The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 30, 2019

Bracketnomics 2019: Picking The Elite 8

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Gonzaga

56.36

17.3

30.7

73.6

12.9

16.5

15.0

Texas Tech

59.03

10.2

27.6

72.0

16.0

20.0

4.2

Texas Tech enjoys a slight SOS edge, but Gonzaga’s exceptional R+T Rating is a major factor in this game.  Gonzaga will enjoy a modest rebounding advantage at both ends of the court, while the Bulldogs will be able to withstand the Red Raiders’ ball-hawking ability.  Thus, turnover margin should be close to even.  Gonzaga’s TS% Margin is somewhat better here, and the SOS advantage by TTU is mostly negated.

Prediction: Gonzaga by 6 to 11 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Virginia

59.89

12.3

29.7

75.0

12.9

15.8

10.2

Purdue

61.14

3.6

34.0

74.0

13.5

16.6

11.5

Purdue’s SOS and R+T Rating are marginally better, while Virginia holds a commanding TS% Margin advantage.  Purdue should grab a few additional offensive rebounds in this game, while turnovers should be relatively close.  This has the makings of an exciting close game, just like so many others in this year’s tournament.  In this game, the Bracketnomics cannot pick a conclusive winner, so other factors must be included.  Virginia has been a little more consistent in matching their statistical data, while Purdue has been a little more varied.  I will go with the more consistent team.

Prediction: Virginia by 2 to 7 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Kentucky

60.76

9.8

36.6

74.7

15.8

16.0

16.2

Auburn

60.34

1.9

32.2

67.8

14.6

21.8

2.7

The effect of the Chuma Okeke injury can only be estimated for Auburn, while Kentucky’s P.J. Washington appears to be close to 100% for this game after playing well against Houston.

You would expect conference rivals at this point of the season to have similar SOS’s, and these two teams do.  Kentucky’s R+T Rating is so superior in this game, and their TS% Margin is considerably better, so this makes it a potential blowout game.  Auburn will force the Wildcats into a few extra turnovers, but the rebounding edge could be scary in this game, as the Big Blue might be able to win the boards by more than a 60-40% advantage.  

During the regular season, Kentucky beat Auburn both times.  It was a close game in Auburn, but the Wildcats breezed to an easy win in Lexington.

Prediction: Kentucky by 10 to 15 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Duke

62.63

9.8

35.5

71.0

14.7

17.0

12.1

Michigan St.

61.29

14.0

33.8

74.1

16.4

12.7

12.3

This game has the makings of another classic.  The data predicts a close contest.  Duke’s SOS advantage is minimal, and the R+T Ratings basically wash.  Michigan State’s TS% Margin mostly comes from a better 3-point shooting ability, and only slightly better defense.  Duke’s big advantage comes in turnover margin.  The Blue Devils have the ability to exploit the Spartans’ real liability, as Sparty is prone to turning the ball over, while Duke is a competent team when it comes to forcing turnovers.  Michigan State’s normal rebounding strength will be somewhat negated if not totally negated in this game.

It isn’t a slam dunk win for Coach K over Coach Izzo, but the Blue Devils have more going for themselves in the data for this one.

Prediction: Duke by 5 to 10 points

 

 

 

 

 

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March 28, 2019

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament For Thursday, March 28, 2019

Home

Rating

HCA

Visitor

Rating

Spread

Gonzaga

123.1

0.0

Florida St.

115.7

7.4

Tennessee

117.8

0.0

Purdue

117.6

0.2

Michigan

119.1

0.0

Texas Tech

118.4

0.7

Virginia

120.6

0.0

Oregon

111.2

9.4

 

Tonight’s Schedule

Team

Team

TIME (EDT)

TV

LOCATION

Florida St.

Gonzaga

7:09 PM

CBS

Anaheim

Purdue

Tennessee

7:29 PM

TBS

Louisville

Texas Tech

Michigan

9:39 PM

CBS

Anaheim

Oregon

Virginia

9:59 PM

TBS

Louisville

 

March 27, 2019

Bracketnomics 2019: Picking The Sweet 16

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:32 am

What a Sweet 16 we have!  My experience in watching the NCAA Tournament goes back to the 1964 season as UCLA went 30-0 using a small lineup with no starter over 6 foot 5.  The 16-0 run in 2 1/2 minutes made me a Bruin fan on the spot, especially because one of the catalysts was small,left-handed guard Gail Goodrich; I was also a small, left-handed guard.

On the whole, my memory now includes 56 different NCAA Tournaments.  I had a difficult time finding a Sweet 16 as strong as this one.  I had to go back to the 1970 season to find the equivalent in power teams still in the Dance.  Of course, in 1970,  there were just 25 teams invited to the Tournament, so 18 teams competed in the opening round, while another seven received express bids to the Sweet 16.

Among that talented group of 1970 teams, there were:

  1. UCLA was not supposed to win the 1970 tournament, as Kareem Abdul Jabbar and his fantastic class of 1969 graduated.  Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe, and Henry Bibby gave John Wooden an incredibly talented trio to build around as he went back to his high post offense.

