The Pi-Rate Ratings

January 8, 2023

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Sunday, January 8, 2023

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 4:00 am
AlbanyUMass Lowell-10.7
Arizona St.Washington8.6
Central FloridaSMU12.1
Eastern KentuckyLiberty-9.1
Holy CrossLoyola (MD)2.0
MaristMount St. Mary’s-2.0
MarylandOhio St.-1.2
New HampshireVermont-6.5
Northern KentuckyDetroit2.9
Penn St.Purdue-5.3
Saint Peter’sCanisius2.2
South FloridaWichita St.-0.2
Wright St.Oakland6.2

PiRates Take On NCAA Tournament Expansion

There has been talk of expanding the NCAA Tournament from the current 68 teams up to potentially 90. We do not think that is a great option, but we do believe that expanding by four to 72 would be worthwhile. Enough new schools have been added to the ranks of Division I since the tournament expanded from 64 to 65 to 68.

We would alter how the tournament is seeded in a 72-team field. Because the new Division I teams are among the bottom of the now 363 teams in power ratings, the four new seeds should be bottom seeds. How about making the #15 and #16 seeds the bottom 16 automatic qualifiers in the Dance? That means there woud be eight, 15-seeds and eight, 16-seeds. All 15’s and 16’s would begin the tournament in a First 16 Round. The tournament could keep the Dayton site for half the games and maybe use Denver for the other half.

This would eliminate the First Four games for the bottom at-large teams, but there would now be more spots for the at-large.

This would also suffice in placing a power conference team that pulls off a bunch of upsets to win their conference tournament. A team that goes 10-21 in the regular season and then wins four games in four days to earn an automatic bid at 14-21 could now be placed in one of those 15-seeds as one of the weakest automatic qualifiers.

April 1, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Final Four

Saturday, April 2, 2022
DukeNorth Carolina3.8


TeamO-EffD-EffSOS37+ 3ptOReb%-45% vs. 2ptFT Rate 37R + T New RateOld R+T
North Carolina183959.336.131.047.530.110.116.7

Duke vs. North Carolina

For so many years, there was a chance that the two two rivals in college basketball would meet in the Final Four.

Personally, in 1982, I held 4 tickets to the Mideast Regional at Vanderbilt University when the NCAA Selection Committee had placed Kentucky and Louisville on a collision course in the second round after Kentucky dismissed Middle Tennessee State in the first round. The two Bluegrass rivals had not met for 25 years, and here they were just two days away from the most colossal game in the tournament since Houston and UCLA played in 1968. Alas, tiny MTSU upset Kentucky, and the value of those four tickets went from new car purchase to nice dinner purchase.

What does that have to do with this game in New Orleans? Absolutely nothing, but it allows me to stall a bit. This game is not easy to figure. Duke has the overall most efficient offense in college basketball, while Carolina is in the top 20 in offensive efficiency but since February, the Tar Heels are in the top five. Carolina’s defense is marginally better than Duke’s, but it isn’t all that much. Carolina has a little better offense at forcing fouls on the defense and a little better R+T Rating, but how much extra do you give Duke for trying to send Coach K out a winner?

In 1975, Kentucky clearly had better overall talent and should have beaten UCLA, but the Bruins played close to their top potential for the retiring Coach Wooden. The last time these two teams played, Carolina spoiled Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Additionally, the Tar Heels did not win the regular season or conference tournament in the ACC, while Duke won the regular season title. PiRate Bracketnomics values a conference champion over a non-champion in tossup games, so the edge goes to Duke to make it to the Championship Game on Monday night.

Kansas vs. Villanova

The PiRate Bracketnomics System correctly picked Kansas and Villanova to make the Final Four before the tournament began. We also picked Kansas to cut down the nets in New Orleans, so you know who we are selecting in this game.

Now, let’s look at why. First, Villanova is missing a key player in Justin Moore from an already small playing rotation. Now for the numbers. Kansas has a very slim advantage in offensive efficiency, offensive rebounding rate, defensive 2-point field goal percentage, and R+T Ratings. Strength of schedule is basically dead even, so with the injury to Moore, KU becomes a 4 or 5 point favorite.

March 27, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Sunday, March 27, 2022

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:00 am
Sunday, March 27, 2022
North CarolinaSaint Peter’s9.6
KansasMiami (Fla.)8.8

March 26, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday, March 26, 2022
Southern UtahPortland3.7

Elite 8 Bracketnomics Analysis

TeamO-EffD-EffSOS37+ 3ptOReb%-45% vs. 2ptFT Rate 37R + T New RateOld R+T
North Carolina204259.00.36430.748.00.309.616.0
Saint Peter’s2252849.50.35532.143.50.384.68.9
Miami (Fla.)1812157.90.34422.753.20.29-5.4-3.0

Villanova vs. Houston: Houston has a more perfect Final Four Bracketnomics resume, but there is a caveat. The Cougars accumulated some of this resume with two former starters that were both lost for the season due to injuries.

Villanova has a better schedule strength and a better three-point shooting percentage, while Houston holds the R+T edge. It is so close to call, but the general rule of thumb is to go with the better R+T rating in tossup games. By a thin hair, the pick is Houston to repeat as a Final Four team.

Duke vs. Arkansas: It appears as if the Atlantic Coast Conference was quite underrated this year. Three of the Elite 8 are ACC teams. Duke showed a lot of toughness beating the number one defensive team in the nation Thursday night. Of course, Arkansas beat the number one team overall, and it did not look like a fluke.

