The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 7, 2018

PiRate Ratings–College Football Week 7

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:06 am

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Tuesday October 9
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Arkansas St. Appalachian St. -6.3 -6.6 -6.1

 

Thursday October 11
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
TCU Texas Tech 7.5 7.8 7.6
Texas St. Georgia Southern -17.3 -15.9 -18.5

 

Friday October 12
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Tulsa South Florida -4.8 -8.0 -4.8
Utah Arizona 15.0 14.9 15.3
San Diego St. Air Force 10.9 10.7 12.2

 

Saturday October 13
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Boston College Louisville 22.4 20.0 23.1
Virginia Miami (Fla.) -9.9 -8.1 -10.5
Eastern Michigan Toledo -1.7 -1.5 -0.8
South Carolina Texas A&M 1.7 2.0 1.5
Coastal Carolina Louisiana-Monroe 2.3 5.2 2.6
Illinois Purdue -11.6 -10.2 -12.1
Central Michigan Ball St. 3.8 4.1 4.6
Georgia Tech Duke 1.4 2.7 1.7
Maryland Rutgers 22.8 22.3 23.8
North Carolina Virginia Tech -11.1 -11.3 -11.7
Charlotte Western Kentucky -7.0 -8.1 -8.3
East Carolina Houston -16.9 -17.7 -17.5
Buffalo Akron 8.0 8.9 8.6
Old Dominion Marshall -6.6 -5.5 -7.8
Florida Int’l. Middle Tennessee 0.6 3.4 0.2
Miami (O) Kent St. 15.2 15.8 18.0
Utah St. UNLV 23.9 23.7 24.8
Colorado St. New Mexico -1.5 -2.2 -1.7
Liberty Troy -9.3 -11.8 -10.8
Notre Dame Pittsburgh 28.3 26.1 28.3
USC Colorado 8.6 5.4 6.6
San Jose St. Army -21.7 -21.5 -23.7
Oregon Washington -7.7 -5.5 -8.5
Northern Illinois Ohio U 5.3 5.0 4.7
UTSA Louisiana Tech -10.9 -8.8 -11.3
Bowling Green Western Michigan -9.1 -10.9 -10.2
Arkansas Ole Miss -0.3 -2.3 -1.5
Michigan Wisconsin 9.6 10.9 10.3
Ohio St. Minnesota 29.2 27.9 30.0
Navy Temple -8.5 -6.3 -10.0
Iowa St. West Virginia -0.5 -1.2 -0.2
North Texas Southern Miss. 17.8 17.1 17.9
Northwestern Nebraska 20.1 19.8 22.3
Indiana Iowa -11.4 -10.1 -10.9
Memphis Central Florida -10.2 -8.5 -9.9
Auburn Tennessee 24.5 22.7 26.8
Texas Baylor 13.3 13.9 13.4
Alabama Missouri 28.3 27.8 28.9
Vanderbilt Florida -11.7 -9.6 -12.9
Kansas St. Oklahoma St. -5.7 -5.4 -6.8
Rice UAB -20.8 -20.6 -23.2
LSU Georgia -13.1 -9.8 -13.1
Louisiana New Mexico St. 5.7 5.8 6.3
Penn St. Michigan St. 10.3 9.7 11.4
BYU Hawaii 21.5 19.7 23.0
California UCLA 13.8 11.5 15.6
Fresno St. Wyoming 19.1 18.1 20.1
Nevada Boise St. -17.5 -17.1 -18.3

 

FBS FCS
Home Visitor PiRate
South Alabama Alabama St. 29.3

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings 

All PiRate Ratings are Predictive and not Retrodictive Rankings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 140.1 138.0 141.7 139.9
2 Clemson 133.6 131.0 134.1 132.9
3 Georgia 131.0 127.7 132.0 130.2
4 Ohio St. 128.7 126.6 129.2 128.2
5 Notre Dame 125.8 122.9 125.0 124.5
6 Washington 123.9 121.8 125.4 123.7
7 Michigan 123.8 122.5 124.1 123.4
8 Penn St. 123.8 121.1 124.3 123.1
9 Oklahoma 119.4 118.0 119.7 119.0
10 Mississippi St. 119.6 117.1 120.3 119.0
11 Auburn 118.2 116.9 119.8 118.3
12 Miami 117.0 115.6 116.7 116.5
13 Wisconsin 117.2 114.5 116.7 116.1
14 Michigan St. 116.5 114.4 115.8 115.6
15 Central Florida 115.1 115.2 115.6 115.3
16 L S U 114.9 114.9 115.9 115.2
17 Missouri 114.8 113.2 115.8 114.6
18 Florida 114.7 113.0 115.7 114.4
19 Kentucky 114.6 113.5 114.5 114.2
20 N. Carolina St. 114.2 113.6 114.1 114.0
21 West Virginia 114.5 113.6 113.8 113.9
22 Stanford 114.8 112.1 114.8 113.9
23 Utah 114.1 112.3 114.8 113.8
24 Boston College 114.5 111.9 114.1 113.5
25 Iowa 114.4 112.2 113.8 113.5
26 Oregon 113.2 113.2 113.9 113.4
27 Texas 113.9 112.6 113.6 113.3
28 Texas A&M 113.7 112.3 113.7 113.2
29 Duke 114.1 111.8 113.5 113.2
30 Virginia Tech 113.1 112.2 112.9 112.7
31 T C U 113.2 112.2 112.0 112.4
32 Northwestern 112.8 111.1 113.0 112.3
33 Georgia Tech 112.4 111.5 112.2 112.1
34 S. Carolina 112.4 111.3 112.2 112.0
35 Boise St. 111.4 110.8 111.8 111.3
36 Oklahoma St. 111.7 109.9 111.7 111.1
37 Fresno St. 110.6 109.5 110.9 110.4
38 Iowa State 111.0 109.3 110.6 110.3
39 Syracuse 109.6 108.2 108.8 108.9
40 U S C 109.7 107.9 108.9 108.8
41 Washington St. 109.3 108.3 108.6 108.7
42 Texas Tech 108.7 107.3 107.4 107.8
43 Purdue 107.8 106.2 107.4 107.1
44 Arizona St. 107.6 106.3 107.2 107.0
45 Utah St. 106.1 107.4 107.5 107.0
46 Florida St. 107.1 106.5 106.8 106.8
47 California 107.3 104.8 106.7 106.3
48 Colorado 104.1 105.6 105.3 105.0
49 Maryland 104.8 103.4 103.9 104.0
50 Virginia 104.1 104.6 103.2 104.0
51 Ole Miss 103.7 103.3 103.9 103.6
52 San Diego St. 102.8 103.1 103.9 103.2
53 Houston 102.9 103.5 103.1 103.2
54 Army 102.5 103.1 102.7 102.8
55 Memphis 101.9 103.7 102.7 102.8
56 Temple 102.4 102.4 103.3 102.7
57 Minnesota 102.5 101.7 102.2 102.1
58 Kansas St. 103.0 101.5 101.8 102.1
59 Wake Forest 103.5 101.1 101.2 101.9
60 Baylor 102.6 100.7 102.1 101.8
61 Arizona 102.2 100.5 102.5 101.7
62 N. Texas 99.6 102.0 100.4 100.6
63 Vanderbilt 100.4 100.8 100.3 100.5
64 BYU 99.9 100.2 100.5 100.2
65 Pittsburgh 100.4 99.8 99.6 100.0
66 Indiana 100.0 99.2 99.8 99.7
67 South Florida 98.6 100.8 98.9 99.4
68 Appalachian St. 98.4 100.1 99.9 99.4
69 Arkansas 100.4 97.9 99.4 99.2
70 Cincinnati 97.9 99.5 98.3 98.5
71 N. Carolina 99.0 97.9 98.2 98.4
72 Kansas 98.9 97.5 97.2 97.9
73 Buffalo 96.8 98.9 97.8 97.8
74 Toledo 97.4 98.5 97.1 97.7
75 Florida Atlantic 97.0 97.7 97.6 97.4
76 Tennessee 96.7 97.1 96.0 96.6
77 U C L A 96.5 96.3 94.1 95.6
78 Northern Illinois 95.0 95.7 94.8 95.2
79 Air Force 94.9 95.4 94.7 95.0
80 Louisville 95.1 94.9 94.1 94.7
81 Nebraska 95.8 94.3 93.7 94.6
82 Wyoming 94.6 94.5 93.9 94.3
83 Tulane 94.2 94.6 94.0 94.3
84 Louisiana Tech 93.0 95.3 94.3 94.2
85 Illinois 94.2 94.0 93.4 93.9
86 Eastern Michigan 93.2 94.5 93.8 93.8
87 Marshall 92.5 95.0 93.3 93.6
88 U A B 92.3 94.7 92.9 93.3
89 Ohio U 92.6 93.8 93.1 93.2
90 Troy 92.1 93.6 93.6 93.1
91 Western Michigan 92.0 93.8 93.1 93.0
92 Miami (O) 91.6 93.3 94.0 93.0
93 Middle Tennessee 91.9 93.2 93.1 92.7
94 Akron 91.7 93.0 92.2 92.3
95 Navy 91.4 93.6 90.8 92.0
96 SMU 91.8 91.2 90.8 91.3
97 Florida Int’l. 89.5 93.6 90.3 91.1
98 Georgia Southern 90.0 91.6 90.8 90.8
99 Nevada 90.9 90.6 90.5 90.7
100 Tulsa 90.8 89.8 91.1 90.6
101 Arkansas St. 89.1 90.5 90.7 90.1
102 New Mexico 88.7 90.3 88.8 89.3
103 Central Michigan 85.4 87.9 85.9 86.4
104 Southern Miss. 84.7 87.8 85.5 86.0
105 U N L V 85.2 86.7 85.6 85.8
106 W. Kentucky 84.1 87.3 85.3 85.6
107 Oregon St. 86.6 84.2 84.8 85.2
108 Ball St. 84.1 86.4 83.8 84.8
109 Old Dominion 83.4 87.0 83.0 84.5
110 Colo. State 84.2 85.1 84.1 84.5
111 Massachusetts 83.2 85.1 84.1 84.1
112 Rutgers 85.0 84.0 83.1 84.0
113 East Carolina 83.0 82.8 82.6 82.8
114 Hawaii 82.4 84.5 81.5 82.8
115 U T S A 79.1 83.5 79.9 80.9
116 Bowling Green 80.4 80.5 80.4 80.4
117 Coastal Carolina 78.9 81.7 79.5 80.0
118 Georgia St. 79.0 81.0 79.8 79.9
119 Louisiana 78.9 81.0 79.9 79.9
120 Liberty 79.8 78.8 79.8 79.5
121 UL-Monroe 79.1 79.0 79.4 79.2
122 Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.5 79.1
123 South Alabama 76.2 78.1 76.8 77.0
124 N. Mexico St. 76.2 78.2 76.5 77.0
125 San Jose St. 77.3 78.1 75.5 77.0
126 Charlotte 74.6 76.8 74.5 75.3
127 Connecticut 73.3 73.6 71.9 72.9
128 U T E P 71.1 74.2 70.5 71.9
129 Texas State 70.2 73.2 69.8 71.1
130 Rice 69.0 71.6 67.2 69.3

