The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 26, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For February 26, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:55 am

Wednesday’s Games

 

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Abilene Christian

Sam Houston St.

3.8

Air Force

New Mexico

-1.4

American

Lafayette

2.6

Arkansas

Tennessee

5.5

Army

Holy Cross

11.7

Boston College

Notre Dame

-5.1

Bucknell

Colgate

-4.8

California Baptist

Utah Valley

7.7

Citadel

Mercer

-6.0

Connecticut

Central Florida

8.3

Florida

LSU

3.4

Fordham

Rhode Island

-12.8

George Washington

Richmond

-8.7

Houston Baptist

Nicholls

-8.9

Illinois St.

Bradley

-3.8

Lamar

Incarnate Word

12.9

Lehigh

Boston U

-6.0

Long Beach St.

Cal St. Northridge

0.7

Louisiana

Arkansas St.

2.0

Maine

New Hampshire

-2.8

Manhattan

Marist

6.3

Marquette

Georgetown

7.2

Massachusetts

VCU

-6.8

McNeese

Southeast Louisiana

10.0

Minnesota

Maryland

-0.2

Navy

Loyola (MD)

3.4

New Orleans

Texas A&M-CC

2.0

Northern Iowa

Evansville

18.4

Omaha

North Dakota

4.6

Penn St.

Rutgers

6.3

Pittsburgh

Syracuse

0.4

Purdue Fort Wayne

Denver

6.2

Quinnipiac

Siena

-2.8

Saint Louis

Saint Joseph’s

14.3

South Carolina

Georgia

5.8

South Florida

East Carolina

8.6

Southern Illinois

Indiana St.

0.4

St. Bonaventure

Duquesne

1.4

Stanford

Utah

9.6

Stephen F. Austin

Northwestern St.

15.6

Stony Brook

Hartford

9.7

UMass Lowell

Albany

1.9

UMBC

Binghamton

10.0

UNC Greensboro

Furman

4.0

UNLV

Boise St.

0.5

Vanderbilt

Missouri

-1.5

Villanova

St. John’s

10.4

Virginia Tech

Virginia

-0.3

VMI

Chattanooga

-2.9

Western Carolina

Samford

11.4

Wofford

East Tennessee St.

-4.0

 

Key TV Games on Wednesday Night

 

Time (EST)

Network

Home

Visitor

7:00 PM

BTN

Penn St.

Rutgers

7:00 PM

ESPN+

UNC Greensboro

Furman

8:30 PM

FS1

Marquette

Georgetown

8:30 PM

SECN

Arkansas

Tennessee

9:00 PM

BTN

Minnesota

Maryland

9:00 PM

ESPN2

Florida

LSU

10:00 PM

Pac12

Stanford

Utah

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 16, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For February 16, 2020

Sunday’s Games

 

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Boise St.

San Diego St.

-6.8

Boston College

North Carolina St.

-5.0

California

Arizona St.

-5.8

Connecticut

Memphis

1.9

Drake

Evansville

9.9

East Carolina

Cincinnati

-10.6

Fordham

Duquesne

-8.2

Indiana St.

Missouri St.

5.2

Iona

Marist

7.1

Loyola (MD)

Colgate

-6.9

Maine

Albany

-3.7

Michigan

Indiana

6.3

Minnesota

Iowa

2.0

Niagara

Monmouth

-2.4

Northern Kentucky

Illinois Chicago

9.9

Omaha

Denver

9.4

Oregon

Utah

12.3

Rider

Quinnipiac

6.5

Saint Peter’s

Fairfield

6.6

Siena

Manhattan

6.4

South Dakota St.

Purdue Fort Wayne

12.4

Temple

Villanova

-6.0

Wichita St.

Tulane

15.9

Wright St.

IUPUI

17.8

 

Sunday’s Key Games *

 

Time (EST)

Network

Home

Visitor

1:00 PM

FS1

Minnesota

Iowa

1:00 PM

CBS

Michigan

Indiana

2:00 PM

ESPN3

Siena

Manhattan

4:00 PM

CBSSN

Boise St.

San Diego St.

* When we refer to these as key games, this is when both teams are fighting for a conference championship or contending for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.

 

Coming Monday–Updated Ratings, Monday’s Games, and New Bracketology.

 

 

 

February 14, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For February 14, 2020

Date

2/14/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

Kansas

San Diego St.