Duke is close to having an ideal Final Four resume. The key here is that the Blue Devils have a considerably better Final Four resume than Arkansas, and they add two intangibles. First, they are playing for Coach K to go out a champion like John Wooden. Second, the ACC may need a few extra points in schedule strength. Duke is the choice.

North Carolina vs. Saint Peter’s: What we have here is a total monkey wrench in the Bracketnomics system. Saint Peter’s is not supposed to be here. I am not saying that no mid-major team should ever be in the Elite 8. It’s just that the Peacocks, with this resume, do not fit like past mid-major teams like George Mason, Wichita State, Virginia Commonwealth, and Butler. If Saint Peter’s makes the Final Four, the Bracketnomics System will be a total failure, because there isn’t any justification that says the Peacocks should make the Final Four.

How did this tiny commuter school located on both sides of what was once the Lincoln Highway in Jersey City get to the Elite 8? Beating Kentucky was “The Mouse That Roared.” This was not one of those all freshmen teams with no tournament experience. Beating Murray State wasn’t as surprising as we thought the Racers had failed to beat a really quality team. Beating Purdue was almost as shocking as beating Kentucky, but we have noted that Gene Keady and his disciples have never had great success in the NCAA Tournamnent, as Steve Lavin and Kevin Stallings also had issues with teams trying to win half-court possessions at the expense of forcing the issue and accumulating great R+T rating scores.

Now comes a North Carolina team that at one point this year lost to Kentucky by more than 30 points and looked like an NIT team but all of a sudden caught fire and slaughtered Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Coach K’s final home game. North Carolina looked like a national championship team in the Sweet 16, and Hubert Davis must be given all kinds of credit for guiding the Tar Heels from probable NIT to probable Final Four. I am going with the Tar Heels to set up the incredible top rivalry game in the Final Four. Saint Peter’s has a slightly better defensive efficiency, and their guards are incredibly deceptively better than a Metro Atlantic team, but the Peacocks’ schedule strength does not measure up to Final Four standards. What we’re looking at is an allowance horse champion trying to beat a Grade 1 Stakes winner in the Florida Derby with a trip to Churchill Downs on the line. For the sake of this system, the pick is North Carolina.

Kansas vs. Miami (Fla): After Selection Sunday, when we presented our massive Bracketnomics release, Kansas was our choice to go all the way and win the National Championship. The Jayhawks are halfway to the prize, but KU hasn’t won their games as convincingly as I hoped. Now the Jayhawks face a team that can attack them in a different way with Larranaga’s Runts. Miami is another team that the Bracketnomics say should not be here. Their R+T rating is the absolute lowest in R+T history of any Elite 8 team. In fact, they were not supposed to make it past the Round of 32 with this R+T rating.

In every facet that matters, KU has the advantage. This game should be a double-digit win for the Jayhawks, but with KU not clicking on all cylinders and Miami playing at its peak in the obviously underrated ACC, this game looks painfully closer than it should be. The pick is Kansas, but it may be one of those ugly wins.

March 25, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Friday, March 25, 2022

Friday, March 25, 2022
PurdueSaint Peter’s13.1
UCLANorth Carolina4.1
Miami (Fla.)Iowa St.0.2

March 24, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Thursday, March 24, 2022

Thursday, March 24, 2022
DukeTexas Tech-0.2

March 17, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Thursday, March 17, 2022

Thursday, March 17, 2022
Colorado St.Michigan-2.1
ProvidenceSouth Dakota St.2.9
Boise St.Memphis-1.9
BaylorNorfolk St.20.2
GonzagaGeorgia St.23.1
North CarolinaMarquette1.9
ConnecticutNew Mexico St.9.0
KentuckySaint Peter’s17.3
Saint Mary’sIndiana2.3
San Diego St.Creighton2.3
Murray St.San Francisco-2.3
KansasTexas Southern18.7
Fresno St.Eastern Washington11.8

March 16, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Wright St.Bryant0.7
RutgersNotre Dame-1.6
Wake ForestTowson7.0
VirginiaMississippi St.-0.1
SMUNicholls St.14.6
Saint LouisNorthern Iowa5.1
BYULong Beach St.11.8
Coastal CarolinaMaryland Eastern Shore12.5
Youngstown St.Morgan St.5.5
South AlabamaSoutheast Louisiana10.7
Florida Gulf CoastDetroit3.6
Maryland Baltimore Co.Merrimack5.5
Southern UtahKent St.1.6

March 15, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Texas SouthernTexas A&M–CC3.9
OklahomaMissouri St.5.7
North TexasTexas St.8.1
XavierCleveland St.13.7
Texas A&MAlcorn St.19.1
Utah St.Oregon3.4
Washington St.Santa Clara4.3
ColoradoSt. Bonaventure4.4
Appalachian St.USC Upstate10.2
UTEPWestern Illinois6.6

Coming Around 4 PM EDT–Bracketnomics 2022, The Analysis to help you pick your brackets

March 13, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday’s Conference Tournaments
American Athletic Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Fort Worth, TX
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Atlantic 10 Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Washington, D.C.
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Big Ten Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
Southeastern Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
TennesseeTexas A&M7.8

Final Bracketology coming this afternoon after SEC Championship Game Concludes

After last night’s late games on the West Coast concluded, our Bracketology hopefuls shrunk to 70 teams. We still have to eliminate two teams from our field of 68 and then do a final seeding after the conclusion of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The outcome of that game will most definitely affect the field, possibly changing who plays an opening round “play-in” game in Dayton.

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