 

PiRate Ratings by Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Central Florida 115.1 115.2 115.6 115.3 2-0 5-0
Temple 102.4 102.4 103.3 102.7 2-0 3-3
South Florida 98.6 100.8 98.9 99.4 1-0 5-0
Cincinnati 97.9 99.5 98.3 98.5 2-0 6-0
East Carolina 83.0 82.8 82.6 82.8 0-2 2-3
Connecticut 73.3 73.6 71.9 72.9 0-3 1-5
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Houston 102.9 103.5 103.1 103.2 1-0 4-1
Memphis 101.9 103.7 102.7 102.8 1-2 4-2
Tulane 94.2 94.6 94.0 94.3 1-1 2-4
Navy 91.4 93.6 90.8 92.0 1-1 2-3
SMU 91.8 91.2 90.8 91.3 1-1 2-4
Tulsa 90.8 89.8 91.1 90.6 0-2 1-4
AAC Averages 95.3 95.9 95.3 95.5
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Clemson 133.6 131.0 134.1 132.9 3-0 6-0
N. Carolina St. 114.2 113.6 114.1 114.0 1-0 5-0
Boston College 114.5 111.9 114.1 113.5 1-1 4-2
Syracuse 109.6 108.2 108.8 108.9 1-2 4-2
Florida St. 107.1 106.5 106.8 106.8 1-3 3-3
Wake Forest 103.5 101.1 101.2 101.9 0-2 3-3
Louisville 95.1 94.9 94.1 94.7 0-3 2-4
Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Miami 117.0 115.6 116.7 116.5 2-0 5-1
Duke 114.1 111.8 113.5 113.2 0-1 4-1
Virginia Tech 113.1 112.2 112.9 112.7 2-0 3-2
Georgia Tech 112.4 111.5 112.2 112.1 1-2 3-3
Virginia 104.1 104.6 103.2 104.0 1-1 3-2
Pittsburgh 100.4 99.8 99.6 100.0 2-1 3-3
N. Carolina 99.0 97.9 98.2 98.4 1-1 1-3
ACC Averages 109.8 108.6 109.3 109.2
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average B12 Overall
Oklahoma 119.4 118.0 119.7 119.0 2-1 5-1
West Virginia 114.5 113.6 113.8 113.9 3-0 5-0
Texas 113.9 112.6 113.6 113.3 3-0 5-1
T C U 113.2 112.2 112.0 112.4 1-1 3-2
Oklahoma St. 111.7 109.9 111.7 111.1 1-2 4-2
Iowa State 111.0 109.3 110.6 110.3 1-2 2-3
Texas Tech 108.7 107.3 107.4 107.8 1-1 3-2
Kansas St. 103.0 101.5 101.8 102.1 0-3 2-4
Baylor 102.6 100.7 102.1 101.8 2-1 4-2
Kansas 98.9 97.5 97.2 97.9 0-3 2-4
Big 12 Averages 109.7 108.3 109.0 109.0
Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Ohio St. 128.7 126.6 129.2 128.2 3-0 6-0
Michigan 123.8 122.5 124.1 123.4 3-0 5-1
Penn St. 123.8 121.1 124.3 123.1 1-1 4-1
Michigan St. 116.5 114.4 115.8 115.6 2-1 3-2
Maryland 104.8 103.4 103.9 104.0 1-1 3-2
Indiana 100.0 99.2 99.8 99.7 1-2 4-2
Rutgers 85.0 84.0 83.1 84.0 0-3 1-5
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Wisconsin 117.2 114.5 116.7 116.1 2-0 4-1
Iowa 114.4 112.2 113.8 113.5 1-1 4-1
Northwestern 112.8 111.1 113.0 112.3 2-1 2-3
Purdue 107.8 106.2 107.4 107.1 1-1 2-3
Minnesota 102.5 101.7 102.2 102.1 0-2 3-2
Nebraska 95.8 94.3 93.7 94.6 0-3 0-5
Illinois 94.2 94.0 93.4 93.9 1-1 3-2
Big Ten Averages 109.1 107.5 108.6 108.4
Conference USA
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Florida Atlantic 97.0 97.7 97.6 97.4 1-1 3-3
Marshall 92.5 95.0 93.3 93.6 1-1 3-2
Middle Tennessee 91.9 93.2 93.1 92.7 2-0 3-2
Florida Int’l. 89.5 93.6 90.3 91.1 1-0 3-2
W. Kentucky 84.1 87.3 85.3 85.6 0-1 1-4
Old Dominion 83.4 87.0 83.0 84.5 0-3 1-5
Charlotte 74.6 76.8 74.5 75.3 1-1 2-3
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
N. Texas 99.6 102.0 100.4 100.6 1-1 5-1
Louisiana Tech 93.0 95.3 94.3 94.2 1-1 3-2
U A B 92.3 94.7 92.9 93.3 2-0 4-1
Southern Miss. 84.7 87.8 85.5 86.0 1-0 2-2
U T S A 79.1 83.5 79.9 80.9 2-0 3-3
U T E P 71.1 74.2 70.5 71.9 0-2 0-6
Rice 69.0 71.6 67.2 69.3 0-2 1-5
CUSA Averages 85.8 88.6 86.3 86.9
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average Conf. Overall
Notre Dame 125.8 122.9 125.0 124.5 x 6-0
Army 102.5 103.1 102.7 102.8 x 3-2
BYU 99.9 100.2 100.5 100.2 x 3-3
Massachusetts 83.2 85.1 84.1 84.1 x 2-5
Liberty 79.8 78.8 79.8 79.5 x 2-3
N. Mexico St. 76.2 78.2 76.5 77.0 x 2-4
Independents Averages 94.6 94.7 94.8 94.7
Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Buffalo 96.8 98.9 97.8 97.8 2-0 5-1
Ohio U 92.6 93.8 93.1 93.2 1-0 3-2
Miami (O) 91.6 93.3 94.0 93.0 2-1 2-4
Akron 91.7 93.0 92.2 92.3 0-1 2-2
Bowling Green 80.4 80.5 80.4 80.4 0-2 1-5
Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.5 79.1 0-2 1-5
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Toledo 97.4 98.5 97.1 97.7 1-0 3-2
Northern Illinois 95.0 95.7 94.8 95.2 3-0 3-3
Eastern Michigan 93.2 94.5 93.8 93.8 0-3 2-4
Western Michigan 92.0 93.8 93.1 93.0 2-0 4-2
Central Michigan 85.4 87.9 85.9 86.4 0-2 1-5
Ball St. 84.1 86.4 83.8 84.8 1-1 2-4
MAC Averages 89.9 91.3 90.4 90.6
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Boise St. 111.4 110.8 111.8 111.3 1-1 3-2
Utah St. 106.1 107.4 107.5 107.0 1-0 4-1
Air Force 94.9 95.4 94.7 95.0 0-2 2-3
Wyoming 94.6 94.5 93.9 94.3 0-2 2-4
New Mexico 88.7 90.3 88.8 89.3 1-0 3-2
Colo. State 84.2 85.1 84.1 84.5 1-1 2-4
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Fresno St. 110.6 109.5 110.9 110.4 1-0 4-1
San Diego St. 102.8 103.1 103.9 103.2 1-0 4-1
Nevada 90.9 90.6 90.5 90.7 1-1 3-3
U N L V 85.2 86.7 85.6 85.8 0-1 2-3
Hawaii 82.4 84.5 81.5 82.8 3-0 6-1
San Jose St. 77.3 78.1 75.5 77.0 0-2 0-5
MWC Averages 94.1 94.7 94.1 94.3
Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Washington 123.9 121.8 125.4 123.7 3-0 5-1
Stanford 114.8 112.1 114.8 113.9 2-1 4-2
Oregon 113.2 113.2 113.9 113.4 1-1 4-1
Washington St. 109.3 108.3 108.6 108.7 2-1 5-1
California 107.3 104.8 106.7 106.3 0-2 3-2
Oregon St. 86.6 84.2 84.8 85.2 0-3 1-5
South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Utah 114.1 112.3 114.8 113.8 1-2 3-2
U S C 109.7 107.9 108.9 108.8 2-1 3-2
Arizona St. 107.6 106.3 107.2 107.0 1-2 3-3
Colorado 104.1 105.6 105.3 105.0 2-0 5-0
Arizona 102.2 100.5 102.5 101.7 2-1 3-3
U C L A 96.5 96.3 94.1 95.6 0-2 0-5
Pac-12 Averages 107.4 106.1 107.2 106.9
Southeastern Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Georgia 131.0 127.7 132.0 130.2 4-0 6-0
Missouri 114.8 113.2 115.8 114.6 0-2 3-2
Florida 114.7 113.0 115.7 114.4 3-1 5-1
Kentucky 114.6 113.5 114.5 114.2 3-1 5-1
S. Carolina 112.4 111.3 112.2 112.0 2-2 3-2
Vanderbilt 100.4 100.8 100.3 100.5 0-2 3-3
Tennessee 96.7 97.1 96.0 96.6 0-2 2-3
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Alabama 140.1 138.0 141.7 139.9 3-0 6-0
Mississippi St. 119.6 117.1 120.3 119.0 1-2 4-2
Auburn 118.2 116.9 119.8 118.3 1-2 4-2
L S U 114.9 114.9 115.9 115.2 2-1 5-1
Texas A&M 113.7 112.3 113.7 113.2 2-1 4-2
Ole Miss 103.7 103.3 103.9 103.6 0-2 4-2
Arkansas 100.4 97.9 99.4 99.2 0-3 1-5
SEC Averages 113.9 112.6 114.4 113.6
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Appalachian St. 98.4 100.1 99.9 99.4 1-0 3-1
Troy 92.1 93.6 93.6 93.1 3-0 5-1
Georgia Southern 90.0 91.6 90.8 90.8 2-0 4-1
Coastal Carolina 78.9 81.7 79.5 80.0 1-1 3-2
Georgia St. 79.0 81.0 79.8 79.9 1-1 2-4
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Arkansas St. 89.1 90.5 90.7 90.1 0-1 3-2
Louisiana 78.9 81.0 79.9 79.9 1-1 2-3
UL-Monroe 79.1 79.0 79.4 79.2 0-2 2-4
South Alabama 76.2 78.1 76.8 77.0 1-2 1-5
Texas State 70.2 73.2 69.8 71.1 0-2 1-4
Sun Belt Averages 83.2 85.0 84.0 84.1

 

Rating the Conferences

# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 113.9 112.6 114.4 113.6
2 ACC 109.8 108.6 109.3 109.2
3 B12 109.7 108.3 109.0 109.0
4 BTEN 109.1 107.5 108.6 108.4
5 P-12 107.4 106.1 107.2 106.9
6 AAC 95.3 95.9 95.3 95.5
7 IND 94.6 94.7 94.8 94.7
8 MWC 94.1 94.7 94.1 94.3
9 MAC 89.9 91.3 90.4 90.6
10 CUSA 85.8 88.6 86.3 86.9
11 SUN 83.2 85.0 84.0 84.1

 

Top 5 Group of 5

1 Central Florida
2 South Florida
3 Cincinnati
4 Fresno St.
5 San Diego St.

 