2

Duke

Dayton

Louisville

Maryland

3

Seton Hall

Florida St.

West Virginia

Auburn

4

Villanova

Butler

Penn St.

Oregon

5

Kentucky

Creighton

Michigan St.

Colorado

6

Marquette

Iowa

Arizona

LSU

7

Arizona

Rutgers

Wisconsin

Michigan

8

Ohio St.

Texas Tech

Illinois

Houston

9

USC

Purdue

Rhode Island

Saint Mary’s

10

Oklahoma

Florida

Xavier

Wichita St.

11

Stanford

Indiana

Northern Iowa

Arkansas

Virginia

12

East Tennessee St.

Yale

Stephen F. Austin

Cincinnati

Arizona St.

13

Liberty

Vermont

New Mexico St.

North Texas

14

Colgate

Wright St.

Akron

Winthrop

15

Hofstra

Little Rock

Murray St.

UC-Irvine

16

South Dakota St.

Montana

Prairie View

Rider

Robert Morris

Norfolk St.

 

Bubble Contenders

 

69

VCU

70

N. Carolina St.

71

Mississippi St.

72

Utah St.

73

Georgetown

74

Richmond

75

Minnesota

76

Memphis

77

Furman

78

Notre Dame

79

Alabama

80

Tennessee

 

First Four Games

11–seeds: Arkansas vs. Virginia

12–seeds: Cincinnati vs. Arizona St.

16-seeds: Prairie View vs. Robert Morris

16-seeds: Rider vs. Norfolk St.

 

Best PiRate Rating Criteria To Win National Championship

Duke

February 7, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For February 7, 2020

Date

2/7/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

Kansas

San Diego St.

2

Duke

Dayton

Louisville

West Virginia

3

Seton Hall

Florida St.

Maryland

Villanova

4

Butler

Auburn

Oregon

Michigan St.

5

Penn St.

Creighton

Kentucky

Iowa

6

LSU

Colorado

Arizona

Marquette

7

Illinois

Ohio St.

Rutgers

Houston

8

Texas Tech

Wisconsin

Michigan

Wichita St.

9

BYU

Arkansas

USC

Saint Mary’s

10

Indiana

Rhode Island

Florida

Stanford

11

Xavier

Memphis

Northern Iowa

Virginia

Purdue

12

East Tennessee St.

Yale

Liberty

VCU

Cincinnati

13

Stephen F. Austin

North Texas

Vermont

New Mexico St.

14

Wright St.

Colgate

Bowling Green

Little Rock

15

Hofstra

Winthrop

Murray St.

UC-Irvine

16

South Dakota St.

Northern Colorado

Prairie View

Monmouth

Robert Morris

North Carolina A&T

The Bubble Contenders

69

Oklahoma

70

Mississippi St.

71

Arizona St.

72

Minnesota

73

Georgetown

74

Tulsa

75

Utah St.

76

Richmond

77

North Carolina St.

78

Providence

 

 

 

 

February 3, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For February 3, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:25 pm

Date

2/3/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

Kansas

San Diego St.

2

Duke

Dayton

Louisville

West Virginia

3

Seton Hall

Florida St.

Maryland

Villanova

4

Michigan St.

Butler

Auburn

Oregon

5

Iowa

LSU

Creighton

Penn St.

6

Kentucky

Colorado

Illinois

Arizona

7

Marquette

Rutgers

Ohio St.

Houston

8

Wisconsin

Arkansas

Michigan

Wichita St.

9

Stanford

BYU

USC

Saint Mary’s

10

Indiana

Florida

Rhode Island

Oklahoma

11

Texas Tech

Memphis

Northern Iowa

VCU

Mississippi St.

12

East Tennessee St.

Yale

Liberty

Virginia

Xavier

13

Stephen F. Austin

Louisiana Tech

Vermont

New Mexico St.

14

Wright St.

UC-Irvine

Colgate

Bowling Green

15

Winthrop

Little Rock

Hofstra

Murray St.

16

South Dakota St.

Eastern Washington

Texas Southern

Monmouth

Robert Morris

North Carolina A&T

 

First Four Out

Purdue

Georgetown

Arizona St.

Tulsa

Next Four Out

Cincinnati

Utah St.

