sun Belt
75St. John’s107.2Big East
76Kent St.107.1Mid-American
77UNLV106.9Mountain West
78VCU106.8Atlantic 10
79Tulane106.6American Athletic
80Drake106.4Missouri Valley
81North Texas106.4Conference USA
82Stanford106.4Pac-12
83Charleston106.4Colonial Athletic
84Saint Louis106.3Atlantic 10
85Syracuse106.3Atlantic Coast
86Bradley106.1Missouri Valley
87Yale106.0Ivy League
88James Madison105.9Sun Belt
89Furman105.9Southern
90Iona105.7Metro Atlantic
91UC Irvine105.3Big West
92Utah Valley105.3Western Athletic
93Mississippi105.1Southeastern
94Vanderbilt105.1Southeastern
95San Francisco105.0West Coast
96Santa Clara104.7West Coast
97Loyola Marymount104.7West Coast
98Southern Miss104.4Sun Belt
99Nebraska104.3Big Ten
100Temple104.3American Athletic
101Toledo104.3Mid-American
102Butler104.2Big East
103Georgia104.1Southeastern
104Washington104.1Pac-12
105Louisiana104.1Sun Belt
106UC Santa Barbara104.0Big West
107Hofstra104.0Colonial Athletic
108Southern Utah103.9Western Athletic
109Akron103.9Mid-American
110Cornell103.9Ivy League
111LSU103.5Southeastern
112Grand Canyon103.5Western Athletic
113Charlotte103.4Conference USA
114Wichita St.103.3American Athletic
115Indiana St.103.1Missouri Valley
116Colgate103.1Patriot League
117Colorado St.103.1Mountain West
118Princeton103.1Ivy League
119UNC Greensboro103.0Southern
120Southern Illinois102.9Missouri Valley
121Montana St.102.8Big Sky
122Middle Tennessee102.5Conference USA
123Stephen F. Austin102.5Western Athletic
124George Mason102.4Atlantic 10
125Belmont102.4Missouri Valley
126Duquesne102.4Atlantic 10
127Youngstown St.102.3Horizon
128Towson102.1Colonial Athletic
129Seattle102.0Western Athletic
130DePaul102.0Big East
131Louisiana Tech102.0Conference USA
132South Florida101.9American Athletic
133Richmond101.9Atlantic 10
134San Jose St.101.8Mountain West
135Davidson101.7Atlantic 10
136Quinnipiac101.7Metro Atlantic
137Eastern Washington101.6Big Sky
138Missouri St.101.6Missouri Valley
139Notre Dame101.6Atlantic Coast
140Vermont101.5America East
141Wyoming101.5Mountain West
142Hawaii101.5Big West
143Fordham101.4Atlantic 10
144Samford101.4Southern
145Kennesaw St.101.2Atlantic Sun
146UNC Wilmington101.1Colonial Athletic
147Penn101.1Ivy League
148Florida St.101.1Atlantic Coast
149Cal Baptist100.9Western Athletic
150Troy100.9Sun Belt
151Massachusetts100.7Atlantic 10
152UMass Lowell100.6America East
153Siena100.6Metro Atlantic
154Radford100.6Big South
155UC Davis100.6Big West
156Boston College100.5Atlantic Coast
157St. Bonaventure100.5Atlantic 10
158Chattanooga100.5Southern
159Cal St. Fullerton100.4Big West
160Ball St.100.4Mid-American
161Ohio100.4Mid-American
162South Alabama100.3Sun Belt
163Portland100.3West Coast
164Long Beach St.100.3Big West
165Longwood100.1Big South
166Northern Iowa100.1Missouri Valley
167Western Kentucky100.1Conference USA
168UC Riverside100.0Big West
169Gardner Webb100.0Big South
170Air Force100.0Mountain West
171UNC Asheville100.0Big South
172Appalachian St.100.0Sun Belt
173Murray St.100.0Missouri Valley
174Harvard99.9Ivy League
175Rice99.8Conference USA
176Fresno St.99.7Mountain West
177Saint Joseph’s99.6Atlantic 10
178South Dakota St.99.6Summit
179Old Dominion99.4Sun Belt
180Buffalo99.4Mid-American
181SMU99.4American Athletic
182Florida Gulf Coast99.4Atlantic Sun
183Tarleton St.99.3Western Athletic
184UTEP99.2Conference USA
185Georgia Tech99.2Atlantic Coast
186Minnesota99.1Big Ten
187Lipscomb99.1Atlantic Sun
188New Mexico St.99.0Western Athletic
189Stetson99.0Atlantic Sun
190Eastern Kentucky98.9Atlantic Sun
191Purdue Fort Wayne98.9Horizon
192Norfolk St.98.8Mideastern Athletic
193Rider98.7Metro Atlantic
194Bryant98.7America East
195Drexel98.6Colonial Athletic
196Oregon St.98.6Pac-12
197Montana98.6Big Sky
198Abilene Christian98.6Western Athletic
199George Washington98.6Atlantic 10
200Northern Kentucky98.6Horizon
201Georgetown98.5Big East
202Cleveland St.98.5Horizon
203Wright St.98.3Horizon
204Brown98.3Ivy League
205Navy98.1Patriot League
206Northwestern St.97.9Southland
207Utah Tech97.9Western Athletic
208Queens97.8Atlantic Sun
209Wofford97.8Southern
210UMBC97.8America East
211Milwaukee97.8Horizon
212Rhode Island97.8Atlantic 10
213Pepperdine97.7West Coast
214Weber St.97.6Big Sky
215Pacific97.6West Coast
216Jacksonville97.6Atlantic Sun
217North Carolina Central97.5Mideastern Athletic
218Texas A&M CC97.5Southland
219Delaware97.4Colonial Athletic
220East Carolina97.3American Athletic
221Southern97.3Southwestern Athletic
222San Diego97.3West Coast
223Texas St.97.3Sun Belt
224Sacramento St.97.2Big Sky
225Detroit Mercy97.2Horizon
226SIU Edwardsville97.1Ohio Valley
227Loyola (Chi.)97.0Atlantic 10
228Grambling96.9Southwestern Athletic
229Georgia Southern96.9Sun Belt
230East Tennessee St.96.8Southern
231St. Thomas96.8Summit
232Florida Int’l96.6Conference USA
233American96.5Patriot League
234Army96.5Patriot League
235Mercer96.4Southern
236La Salle96.3Atlantic 10
237Fairfield96.3Metro Atlantic
238California96.2Pac-12
239Portland St.96.1Big Sky
240Illinois St.96.0Missouri Valley
241South Carolina95.8Southeastern
242Nicholls St.95.8Southland
243Niagara95.7Metro Atlantic
244Georgia St.95.7Sun Belt
245Bellarmine95.7Atlantic Sun
246North Dakota St.95.6Summit
247Winthrop95.6Big South
248Coastal Carolina95.6Sun Belt
249Howard95.5Mideastern Athletic
250Campbell95.4Big South
251UMKC95.3Summit
252Tulsa95.3American Athletic
253Maryland Eastern Shore95.2Mideastern Athletic
254Southern Indiana95.2Ohio Valley
255Western Carolina95.2Southern
256Southeast Missouri St.95.1Ohio Valley
257Robert Morris95.1Horizon
258Louisiana Monroe95.1Sun Belt
259Bowling Green95.0Mid-American
260Lehigh94.9Patriot League
261Oakland94.9Horizon
262New Hampshire94.8America East
263Jacksonville St.94.8Atlantic Sun
264Dartmouth94.7Ivy League
265UT-Martin94.7Ohio Valley
266Lafayette94.6Patriot League
267Alcorn St.94.6Southwestern Athletic
268North Florida94.5Atlantic Sun
269Northeastern94.5Colonial Athletic
270Morehead St.94.5Ohio Valley
271Northern Colorado94.3Big Sky
272Louisville94.3Atlantic Coast
273Southeastern Louisiana94.3Southland
274Northern Illinois94.2Mid-American
275Northern Arizona94.2Big Sky
276Valparaiso94.1Missouri Valley
277Idaho St.94.1Big Sky
278Charleston Southern94.0Big South
279Western Illinois94.0Summit
280Boston University93.9Patriot League
281UT Arlington93.9Western Athletic
282Saint Peter’s93.8Metro Atlantic
283UT Rio Grande Valley93.6Western Athletic
284Morgan St.93.6Mideastern Athletic
285Canisius93.6Metro Atlantic
286Prairie View A&M93.6Southwestern Athletic
287Illinois Chicago93.4Missouri Valley
288North Alabama93.3Atlantic Sun
289North Carolina A&T93.3Colonial Athletic
290Chicago St.93.3Independents
291Maine93.3America East
292Mount St. Mary’s93.2Metro Atlantic
293UC San Diego93.2Big West
294Wagner93.2Northeast
295South Dakota93.1Summit
296Denver93.0Summit
297USC Upstate92.8Big South
298Bucknell92.8Patriot League
299Western Michigan92.7Mid-American
300Miami (O)92.6Mid-American
301Idaho92.4Big Sky
302Texas Southern92.4Southwestern Athletic
303Cal St. Bakersfield92.4Big West
304Cal Poly92.3Big West
305Texas A&M Commerce92.3Southland
306Tennessee Tech92.2Ohio Valley
307Manhattan92.2Metro Atlantic
308Austin Peay92.0Atlantic Sun
309William & Mary91.9Colonial Athletic
310The Citadel91.8Southern
311Tennessee St.91.8Ohio Valley
312Fairleigh Dickinson91.6Northeast
313Marist91.6Metro Atlantic
314High Point91.5Big South
315UTSA91.4Conference USA
316Omaha91.4Summit
317Central Michigan91.3Mid-American
318Binghamton91.3America East
319Arkansas St.91.2Sun Belt
320Jackson St.91.1Southwestern Athletic
321Stony Brook91.0Colonial Athletic
322Sacred Heart91.0Northeast
323NJIT91.0America East
324North Dakota90.8Summit
325Eastern Michigan90.8Mid-American
326Elon90.7Colonial Athletic
327Cal St. Northridge90.7Big West
328Stonehill90.4Northeast
329Central Connecticut90.4Northeast
330St. Francis PA90.3Northeast
331Arkansas Pine Bluff90.3Southwestern Athletic
332Holy Cross90.2Patriot League
333Presbyterian90.1Big South
334Little Rock90.1Ohio Valley
335Loyola (MD)90.1Patriot League
336Merrimack90.0Northeast
337VMI89.9Southern
338Central Arkansas89.7Atlantic Sun
339McNeese St.89.2Southland
340Albany89.1America East
341Alabama A&M88.8Southwestern Athletic
342Lindenwood88.5Ohio Valley
343Coppin St.88.5Mideastern Athletic
344Alabama St.88.4Southwestern Athletic
345Hampton88.3Colonial Athletic
346Incarnate Word88.2Southland
347Columbia88.0Ivy League
348Evansville87.9Missouri Valley
349Bethune Cookman87.7Southwestern Athletic
350Eastern Illinois87.7Ohio Valley
351St. Francis NY87.6Northeast
352Monmouth86.9Colonial Athletic
353New Orleans86.9Southland
354South Carolina St.86.7Mideastern Athletic
355Houston Christian86.3Southland
356Delaware St.86.0Mideastern Athletic
357Florida A&M85.5Southwestern Athletic
358Lamar84.8Southland
359Mississippi Valley St.84.2Southwestern Athletic
360Hartford83.3Independents
361IUPUI83.2Horizon
362Green Bay82.4Horizon
363Long Island80.8Northeast

Alphabetical

#TeamPiRateConference
198Abilene Christian98.6Western Athletic
170Air Force100.0Mountain West
109Akron103.9Mid-American
2Alabama119.9Southeastern
341Alabama A&M88.8Southwestern Athletic
344Alabama St.88.4Southwestern Athletic
340Albany89.1America East
267Alcorn St.94.6Southwestern Athletic
233American96.5Patriot League
172Appalachian St.100.0Sun Belt
9Arizona116.2Pac-12
62Arizona St.108.6Pac-12
17Arkansas114.1Southeastern
331Arkansas Pine Bluff90.3Southwestern Athletic
319Arkansas St.91.2Sun Belt
234Army96.5Patriot League
24Auburn113.2Southeastern
308Austin Peay92.0Atlantic Sun
160Ball St.100.4Mid-American
14Baylor114.9Big 12
245Bellarmine95.7Atlantic Sun
125Belmont102.4Missouri Valley
349Bethune Cookman87.7Southwestern Athletic
318Binghamton91.3America East
35Boise St.112.1Mountain West
156Boston College100.5Atlantic Coast
280Boston University93.9Patriot League
259Bowling Green95.0Mid-American
86Bradley106.1Missouri Valley
204Brown98.3Ivy League
194Bryant98.7America East
298Bucknell92.8Patriot League
180Buffalo99.4Mid-American
102Butler104.2Big East
72BYU107.5West Coast
149Cal Baptist100.9Western Athletic
304Cal Poly92.3Big West
303Cal St. Bakersfield92.4Big West
159Cal St. Fullerton100.4Big West
327Cal St. Northridge90.7Big West
238California96.2Pac-12
250Campbell95.4Big South
285Canisius93.6Metro Atlantic
338Central Arkansas89.7Atlantic Sun
329Central Connecticut90.4Northeast
70Central Florida107.9American Athletic
317Central Michigan91.3Mid-American
83Charleston106.4Colonial Athletic
278Charleston Southern94.0Big South
113Charlotte103.4Conference USA
158Chattanooga100.5Southern
290Chicago St.93.3Independents
55Cincinnati109.3American Athletic
66Clemson108.4Atlantic Coast
202Cleveland St.98.5Horizon
248Coastal Carolina95.6Sun Belt
116Colgate103.1Patriot League
60Colorado108.7Pac-12
117Colorado St.103.1Mountain West
347Columbia88.0Ivy League
5Connecticut117.6Big East
343Coppin St.88.5Mideastern Athletic
110Cornell103.9Ivy League
12Creighton115.4Big East
264Dartmouth94.7Ivy League
135Davidson101.7Atlantic 10
61Dayton108.7Atlantic 10
219Delaware97.4Colonial Athletic
356Delaware St.86.0Mideastern Athletic
296Denver93.0Summit
130DePaul102.0Big East
225Detroit Mercy97.2Horizon
80Drake106.4Missouri Valley
195Drexel98.6Colonial Athletic
27Duke112.7Atlantic Coast
126Duquesne102.4Atlantic 10
220East Carolina97.3American Athletic
230East Tennessee St.96.8Southern
350Eastern Illinois87.7Ohio Valley
190Eastern Kentucky98.9Atlantic Sun
325Eastern Michigan90.8Mid-American
137Eastern Washington101.6Big Sky
326Elon90.7Colonial Athletic
348Evansville87.9Missouri Valley
237Fairfield96.3Metro Atlantic
312Fairleigh Dickinson91.6Northeast
36Florida112.0Southeastern
357Florida A&M85.5Southwestern Athletic
49Florida Atlantic109.9Conference USA
182Florida Gulf Coast99.4Atlantic Sun
232Florida Int’l96.6Conference USA
148Florida St.101.1Atlantic Coast
143Fordham101.4Atlantic 10
176Fresno St.99.7Mountain West
89Furman105.9Southern
169Gardner Webb100.0Big South
124George Mason102.4Atlantic 10
199George Washington98.6Atlantic 10
201Georgetown98.5Big East
103Georgia104.1Southeastern
229Georgia Southern96.9Sun Belt
244Georgia St.95.7Sun Belt
185Georgia Tech99.2Atlantic Coast
10Gonzaga115.7West Coast
228Grambling96.9Southwestern Athletic
112Grand Canyon103.5Western Athletic
362Green Bay82.4Horizon
345Hampton88.3Colonial Athletic
360Hartford83.3Independents
174Harvard99.9Ivy League
142Hawaii101.5Big West
314High Point91.5Big South
107Hofstra104.0Colonial Athletic
332Holy Cross90.2Patriot League
3Houston119.7American Athletic
355Houston Christian86.3Southland
249Howard95.5Mideastern Athletic
301Idaho92.4Big Sky
277Idaho St.94.1Big Sky
21Illinois113.6Big Ten
287Illinois Chicago93.4Missouri Valley
240Illinois St.96.0Missouri Valley
346Incarnate Word88.2Southland
18Indiana113.9Big Ten
115Indiana St.103.1Missouri Valley
90Iona105.7Metro Atlantic
25Iowa113.1Big Ten
22Iowa St.113.5Big 12
361IUPUI83.2Horizon
320Jackson St.91.1Southwestern Athletic
216Jacksonville97.6Atlantic Sun
263Jacksonville St.94.8Atlantic Sun
88James Madison105.9Sun Belt
7Kansas116.4Big 12
26Kansas St.112.9Big 12
145Kennesaw St.101.2Atlantic Sun
76Kent St.107.1Mid-American
30Kentucky112.4Southeastern
236La Salle96.3Atlantic 10
266Lafayette94.6Patriot League
358Lamar84.8Southland
260Lehigh94.9Patriot League
59Liberty108.9Atlantic Sun
342Lindenwood88.5Ohio Valley
187Lipscomb99.1Atlantic Sun
334Little Rock90.1Ohio Valley
164Long Beach St.100.3Big West
363Long Island80.8Northeast
165Longwood100.1Big South
105Louisiana104.1Sun Belt
258Louisiana Monroe95.1Sun Belt
131Louisiana Tech102.0Conference USA
272Louisville94.3Atlantic Coast
227Loyola (Chi.)97.0Atlantic 10
335Loyola (MD)90.1Patriot League
97Loyola Marymount104.7West Coast
111LSU103.5Southeastern
291Maine93.3America East
307Manhattan92.2Metro Atlantic
313Marist91.6Metro Atlantic
11Marquette115.7Big East
74Marshall107.3Sun Belt
29Maryland112.4Big Ten
253Maryland Eastern Shore95.2Mideastern Athletic
151Massachusetts100.7Atlantic 10
339McNeese St.89.2Southland
37Memphis111.6American Athletic
235Mercer96.4Southern
336Merrimack90.0Northeast
38Miami (Fla)111.5Atlantic Coast
300Miami (O)92.6Mid-American
57Michigan109.2Big Ten
41Michigan St.110.9Big Ten
122Middle Tennessee102.5Conference USA
211Milwaukee97.8Horizon
186Minnesota99.1Big Ten
93Mississippi105.1Southeastern
50Mississippi St.109.8Southeastern
359Mississippi Valley St.84.2Southwestern Athletic
44Missouri110.5Southeastern
138Missouri St.101.6Missouri Valley
352Monmouth86.9Colonial Athletic
197Montana98.6Big Sky
121Montana St.102.8Big Sky
270Morehead St.94.5Ohio Valley
284Morgan St.93.6Mideastern Athletic
292Mount St. Mary’s93.2Metro Atlantic
173Murray St.100.0Missouri Valley
205Navy98.1Patriot League
99Nebraska104.3Big Ten
58Nevada109.0Mountain West
262New Hampshire94.8America East
53New Mexico109.7Mountain West
188New Mexico St.99.0Western Athletic
353New Orleans86.9Southland
243Niagara95.7Metro Atlantic
242Nicholls St.95.8Southland
323NJIT91.0America East
192Norfolk St.98.8Mideastern Athletic
288North Alabama93.3Atlantic Sun
28North Carolina112.6Atlantic Coast
289North Carolina A&T93.3Colonial Athletic
217North Carolina Central97.5Mideastern Athletic
39North Carolina St.111.0Atlantic Coast
324North Dakota90.8Summit
246North Dakota St.95.6Summit
268North Florida94.5Atlantic Sun
81North Texas106.4Conference USA
269Northeastern94.5Colonial Athletic
275Northern Arizona94.2Big Sky
271Northern Colorado94.3Big Sky
274Northern Illinois94.2Mid-American
166Northern Iowa100.1Missouri Valley
200Northern Kentucky98.6Horizon
56Northwestern109.2Big Ten
206Northwestern St.97.9Southland
139Notre Dame101.6Atlantic Coast
261Oakland94.9Horizon
161Ohio100.4Mid-American
31Ohio St.112.3Big Ten
46Oklahoma110.3Big 12
32Oklahoma St.112.3Big 12
179Old Dominion99.4Sun Belt
316Omaha91.4Summit
67Oral Roberts108.3Summit
52Oregon109.8Pac-12
196Oregon St.98.6Pac-12
215Pacific97.6West Coast
147Penn101.1Ivy League
47Penn St.110.1Big Ten
213Pepperdine97.7West Coast
69Pittsburgh108.0Atlantic Coast
163Portland100.3West Coast
239Portland St.96.1Big Sky
286Prairie View A&M93.6Southwestern Athletic
333Presbyterian90.1Big South
118Princeton103.1Ivy League
34Providence112.1Big East
6Purdue117.5Big Ten
191Purdue Fort Wayne98.9Horizon
208Queens97.8Atlantic Sun
136Quinnipiac101.7Metro Atlantic
154Radford100.6Big South
212Rhode Island97.8Atlantic 10
175Rice99.8Conference USA
133Richmond101.9Atlantic 10
193Rider98.7Metro Atlantic
257Robert Morris95.1Horizon
16Rutgers114.4Big Ten
224Sacramento St.97.2Big Sky
322Sacred Heart91.0Northeast
177Saint Joseph’s99.6Atlantic 10
84Saint Louis106.3Atlantic 10
15Saint Mary’s114.7West Coast
282Saint Peter’s93.8Metro Atlantic
73Sam Houston St.107.5Western Athletic
144Samford101.4Southern
222San Diego97.3West Coast
33San Diego St.112.2Mountain West
95San Francisco105.0West Coast
134San Jose St.101.8Mountain West
96Santa Clara104.7West Coast
129Seattle102.0Western Athletic
45Seton Hall110.5Big East
153Siena100.6Metro Atlantic
226SIU Edwardsville97.1Ohio Valley
181SMU99.4American Athletic
162South Alabama100.3Sun Belt
241South Carolina95.8Southeastern
354South Carolina St.86.7Mideastern Athletic
295South Dakota93.1Summit
178South Dakota St.99.6Summit
132South Florida101.9American Athletic
256Southeast Missouri St.95.1Ohio Valley
273Southeastern Louisiana94.3Southland
221Southern97.3Southwestern Athletic
120Southern Illinois102.9Missouri Valley
254Southern Indiana95.2Ohio Valley
98Southern Miss104.4Sun Belt
108Southern Utah103.9Western Athletic
157St. Bonaventure100.5Atlantic 10
351St. Francis NY87.6Northeast
330St. Francis PA90.3Northeast
75St. John’s107.2Big East
231St. Thomas96.8Summit
82Stanford106.4Pac-12
123Stephen F. Austin102.5Western Athletic
189Stetson99.0Atlantic Sun
328Stonehill90.4Northeast
321Stony Brook91.0Colonial Athletic
85Syracuse106.3Atlantic Coast
183Tarleton St.99.3Western Athletic
13TCU115.0Big 12
100Temple104.3American Athletic
1Tennessee120.2Southeastern
311Tennessee St.91.8Ohio Valley
306Tennessee Tech92.2Ohio Valley
8Texas116.3Big 12
40Texas A&M110.9Southeastern
218Texas A&M CC97.5Southland
305Texas A&M Commerce92.3Southland
302Texas Southern92.4Southwestern Athletic
223Texas St.97.3Sun Belt
51Texas Tech109.8Big 12
310The Citadel91.8Southern
101Toledo104.3Mid-American
128Towson102.1Colonial Athletic
150Troy100.9Sun Belt
79Tulane106.6American Athletic
252Tulsa95.3American Athletic
63UAB108.6Conference USA
155UC Davis100.6Big West
91UC Irvine105.3Big West
168UC Riverside100.0Big West
293UC San Diego93.2Big West
106UC Santa Barbara104.0Big West
4UCLA117.7Pac-12
152UMass Lowell100.6America East
210UMBC97.8America East
251UMKC95.3Summit
171UNC Asheville100.0Big South
119UNC Greensboro103.0Southern
146UNC Wilmington101.1Colonial Athletic
77UNLV106.9Mountain West
42USC110.7Pac-12
297USC Upstate92.8Big South
281UT Arlington93.9Western Athletic
283UT Rio Grande Valley93.6Western Athletic
265UT-Martin94.7Ohio Valley
54Utah109.7Pac-12
43Utah St.110.5Mountain West
207Utah Tech97.9Western Athletic
92Utah Valley105.3Western Athletic
184UTEP99.2Conference USA
315UTSA91.4Conference USA
276Valparaiso94.1Missouri Valley
94Vanderbilt105.1Southeastern
78VCU106.8Atlantic 10
140Vermont101.5America East
68Villanova108.1Big East
19Virginia113.9Atlantic Coast
48Virginia Tech110.1Atlantic Coast
337VMI89.9Southern
294Wagner93.2Northeast
71Wake Forest107.8Atlantic Coast
104Washington104.1Pac-12
64Washington St.108.5Pac-12
214Weber St.97.6Big Sky
23West Virginia113.2Big 12
255Western Carolina95.2Southern
279Western Illinois94.0Summit
167Western Kentucky100.1Conference USA
299Western Michigan92.7Mid-American
114Wichita St.103.3American Athletic
309William & Mary91.9Colonial Athletic
247Winthrop95.6Big South
65Wisconsin108.4Big Ten
209Wofford97.8Southern
203Wright St.98.3Horizon
141Wyoming101.5Mountain West
20Xavier113.8Big East
87Yale106.0Ivy League
127Youngstown St.102.3Horizon