This Week’s Playoff and Bowl Projections

Bowl Conferences Team 1 Team 2
New Mexico MWC CUSA New Mexico North Texas
Cure AAC SBC South Florida Georgia Southern
Las Vegas MWC Pac-12 San Diego St. Colorado
Camellia MAC SBC Buffalo Appalachian St.
New Orleans CUSA SBC Florida Atlantic Louisiana
Boca Raton MAC CUSA Western Michigan UAB
Frisco AAC MAC [BYU] Ohio U
Gasparilla AAC CUSA Memphis MIddle Tennessee
Bahamas AAC CUSA Cincinnati Florida Int’l.
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Toledo Boise St.
Birmingham AAC SEC [Army] [Marshall]
Armed Forces AAC Big 12 Houston [Utah]
Dollar General MAC SBC Northern Illinois Troy
Hawaii CUSA MWC Louisiana Tech Hawaii
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA [Arizona St.] Southern Miss.
Quick Lane ACC Big Ten [Utah St.] Michigan St.
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 Oklahoma St. Arizona
Independence ACC SEC Virginia [Nevada]
Pinstripe ACC Big Ten Syracuse Maryland
Texas Big 12 SEC TCU Texas A&M
Music City ACC/Big Ten SEC Indiana Auburn
Camping World ACC Big 12 North Carolina St. Iowa St.
Arizona MWC SBC Fresno St. Arkansas St.
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 West Virginia USC
Belk ACC SEC Virginia Tech South Carolina
Peach At-large At-large Florida Central Florida
Military AAC ACC Temple Duke
Sun ACC Pac-12 Boston College Washington St.
San Francisco Big Ten Pac-12 Northwestern Stanford
Liberty Big 12 SEC Baylor Mississippi St.
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Iowa Oregon
Gator ACC/Big Ten SEC Miami (Fla.) Missouri
Outback Big Ten SEC Minnesota LSU
Fiesta At-large At-large Oklahoma Penn St.
Citrus ACC/Big Ten SEC Wisconsin Kentucky
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Michigan Washington
Sugar Big 12 SEC Texas Georgia
PLAYOFFS
Cotton Ohio St. Clemson
Orange Alabama Notre Dame
National Championship Game Alabama Clemson
Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections

 

This Week’s Dozen Best TV Games

When we give the best games of the week, we are limiting the games to those scheduled for Saturday, and we are picking games that have some type of national attraction.  There are two excellent weeknight games that matter a lot for bowl bid possibilities in the Texas Tech-TCU game Thursday and the Arizona-Utah game on Friday.  However, many of you cannot watch late night games during the week, so we concentrate on Saturday games as the best games of the week, at least until the week of Thanksgiving.

Saturday, October 13

All times Eastern Daylight

12:00 PM

Iowa at Indiana on ESPN2: This is not a bowl elimination game for either team, but if Indiana can pull off a home win over the Hawkeyes, it puts the Hoosiers in excellent shape to get to six wins.  The Music City Bowl in Nashville is an easy drive from the Hoosier State, and IU would be a great choice should the Big Ten go to Nashville rather than the Gator Bowl this year.  Iowa is still alive in the Big Ten West race, and with a win over the Hoosiers and a Wisconsin loss at Michigan, it could be a big weekend for the Hawkeyes.

 

Oklahoma St. at Kansas St. on ESPNU

This is a bowl elimination game for Kansas State.  The Wildcats are quickly running short on winnable games, and at 0-3/2-4, another loss at home almost guarantees that KSU will be staying home in December.  Oklahoma State has very little chance remaining to make the Big 12 Championship Game, and if the Cowboys lose this game, it could make going 6-6 a very difficult task if not impossible.  Both teams should fight tooth and nail in this game.

 

Tennessee at Auburn on SECn

On the surface, this should be a cake walk game for Auburn, but we tend to think this game is going to be a tough one for the Tigers to win.  Tennessee had a bye week and thus had two weeks to prepare for this game.  The Vols have played better than their record to date, but they have made too many costly mistakes at the wrong time.  Two weeks of practice tend to allow a coach to iron out the kinks.

Auburn cannot run the ball this year.  The Tigers have been one dimensional, and they failed to score a touchdown in their loss to Mississippi St.  Tennessee’s defense is probably as good as Southern Mississippi’s defense, and Auburn may find it hard to score any more than 21 points in this game.  If the Vols can generate a few big plays for once, this game could be very close in the fourth quarter.  All it takes is for the ball to bounce right once for the Vols, and Jeremy Pruitt could leave his home state very happy.

 

12:20 PM

Duke at Georgia Tech on ACCn

Can Duke stop the option enough times to hold Georgia Tech under 30 points?  Can Georgia Tech stop the passing game enough times to hold Duke under 30 points?  Duke has already played Army this year and faced the option attack.  Georgia Tech has already faced a pass happy offense twice.  Duke’s results were better than Tech’s but this game is still a pure toss-up, and the winner emerges as a solid bowl opportunist, while the loser has to start looking for an upset win somewhere in the future.

 

3:30 PM 

Baylor at Texas on ESPN

Had both teams lost this past weekend, Texas would have been an easy favorite in this game.  However, both teams pulled off upsets; Texas survived against Oklahoma, and Baylor won a tough game over Kansas State.

Now, both teams look like sure bowl teams.  Texas has now moved up to co-favorite status to win the regular season title.  However, this is a big trap game for the Longhorns.  They will not give Baylor the same respect they gave Oklahoma, and the UT players will hear all week during school how incredible they are.

Baylor has an incredible opportunity to make hay in the Big 12, as they play at West Virginia next week.  Chances are better than 50-50 the Bears will go 0-2, but there is a chance they can go 1-1 in these next two games.  Texas better be ready for a Lone Star Ambush on their home turf.

 

Georgia at LSU on CBS

Oh, what a great matchup this would have been had LSU beaten Florida! However, the Gators looked like the better team, and LSU’s win over Auburn doesn’t look so sexy now.

Georgia has a real opportunity to show the nation that the SEC truly does have the two best teams in the nation.  This could start to look like 1971 with Nebraska and Oklahoma, if the Bulldogs roll over the Tigers in their den.  A loss would virtually guarantee that the SEC would have just one playoff team this year.

 

Purdue at Illinois on BTN

Huh?  You say we must be nuts to list this as one of the top dozen games this week?  Here us out.  This is a bowl elimination game in the truest manner.  The loser of this game cannot finish 6-6.  The winner will still have work to do, but the victor will have a good shot at getting to six wins.  Illinois has a home game with Minnesota plus a game with Nebraska, so a win Saturday means that wins in those other two games would save Lovie Smith’s job and put the Illini in a minor bowl.

Purdue had that tough 0-3 start where they could have been 3-0.  Seldom does a mid-level team squander three games and get to a bowl, but if the Boilermakers can win this backyard rivalry game and get to 3-3, not only will they be in good shape to get to a bowl, PU could become a dark horse for the Big Ten West title!

 

Texas A&M at South Carolina on SECn

Both teams enter this game off impressive, hard-fought conference wins.  The winner of this game stays in contention for the Citrus Bowl bid, and even a slight chance at the Sugar Bowl should Alabama and Georgia both make the playoffs.  The loser is reduced to Gator, Texas, Outback, and Belk Bowl contention.

 

Washington at Oregon on ABC or ESPN2 (most of the Western half of the US will get it on ABC)

With Stanford losing to Utah, the winner of this game takes a big lead in the Pac-12 North Standings.  This league is now basically in competition for the Rose Bowl, as any playoff chances would hinge on about 10 teams losing two more games.  In other words, it isn’t going to be for the West Coast this year.  The Rose Bowl is still a nice consolation, and to get there, you must first win your division.  It’s still a four-team race in the North.  An Oregon loss at home most likely eliminates the Ducks.  A win over the Huskies keeps this division tight with four contenders.

 

7:00 PM

West Virginia at Iowa St. on FS1

This may actually be the most exciting game of the day.  West Virginia brings its undefeated and playoff-contending team to Ames, where the Cyclones are sitting on a big win.  After Iowa State knocked off Oklahoma State, ISU will be entering this game sky high, and their fans will make this one loud on Will Grier.

If WVU can win this one on the road, they will deserve to be a contender for the playoffs.

 

7:30 PM

Wisconsin at Michigan on ABC

Wisconsin wins games by grinding out yards for four quarters by running the ball and then setting up potentially big play-action pass plays.  Michigan wins games by making life miserable on opponents’ running games.  This is a big test for the Wolverines. If they slow down the Badgers’ running game and beat Wisconsin in a defensive struggle in the neighborhood of 24-10, then the Maize and Blue just may have enough force to slow down that team down south from Ann Arbor at the end of the year.  If Jonathan Taylor tops 100 yards rushing and Wisconsin tops 20 points in this game, then Urban Meyer can already start preparing for the Orange or Cotton Bowl.

 

10:30 PM

Colorado at USC on FS1

We honestly do not believe that if Colorado were to run the table and win the Pac-12 Championship Game that they would make the playoffs at 13-0.  To be even more honest, we don’t believe the Buffaloes can win the Pac-12 South.  However, this game will be their first major test.  CU’s schedule is quite weak to date–wins over Colorado State, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and UCLA could have been replicated by most Power 5 teams.  The win over Arizona State was worthy, but the Buffs have only played one road game, and that one  was a very narrow win in Lincoln, a game they probably would have lost had Adrian Martinez not been injured.

USC’s loss to Texas doesn’t look as bad now, but they did lose to Stanford, and that one doesn’t look as good.  The Trojans might have enough power to win all their home conference games, and this one is in the Coliseum.  The winner takes control in the Pac-12 South race, and the Trojans should emerge victorious.

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September 19, 2018

PiRate Ratings Selections for September 20-24, 2018

Hooray for once.  The PiRate Ratings official picks last week enjoyed a nice winning record, sending the year to date record into positive territory.  It is a small profit, as the return on investment is just 1.92%, but at least it isn’t a red number.  Better yet, our straight picks against the spread or in the totals have a record of 11-6-1 for the season.  It is the exotic picks that have stunk up the joint.  Thus, we will go with just straight picks this week.

Best of all, out special Land Sharps are just torching the books with their selections.  One of the sharps, Buckeye Michelle, has been insane with her picks the last two weeks, and we have received messages from some of our regular subscribers asking for more information about her.  First of all, we are not in the business of matchmaking, so don’t ask.  And, yes, she is an incredibly beautiful 29-year old football fanatic.

One of you actually revealed to us that you know who Stewed Meat is.  Stewed is a real sharp.  Stewed lives in Nevada, and handicapping is Stewed career.  Stewed has shown us something special this week that many people never get the opportunity to see performed–playing the middle against both sides.  We’ll explain more about this at the end.

Here are this week’s PiRate Ratings Selections Against The Spread

Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Wisconsin Iowa 3.5 Iowa
Louisiana Coastal Carolina 4.5 Coastal Carolina
North Carolina St. Marshall 4.5 North Carolina St.
Maryland Minnesota 3 Minnesota
Stanford Oregon 1.5 Stanford
West Virginia Kansas St. 17 Kansas St.
Chicago Arizona 7 Arizona
Philadelphia Indianapolis 6 Philadelphia
Green Bay Washington 3 Washington

Now for the Land Sharps.  At the present time, this is how each has done so far.