  2. Jacksonville had Artis Gilmore and Rex Morgan as an incredible inside-outside attack.  The Dolphins averaged close to 100 points per game and had a second starter in their lineup, Pembroke Burrows, who was over 7 feet tall.

  3. St. Bonaventure had the best player in college basketball not named Maravich in Bob Lanier.  Lanier led the Bonnies to the top of the Eastern Elite, and SBU made it to the Final Four.  However, Lanier was injured in the East Regional Final and SBU had no chance in the Final Four against Jacksonville.

  4. New Mexico State was in the top 5 all year long with future NBA stars Charlie Criss and Sam Lacey as well as hot shooting Jimmy Collins.  The Aggies were picked by many as capable of beating UCLA in the national semifinals.  Wicks and Rowe put NMSU out of their misery early in the second half.

  5. Kentucky might have had the best team in the nation in 1970 had star guard Mike Casey not have suffered season-ending injuries in a car wreck the summer before.  With Dan Issel, Mike Pratt, Tom Parker, and Larry Steele, the Wildcats might have gone 30-0 had Casey not hurt his leg.

  6. Niagara had the incomparable 5 foot 9 inch Calvin Murphy who was the total package on the hardwoods.  Murphy averaged well over 30 ppg for his career with the Purple Eagles and enjoyed a lengthy pro career.  He once scored 68 points against Syracuse.  He was a lot more than a scorer.  His defensive pressure broke down opposing teams.  He could drive quickly through defenses and pass to open teammates under the basket, and he was the best baton twirler in the college ranks.

  7. Villanova had two future NBA All-Stars in Howard Porter and Chris Ford, as well as Fran O’Hanlon, who played in the ABA.  It was Ford that tripped Lanier in the Eastern Regional Championship Game that doomed St. Bonaventure.

  8. Notre Dame had the best offensive player in the tournament in Austin Carr.  Carr was unstoppable on offense with the way officials called fouls in 1970.  He averaged over 38 points per game, but he made history in this tournament by scoring 61 points in the opening round win over Ohio U.  He hit for more than 50 in the Sweet 16 against Kentucky.

  9. Iowa set the Big Ten record for points per game in 1970, almost averaging 100 points per night.  Among their stars was Downtown Freddie Brown, who would become one of the best 6th men in NBA history.  Before he became known as “Instant Offense” off the Seattle Supersonics’ bench, he was a dynamic starter for the Hawkeyes along with John Johnson, who averaged close to 30 ppg.

14 of the 16 teams in that tournament were what I consider strong teams according to today’s statistical standards, and 14 of this year’s 16 remaining teams fit that same description.

It’s no coincidence that of the 16 teams left, the Bracketnomics correctly picked 14 of the 16.

NOTE: The data that follows may be a little different than the original Bracketnomics’ posting at the beginning of the tournament.  Stats have been altered, especially the Strengths of Schedule (SOS) for some of the teams.

If you get to re-select your brackets at this point, ignore the original predictions and use these updated stats.  The originals predictions are still our “official bracket-picks,” but in this round, there is new and improved analytics.

NOTE 2: Do not confuse the Bracketnomics’ selections with the PiRate Ratings, which may contradict these picks in a couple of games.  The PiRate Ratings are strictly mechanical with no objective reasoning applied.  Bracketnomics are more subjective based on back-tested data usable only in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Gonzaga

56.14

17.6

31.1

73.2

12.8

16.5

15.1

Florida St.

59.85

3.7

33.0

73.5

16.2

18.0

9.1

After two rounds in this tournament, Gonzaga still owns the best criteria in the field, and nothing has changed in our beliefs that they have the best chance to run the table.  The Bulldogs only potential weakness is schedule strength, but at 56%+, it is more than adequate for a national champion.  The True Shooting % Margin combined with the R+T make The Zags the much better team here.  Florida State relies on offensive rebounding and forcing turnovers, but Gonzaga is not the team that the Seminoles can exploit enough times to come up with the win.  Gonzaga gets revenge for last year’s Sweet 16.

Prediction:  Gonzaga by 10-15 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Tennessee

59.50

5.3

31.1

70.5

13.9

15.8

5.5

Purdue

60.82

3.5

34.3

74.0

13.6

16.9

11.6

Purdue hasn’t been in the Elite 8 since 2000, and they have not made it to the Final Four since 1980.  The Boilermakers have historically been unable to get scoring spurts in the Gene Keady-Matt Painter years.  They played excellent half-court offense and defense defense, but their style did not allow them to be overpowering on the boards or to gamble for steals on defense.  Like Money Ball does not work in the Major League Playoffs, possession basketball doesn’t work well in the Big Dance.  Teams need to have that spurtability, which is what the R+T rating shows, and Purdue has rarely had a great R+T rating.  That was the past; this Boilermaker squad has a very good R+T rating, and it comes from both an excellent rebounding strength combined with an adequate ability to force turnovers and not cough the ball up enough times to matter.

Tennessee is more like the old Purdue teams.  The Volunteers have excellent half-court presence on both sides of the ball, but they cannot dominate on the glass, and they do not force enough turnovers.  In this game, I look for Purdue to get numerous second chance scoring opportunities, and eventually, the Boilermakers will go for the kill shot with a scoring run that gives them the victory.

