The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 14, 2017

Questions & Answers

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 7:15 am

Hello rabid basketball fans.  We will be issuing our bracket selections and Red-White-Blue Ratings in about 2 hours or less, and we remind you to refer back to the primer we sent out yesterday if you want to understand what our numbers mean.

We try our hardest to answer all of your comments and emails, but in the last 48 hours, we have received more than we can respond to without stopping everything we are doing.  Many of you have asked the same or similar questions, so we are going to answer the most popular ones here.  We are sorry if we cannot personally reply to all of you.

Question:Will you have your ratings available for the NCAA Tournament?

Answer: Yes!  We will issue Red-White-Blue Ratings for every NCAA Tournament game.  Whether or not it is picked up by the Prediction Tracker, we do not know.  It appears to be an issue with our formatting being picked up by their scanner.


Question: Do your bracket picking criteria and your point spread ratings account for injuries to players?

Answer: Yes and no.  We do not have a mathematical formula to reduce a team’s talent level for injuries, but we do apply that after the fact and include that in our intangibles to lower the rating for the team in question.  Obviously, this year, Oregon and Xavier will see their ratings lowered more than anybody else.  Also, in the Big Dance, we add a little to the ratings of teams that had a player step up in the last 10 games, because these teams can become sleepers.


Question: What is the difference in your three ratings?  Do they use different data?

Answer: We have three ratings in case you did not know.  We call them Red, White, and Blue, because we are patriotic PiRates.  All three of the ratings rely on the exact same Four Factors (see yesterday’s post if you are unaware) as well as other intangible factors like strength of schedule, home court advantage, visiting team disadvantage when playing on the road, and other data.

The difference in the three ratings comes from how much weight we assign to each factor.  The Red and White ratings use very similar data points and thus should not vary all that much, especially later in the season.  The Blue rating is more of a renegade and it sometimes misbehaves when compared to the other two ratings.


Question: Why don’t you issue ratings for every Division 1 college basketball game rather than just choose a few conferences and then only issue spreads on the weekends?

Answer: This is the most asked question from our readers.  There is one easy answer to this question.  We do not issue spreads for every game because we do not have the time to do so.  Unlike our football ratings which almost update themselves, our basketball ratings must be made from scratch after every game played.  We have to input all the statistics for each team when we issue the spreads on the game.  Because we have found that third party websites are not 100% accurate when they publish team stats, we go to each team’s homepage and get the stats from their official statbook.  It takes about 8 to 9 minutes to retrieve the stats for each game we rate.  Since there are 351 Division 1 teams playing games 7 days a week, you can see where it would take a contingent of about 20-25 volunteers to gather the information.

Once the stats are retrieved, the Captain runs them through the algorithms to get the spreads on each game.  For this reason, we can only issue basketball spreads for weekend games between the top 5 conferences plus a other top 25 teams like Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.


Question: What is your past in the media?

Answer: Two of us on the PiRate ship have pasts in the commercial media.  The Captain’s better half enjoyed a career as a radio host in Wisconsin with a cult following on her late night time slot.

The Captain spent time in print, radio, and television as a sports announcer, play-by-play announcer, and color analyst.

Some of the wenches helping out have heavily-followed podcasts and Youtube sites in a different genre.


Question: Who are your favorite teams?

Answer: The one’s we pick to win.  Our goal is to be accurate and not favor one team over another due to partiality.


Question: Will you have baseball coverage in the future?

Answer: This is not possible at the current time, as our Captain serves as a metric specialist in professional baseball.  It would imply that he is revealing privileged information able to be seen by rivals of his employer.


Thank you for your patronage.  Look for our bracket selections and ratings for the First Four games in just a couple hours.


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