Buckeye Michelle is 9-1 for 90% against the spread and +$790 a 79% ROI

Cal Gal Tiffy is 9-3 for 75% against the spread and +$570 a 47.5% ROI

Friday Dog 13 is 4-2 for 67% against the spread and +$180 a 30% ROI

Stewed Meat is 6-4 for 60% against the spread and +$160 a 16% ROI

Dean 615 is 3-3 for 50% against the spread and -$30 a -5% ROI

If more than one of our expert pickers agree on picking the same game, it must be a strong pick.  You will notice that a couple of games were selected by multiple sharps this week.  You will also notice that a couple of sharps picked against each other.

If you are just tuning in to this feature, the rules are simple.  The 5 participants can select against the margin or going over or under the total for any FBS college football game.  They can select 3, 5,7, or 9 games each week.  We then select the most favorable spread available at oddshark.com.

Here are the Land Sharps Picks For the Week.

Buckeye Michelle

Minnesota +3 vs. Maryland

Kansas St. +17 vs. West Virginia

Wake Forest +8 vs. Notre Dame

Army +32 vs. Oklahoma

Stanford -1.5 vs. Oregon

 

Cal Gal Tiffy

Minnesota +3 vs. Maryland

Kansas St. +17 vs. West Virginia

South Carolina -2 vs. Vanderbilt

North Carolina St. -4.5 vs. Marshall

UTSA -7 vs. Texas St.

 

Friday Dog 13

Penn St. -28 vs. Illinois

North Carolina St. -4.5 vs. Marshall

Virginia -5 vs. Louisville

Clemson -16 vs. Georgia Tech

TCU -3 vs. Texas

 

Stewed Meat

Minnesota +3 vs. Maryland

Kansas St. +17 vs. West Virginia

Iowa +3.5 vs. Wisconsin

Stanford -1.5 vs. Oregon

Louisville +5.5 vs. Virginia

 

Dean 615

Notre Dame -7 vs. Wake Forest

Michigan St. -4.5 vs. Indiana

USC -3.5 vs. Washington St.

Texas +3.5 vs. TCU

Nebraska +18 vs. Michigan

 

Special Look At Stewed Meat’s Real Life Strategy

Stewed is an expert at “Middling”.  In order to be able to do this, Stewed gets access to playing the early line and then immediately plays one side of a game in which Stewed believes the line is off and will move in the opposite direction of which Stewed originally played.  Then, when the line moves in the opposite direction, Stewed plays the other side

Let’s look at an example.  Let’s say Alabama opens as a 14.5 point favorite over Auburn, and Stewed likes Auburn at this number.  So Stewed wagers on Auburn at +14.5.  During the week, a lot of other people believe 14.5 points are too much for Alabama, and they bet the spread down to 11.5.  Now, Stewed wagers on Alabama at -11.5.

On the surface, you might think this is nuts.  Stewed will have a slim chance of the game ending up at 12, 13, or 14 points in Alabama’s favor, giving Stewed two wins.  In most cases, Stewed will win one and lose one and lose $10 for every $100 wagered on both sides.

However, if you look at the 11-10 odds and do a little mathematical calculations, Stewed only needs to have the game come in at the middle of the extremes one time out of 19 in order to turn a profit, plus Stewed has a Margin of Safety in place, because the most Stewed can lose is 10% on the dollar wagered.

Earlier this week, Stewed Wagered on the following games that have seen a significant line change and then wagered on the other team once the line moved in the other direction.

SMU +12.5 vs. Navy

Navy -7 vs. SMU

 

Ball St. Pk vs. Western Kentucky

Western Kentucky +3 vs. Ball St.

 

Alabama -23.5 vs. Texas A&M

Texas A&M +27 vs. Alabama

 

Auburn -24 vs. Arkansas

Arkansas +30 vs. Auburn

If just one of these four games come in with the spread in the middle, Stewed will turn a nice profit.

March 31, 2017

PiRate Ratings Final Four Preview

PiRate Red-White-Blue Ratings

Saturday, April 1
Team Team Red White Blue
Gonzaga South Carolina 9 9 5
North Carolina Oregon 3 3 2

Tipoff Times

Time (EDT) Network Team vs. Team
Saturday, April 1
6:09 PM CBS Gonzaga vs. South Carolina
8:49 PM CBS North Carolina vs. Oregon

The Official Statistics 

Team Offense G FG FGA 3pt 3ptA FT FTA OReb DReb Reb To Stl Pts
Gonzaga 37 1100 2162 269 711 611 851 356 1141 1497 422 260 3080
                           
Team Defense G FG FGA 3pt 3ptA FT FTA OReb DReb Reb To Stl Pts
Gonzaga 37 824 2260 212 723 394 598 401 828 1229 463 195 2254
                           
                           
Team Offense G FG FGA 3pt 3ptA FT FTA OReb DReb Reb To Stl Pts
South Carolina 36 898 2132 241 715 595 853 451 857 1308 475 281 2632
                           
Team Defense G FG FGA 3pt 3ptA FT FTA OReb DReb Reb To Stl Pts
South Carolina 36 760 1909 199 668 618 855 391 873 1264 620 219 2337
                           
                           
Team Offense G FG FGA 3pt 3ptA FT FTA OReb DReb Reb To Stl Pts
North Carolina 38 1175 2492 271 750 608 863 598 1062 1660 458 269 3229
                           
Team Defense G FG FGA 3pt 3ptA FT FTA OReb DReb Reb To Stl Pts
North Carolina 38 940 2260 304 894 499 692 343 822 1165 514 242 2683
                           
                           
Team Offense G FG FGA 3pt 3ptA FT FTA OReb DReb Reb To Stl Pts
Oregon 38 1069 2212 327 854 535 759 400 985 1385 438 248 3000
                           
Team Defense G FG FGA 3pt 3ptA FT FTA OReb DReb Reb To Stl Pts
Oregon 38 907 2243 265 852 409 568 399 824 1223 504 179 2488

The Four Factors

Team EFG DEFG OR% DOR% TO% DTO% FT* DFT*
Gonzaga 57.1 41.2 30.1 26.0 14.1 15.4 23.2 15.1
South Carolina 47.8 45.0 34.1 31.3 15.8 21.1 23.2 24.3
North Carolina 52.6 48.3 42.1 24.4 13.6 16.6 22.0 18.1
Oregon 55.7 46.3 32.7 28.8 14.5 16.7 20.5 15.6

FT* & DFT* use FT/100 Possessions as its metric formula

 

PiRate Ratings Criteria

Team PPG Def Mar. FG-Marg Reb-Marg TO-Marg R+T* WLRd SOS OPoss DPoss Poss/G
Gonzaga 83.2 60.9 22.3 14.4 7.2 1.1 19.8 21-0 54.36 2632 2606 70.8
South Carolina 73.1 64.9 8.2 2.3 1.2 4.0 10.3 11-7 56.96 2561 2544 70.9
North Carolina 85.0 70.6 14.4 5.6 13.0 1.5 30.7 15-7 59.00 2762 2760 72.7
Oregon 78.9 65.5 13.5 7.9 4.3 1.7 14.8 16-5 56.83 2611 2618 68.8

R+T*: For those of you new to the PiRate Ratings, the R+T rating is our own invention.  It is an attempt to estimate the potential number of points above or below average that a team is capable of scoring due to superior rebounding, forcing and avoiding turnover, and especially getting and avoiding steals, the most punishing of turnovers, as it almost always leads to points and/or fouls.  The number represents the potential points scored against an average team just from the hustle stats.  Thus, at 19.8, Gonzaga could be expected to score 20 points per game against an average team just from their rebounding margin and turnover margin, with an emphasis on steals margin.  The 20 points is figured based on extra scoring opportunities and includes the possibility that fast break shots might be missed and the team might turn the ball over with this added opportunity.

Anything over 15.0 is outstanding, while anything over 25.0 is super and a major contributor to winning a lot of games.

PiRate Ratings Criteria Comparisons

Gonzaga vs. South Carolina

Power Conference: Reason–Since 1985 with the 64 or 68-team tournament, there have been 64 teams in the 32 National Championship Games.  60 of the 64 came from Power Conferences

 

Advantage–South Carolina, as the WCC is not a power conference, while the SEC is

 

Strength of Schedule: Reason–All National Champions since SOS records have been kept had SOS’s of 4 points better than average.  

Advantage–Slight to South Carolina.  Both teams qualify here, but USC’s SOS is about 2 1/2 points stronger per game on average.

R+T Rating: Reason–All Champions in since 2000 have had R+T above 10.0

Advantage: Gonzaga has a substantial advantage here, but South Carolina barely qualifies.  The Bulldogs should expect to have the chance to score 10 extra points from R+T Rating, meaning USC will have to make up for this with Field Goal margin.

Scoring Margin: Reason–Almost every team in the NCAA Championship Game throughout the history of the tournament have had scoring margins in excess of 8 points per game, and most had double-digit margins.

Advantage: Gonzaga has a substantial edge here, but USC also qualifies by the skin of their teeth.  Gonzaga’s 20+ scoring margin must be discounted a little due to their schedule, but we can adjust this to about 12 points if the Zags had played in the Pac-12.

 

Field Goal % Margin: Reason–Over 90% of all title participants have had FG% Margins in excess of 5% and a majority have had margins over 8%.  Teams with double digit margins have dominated title games when the opponent had margins under 5%.  There are exceptions, like 1985 when Villanova upset Georgetown.

Advantage: Major advantage to Gonzaga, as their FG% margin has the look of many of John Wooden’s UCLA teams.  USC does not qualify here with a FG% margin of just 2%.

PiRate Criteria Analysis: Except for conference class, Gonzaga has the look of a dominant national championship team.  However, class is just as important in college basketball as it is in horse racing.  A great horse from a small track that has several smaller stakes wins might have better numbers than the horses that run at Aqueduct and Santa Anita, and most of the time, these horses fail when running in a Grade 1 race.

Gonzaga is not your normal mid-major team.  They are more like Butler when the Bulldogs went to back-to-back title games and UNLV from 1990.  Gonzaga has the talent to win it all.  They have a dominant inside game and an underrated perimeter game.

South Carolina has a lot of heart, and their defense has stepped it up in the tournament.  The Gamecocks looked like this at the start of the season before injuries began to affect the perimeter defense.  Now, USC is fully healthy again, and the players remind us of the Gashouse Gang (The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Champions).  Opponents feel like they have gone 12 rounds with Joe Louis after 40 minutes of playing against them.

We expect South Carolina to keep this game close for the first 32 minutes or so, but after that Gonzaga’s superior inside strength will take its toll, as both teams tire late and begin to misfire from outside.

PiRate Ratings Criteria Prediction: Gonzaga 69  South Carolina 61

 

North Carolina vs. Oregon

Power Conference: Advantage–Very slight advantage to North Carolina, as the ACC is the equivalent of the AL East in Major League Baseball.  No Pac-12 team has won the title since Arizona 20 years ago.

Strength of Schedule: Advantage–Slight edge to North Carolina by an average of about 2.2 points per game

R+T Rating: Advantage–North Carolina has the largest R+T Rating in all of Division 1, as they did last year when they came within a second of winning the title.  Oregon’s rating is almost 15, which means the Ducks are exceptional as well, just not as exceptional as UNC.  Also missing 6-10 Chris Boucher in this game should be somewhat important, and the  Tar Heels will have a decided rebounding advantage, a major component of R+T.