PiRate Ratings By Conference

America East
TeamRating
Vermont101.5
UMass Lowell100.6
Bryant98.7
UMBC97.8
New Hampshire94.8
Maine93.3
Binghamton91.3
NJIT91.0
Albany89.1
American Athletic
TeamRating
Houston119.7
Memphis111.6
Cincinnati109.3
Central Florida107.9
Tulane106.6
Temple104.3
Wichita St.103.3
South Florida101.9
SMU99.4
East Carolina97.3
Tulsa95.3
Atlantic 10
TeamRating
Dayton108.7
VCU106.8
Saint Louis106.3
George Mason102.4
Duquesne102.4
Richmond101.9
Davidson101.7
Fordham101.4
Massachusetts100.7
St. Bonaventure100.5
Saint Joseph’s99.6
George Washington98.6
Rhode Island97.8
Loyola (Chi.)97.0
La Salle96.3
Atlantic Coast
TeamRating
Virginia113.9
Duke112.7
North Carolina112.6
Miami (Fla)111.5
North Carolina St.111.0
Virginia Tech110.1
Clemson108.4
Pittsburgh108.0
Wake Forest107.8
Syracuse106.3
Notre Dame101.6
Florida St.101.1
Boston College100.5
Georgia Tech99.2
Louisville94.3
Atlantic Sun
TeamRating
Liberty108.9
Kennesaw St.101.2
Florida Gulf Coast99.4
Lipscomb99.1
Stetson99.0
Eastern Kentucky98.9
Queens97.8
Jacksonville97.6
Bellarmine95.7
Jacksonville St.94.8
North Florida94.5
North Alabama93.3
Austin Peay92.0
Central Arkansas89.7
Big 12
TeamRating
Kansas116.4
Texas116.3
TCU115.0
Baylor114.9
Iowa St.113.5
West Virginia113.2
Kansas St.112.9
Oklahoma St.112.3
Oklahoma110.3
Texas Tech109.8
Big East
TeamRating
Connecticut117.6
Marquette115.7
Creighton115.4
Xavier113.8
Providence112.1
Seton Hall110.5
Villanova108.1
St. John’s107.2
Butler104.2
DePaul102.0
Georgetown98.5
Big Sky
TeamRating
Montana St.102.8
Eastern Washington101.6
Montana98.6
Weber St.97.6
Sacramento St.97.2
Portland St.96.1
Northern Colorado94.3
Northern Arizona94.2
Idaho St.94.1
Idaho92.4
Big South
TeamRating
Radford100.6
Longwood100.1
Gardner Webb100.0
UNC Asheville100.0
Winthrop95.6
Campbell95.4
Charleston Southern94.0
USC Upstate92.8
High Point91.5
Presbyterian90.1
Big Ten
TeamRating
Purdue117.5
Rutgers114.4
Indiana113.9
Illinois113.6
Iowa113.1
Maryland112.4
Ohio St.112.3
Michigan St.110.9
Penn St.110.1
Northwestern109.2
Michigan109.2
Wisconsin108.4
Nebraska104.3
Minnesota99.1
Big West
TeamRating
UC Irvine105.3
UC Santa Barbara104.0
Hawaii101.5
UC Davis100.6
Cal St. Fullerton100.4
Long Beach St.100.3
UC Riverside100.0
UC San Diego93.2
Cal St. Bakersfield92.4
Cal Poly92.3
Cal St. Northridge90.7
Colonial Athletic
TeamRating
Charleston106.4
Hofstra104.0
Towson102.1
UNC Wilmington101.1
Drexel98.6
Delaware97.4
Northeastern94.5
North Carolina A&T93.3
William & Mary91.9
Stony Brook91.0
Elon90.7
Hampton88.3
Monmouth86.9
Conference USA
TeamRating
Florida Atlantic109.9
UAB108.6
North Texas106.4
Charlotte103.4
Middle Tennessee102.5
Louisiana Tech102.0
Western Kentucky100.1
Rice99.8
UTEP99.2
Florida Int’l96.6
UTSA91.4
Horizon
TeamRating
Youngstown St.102.3
Purdue Fort Wayne98.9
Northern Kentucky98.6
Cleveland St.98.5
Wright St.98.3
Milwaukee97.8
Detroit Mercy97.2
Robert Morris95.1
Oakland94.9
IUPUI83.2
Green Bay82.4
Independents
TeamRating
Chicago St.93.3
Hartford83.3
Ivy League
TeamRating
Yale106.0
Cornell103.9
Princeton103.1
Penn101.1
Harvard99.9
Brown98.3
Dartmouth94.7
Columbia88.0
Metro Atlantic
TeamRating
Iona105.7
Quinnipiac101.7
Siena100.6
Rider98.7
Fairfield96.3
Niagara95.7
Saint Peter’s93.8
Canisius93.6
Mount St. Mary’s93.2
Manhattan92.2
Marist91.6
Mid-American
TeamRating
Kent St.107.1
Toledo104.3
Akron103.9
Ball St.100.4
Ohio100.4
Buffalo99.4
Bowling Green95.0
Northern Illinois94.2
Western Michigan92.7
Miami (O)92.6
Central Michigan91.3
Eastern Michigan90.8
Mideastern Athletic
TeamRating
Norfolk St.98.8
North Carolina Central97.5
Howard95.5
Maryland Eastern Shore95.2
Morgan St.93.6
Coppin St.88.5
South Carolina St.86.7
Delaware St.86.0
Missouri Valley
TeamRating
Drake106.4
Bradley106.1
Indiana St.103.1
Southern Illinois102.9
Belmont102.4
Missouri St.101.6
Northern Iowa100.1
Murray St.100.0
Illinois St.96.0
Valparaiso94.1
Illinois Chicago93.4
Evansville87.9
Mountain West
TeamRating
San Diego St.112.2
Boise St.112.1
Utah St.110.5
New Mexico109.7
Nevada109.0
UNLV106.9
Colorado St.103.1
San Jose St.101.8
Wyoming101.5
Air Force100.0
Fresno St.99.7
Northeast
TeamRating
Wagner93.2
Fairleigh Dickinson91.6
Sacred Heart91.0
Stonehill90.4
Central Connecticut90.4
St. Francis PA90.3
Merrimack90.0
St. Francis NY87.6
Long Island80.8
Ohio Valley
TeamRating
SIU Edwardsville97.1
Southern Indiana95.2
Southeast Missouri St.95.1
UT-Martin94.7
Morehead St.94.5
Tennessee Tech92.2
Tennessee St.91.8
Little Rock90.1
Lindenwood88.5
Eastern Illinois87.7
Pac-12
TeamRating
UCLA117.7
Arizona116.2
USC110.7
Oregon109.8
Utah109.7
Colorado108.7
Arizona St.108.6
Washington St.108.5
Stanford106.4
Washington104.1
Oregon St.98.6
California96.2
Patriot League
TeamRating
Colgate103.1
Navy98.1
American96.5
Army96.5
Lehigh94.9
Lafayette94.6
Boston University93.9
Bucknell92.8
Holy Cross90.2
Loyola (MD)90.1
Southeastern
TeamRating
Tennessee120.2
Alabama119.9
Arkansas114.1
Auburn113.2
Kentucky112.4
Florida112.0
Texas A&M110.9
Missouri110.5
Mississippi St.109.8
Mississippi105.1
Vanderbilt105.1
Georgia104.1
LSU103.5
South Carolina95.8
Southern
TeamRating
Furman105.9
UNC Greensboro103.0
Samford101.4
Chattanooga100.5
Wofford97.8
East Tennessee St.96.8
Mercer96.4
Western Carolina95.2
The Citadel91.8
VMI89.9
Southland
TeamRating
Northwestern St.97.9
Texas A&M CC97.5
Nicholls St.95.8
Southeastern Louisiana94.3
Texas A&M Commerce92.3
McNeese St.89.2
Incarnate Word88.2
New Orleans86.9
Houston Christian86.3
Lamar84.8
Southwestern Athletic
TeamRating
Southern97.3
Grambling96.9
Alcorn St.94.6
Prairie View A&M93.6
Texas Southern92.4
Jackson St.91.1
Arkansas Pine Bluff90.3
Alabama A&M88.8
Alabama St.88.4
Bethune Cookman87.7
Florida A&M85.5
Mississippi Valley St.84.2
Summit
TeamRating
Oral Roberts108.3
South Dakota St.99.6
St. Thomas96.8
North Dakota St.95.6
UMKC95.3
Western Illinois94.0
South Dakota93.1
Denver93.0
Omaha91.4
North Dakota90.8
Sun Belt
TeamRating
Marshall107.3
James Madison105.9
Southern Miss104.4
Louisiana104.1
Troy100.9
South Alabama100.3
Appalachian St.100.0
Old Dominion99.4
Texas St.97.3
Georgia Southern96.9
Georgia St.95.7
Coastal Carolina95.6
Louisiana Monroe95.1
Arkansas St.91.2
West Coast
TeamRating
Gonzaga115.7
Saint Mary’s114.7
BYU107.5
San Francisco105.0
Santa Clara104.7
Loyola Marymount104.7
Portland100.3
Pepperdine97.7
Pacific97.6
San Diego97.3
Western Athletic
TeamRating
Sam Houston St.107.5
Utah Valley105.3
Southern Utah103.9
Grand Canyon103.5
Stephen F. Austin102.5
Seattle102.0
Cal Baptist100.9
Tarleton St.99.3
New Mexico St.99.0
Abilene Christian98.6
Utah Tech97.9
UT Arlington93.9
UT Rio Grande Valley93.6

Coming Later Today: Updated Bracketology

January 16, 2023

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Monday, January 16,2023

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:27 am

Monday’s Spreads

HomeVisitorSpread
Alabama A&MAlabama St.3.5
Bethune-CookmanArkansas Pine Bluff0.9
Cal St. FullertonCal Bakersfield8.4
CharlestonWilliam & Mary14.5
CharlotteUTEP8.8
ColumbiaCornell-13.3
Eastern WashingtonMontana3.4
Florida A&MMississippi Valley St.2.7
Florida Int’l.North Texas-9.6
George MasonGeorge Washington7.8
HamptonNorth Carolina A&T-4.6
HarvardDartmouth9.0
HawaiiCal St. Northridge14.7
IdahoMontana St.-9.0
La SalleSaint Joseph’s1.4
Long IslandSt. Francis (NY)-3.3
Loyola (MD)Lehigh-0.8
MerrimackWagner-0.5
Miami (Fla)Syracuse7.7
Michigan St.Purdue-3.1
Middle Tennessee St.UAB-4.7
MinnesotaIllinois-10.2
NortheasternDelaware-0.2
PennPrinceton-0.7
Prairie ViewAlcorn St.2.0
Purdue Ft. WayneCleveland St.5.2
Sacred HeartSt. Francis (PA)2.8
Stonehill CollegeFairleigh Dickinson0.7
Texas SouthernJackson St.3.4
TowsonHofstra0.1
UC IrvineUC Santa Barbara4.3
UC RiversideCal Poly9.9
UC San DiegoUC Davis-4.6
UMBCHartford17.0
UNC WilmingtonElon16.4
UTSARice-5.7
VillanovaGeorgetown13.8
Western KentuckyFlorida Atlantic-5.3
YaleBrown10.0

Monday’s PiRate Ratings

#TeamPiRateConference
1Houston120.7American Athletic
2Tennessee120.4Southeastern
3Alabama120.0Southeastern
4UCLA118.8Pac-12
5Connecticut117.6Big East
6Kansas117.3Big 12
7Purdue116.8Big Ten
8Gonzaga116.7West Coast
9Texas115.9Big 12
10Arizona114.6Pac-12
11Xavier114.6Big East
12Baylor114.4Big 12
13Saint Mary’s114.3West Coast
14Marquette114.2Big East
15Iowa St.114.2Big 12
16Rutgers114.2Big Ten
17Creighton113.8Big East
18Arkansas113.8Southeastern
19Virginia113.6Atlantic Coast
20North Carolina113.6Atlantic Coast
21Auburn113.5Southeastern
22Ohio St.113.5Big Ten
23Illinois113.4Big Ten
24TCU113.3Big 12
25Indiana113.0Big Ten
26Iowa113.0Big Ten
27Duke112.3Atlantic Coast
28Kansas St.112.2Big 12
29West Virginia112.1Big 12
30Kentucky112.0Southeastern
31San Diego St.111.9Mountain West
32Boise St.111.5Mountain West
33Providence111.5Big East
34Florida111.4Southeastern
35Memphis111.4American Athletic
36North Carolina St.111.2Atlantic Coast
37Oklahoma111.2Big 12
38Miami (Fla)110.9Atlantic Coast
39Oklahoma St.110.9Big 12
40Texas Tech110.9Big 12
41Maryland110.9Big Ten
42Michigan St.110.7Big Ten
43Utah St.110.5Mountain West
44Penn St.110.4Big Ten
45Texas A&M110.4Southeastern
46Colorado110.2Pac-12
47Virginia Tech110.2Atlantic Coast
48Arizona St.110.2Pac-12
49Michigan109.9Big Ten
50Missouri109.8Southeastern
51Dayton109.8Atlantic 10
52Seton Hall109.8Big East
53Northwestern109.7Big Ten
54Clemson109.7Atlantic Coast
55St. John’s109.6Big East
56Florida Atlantic109.6Conference USA
57USC109.6Pac-12
58Central Florida109.5American Athletic
59New Mexico109.4Mountain West
60Mississippi St.109.3Southeastern
61Oregon109.2Pac-12
62UAB109.1Conference USA
63Nevada109.0Mountain West
64Utah109.0Pac-12
65Wisconsin108.6Big Ten
66Cincinnati108.5American Athletic
67Washington St.108.5Pac-12
68Pittsburgh108.2Atlantic Coast
69Villanova108.2Big East
70Kent St.107.9Mid-American
71North Texas107.5Conference USA
72Wake Forest107.5Atlantic Coast
73Marshall107.3Sun Belt
74Sam Houston St.107.3Western Athletic
75BYU107.2West Coast
76Liberty107.2Atlantic Sun
77Iona106.9Metro Atlantic
78Tulane106.9American Athletic
79Butler106.8Big East
80James Madison106.7Sun Belt
81Saint Louis106.6Atlantic 10
82UNLV106.5Mountain West
83Bradley106.3Missouri Valley
84Charleston106.2Colonial Athletic
85Mississippi106.2Southeastern
86Oral Roberts106.2Summit
87Syracuse106.2Atlantic Coast
88Vanderbilt106.2Southeastern
89Georgia106.0Southeastern
90Santa Clara105.9West Coast
91Drake105.8Missouri Valley
92VCU105.5Atlantic 10
93LSU105.4Southeastern
94Yale105.3Ivy League
95UC Irvine105.2Big West
96Grand Canyon105.0Western Athletic
97Nebraska105.0Big Ten
98Stanford105.0Pac-12
99Utah Valley104.6Western Athletic
100Toledo104.6Mid-American
101Washington104.4Pac-12
102Richmond104.4Atlantic 10
103Charlotte104.2Conference USA
104Loyola Marymount104.2West Coast
105Furman104.1Southern
106Colorado St.104.0Mountain West
107Indiana St.103.9Missouri Valley
108Southern Illinois103.8Missouri Valley
109Princeton103.7Ivy League
110San Francisco103.7West Coast
111George Mason103.7Atlantic 10
112Duquesne103.6Atlantic 10
113Cornell103.6Ivy League
114Youngstown St.103.4Horizon
115Hofstra103.4Colonial Athletic
116Akron103.4Mid-American
117Colgate103.4Patriot League
118UC Santa Barbara103.4Big West
119UNC Greensboro103.0Southern
120Southern Utah103.0Western Athletic
121Wichita St.103.0American Athletic
122Notre Dame103.0Atlantic Coast
123Montana St.102.9Big Sky
124Southern Miss102.9Sun Belt
125Louisiana102.9Sun Belt
126Chattanooga102.8Southern
127Temple102.8American Athletic
128Georgia Tech102.6Atlantic Coast
129Hawaii102.5Big West
130DePaul102.5Big East
131Belmont102.5Missouri Valley
132UNC Wilmington102.3Colonial Athletic
133Seattle102.2Western Athletic
134Louisiana Tech102.2Conference USA
135Missouri St.102.1Missouri Valley
136Troy102.0Sun Belt
137Middle Tennessee101.9Conference USA
138Longwood101.9Big South
139Quinnipiac101.8Metro Atlantic
140Western Kentucky101.8Conference USA
141Davidson101.7Atlantic 10
142Ball St.101.6Mid-American
143Stephen F. Austin101.6Western Athletic
144South Florida101.6American Athletic
145Massachusetts101.5Atlantic 10
146Samford101.4Southern
147Wyoming101.3Mountain West
148Florida St.101.1Atlantic Coast
149Towson101.0Colonial Athletic
150San Jose St.101.0Mountain West
151Ohio100.9Mid-American
152Florida Gulf Coast100.8Atlantic Sun
153UMass Lowell100.8America East
154Air Force100.8Mountain West
155St. Bonaventure100.7Atlantic 10
156UC Riverside100.7Big West
157Purdue Fort Wayne100.7Horizon
158Eastern Washington100.6Big Sky
159Penn100.5Ivy League
160Cal Baptist100.5Western Athletic
161Drexel100.4Colonial Athletic
162Northern Iowa100.3Missouri Valley
163New Mexico St.100.2Western Athletic
164Minnesota100.2Big Ten
165Fresno St.100.1Mountain West
166Vermont100.1America East
167Murray St.100.1Missouri Valley
168Tarleton St.100.1Western Athletic
169Harvard100.0Ivy League
170Pepperdine100.0West Coast
171SMU100.0American Athletic
172Old Dominion99.9Sun Belt
173Radford99.8Big South
174Portland99.8West Coast
175UC Davis99.8Big West
176Siena99.8Metro Atlantic
177Montana99.7Big Sky
178Kennesaw St.99.6Atlantic Sun
179Bryant99.6America East
180SIU Edwardsville99.6Ohio Valley
181Jacksonville99.4Atlantic Sun
182Appalachian St.99.3Sun Belt
183Gardner Webb99.3Big South
184Long Beach St.99.3Big West
185South Alabama99.2Sun Belt
186South Dakota St.99.1Summit
187Stetson99.1Atlantic Sun
188Rice99.1Conference USA
189Boston College99.1Atlantic Coast
190Wofford99.0Southern
191UNC Asheville99.0Big South
192Lipscomb99.0Atlantic Sun
193Cal St. Fullerton98.9Big West
194Eastern Kentucky98.8Atlantic Sun
195Fordham98.8Atlantic 10
196California98.8Pac-12
197Wright St.98.5Horizon
198George Washington98.4Atlantic 10
199UTEP98.4Conference USA
200Queens98.3Atlantic Sun
201San Diego98.3West Coast
202Rider98.2Metro Atlantic
203Rhode Island98.1Atlantic 10
204East Carolina98.1American Athletic
205Abilene Christian98.0Western Athletic
206Texas St.98.0Sun Belt
207Cleveland St.98.0Horizon
208Norfolk St.97.9Mideastern Athletic
209Texas A&M CC97.8Southland
210Buffalo97.8Mid-American
211North Carolina Central97.8Mideastern Athletic
212Saint Joseph’s97.8Atlantic 10
213Brown97.8Ivy League
214Georgia Southern97.7Sun Belt
215Oregon St.97.6Pac-12
216Northern Kentucky97.6Horizon
217Detroit Mercy97.5Horizon
218Delaware97.5Colonial Athletic
219American97.4Patriot League
220UMBC97.4America East
221Georgetown97.4Big East
222St. Thomas97.3Summit
223Southern97.3Southwestern Athletic
224Sacramento St.97.2Big Sky
225Milwaukee97.1Horizon
226Army97.1Patriot League
227Georgia St.97.1Sun Belt
228Grambling96.8Southwestern Athletic
229Portland St.96.8Big Sky
230Loyola (Chi.)96.8Atlantic 10
231Weber St.96.8Big Sky
232Pacific96.6West Coast
233Utah Tech96.6Western Athletic
234Mercer96.6Southern
235South Carolina96.5Southeastern
236North Dakota St.96.4Summit
237Illinois St.96.3Missouri Valley
238La Salle96.2Atlantic 10
239UMKC96.1Summit
240Navy96.1Patriot League
241Morgan St.96.0Mideastern Athletic
242Nicholls St.96.0Southland
243Southeast Missouri St.95.9Ohio Valley
244Coastal Carolina95.9Sun Belt
245Boston University95.8Patriot League
246Bellarmine95.8Atlantic Sun
247Western Carolina95.8Southern
248Northwestern St.95.6Southland
249Tulsa95.6American Athletic
250Campbell95.6Big South
251Niagara95.5Metro Atlantic
252Florida Int’l95.4Conference USA
253Fairfield95.3Metro Atlantic
254East Tennessee St.95.2Southern
255Bowling Green95.0Mid-American
256Lafayette94.8Patriot League
257Northeastern94.8Colonial Athletic
258Southern Indiana94.7Ohio Valley
259Winthrop94.7Big South
260Northern Colorado94.7Big Sky
261Austin Peay94.6Atlantic Sun
262Louisville94.5Atlantic Coast
263Robert Morris94.5Horizon
264UT Arlington94.5Western Athletic
265Western Illinois94.3Summit
266Oakland94.3Horizon
267Mount St. Mary’s94.2Metro Atlantic
268Charleston Southern94.2Big South
269William & Mary94.2Colonial Athletic
270North Florida94.2Atlantic Sun
271Alcorn St.94.2Southwestern Athletic
272North Carolina A&T94.1Colonial Athletic
273Southeastern Louisiana94.1Southland
274Idaho St.94.0Big Sky
275Bucknell94.0Patriot League
276Canisius94.0Metro Atlantic
277UT-Martin93.7Ohio Valley
278Prairie View A&M93.7Southwestern Athletic
279New Hampshire93.6America East
280Lehigh93.6Patriot League
281Northern Arizona93.6Big Sky
282High Point93.5Big South
283USC Upstate93.5Big South
284Dartmouth93.5Ivy League
285Central Michigan93.3Mid-American
286Cal Poly93.3Big West
287Howard93.3Mideastern Athletic
288Western Michigan93.2Mid-American
289Illinois Chicago93.2Missouri Valley
290South Dakota93.1Summit
291Miami (O)93.1Mid-American
292Louisiana Monroe93.0Sun Belt
293Jacksonville St.93.0Atlantic Sun
294Cal St. Bakersfield93.0Big West
295Wagner92.9Northeast
296Maryland Eastern Shore92.9Mideastern Athletic
297UT Rio Grande Valley92.9Western Athletic
298Saint Peter’s92.9Metro Atlantic
299UC San Diego92.7Big West
300Tennessee Tech92.7Ohio Valley
301Marist92.6Metro Atlantic
302Texas Southern92.6Southwestern Athletic
303Morehead St.92.5Ohio Valley
304Valparaiso92.5Missouri Valley
305Stony Brook92.3Colonial Athletic
306Texas A&M Commerce92.3Southland
307Tennessee St.92.2Ohio Valley
308Maine92.2America East
309Chicago St.92.1Independents
310Denver92.1Summit
311Fairleigh Dickinson92.0Northeast
312Omaha91.8Summit
313Northern Illinois91.8Mid-American
314Jackson St.91.7Southwestern Athletic
315The Citadel91.7Southern
316Arkansas St.91.6Sun Belt
317Idaho91.4Big Sky
318Binghamton91.4America East
319North Alabama91.4Atlantic Sun
320NJIT91.1America East
321Sacred Heart91.0Northeast
322Manhattan91.0Metro Atlantic
323Coppin St.90.9Mideastern Athletic
324UTSA90.9Conference USA
325Cal St. Northridge90.8Big West
326St. Francis PA90.7Northeast
327Presbyterian90.5Big South
328North Dakota90.5Summit
329Central Connecticut90.4Northeast
330Albany90.4America East
331VMI90.3Southern
332Loyola (MD)90.3Patriot League
333Stonehill90.2Northeast
334Merrimack89.9Northeast
335Eastern Michigan89.8Mid-American
336McNeese St.89.5Southland
337Alabama A&M89.5Southwestern Athletic
338Lindenwood89.3Ohio Valley
339Central Arkansas89.2Atlantic Sun
340Little Rock88.8Ohio Valley
341New Orleans88.7Southland
342Arkansas Pine Bluff88.7Southwestern Athletic
343Evansville88.6Missouri Valley
344Alabama St.88.5Southwestern Athletic
345Holy Cross88.5Patriot League
346Elon88.4Colonial Athletic
347South Carolina St.88.1Mideastern Athletic
348Eastern Illinois88.0Ohio Valley
349Columbia87.8Ivy League
350St. Francis NY87.4Northeast
351Bethune Cookman87.1Southwestern Athletic
352Hampton87.0Colonial Athletic
353Houston Christian86.5Southland
354Incarnate Word86.3Southland
355Monmouth85.1Colonial Athletic
356Florida A&M84.3Southwestern Athletic
357Delaware St.84.1Mideastern Athletic
358Mississippi Valley St.84.1Southwestern Athletic
359Lamar83.6Southland
360Green Bay83.6Horizon
361Hartford82.9Independents
362Long Island81.6Northeast
363IUPUI81.2Horizon