Minnesota

Alabama

 

 

 

January 31, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For January 31, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:04 pm

 

Date

1/31/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

San Diego St.

Kansas

2

Seton Hall

Duke

Dayton

Louisville

3

Villanova

West Virginia

Oregon

Florida St.

4

Michigan St.

Maryland

Butler

Kentucky

5

Auburn

Penn St.

Iowa

LSU

6

Creighton

Colorado

Illinois

Rutgers

7

Marquette

Arizona

USC

Houston

8

Wichita St.

Arkansas

Ohio St.

Indiana

9

Saint Mary’s

Michigan

Texas Tech

Wisconsin

10

Oklahoma

Florida

BYU

Stanford

11

Memphis

VCU

Northern Iowa

Rhode Island

North Carolina St.

12

Liberty

East Tennessee St.

North Texas

Purdue

Virginia

13

Stephen F. Austin

Harvard

Vermont

Wright St.

14

UC-Irvine

New Mexico St.

Winthrop

Bowling Green

15

Colgate

William & Mary

Little Rock

Murray St.

16

South Dakota St.

Eastern Washington

Monmouth

Prairie View

Robert Morris

Norfolk St.

 

First Four Out

Mississippi St.

Minnesota

Alabama

Texas Tech

Next Four Out

Arizona St.

Texas

Syracuse

Utah St.

 

 

 

 

January 30, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 30, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:40 am

Thursday’s Games

 

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Arkansas St.

Appalachian St.

1.2

Austin Peay

SIU-Edwardsville

16.4

BYU

Pepperdine

15.3

Cal Poly

Cal St. Fullerton

-1.5

Cal St. Northridge

UC Santa Barbara

-2.2

California

Oregon

-10.9

Campbell

High Point

11.7

Charleston Southern

Winthrop

-7.4

Cleveland St.

IUPUI

4.5

Denver

South Dakota

-6.0

Eastern Kentucky

UT Martin

2.9

Elon

Hofstra

-7.2

Florida Atlantic

Western Kentucky

-3.8

Florida International

Marshall

2.1

Georgia Southern

Troy

10.5

Georgia St.

South Alabama

9.0

Illinois

Minnesota

5.2

Jacksonville

Florida Gulf Coast

8.2

Jacksonville St.

Tennessee St.

4.1

James Madison

Charleston

-5.2

Liberty

Kennesaw St.

27.3

Little Rock

Coastal Carolina

5.9

Longwood

Radford

-6.7

Louisiana Tech

Charlotte

10.2

Maryland

Iowa

4.9

Merrimack

St. Francis (NY)

6.1

Morehead St.

Southeast Missouri

5.7

Murray St.

Eastern Illinois

9.8

New Mexico St.

Cal St. Bakersfield

12.3

NJIT

North Alabama

3.4

North Florida

Stetson

10.6

Northern Colorado

Idaho St.

15.2

Pacific

Loyola Marymount

6.4

Portland St.

Montana

0.8

Presbyterian

South Carolina Upstate

1.9

Purdue Fort Wayne

North Dakota

0.9

Robert Morris

Bryant

2.6

Sacred Heart

Mount St. Mary’s

6.3

Saint Mary’s

Portland

20.3

San Diego

San Francisco

-5.2

Santa Clara

Gonzaga

-15.2

Southern Miss

Old Dominion

-2.1

Southern Utah

Weber St.

11.1

St. Francis (PA)

Central Connecticut

19.8

Stanford

Oregon St.

8.1

Tennessee Tech

Belmont

-15.6

Texas St.

Louisiana Monroe

12.5

Towson

UNC Wilmington

12.4

UC Davis

UC Irvine

-3.9

UC Riverside

Long Beach St.

8.2

UCLA

Colorado

-6.5

UNC Asheville

Gardner-Webb

2.4

USC

Utah

8.9

UT Arlington

Louisiana

12.2

UT Rio Grande Valley

Grand Canyon

2.3

UTEP

Middle Tennessee

11.3

UTSA

UAB

3.6

Wagner

Fairleigh Dickinson

1.6

Washington

Arizona

-3.0

Western Illinois

North Dakota St.