Scoring Margin: Advantage–A Push, as both teams have similar numbers.

Field Goal % Margin: Advantage–Oregon has a minor but definite advantage with numbers that look a little more like a Championship Game participant, but teams have won the title with the same margin as the Tar Heels.  

PiRate Criteria Analysis: All during this tournament, we have been concerned about Oregon missing Boucher, thinking that eventually the Duck frontcourt would wear down in the second games of the two previous weekends.  That did not happen, as the Ducks rallied and found another gear.  We are now ready to admit to this mistake.  Oregon can win all the marbles without Boucher.  However, this is the first game where their opponent has the scary frontcourt.  Oregon needs Boucher not because of depth, but because they need a 6-10 bruiser to bang it with Carolina’s titans.

North Carolina’s perimeter play has had the look of a national champion.  The guards stepped up on both sides of the ball late in the games with Arkansas and Kentucky, refusing to end the season.  Remember too that UNC feels slighted for last year.  They had the national championship trophy in grasp until a last second shot moved that trophy over to Villanova’s locker room.

PiRate Ratings Criteria Prediction: North Carolina 85  Oregon 75

 

4 Interesting Possible National Title Games

You the typical college basketball fan is guaranteed to have a great title game Monday night no matter who wins tomorrow.  Let’s look at each of the four possibilities.

 

Gonzaga vs. North Carolina:  These are the two teams that looked like the most dominant throughout most of the season.  Earlier in the season, when these teams were playing in tournaments against quality opposition, they won handily, dominating in all facets of the game.  Also, this represents the old guard of UNC against the upstart that has been threatening to get this far for years in Gonzaga.  

Gonzaga vs. Oregon: There has not been an all West Coast National Championship Game before.  Of course, until the age when more than one team per conference going to the Big Dance, it was not possible, as these two teams would have both been in the West Regional.  Still, it would be interesting to have two teams from the Pacific Northwest facing off in the title game.

South Carolina vs. North Carolina: Many of you have not experienced a Dodgers-Yankees or Giants–Yankees World Series.  In our opinion, nothing can beat a Dodgers-Yankees World Series.  This would be an equivalent.  These two teams were both in the ACC for many years until the Gamecocks became an Independent following the 1971 season (when they were the ACC Champions).  Two former South Carolina head coaches, Frank McGuire and Eddie Fogler, had North Carolina ties, and Fogler has been BFFs with Roy Williams for decades.

South Carolina vs. Oregon: A lot of people would find it very interesting if the Seattle Mariners played the Washington Nationals in the World Series.  Not having the Cardinals, Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, or Giants would be a great change of pace.  The Cleveland-Chicago World Series last year did more for Major League Baseball than American Pharoh’s winning the Triple Crown in 2015.  A Gamecock-Duck National Championship Game could make fans of all Division 1 teams from Power Conferences believe their team could do it too.

 

 

March 25, 2017

PiRate Ratings Elite 8 Preview

RED-WHITE-BLUE RATINGS

Saturday, March 25
Team Team Red White Blue
Gonzaga Xavier 11 8 3
Kansas Oregon 6 3 3

 

Sunday, March 26
Team Team Red White Blue
Kentucky North Carolina 1 -2 -1
Florida South Carolina 6 7 5

 

PiRate Ratings National Championship Criteria Breakdown of the Elite 8

Gonzaga vs. Xavier

Power Conference: Xavier-Yes, Gonzaga-No    Favors Xavier

Strength of Schedule: Xavier 58.70, Gonzaga 54.02  Favors Xavier by a little

R+T Rating: Gonzaga 20.3, Xavier 14.4  Favors Gonzaga by a little

Scoring Margin: Gonzaga 22.3, Xavier 4.0  Favors Gonzaga by a good amount

FG% Differential: Gonzaga 14.5, Xavier 1.1  Favors Gonzaga by a lot

Road W-L: Gonzaga 20-0, Xavier 12-9   Favors Gonzaga by a good amount

Winning Streaks: Gonzaga 29 & 6, Xavier 7 & 6  Favors Gonzaga by a little

Expected Possessions in this Game: 69 per team  Favors neither team

Outcome: Gonzaga has everything going for it except conference strength and schedule.  If the Bulldogs had the same numbers and played in the Big East, they would have the perfect resume for a national champion.  However, there hasn’t been a national champion from outside a power conference since UNLV won in 1990, and before that, it was Texas Western in 1966.  Of course, non power conference teams have made it to the Final Four numerous times in the past decade.

Criteria Selection: GONZAGA 75  Xavier 70

 

Kansas vs. Oregon

Power Conference: Yes for Both   Favors neither team

Strength of Schedule: Kansas 58.11, Oregon 56.83  Only slightly favors Kansas

R+T Rating: Oregon 14.8,  Kansas 12.6  Only slightly favors Oregon

Scoring Margin: Oregon 13.5, Kansas 12.0  Not much difference

FG% Differential: Oregon 7.7, Kansas 7.5  A Push

Road W-L: Kansas 16-3, Oregon 15-5  This favors Kansas, but it is almost a home game for KU

Winning Streaks: Kansas 18 & 8, Oregon 17 & 8  A Push

Expected Possessions in this Game: 71  Slightly favors Kansas

Outcome: We have to include two extra criteria here.  Oregon’s stats must be slightly discounted due to the loss of Boucher, and Kansas is playing this game in their favorite venue not named Phog Allen Fieldhouse, earning about two points of home court advantage.   Otherwise, this game would be a tossup, and it still might be rather close.  However, watching what KU did to a quality Purdue team on this court Thursday night, it makes us wonder if any college team can beat Kansas in KC.  Oops!  That happened in the Big 12 Tournament, so think again–except not today.

Criteria Selection: KANSAS 83  Oregon 75

 

Florida vs. South Carolina

Power Conference: Yes for both and both in the SEC so this is a third game between these teams.  Both teams won the game on their home floor.

Strength of Schedule: Florida 59.34, South Carolina 56.23  A slight edge to the Gators

R+T Rating: Florida 11.1, South Carolina 10.4  About the same

Scoring Margin: Florida 11.9, South Carolina 8.3  A small edge to the Gators

FG% Differential: Florida 4.3, South Carolina 2.3  A small edge to the Gators

Road W-L: Florida 18-7, South Carolina 10-7, actually about the same as UF played a lot of early neutral site games in their own backyard while their gym was being refurbished

Winning Streaks: Florida 9 & 7, South Carolina 8 & 5

Expected Possessions in this Game: 71  Favors neither team

Outcome: South Carolina’s defense in their Sweet 16 game against Baylor was the best we have seen in a game this late into the Big Dance since Georgetown manhandled Kentucky in 1984, which comes on top of one of the best offensive performances in their win over Duke.  Can the Gamecocks do this to a team that is not just a conference foe, but a rather strong rival?  Florida might also be a tad fatigued coming off the overtime win over Wisconsin, but it helps that the Gators are facing a team they know about without having to look at the film for a long time.  This will be the most exciting game of this round, even more exciting than the big UK-UNC match, because this will have the feel of the 7th game of an NBA playoff series.

Criteria Selection: FLORIDA 67  South Carolina 64

 

Kentucky vs. North Carolina

Power Conference: Yes for both  Before the tourney started, the ACC might have gotten a little extra over the SEC, but with 3 of the Elite 8 from the SEC, it almost makes us think about the opposite

Strength of Schedule: North Carolina 59.00, Kentucky 58.63   A Push

R+T Rating: North Carolina 31.0,  Kentucky 17.1  UNC has the best R+T in NCAA basketball, but Kentucky’s is rather high as well, and in the course of this game, it will not give the Tar Heels a lot of advantage

Scoring Margin: North Carolina 14.7, Kentucky 13.8  Not enough difference to matter

FG% Differential: North Carolina 5.6,  Kentucky 5.2  A Push

Road W-L: Kentucky 17-3, North Carolina 14-7,  A slight edge to the Wildcats

Winning Streaks: Kentucky 14 & 7, North Carolina 13 & 7, While this looks like another push, Kentucky’s 14-game winning streak is ongoing, and there is a definite difference in the Wildcats’ performance in this streak, while Carolina played its best basketball in November and December

Expected Possessions in this Game: 74,  which favors Kentucky just like it did in December

Outcome: We selected Kentucky to run the table and win the National Championship before the NCAA Tournament started, and nothing has changed our beliefs that the Wildcats are the best team in the nation when they want to play up to their potential.  It can be difficult to motivate a stable full of future NBA Lottery picks, but Coach John Calipari is a master psychologist with an ability to coerce through his many talks with his players.  When any of the starters and a couple reserves can go off and score 25 points in a game, it is hard to prepare in advance.  Stop Monk, and someone else has a career night.

Criteria Selection: KENTUCKY 85  North Carolina 73

March 23, 2017

PiRate Ratings Bracketnomics 505 Sweet 16 Criteria Reveal

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:00 am

If you get to start anew with your brackets in whatever pool you are playing in as a participant, we have updated our PiRate Ratings Criteria for the Sweet 16.
If you played along with us, you should have 10 teams left in your Sweet 16, having 26 of the 32 first round winners. If you are in a league where you get one point for each winner that goes from 64 to 32, and two points for every correct Sweet 16 team, then you should be sitting pretty with 46 points. Hopefully, we will help you score some 3-point winners the next two nights, whether you must stick with your original picks, or you get to start over with the 16 remaining teams.

To understand our methods if you don’t already know, refer to this primer: https://piratings.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/bracketnomics-505-the-advanced-level-course-in-bracket-selection/

Here is a breakdown of each game for the next two nights, followed by an update at how the Elite 8 and Final Four look using our criteria.

Oregon vs. Michigan
Power Conference: Both teams

Strength of Schedule: Very slight edge to Michigan, but not enough to matter much

R+T Rating: Large edge to Oregon, as the Ducks’ R+T is 14.7 to the Wolverines’ 3.2. This means that on average, Oregon will have an opportunity through superior rebounding, ball-steals, and overall turnover differential to outscore Michigan by 11.5 points. There is a caveat, as the Ducks are missing a key component in Chris Boucher.
Ability to Win Away from Home: Oregon 14-5/Michigan 11-8. The Ducks have a decent advantage here, but not enough to move this game to the win column.

Winning Streak(s): The Ducks won 17 games in a row at one point this season and eight in a row another time, while Michigan had two, five-game winning streaks. Once again, Oregon has the advantage here, but we cannot annoint the Ducks winners just yet. Not having Boucher removes a lot of these advantages three rounds into the Big Dance.

Since the strengths of schedule are similar, the following stats can be used at face value.
Scoring Margin: Michigan = 8.9, Oregon = 13.8, Ducks look better here
FG% Differential: Michigan = 1.9, Oregon = 7.8, Ducks look much better here, as UM fails to qualify
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 68

This is a tough game to figure out, because Boucher’s absence makes Oregon less than what the stats say. Still, the Ducks come out as the superior team based on how we use the criteria. In our original picks, we had Louisville knocking Oregon out of the tournament in this round, but the Cardinals were sent packing last weekend.