Alphabetical

#TeamPiRateConference
205Abilene Christian98.0Western Athletic
154Air Force100.8Mountain West
116Akron103.4Mid-American
3Alabama120.0Southeastern
337Alabama A&M89.5Southwestern Athletic
344Alabama St.88.5Southwestern Athletic
330Albany90.4America East
271Alcorn St.94.2Southwestern Athletic
219American97.4Patriot League
182Appalachian St.99.3Sun Belt
10Arizona114.6Pac-12
48Arizona St.110.2Pac-12
18Arkansas113.8Southeastern
342Arkansas Pine Bluff88.7Southwestern Athletic
316Arkansas St.91.6Sun Belt
226Army97.1Patriot League
21Auburn113.5Southeastern
261Austin Peay94.6Atlantic Sun
142Ball St.101.6Mid-American
12Baylor114.4Big 12
246Bellarmine95.8Atlantic Sun
131Belmont102.5Missouri Valley
351Bethune Cookman87.1Southwestern Athletic
318Binghamton91.4America East
32Boise St.111.5Mountain West
189Boston College99.1Atlantic Coast
245Boston University95.8Patriot League
255Bowling Green95.0Mid-American
83Bradley106.3Missouri Valley
213Brown97.8Ivy League
179Bryant99.6America East
275Bucknell94.0Patriot League
210Buffalo97.8Mid-American
79Butler106.8Big East
75BYU107.2West Coast
160Cal Baptist100.5Western Athletic
286Cal Poly93.3Big West
294Cal St. Bakersfield93.0Big West
193Cal St. Fullerton98.9Big West
325Cal St. Northridge90.8Big West
196California98.8Pac-12
250Campbell95.6Big South
276Canisius94.0Metro Atlantic
339Central Arkansas89.2Atlantic Sun
329Central Connecticut90.4Northeast
58Central Florida109.5American Athletic
285Central Michigan93.3Mid-American
84Charleston106.2Colonial Athletic
268Charleston Southern94.2Big South
103Charlotte104.2Conference USA
126Chattanooga102.8Southern
309Chicago St.92.1Independents
66Cincinnati108.5American Athletic
54Clemson109.7Atlantic Coast
207Cleveland St.98.0Horizon
244Coastal Carolina95.9Sun Belt
117Colgate103.4Patriot League
46Colorado110.2Pac-12
106Colorado St.104.0Mountain West
349Columbia87.8Ivy League
5Connecticut117.6Big East
323Coppin St.90.9Mideastern Athletic
113Cornell103.6Ivy League
17Creighton113.8Big East
284Dartmouth93.5Ivy League
141Davidson101.7Atlantic 10
51Dayton109.8Atlantic 10
218Delaware97.5Colonial Athletic
357Delaware St.84.1Mideastern Athletic
310Denver92.1Summit
130DePaul102.5Big East
217Detroit Mercy97.5Horizon
91Drake105.8Missouri Valley
161Drexel100.4Colonial Athletic
27Duke112.3Atlantic Coast
112Duquesne103.6Atlantic 10
204East Carolina98.1American Athletic
254East Tennessee St.95.2Southern
348Eastern Illinois88.0Ohio Valley
194Eastern Kentucky98.8Atlantic Sun
335Eastern Michigan89.8Mid-American
158Eastern Washington100.6Big Sky
346Elon88.4Colonial Athletic
343Evansville88.6Missouri Valley
253Fairfield95.3Metro Atlantic
311Fairleigh Dickinson92.0Northeast
34Florida111.4Southeastern
356Florida A&M84.3Southwestern Athletic
56Florida Atlantic109.6Conference USA
152Florida Gulf Coast100.8Atlantic Sun
252Florida Int’l95.4Conference USA
148Florida St.101.1Atlantic Coast
195Fordham98.8Atlantic 10
165Fresno St.100.1Mountain West
105Furman104.1Southern
183Gardner Webb99.3Big South
111George Mason103.7Atlantic 10
198George Washington98.4Atlantic 10
221Georgetown97.4Big East
89Georgia106.0Southeastern
214Georgia Southern97.7Sun Belt
227Georgia St.97.1Sun Belt
128Georgia Tech102.6Atlantic Coast
8Gonzaga116.7West Coast
228Grambling96.8Southwestern Athletic
96Grand Canyon105.0Western Athletic
360Green Bay83.6Horizon
352Hampton87.0Colonial Athletic
361Hartford82.9Independents
169Harvard100.0Ivy League
129Hawaii102.5Big West
282High Point93.5Big South
115Hofstra103.4Colonial Athletic
345Holy Cross88.5Patriot League
1Houston120.7American Athletic
353Houston Christian86.5Southland
287Howard93.3Mideastern Athletic
317Idaho91.4Big Sky
274Idaho St.94.0Big Sky
23Illinois113.4Big Ten
289Illinois Chicago93.2Missouri Valley
237Illinois St.96.3Missouri Valley
354Incarnate Word86.3Southland
25Indiana113.0Big Ten
107Indiana St.103.9Missouri Valley
77Iona106.9Metro Atlantic
26Iowa113.0Big Ten
15Iowa St.114.2Big 12
363IUPUI81.2Horizon
314Jackson St.91.7Southwestern Athletic
181Jacksonville99.4Atlantic Sun
293Jacksonville St.93.0Atlantic Sun
80James Madison106.7Sun Belt
6Kansas117.3Big 12
28Kansas St.112.2Big 12
178Kennesaw St.99.6Atlantic Sun
70Kent St.107.9Mid-American
30Kentucky112.0Southeastern
238La Salle96.2Atlantic 10
256Lafayette94.8Patriot League
359Lamar83.6Southland
280Lehigh93.6Patriot League
76Liberty107.2Atlantic Sun
338Lindenwood89.3Ohio Valley
192Lipscomb99.0Atlantic Sun
340Little Rock88.8Ohio Valley
184Long Beach St.99.3Big West
362Long Island81.6Northeast
138Longwood101.9Big South
125Louisiana102.9Sun Belt
292Louisiana Monroe93.0Sun Belt
134Louisiana Tech102.2Conference USA
262Louisville94.5Atlantic Coast
230Loyola (Chi.)96.8Atlantic 10
332Loyola (MD)90.3Patriot League
104Loyola Marymount104.2West Coast
93LSU105.4Southeastern
308Maine92.2America East
322Manhattan91.0Metro Atlantic
301Marist92.6Metro Atlantic
14Marquette114.2Big East
73Marshall107.3Sun Belt
41Maryland110.9Big Ten
296Maryland Eastern Shore92.9Mideastern Athletic
145Massachusetts101.5Atlantic 10
336McNeese St.89.5Southland
35Memphis111.4American Athletic
234Mercer96.6Southern
334Merrimack89.9Northeast
38Miami (Fla)110.9Atlantic Coast
291Miami (O)93.1Mid-American
49Michigan109.9Big Ten
42Michigan St.110.7Big Ten
137Middle Tennessee101.9Conference USA
225Milwaukee97.1Horizon
164Minnesota100.2Big Ten
85Mississippi106.2Southeastern
60Mississippi St.109.3Southeastern
358Mississippi Valley St.84.1Southwestern Athletic
50Missouri109.8Southeastern
135Missouri St.102.1Missouri Valley
355Monmouth85.1Colonial Athletic
177Montana99.7Big Sky
123Montana St.102.9Big Sky
303Morehead St.92.5Ohio Valley
241Morgan St.96.0Mideastern Athletic
267Mount St. Mary’s94.2Metro Atlantic
167Murray St.100.1Missouri Valley
240Navy96.1Patriot League
97Nebraska105.0Big Ten
63Nevada109.0Mountain West
279New Hampshire93.6America East
59New Mexico109.4Mountain West
163New Mexico St.100.2Western Athletic
341New Orleans88.7Southland
251Niagara95.5Metro Atlantic
242Nicholls St.96.0Southland
320NJIT91.1America East
208Norfolk St.97.9Mideastern Athletic
319North Alabama91.4Atlantic Sun
20North Carolina113.6Atlantic Coast
272North Carolina A&T94.1Colonial Athletic
211North Carolina Central97.8Mideastern Athletic
36North Carolina St.111.2Atlantic Coast
328North Dakota90.5Summit
236North Dakota St.96.4Summit
270North Florida94.2Atlantic Sun
71North Texas107.5Conference USA
257Northeastern94.8Colonial Athletic
281Northern Arizona93.6Big Sky
260Northern Colorado94.7Big Sky
313Northern Illinois91.8Mid-American
162Northern Iowa100.3Missouri Valley
216Northern Kentucky97.6Horizon
53Northwestern109.7Big Ten
248Northwestern St.95.6Southland
122Notre Dame103.0Atlantic Coast
266Oakland94.3Horizon
151Ohio100.9Mid-American
22Ohio St.113.5Big Ten
37Oklahoma111.2Big 12
39Oklahoma St.110.9Big 12
172Old Dominion99.9Sun Belt
312Omaha91.8Summit
86Oral Roberts106.2Summit
61Oregon109.2Pac-12
215Oregon St.97.6Pac-12
232Pacific96.6West Coast
159Penn100.5Ivy League
44Penn St.110.4Big Ten
170Pepperdine100.0West Coast
68Pittsburgh108.2Atlantic Coast
174Portland99.8West Coast
229Portland St.96.8Big Sky
278Prairie View A&M93.7Southwestern Athletic
327Presbyterian90.5Big South
109Princeton103.7Ivy League
33Providence111.5Big East
7Purdue116.8Big Ten
157Purdue Fort Wayne100.7Horizon
200Queens98.3Atlantic Sun
139Quinnipiac101.8Metro Atlantic
173Radford99.8Big South
203Rhode Island98.1Atlantic 10
188Rice99.1Conference USA
102Richmond104.4Atlantic 10
202Rider98.2Metro Atlantic
263Robert Morris94.5Horizon
16Rutgers114.2Big Ten
224Sacramento St.97.2Big Sky
321Sacred Heart91.0Northeast
212Saint Joseph’s97.8Atlantic 10
81Saint Louis106.6Atlantic 10
13Saint Mary’s114.3West Coast
298Saint Peter’s92.9Metro Atlantic
74Sam Houston St.107.3Western Athletic
146Samford101.4Southern
201San Diego98.3West Coast
31San Diego St.111.9Mountain West
110San Francisco103.7West Coast
150San Jose St.101.0Mountain West
90Santa Clara105.9West Coast
133Seattle102.2Western Athletic
52Seton Hall109.8Big East
176Siena99.8Metro Atlantic
180SIU Edwardsville99.6Ohio Valley
171SMU100.0American Athletic
185South Alabama99.2Sun Belt
235South Carolina96.5Southeastern
347South Carolina St.88.1Mideastern Athletic
290South Dakota93.1Summit
186South Dakota St.99.1Summit
144South Florida101.6American Athletic
243Southeast Missouri St.95.9Ohio Valley
273Southeastern Louisiana94.1Southland
223Southern97.3Southwestern Athletic
108Southern Illinois103.8Missouri Valley
258Southern Indiana94.7Ohio Valley
124Southern Miss102.9Sun Belt
120Southern Utah103.0Western Athletic
155St. Bonaventure100.7Atlantic 10
350St. Francis NY87.4Northeast
326St. Francis PA90.7Northeast
55St. John’s109.6Big East
222St. Thomas97.3Summit
98Stanford105.0Pac-12
143Stephen F. Austin101.6Western Athletic
187Stetson99.1Atlantic Sun
333Stonehill90.2Northeast
305Stony Brook92.3Colonial Athletic
87Syracuse106.2Atlantic Coast
168Tarleton St.100.1Western Athletic
24TCU113.3Big 12
127Temple102.8American Athletic
2Tennessee120.4Southeastern
307Tennessee St.92.2Ohio Valley
300Tennessee Tech92.7Ohio Valley
9Texas115.9Big 12
45Texas A&M110.4Southeastern
209Texas A&M CC97.8Southland
306Texas A&M Commerce92.3Southland
302Texas Southern92.6Southwestern Athletic
206Texas St.98.0Sun Belt
40Texas Tech110.9Big 12
315The Citadel91.7Southern
100Toledo104.6Mid-American
149Towson101.0Colonial Athletic
136Troy102.0Sun Belt
78Tulane106.9American Athletic
249Tulsa95.6American Athletic
62UAB109.1Conference USA
175UC Davis99.8Big West
95UC Irvine105.2Big West
156UC Riverside100.7Big West
299UC San Diego92.7Big West
118UC Santa Barbara103.4Big West
4UCLA118.8Pac-12
153UMass Lowell100.8America East
220UMBC97.4America East
239UMKC96.1Summit
191UNC Asheville99.0Big South
119UNC Greensboro103.0Southern
132UNC Wilmington102.3Colonial Athletic
82UNLV106.5Mountain West
57USC109.6Pac-12
283USC Upstate93.5Big South
264UT Arlington94.5Western Athletic
297UT Rio Grande Valley92.9Western Athletic
277UT-Martin93.7Ohio Valley
64Utah109.0Pac-12
43Utah St.110.5Mountain West
233Utah Tech96.6Western Athletic
99Utah Valley104.6Western Athletic
199UTEP98.4Conference USA
324UTSA90.9Conference USA
304Valparaiso92.5Missouri Valley
88Vanderbilt106.2Southeastern
92VCU105.5Atlantic 10
166Vermont100.1America East
69Villanova108.2Big East
19Virginia113.6Atlantic Coast
47Virginia Tech110.2Atlantic Coast
331VMI90.3Southern
295Wagner92.9Northeast
72Wake Forest107.5Atlantic Coast
101Washington104.4Pac-12
67Washington St.108.5Pac-12
231Weber St.96.8Big Sky
29West Virginia112.1Big 12
247Western Carolina95.8Southern
265Western Illinois94.3Summit
140Western Kentucky101.8Conference USA
288Western Michigan93.2Mid-American
121Wichita St.103.0American Athletic
269William & Mary94.2Colonial Athletic
259Winthrop94.7Big South
65Wisconsin108.6Big Ten
190Wofford99.0Southern
197Wright St.98.5Horizon
147Wyoming101.3Mountain West
11Xavier114.6Big East
94Yale105.3Ivy League
114Youngstown St.103.4Horizon

PiRate Ratings By Conference

America East
TeamRating
UMass Lowell100.8
Vermont100.1
Bryant99.6
UMBC97.4
New Hampshire93.6
Maine92.2
Binghamton91.4
NJIT91.1
Albany90.4
American Athletic
TeamRating
Houston120.7
Memphis111.4
Central Florida109.5
Cincinnati108.5
Tulane106.9
Wichita St.103.0
Temple102.8
South Florida101.6
SMU100.0
East Carolina98.1
Tulsa95.6
Atlantic 10
TeamRating
Dayton109.8
Saint Louis106.6
VCU105.5
Richmond104.4
George Mason103.7
Duquesne103.6
Davidson101.7
Massachusetts101.5
St. Bonaventure100.7
Fordham98.8
George Washington98.4
Rhode Island98.1
Saint Joseph’s97.8
Loyola (Chi.)96.8
La Salle96.2
Atlantic Coast
TeamRating
Virginia113.6
North Carolina113.6
Duke112.3
North Carolina St.111.2
Miami (Fla)110.9
Virginia Tech110.2
Clemson109.7
Pittsburgh108.2
Wake Forest107.5
Syracuse106.2
Notre Dame103.0
Georgia Tech102.6
Florida St.101.1
Boston College99.1
Louisville94.5
Atlantic Sun
TeamRating
Liberty107.2
Florida Gulf Coast100.8
Kennesaw St.99.6
Jacksonville99.4
Stetson99.1
Lipscomb99.0
Eastern Kentucky98.8
Queens98.3
Bellarmine95.8
Austin Peay94.6
North Florida94.2
Jacksonville St.93.0
North Alabama91.4
Central Arkansas89.2
Big 12
TeamRating
Kansas117.3
Texas115.9
Baylor114.4
Iowa St.114.2
TCU113.3
Kansas St.112.2
West Virginia112.1
Oklahoma111.2
Oklahoma St.110.9
Texas Tech110.9
Big East
TeamRating
Connecticut117.6
Xavier114.6
Marquette114.2
Creighton113.8
Providence111.5
Seton Hall109.8
St. John’s109.6
Villanova108.2
Butler106.8
DePaul102.5
Georgetown97.4
Big Sky
TeamRating
Montana St.102.9
Eastern Washington100.6
Montana99.7
Sacramento St.97.2
Portland St.96.8
Weber St.96.8
Northern Colorado94.7
Idaho St.94.0
Northern Arizona93.6
Idaho91.4
Big South
TeamRating
Longwood101.9
Radford99.8
Gardner Webb99.3
UNC Asheville99.0
Campbell95.6
Winthrop94.7
Charleston Southern94.2
High Point93.5
USC Upstate93.5
Presbyterian90.5
Big Ten
TeamRating
Purdue116.8
Rutgers114.2
Ohio St.113.5
Illinois113.4
Indiana113.0
Iowa113.0
Maryland110.9
Michigan St.110.7
Penn St.110.4
Michigan109.9
Northwestern109.7
Wisconsin108.6
Nebraska105.0
Minnesota100.2
Big West
TeamRating
UC Irvine105.2
UC Santa Barbara103.4
Hawaii102.5
UC Riverside100.7
UC Davis99.8
Long Beach St.99.3
Cal St. Fullerton98.9
Cal Poly93.3
Cal St. Bakersfield93.0
UC San Diego92.7
Cal St. Northridge90.8
Colonial Athletic
TeamRating
Charleston106.2
Hofstra103.4
UNC Wilmington102.3
Towson101.0
Drexel100.4
Delaware97.5
Northeastern94.8
William & Mary94.2
North Carolina A&T94.1
Stony Brook92.3
Elon88.4
Hampton87.0
Monmouth85.1
Conference USA
TeamRating
Florida Atlantic109.6
UAB109.1
North Texas107.5
Charlotte104.2
Louisiana Tech102.2
Middle Tennessee101.9
Western Kentucky101.8
Rice99.1
UTEP98.4
Florida Int’l95.4
UTSA90.9
Horizon
TeamRating
Youngstown St.103.4
Purdue Fort Wayne100.7
Wright St.98.5
Cleveland St.98.0
Northern Kentucky97.6
Detroit Mercy97.5
Milwaukee97.1
Robert Morris94.5
Oakland94.3
Green Bay83.6
IUPUI81.2
Independents
TeamRating
Chicago St.92.1
Hartford82.9
Ivy League
TeamRating
Yale105.3
Princeton103.7
Cornell103.6
Penn100.5
Harvard100.0
Brown97.8
Dartmouth93.5
Columbia87.8
Metro Atlantic
TeamRating
Iona106.9
Quinnipiac101.8
Siena99.8
Rider98.2
Niagara95.5
Fairfield95.3
Mount St. Mary’s94.2
Canisius94.0
Saint Peter’s92.9
Marist92.6
Manhattan91.0
Mid-American
TeamRating
Kent St.107.9
Toledo104.6
Akron103.4
Ball St.101.6
Ohio100.9
Buffalo97.8
Bowling Green95.0
Central Michigan93.3
Western Michigan93.2
Miami (O)93.1
Northern Illinois91.8
Eastern Michigan89.8
Mideastern Athletic
TeamRating
Norfolk St.97.9
North Carolina Central97.8
Morgan St.96.0
Howard93.3
Maryland Eastern Shore92.9
Coppin St.90.9
South Carolina St.88.1
Delaware St.84.1
Missouri Valley
TeamRating
Bradley106.3
Drake105.8
Indiana St.103.9
Southern Illinois103.8
Belmont102.5
Missouri St.102.1
Northern Iowa100.3
Murray St.100.1
Illinois St.96.3
Illinois Chicago93.2
Valparaiso92.5
Evansville88.6
Mountain West
TeamRating
San Diego St.111.9
Boise St.111.5
Utah St.110.5
New Mexico109.4
Nevada109.0
UNLV106.5
Colorado St.104.0
Wyoming101.3
San Jose St.101.0
Air Force100.8
Fresno St.100.1
Northeast
TeamRating
Wagner92.9
Fairleigh Dickinson92.0
Sacred Heart91.0
St. Francis PA90.7
Central Connecticut90.4
Stonehill90.2
Merrimack89.9
St. Francis NY87.4
Long Island81.6
Ohio Valley
TeamRating
SIU Edwardsville99.6
Southeast Missouri St.95.9
Southern Indiana94.7
UT-Martin93.7
Tennessee Tech92.7
Morehead St.92.5
Tennessee St.92.2
Lindenwood89.3
Little Rock88.8
Eastern Illinois88.0
Pac-12
TeamRating
UCLA118.8
Arizona114.6
Colorado110.2
Arizona St.110.2
USC109.6
Oregon109.2
Utah109.0
Washington St.108.5
Stanford105.0
Washington104.4
California98.8
Oregon St.97.6
Patriot League
TeamRating
Colgate103.4
American97.4
Army97.1
Navy96.1
Boston University95.8
Lafayette94.8
Bucknell94.0
Lehigh93.6
Loyola (MD)90.3
Holy Cross88.5
Southeastern
TeamRating
Tennessee120.4
Alabama120.0
Arkansas113.8
Auburn113.5
Kentucky112.0
Florida111.4
Texas A&M110.4
Missouri109.8
Mississippi St.109.3
Mississippi106.2
Vanderbilt106.2
Georgia106.0
LSU105.4
South Carolina96.5
Southern
TeamRating
Furman104.1
UNC Greensboro103.0
Chattanooga102.8
Samford101.4
Wofford99.0
Mercer96.6
Western Carolina95.8
East Tennessee St.95.2
The Citadel91.7
VMI90.3
Southland
TeamRating
Texas A&M CC97.8
Nicholls St.96.0
Northwestern St.95.6
Southeastern Louisiana94.1
Texas A&M Commerce92.3
McNeese St.89.5
New Orleans88.7
Houston Christian86.5
Incarnate Word86.3
Lamar83.6
Southwestern Athletic
TeamRating
Southern97.3
Grambling96.8
Alcorn St.94.2
Prairie View A&M93.7
Texas Southern92.6
Jackson St.91.7
Alabama A&M89.5
Arkansas Pine Bluff88.7
Alabama St.88.5
Bethune Cookman87.1
Florida A&M84.3
Mississippi Valley St.84.1
Summit
TeamRating
Oral Roberts106.2
South Dakota St.99.1
St. Thomas97.3
North Dakota St.96.4
UMKC96.1
Western Illinois94.3
South Dakota93.1
Denver92.1
Omaha91.8
North Dakota90.5
Sun Belt
TeamRating
Marshall107.3
James Madison106.7
Southern Miss102.9
Louisiana102.9
Troy102.0
Old Dominion99.9
Appalachian St.99.3
South Alabama99.2
Texas St.98.0
Georgia Southern97.7
Georgia St.97.1
Coastal Carolina95.9
Louisiana Monroe93.0
Arkansas St.91.6
West Coast
TeamRating
Gonzaga116.7
Saint Mary’s114.3
BYU107.2
Santa Clara105.9
Loyola Marymount104.2
San Francisco103.7
Pepperdine100.0
Portland99.8
San Diego98.3
Pacific96.6
Western Athletic
TeamRating
Sam Houston St.107.3
Grand Canyon105.0
Utah Valley104.6
Southern Utah103.0
Seattle102.2
Stephen F. Austin101.6
Cal Baptist100.5
New Mexico St.100.2
Tarleton St.100.1
Abilene Christian98.0
Utah Tech96.6
UT Arlington94.5
UT Rio Grande Valley92.9

Coming Later Today: Updated Bracketology

March 24, 2010

Sweet 16 Preview

 

From Sweet to Elite

Advanced Level Bracketnomics

 

Hello PiRate Basketball fans.  Our system worked well, but the idiots (us) in charge of the data didn’t have the guts to play all the upsets.  We still have nine teams alive, and our top-rated teams according to our system are still there, except for Kansas. 

We told you in the first round that Georgetown and Vanderbilt were the most ripe for upset bids based on their R+T scores just barely above zero.  We were there on other double-digit ups as well.

Before we preview the Sweet 16 games, let’s refresh you on the PiRate formula components.

Scoring Margin—We look for teams with a minimum scoring margin of 8 points per game, give precedence to teams with double-digit scoring margins, and develop huge crushes on teams with scoring margins of 15 or more points per game.  We award one point for as little as a 5-point scoring margin, 3 points for 8 or more, and 5 points for 10 or more. 

Teams with a negative margin who have made it to the Sweet 16 are eliminated and are automatically picked to lose the next game (unless of course there is a rare instance of their opponent also qualifying for elimination.)

Field Goal % Margin—We look for teams that have a +7.5 or better difference in field goal percentage versus opponents’ field goal percentage.  We give special consideration to teams with double-digit field goal percentage margins, and if we see a team hitting better than 48.0% and yielding less than 38.0%, we circle that team in red because they are going to be tough to beat if they are a member of one of the Big Six conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, or SEC).  We award one point for FG% margins of 5.0 or more, 3 points for margins of 7.5% or more, and 5 points for double-digit margins. 

Like above, teams arriving at the Sweet 16 with a negative field goal margin are eliminated.

Rebound Margin—This is actually part of a multiple statistical entry, as we combine it with turnover margin as well.  However, we do separate rebounding because offensive put backs are vitally important in the Big Dance.  We are looking for teams with a +5.0 or better rebounding margin.  We award one point for a rebounding margin of 3.0 or better and 3 points for a margin of 5.0 or better. 

Teams with a negative rebounding margin receive -2 points, but they are not eliminated yet.

Turnover Margin & Steals Per Game—Teams with negative rebounding margins can make up for it with exceptional turnover margins, especially if they get a lot of steals that lead to great fast break opportunities.  We don’t award points solely on turnover margin and steals; we incorporate those stats into a multi-statistical formula we call “R+T.” 

R+T is a formula that applies weighted advantages to steals and turnover margin, while adding rebounding margin into the equation.  Rebounding margin is already factored into the formula by itself, but it receives fewer awarded points.  This stat balances out the rebounding with the scoring and field goal margin, and it allows us to look at the number of extra scoring opportunities a team normally receives. 

The Formula for R+T is:  R+ (.2S*1.2T), where R is rebounding margin, S is steals per game, and T is turnover margin.  Whenever this stat is negative, this team is immediately eliminated.  If this stat is less than one, don’t figure on this team staying around in the Dance.  All four teams that fell below one in R+T lost in the first round, including heavy favored Georgetown and Vanderbilt.  We award the result of the R+T in points.

Power Conference & Strength of Schedule—We give extra weight to teams that are members of the Big Six conferences.  We give a little weight to the teams from the top of the mid-majors (such as Missouri Valley, West Coast, Colonial, and Mountain West).  We deduct for teams from the lower conferences (such as America East, MAAC, Big West, and Patriot). 

We look at the strength of schedule as produced by cbssports.com, and multiply that number by 100.  50.00 is a mid-point, so if that number is 52.37, we consider that schedule to be 2.37 points stronger than average.  If the number is 46.28, then that schedule is 3.72 points weaker than average.  This is incorporated into our criteria.

Record Away From Home—Every team is playing on a neutral floor, so we throw out the home won-loss records.  A team that is 26-9 overall, but 17-0 at home is actually a .500 team away from home.  Likewise, in some rare instances a team might be 22-10 with a home record of 14-6 and a record away from home of 8-4.  Winning two –thirds of one’s games away from home would make this team more likely to beat the 26-9 team on a neutral floor, all else being equal.

Before the first round, our formula picked Duke as the overall favorite based on their 34.4 PiRate score.  The Blue Devils no longer own the top score after the first two rounds.  Their criteria score fell a little, while another team elevated just enough to post a higher score.  The new leader in the clubhouse is none other than Kansas State.  This surprised us all here, but the Wildcats were impressive in wins over North Texas and BYU.  Their defense was stifling, and their offense, while not spectacular, clicked in spurts.  KSU controlled the boards in both games as well.

The Wildcats have had few great moments since in the last 20+ years.  This team is starting to bring back memories of the glory days in the Little Apple when Tex Winter introduced his triple-post (triangle) offense and Jack Gardner had the Cats running and gunning.

Of the 16 teams remaining, five come from conferences outside of the Big Six conferences, but each of the quintet’s PiRate criteria scores reveals that they belong in the Sweet 16.  None of the five (none of the entire 16) have scores in single digits.

Now, it’s time to look at the eight, Sweet 16 games, using these criteria.  The number you see in (Parentheses) after the team is their PiRate Criteria Score.  All of these scores have been update to reflect their two wins in the Big Dance.                                                                            

 

East Regional

 

#1 Kentucky (29.22) vs. #12 Cornell (14.56)

The Wildcats are the one team that also qualifies in the 48-38% field goal margin.  John Calipari no longer officially owns any Final Four appearances to his name, after the NCAA upheld the vacating of all Memphis wins during Derrick Rose’s playing career (his U Mass team had to vacate that appearance as well).  So, we can say he is still looking for his first official visit to the Final Four.  We don’t know with 100% certainty if the Wildcats will make it there, but we are safe in saying they will be one of the Elite 8.  Cornell cannot stop DeMarcus Cousins inside unless they totally sell out on the perimeter.  John Wall and Eric Bledsoe will make the Big Red pay for that tactic, and then Patrick Patterson will break their backs if he hits a three.

Cornell might stay close through one or two TV timeouts, but this game should get out of hand before halftime.

 

Prediction: Kentucky 88  Cornell 64

 

#2 West Virginia (29.08) vs. #11 Washington (21.93)

West Virginia wins ugly.  The Mountaineers don’t look pretty, but they keep pounding at opponents until they see an opening.  Then, like a crafty boxer, they exploit that opening and grab the lead on points.  They rarely record a knockout, but they are great at keeping the lead once they get it in the final half.

Washington does look pretty when they play.  Lorenzo Romar’s teams vaguely resemble many of the great UCLA teams from the past.  With Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas providing a great one-two punch, it is hard to stop the Huskies from scoring 70 or more points.

West Virginia doesn’t usually win games if they give up more than 75 points.  Coach Bob Huggins will devise a game plan to force UW’s big threats to work harder for open shots, and Washington will not reach 75 points in this game.

Prediction: West Virginia 73  Washington 66

 

South Regional

 

#3 Baylor (26.04) vs. #10 St. Mary’s (15.47)

This looks like a classic mismatch between a power team from a power conference and a team that should be just glad to have made it this far.  It could be, but we like the way St. Mary’s plays, and we think Coach Randy Bennett is possibly the next Lute Olsen if he so chooses to move on to a school from one of the Big Six conferences.

This will be a great battle between big men.  Baylor’s Ekpe Udoh and St, Mary’s Omar Samhan should balance each other out.  Samhan is a little better offensively, but Udoh is a little better defensively.  Samhan is the more likely to get in foul trouble.

Baylor has more potent weapons in LaceDarius Dunn and Tweety Carter, but the Gaels have more depth.  We just don’t see the Bears running away with this game.  We will pick them to advance.

Prediction: Baylor 78  St. Mary’s 71

 

#1 Duke (30.48) vs. #4 Purdue (15.37)

Credit must be given to the Boilermakers for making it this far without Robbie Hummel.  They played hard and won a couple of tough games.  Unfortunately, Purdue goes up against one of the big boys.  This is their final game of the season.

Duke may have fallen a notch in winning their first two games, but having to play the play-in winner lowered their strength of schedule.  Emptying the bench may have artificially lowered their criteria score, and we still think Coach K is sitting pretty with his club in a great bracket.

Prediction: Duke 81  Purdue 67

 

Midwest Regional

 

#2 Ohio State (22.24) vs. #6 Tennessee (21.16)

These may not be the two best teams left in the Big Dance, or even in this regional, but they may be the two best-coached teams.  Buckeye head guy Thad Matta has definitely produced a better record than his talent on hand should have produced, and Volunteer coach Bruce Pearl has squeezed every last drop of juice out of his big orange.