-8.7

William & Mary

Northeastern

0.9

Youngstown St

Illinois Chicago

2.8

 

The 10 Best Games On TV Tonight

 

Time (EST)

Network

Home

Visitor

7:00 PM

ESPN+

North Florida

Stetson

7:30 PM

FS1

Illinois

Minnesota

7:30 PM

ESPN+

Louisiana Tech

Charlotte

7:30 PM

ESPN+

Charleston Southern

Winthrop

8:30 PM

BTN

Maryland

Iowa

8:30 PM

CBSSN

BYU

Pepperdine

9:00 PM

Pac-12

California

Oregon

9:00 PM

ESPN2

Washington

Arizona

10:30 PM

CBSSN

Santa Clara

Gonzaga

11:00 PM

ESPN2

UCLA

Colorado

 

 

 

 

January 26, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For January 26, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:49 am

Date

1/26/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

Kansas

San Diego St.

2

Florida St.

Duke

Seton Hall

West Virginia

3

Louisville

Michigan St.

Dayton

Butler

4

Villanova

Oregon

Maryland

Iowa

5

Kentucky

Auburn

Colorado

LSU

6

Creighton

Penn St.

Arizona

Rutgers

7

Marquette

Illinois

Wichita St.

Arkansas

8

Ohio St.

Stanford

Indiana

Wisconsin

9

Houston

Florida

Saint Mary’s

Oklahoma

10

Memphis

Texas Tech

BYU

USC

11

Michigan

North Carolina St.

East Tennessee St.

Virginia Tech

VCU

12

Akron

North Texas

Liberty

Minnesota

Xavier

13

Stephen F. Austin

New Mexico St.

Vermont

Harvard

14

Loyola (Chi.)

Colgate

William & Mary

Wright St.

15

Little Rock

UC-Irvine

Murray St.

South Dakota St.

16

Montana

Winthrop

Monmouth

Norfolk St.

Robert Morris

Prairie View

First Four Out

Georgetown

Purdue

Alabama

Tennessee

Next Four Out

Richmond

Rhode Island

DePaul

Northern Iowa

Another Bracketology Will Publish Tomorrow Afternoon.  Many NCAA Tournament Team Contenders Are Playing Sunday.

 

January 24, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For January 24 , 2020

Date

1/24/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

San Diego St.

Kansas

2

Florida St.

Duke

Michigan St.

Seton Hall

3

West Virginia

Louisville

Oregon

Dayton

4

Villanova

Butler

Maryland

Iowa

5

Kentucky

Arizona

Auburn

Colorado

6

Creighton

Penn St.

Wisconsin

Marquette

7

LSU

Rutgers

Illinois

Wichita St.

8

Ohio St.

Stanford

Indiana

Arkansas

9

Houston

Michigan

USC

Florida

10

Memphis

Texas Tech

BYU

Saint Mary’s

11

Oklahoma

North Carolina St.

East Tennessee St.

Virginia Tech

VCU

12

Liberty

Akron

North Texas

Minnesota

DePaul

13

Stephen F. Austin

New Mexico St.

Vermont

Harvard

14

Loyola (Chi.)

Colgate

William & Mary

Wright St.

15

Little Rock

UC-Irvine

Murray St.

South Dakota St.

16

Montana

Winthrop

Monmouth

Norfolk St.

Long Island

Prairie View

 

First Four Out

Georgetown

Richmond

Purdue

Xavier

 

Next Four Out

Tennessee

Alabama

Rhode Island

Northern Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

January 23, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 23, 2020

Games Being Played Thursday

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UNC Asheville

Radford

-4.4

Ohio St.

Minnesota

7.7

Hofstra

Delaware

6.7

Stetson

NJIT

-0.1

Kennesaw St.

North Alabama

-6.1

William & Mary

James Madison

10.2

Cleveland St.

Green Bay

-3.1

Detroit

IUPUI

7.0

Winthrop

USC Upstate

16.3

Northeastern

Drexel

7.4

Oakland

Illinois Chicago

5.7

Youngstown St

Milwaukee

3.6

Murray St.

Belmont

-1.1

High Point

Gardner-Webb

-6.5

Old Dominion

Florida Intl.

3.0

Central Connecticut

Sacred Heart

-13.4

Merrimack

Fairleigh Dickinson

7.4

Long Island

St. Francis (PA)

0.6

St. Francis (NY)

Robert Morris

-3.2

North Florida

Liberty

-4.9

Charlotte

Florida Atlantic

4.9

Bryant

Wagner

8.7

Hampton

Campbell

-2.3

Elon

Towson

-5.8

Lipscomb

Jacksonville

2.2

Charleston Southern

Presbyterian

5.9

Middle Tennessee

Louisiana Tech

-12.0

North Texas

UTSA

10.1

Rice

UTEP

-2.0

Arkansas St.