PiRate Criteria Pick: OREGON

 

Gonzaga vs. West Virginia
Power Conference: West Virginia is, Gonzaga is not. A slight edge to the Mountaineers

Strength of Schedule: WVU 55.55. Gonzaga 54.02, a slight edge to the Mountaineers

R+T Rating: WVU 19.1, Gonzaga 21.2, a push when SOS is applied

Ability to Win Away from Home: WVU 11-6, Gonzaga 19-0, even with SOS factored into the equation, Gonzaga has the advantage here.

Winning Streak(s): WVU 8 & 4, Gonzaga 29 & 5, Gonzaga enjoys a small advantage

We must handicap these stats with Gonzaga playing in a weaker conference and a slightly weaker schedule
Scoring Margin: WVU 15.3, Gonzaga 22.8, a push
FG% Differential: WVU 3.4, Gonzaga 14.5
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 71

This is where we see another #1 seed going down. Gonzaga’s main Achilles Heel is their conference, where the WCC has two other quality teams. Of course, teams like Butler, George Mason, VCU, and Wichita State have advanced to the Final Four, but the percentages say that these are exceptions and not the norm. When you are trying to win a contest by going with the percentages, you go with the norm unless you have a major reason not to do so. When looking at the obvious way this game will deviate from the norm, it comes from the vaunted WVU full-court press, something that Gonzaga has not faced from a quality team this year. It is our belief that GU will commit very few turnovers against the press and even capitalize with a couple of easy baskets, making it look like to the casual fan that the press is not working. However, we believe it will take the Bulldogs out of their offense just enough to cause them to rush and make poor shot selections, and it will also begin to wear their bigger, bulkier players down in the second half. A fatigued team is only a shell of itself, and once GU is fatigued, WVU will pull away and win this game.

PiRate Criteria Pick: WEST VIRGINIA

Kansas vs. Purdue
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: KU 58.11, PU 55.83, a decided advantage for the Jayhawks

R+T Rating: KU 12.3, PU 15.5, a credible advantage for the Boilermakers

Ability to Win Away from Home: KU 16-3, PU 12-5, a tiny advantage for KU

Winning Streak(s): KU 18 & 8, PU 7 & 6, KU has the advantage, but this isn’t overwhelming since PU has two 6+ streaks, and that is all we are looking for in this criterion

Since the strengths of schedule favor KU enough to matter, we must handicap the following stats.
Scoring Margin: KU 11.4, PU 12.6, with the handicap, KU has a minor advantage here
FG% Differential: KU 7.3, PU 6.4, a slight edge to the Jayhawks
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 72 which will favor KU in the 2nd half

In previous years where Purdue was very good, we would call for Kansas to easily win this game because in the past, Purdue did not own good R+T numbers. In fact, they were downright awful. However, this year is very different up in West Lafayatte, where Purdue has an R+T number strong enough to reach the Final Four. Unfortunately, Kansas has the criteria strong enough to win the National Championship, and thus we must go with the team that is only a tad better in this game. A Boilermaker win would not be a surprise at all, but we must go with the percentages.

PiRate Criteria Pick: KANSAS (but this should be an outstanding game)

Arizona vs. Xavier
Power Conference: Both (in recent years, we would discount the Pac-12 some, but not this year. Three league teams made the Sweet 16.

Strength of Schedule: Arizona 58.17, Xavier 58.70, a wash

R+T Rating: Arizona 18.0, Xavier 15.2, the Wildcats with an ever so slight advantage that is not enough to mean much

Ability to Win Away from Home: Arizona 17-3, Xavier 11-9, this is a big advantage for ‘Zona

Winning Streak(s): Arizona 15 & 6, Xavier 7 & 6, Another tiny advantage to the Wildcats

Since the strengths of schedule are almost identical, the following stats can be used at face value.
Scoring Margin: Arizona 11.0, Xavier 4.1, the Wildcats have a major advantage here, as XU’s scoring margin is well beneath the threshold of a Final Four contender.
FG% Differential: Arizona 6.0, Xavier 0.9, another big edge for Arizona
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 67

This one appears to be headed to a double-digit win for the higher-seeded team. Add on to the criteria the fact that Xavier has not been the same since Edmund Sumner was lost for the year at the end of January, and this game looks like a potential breeze for Arizona.
PiRate Criteria Pick: ARIZONA (by double digits)

 

North Carolina vs. Butler
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: UNC 59.00, BU 59.04, a total push

R+T Rating: UNC 31.1, BU 9.5, do we really need to go on after this criterion shows the Tar Heels with a chance on average to score 20 more points on rebounds, steals, and turnovers?

Ability to Win Away from Home: UNC 13-7, BU 12-5, pretty much even here

Winning Streak(s): UNC 13 & 7, BU 12 & 5, another push

Since the strengths of schedule are identical, the following stats can be used at face value.
Scoring Margin: UNC 14.8, BU 7.8, Give the Heels a little more advantage here
FG% Differential: UNC 5.5, BU 3.7, more props for the Heels
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 70 (Butler will want to slow the pace, but they will have to play catchup)

Pirate Criteria Pick: NORTH CAROLINA

Baylor vs. South Carolina
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: BU 59.40, USC 56.23, the Bears have a little advantage here

R+T Rating: BU 19.3, USC 10.4, Baylor with decent advantage in this one

Ability to Win Away from Home: BU 12-5, USC 11-7, another tilt to the Bears

Winning Streak(s): BU 15 & 5, USC 8 & 5, BU with yet another advantage

Since the strengths of schedule favors Baylor, the following stats must be handicapped a little
Scoring Margin: BU 10.1, USC 7.9, the criteria keeps tilting green
FG% Differential: BU 7.2, USC 1.9, this continues the trend
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 67, Baylor will conrol the pace.

PiRate Criteria Pick: BAYLOR

 

Kentucky vs. UCLA
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: UK 58.63, UCLA 54.00, a nice advantage for the Wildcats, but UCLA still meets the minimum number for Final Four consideration, and remember UCLA won at Kentucky earlier this season

R+T Rating: UK 17.2, UCLA 10.9

Ability to Win Away from Home: UK 16-3, UCLA 14-3, nothing to learn here

Winning Streak(s): UK 13 & 7, UCLA 13 & 10, not much here either

We must handicap the following stats in UK’s favor fde to the strengths of schedule
Scoring Margin: UK 13.9, UCLA 15.0, basically a wash
FG% Differential: UK 5.4, UCLA 10.2, The Bruins pick up a big advantage here with Championship-caliber differential
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 74, expect the most up-tempo game of the Sweet 16, and it could even top 75.

Face it: this is the game that is going to make this round. The winner most likely plays North Carolina in the Elite 8, making for a fantastic 48-hours in Memphis, where they could move these games to the Liberty Bowl and still not have enough seats for the fans that want to get in. Think of this game like the second Ali-Frazier fight. Or, if you are a Bruin fan over the age of 55, be forewarned and remember that Houston beat your Bruins in the 1967-68 regular season before meeting up with the worst ever whipping by a number one team in the history of the game.

PiRate Criteria Pick: KENTUCKY — Until the Wildcats are knocked out of the tournament, they have the best resume when comparing it to past National Champions.

 

Florida vs. Wisconsin
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: Fla 59.34, UW 54.79, The Gators have a decided advantage

R+T Rating: Fla 3.3, UW 3.3 This is a dirty wash, as neither team can expect to be a Championship team with these R+T ratings.

Ability to Win Away from Home: Fla 17-7, UW 12-7, Florida played a lot of neutral site games near home when their arena was not ready following remodeling. This becomes a wash

Winning Streak(s): Fla. 9 & 7, UW 9 & 8, a wash

Since the strengths of schedule favor the Gators, the following stats must be handicapped in UF’s favor. Scoring Margin: UF 6.2, UW 9.2, a wash
FG% Differential: UF 4.6, UW 4.2, a small edge for the Gators
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 69 We look for the Badgers to slow the tempo a little

When Florida isn’t playing Vanderbilt, they look like Final Four contenders. Actually, two of the three losses to the Commodores came after the Gators lost John Egbunu for the season due to injury, and UF went from 23-5 to 24-8 after that loss. This discounts the Gators’ results enough to make up for the schedule strength favor. In other words, this is a game where you flip a coin. We do not use the Four Factors in this criteria selection process, but if we were to use them for this game, it would just add a bunch of balance, as the teams would come out dead even. We must select somebody to go on and lose to Baylor Sunday, and just because they have a little more recent NCAA Tournament success, we will go with the Badgers.

PiRate Criteria Pick: WISCONSIN –but this is really a tie

Elite 8 to Final Four
Baylor over Wisconsin
Arizona over West Virginia
Kentucky over North Carolina
Kansas over Oregon

Semifinals
Baylor over Arizona
Kentucky over Kansas

Championship
Kentucky over Baylor

Note: When we first revealed the criteria for all 68 teams in the dance, we listed the top 10 teams with the best matching criteria to past champions. The top 6 teams in this list, and 8 of the 10 made the Sweet 16. Here is that top 10 again.
1. Kentucky
2. North Carolina
3. Baylor
4. Arizona
5. West Virginia
6. Gonzaga
7. Louisville
8. Villanova
9. Kansas
10. Purdue

 

March 22, 2017

Red, White, and Blue Ratings for Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament Games

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:33 pm

Sweet 16

Thursday, March 23
Team Team Red White Blue
Oregon Michigan -1 -1 -1
Gonzaga West Virginia 4 2 9
Kansas Purdue 4 4 1
Arizona Xavier 4 4 4

 

Friday, March 24
Team Team Red White Blue
North Carolina Butler 6 6 12
Baylor South Carolina 3 5 7
Kentucky UCLA 2 -1 1
Florida Wisconsin 5 4 -2

 

TV Schedule

Region Time (EDT) Network Team vs. Team
Thursday, March 23
Midwest 7:09 PM CBS Oregon vs. Michigan
West 7:39 PM TBS Gonzaga vs. West Virginia
Midwest 9:39 PM CBS Kansas vs. Purdue
West 10:09 PM TBS Arizona vs. Xavier
Friday, March 24
South 7:09 PM CBS North Carolina vs. Butler
East 7:29 PM TBS Baylor vs. South Carolina
South 9:39 PM CBS Kentucky vs. UCLA
East 9:59 PM TBS Florida vs. Wisconsin
           
Saturday, March 25
Midwest TBA TBA Oregon/Michigan vs. Kansas/Purdue
West TBA TBA Gonzaga/WVU vs. Arizona/Xavier
           
Sunday, March 26
South TBA TBA UNC/Butler vs. Kentucky/UCLA
East TBA TBA Baylor/S Car vs. Florida/Wisconsin

 

 

 

March 18, 2017

Red, White, and Blue Ratings for Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Games

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:02 pm

Sunday, March 18, 2017

Team Team Red White Blue
Louisville Michigan 4 3 6
Kentucky Wichita St. 1 1 8
Kansas Michigan St. 11 8 1
North Carolina Arkansas 14 10 8
Oregon Rhode Island 7 6 4
Baylor USC 17 9 8
Duke South Carolina 6 6 5
UCLA Cincinnati 1 1 -1