Two years ago, when Ohio State was the top-rated team, Tennessee built up a 20-point lead against OSU, before the Buckeyes chipped away and came back for the win in this same round.  Vol center Wayne Chism can remember that game well.

We look for this to possibly be the most entertaining game of this round, but we have to go with the Big Ten in this one.  Tennessee is having to go with players that would be considered bench-warmers at Ohio State for almost one quarter of the available playing time.  Pearl will either have to play five reserves for their usual 48 combined minutes per game or go with his top seven until they drop.  Either way, it tips the scale in favor of Brutus.

Prediction: Ohio State 69  Tennessee 63

 

#5 Michigan State (20.92) vs. #9 Northern Iowa (13.76)

This is another game where we have to discount a team for the loss of a player.  Spartan star guard Kalin Lucas is out for the rest of the year with a ruptured Achilles tendon.  He is the Spartans’ leading scorer, leader at getting to the foul line, leading passer, and best perimeter defender.  Losing him is almost like losing Magic Johnson. 

One thing MSU still has in its favor is a brutalizing inside force with a three-headed rebounding monster.  Raymar Morgan, Draymond Green, and Delvon Roe will see to it that Northern Iowa will not get many second-chance points.

Northern Iowa is primed to exploit MSU’s misfortune, but we expect the Panthers to come out flat following the huge upset over Kansas.  Jordan Eglseder is going to need help inside as the Spartans attempt to force their offense to score inside the paint.  Adam Koch cannot afford to risk foul trouble, so we see some difficulty here for NIU.  We also do not believe that Ali Farokhmanesh will drain threes all night in this game.  We can see him going 2 for 9.

It’s rather obvious that this is going to be a very low-scoring game, at least until the final minutes when one team may be getting a dozen trips to the foul line.

Prediction: Michigan State 56  Northern Iowa 51

 

 

West Regional

 

#1 Syracuse (27.88) vs. #5 Butler (19.35)

Quickness over brute force strength should be the difference in this game.  Syracuse has been flying a little bit under the radar so far, and the Orangemen are about to reveal to the rest of the nation that they are an Elite 8 team. 

Butler cannot be overlooked, as the Bulldogs are now the best team in the Hoosier state.  However, Butler doesn’t have the horses to exploit the cracks in the SU 2-3 matchup zone.  We see the Bulldogs going through stretches where they cannot score, and you can’t beat Syracuse that way.

A ‘Cuse win should set up the best Regional Final of the four, regardless of their opponent on Saturday.

Prediction: Syracuse 74  Butler 60

 

#2 Kansas State (31.21) vs. #6 Xavier (18.37)

Xavier has become a household name in the Big Dance, so it’s no longer much of a surprise to see the Musketeers advancing in this tournament.  They just happened to get the wrong team in the Sweet 16, because we just cannot see them matching up inside against the purple and white.  Kansas State can bring two wide-bodies off the bench, and the Wildcats’ guards can hit the glass as well.

The storyline of this game is that KSU will hold Xavier under 40% from the field and rarely give the Musketeers an offensive rebound.  Teams just don’t win in the Sweet 16 unless they can either control the boards of shoot a high percentage.

We look for the Wildcats to set up the game of the tournament in the West Regional Finals on Saturday.

Prediction: Kansas State 77  Xavier 61

 

Check back with us Saturday before game time for a preview of the Elite 8 Regional Final games.

 

March 17, 2010

Brackets, Brackets, Brackets & A Preview Of The First Round

Question:  How many of you reading this are beginning to come down with some symptoms that will force you to call in sick for work the next two days?  Big Dance Fever seems to strike hard every year at this time.

Now that you are in your pajamas in bed with your TV set to CBS, your computer set to March Madness on Demand, and your brackets as your bed partner, you can begin your two day miraculous recovery.

Before you send off your bracket picks, take a look at the PiRate method for picking teams to advance.  You should re-read the Sunday, March 14, 2010 blog to better understand this method.

Without further adieu, let’s dig in.

1. Which teams meet the upper range criteria in every category?  That means they outscored their opponents by eight or more per game; their field goal percentage was greater than 7.5% better than their opponents; they outrebounded their opponents by five or more per game; they forced at least three more turnovers per game than they committed; and they stole the ball 7.5 or more times per game.

ANSWER—Only two teams met this criteria this year, and neither are members of a big six conference.  Murray State not only met all criteria, they met the upper limits.  The Racers outscored opponents by 17 points per game.  They had a field goal percentage margin of 11.7%.  They outrebounded opponents by six per game and forced 2.7 more turnover per game than they committed.  Best of all, Murray averaged 10 steals per game.  Their R+T was an outstanding 12.48.  Alas, Murray’s schedule strength was just 46.02, and that is too low to consider the Racers a threat to make it to the Elite 8.  Sweet 16 is not totally out of the question.

The second team that met this criteria, but not as well as Murray State, was Brigham Young.  The Cougars outscored opponents by 17.8 points per game.  They shot 7.9% from the field better than their opponents.  They outrebounded the opposition by 5.1.  Their turnover margin was 4.1.  They averaged 8.5 steals per game, and their R+T was an amazing 13.46.  BYU’s schedule strength was 52.52, which is adequate enough to see the Cougars as a serious threat to advance to the second week in this tournament.

2. Which teams can be immediately eliminated due to a negative R+T rating?

ANSWER—Usually upwards of 8-10 teams can be eliminated every season due to poor R+T ratings.  In the Big Dance, this rating, which measures the number of extra scoring opportunities, is vital to winning.  Only two teams can be eliminated right off the bat, and not many people would think of picking them to win any way.  Those two teams are New Mexico State and UC-Santa Barbara.

Several teams just barely qualified with R+T ratings just above zero.  Two of those that just qualified are top 20 teams.  Georgetown and Vanderbilt could be ripe for upset bids in either the first or second round. 

The Hoyas face Ohio U in the first round, and the Bobcats don’t have the merits to pull the upset.  In a second round match, Tennessee definitely meets the criteria to advance to the Sweet 16, so the Volunteers could be a strong pick to knock off Georgetown and advance to St. Louis.

Vanderbilt draws Murray State in the first round, and the Racers could easily pull off the first upset by a double-digit seed.  Murray would then face either Butler or UTEP in a second round game, and the Racers would have a legitimate chance to advance to the second week.

3. Forget all this talk of first round upsets.  Which teams are capable of winning it all?

ANSWER—We thought you’d never ask.  Every year when we compose these ratings, we apply the PiRate formula and look for teams scoring 15 or above to find the real contenders.  Because we have added won-loss record away from home this year, we have elevated that real contender number to 18.  17 teams met that criteria this year.  Before we list them in order, we must clarify something.  After the first two rounds, and after the second two rounds, we recalculate these ratings.  Some teams still alive will cease to meet the minimum score and no longer be considered a serious threat, while one or two teams might move into this elite group.

This year, one team fared much better than all the others.  Thus, that team becomes our favorite to win all the marbles in Indianapolis.

Is that team Kansas or Kentucky?  Guess what?  It is neither.  The one team that scores almost six points better than any other is none other than Duke.  Could Coach K be on his way to title number three in Durham?  We love his seeding, and we definitely see the Blue Devils winning their first four to earn a ticket to Indianapolis.  As a matter of fact, as we see it, the selection committee did several huge favors for the Blue Devils.  First, they get the winner of the play-in game, so they will have a great scouting report.  Of course, this game will be a breather.  On Sunday, Duke will play either Cal or Louisville, and it could actually be the toughest of their four games on the way to the Final Four.  Because Villanova and Purdue are fading as fast as the sun in Barrow, Alaska, in October, there’s a chance that both could be gone before the Sweet 16.

After Duke, six other teams scored 20 or more points in the criteria rating.  They are Kansas, Kansas State, BYU, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Baylor in that order.

Kentucky comes in at number eight, followed closely by New Mexico, Villanova, Michigan State, Maryland, Texas, Tennessee, Old Dominion, Murray State, and Georgetown.  Yes, the Hoyas still qualify as one of the real contenders, but just by a razor’s edge.  Their R+T score is rather low.

The best of the rest (those that just barely missed the 18-point score) are: Siena, Utah State, Washington, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.  These 22 teams are the ones that you should consider for your Sweet 16.

Here is a look at the 32 first round games.  The number in (parentheses) represents the PiRate Bracketnomics criteria number.

First-Round Games

 

East Regional

 

#1 Kentucky (19.8) vs. #16 East Tennessee (1.6)

This is your typical one vs. 16 mismatch.  Kentucky will not win by 50 like they might have in the days of Rick Pitino; they might outscore the Buccaneers by 20 points in two separate segments in this game and yet win by only 20 points.

The Wildcats will dominate the glass, and ETSU won’t be able to force enough turnovers to make this a game.  We see UK holding the Bucs to about 35% shooting and 60 or fewer points.

Prediction: Kentucky 74  East Tennessee 53

 

#8 Texas (19.0) vs. #9 Wake Forest (4.9)

The Longhorns were a big disappointment after being ranked at the top at 17-0 earlier in the year.  Looking at their stats, it’s definitely hard to see how they lost nine times in their final 16 games.

Texas just barely misses qualifying as superior in every PiRate Bracketnomics’ category.  They outscored opponents by 11.5 points per game, shot 6.7% from the field better than their opponents, finished +6.8 in rebounding and +1.1 in turnover margin, and they averaged 7.8 steals per game.  They compiled these stats playing in one of the two toughest leagues.

Wake Forest lost five of their final six games and fell several places in their seeding.  The Demon Deacons have a negative turnover margin, which is always a tough thing to overcome in the Big Dance.

This game should be interesting due to the fact that neither team is playing as well as they could.  We think Texas will play a little more cohesively in the opening round and survive and advance. 

Prediction: Texas 77  Wake Forest 72

 

#5 Temple (14.5) vs. #12 Cornell (10.2)

A lot of prognosticators are going with Cornell to become yet another 12-seed upset winner and even advance to the Sweet 16, becoming the first Ivy League team to make it that far since Penn lost to Duke in the Sweet 16 in 1980.

The Big Red earned the respect of the nation when they played at Kansas and lost by just five points.

This was Temple’s best team in years—maybe the best since 1988.  The Owls, as they have for decades, play tough defense on the perimeter, denying the ball from being passed inside and getting tight on three-point shooters.  They don’t force many turnovers, but they commit less than 11 per game. 

Cornell coach Steve Donahue was an assistant to Temple coach Fran Dunphy, so these coaches know what to expect in this game.  We’re going with this five-seed to avoid the upset.

Prediction: Temple 68  Cornell 60

 

#4 Wisconsin (16.1) vs. #13 Wofford (5.3)

The Badgers cannot take the Terriers lightly.  Wofford is another 13-seed team capable of pulling off an upset.  Expect 40 minutes of half-court offense with less than 130 total points scored.

Both teams tend to rely on one player to bear the scoring burden.  For Wisconsin, guard Trevon Hughes is the go-to guy.  For Wofford, forward Noah Dahlman is the key offensive threat.

It will be easier for Wisconsin to shut down Dahlman than Wofford to shut down Hughes, and Hughes has a little better quartet of teammates. 

Prediction: Wisconsin 63  Wofford 56

 

#6 Marquette (12.2) vs. #11 Washington (16.9)

This will be one game you will want to tune in if you have March Madness on Demand.  We think it will be very entertaining.

Marquette will move the ball around the perimeter and take a lot of threes.  If they hit 35% or better, they will be tough to beat.  However, the Golden Eagles are weak on the boards, and if those treys don’t fall, they cannot win.

Washington is not getting much respect coming out of the weak Pac-10.  The Huskies won their final seven games including the league tournament to earn an automatic berth here.  They can score points in bunches, and even though they are on the small side, they are the best rebounding team in the Pac-10.  That happens to be Marquette’s weakness.  That happens to be why UW will still be playing Sunday.

Prediction: Washington 82  Marquette 75

 

#3 New Mexico (19.6) vs. #14 Montana (3.2)

At first glance, this looks like another blowout that you see when a number three takes on a number 14.  However, Montana is not to be disregarded without a fight.  The Grizzlies found themselves down by more than 20 points to Weber State in the Big Sky Championship Game and came back to win.

Montana plays tough defense and works patiently for intelligent shots.  This style of play may be a bit boring, but it can be quite effective if the players stay within the frame of the philosophy.

New Mexico wins games through tough hustle.  The Lobos are tough on the boards, and they seldom turn the ball over more than a dozen times per game.  They can pose tough matchup problems for a lot of teams, because they can post up their guards and bring their forwards out high to shoot the three.  We’ll go with the Lobos to win, but it may be a lot more difficult than most people expect.

Prediction: New Mexico 72  Montana 63

 

#7 Clemson (12.3) vs. #10 Missouri (14.7)

This will be a helter-skelter game from start to finish.  These teams are both reliant upon forcing turnovers and converting them into fast break points.  We expect a lot of physical play with the referees letting a lot of contact go.

Missouri relies a little too much on its outside game, while Clemson has some inside presence.  In the Big Dance, the teams that can get offensive putbacks are usually the teams that survive and advance.  We don’t think Missouri will have an answer for Clemson forward Trevor Booker.

Prediction: Clemson 77  Missouri 72

 

#2 West Virginia (23.5) vs. #15 Morgan State (-0.2)

Morgan State has been here before.  The Bears lost to Oklahoma in the first round last year.  Coach Todd Bozeman likes for his team to move the ball up the floor quickly and bang it inside.  That might work in the MEAC, but this is not the MEAC.

West Virginia looks a little sloppy at times, and the Mountaineers don’t shoot the ball all too well, but they play tough defense and dominate on the boards.  WVU enters this tournament with a chip on its shoulder after flopping in the first round against Dayton last year.  Coach Bob Huggins’ squad has played in several nail-biters this year, and they should be ready to play.

Prediction: West Virginia 69  Morgan State 52

 

South Regional

#1 Duke (34.4) vs. #16 Arkansas Pine Bluff (-11.5)

Well, we blew the play-in game, but luckily that’s a Mulligan in bracket picking.

Duke will get a breather game in their opener.  The Blue Devils will apply pressure man-to-man defense and force the Golden Lions to commit numerous turnovers.  Duke’s big guys will repeatedly get offensive rebounds when the Blue Devils miss shots, and those players will clean the defensive glass as well.

UAPB should be fortunate that they won the play-in game.  They will give up more points in the first half of this game than they did in the entire game Tuesday night.

Prediction: Duke 87 Arkansas Pine Bluff 59

 

#8 California (11.4) vs. #9 Louisville (9.5)

Louisville beat Syracuse twice this year, but the Cardinals are not nearly as good this year as they were last year.   This UL team lacks the little something extra to advance very far in this tournament.

Cal won their first outright Pac-10 regular season title since Darrall Imhoff led the Bears to the National Championship Game against Ohio State in the 1959-60 season.  This edition of Bears is the polar opposite to that earlier version.  Cal is strictly a perimeter-oriented team that must shoot the ball well in order to win.

This one is a true tossup game.  It will be a contest of better offense vs. better defense.  Cal has to travel almost 3,200 miles, and the long trip could be their undoing.

Prediction: Louisville 72  California 68

 

#5 Texas A&M (12.7) vs. #12 Utah State (17.3)

This is one of those 5-12 games where the PiRate system shows the underdog to be the better team.  Utah State would be the outright favorite in this game if they played a little better defensively, especially on the perimeter.

Texas A&M played one of the toughest schedules in the nation, and the Aggies showed they could go head-to-head with them.  Their defense is tough, and the Aggies from Texas should hold the Aggies from Utah well below their scoring and shooting averages.  A&M doesn’t shoot the ball all that well, and this should be a close game.  We’ll go against the PiRate chalk and take the Big 12 team.

Prediction: Texas A&M 70  Utah State 66

 

#4 Purdue (15.4) vs. #13 Siena (17.8)

This year, we like the 13-seeds better than the 12-seeds as upset possibilities.  Purdue would probably have been a 10-seed or even missed the tournament altogether had Robbie Hummel been injured all season.  Without Hummel, the Boilermakers are not much better than your average NIT team.

Siena defeated Vanderbilt in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament and Ohio State in the first round last year.  The Saints may be a little better this year thanks to a balanced team.  Siena has four starters that can score 20 points on any given night.  They have an inside presence with Alex Franklin and Ryan Rossiter combining for more than 19 rebounds per game.  Throw in a +3 turnover margin, and the Saints get seven more scoring opportunities per game than their opposition. 

We will call the upset in this game, but we give a warning.  Star players have missed NCAA Tournament games in the past, and those starless teams found a way to win.  Loyola Marymount won three games in the Big Dance after Hank Gathers died.  Going back several years to 1965, Wichita State made it to the Final Four after losing their top two players to eligibility.

Prediction: Siena 70  Purdue 65

 

#6 Notre Dame (6.5) vs. #11 Old Dominion (18.8)

This should be an entertaining game with a lot of inside action.  Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody missed multiple games due to injury in February, and the Irish defense stepped up and did the job.  With the big forward back, the Irish are playing their best ball of the season.  While they finished the season winning just eight of their final 13 games, those five losses came by a combined nine points.

Old Dominion is one of those teams like Butler and St. Mary’s that big-six conference teams don’t want to play.  The Monarchs dominate on the boards and seldom give up a high-percentage shot. 

We look for this one to stay close throughout, and the difference could be which team has the better outside shooting day.  If one team has a decent enough outside shooting day to force defenses to stretch, their inside game will become too strong to lose.

While ODU has much better total numbers, we think Notre Dame will get the job done.

Prediction: Notre Dame 71  Old Dominion 66

 

#3 Baylor (21.39) vs. #14 Sam Houston St. (10.33)

Watch out for Baylor!  The Bears rate in that elite group of teams capable of getting to Indianapolis.  In the Bracketnomics Class blog, we mentioned that you needed to be alert for a team that shoots 48% from the field and allows only 38%.  Baylor is one of two teams that meet this criteria.

The Bears also dominate on the glass, and if it weren’t for a negative turnover margin, we would pick them as a Final Four team.  Some future opponent will exploit this liability and defeat them, but it won’t be Sam Houston.

The Bearkats are an interesting and fun team to watch play.  They begin firing threes the moment they enter the gym.  It won’t get the job done in this game.

Prediction: Baylor 81  Sam Houston 67

 

#7 Richmond (10.0) vs. #10 St. Mary’s (10.1)

This game could come down to pace.  If Richmond presses the tempo and makes this a maximum possession game, the Spiders will have a decided advantage.  Richmond needs to speed the game up to force St. Mary’s into unforced errors.

Seldom in the opening round of the tournament do we ever see a team consciously trying to speed up the game.  Nerves and uncertainty usually slow these games down until midway through the second half.

St. Mary’s will win this game if the total number of field goal attempts is 115 or less.  If the pace is average to below average, their seven-man rotation will be able to avoid fatigue.  Center Omar Samhan can control the lane in this game and give the Gaels a strong advantage inside.

Prediction: St. Mary’s 73  Richmond 67

 

#2 Villanova (19.5) vs. #15 Robert Morris(-2.9)

This game should be a mismatch, but it could take some time before the Wildcats pull away.  VU finished the regular season on a 4-6 slide, but the Wildcats lost five of those games to NCAA Tournament teams from their conference.

Once this game begins, we look for the Colonials to keep it within striking distance for a couple of time outs before Villanova slowly pulls away.

Prediction: Villanova 78  Robert Morris 63

 

Midwest Regional

 

#1 Kansas (28.7) vs. #16 Lehigh (0.22)

If there is a chance that one team will top 100 points in the first round without going into multiple overtimes, this game is the one.  Kansas will begin its march to the Final Four with a tune-up game. 

Lehigh will take 25 or more three-pointers in this game, but we believe the Jayhawk defense will force many bad shots from the outside.  KU will then score 1.3-1.5 points per possession.  We’re sorry if you get stuck with this game and cannot get another.

Prediction: Kansas 94  Lehigh 61

 

#8 UNLV (11.7) vs. #9 Northern Iowa (11.7)

How about this for tossup game status?  Not only is this an eight-nine game, their criteria scores are equal.

This game comes down to how well the Panthers can stop the Runnin’ Rebels outside shooting game.  We think UNI will be able to hold the UNLV backcourt of Tre’Von Willis, Oscar Bellfield, Anthony Marshall, and reserve Kendall Wallace under their norms.  At the same time, look for UNI brute center Jordan Eglseder and forward Adam Koch to dominate on the inside.  Combine that with a defense that fits the opponents’ offense like a glove, and we see the Missouri Valley team advancing.

Prediction: Northern Iowa 58  UNLV 53

 

#5 Michigan State (19.5) vs. #12 New Mexico St. (3.4)

We cannot see a 12-seed upset in this game.  The Aggies have a negative R+T rating, which means they typically allow more scoring opportunities than they create.  Against a seasoned NCAA Tournament team, one coming off a visit to the national title game, that won’t be the winning recipe.

Michigan State will win the rebounding battle by 10 or more in this game.  If the Spartans don’t turn the ball over 18 or more times, they will be comfortably ahead by the first TV timeout of the second half.

Guard Chris Allen is expected to return to action after serving a one-game suspension for arguing with the coaching staff.

Prediction: Michigan State 75  New Mexico State 62

 

#4 Maryland (19.5) vs. #13 Houston (1.9)

Houston got hot and won the CUSA tournament after being picked to contend for the conference championship and finishing in the middle of the pack.  The Cougars cannot rebound.  While Maryland is only so-so on the boards, the Terps will win this battle by at least five caroms.

Houston relies on putting pressure on the ball and trying to play in the passing lanes to get steals and force turnovers.  Maryland takes care of the ball and can exploit this type of defense.

Throw in the fact that the Terps play tough defense, and this one looks like a huge mismatch.  Maryland comes mighty close to qualifying for the special field goal percentage criteria.  They connect on 47.2% of their shots and hold opponents to 38.8%.

Prediction: Maryland 83  Houston 70

 

#6 Tennessee (18.9) vs. #11 San Diego State (15.6)

This has the makings of a good game between similar styles.  Tennessee likes to force turnovers and run the break for quick baskets.  In the half-court offense, they try to work the ball inside.  The Volunteers aren’t the best outside shooting team.

San Diego State plays like your typical Steve Fisher-coached team.  The Aztecs have a dominating inside game and hold a +6.7 rebounding edge over their opposition.  The Aztecs aren’t great three-point shooters either, but inside the arc, they shoot almost 55%.

Tennessee is mad at being lowered to a number six seed in a year where they knocked off Kansas and Kentucky, but the Vols went only 10-7 away from home.  They are primed to make a run to the Sweet 16 if the team has enough gas in the tank.

Prediction: Tennessee 72  San Diego State 65

 

#3 Georgetown (18.0) vs. #14 Ohio U (0.7)

This game is a mismatch similar to your typical 1-seed vs. 16-seed game.  Ohio should have been a lower seed.  The Bobcats finished below .500 in a weak MAC this year, and they have no chance against the Hoyas.

Georgetown is not as complete this year as in past seasons.  They are a definite upset possibility, but it won’t happen in this round.  The key to the Hoyas advancing to the Sweet 16 will be how much the regulars can rest in this one. 

Prediction: Georgetown 72  Ohio 59

 

#7 Oklahoma State (6.2) vs. #10 Georgia Tech (9.5)

A very strong Big 12 allowed the Cowboys to move up to a seven-seed, when their performance looks more like a 10-seed.  Georgia Tech belongs as a 10-seed, so this game should be close and exciting.

OSU is a hot and cold team that won’t be around next week.  They either hit from behind the arc or get beat. 

Georgia Tech isn’t a world-beater, but the Yellow Jackets play somewhat consistently.  They will control the boards in this game, but they are turnover prone.  OSU’s shot at winning hinges on how many times they can force Tech into floor mistakes.  We think they will come up a bit short, but this game should be 40 minutes of entertaining ball.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 72  Oklahoma State 68

 

#2 Ohio State (16.8) vs. #15 UCSB (-4.5)

The Buckeyes won 16 of their final 18 games including the regular season and tournament championship in the Big Ten.  Evan Turner is a mini-Magic Johnson.  He can do it all, and he deserves serious consideration for national player of the year.  He isn’t a one-man team, but the Buckeyes’ only liability is a lack of depth.  They go only seven deep, and the two key reserves don’t contribute all that much.

UCSB is one of the two teams that must be immediately eliminated due to a negative R+T rating.  Their stay in the Dance will last just one number, and they will feel like their rival cut in on them in the middle of the song.

Prediction: Ohio State 76  UCSB 54

 

West Regional

 

#1 Syracuse (23.6) vs. #16 Vermont (-3.8)

The ‘Cuse is primed for another run to the Final Four.  Except for a lack of depth, this team would be even with Duke and Kansas.  It won’t bother them in the first two rounds, as the Orange won’t be extended by pressure defense.

This is not the Vermont team of 2005 that actually won an opening round game.  This version of Catamounts is just happy to be here, and they will put up no fuss and wave bye-bye after 40 minutes of tournament action.

We expect Vermont to keep it close for maybe 8-12 minutes before Syracuse goes on a big run and puts this one away before the intermission.

Prediction: Syracuse 90  Vermont 64

 

#8 Gonzaga (13.4) vs. #9 Florida State (14.4)

We don’t believe this will be Gonzaga’s year to advance to the Sweet 16.  The Bulldogs don’t dominate on the glass and pick up nothing in turnover margin. 

This Florida State team reminds us a lot of the Seminole teams of Hugh Durham.  They play aggressive man-to-man defense and work the ball for intelligent shots. 

Gonzaga needs a good shooting effort every time in order to win, and the Seminoles hold opponents to just 37.4% from the field. 

Prediction: Florida State 67  Gonzaga 63

 

#5 Butler (14.2) vs. #12 UTEP (15.8)

This is a game that all five of us here would like to attend.  We think it will be the best of the 5-12 games, and it won’t be an upset if UTEP wins.  These teams are fairly even, and both are talented enough to advance to the second week.

If the question were, “which game has the best chance of going to overtime?” this game would receive strong consideration. 

We will go with the Miners to win a great game and become the favorite in the next round in a possible second classic matchup against another double-digit seed.  This is the 12-seed that has the best chance of pulling off the “upset.”  We don’t call a 50-50 game an upset.

Prediction: UTEP 79  Butler 77 in overtime

 

#4 Vanderbilt (11.2) vs. #13 Murray State (18.0)

Murray State rates as one of four teams not from a big six conference that we believe has the talent to make it to the Sweet 16.  The Racers are actually the most complete team in the tournament and best fit the criteria to go to the Final Four, but their schedule strength lowers their criteria out of that rarified air.

Murray outscores their opponents by 17 points per game.  They shoot better than 50% from the field, and they allow only 38.6% shooting on defense.  They control the boards with a +6.0 margin, and they force more than 17 turnovers per game with 10 steals per game.

Vanderbilt was a fatigued team down the stretch, closing 8-5 after opening 16-3.  In that last 13 games, they outscored their opponents by just two per game.  The Commodores just barely avoid being eliminated from consideration with an R+T of 0.6.  They outrebound their opponents by 0.7 per game and have a slightly negative turnover margin.  They rely too much on free throw shooting, and fouls are not called as frequently in the Big Dance.

We look for this to be a great game, but we’re going with another #13 seed to pull off the upset.

Prediction: Murray State 75  Vanderbilt 69

 

#6 Xavier (15.1) vs. #11 Minnesota (10.4)

Morgan State, Butler, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Purdue are a good list of teams in the Big Dance.  Minnesota owns wins over these seven Samurais.  Xavier doesn’t have a showcase win this year, and the Musketeers are not as tough as they have been in recent seasons.