South Alabama

0.2

Omaha

Western Illinois

11.6

South Dakota

Purdue Fort Wayne

7.1

Utah

Washington

-3.4

North Dakota

Denver

9.3

UAB

Southern Miss

8.7

Indiana

Michigan St.

-3.4

Austin Peay

Tennessee St.

7.5

Missouri St.

Valparaiso

3.4

SIU-Edwardsville

SEMO

0.8

Tennessee Tech

Morehead St.

-3.2

Eastern Illinois

UT-Martin

8.9

Jacksonville St.

Eastern Kentucky

8.8

Grand Canyon

Seattle

1.6

Idaho St.

Montana

-1.8

Weber St.

Montana St.

0.2

Houston

UConn

9.1

Colorado

Washington St.

12.8

Loyola Marymount

Portland

5.6

Santa Clara

Pepperdine

3.8

Cal St. Bakersfield

Utah Valley

6.2

 

Interesting Analytics

Every year at this time, the PiRates begin looking at some of the advanced analytics that we have used to gauge potential NCAA Tournament success.

Our R+T Rating ™, is our personal creation that attempts to predict how many more opportunities to score a team might have in a game as compared to an average team.  It relies on rebounding margin and turnover margin with an added emphasis on steals and protecting the ball from being stolen by the other team.  It attempts to estimate the potential extra points available to the team due to the “hustle stats.”

In the past, when a team has an R+T of 15.0 or better, that team has the ability to score on enough extra opportunities to go on a big spurt and put another team away.  When UCLA was the dominant basketball team during John Wooden’s runs, their R+T stats were always at the top of the nation.  When they had the 1964 small lineup that went 30-0, the 2-2-1 zone press created turnover after turnover by the opponent with a lot of steals.  These extra opportunities prevented the other team from scoring, but they also led to easy fast break points, and the Bruins had incredible scoring spurts in every game, the most famous being the incredible 16-0 run in just over two minutes before halftime that put NCAA Championship Game with Duke out of reach.

The Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Bill Walton years saw the Bruins totally dominating on the glass while still getting a nice number of steals and forcing turnovers.  These UCLA teams frequently had 20 extra scoring opportunities a game, and with Jabbar and Walton both hitting better than 60% from the field, the Bruins were unstoppable.

Long after UCLA won those 10 titles, the ability to get extra scoring opportunities has remained consistently and vitally important in NCAA Tournament games.  To get to the Big Dance, teams must display an ability to play very tough defense, and teams with good offenses and little else become pretenders when every opponent they face will play much better defense than the average opponent in the regular season.  Thus, the ability to create extra scoring opportunities and the ability to prevent extra scoring opportunities take precedence over just being able to shoot the ball more accurately than the opponent.

Obviously, we do not throw the baby out with the bath water.  Shooting is still quite important.  After all, the object of the game is to put the ball in the basket more than the other team.  If a team gets 10 more chances to put the ball in the basket, but they shoot like our Captain trying to putt at Pebble Beach, 30 more chances might not be enough to overcome the inaccurate marksmanship.  Obviously, shooting ability and ability to prevent made shots remain important.

Then, there is the third key factor.  If State only plays Southeast Northwest Community College and similar teams, they will inevitably end up with impressive stats.  If Tech plays Kansas, Duke, Maryland, Oregon, and Kentucky out of conference, it is going to be difficult, make that impossible, to end up with stats as impressive at State.  Thus strength of schedule must play as important a roll as the other two stats.  Think of schedule strength in the same vein as class in thoroughbred horse racing, where a winner of a claiming race is not going to compete well against the fifth place winner from a Grade 1 Classic race, even if in the last two races, their times for 1 1/8 miles were about the same.

Let’s put all three key stats together and look at a sampling of teams that are producing quality numbers across the board.