TV Schedule

Time (EDT) Network Team vs. Team
12:10 PM CBS Louisville vs. Michigan
2:40 PM CBS Kentucky vs. Wichita St.
5:15 PM CBS Kansas vs. Michigan St.
6:10 PM TNT North Carolina vs. Arkansas
7:10 PM TBS Oregon vs. Rhode Island
7:45 PM truTV Baylor vs. USC
8:40 PM TNT Duke vs. South Carolina
9:40 PM TBS UCLA vs. Cincinnati

Morning & Afternoon: Swallow Return to Capistrano

Spring Equinox: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 6:29 AM EDT

 

 

March 16, 2017

Red, White, and Blue Ratings for Friday’s NCAA Tournament Games

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:39 am

NCAA Tournament–Friday, March 17, 2017

Team Team Red White Blue
Michigan Oklahoma St. -1 3 1
Baylor New Mexico St. 11 12 13
Arkansas Seton Hall 2 1 -1
Oregon Iona 11 12 10
Louisville Jacksonville St. 18 18 17
SMU USC 8 8 4
North Carolina Texas Southern 22 20 19
Creighton Rhode Island 4 1 2
Kansas UC-Davis 22 19 18
Dayton Wichita St. -7 -5 -1
Duke Troy 15 16 14
Cincinnati Kansas St. 2 5 2
Miami (Fla.) Michigan St. 1 2 -2
Kentucky Northern Kentucky 19 18 13
South Carolina Marquette 1 -1 1
UCLA Kent St. 16 14 10

 

TV Schedule

Time (EDT) Network Team vs. Team
12:15 PM CBS Michigan vs. Oklahoma St.
12:40 PM truTV Baylor vs. New Mexico St.
1:30 PM TNT Arkansas vs. Seton Hall
2:00 PM TBS Oregon vs. Iona
2:45 PM CBS Louisville vs. Jacksonville St.
3:10 PM truTV SMU vs. USC
4:00 PM TNT North Carolina vs. Texas Southern
4:30 PM TBS Creighton vs. Rhode Island
6:50 PM TNT Kansas vs. UC-Davis
7:10 PM CBS Dayton vs. Wichita St.
7:20 PM TBS Duke vs. Troy
7:27 PM truTV Cincinnati vs. Kansas St.
9:20 PM TNT Miami (Fla.) vs. Michigan St.
9:40 PM CBS Kentucky vs. Northern Kentucky
9:50 PM TBS South Carolina vs. Marquette
9:57 PM truTV UCLA vs. Kent St.

 

 

 

March 11, 2017

Conference Tournament Update–Saturday, March 11, 2017

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:16 am

Joining The Field

You might be thinking, “Wait, there were no conference championship games Friday, so how could there be an addition to the automatic bid list?”

It is a technicality issue.  In the SWAC, Alcorn State is ineligible for postseason play, but they were eligible for the conference tournament.  The Braves have made it to the Championship Game of the SWAC Tournament, but they cannot receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  Their opponent tonight is Texas Southern, the regular season SWAC champion.  The rules in the SWAC state that if the conference tournament champion is ineligible for the postseason, the regular season champion gets the automatic bid.  Thus, Texas Southern is in the Dance no matter what happens tonight in the conference championship game.

We rarely issue opinions on matters like this, but this one seems obvious.  The conference championship game is now meaningless, and leagues like the SWAC struggle to fill seats in tournament games if they do not put them on the home courts of the higher seeds.  This league does not include all their members in the conference tournament, yet they included an ineligible team.  It seems obvious that the SWAC should have kept Alcorn State out of the conference tournament and allowed Arkansas-Pine Bluff (one of two teams left out) to participate.  That at least would make the Championship Game mean something.

Today’s Schedule

All times Eastern Standard 

America East Conference Tournament Championship — Vermont Hosts
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Vermont 28-5 vs. 3 Albany 21-12 11:00 AM ESPN2

Vermont has a perfect America East record this year, now at 16-0, as they prepare to host Albany.  The last time these two teams met, Albany took a seven-point first half lead in Burlington, before the Catamounts clawed back into the lead in the second half.  The game was still close with less than four minutes remaining before a big closing run by VU produced a 12-point victory.  David Nichols kept Albany in that game with his three-point shooting, and if the Great Danes are to pull off the upset, they will need to be hot from behind the arc.  Vermont should win its 21st consecutive game and become a feisty lower-seed foe for a second round biggie.

 

American Athletic Conference Tournament Semifinals–Hartford,CT
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 SMU 28-4 vs. 4 Central Florida 21-10 3:00 PM ESPN2
2 Cincinnati 28-4 vs. 6 Connecticut 16-16 5:00 PM ESPN2

One might think that SMU and Cincinnati have this tournament semifinals all wrapped up and will face off tomorrow in a rubber game to decide the conference tournament title winner.  Think again.  Central Florida and Connecticut are worthy competitors, and both teams have the ability to pull off upsets.

Cincinnati destroyed UConn both times they played, but the Huskies have a knack for becoming a different team in conference tournament play.  They looked like they were poised for a repeat performance after smashing a good Houston team and ending the Couagars’ hopes of an at-large bid.

Central Florida presents incredible matchup problems with 7-6 behemoth Tacko Fall able to alter gameplans all by himself.  UCF has won six consecutive games, and Coach Johnny Dawkins knows how to use Fall to suck defenders in so that his prime long-range shooters, Matt Williams, B J Taylor, and Nick Banyard, can get open looks.  UCF hit 14 three-pointers in their decimation of Memphis.

 

Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship–Brooklyn
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 Duke 26-8 vs. 3 Notre Dame 25-8 9:00 PM ESPN

Neither team was picked by most of the ACC media experts to make it to the championship game of this tournament.  Duke dropped Louisville and North Carolina to make it here, while Notre Dame took care of business against Virginia and Florida St.  Both teams are safely in the NCAA Tournament, so the two are playing for pride and a chance to move up one seed line in the Dance.  Duke won at Notre Dame in their only meeting this year, and this win occurred during Coach K’s absence with Jeff Capel guiding the team.  The Blue Devils had a hot streak in that game, hitting over 50% from the field and an amazing 23 of 24 at the foul line.

 

Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Semifinals–Pittsburgh (Duquense)
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Davidson 17-14 vs. 4 Rhode Island 22-9 1:00 PM CBSSN
2 VCU 25-7 vs. 3 Richmond 20-11 3:30 PM CBSSN

Nervous fans of teams on the Bubble will be watching this league the next two days.  With top-seed Dayton dismissed by Davidson, there are three teams left in this quartet that can burst some bubbles elsewhere.  Rhode Island may have already played itself in to the NCAA Tournament, but Richmond and Davidson must win the automatic bid.  This tournament should be must watch this afternoon if your team still needs some help.

 

Big 12 Conference Tournament Championship–Kansas City
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 Iowa St. 22-10 vs. 2 West Virginia 26-7 6:00 PM ESPN

They hit just 26.7% of their shots, and their press was not very effective yesterday, but West Virginia found a way to beat Kansas State, doing so by dominating on the glass.  Now, the Mountaineers go for the Big 12 Title against an Iowa State team that did not fare well against WVU in two previous tries.

In both games, the Cyclones wore out with fatigue from facing full-court pressure.  WVU went on big runs both times to win by double digits.  ISU might have more fatigue problems tonight, since this is their third game in three days.  The Mountaineers seemed to look a little tired as well last night, but Coach Huggins provided the adrenaline needed to get over the hump.

 

Big East Conference Tournament Championship–New York City
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Villanova 30-3 vs. 6 Creighton 25-8 5:30 PM Fox

Villanova already knows they will be a #1 seed as they attempt to defend their National Championship, but the Wildcats can secure the overall top-seed with a win over the Blue Jays this afternoon.  Both teams were down a key player when they met most recently, but VU has its key player back now in power forward Darryl Reynolds.  Reynolds has been pulling down the tough rebounds in his three games back, and the Wildcats once again have the look of a Final Four team.

 

Big Sky Conference Tournament Championship–Reno, NV
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 North Dakota 21-9 vs. 3 Weber St. 19-12 8:30 PM ESPNU

North Dakota swept the season series with Weber State, including the big win back in February that put the Fighting Hawks in control of the Big Sky race.  UND won with their incredible guard tandem of Quinton Hooker and Geno Crandall, and WSU will have to come up with an incredible defensive gameplan to keep UND out of the Big Dance.  The Hawks are hoping a convincing win can help them avoid a layover in Dayton.

 

Big Ten Conference Tournament Semifinals–Washington, DC
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8 Michigan 22-11 vs. 4 Minnesota 24-8 1:00 PM CBS
2 Wisconsin 24-8 vs. 6 Northwestern 23-10 3:30 PM CBS

The four teams remaining will not hurt anybody else’s Bubble chances, as they will all receive Dance invitations, but there is still drama remaining in this tournament.  Michigan survived a travel nightmare just to get to this tournament.  Northwestern has never been a factor in this tournament and has not won a Big Ten title of any kind.  Meanwhile, it would make for a terrific championship game tomorrow if neighboring rivals Minnesota and Wisconsin played for the trophy.  It also would give the Big Ten a chance to move a team into the 4-seed line.

 

Big West Conference Tournament Championship–Anaheim
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 UC-Irvine 21-13 vs. 2 UC-Davis 21-12 11:30 PM ESPN2

The top two seeds split their two regular season meetings, but UC-Irvine thoroughly embarrassed UC-Davis when they met in Irvine last week with the regular season title on the line.  The Anteaters opened the game with a 22-3 lead, and the Aggies never threatened the rest of the way.  UCI connected on 14 treys in that game.

 

Conference USA Tournament Championship–Birmingham, AL
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Middle Tennessee 29-4 vs. 6 Marshall 20-14 8:30 PM CBSSN

This game might be the most exciting one of the entire day, and the fact that Middle Tennessee might already have done enough to lock up an at-large bid will not take anything away from the excitement this game promises.  Expect the shot clock to play very little factor in this game, as both teams like to push the tempo.

If you like to follow the Houston Rockets with James Harden, Lou Williams, and Eric Gordon playing like thoroughbred race horses, then Marshall is the team for you.  There is a good reason why the Thundering Herd plays like the Rockets, as they are coached by Dan D’Antoni, Mike’s brother.  The Thundering Herd run up and down the floor like UNLV from the 1970’s, but they have one huge Achilles’ Heel.  They cannot rebound very well.  Middle Tennessee is an average rebounding team, but the Blue Raiders swept Marshall in the regular season thanks to spreading the wealth around.  In their most recent game against the Herd, MTSU placed six players in double figures, while a seventh had nine points in a 97-86 win.  Get your popcorn and soda ready for this one, as it will give you two hours of pure viewing pleasure.

 

Ivy League Tournament Semifinals–Philadelphia
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Princeton 21-6 vs. 4 Penn 13-14 1:30 PM ESPNU
2 Harvard 18-9 vs. 3 Yale 17-10 4:00 PM ESPNU

We aren’t going to hide our joy over this tournament finally becoming a reality.  The Ivy League plays quality fundamental basketball.  If you play or coach at a lower level and must use sound principles and intelligence for your team to win, this is the league for you to watch.