Tubby Smith’s teams always play well in the Big Dance, while this is the first go around for Xavier coach Chris Mack.  In yet another mild upset, we believe Minnesota will advance to the second round.

Prediction: Minnesota 69  Xavier 66

 

#3 Pittsburgh (8.7) vs. #14 Oakland (4.3)

For those of you who believe the Selection Committee tries to put certain teams together, you might not see the irony in the pairing of these two teams.  First, Oakland is not from California.  The Golden Grizzlies are from Rochester, Michigan.  Pittsburgh is located in the Oakland suburb of the Steel City.  So, when we say the team from Oakland will win the game, we aren’t talking about the Golden State Warriors, and we’re not talking about the team with the word “Oakland” on their jerseys.

This is not the year for the Panthers.  Their numbers aren’t all that good, and they will not advance to the Elite 8 this year.  However, they will cruise in the opening round after maybe facing a struggle through the first couple of TV timeouts.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 67  Oakland 58

 

#7 BYU (24.5) vs. #10 Florida (10.5)

Many prognosticators are calling for the Gators to pull the small upset in the opening round, but we cannot see it happening.

BYU ranks along with Murray State as having the most complete criteria components in the tournament.  The Cougars outscore their opposition by nearly 18 per game.  They do tend to rely on a lot of foul shooting and three-point shots, but BYU also gets a lot of easy baskets via the fast break and secondary offense.  Their R+T rating is a whopping 13.5, as they own a +5.1 rebounding margin, +4.1 turnover margin, and pick off 8.5 passes per game.  Since they have a shooting percentage of 48.6%, they will score a lot of points.

Florida returns to the Big Dance for the first time since they won their second consecutive national title in 2007.  This team is lacking what those two champions had—a dominating inside game.  Center Vernon Macklin is capable of putting up decent numbers, but the Gators rely on perimeter players Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton to get the job done.  Walker is just 5-8, and he will have a tough time against the tall and lanky BYU guards.

Look for Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery to outduel the Florida guards, and the Cougars will prevail in a fast-paced game.

Prediction: BYU 85  Florida 77

 

#2 Kansas State (25.9) vs. #15 North Texas (-3.22)

After Duke, Kansas State may have drawn the best possible bracket.  The Wildcats have the talent to win this regional and possibly set up a fourth game with their in-state rival in the National Semifinal. 

This will be a fun team to watch.  Kansas State coach Frank Martin is a combination of Al McGuire and Bobby Knight with a little Bob Huggins thrown in.  He’s the coach most likely to implode or spontaneous combust during a game.  His antics are working this year, and his players respond by playing like their life is on the line.

North Texas will get killed on the boards in this game, and they don’t have a ball-hawking defense to even it out with a great turnover margin.  Unlike conference rival Western Kentucky, the Mean Green will not carry on the Sunbelt Conference’s recent success in the tourney.

Prediction: Kansas State 82  North Texas 65

 

Our Bracket

 

You have seen the 32 teams we believe will win the first round games.  Here is how we fill out the rest of our bracket.

Second Round Winners

 

Kentucky over Texas in a close game

Wisconsin over Temple

New Mexico over Washington

West Virginia over Clemson

Duke over Louisville

Texas A&M over Siena

Baylor over Notre Dame

Villanova over St. Mary’s

Kansas over Northern Iowa

Michigan State over Maryland in a great game

Tennessee over Georgetown

Ohio State over Georgia Tech

Syracuse over Florida State

UTEP over Murray State

Minnesota over Pittsburgh

Kansas State over BYU in a thriller

Sweet 16 Winners

Kentucky over Wisconsin

West Virginia over New Mexico

Duke over Texas A&M

Baylor over Villanova

Kansas over Michigan State but a fantastic upset bid

Ohio State over Tennessee

Syracuse over UTEP

Kansas State over Minnesota

Elite 8 Winners

West Virginia over Kentucky

Duke over Baylor

Kansas over Ohio State

Kansas State over Syracuse

Semifinal Winners

 

Duke over West Virginia

Kansas State over Kansas (The Wildcats finally beat KU in their fourth try)

National Championship

 

Duke over Kansas State

Might Coach K pull a John Wooden and announce his retirement after winning the semifinal game?  Might he be tempted to take a very large pay raise to coach the Nets for a year or two and then enjoy real retirement like his mentor The General is enjoying?

March 21, 2009

A PiRate Look At The NCAA Tournament: 2nd Round Games Played On Sunday, March 22, 2009

A PiRate Look At The NCAA Tournament

2nd Round Games Played On

Sunday, March 22, 2009

 

Friday’s games were a little more surprising than Thursday’s games, and several of the games that were won by the team expected to win were exciting and tough to the finish.  Siena has now won first round games in consecutive years over teams from a power conference.  The Saints could be on the verge of becoming Gonzaga East.

 

Our picks for day two went 11-5, bringing our total for round one to 24-8.  FWIW, we not only picked Siena to beat Ohio State, we almost hit the score exactly, missing by just two points.  Of course, a broken watch displays the correct time twice a day.

 

Here is a look at the Round of 32 games for Sunday.

 

(numbers in parentheses are PiRate Criteria scores)

 

East Region

Pittsburgh (14) vs. Oklahoma State (0) [Schedule strengths are equal]: The Panthers struggled against East Tennessee’s pressure defense, committing numerous turnovers.  They could have easily become the first number one seed to lose to a 16-seed.  Oklahoma State is a quicker, better version of ETSU, but Pittsburgh should be able to hold off the pesky Cowboys.  We expect Pitt to be ready for OSU’s pressure and play less error-prone ball.  Pittsburgh will advance to the Sweet 16.

 

Prediction: Pittsburgh 73 Oklahoma State 62

 

Wisconsin (2) vs. Xavier (8) [Wisconsin has a schedule 2 points per game stronger]: The Badgers held on tough to eke out an overtime win over Florida State Friday night, while Xavier had an easier workout against Portland State.  The Musketeers could sneak into the Sweet 16.  They are the type of team that can beat Pittsburgh and even Duke if their three big shooters are on their mark.  We believe Wisconsin’s best days are two years down the road, and it is a credit to Coach Bo Ryan to get them to the second round this year.  However, we expect the Badgers to be out of the Dance after this one.

 

Prediction: Xavier 64 Wisconsin 57

 

South Region

Arizona State (4) vs. Syracuse (4) [Syracuse has a schedule 3 points per game stronger]: This should be the best game of the day.  Arizona State has two excellent three-point shooters, and it takes a good outside shooting team to beat Syracuse.  The Orangemen will press the tempo and force the Sun Devils to play at a faster pace than they would like.  If Syracuse can keep from hitting the wall, they should advance.

 

Prediction: Syracuse 80 Arizona State 71

 

Midwest Region

Louisville (10) vs. Siena (5) [Louisville has a schedule 4 points per game stronger]: Siena had enough talent to top Ohio State, but Louisville will be too much for the Saints to handle.  The Saints will not be able to beat the Cardinals playing the same game against a team with better athletes.

 

Prediction: Louisville 79 Siena 62

 

Arizona (-2) vs. Cleveland State (7) [Arizona has a schedule 4 points per game stronger]: This should be a close game.  Arizona’s PiRate criteria score is a negative number, but when you add the four points for strength of schedule advantage, this game becomes a virtual tossup.  CSU plays terrific defense, while Arizona relies more on offense.  This game will be decided on the Cardinal side of the court.  If Jordan Hill can hit his inside shots, Arizona should prevail.  If Hill cannot get open or cannot connect from his normal range, then the Vikings can be this year’s surprise team in the Sweet 16.

 

Prediction: Arizona 65 Cleveland State 61

 

Dayton (5) vs. Kansas (10) [Kansas has a schedule 5 points per game stronger]: Kansas never expected North Dakota State to keep their round one game close for 35 minutes.  Dayton never really pulled away from West Virginia, but the Flyers led throughout their game.  Round two should be a different bird.  Kansas looked a little rusty after losing early in the Big 12 Tournament and going a week without playing.  They should play much better in round two, and Dayton won’t have enough talent to stop KU.

 

Prediction: Kansas 74 Dayton 64

 

Southern California (2) vs. Michigan State (7) [Michigan State has a schedule 1 point per game stronger]: On paper, Michigan State looks to be better than USC by double digit points.  However, USC has put it all together in the past two weeks and must be considered 7-10 points better today than they were in January.  We’ll stick with the Spartans to sneak by in this game, but a Trojan win would be no big surprise.

 

Prediction: Michigan State 71 Southern Cal 64

 

West Region

Missouri (14) vs. Marquette (9) [Schedule strengths are equal]: Missouri will wear Marquette down as the game wears on.  Eventually, the Tigers will go on a run in the second half and put this game out of reach.  A Memphis-Missouri Sweet 16 match would be possibly the most exciting game of the entire tournament.

 

Prediction: Missouri 74 Marquette 65

March 20, 2009

A PiRate Look At The NCAA Tournament: 2nd Round Games Played On Saturday, March 21, 2009

A PiRate Look At The NCAA Tournament

2nd Round Games Played On

Saturday, March 21, 2009

 

Thursdays games basically went according to expectations with a few exceptions.  One number 12 seed won over a five-seed when Western Kentucky controlled Illinois for much of the night.  We told you we thought WKU could pull off the upset, even though the system chose Illinois (but could not adjust for the loss of a key starter).  For what it’s worth, our Thursday picks went 13-3.

 

Here is a look at the Round of 32 games for Saturday.

 

(numbers in parentheses are PiRate Criteria scores)

 

East Region

 

UCLA (14) vs. Villanova (9) [Villanova has a schedule 2 points per game stronger]: Both teams had scares in round one and were fortunate to survive to round two.  The Bruins have the criteria advantage here, but Villanova has home town advantage plus a slight strength of schedule advantage.  This game will look similar to the 1971 championship game between these same schools.  UCLA won that won by single digits.  That Villanova team had two stars, whereas the UCLA squad had five really good players.  Usually five really good players can beat two stars, but home town advantage eliminates that advantage.  We’ll go with the Bruins in a very close game.

 

Prediction: UCLA 64 Villanova 62

 

Texas (3) vs. Duke (14) [Duke has a schedule 4 points per game stronger]: Duke has all the advantages here.  Watch Duke’s Gerald Henderson and Texas’s Damion James.  This is the key to this game.  If James can dominate better than Henderson, Texas has a chance.  We’ll select the Blue Devils to win, but it should be an interesting game.

 

Prediction: Duke 75 Texas 69

 

South Region

 

North Carolina (17) vs. LSU (14) [North Carolina has a schedule 4 points per game stronger]: You usually never see two power conference championship teams facing off in the second round of the tournament, but the SEC is down this year.  So the regular season SEC champion faces the regular season ACC champion.  Add to that the fact that both of these teams have PiRate criteria in the double digit range.  This is almost a home game for the Tar Heels, and they are the dominant team in this region.  Carolina advances to the Sweet 16, and the SEC is done for the season.

 

Prediction: North Carolina 84 LSU 70

 

Western Kentucky (2) vs. Gonzaga (19) [Gonzaga has a schedule  2 points per game stronger]: Gonzaga turned it on in the final minutes of the night on Thursday and put Akron away with a quick spurt.  Western took control quickly in their game against Illinois and then held off the Illini at the end.  While the Hilltoppers advanced to the Sweet 16 last year, while Gonzaga went home early, we feel the Bulldogs are poised to make the trip to the next round this year.

 

Predicition: Gonzaga 77 Western Kentucky 70

 

Michigan (-4) vs. Oklahoma (9) [Michigan has a schedule 1 point per game stronger]: We can sum this game up in three words: Blake Griffin’s Health.  If Griffin is close to 100%, this game will be over Sooner than expected.  Michigan knocked Clemson out in the first round because the Tigers couldn’t shoot straight.  Oklahoma won’t miss all those open shots and second-chance shots.  Michigan will have to hit close to 50% of their shots to stay in this one and connect on 8 or more treys.  If Griffin isn’t at full strength, then this game becomes much closer and moves toward being a tossup.

 

Prediction: Oklahoma 72 Michigan 63

 

West Region

 

Connecticut (12) vs. Texas A&M (2) [Connecticut has a schedule 2 points per game stronger]: We certainly hope UConn head coach Jim Calhoun is feeling much better, but we must begin to wonder if this could be his final year with the Huskies.  Maybe his players are beginning to think the same, and they want to make sure he goes out a champion.  It may or may not be the case, and they may or may not have the horses to go the distance, but the Huskies have enough in the tank to eliminate the Aggies.

 

Prediction: Connecticut 79 Texas A&M 73

 

Purdue (6) vs. Washington (9) [Washington has a schedule 1 point per game stronger]:  Purdue struggled with Northern Iowa, while Washington quickly dismissed Mississippi State.  We believe the Huskies will advance to the Sweet 16 to take on Connecticut in a game that will bring back memories for the fans and coaches of both schools.

 

Prediction: Washington 70 Purdue 60

 

Maryland (1) vs. Memphis (19) [Maryland has a schedule 2 points per game stronger]: Was Memphis playing a weak schedule all year when they ran up such a far record?  Are they the most overrated team since all those consecutive Depaul teams that lost in the first round when they were ranked number one or two in the nation?  We think not.  They ran into a tough team in the first round.  Maryland played a fantastic first game against Cal, and they could easily play another great one against Coach Cal.  In what we believe will be one of the most exciting games of the entire tournament, we’ll stick with the team we are picking to still be playing on April 6.

 

Prediction Memphis 72 Maryland 71

March 17, 2009

PiRate Bracketnomics: 12 Teams Can Win It All

PiRate Bracketnomics: 12 Teams Can Win It All

 

We hope you took time to read Tuesday’s Bracketnomics 505 course.  You need to read that first to understand the criteria used here at PiRate Central.

 

Using said criteria devised by our founder, we have isolated 12 teams capable of winning six games in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Unlike last year when there were four dominant teams, the dominance is diluted somewhat this season.  Last year, more than 10 teams could be immediately eliminated based on a negative R+T rating.  This season, only two teams (Mississippi State and Ohio State) fail to possess a positive R+T rating.  Thus, we will pick the Bulldogs’ and Buckeyes’ opponents to beat them.

 

Here is a look alphabetically at those 12 teams who best meet the criteria showing they are capable of going all the way.

 

Connecticut: The Huskies outscore their opposition by an average of 13.3 points per game.  They shoot 9.3% better than their opponents.  They own a rebounding margin of 8.4.  Their R+T is 7.6.  In most years, this would be good enough for a Sweet 16 berth and possible Elite 8 run.  This year, it is good enough to get them to the title game.  The Huskies will win their first game by as many as they want.  They will win game two rather easily.  In the Sweet 16, they could run into a bump if they face Washington, but they will clobber Purdue if the Boilermakers make it to Glendale, Arizona.  An Elite 8 match against either Missouri or Memphis will be a tough and exciting game.

 

Duke: The Blue Devils outscore their opposition by an average of 12.2 points per game.  They shoot only 1.8% better than the opposition, and that is their one weakness.  They out-rebound their opponents by 3 and have a 4.4 turnover margin, so they usually benefit with more scoring attempts.  Their R+T of 12 is good enough to get them through the first two rounds.  In the Sweet 16, they will face either UCLA, Villanova, or Virginia Commonwealth.  The Blue Devils would be expected to beat any of these three, but it wouldn’t be a cinch.  The Bruins also make this list.

 

Kansas: The defending National Champions are considerably weaker this year, but in a season where the NCAA is weaker, the Jayhawks have a shot at getting to Detroit.  Kansas outscores its opponents by 11.3 points per game.  They outshoot them by 9.1%, which is one of the best in the Dance.  They have a 7.3 rebounding advantage.  Their weakness is in turnover margin.  They don’t commit a bevy of turnovers, but they don’t force many this year.  That could hurt them if they face a team that can steal the ball.  Syracuse and Missouri exploited them in regular season victories.  A trip to the Sweet 16 is expected, but I think they could be in for a big shock in their first round game with North Dakota State.  It may take 36 minutes for KU to put this game away.  If they face Michigan State in a regional semi-final, the Jayhawks should win a tough, physical game.  Louisville might be too much to handle in an Elite 8 regional final.

 

Louisville: Rick Pitino has taken Providence and Kentucky to the Final Four.  Last year, he came close with UL.  This year, it looks like the Cardinals have the horses to make it to Detroit.  UL outscores their opposition by 12.3 points per game.  They shoot 5.8% better than their opponents.  They have a 2.5 rebounding advantage, a 2.7 turnover margin, and they average 9.3 steals per game.  Their R+T is 8.5.  Except for scoring margin, none of the other stats are dominant, but then again all of them are really good.  They have no weaknesses.

 

Memphis: Memphis wouldn’t normally qualify because they are not a member of one of the big six conferences.  However, the Tigers’ schedule was as strong as teams like Wake Forest and UCLA.  Just like last year, Memphis has what it takes to play six games in the tournament.  The Tigers outscore their opponents by 17.2 points per game, which qualifies them for elite dominance.  They shoot 8.1% better than their opposition.  Their rebounding margin is 6.2, and their turnover margin is 3.3.  They average 8.8 steals per game, and their R+T rating is a whopping 13.2.  This is a team that should cruise to the Elite 8, and then we would favor them over Connecticut.  Missouri could be a tough out in the Sweet 16, but the Tigers fit the criteria of a national champion.

 

Missouri: Coach Mike Anderson was an assistant at Arkansas when the Razorbacks made won the national title in 1994 and made it to the finals in 1995.  His Missouri Tigers play the same 40-minute, full-court game that Arkansas played in those days.  These type of teams can make up for so-so rebounding with exceptional turnover margin by way of steals.  The Tigers are a force to be reckoned with this year.  Missouri outscores their opponents by 14.6 points per game.  They outshoot them by 5.7%.  While they barely win the battle of the boards by an average of 0.4 per game, their turnover margin is 6.5, and they average a tournament best 10.6 steals per game.  With an R+T rating of 16.9, Missouri gets many chances to go on scoring runs.  In tight tournament games, as little as an 8-0 run in two minutes is enough to decide the game.  We like MU’s chances of winning their first two and getting to the Sweet 16.  They will have to face Memphis, and they will meet a team that can neutralize the press.  Although we believe Memphis will win and move on to the Final Four, Missouri just may be the toughest competition Memphis faces before Detroit.

 

North Carolina: We see the Tar Heels joining Memphis in Detroit.  UNC has the second best looking criteria after Memphis.  The Tar Heels outscore their opponents by an average of 17.4 points per game.  They shoot 6.5% better than they allow.  Their rebound margin is 7.3, and their turnover margin is 3.2.  The Heels average 8.5 steals per game, and their R+T is 13.8.  Their path to the Final Four is the easiest of any of the 12 teams listed here.  Radford will be little more than a scrimmage against the Tar Heel scrubs.  Neither LSU nor Butler has what it takes to beat them in round two.  Gonzaga could compete for a long time, but the Tar Heels would eventually overpower them.  In the region finals, UNC would handle Oklahoma, Clemson, Syracuse, or Arizona State.  The only thing that could keep the Tar Heels out of the Final Four is the injury to Ty Lawson.  If he can play up to his normal standards, we just cannot see another South Regional team beating them.

 

Pittsburgh: The Panthers defeated Connecticut twice but lost to Louisville.  They should be able to beat almost any team that tries to play physically against them, but they could run into trouble against fast teams that can score in transition.  Pitt outscores their opponents by 13.3 points per game.  They shoot 7.3% better than they allow.  Their rebounding margin of 9.8 is awesome, and their turnover margin of 1.1 further allows them extra scoring chances.  They average 7.1 steals per game, and their R+T rating is 11.7.  This is a team very capable of making it to Detroit.  They will handle East Tennessee with ease in round one and give their regulars ample rest.  Their round two game is going to be interesting, as both Tennessee and Oklahoma State have the necessary tools to aggravate the Panthers (much like the way Louisville did).  We still believe Pitt can get by either team and make the Sweet 16.  Their four possible Sweet 16 opponents do not have the skills to beat them, so if Pittsburgh gets to the Sweet 16, they will advance to the Elite 8 as well.  A regional final game against Duke would be a terrific game with both teams having a 50% chance of winning.  Ditto is they face Villanova, but the Panthers have revenge on their side in a match against the Wildcats. 

 

U C L A: This edition of Bruins is nothing like the last three editions in the Big Dance.  This UCLA team looks more like one of the Bruin teams from the Gary Cunningham/Larry Farmer/Walt Hazard years.  UCLA outscores their opponents by 12.7 points per game.  They shoot 4.9% better than they allow.  Their rebounding margin is 3.8, and their turnover margin is 3.6.  They steal the ball 8.4 times per game, and their R+T is 11.1.  Much like Louisville, the Bruins don’t really dominate in any phase, but they are really good in all phases.  As a 6-seed, they are not expected to make it past the field of 32, but it wouldn’t surprise us one bit if Ben Howland guides them back to the Elite 8.  Their first round game against VCU should be nip and tuck for a long time.  VCU won’t be able to rebound against them, and the Bruins should get enough offensive boards to win.  In the second round, we believe UCLA can upset Villanova.  They won’t get by Duke if they must play them for a trip to the Final Four, but an Elite 8 appearance would be a great accomplishment in a rebuilding season.

 

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons are the third ACC team with a good shot of advancing deep into the tournament.  Wake outscores their opponents by an average of 11.1 points per game.  They shoot the ball 9.3% better than they allow.  Their rebounding margin is 6.  Their 0.2 turnover margin is basically nil, but they do average 8.5 steals per game.  Their R+T rating is just 6.4 due to the fact that they tend to become turnover prone occasionally.  The Demon Deacons received a favorable draw for the opening weekend.  We see them moving on to the Sweet 16, but they will face a Louisville team that just may be too much in the third round.  It should be a great game.

 

West Virginia: This team looks much like many of Bob Huggins’ Cincinnati teams.  The Mountaineers are the polar opposite of the team that made a run under former coach John Beilein.  They are a dark horse team to make a deep run.  WVU outscores their opponents by 10.8 points per game.  They only outshoot those opponents by 1.1%, and that will eventually be their downfall.  They own healthy rebounding (5.9) and turnover (3.6) margins.  They average just 6.8 steals per game, but their R+T rating is 11.8.  This team will fly under the radar, but the Mountaineers could upset Kansas in the second round.  If they can upset the Jayhawks, West Virginia has the horses to make it to Detroit.  They lost twice to Louisville, by six and three points, so they can even upset the Cardinals given a third chance.  We give WVU a 45% chance of beating Kansas and a 33% chance of advancing to the Elite 8.

 

Predictions For Bracketeers

 

This is a pressure-filled year for us.  How can we match the success of our founder?  Hopefully, we can do so by carefully following his theories and data.  Plus, we talked to him, and he endorsed our picks.

 

So, here goes.  In the East, three Pittsburgh, Duke, and UCLA all score 14 points in the criteria.  Duke and Pitt have stronger schedules, so we will call for the Blue Devils and Panthers to meet in the Elite 8.  We give a slight edge to Coach K’s troops, but that is almost negligible.  We do not see the East Regional winner winning the national championship.

 

In the South, North Carolina is overpowering.  The Tar Heels have no rival in this bracket.  Second seed Oklahoma and third seed Syracuse do not qualify for a spot in the top 12.  Fourth seed Gonzaga does qualify, and we will pick the Bulldogs to be the only team capable of stopping the Tar Heels.  We give Gonzaga a 15-20% chance of winning in this probable regional semifinal game.  North Carolina should then dispose of the East Regional Champion and advance to the title game.

 

In the Midwest, top-seed Louisville will have to dispose of defending champ Kansas to make the Final Four.  Fourth-seed Wake Forest cannot be ignored here.  Six-seed West Virginia can compete with anybody in this region, making the Midwest the strongest region overall.  We’re going to go with Huggy Bear and his West Virginia Mountaineers to sneak into the Final Four.

 

Memphis should emerge in the West, besting Missouri and then Connecticut in Glendale, Arizona.  The Tigers will then take care of business in the Final Four semifinal round to take on North Carolina.

 

In the National Championship Game, we look for Coach Cal to finally get his championship trophy.  We are picking Memphis to make up for their final minute lapse in the 2008 Championship Game and win the title this year.  It could be the start of a major dynasty, as the Tigers have an awesome group of recruits coming in for 2010.   

 

The Stats On All The Teams

 

When you see a stat in bold, it meets the minimum amount to qualify for an exceptional stat.  When you see it also underlined, it strongly meets the qualifying amount.  When it is also in italics, it is a dominating statistic.  Strength of Schedule (SOS) is used solely when pitting one team against another.

 

Team

Pts

FG%

Reb

TO

Stl

R+T

SOS

Akron

7.0

1.9

-0.9

4.1

7.7

6.7

48.91

Alabama St.

6.1

7.5

1.2

-0.8

5.6

0.1

40.46

American

6.1

7.2

2.9

0.4

5.4

3.4

46.85

Arizona

3.8

3.9

2.5

-0.7

6.0

1.5

56.79

Arizona St.

9.4

7.3

1.7

0.6

5.9

2.5

56.35

Binghamton

3.4

2.9

-1.6

1.5

7.0

0.9

46.95

Boston College

4.4

2.3

2.9

-0.8

6.2

1.7

55.16

B Y U

12.7

8.5

4.2

2.5

7.2

8.5

54.62

Butler

10.2

5.7

3.3

0.9

6.1

4.6

53.15

Cal St. Northridge

3.8

3.7

3.6

-0.4

9.0

2.7

48.83

California

6.7

4.5

2.3

0.5

4.9

2.9

56.00

Chattanooga

0.8

0.6

3.3

-1.1

6.3

1.6

49.33

Clemson

10.8

3.5

1.6

2.9

9.4

8.1

56.07

Cleveland St.

7.2

2.6

0.6

3.5

8.7

7.9

52.27

Connecticut

13.3

9.3

8.4

-0.6

5.8

7.6

57.42

Cornell

9.8

6.4

3.1

0.8

6.7

4.4

45.31

Dayton

6.0

3.2

5.3

1.0

6.3

6.8

53.19

Duke

12.2

1.8

3.0

4.4

8.5

12.0

60.86

E T S U

8.6

6.2

1.5

2.5

8.5

6.6

46.28

Florida St.

4.1

4.6

0.7

0.3

8.5

1.3

58.22

Gonzaga

17.6

12.0

3.6

3.9

7.5

10.6

53.21

Illinois

8.0

6.6

0.1

1.3

5.8

1.9

57.56

Kansas

11.3

9.1

7.3

-0.8

6.9

6.0

58.01

Louisville

12.3

5.8

2.5

2.7

9.3

8.5

58.80

L S U

9.4

4.2

5.6

4.2

7.6

13.3

53.66

Marquette

8.5

0.5

1.7

3.6

7.9

8.5

55.87

Maryland

3.0

0.5

-1.6

3.2

7.7

4.3

58.11

Memphis

17.2

8.1

6.2

3.3

8.8

13.2

55.82

Michigan

4.1

-1.1

-3.1

2.4

6.5

0.6

58.74

Michigan St.

9.0

4.1

9.9

-0.2

6.4

9.6

59.48

Minnesota

5.4

4.4

2.4

0.6

8.4

3.6

56.65

Mississippi St.

6.0

4.3

-0.7

-0.8

7.0

-2.0

55.62

Missouri

14.6

5.7

0.4

6.5

10.6

16.9

56.31

Morehead St.

3.1

2.3

8.0

-2.5

6.7

4.0

48.59

Morgan St.