 

Team

R+T

TS%

SOS

Baylor

19.1

5.8

55.1

Butler

15.2

8.8

57.2

UC-Irvine

20.2

5.6

50.4

Duke

21.5

8.4

55.7

Gonzaga

27.7

10.1

49.0

Houston

25.5

4.2

54.4

Illinois

22.2

6.2

55.4

Indiana

20.6

3.2

54.7

Kansas

18.5

10.9

62.7

Kentucky

16.2

8.3

52.2

Liberty

15.9

12.6

43.4

Louisiana State

16.9

6.6

54.4

Maryland

16.7

5.2

58.4

Michigan State

21.6

10.2

57.7

New Mexico State

18.3

4.3

49.3

Oral Roberts

16.3

2.1

53.6

Rutgers

19.7

6.2

55.7

San Diego State

18.4

9.9

49.6

Southern Utah

15.7

8

48.2

Stephen F. Austin

22.5

2.9

42.7

Utah State

20.8

6.5

52.3

West Virginia

21.7

5.9

58.8

What you see above are the R+T ratings for 22 teams in column 1.  The formula for R+T is:  (R * 2) + (S * .5) + (6 – Opp S) + T, where R is rebounding margin per game, S is steals per game, Opp S is opponents’ steals per game, and T is turnover margin (Opponents Turnovers minus Teams’  Turnovers divided by games played).

Another excellent formula that estimates extra scoring chances per game is the formula by the brilliant Jordan Sperber, creator of Hoop Vision.  Jordan’s formula is: (Team’s OEff)-((100.9/49.0)*(Team’s eFG%)),  where OEff is offensive efficiency, the number 100.9 represents the average Division 1 team’s offensive efficiency, the number 49.0 represents the average Division 1 team’s effective FG%, and eFG% is effective FG%.  The result represents the extra chances to utilize effective FG%, and like everything else Jordan does, it is a great tool.  By the way, Jordan has worked for my number one rated Mid-Major coach of last year (Eric Musselman), and my number one rated Mid-Major coach of this year (Chris Jans).  His analytics have helped both coaches strategize the way they coach.  Check out Jordan’s website at: https://hoopvision.substack.com

In column 2 above, you see TS%.  This stands for true shooting percentage, which in this case actually stands for the difference in the team’s offensive TS% and the defensive TS%.  To calculate TS%, the formula is: (100 * points scored) /  (2 * [FG Attempts + {.475 * FT Attempts}]) 

The final column represents strength of schedule.  50 is considered an average schedule strength.  55 is considered a strong schedule strength.  60 is considered a tough schedule strength.  Below 45 is considered too weak to consider a team a legitimate contender in the Big Dance.

Gonzaga has the top R+T rating in the nation at the present time.  Their TS% difference is in the top 10, so the Bulldogs should be considered a key contender to run the table in the NCAA Tournament this year, correct?  No, that is not correct.  Gonzaga’s strength of schedule (SOS) is too low.  At 49.0, the other two stats must be discounted.  Gonzaga’s remaining schedule will not give the Bulldogs enough increase in SOS to take their R+T and TS% stats seriously.  This does not mean they will lose to a 16-seed in the first game.  What it means is that when they get to the Sweet 16 and face an opponent with a better SOS and strong R+T and TS%, they will be ripe for the upset.

Baylor, Butler, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan State, Rutgers, and West Virginia have the best resumes today.  They have excellent R+T, TS%, and SOS numbers.  It should be no surprise that the Big 12 and Big Ten are the two best conferences so far this season.  

Kentucky and LSU fall just short of the elites in this test.  Neither team has the important 55 or better SOS mark, although both teams could eventually get over that key number.

Among the mid-major teams to keep an eye on, there are four teams in the West that could be sleepers for the Sweet 16 if they make the dance.  UC-Irvine, New Mexico State, Southern Utah, and Utah State all have strong R+T and TS% numbers with SOS that isn’t totally weak.  Contrast that to Liberty and Stephen F. Austin, two teams where the schedule strength doesn’t cut it.

Then, there are two teams high in the rankings from the lower tier of major conferences.  Houston and San Diego State have excellent numbers, but their schedule strengths make them both on the outside looking in when compared to the power conference teams.  Frequently, teams like these two can make a run to the second weekend of the tournament, and once or twice a decade, they will sneak into the Final Four.  However, when it comes to cut the nets and hear “One Shining Moment,” the happy team is one that comes from one of the top 5 power conferences.

As of today, the top 5 power conferences are: The Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Atlantic Coast, and Southeastern Conferences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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