Princeton aced the field this year with a perfect 14-0 league mark, and if the Tigers knock off rival Penn tonight and then win tomorrow, they should be a 13-seed in the Tournament with a somewhat decent chance to knock off the right type of 4-seed (not West Virginia or Cincinnati).  Having legendary rivals Harvard and Yale play in the second game just makes this inaugural affair perfect.

Harvard took Princeton to the wire in both games, but the Tigers handled the Bulldogs rather easily.  Few fans are giving Penn much chance in this tournament, but they are getting to host this thing at the Palestra, which should give the Quakers about 5-6 points in home court advantage.

 

Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship–Cleveland
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Akron 26-7 vs. 6 Kent St. 21-13 7:30 PM ESPN2

A February swoon cost Akron any chance of qualifying as an at-large team should they not win the MAC automatic bid.  Included in that fall was a three-point loss at home to Kent State, as the Golden Flashes put an end to the Zips’ 30-game home winning streak.  Akron recovered to win at Kent State last week, so this should be an interesting rematch and close to a 50-50 tossup.

 

Mideast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship–Norfolk, VA (Norfolk St.)
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 UNC-Central 24-8 vs. 2 Norfolk St. 17-15 1:00 PM ESPN2

UNC-Central has remained unnoticed among the nation’s basketball fans outside of the MEAC, but the Eagles have gone 15-2 in their last 17 games and fared rather well in its road games against the power conference teams.  Should UNCC win and then be forced to head to Dayton, the Eagles would most likely emerge victorious and advance, but a win today coupled with an upset somewhere else could be all that it takes to keep Central out of Dayton.  If Norfolk State pulls off the upset, they can send their laundry to Dayton on the next express out of Norfolk.  It does help that the Spartans get to play this game on their home floor.

 

Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship–Las Vegas (UNLV)
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Nevada 27-6 vs. 2 Colorado St. 28-6 6:00 PM CBS

These two teams squared off last Saturday in Reno with the top seed in this tournament on the line.  Nevada won by 13, controlling the tempo and going on a big 20-3 run in the middle of the game.  Nevada is a team without a glaring weakness, albeit not on the same page with Kentucky and Oregon.  The Wolf Pack have a lineup similar to SMU in that all five starters can play in the wing positions and can post up inside.  It reminds us a lot of Louisville during Denny Crum’s time when he had big-time stars like Junior Bridgman, Darrel Griffith, Jim Price, and Ron Thomas.

Colorado State plays a muscle power game and tries to grind opponents down.  The Rams rely on senior guard Gian Clavell to score points, and when his shots are off, CSU can struggle to score.  In the Rams’ favor tonight is the fact that they just played Nevada a week ago and know what they are going to face, as there has not been time to tweak the gameplans all that much.

 

Pac-12 Conference Tournament Championship–Las Vegas
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Oregon 29-4 vs. 2 Arizona 29-4 11:00 PM ESPN

Our Red-White-Blue Ratings that we will not publish today actually indicate that this game is a true tossup.  In fact, two of the ratings show the spread at 0!  The top two seeds met just once in the regular season, and Oregon used a 36-9 run in the first half to put the game away quickly.  The Ducks have the top home court advantage in America, so the 27-point margin of victory can be tossed out the window, and you can give the Wildcats a little more incentive to seek revenge tonight.  However, we think the Ducks have the better roster, and that gives Oregon the slight edge.

 

Southeastern Conference Tournament Semifinals–Nashville
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Kentucky 27-5 vs. 5 Alabama 19-13 1:00 PM ESPN
7 Vanderbilt 19-14 vs. 3 Arkansas 24-8 3:20 PM ESPN

Vanderbilt played its way into the NCAA Tournament with its third win over Florida.  The Commodores should be able to avoid a First Four game in Dayton as well.

Alabama has the potential to give Kentucky all it can handle.  Had the Tide hit their free throws in their one contest against the Wildcats, they could have won their regular season game in Tuscaloosa.  This is Nashville, and the last time we checked, Nashville was about halfway between these two schools’ campuses, but it will look more like Rupp Arena this afternoon as the Music City is crawling with Royal Blue clothed tourists up and down Broadway and in Hatty B’s Hot Chicken.

Arkansas and Vanderbilt played two close games this year, with the visiting team winning both times.  Since the Commodores won at Bud Walton, Arkansas has been a different team.  The Razorbacks have won seven of eight games, including a road victory over South Carolina.

 

Southland Conference Tournament Championship–Katy, TX (Greater Houston area)
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 New Orleans 19-11 vs. 2 Texas A&M-CC 20-10 9:30 PM ESPN2

Disclaimer: We cannot preview this game in an impartial manner.  We will not withhold the secret that we are rooting like crazy for Coach Willis Wilson to guide TAMCCU to the Big Dance.  A finer man in the coaching business does not exist, and Wilson has not been given the accolades that should have been afforded to him.  The Rice alum coached at his alma mater for 18 years, taking the Owls to the near edge of NCAA qualification only to come up a tad short, having to make do with the NIT.  Trying to win at Rice is extremely tough, as the high-academic standards and having to be the number two team in the city of Houston did not help the Owls recruit players to Main Street, where on a sunny day, more folks turn out to the zoo across the street than come to the Rice basketball games.

Wilson has built up the TAMCCU program to the point where the Islanders have made consecutive trips to the CIT, as Stephen F. Austin dominated the league under former coach Brad Underwood.  Tonight, the Islanders have their best shot at making the Dance, where they have been just once before, back in 2007.

New Orleans also has a nice story that needs to be told.  The basketball program shut down after the 2009-2010 season and stayed dark for two seasons before re-emerging as one of the final two teams to play as an independent (Cal State Bakersfield is the other).  The Privateers have had a somewhat storied history with a bevy of excellent coaches working in the Crescent City (Ron Greene, Butch van Breda Kolff, Bennie Dees, Tim Floyd, and Buzz Williams).  They have made it to four NCAA Tournaments, albeit none in the last 20 years, and they actually have won Dance win over BYU in 1987.  There will be emotions running wild on both sides tonight, so check this game out if only for a little bit of your time.

 

Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament Championship–Houston
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Texas Southern 22-11 vs. 2 Alcorn St. * 18-13 6:30 PM ESPNU
* Alcorn St. is ineligible for the postseason. Texas Southern earns automatic bid win or lose tonight.

We have already spoken about this game and the fact that it does not matter if TSU wins or loses, since they already own the automatic bid.  However, it will help the Tigers to win this game, because we believe they will definitely avoid Dayton with a win tonight, and they could be punished and sent to Dayton if they lose.

The game should be entertaining and nip and tuck, as TSU had difficulty beating Alcorn twice this year, once by a bucket, and once in overtime.  Unfortunately, the one player that might have made a difference for the Tigers against a power conference team, muscular forward and former SWAC POY Derrick Griffin, decided to leave school to prepare for the pro draft–not the NBA, but the NFL, where he stands a good chance of being drafted as a mighty big receiver target.

 

Sun Belt Conference Tournament Semifinals–New Orleans
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 UT-Arlington 25-7 vs. 4 Texas St. 19-12 12:30 PM ESPN3
2 Georgia St. 20-11 vs. 6 Troy 20-14 3:00 PM ESPN3

There are some Bracketologists that believe UT-Arlington will have done enough to get an at-large bid if they beat Texas State this afternoon and lose tomorrow, but 12 of our 13 Bracketology Gurus beg to differ.  The Mavericks are the team to beat in this tourney, but the other three teams don’t fear UTA.  In fact, Texas State and Troy both know they can beat the top seed, as they did so convincingly during the regular season.  Still, UTA is a team that defeated Saint Mary’s and had a double-digit lead at Arkansas before the Razorbacks nipped them in the final minute.  If the Mavericks win the automatic bid, it would not surprise us at all if they move up to a 12-seed, the one seed that has become the seed of upsets.

 

Western Athletic Conference Tournament Championship–Las Vegas
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Cal St. Bakersfield 22-8 vs. 2 New Mexico St. 27-5 11:00 PM ESPNU

When we think of Bakersfield, we think of the “Bakersfield Sound” that produced stars like Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Jean Shepard.  Our founder also thinks of some great Bakersfield Dodgers baseball teams in the Class A California League that produced future Dodgers stars like Ron Cey, Steve Yeager, Doug Rau, Eric Karros, Pedro and Ramon Martinez, John Wetteland, and Mike Piazza.

Others might think of all the farmland in and around the area or the giant arch just off Highway 99.  Basketball does not come to mind when one thinks of Bakersfield.  Yet, the Roadrunners, under former Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes, are just one win away from making their second consecutive trip to the Big Dance.

It will be no cakewalk tonight for the top-seeded Roadrunners.  Their opponent is a formidable foe, and New Mexico State might even be considered the favorite in this game.  The teams match up favorably well, and this looks like a championship game where if they played a best of seven series, it would go seven games.

CSUB has one big disadvantage tonight.  The Roadrunners were forced to play an extra half last night, when Utah Valley took them to 4 overtimes.  The Roadrunners shot less than 30% from the field, gave up an astronomical 68 rebounds to Utah Valley, and they still won, because they forced the Wolverines into committing 28 turnovers and stole the ball 11 times.

 

PiRate Ratings Bracketology Gurus Update for Saturday AM

  1. Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga
  2. Kentucky, Oregon, Duke, Arizona
  3. Baylor, Louisville, West Virginia, Florida St.
  4. UCLA, Notre Dame, Butler, Minnesota
  5. Florida, Cincinnati, Iowa St., SMU
  6. Virginia, Purdue, Wisconsin, Creighton
  7. Maryland, Saint Mary’s, Michigan, Wichita St.
  8. Virginia Tech, Miami, Northwestern, VCU
  9. Arkansas, South Carolina, Dayton, Oklahoma St.
  10. Middle Tennessee, Marquette, Michigan St., Seton Hall
  11. Providence, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Wake Forest, USC
  12. UT-Arlington, UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, Kansas St., Syracuse
  13. Vermont, Princeton, Akron, Bucknell
  14. East Tennessee St., Florida Gulf Coast, New Mexico St., Winthrop
  15. Iona, Texas Southern, Northern Kentucky, UC-Irvine
  16. South Dakota St., UNC-Central, Jacksonville St., Texas A&M CC, North Dakota, Mount St. Mary’s

Last Four Byes

Seton Hall

Providence

Vanderbilt

Xavier

Last Four In–Headed to Dayton

Wake Forest vs. USC

Kansas St. vs. Syracuse

First Four Out

Rhode Island–can jump into the field with a win Saturday

Illinois State

California

Alabama–we jumped the Tide up here, because they are the only team still playing with a chance to move up.  All others in this spot have no chance to make the field and have no games left to play (Illinois, Iowa, Houston, TCU, Georgia, Indiana)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 20, 2017

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

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

ACC

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

Big East

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

Big Ten

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

Big 12

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

Pac-12

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

SEC

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

Must Watch Games This Week

Saturday

Notre Dame vs. Syracuse on ESPN at 12PM EST

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

UCLA vs. Arizona on CBS at 4PM EST

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

Kentucky vs. South Carolina on ESPN at 6PM EST

TCU vs. Baylor on ESPNU at 8PM EST

 

Sunday

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

Watch football afterwards

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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