5.3

2.2

3.9

2.0

6.6

7.1

44.96

North Carolina

17.4

6.5

7.3

3.2

8.5

13.8

58.00

North Dakota St.

12.2

4.0

4.5

2.2

7.1

8.2

45.05

Northern Iowa

4.2

3.6

3.1

-0.9

4.2

2.2

53.53

Ohio St.

5.1

7.5

-1.0

0.1

5.9

-0.9

57.80

Oklahoma

11.4

9.1

5.6

-1.1

6.9

3.8

57.78

Oklahoma St.

6.9

1.4

-1.1

2.8

7.7

4.1

59.57

Pittsburgh

13.3

7.3

9.8

1.1

7.1

11.7

59.27

Portland St.

5.5

0.3

0.9

0.7

7.5

2.2

45.45

Purdue

10.3

5.8

-0.3

3.5

7.2

5.7

57.48

Radford

5.1

7.2

6.9

-2.8

6.8

2.3

47.63

Robert Morris

5.7

5.1

1.7

0.7

8.6

3.1

46.18

Siena

7.6

3.7

-0.5

3.8

8.8

7.5

54.68

USC

4.9

6.8

5.5

-1.1

6.3

3.8

58.04

Stephen F Austin

10.3

7.2

1.4

2.8

6.1

5.5

46.99

Syracuse

8.8

7.5

2.2

-0.6

8.0

1.0

59.39

Temple

5.6

4.2

3.1

-0.8

5.6

2.0

56.16

Tennessee

6.1

1.5

4.6

1.8

6.7

7.5

60.50

Texas

6.8

3.6

4.7

1.3

6.2

6.6

56.58

Texas A&M

5.4

1.5

5.3

-0.3

5.0

4.9

55.77

U C L A

12.7

4.9

3.8

3.6

8.4

11.1

55.06

Utah

7.2

7.5

4.9

-3.2

5.0

1.1

57.90

Utah St.

10.8

7.8

7.0

-0.7

4.9

6.2

51.00

Villanova

9.5

5.3

4.1

2.1

8.0

8.1

57.30

Virginia Common.

8.6

6.6

-0.6

1.9

7.6

2.9

51.94

Wake Forest

11.1

9.3

6.0

0.2

8.5

6.4

55.29

Washington

9.3

3.8

8.4

0.1

7.6

8.6

58.08

West Virginia

10.8

1.1

5.9

3.6

6.8

11.8

58.84

Western Kentucky

5.4

1.5

4.8

0.1

5.7

4.9

51.41

Wisconsin

5.4

0.1

3.0

1.4

5.0

4.7

58.28

Xavier

10.0

7.4

8.4

-2.2

5.4

5.5

55.89

 

Round One Games

(numbers in parentheses are PiRate Criteria scores)

 

East Region

 

#1 Pittsburgh (14) vs. #16 East Tennessee (6) [Pitt has a schedule 13 points per game stronger]:  This game will be over quickly.  Pitt will dominate inside and put this one away in the first 10 minutes.  It could be a 20-point margin before halftime. 

 

Prediction: Pittsburgh 78 East Tennessee 56

 

#8 Oklahoma State (0) vs. #9 Tennessee (6) [Tennessee has a schedule 1 point per game stronger]:  These teams are similar, but Tennessee has just a little more talent than the Cowboys.  The Volunteers should win the battle of the boards by five or more, and the two or three extra offensive put-backs should decide this game.

 

Prediction: Tennessee 82 Oklahoma State 77

 

#5 Florida State (0) vs. #12 Wisconsin (2) [Schedule strengths are equal]: 12-Seeds are the ones that tend to draw the most attention at first round upsets.  Part of the reason is because 12-seeds are usually the last bubble teams to make the tournament.  Frequently, they are quite a bit better than their seeding.  This doesn’t apply in this game.  Wisconsin is lucky to be an invitee.  The reason the Badgers have a 50-50 chance of winning this one is the fact that Florida State isn’t a dominating ACC team.  They rely on one big scorer, and they win games by one to six points.  The winner of this game will be going home after the next one, and we’ll go with the Badgers to win a close one.

 

Prediction: Wisconsin 68 Florida State 66

 

#4 Xavier (8) vs. #13 Portland State (1) [Xavier has a schedule 10 points per game stronger]: Xavier would have qualified among the big dozen if they had a positive turnover margin.  The Musketeers don’t have the tools to advance to the Elite 8 and will only crack the Sweet 16 due to a weak second round opponent.  This Portland State team is nowhere near as talented as last year’s team.  That team had a chance to compete, while this years Vikings will know they are done by halftime of this game.

 

Prediction: Xavier 79 Portland State 62

 

#6 U C L A (14) vs. #11 Virginia Commonwealth (3) [UCLA has a schedule 3 points per game stronger]: VCU is one of those pesky teams that can throw an opponent off its game.  Coach Anthony Grant may be on his way to a big time job after this game.  UCLA will be able to sneak up on opponents in this tournament.  The Bruins didn’t win the Pac-10 title this year, but they have the talent to still be playing in April.  After a beginning that could be ugly, look for the boys from Westwood to get their balance and cruise to a double digit win.

 

Prediction: UCLA 75 VCU 65

 

#3 Villanova (9) vs. #14 American (2) [Villanova has a schedule 10 points per game stronger]: Villanova just barely missed out on being included in the top 12.  The Wildcats are not far behind Louisville, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh in the Big East.  VU has no weaknesses, but they are not as strong across the board as Louisville.  American won both the Patriot League regular season and tournament titles.  This is their second consecutive trip to the tournament, and they enter riding a 13-game winning streak.  They are better than average in every important aspect, but the Eagles’ strength of schedule is not strong enough for that to matter.  They played three good teams this year and lost to all by an average of 23 points.

 

Prediction: Villanova 74 American 55

 

#7 Texas (3) vs. #10 Minnesota (1) [Schedule strengths are equal]: Neither of these teams is going to advance past the opening weekend.  Texas is above average but not great in every aspect.  There are a dozen NIT teams that could beat the Longhorns.  Minnesota isn’t much better.  The Gophers pick up more steals, but they don’t capitalize on them with quick scoring bursts.  We’ll take Texas in a close game, but the Longhorns will not advance farther than one round.

 

Prediction: Texas 72 Minnesota 66

 

#2 Duke (14) vs. #15 Binghamton (-1) [Duke has a schedule 14 points per game stronger]: This won’t be like Duke’s first round game in 2008, when they had to sweat out a last second shot attempt by tiny Belmont.  Binghamton has little inside game, and that’s what it will take to beat Duke.  The Blue Devils will wear down the Bearcats and pull away to a lopsided victory.  They could lead by 35 to 40 points before emptying the bench.

 

Prediction: Duke 91 Binghamton 63

 

South Region

 

#1 North Carolina (17) vs. #16 Radford (3) [North Carolina has a schedule 10 points per game stronger]: Radford can score a lot of points.  They don’t have much depth, and we can see them keeping this game close maybe until midway through the first half.  After that, we look for the Tar Heels to go on a big run and put the game away before halftime.  Don’t be alarmed if UNC doesn’t win by 30 or more points.  Remember, they barely beat James Madison in the opening round one year when they advanced to the title game.

 

Prediction: North Carolina 94 Radford 77

 

#8 L S U (14) vs. #9 Butler (7) [LSU has a schedule 1 point per game stronger]: As 8-9 games are supposed to go, this game should be close with numerous lead changes.  Earlier in the year, Butler won at Xavier, while LSU lost at home to Xavier.  The Tigers know they are facing a team that could easily beat them.  They just barely missed qualifying for a spot on the 12 best teams.  Butler was better last year, but the Bulldogs are no pushover.  LSU will be extended to the end, and the Tigers will be fortunate to escape with a victory.

 

Prediction: LSU 73 Butler 69

 

#5 Illinois (4) vs. #12 Western Kentucky (2) [Illinois has a schedule 6 points per game stronger]: This Western Kentucky team is about 10 points weaker than last season’s Sweet 16 team.  However, the Hilltoppers couldn’t have asked for a better #5 seed to face in the first game.  This one has the look of another 12-seed upset, but we will select the Illini to hold off a tough rally.

 

Prediction: Illinois 61 Western Kentucky 58

 

#4 Gonzaga (19) vs. #13 Akron (3) [Gonzaga has a schedule 4 points per game stronger]: If Gonzaga were in the Pac-10 and had the identical stats they have this year, we would place them in the Final Four.  This is probably a better team than the Adam Morrison team a few years back.  The ‘Zags finished the season marching through the opposition like Sherman marched through Georgia.  In their final seven games, Gonzaga won all seven by an average score of 84-56!  Akron isn’t a bad team.  The MAC conference tournament champs might be favored in a first round game in other years, but they are going up against the North Carolina of the mid-majors.  Better luck next time Zips.

 

Prediction: Gonzaga 80 Akron 67

 

#6 Arizona State (4) vs. #11 Temple (0) [Schedule strengths are equal]: Arizona State lost four of its final seven games, while Temple won 10 of its last 12 including the Atlantic 10 Tournament title.  Even though the Sun Devils own a better criteria score, we believe Temple should be a slight favorite in this game.  Temple should control the boards in this game, and we expect a game with many missed shots.  Offensive rebounding should decide this one.

 

Prediction: Temple 64 Arizona State 58

 

#3 Syracuse (4) vs. #14 Stephen F. Austin (8) [Syracuse has a schedule 12 points per game stronger]: Be warned! This game could be a nail-biter.  Syracuse will not be fully recovered from the Big East Tournament.  They may never fully recover the rest of this season.  SFA is not a pushover, as judged by their criteria score.  Their strength of schedule does not merit making them an upset favorite.  They could keep this one close.  However, being their first tourney appearance, the players will be tight at the beginning of the game.  Syracuse may not bring their A-game, but it will be enough to win.  Don’t expect the Orangemen to score 80 points in this game, but then again, don’t expect the Lumberjacks to get many second-chance scoring opportunities. 

 

Prediction: Syracuse 69 Stephen F. Austin 59

 

#7 Clemson (9) vs. #10 Michigan (-4) [Michigan has a schedule 3 points per game stronger]: John Beilein’s West Virginia team is the only Elite 8 team to fall through the PiRate cracks in recent years.  This Michigan team plays much like that one, but the Wolverines are not yet as good.  Michigan tries to limit possessions and win by hitting a lot more three-pointers than they give up.  It is a good gimmick when you don’t have superior talent.  We just don’t see it working in the Big Dance.  Their criteria score is -4, which is the worst of the 63 teams that have a positive R+T rating.  Clemson was a better team in 2008, and that Tiger team fell to Villanova in the first round.  We expect the Tigers to get over the hump and win their opening round game this year.

 

Prediction: Clemson 77 Michigan 66

 

#2 Oklahoma (9) vs. #15 Morgan State (4) [Oklahoma has a schedule 13 points per game stronger]: Oklahoma would have qualified for a spot in the top 12 if they had a positive turnover margin.  When they face a team that forced turnovers, the Sooners are going to have a rough time.  Missouri and Oklahoma State beat the Sooners in the last two weeks, and both of those teams are ball-hawking squads.  Morgan State is not capable of forcing Oklahoma into a bevy of turnovers, so OU is safe in the opening round.  Sooner fans should root like crazy for Michigan to beat Clemson, because the Tigers are a lot like Missouri and Oklahoma State.

 

Prediction: Oklahoma 79 Morgan State 65

 

Midwest Region

 

#1 Louisville (10) vs. #16 Morehead State (1) [Louisville has a schedule 10 points per game stronger]: These two teams met in December with UL winning by 38 points.  The Eagles are much better than they were three months ago, but not 38 points better.  Louisville will get a light workout in this game, and that will keep them fresh for round two.

 

Prediction: Louisville 76 Morehead State 49

 

#8 Ohio State (DNQ) vs. #9 Siena (5) [Ohio State has a schedule 3 points per game stronger]: Here is what looks like a mild upset in the making.  Ohio State is one of two teams that fail to qualify due to a negative R+T rating.  What that means is the Buckeyes give up more scoring opportunities than they get.  Think of a major league baseball team that wins 90 games in the regular season to qualify for the playoffs but gives up one more hit per game than themselves while hitting an average amount of home runs.  That team won’t go far in the playoffs.  Siena won an opening round game in last year’s tournament, and this Saints’ team is better this year than last year.  Siena stands a 55-60% chance of winning this game.

 

Prediction: Siena 74 Ohio State 70

 

#5 Utah (3) vs. #12 Arizona (-2) [Utah has a schedule 1 point per game stronger]: The winner of this game won’t be advancing much further.  Arizona really shouldn’t be here.  Almost every major conference team and more than half of the mid-major teams in the NIT could beat Arizona.  Utah won 11 of their final 13 games, and the Utes should make it 12 of 14.  However, don’t expect any deep runs like in the Rick Majerus or Jack Gardner days.

 

Prediction: Utah 68 Arizona 63

 

#4 Wake Forest (12) vs. #13 Cleveland State (7) [Wake Forest has a schedule 3 points per game stronger]: Cleveland State deserves their seeding.  The Vikings defeated Butler and won at Syracuse during the season and played competitive games at Washington and at West Virginia.  Wake Forest qualifies as one of the super 12 teams, and they will have a tougher time with CSU in the opening round than they will have with either Utah or Arizona in round two.

 

Prediction: Wake Forest 69 Cleveland State 62

 

#6 West Virginia (16) vs. #11 Dayton (5) [West Virginia has a schedule 6 points per game stronger]: West Virginia is the top dark horse in our criteria.  We believe they can advance to Detroit.  Dayton is a solid team and can hold their own on the glass against the Mountaineers.  We believe the game will be decided by turnovers.  WVU will force three to five more and capitalize on that differential with five to eight points.  We will add a little more to the difference by believing Dayton will put West Virginia at the line several times in the closing minutes and fail to score quickly at their end.

 

Prediction: West Virginia 74 Dayton 65

 

#3 Kansas (10) vs. #14 North Dakota State (10) [Kansas has a schedule 13 points per game stronger]: North Dakota State is making an appearance in the Big Dance in their first year they are qualified.  Their criteria score is a little misleading, as they have a rather weak strength of schedule.  The Bison may give the Jayhawks a battle through a couple of TV timeouts, but KU will go to the locker at the half up by at least eight and pull away in the second half.

 

Prediction: Kansas 81 North Dakota State 59

 

#7 Boston College (-2) vs. #10 Southern California (2) [Southern Cal has a schedule 3 points per game stronger]: This should be an interesting and entertaining game.  The winner should be out of the tournament one round later.  Trying to pick a winner in this game is a pure crap shoot.  Boston College beat North Carolina and lost to Harvard.  USC started 10-3, then lost 9 of 15, and then won five in a row, including three consecutive Pac-10 Tournament victories over NCAA Tournament teams.

 

Prediction: Southern Cal 73 Boston College 70

 

#2 Michigan State (7) vs. #15 Robert Morris (2) [Michigan State has a schedule 13 points per game stronger]: The Spartans should make it to the Sweet 16, but we just don’t see any Big 10 team winning an Elite 8 game this year.  Robert Morris must rely on one star in Jeremy Chappell.  The Colonials don’t rebound well, and MSU will play volleyball on the offensive glass. 

 

Prediction: Michigan State 76 Robert Morris 54

 

West Regional

 

#1 Connecticut (12) vs. #16 Chattanooga (-1) [Connecticut has a schedule 8 points per game stronger]: We pity the poor Mocs.  They are going to be the victims of one of the two most lopsided opening round game.  UConn will dominate this game from start to finish.  Chattanooga will be lucky to lead this one 2-0 at the start, because it could easily be a game where the Huskies hold the Mocs scoreless to the first TV timeout and lead by double digits by the time Chattanooga scores.

 

Prediction: Connecticut 98 Chattanooga 63

 

#8 B Y U (13) vs. #9 Texas A&M (2) [Texas A&M has a schedule 1 point per game stronger]: This looks like another excellent tossup game, but our criteria show it to be a one-sided affair.  BYU would belong in the top 12 if they had played a stronger schedule.  The Cougars do everything well; they outscore their opposition by 12.7 points per game.  They shoot 8.5% better than their opponents.  They control the boards by more than 4 per game and force 2.5 more turnovers per game than they commit.  The Cougars just haven’t beaten a big time team.  Texas A&M owns victories over four major teams in the Dance.  That makes it the tossup game it is supposed to be.

 

Prediction: BYU 74 Texas A&M 69

 

#5 Purdue (6) vs. #12 Northern Iowa (-1) [Purdue has a schedule 4 points per game stronger]: The Boilermakers split their final 10 regular season games before finding their stride in the Big 10 Tournament.  Northern Iowa is in the Dance because they can edge Illinois State every time they face off.  Illinois State won’t be on the schedule until next season, so NIU can begin looking forward to next season after this game.  Don’t expect Purdue to still be around next week.  This is going to prove to be another weak year for the Big 10.

 

Prediction: Purdue 71 Northern Iowa 60

 

#4 Washington (9) vs. #13 Mississippi State (DNQ) [Washington has a schedule 2 points per game stronger]: The Pac-10 regular season champions take on the surprise winner of the SEC Tournament.  MSU is one of two teams that do not qualify due to a negative R+T number.  It’s hard to imagine that with Jarvis Varnado in the lineup, the Bulldogs still have a slight negative rebounding margin.  They also have a negative turnover margin and didn’t play that tough of a schedule.  Washington won’t have to travel far from Seattle to Portland, and the Huskies should win this one by more points than most people expect.

 

Prediction: Washington 81 Mississippi State 66

 

#6 Marquette (9) vs. #11 Utah State (10) [Marquette has a schedule 5 points per game stronger]: Marquette would definitely be included in the top 12 if Dominic James were not out for the season.  Prior to his foot fracture, MU was a Top 10 team capable of making a run to the Final Four.  Without him, they really should be a double digit seed.  Utah State is one of the handful of mid-majors capable of making a run to the Sweet 16.  The Aggies will have trouble against an aggressive, pressing team, but Marquette isn’t one of those teams.  This game is actually a tossup.  With no partiality to an in-state team, we’re going with Marquette to survive a toughie.

 

Prediction: Marquette 70 Utah State 65

 

#3 Missouri (14) vs. #14 Cornell (5) [Missouri has a schedule 11 points per game stronger]: Missouri has the talent to make a deep run in this tournament.  Any team that has trouble facing pressure defense is going to find itself in a heap of trouble.  The Tigers are the best pressing team in the Big Dance and the only team averaging double figure steals per game.  If Mizzou gets 12 steals in a game, they are going to score 20 or more points off those steals.  That is a mighty stat for an opponent to overcome.  Cornell is not as good this year as they were last year when they won the Ivy League with ease.  This team has no signature wins, and they lost by double digits to all three NCAA Tournament teams on their schedule.

 

Prediction: Missouri 82 Cornell 58

 

#7 California (1) vs. #10 Maryland (1) [Maryland has a schedule 2 points per game stronger]:  On paper, this game looks like an exciting game.  We consider it the most mediocre game of the opening round.  One of these teams will advance to the Round of 32 and become fodder for Memphis.  Cal will win the battle on the boards, but Maryland will not beat themselves with unforced errors.  The Terps beat North Carolina and Wake Forest in the last month, while Cal has been a sub-.500 team since mid-January.

 

Prediction: Maryland 71 California 67

 

#2 Memphis (19) vs. #15 Cal State Northridge (-1) [Memphis has a schedule 7 points per game stronger]: Not only is Memphis coming into the tournament playing its best ball of the season, the Tigers enter the Dance with a chip on their shoulders.  They deserved a number one seed, and now they will take it out on their next opponent or maybe next six.  The Matadors lost to Cal State Bakersfield as well as some other teams with an RPI well down the list.  Memphis has won 25 games in a row, and the Tigers are the real number one team in our book.  At the point when Coach Cal removes his top eight players from the game, the Tigers may have yielded less than a point per minute in this game.

 

Prediction: Memphis 83 Cal State Northridge 47

 

Coming Friday, a look at Saturday’s games.  Sunday’s game previews will run Saturday.

March 21, 2008

A PiRate Look At The 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament–March 22, 2008 (3rd Update)

 

A PiRate Look At The 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament

March 22, 2008 (3rd Update)

Thursday almost brought one major surprise when Duke escaped with a one-point win over Belmont.  Most of the other Thursday games were a little ho-hum.  The PiRate Criteria Rating was 15-1 on the day, losing only on the Texas A&M and BYU game, a game I said was the most competitive of the day.  Additionally, I predicted that UCLA would set a record for fewest points allowed in the modern day NCAA Tournament; they did just that by holding the weakest team in the tournament, Mississippi Valley State, to just 29 points.

Friday was the day that ruined brackets all over America.  The four lower seeds in Tampa all upset the four higher seeds.  While I didn’t do as well Friday (9-7) as I did Thursday, my big teams all advanced and are still alive.  That’s what this criteria looks to accomplish-find the teams that have what it takes to get to San Antonio.

Now, we’re down to 32 and by Sunday night, the Sweet 16 will be all that’s left.  Let’s take a look at the PiRate Criteria as it applied to the second round.  Due to time constraints, I will be using statistics that do not reflect the first round tournament games.

East Region

#1 North Carolina (33-2)

Scoring Margin: 16.9

FG% Margin: 6.2

Rebound Margin: 11.6

TO Margin: 1.9

Steals: 8.5

R + T: 15.48

PiRate: 15

SOS: .5921

#9 Arkansas (23-11)

Scoring Margin: 6.6

FG% Margin: 4.9

Rebound Margin: 4.5

TO Margin: -0.3

Steals: 7.0

R + T: 4.0

PiRate: 0

SOS: .5701

North Carolina has too much inside game for Steve Hill to stop and too much outside game for the Razorbacks to sag in the lane.  The Tar Heels will be on cruise control as they waltz to the Sweet 16.  Adding an extra few points for home state (cross town) advantage, you come up with another double digit win for the Tar Heels.

Prediction: North Carolina by 14

#5 Notre Dame (25-7)

Scoring Margin: 10.1

FG% Margin: 4.7

Rebound Margin: 5.8

TO Margin: -0.4

Steals: 6.4

R + T: 5.19

PiRate: 7

SOS: .5414

#4 Washington State (25-8)

Scoring Margin: 10.0

FG% Margin: 5.6

Rebound Margin: 0.1

TO Margin: 3.0

Steals: 6.3

R + T: 4.64

PiRate: 9

SOS: .5613

The best of the rest in the Big East meets the best of the rest in the Pac-10.  This game is obviously a tossup, as the criteria indicates.  Washington State has a slight edge in the final numbers, and they have extra impetus here to make up for what they thought was a blown chance in the second round last year.

While something in my gut says the Irish are going to win, my criteria forces me to go with Washington State in a close ball game.

Prediction: Washington State by 4

#6 Oklahoma (23-11)

Scoring Margin: 5.0

FG% Margin: 3.6

Rebound Margin: 3.0

TO Margin: 0.4

Steals: 6.6

R + T: 3.63

PiRate: 2

SOS: .5753

#3 Louisville (25-8)

Scoring Margin: 10.6

FG% Margin: 7.0

Rebound Margin: 3.0

TO Margin: 1.2

Steals: 8.1

R + T: 5.33

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5852

The Big 12 and the Big East have enjoyed early success in the Big Dance this year, and now representatives from both conferences face off in this game.

Oklahoma was quite impressive in their win over St. Joe’s, while Louisville had little more than a workout against Boise State.  Rick Pitino certainly knows how to prepare his team in the NCAA Tournament, and I expect his Cardinals to move on to the Sweet 16.

Prediction: Louisville by 8

#7 Butler (30-3)

Scoring Margin: 10.5

FG% Margin: 2.1

Rebound Margin: -1.1

TO Margin: 3.6

Steals: 6.3

R + T: 4.34

PiRate: 6

SOS: .5181

# 2 Tennessee (30-4)

Scoring Margin: 12.9

FG% Margin: 2.9

Rebound Margin: 1.2

TO Margin: 5.4

Steals: 9.3

R + T: 13.25

PiRate: 13

SOS: .6063

Butler will not be intimidated by the Vols.  The Bulldogs clobbered Tennessee last year in the semifinals of the Pre-season NIT.

Tennessee has not played its best ball in the last couple of weeks.  It could be the Vols have players hitting the wall as they prepare to play their full-court pressing, fast breaking style of play in game 35.

Butler cannot really take advantage of Tennessee’s lone weakness.  The Bulldogs don’t rebound the ball with enough authority to dominate the glass in this game, and I think second chance points could be a major factor in this game.

Prediction: Tennessee by 7

Midwest Region

#1 Kansas (32-3)

Scoring Margin: 19.9

FG% Margin: 12.3

Rebound Margin: 7.9

TO Margin: 3.0

Steals: 9.0

R + T: 14.38

PiRate: 21

SOS: .5594

#8 UNLV (27-7)

Scoring Margin: 8.0

FG% Margin: 1.6

Rebound Margin: -1.6

TO Margin: 4.3

Steals: 7.9

R + T: 6.55

PiRate: 5

SOS: .5496

The Jayhawks are solid at every position and in every phase of the game.  UNLV will not be able to keep the rebounding statistics close to even.  I expect KU to win the battle of the boards by five to 10.  The Runnin’ Rebels will have a hard time scoring consistently without some form of transition game, while Kansas should pick up 10-15 points thanks to their fast break and early offense.  The Big 12 is showing itself to be maybe the best conference so far, and I am selecting the Jayhawks to win with relative ease.

Prediction: Kansas by 15

#12 Villanova (21-12)

Scoring Margin: 3.5

FG% Margin: -0.9

Rebound Margin: 2.7

TO Margin: 2.4

Steals: 8.1

R + T: 7.37

PiRate: -1

SOS: .5586

#13 Siena (23-10)

Scoring Margin: 5.7

FG% Margin: 0.0

Rebound Margin: -4.5

TO Margin: 6.3

Steals: 9.4

R + T: 9.71

PiRate: 5

SOS: .5218

Villanova may have been the final at-large team in the field, but they proved their worth by coming back from an 18-point deficit to beat the team that took North Carolina to the wire last weekend.  Now, the Wildcats find themselves as the sole remaining team from the City of Brotherly Love.  Their win gave the Big East a 7-1 mark in the first round.

Siena did not upset Vanderbilt; they won by 21, and that’s no upset.  It’s plain to see that experts all over the nation, including Seth Davis, called this one correctly.  The Saints went marching all over the Commodores.  Now, they aim for a berth in the Sweet 16, and they match up well with Villanova.  The Wildcats extended themselves in their come-from-behind win, and they should bounce a little on Sunday.

Siena’s quickness just may be enough to advance the Saints into the third round.  I expect an even better scoring performance by Siena’s big three scorers, and I expect Coach Fran McCaffery’s cagers to steal the ball enough times to get some cheap baskets in the stretch.

Prediction: Siena by 4

#11 Kansas State (21-11)

Scoring Margin: 9.8

FG% Margin: 2.1

Rebound Margin: 8.1

TO Margin: 1.3

Steals: 7.7

R + T: 10.5

PiRate: 11

SOS: .5697

#3 Wisconsin (30-4)

Scoring Margin: 13.5

FG% Margin: 7.0

Rebound Margin: 5.7

TO Margin: 4.8

Steals: 6.3

R + T: 12.96

PiRate: 17

SOS: .5518

This should be an interesting game worth watching.  Kansas State didn’t have its best effort and still looked amazing against Southern Cal.  The Wildcats can play even better than that, especially when Michael Beasley doesn’t get in quick foul trouble.  I don’t expect the men from the Little Apple to commit as many fouls in this game.

Wisconsin keeps winning like they are a push-button, mechanical team.  They play at a rather consistent pace and just don’t lose because of their actions; you have to beat them with superior talent and strategy, because this team is as fundamentally sound as a team can be.

I believe Coach Ryan will devise a game plan that slows down Beasley and forces Bill Walker out of his comfort zone.  At the same time, I expect K-State’s defense to shut down Wisconsin for long stretches and make the Badgers look human.  In the end, I’ll go with the Badgers to recover and score just enough points to win.  Look for a score in the neighborhood of 60-55.  If Wisconsin goes into a long drought in the second half, then KSU will take a commanding lead and hold on for the upset.  It wouldn’t be that much of an upset, because the Wildcats should have been seeded in the upper half of the brackets.

Prediction: Wisconsin by an iffy 5

#10 Davidson (27-6)

Scoring Margin: 15.8

FG% Margin: 5.8

Rebound Margin: 4.3

TO Margin: 4.6

Steals: 8.1

R + T: 13.24

PiRate: 15

SOS: .5252

#2 Georgetown (28-5)

Scoring Margin: 11.7

FG% Margin: 11.9

Rebound Margin: 2.6

TO Margin: -0.4

Steals: 7.1

R + T: 1.92

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5670

The criteria shows that Davidson has a real chance in this game.  The Wildcats came from behind in a hard-fought game to knock off Gonzaga, while Georgetown played a so-so game against a team that is virtually the same as an in-state opponent.

I expect Stephen Curry’s shooting percentage to go south, while Georgetown performs up to standards.  I just don’t see the Wildcats having enough inside to win, but they had stretches this year in their games against North Carolina and UCLA where they handled themselves on the boards against even better inside teams.

I won’t totally discount Davidson, especially since the criteria says they will win.  I’ll stick with the #2-seed to get by on defense and rebounding to pull out a win in a rough game.

Prediction: Georgetown by 8

South Region

#1 Memphis (34-1)

Scoring Margin: 19.1

FG% Margin: 8.3

Rebound Margin: 6.5

TO Margin: 4.4

Steals: 8.7

R + T: 15.69

PiRate: 19

SOS: .5749

#8 Mississippi State (23-10)

Scoring Margin: 8.0

FG% Margin: 9.3

Rebound Margin: 5.1

TO Margin: -2.6

Steals: 6.0

R + T: 1.36

PiRate: 7

SOS: .5523

This game will be physical and could get ugly.  This is a backyard brawl between two schools that have rivalries in more than one sport.  Mississippi State doesn’t have the ball handlers to break Memphis’s press and score in transition.  That will allow the Tigers to gamble a little on their press and force a few more turnovers.

Mississippi State will intimidate the Tigers in the paint and force Memphis’s big men to alter their shots.  It will give the Bulldogs a fighting chance in this game.

All year, I have wondered if Memphis has been seasoned enough.  However, upon looking at their strength of schedule, those fears have been unfounded.  Look for the top seed to advance.

Prediction: Memphis by 9

#5 Michigan State (26-8)

Scoring Margin: 9.3

FG% Margin: 7.9

Rebound Margin: 7.1

TO Margin: -1.2

Steals: 6.1

R + T: 5.34

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5636

#4 Pittsburgh (27-9)

Scoring Margin: 8.9

FG% Margin: 3.8

Rebound Margin: 4.4

TO Margin: 1.9

Steals: 6.8

R + T: 7.50

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5723

This will be the equivalent of the Bears and Packers playing football in the 1930’s.  Both of these teams can play muscle basketball with the best of them.  The criteria calls this one a 50-50 proposition, so I have to vote to break the tie.  I’m going with Pittsburgh for two reasons.  First, they are playing their best ball of the season and are riding a nice winning streak.  Second, Michigan State has a habit of occasionally going into a funk on offense. 

The Panthers will make it hard for Drew Neitzel to get many open looks from outside, and it will take an epic performance by Raymar Morgan to counter it.  I expect Pitt’s great depth in the frontcourt will eventually wear down the Spartans inside.

Prediction: Pittsburgh by 7

#6 Marquette (25-9)

Scoring Margin:  11.5

FG% Margin: 3.5

Rebound Margin: 2.4

TO Margin: 3.8

Steals: 9.6

R + T: 11.16

PiRate: 13

SOS: .5753

#3 Stanford (27-7)

Scoring Margin:  10.1

FG% Margin: 5.5

Rebound Margin: 8.0

TO Margin: -0.5

Steals: 4.4

R + T: 7.47

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5547

Marquette has the better criteria here by a healthy margin.  The Golden Eagles looked a little off in their opening round game with Kentucky, but that may have been more Kentucky’s doing.  Stanford’s defense will look ordinary compared to the Wildcats. 

At the other end of the floor, Stanford’s hope is to dominate the boards and get multiple offensive rebounds and second chance points.  I think the Cardinal will lose the turnover battle by at least three or four, so a decided rebounding margin will be a must.  I’m guessing that won’t happen.

Prediction: Marquette by 6

#7 Miami (Fla.) (23-10)

Scoring Margin: 7.0 

FG% Margin: 3.1

Rebound Margin: 2.1

TO Margin: 1.2

Steals: 6.1

R + T: 3.86

PiRate: 1

SOS: .5599

#2 Texas (29-6)

Scoring Margin: 11.1 

FG% Margin: 6.3

Rebound Margin: 2.5

TO Margin: 2.9

Steals: 6.2

R + T: 6.82

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5950

The ACC only put four teams into the Dance, and three of them won in the first round.  The Big 12 saw five of its six entrants survive to the second round.  Something has to give Sunday.

Miami’s second half against St. Mary’s showed a Hurricane team that was capable of competing with any team in the tournament.  Texas blew Austin Peay off the floor before the first TV timeout, and the Longhorns will come into this game fresh and ready to give the Big 12 another victory.

Prediction: Texas by 10

West Region

#1 U C L A (32-3)

Scoring Margin: 15.0 

FG% Margin: 4.8

Rebound Margin: 8.4

TO Margin: 2.5

Steals: 7.4

R + T: 12.84

PiRate: 14

SOS: .5771

#9 Texas A&M (25-10)

Scoring Margin: 9.6  

FG% Margin: 7.3

Rebound Margin: 7.1

TO Margin: -1.5

Steals: 4.5

R + T: 5.48

PiRate: 6

SOS: .5561

UCLA’s defensive effort in the opening round was nothing short of spectacular, even against lowly Mississippi Valley.  Texas A&M played a complete game against BYU.  I expect the Aggies to be pests in this game and keep it close for most of the day.

The match-ups only slightly favor the Bruins, but the venue favors the sky blue and gold even more.  Look for Ben Howland’s squad to move on to the Sweet 16, but it won’t be another repeat of Thursday night.

Prediction: UCLA by 9

#12 Western Kentucky (28-6)

Scoring Margin: 11.6  

FG% Margin: 5.1

Rebound Margin: 3.3

TO Margin: 3.8

Steals: 7.8

R + T: 10.41

PiRate: 15

SOS: .5123

#13 San Diego (22-13)

Scoring Margin: 2.2 

FG% Margin: 1.0

Rebound Margin: 1.8

TO Margin: 0.3

Steals: 6.8

R + T: 2.29

PiRate: 0

SOS: .5283

As former New York Yankee broadcaster Mel Allen used to say, “How about that?”  The number 12 and number 13 seed advanced twice in Tampa.  According to the PiRate criteria, Western Kentucky is a hidden gem.  The Hilltoppers made it to the Final Four in 1971, only to have their appearance forfeited.  Might WKU be on a course to get there again?  I think they will come up short by at least one and possibly two games, but I think they will be one of the final 16 teams with a chance to do just that.

I don’t give San Diego much chance in this game, because I’m not sure they can come back down to Earth after knocking off Connecticut Friday.  Two years ago, George Mason was able to stay up after winning big game after big game, but that team had a double digit criteria number-just like WKU.

Prediction: Western Kentucky by 7

#6 Purdue (25-8)

Scoring Margin: 7.5 

FG% Margin: -1.1

Rebound Margin: -0.1

TO Margin: 4.8

Steals: 8.5

R + T: 9.69

PiRate: 2

SOS: .5204

#3 Xavier (28-6)

Scoring Margin: 13.0 

FG% Margin: 7.4

Rebound Margin: 6.2

TO Margin: -0.2

Steals: 5.6

R + T: 5.93

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5720

Xavier fiddled for 32 minutes Thursday before wearing down Georgia.  The Musketeers should play more consistently in this second round game, and it should be enough to send their Big 10 bully back to Indiana.

Xavier should control the boards and shoot a higher percentage from the field than the Boilermakers.  Unless they commit 18 or more turnovers, with a good eight being PU steals or they shoot below 35%, they will get too many additional chances to score to possibly lose.

Prediction: Xavier by 7

#7 West Virginia (25-10)

Scoring Margin: 11.9 

FG% Margin: 3.5

Rebound Margin: 2.0

TO Margin: 4.8

Steals: 7.2

R + T: 10.29

PiRate: 13

SOS: .5616

#2 Duke (28-5)

Scoring Margin: 14.8 

FG% Margin: 3.1

Rebound Margin: 0.5

TO Margin: 5.0

Steals: 8.7

R + T: 10.94

PiRate: 13

SOS: .5857

Here is my upset pick for Saturday.  West Virginia has the horses to exploit Duke’s weakness in the paint.  These two teams’ criteria couldn’t be much closer, and Duke’s schedule strength advantage of 2.4 isn’t going to tilt the game in their favor.

West Virginia is improving every week, whereas Duke appears to be hitting a valley.  The win over Belmont was not the result of overlooking their #15-seeded opponents.  The Blue Devils just didn’t look like they were capable of putting Belmont away at any point in the game.

Prediction: West Virginia by 6

March 19, 2008

A PiRate Look At The 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament–March 19, 2008 (2nd Update)

 

A PiRate Look At The 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament

March 19, 2008 (2nd Update)

There’s a pandemic hitting this country this week.  Millions of Americans are coming down with a 48-hour illness and will have to stay home from work Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21.  If this applies to you, then I have some medicine that will make you more comfortable.  Consume this special PiRate juice; I call it bracketcillin.

If you have read my prior two postings, I have explained my criteria for selecting teams to advance.  Without repeating it totally, I look for teams with large scoring margins, large field goal percentage margins, a combination of rebounding and turnover margins, and strength of schedule to separate the pretenders from the contenders.  I assign numbers based on this result to find the teams with the best chances of advancing deep into the tournament.

Here is a preview of the first round games on Thursday and Friday.  Following that, I will then fill out my bracket for you.

East Region

#1 North Carolina (32-2)

Scoring Margin: 16.9

FG% Margin: 6.2

Rebound Margin: 11.6

TO Margin: 1.9

Steals: 8.5

R + T: 15.48

PiRate: 15

SOS: .5921

#16 Mount St. Mary’s (19-14)

Scoring Margin: 2.8

FG% Margin: 3.1

Rebound Margin: -1.4

TO Margin: 0.7

Steals: 7.3

R + T: -0.17

PiRate: Eliminate with -(R+T) rating

SOS: .4924

This one is a no-brainer.  Mount St. Mary’s will have no answer for the Tar Heels inside game, and they won’t be able to stop the transition game either.  UNC will quickly put this game away and be quite rested for Sunday’s second round game.  If MSM didn’t have a negative R+T rating, their PiRate score would be -2.  Carolina’s schedule gives them an extra 10 points for an advantage of 25 to -2.  You can also throw in a three points for home state advantage.  This does not equate to a 30-point spread; it correlates to a 50-point margin.  I look for Roy Williams to empty the bench early enough to prevent the score from getting that lopsided. 

Prediction: North Carolina by 28

#8 Indiana (25-7)

Scoring Margin: 10.4

FG% Margin: 5.4

Rebound Margin: 6.7

TO Margin: -0.2

Steals: 7.0

R + T: 6.36

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5549

#9 Arkansas (22-11)

Scoring Margin: 6.6

FG% Margin: 4.9

Rebound Margin: 4.5

TO Margin: -0.3

Steals: 7.0

R + T: 4.0

PiRate: 0

SOS: .5701

Before using the criteria to select a winner here, we must penalize Indiana five points for having a late season coaching change, one that greatly affected the Hoosiers’ performance.  IU was clearly not the same team with Dan Dakich as head coach as they were with Kelvin Sampson leading the team.

Arkansas gets 1.5 points benefit from having a stronger schedule.  Combine this with Indiana’s losing five points, and the difference becomes 1.5 points.  I’ll still go with Indiana to win the game, but the game should be close. 

Prediction: Indiana by 4.

#5 Notre Dame (24-7)

Scoring Margin: 10.1

FG% Margin: 4.7

Rebound Margin: 5.8

TO Margin: -0.4

Steals: 6.4

R + T: 5.19

PiRate: 7

SOS: .5414

#12 George Mason (23-10)

Scoring Margin: 7.6

FG% Margin: 5.0

Rebound Margin: 4.0

TO Margin: -0.2

Steals: 5.6

R + T: 3.73

PiRate: 1

SOS: .5166

This George Mason team does not have the same gaudy stats that their 2006 Final Four team had.  While the Patriots scoring, shooting, and rebounding margins are quite good, their turnover and R+T margins don’t approach that of two years ago.

Notre Dame possesses similar statistics to GMU, but they are just a little better and played a tougher schedule.  Go with the Irish to win a game that is still in doubt with 10 minutes to play. 

Prediction: Notre Dame by 7

#4 Washington State (24-8)

Scoring Margin: 10.0

FG% Margin: 5.6

Rebound Margin: 0.1

TO Margin: 3.0

Steals: 6.3

R + T: 4.64

PiRate: 9

SOS: .5613

#13 Winthrop (22-11)

Scoring Margin: 7.4

FG% Margin: 5.1

Rebound Margin: 3.7

TO Margin: 2.3

Steals: 8.5

R + T: 8.39

PiRate: 7

SOS: .5072

Watch out here!  Winthrop is good enough to upset the Cougars in the first round Thursday night and compete for a Sweet 16 berth Saturday evening.  Their criteria score is not as strong as some of the other mid-majors, but it’s good enough to win an opening round game.

Washington State has really good numbers as well, and the Cougars are probably the worst possible opponent for Winthrop to face.  WSU will not give away the ball and will not take a ton of ill-advised shots.  Coach Tony Bennett’s squad plays smart, albeit passive, ball on offense with tight defense.  This will work against Winthrop, but the first time the Cougars face an up-tempo team that can force turnovers, they will be going home. 

Prediction: Washington State by 8

#6 Oklahoma (22-11)

Scoring Margin: 5.0

FG% Margin: 3.6

Rebound Margin: 3.0

TO Margin: 0.4

Steals: 6.6

R + T: 3.63

PiRate: 2

SOS: .5753

#11 St. Joseph’s (21-12)

Scoring Margin: 6.0

FG% Margin: 4.3

Rebound Margin: 0.0

TO Margin: 1.5

Steals: 7.2

R + T: 2.59

PiRate: 2

SOS: .5559

If you are looking for a double-digit seed to advance in the first round, you have to consider this game.  St. Joe’s matches up well with Oklahoma.  The Sooners rely on an inside game and don’t scare many people with their outside shooting.  St. Joe’s defense is excellent in the paint, and I expect the Hawks to neutralize the one-two punch of Blake Griffin and Longar Longar.

This game will come down to which team commits the fewer mistakes/forces more mistakes.  It’s a complete toss-up, so you will have to make a guess as to which team advances.  I’m going with St. Joe’s only because Phil Martelli’s teams have done well in the early rounds.

Prediction: St. Joe’s by 3

#3 Louisville (24-8)

Scoring Margin: 10.6

FG% Margin: 7.0

Rebound Margin: 3.0

TO Margin: 1.2

Steals: 8.1

R + T: 5.33

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5852

#14 Boise State (25-8)

Scoring Margin: 6.6

FG% Margin: 7.0

Rebound Margin: 2.3

TO Margin: -0.9

Steals: 6.4

R + T: 0.92

PiRate: 0

SOS: .4904

This smells like a blowout.  Boise State will be coming off a huge high after winning at New Mexico State in triple overtime for the WAC Tournament Championship.  Louisville will be looking to rebound after being dismissed by Pitt in overtime. 

Other than having one of the best field goal percentages, Boise State is pedestrian at-best elsewhere.  Louisville’s pressure defense may not force many turnovers, but I expect the Cards to take the Broncos out of their offense and force shots BSU wouldn’t normally take.  Also, look for Louisville’s great depth to tire the BSU regulars.  Once fatigued, the BSU shooting prowess will disappear, and so will the Broncos’ chances.

Prediction: Louisville by 14

#7 Butler (29-3)

Scoring Margin: 10.5

FG% Margin: 2.1

Rebound Margin: -1.1

TO Margin: 3.6

Steals: 6.3

R + T: 4.34

PiRate: 6

SOS: .5181

#10 South Alabama (26-6)

Scoring Margin: 10.6

FG% Margin: 5.9

Rebound Margin: 6.5

TO Margin: 0.3

Steals: 6.1

R + T: 6.94

PiRate: 10

SOS: .5178

If the mid-majors held their own tournament with 32 teams, these two squads would be expected to compete for Final Four berths.  Both of them are good enough to defeat a major conference opponent in a first round match, but one of them will be going home.  I believe both teams were seeded lower than they should have been seeded.

South Alabama actually has a little better criteria score than Butler, even though the Bulldogs have been highly ranked all season.  The strengths of schedule are basically even.  It is rare that I pick against the criteria scores, but Butler has three starters left over from last season’s Sweet 16 team, and they played better down the stretch.  I’m going against the form here, so beware.  The criteria picks USA by about five points, but I’m overriding the results and going with the more seasoned five.

Prediction: Butler by 4

# 2 Tennessee (29-4)

Scoring Margin: 12.9

FG% Margin: 2.9

Rebound Margin: 1.2

TO Margin: 5.4

Steals: 9.3

R + T: 13.25

PiRate: 13

SOS: .6063

# 15 American (21-11)

Scoring Margin: 3.2

FG% Margin: 3.4

Rebound Margin: 2.4

TO Margin: 1.5

Steals: 4.5

R + T: 4.02

PiRate: 1

SOS: .5034

American has had a couple of really good teams and really good players in the past like Kermit Washington and Russell Bowers, but this is the Eagles first time in the Big Dance.  They better start dancing as soon as the music starts because they will only get one song.  This team cannot match up with Tennessee’s exceptional quickness. 

The Volunteers are vulnerable if an opponent with an exceptional half-court defense and dominating inside game can additionally hold onto the ball.  They might face that type of team in the second round, but not the first.  Tennessee will take some really dumb shots occasionally, but on the other hand, the orange and white will never feel intense pressure late in games and be afraid to shoot when open.  It’s a wash in the early rounds, and the Vols will breeze with a big win.  The criteria score difference is a whopping 22, which equates to a major blowout.

Prediction: Tennessee by 35

Midwest Region

#1 Kansas (31-3)

Scoring Margin: 19.9

FG% Margin: 12.3

Rebound Margin: 7.9

TO Margin: 3.0

Steals: 9.0

R + T: 14.38

PiRate: 21

SOS: .5594

#16 Portland State (23-9)

Scoring Margin: 6.8

FG% Margin: 2.7

Rebound Margin: 2.4

TO Margin: 0.8

Steals: 7.0

R + T: 3.74

PiRate: 1

SOS: .4867

Portland State got shafted in this tournament.  The Vikings are better than all four #15 seeds and at least equal to the #14 seeds.  Instead, PSU must face the team with the best criteria in the entire tournament.  Scott Morrison will be in over his head in this game, and Jeremiah Dominguez will find Mario Chalmers too talented to exploit.

Kansas possesses the statistical criteria that resembles the fingerprint of past national champions and Final Four teams.  Not many teams from a power conference have outscored opponents by 20 points per game, shot better than 12% per game from the field, had a +8 rebounding margin, a +3 turnover margin and averaged 9 steals a game all in the same season.  Duke in 1999, UNLV in 1991, UCLA in 1973, 1972, and St. Bonaventure in 1970 all pulled off the trick; all five made it to the Final Four.  Coach Bill Self has slowly molded the Jayhawks into a power team after being more of a finesse team under Roy Williams.  This KU team is better than Self’s Illinois team that made it to the finals in 2005.  I’m sticking with the Jayhawks until they are no longer in the tourney, and I expect them to be playing in April.

Prediction: Kansas by 28

#8 UNLV (26-7)

Scoring Margin: 8.0

FG% Margin: 1.6

Rebound Margin: -1.6

TO Margin: 4.3

Steals: 7.9

R + T: 6.55

PiRate: 5

SOS: .5496

#9 Kent State (28-6)

Scoring Margin: 7.6

FG% Margin: 5.8

Rebound Margin: 1.4

TO Margin: 1.6

Steals: 8.5

R + T: 4.66

PiRate: 3

SOS: .5267

Kent State may have been given a little too much credit for winning the regular season and MAC Tournament this year.  A Bracket-Buster win at St. Mary’s proved the Golden Flashes were quite good, but they look more like a #11 seed than a #9 seed.

UNLV is one of those teams nobody really wants to play.  They are pesky and don’t back down.  This Runnin’ Rebels team is in no way similar to the teams from the Tarkanian era.  Coach Lon Kruger’s teams play the same way as he played under Jack Hartman at Kansas State in the 1970’s.  Hartman was tutored by his coach, the legendary Hank Iba, so if you know your basketball history, you know what type of team UNLV is this year.

The Rebels won’t advance too far because they don’t have the inside might to compete against the likes of Kansas.  However, they will still be playing Saturday night.

Prediction: UNLV by 8

#5 Clemson (24-9)

Scoring Margin: 9.9

FG% Margin: 2.2

Rebound Margin: 2.4

TO Margin: 3.0

Steals: 9.9

R + T: 9.53

PiRate: 9

SOS: .5740

#12 Villanova (20-12)

Scoring Margin: 3.5

FG% Margin: -0.9

Rebound Margin: 2.7

TO Margin: 2.4

Steals: 8.1

R + T: 7.37

PiRate: -1

SOS: .5586

Here is definitely one game where the #12 seed is not going to upset the #5 seed.  Watch out for Clemson.  In a game where fouls will not be called as much as they are in the regular season (last night’s play-in game had several no-calls that would have been 10-yard penalties in football), Clemson’s foul shooting woes may not come into play.

The Tigers are almost as good as Tennessee; the CU press defense and inside game are better, while their outside game is much weaker. 

Villanova just barely earned their invitation and would have been left out had Illinois beaten Wisconsin Sunday.  The Wildcats will have to hit some three-pointers to win this game, and they just don’t have the accuracy to do so.  While I expect ‘Nova to stay in this game with some scoring runs, Clemson will cause enough confusion to experience one additional spurt.

Prediction: Clemson by 7

#4 Vanderbilt (26-7)

Scoring Margin: 6.2

FG% Margin: 3.1

Rebound Margin: -0.8

TO Margin: 0.5

Steals: 6.0

R + T: -0.08

PiRate: Eliminate with negative R+T rating

SOS: .5613

#13 Siena (22-10)

Scoring Margin: 5.7

FG% Margin: 0.0

Rebound Margin: -4.5

TO Margin: 6.3

Steals: 9.4

R + T: 9.71

PiRate: 5

SOS: .5218

If you watched the NCAA Selection Show Sunday night, you saw CBS’s Seth Davis immediately call for the underdog Saints to upset Vanderbilt.  It came out of his mouth so quickly, you wonder on what information he was basing this quick pick.  At first I thought it was a bias against an elite school, but on closer examination, I found out I owed Mr. Davis an apology.  I’m sorry Seth.

This has the potential to be the biggest opening round upset, although I still think the Commodores have a 55-60% chance of winning.  According to the criteria, we are supposed to eliminate any team with a negative R+T.  Vanderbilt’s R+T of -0.08 is definitely a negative number, but it really can be rounded to zero.  Using zero as their R+T gives them a criteria score of -1.  Siena’s criteria rating of 5 and Vanderbilt’s schedule strength number of 4 make this a two-point criteria advantage for the Saints.  That’s enough to make this a toss-up game.  Now, add to this the fact that Vanderbilt came within a poor no-call of advancing to the Elite 8 last year, and they have three returning starters plus a dominating post player in freshman A.J. Ogilvy, and it adds up to a very slim Commodore win.  However, that’s as far as this team is going this year.

Prediction: Vanderbilt by 2

#6 Southern California (21-11)

Scoring Margin: 5.9

FG% Margin: 9.0

Rebound Margin: 0.5

TO Margin: -1.4

Steals: 5.7

R + T: -1.42

PiRate: Eliminate with negative R+T rating

SOS: .5835

#11 Kansas State (20-11)

Scoring Margin: 9.8

FG% Margin: 2.1

Rebound Margin: 8.1

TO Margin: 1.3

Steals: 7.7

R + T: 10.5

PiRate: 11

SOS: .5697

Kansas State is a much better team than Kent State, and the committee needed to flip-flop these two teams.  The Wildcats are inconsistent, but even on an off night, they would handle the Golden Flashes.

As for this game, I expect Michael Beasley to outperform O.J. Mayo in this can’t miss game.  You will see the nation’s best player, the 6-10 freshman Beasley, record a double double (about 25 points and 12 rebounds) and the nation’s most exciting freshman, 6-5 guard Mayo (expect 20 points, 5 rebounds, and a couple of steals).

As for the game itself, USC has a negative R+T rating, and this one isn’t close enough to give an exemption, especially when KSU has a dominating inside presence and takes care of the ball.  I’m looking for the purple and white to shock the Trojans, not by winning a toss-up game, but by winning with relative ease.

Prediction: Kansas State by 11

#3 Wisconsin (29-4)

Scoring Margin: 13.5

FG% Margin: 7.0

Rebound Margin: 5.7

TO Margin: 4.8

Steals: 6.3

R + T: 12.96

PiRate: 17

SOS: .5518

#14 Cal State Fullerton (24-8)

Scoring Margin: 9.9

FG% Margin: 1.1

Rebound Margin: 1.7

TO Margin: 4.0

Steals: 9.0

R + T: 10.34

PiRate: 11

SOS: .4881

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan won four national championships at the Division III level at Wisconsin-Platteville.  While his first two title teams were run and gun squads that put more than two points per minute on the scoreboard, his last two title teams used the playing style the Badgers now employ.  Ryan’s teams are tough defensively and careful offensively.  That will work almost every time when his team is more talented.  UW is talented enough to methodically handle their opponents in the first two rounds, but I cannot see the Badgers getting past the second weekend, especially if that means knocking off both Georgetown and Kansas.

Cal State Fullerton isn’t exactly chopped liver; as a #11 seed, I would have given them a 50-50 chance of upsetting USC.  The Titans are sneaky fast and exceptionally accurate from the field.  Their team resembles the Rupp’s Runts Kentucky team of 1966 and the 1964 national champion UCLA team.  Their front line goes 6-5, 6-5, and 6-4, yet they have a seasonal rebounding advantage of 1.7 per game. 

Wisconsin’s defense will curtail the Titans, holding them to 60 points or less.  The Badgers will be patient and work the ball inside to take advantage of the size difference.  UW will get enough offensive rebounds and put backs to score well more than one point per possession.  It adds up to an eventual double digit victory and a happy night on State Street in Madtown. 

Prediction: Wisconsin by 16

#7 Gonzaga (25-7)

Scoring Margin: 13.3

FG% Margin: 9.1

Rebound Margin: 5.2

TO Margin: 0.8

Steals: 7.6

R + T: 6.66

PiRate: 12

SOS: .5373

#10 Davidson (26-6)

Scoring Margin: 15.8

FG% Margin: 5.8

Rebound Margin: 4.3

TO Margin: 4.6

Steals: 8.1

R + T: 13.24

PiRate: 15

SOS: .5252

If you are of conspiratorial mind, you might be wondering how two of the top four mid-major teams ended up facing each other in the first round.  If you believe South Alabama and Butler are the other top two mid-major teams (taking into account that Drake and Xavier are not mid-major but major), and half of the mid-major elite will be eliminated in the first round, then you have a real conspiracy.  I choose to look at this as a gift.  At least two of the elite mid-majors will be guaranteed to advance to the second round where they will be formidable opponents for major powers.  In fact, I have proposed in the media in the past to separate the majors and mid-majors until the Sweet 16 or even Elite 8 by giving the top major teams byes for one or more rounds (I’ll explain that proposal next week).

As far as this game is concerned, both of these teams earn their keep with their perimeter games.  Davidson’s outside shooting is led by Stephen Curry, a poor man’s Chris Lofton.  Gonzaga is more of a shoot by committee team.  The Bulldogs have better depth but no stars.   On paper, this is a true toss-up, but there is one major intangible.  The game will take place in Raleigh, where Davidson can bus the 150 miles.  Gonzaga’s flight from Spokane to Raleigh across three time zones and 2,500 miles will negatively affect their performance.  Give the Wildcats three more criteria points for excellent home state advantage, and that will tilt the game in their favor.  Then, watch out for them Sunday afternoon, as they are the best double-digit, mid-major seed.

Prediction: Davidson by 3

#2 Georgetown (27-5)

Scoring Margin: 11.7

FG% Margin: 11.9

Rebound Margin: 2.6

TO Margin: -0.4

Steals: 7.1

R + T: 1.92

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5670

#15 Maryland-Baltimore County (24-8)

Scoring Margin: 6.6

FG% Margin: 2.2

Rebound Margin: -0.8

TO Margin: 3.2

Steals: 6.2

R + T: 3.96

PiRate: 2

SOS: .4738

There isn’t much need to devote too much space to this game, since it is a classic mismatch.  UMBC might open the game with a little run to take a short-lived lead, but after the first TV timeout, Georgetown will take control of the game and be comfortably ahead by the under eight minutes timeout in the first half.

UMBC has no answer for the Hoyas’ inside game.  I expect Georgetown to hold the Retrievers to 35-38% shooting, win the battle of the boards by more than 10, and shoot better than 50% from the field.  It adds up to a big win, but the Hoyas are going to ride into an ambush on Sunday.

South Region

#1 Memphis (33-1)

Scoring Margin: 19.1

FG% Margin: 8.3

Rebound Margin: 6.5

TO Margin: 4.4

Steals: 8.7

R + T: 15.69

PiRate: 19

SOS: .5749

#16 Texas-Arlington (21-11)

Scoring Margin: 5.4

FG% Margin: 8.0

Rebound Margin: 3.4

TO Margin: -1.6

Steals: 6.7

R + T: 0.83

PiRate: 3

SOS: .4763

Memphis is one of the teams in this tournament with criteria statistics that match those of historical Final Four teams.  The Tigers don’t approach the statistical dominance of Kansas, but they are talented enough to go all the way.  They should advance at least to the Elite 8 once again.

UT-Arlington at best was the third best team out of the Southland Conference this season, and the best team received a whipping in the NIT last night.  The Mavericks are for sure one and done, and their one won’t be too much fun. 

Prediction: Memphis by 32

#8 Mississippi State (22-10)

Scoring Margin: 8.0

FG% Margin: 9.3

Rebound Margin: 5.1

TO Margin: -2.6

Steals: 6.0

R + T: 1.36

PiRate: 7

SOS: .5523

#9 Oregon (18-13)

Scoring Margin: 4.4

FG% Margin: 4.2

Rebound Margin: 1.9

TO Margin: -1.5

Steals: 4.6

R + T: 0.24

PiRate: -2

SOS: .5647

Both of these teams have fatal flaws that will keep them from advancing too far in the tournament.  Mississippi State does not handle the ball all that well.  The Bulldogs can punish opponents with a muscle game and block 10 shots in 40 minutes.  However, they can be taken out of their offense with pressure, and they can be beaten with the fast break.  Additionally, you have to wonder how big of an emotional hit they took when they fell to a Georgia team that was playing its second game in six hours after going to overtime in the first one.

Oregon can certainly fast break as competently as any team, but the Ducks tend to make too many mental mistakes to exploit Mississippi State’s liabilities.  Oregon must shoot the ball well in order to have any chance in this game, and I don’t think it will happen.  Normally, the green and gold hit 48.5% of their shots.  I think they will get 60 attempts, which means they should hit 29 of them.  However, throw in about five more blocked shots than normal, and figure that three of those shots would have gone in, and it reduces Oregon to 43.3%.  The Ducks won’t win with that poor shooting percentage.

Prediction: Mississippi State by 5

#5 Michigan State (25-8)

Scoring Margin: 9.3

FG% Margin: 7.9

Rebound Margin: 7.1

TO Margin: -1.2

Steals: 6.1

R + T: 5.34

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5636

#12 Temple (21-12)

Scoring Margin: 4.0

FG% Margin: 4.9

Rebound Margin: -0.8

TO Margin: 0.1

Steals: 6.3

R + T: -0.65

PiRate: Eliminated with negative R+T rating

SOS: .5593

Michigan State usually makes it to the Sweet 16 and almost always wins their first tournament game.  Of course, they are almost always a top-four seed when they make the Big Dance.

Temple has historically been a team that advances farther than expected in the tournament.  That was under John Chaney; now they are led by Fran Dunphy.  Dunphy had some classics across town at Penn, but he only ever won one NCAA game. 

This game will come down to how well Temple can shoot from outside.  The Owls have won many games with excellent foul shooting, and as I have said all week, foul shooting becomes less important overall in the NCAA Tournament.  Look for the Spartans to force Temple into enough bad shots and to control the boards.

Michigan State by 9

#4 Pittsburgh (26-9)

Scoring Margin: 8.9

FG% Margin: 3.8

Rebound Margin: 4.4

TO Margin: 1.9

Steals: 6.8

R + T: 7.50

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5723

#13 Oral Roberts (24-8)

Scoring Margin: 7.9

FG% Margin: 4.7

Rebound Margin: 2.5

TO Margin: 0.8

Steals: 6.3

R + T: 3.71

PiRate: 1

SOS: .5114

Pittsburgh is a hot team coming into this tournament.  The Panthers withstood some injuries that depleted the roster until late in the season, and Coach Jamie Dixon told the press before the Big East Tournament that his squad was playing its best basketball of the year.  Pitt dispensed of Oklahoma State earlier this season, and ORU is a junior version of the Cowboys.

Oral Roberts is a sound team that doesn’t beat itself.  That works against teams in the Summit League, but it won’t feed the bulldog against Big East powers.  The Golden Eagles don’t have a defensive answer for Pitt’s power game.

Prediction: Pittsburgh by 13

#6 Marquette (24-9)

Scoring Margin:  11.5

FG% Margin: 3.5

Rebound Margin: 2.4

TO Margin: 3.8

Steals: 9.6

R + T: 11.16

PiRate: 13

SOS: .5753

#11 Kentucky (18-12)

Scoring Margin: 3.3 

FG% Margin: 7.5

Rebound Margin: 1.8

TO Margin: -2.6

Steals: 6.7

R + T: -2.38

PiRate: Eliminated with negative R+T rating

SOS: .5732

While there is no Dwayne Wade on this roster, the 2008 Marquette team compares quite favorably with the 2003 Marquette team that made it to the Final Four.  The 2008 team is better at forcing turnovers via the steal, and that’s what gives the men from Milwaukee an excellent shot at making it to a second week in the tournament.

Kentucky just barely qualified as an at-large team, and they are missing their key cog in center Patrick Patterson.  Without the talented big man, the Cats have no chance to make it past the first weekend, and I think they will be one and done this year.

Look for Marquette to play aggressively, wearing down the depth-poor blue mist.  Kentucky will keep it close for a half, but they will tire in the final 20 minutes, and that will allow the Golden Eagles to cruise to victory.

Prediction: Marquette by 8

#3 Stanford (26-7)

Scoring Margin:  10.1

FG% Margin: 5.5

Rebound Margin: 8.0

TO Margin: -0.5

Steals: 4.4

R + T: 7.47

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5547

#14 Cornell (22-5)

Scoring Margin: 9.0 

FG% Margin: 7.0

Rebound Margin: 1.2

TO Margin: 0.7

Steals: 6.0

R + T: 2.21

PiRate: 4

SOS: .4704

Stanford has the talent and criteria statistics to advance to the Elite 8, but as of late, the Cardinal have weaknesses that can be exploited by certain teams.  Stanford can go in long shooting slumps against teams that pack their defense inside to stop Brook Lopez. 

Cornell became only the third Ivy League school to go 14-0 in league play (Penn and Princeton have done it before).  The Big Red enter the Dance waltzing on a 16-game winning streak.  Unfortunately, their stay in the cotillion will last one afternoon.  Cornell is one of those teams that rely on winning by dominating the free throw shooting stat.  As mentioned ad nauseum already, free throw shooting prowess will not carry a team in the Big Dance, unless it is to protect the lead in the final 90 seconds.  I don’t see Cornell leading the game with a minute and half to go, and off they’ll go back to Cayuga’s waters.

Prediction: Stanford by 13

#7 Miami (Fla.) (22-10)

Scoring Margin: 7.0 

FG% Margin: 3.1

Rebound Margin: 2.1

TO Margin: 1.2

Steals: 6.1

R + T: 3.86

PiRate: 1

SOS: .5599

#10 St. Mary’s (25-6)

Scoring Margin: 12.8 

FG% Margin: 5.7

Rebound Margin: 3.7

TO Margin: 1.3

Steals: 7.4

R + T: 6.01

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5130

As most #7-10 matches tend to be, this will be a close game that should go down to the wire.  Miami hasn’t danced in six years.  The Hurricanes have a talented backcourt, led by Jack McClinton. 

St. Mary’s was 23-3 before losing three of their final five games.  The Gaels have the talent to get to the 2nd round, but it will depend on how well they can defend the perimeter.

The criteria clearly shows St. Mary’s to be the superior team, even when the strength of schedule is factored in.  So, I’m going with the mild upset here.

Prediction: St. Mary’s by 3

#2 Texas (28-6)

Scoring Margin: 11.1 

FG% Margin: 6.3

Rebound Margin: 2.5

TO Margin: 2.9

Steals: 6.2

R + T: 6.82

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5950

#15 Austin Peay (24-10)

Scoring Margin: 3.9  

FG% Margin: -1.5

Rebound Margin: -2.4

TO Margin: 4.1

Steals: 9.7

R + T: 7.14

PiRate: -1

SOS: .4965

Texas has to be included in your Elite 8 bracket.  The Longhorns are loaded with talent and have good criteria representation.  D.J. Augustin runs the offense as well as any play-maker in the nation.  Damion James and Connor Atchley combine to give the burnt orange the best rebounding duo in the Big 12 after Michael Beasley and any Kansas State student.

Austin Peay does one thing quite well-play aggressive defense.  I just don’t see them having much success in taking the ball away from the Longhorns.  It should be a long afternoon for them in Little Rock Friday.  In what will continue to be a bad month for governors in this country, look for the round ball Govs to fall by less than 4,300 dollars points. 

Prediction: Texas by 23

West Region

U C L A (31-3)

Scoring Margin: 15.0 

FG% Margin: 4.8

Rebound Margin: 8.4

TO Margin: 2.5

Steals: 7.4

R + T: 12.84

PiRate: 14

SOS: .5771

#16 Mississippi Valley State (17-15)

Scoring Margin: -3.1  

FG% Margin: -3.6

Rebound Margin: -1.7

TO Margin: 1.1

Steals: 6.2

R + T: -0.06

PiRate: Eliminated with negative R+T rating

SOS: .4571

What is the lowest score any team has scored in the NCAA Tournament since the advent of the 3-point shot and 35-second clock?  In 2001, Michigan State defeated Alabama State 69-35 in the first round.  If UCLA comes out with the same intensity they have the previous two seasons when they held their opening round opponents to 44 and 42 points, the Bruins could hold the Delta Devils to less than a point per minute.

Mississippi Valley should have been in the play-in game because they are the weakest team in the NCAA Tournament.  They will be lucky to hit one third of their shots in this game; they won’t get more than three or four offensive rebounds if that much.  They will turn the ball over five or more times than the Bruins, and they will give up more than 1.2 points per possession in this game.

UCLA can name the score in what is a virtual home game in Anaheim.  I expect Ben Howland to give every Bruin on the roster significant playing time in this game, so don’t expect a 60-point win.  The Bruins have their faults, but they won’t be damaging until at least the end of next week.

Prediction: UCLA by 34

#8 B Y U (27-7)

Scoring Margin: 11.0 

FG% Margin: 7.4

Rebound Margin: 4.8

TO Margin: -0.6

Steals: 5.9

R + T: 3.95

PiRate: 5

SOS: .5306

#9 Texas A&M (24-10)

Scoring Margin: 9.6  

FG% Margin: 7.3

Rebound Margin: 7.1

TO Margin: -1.5

Steals: 4.5

R + T: 5.48

PiRate: 6

SOS: .5561

This is the most competitive of the ultra-competitive #8-9 contests.  It is truly a 50-50 match.  Both teams are talented enough to give UCLA fits Saturday night, but the Thursday winner may have to extend themselves to get to that game.

Both teams are strong on the boards.  BYU is better offensively by a wide margin, while A&M is better defensively.  I think the game will be decided at the guard positions, and the Cougars have the better duo.

Prediction: B Y U by 6

#5 Drake (28-4)

Scoring Margin: 12.3 

FG% Margin: 1.9

Rebound Margin: 3.1

TO Margin: 4.0

Steals: 7.6

R + T: 10.40

PiRate: 14

SOS: .5436

#12 Western Kentucky (27-6)

Scoring Margin: 11.6  

FG% Margin: 5.1

Rebound Margin: 3.3

TO Margin: 3.8

Steals: 7.8

R + T: 10.41

PiRate: 15

SOS: .5123

If these two teams were playing two Big 10 opponents in the first round, someone like Purdue or Indiana, I might pick both of them to pull off upsets.  These two squads are both strong enough to make it to the Sweet 16.

Drake is not considered a mid-major since the Missouri Valley Conference is among the top eight leagues.  The Bulldogs hit a valley after they had already clinched the MVC regular season championship, but they recovered to whip their three conference tournament opponents by an average of 20 points per game.  Keno Davis is my choice for National Coach of the Year.  His team has been one of the best outside shooting squads in the NCAA this year, as the Bulldogs average more than nine made three-pointers per game.

Western Kentucky has a team similar in playing style to Tennessee.  They press and run the fast break.  For most of the season, it was the outstanding guard play of Courtney Lee, Tyrone Brazelton, and Ty Rogers that carried the load for the Hilltoppers.  However, in the Sunbelt Conference Tournament, the emergence of forward Jeremy Evans gave Coach Darrin Horn a new weapon.

The criteria shows both of these teams to be worthy of going all the way to San Antonio.  Western’s schedule strength is a little suspect, while Drake’s is stronger by only three points.  That will eventually prove to be the Bulldog’s downfall.

Prediction: Drake by 3

#4 Connecticut (24-8)

Scoring Margin: 9.1 

FG% Margin: 7.9

Rebound Margin: 6.2

TO Margin: -1.4

Steals: 5.8

R + T: 4.25

PiRate: 7

SOS: .5681

#13 San Diego (21-13)

Scoring Margin: 2.2 

FG% Margin: 1.0

Rebound Margin: 1.8

TO Margin: 0.3

Steals: 6.8

R + T: 2.29

PiRate: 0

SOS: .5283

This Connecticut team is missing one key proponent that will keep the Huskies from advancing to the Elite 8 this year.  Other than A.J. Price, they cannot pick up cheap baskets via the steal.  It leads to a negative turnover margin.  The Huskies will be okay due to exceptional rebounding until they run into a team that can hold their own on the boards.  Then, the three or four fewer possessions they would normally add thanks to having those steals will cause them to lose.  It could happen against Drake in round two, or it could happen against UCLA, Texas A&M, or BYU in the Sweet 16. 

San Diego is just happy to be here.  The Toreros enjoyed a big weekend last week with wins over St. Mary’s and Gonzaga.  That made their season.  They won’t compete with UConn for very long.  USD will not be able to take advantage of UConn’s deficiencies.

Prediction: Connecticut by 14

#6 Purdue (24-8)

Scoring Margin: 7.5 

FG% Margin: -1.1

Rebound Margin: -0.1

TO Margin: 4.8

Steals: 8.5

R + T: 9.69

PiRate: 2

SOS: .5204

#11 Baylor (21-10)

Scoring Margin: 7.0  

FG% Margin: 2.7

Rebound Margin: 0.1

TO Margin: 1.7

Steals: 7.4

R + T: 3.12

PiRate: 2

SOS: .5569

This is a real toss-up game.  The two teams are not mirror images, but there isn’t much difference in them either.  Both teams live by the jump shot and die by the jump shot, but Purdue’s guards are better defensively than Baylor’s guards.  Neither team is particularly proficient inside the paint, and the winner will be going home Sunday because of it.

I’m going with the Boilermakers for two reasons.  First, they have an incredible +4.8 turnover margin, and I expect turnovers to play a huge part in this game.  Second, even though the Boilermakers ended the season on a stale note, the Bears were even worse down the stretch.  They lost to Colorado in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament to finish the season 5-8 in their final 13 games.  Purdue split their last six games after winning 11 in a row, including a sweep of Wisconsin.

Prediction: Purdue by 6

#3 Xavier (27-6)

Scoring Margin: 13.0 

FG% Margin: 7.4

Rebound Margin: 6.2

TO Margin: -0.2

Steals: 5.6

R + T: 5.93

PiRate: 8

SOS: .5720

#14 Georgia (17-16)

Scoring Margin: 1.1 

FG% Margin: 0.1

Rebound Margin: 4.1

TO Margin: -1.8

Steals: 6.8

R + T: 1.16

PiRate: -1

SOS: .5658

Can Georgia continue to shock the basketball world?  How can a team beat two NCAA-bound teams in the same day, and then turn around 16 hours later and beat a third NCAA-bound team?  Maybe North Carolina might be able to do it, but this is a team that won four conference games all year and then won four in a weekend.

The Bulldogs only have eight players, and their best player isn’t 100% healthy.  Now, they must face a top 10 team that has beaten the likes of Indiana and Kansas State and took Tennessee to the buzzer.  Xavier has the look of a Sweet 16 team; the Musketeers have no weakness.  Their TO margin is basically 0, and they don’t get many steals, but they make up for it with exceptional rebounding and the ability to make opponents miss. 

It would be a great story if the Cinderella Bulldogs could win a game in this tournament, but I don’t see it happening.  Still, 17-17 is a fantastic finish for a team that experienced more obstacles than the Donner Family.

Prediction: Xavier by 11

#7 West Virginia (24-10)

Scoring Margin: 11.9 

FG% Margin: 3.5

Rebound Margin: 2.0

TO Margin: 4.8

Steals: 7.2

R + T: 10.29

PiRate: 13

SOS: .5616

#10 Arizona (19-14)

Scoring Margin: 5.4  

FG% Margin: 3.9

Rebound Margin: -1.5

TO Margin: 0.6

Steals: 5.6

R + T: -0.69

PiRate: Eliminated with negative R+T rating

SOS: .6006

Arizona has the second best strength of schedule in the Big Dance, but that isn’t enough to justify the Wildcats winning a game in the West Regional.  Arizona doesn’t rebound and doesn’t force turnovers, and their half court defense isn’t particularly strong.  It means a quick exit in the tournament and the end of the Kevin O’Neill era in Tucson.

West Virginia is a sleeper team in this tournament.  Unlike when John Beilein coached the Mountaineers and they were a perimeter-oriented team that lived and died by the three-pointer, this team coached by Bob Huggins can hold their own on the boards, prevent power teams from hurting them inside, and play both a power and finesse game.  I think WVU will win this one rather easily and then give Duke a great game on Saturday.

Prediction: West Virginia by 12

#2 Duke (27-5)

Scoring Margin: 14.8 

FG% Margin: 3.1

Rebound Margin: 0.5

TO Margin: 5.0

Steals: 8.7

R + T: 10.94

PiRate: 13

SOS: .5857

#15 Belmont (25-8)

Scoring Margin: 6.6 

FG% Margin: -0.5

Rebound Margin: 1.8

TO Margin: 1.8

Steals: 8.6

R + T: 5.52

PiRate: 0

SOS: .4816

In the past, Duke would win an opening round game like this by 30-40 points.  They still may do so Thursday night, but there is a chance they will only win this game by 20-25.  This Duke squad is more of a turnover-forcing fast break team and less of a pound it inside team.  Eventually, and possibly as early as Saturday, this will be their downfall.

Belmont is making their third consecutive trip to the Big Dance.  The first two times, they looked great…at least until the first TV timeout.  In 2006, they led eventual NCAA runner-up UCLA four minutes into the game.  Last year, they led eventual Final Four participant Georgetown almost to the second TV timeout.  Maybe this year, they will keep the game close halfway into the first half.

Prediction: Duke by 26

Filling Out The Bracket

Okay, so you can see from the previews which teams I am picking to advance to the round of 32.  How do the ratings apply from there, and can you use them to fill the bracket out to the end?  Sure you can.  I’ve been doing it for several years, and once or twice I picked the entire Final Four (they got there differently than how I picked, but they did get there).

In the second round, Here’s how I see the games (Look for complete previews of Round 2 Saturday morning).

North Carolina over Indiana

Notre Dame over Washington St. in a fantastic game

Louisville over St. Joe’s

Tennessee over Butler but harder than expected

Kansas over UNLV

Clemson over Vanderbilt

Wisconsin over Kansas State in a great battle

Georgetown over Davidson but it should be close and could be the big upset

Memphis over Mississippi State in a hard-fought game

Pittsburgh over Michigan State in a physical game

Marquette over Stanford in a mild surprise

Texas over St. Mary’s

UCLA over BYU

Connecticut over Drake in a close nail-biter

Xavier over Purdue

Duke over West Virginia in the game of the day

Sweet 16

North Carolina over Notre Dame

Tennessee over Louisville in an exciting game

Kansas over Clemson

Georgetown over Wisconsin in a 55-50-type game

Pittsburgh over Memphis in the surprise of this round

Texas over Marquette

UCLA over Connecticut

Duke over Xavier

Elite 8

North Carolina over Tennessee

Kansas over Georgetown

Texas over Pittsburgh

UCLA over Duke

Final 4

Kansas over North Carolina

UCLA over Texas

Championship

Kansas over UCLA

March 18, 2008

A PiRate Look At The 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament–March 18, 2008 (1st Update)

 

A PiRate Look At The 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament

March 18, 2008 (1st Update)

Yesterday, I gave you my Bracketnomics 505 crash course, where I relayed what I thought were the most pertinent statistical criteria to look at when filling out your brackets.  If you have read that story and earned your M.S. in Bracketnomics, now is the time to work on your doctorate.  Let’s apply the criteria to this year’s Field of 65, and then use tonight’s play-in game between Coppin State and Mount St. Mary’s as an example.

Here’s how I have been taking the criteria listed yesterday and applying numerical grades to it to come up with a list of contenders, dark horses, and pretenders. 

1. Scoring Margin

Award 5 points for every team with a scoring margin difference of 10 or more

Award 3 points for every team with a scoring margin difference of 8.0-9.9

Award 1 point for every team with a scoring margin difference of 5.0-7.9

Award 0 points for every team with a scoring margin difference of 0-4.9

Award -3 points for every team with a negative scoring margin

2. Field Goal % Margin

Award 5 points for every team with a FG% margin difference of 10% or more

Award 3 points for every team with a FG% margin difference of 7.5 to 9.9

Award 1 point for every team with a FG% margin difference of 5.0-7.4

Award 0 points for every team with a FG% margin difference of 0.0-4.9

Award -3 points for every team with a FG% margin difference below 0

3. Rebound Margin

Award 3 points for every team with a Rebound margin difference of 5 or more

Award 1 point for every team with a Rebound margin difference of 3.0-4.9

Award 0 points for every team with a Rebound margin difference of 0-2.9

Award -2 points for every team with a Rebound margin difference below 0

4. Turnover Margin

Award 3 points for every team with a Turnover margin difference of 3 or more

Award 1 point for every team with a Turnover margin difference of 1.5-2.9

Award 0 points for every team with a Turnover margin difference of 0-1.4

Award -2 points for every team with a Turnover margin below 0

3&4. R+T (add to the individual 3 and 4 above)

My formula for R+T is [R + ({.2*S}*{1.2*T})]  Where R is rebounding margin, S is avg. steals per game, and T is turnover margin

Award 5 points for every team with an R+T of 10 or more

Award 3 points for every team with an R+T of 7.5-9.9

Award 1 point for every team with an R+T of 5-7.4

Award 0 points for every team with an R+T of 0-4.9

Completely eliminate from consideration all teams with a negative R+T

5. Schedule Strength

There are no point values assigned here.  Use this to compare when looking at team vs. team.  Take the difference in the Strength of Schedule as given by cbs.sportsline.com and multiple it by 100.  For example, Davidson’s SOS is .5252 and North Carolina’s is .5921.  If they face each other, give the Tar Heels an extra 7 criteria points [(.5921-.5252)*100]=6.69 rounds to 7

If you want to compile all this information yourself, the best way is to go to all 65 official athletic websites of the teams in the Big Dance.  That’s where I found my statistical information.  Some of these stats are available in other places, but I have already found many to be riddled with mistakes or not up-to-date.  All 65 school sites are accurate and timely.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, I will report on the criteria scores for the 64 remaining schools in the NCAA Tournament.  I will review the first round contests by applying the criteria.  There is one game tonight-the play-in match in Dayton between Mount St. Mary’s and Coppin State.  Let’s take a look at the game PiRate style.

Mount St. Mary’s 18-14

Point Differential: 2.6

FG% Differential: 3.1

Rebound Margin: -1.4

TO Margin:  0.7

Stls/G: 7.3

R+T: -0.17

Score: -2 & Eliminate From Consideration due to negative R+T

Schedule: .4924

Coppin State 16-20

Point Differential: -6.0

FG% Differential: -4.3

Rebound Margin: -4.4

TO Margin:  1.9

Stls/G: 7.2

R+T: -1.12

Score: -7 & Eliminate From Consideration due to negative R+T

Schedule: .4796

Schedule Points: Mount St. Mary’s +1.28

Neither of these two teams has any chance of advancing past Friday.  I don’t think either one could beat any of the #15 seeds this year.  Enjoy this game much like you would enjoy watching batting practice prior to a Major League game.  Mount St. Mary’s has a criteria score that is six points better, but both teams come under the guise of elimination based upon their negative R+T scores.  When this happens, we throw out the criteria scores.  So, we must pick our winner based on other variables. 

Coppin State was 4-19 and then went 12-1 to finish 16-20.  That 12-1 finish is eye-popping, even when it came within the MEAC.  Mount St. Mary’s won eight of their final nine, including three decisive wins in the NEC Tourney.  I’ll take The Mount to come through with a win by about nine points with a score around 71-62.

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