Prediction: Purdue by 6 to 11 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Michigan

59.87

8.8

24.0

75.6

12.1

15.9

4.0

Texas Tech

58.42

10.1

28.1

71.7

16.1

20.0

4.4

 

This has the chance to be a classic game that will generate headlines for a long time.  This is the closest thing to a 50-50 tossup there can be.  If you had to choose one game to go to triple overtime, this is the one I’d pick (I just gave it the kiss of death and it will be a blowout now).

With Michigan’s 1 1/2 point SOS advantage, it basically makes all the criteria dead even.  Two teams with excellent defensive efficiency should lead to the game being decided on rebounding and turnovers.  The Red Raiders are better on the offensive glass, but the Wolverines are better on the defensive glass.  Texas Tech is considerably better forcing turnovers, but Michigan is considerably better holding onto the ball.  The R+T is dead even.  The only tiny little stat where there is a difference is TS% Margin, where even with the better SOS, Michigan comes up just a tad short, but not enough to matter more than one point on the scoreboard.

I have to go to extracurricular statistics here to select a winner in this game.  Texas Tech has been more consistent with their production, while Michigan’s standard deviation of statistics has been greater.  The Wolverines have been up for five consecutive games, while Texas Tech has been on an even keel since January.  Michigan has experience from making it to the Championship Game last year, while Texas Tech made it to the Elite 8 last year, so once again this washes.  Michigan is 7-3 against ranked teams this year.  TTU is 3-2.  Maybe, this is the only stat I can use to pick a winner, and it is still a total guess.  I’ll have my eyes glued to this game.

Prediction: Michigan by 1 to 5 points, possibly in overtime

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Virginia

59.95

12.9

29.9

74.8

13.0

15.7

10.4

Oregon

55.83

4.5

29.4

71.7

15.4

18.3

4.3

Oregon coach Dana Altman deserves a ton of credit.  If you don’t think losing a 5-star McDonald’s All-American freshman phenom when you have another one on the roster  hurts, look at what happened to Bryce Drew at Vanderbilt.  Drew lost Darius Garland early in the year but still had another 5-star freshman phenom in Simi Shittu.  Vanderbilt lost their final 20 games in a row, and Drew was dismissed.  Altman lost superstar Bol Bol early in the year, and the Ducks were counted out.  Altman rallied Oregon and won the Pac-12 Tournament.  Then, they knocked out mid-major darling UC-Irvine to make it back to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four years.

Virginia survived a scare against Gardner-Webb, but the Cavaliers righted the ship and stormed back to win by 15, and then the Cavs ousted Oklahoma much more easily in the Round of 32.  On the surface, some may believe that UVA is strictly a half-court possession wonder, the type that usually disappoints in the Big Dance.  This is not so.  The Cavaliers have a double-digit R+T rating, which makes them capable of benefiting from scoring spurts, like they did in 2016, when they made it to the Elite 8 and watched a second half double-digit lead against Syracuse turn into a loss when the Orangemen went on a huge scoring run.

This game looks like the most lopsided in this round.  Virginia has the advantage across the board, and Oregon has not beaten a team this good all year.  The Ducks only played one ranked team in the regular season.  Think of Bol Bol as twice the player Tacko Fall is for Central Florida.  That’s why  Oregon should be happy they made the Sweet 16.

Prediction: Virginia by 12-17 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Michigan St.

61.11

14.0

33.8

74.1

16.4

12.7

12.3

LSU

58.71

3.4

36.5

69.8

15.2

17.6

9.4

The fact that four SEC teams made the Sweet 16, and LSU won the conference championship shows that the Tigers are good enough to keep playing into April, even with acting coach Tony Benford taking over for Will Wade.

On the other side, Michigan State is almost perfect when you look at the resume of a Final Four team.  The Spartans do not force turnovers like most Final Four teams in the past, and they are vulnerable to a team that can pressure them into turnovers.

LSU has the personnel to force MSU out of their normal offense and negate any potential rebounding advantage Sparty has.  This game still looks favorable to Michigan State due to a great difference in True Shooting Percentage Margin.  LSU might not get enough open looks and second chance points to match the inside scoring of Nick Ward and Xavier Tillman combined with the three-point shooting of Cassius Winston.

Prediction: Michigan State by 4 to 9 points

 

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

North Carolina

62.05

5.4

34.8

77.7

14.6

16.5

18.9

Auburn

59.91

1.9

32.2

67.8

14.6

21.8

2.7

 

This game should be played at a tempo of 75 possessions per team.  Auburn was the best up-tempo team in the SEC this year, but North Carolina was the best up-tempo team in the ACC.

Can Auburn force North Carolina, namely point guard Coby White to make enough mistakes to keep this game close?  White has been prone to force the issue a bit at times, but in the games against the best pressure man-to-man teams, he did not make enough mistakes to cost Carolina the win, and in several games, his deft handling of the ball was the reason the Tar Heels won.

North Carolina remains the second best team in the tournament according to Bracketnomics, and this game has the potential to get out of hand.  The Tar Heels have a huge advantage on the offensive glass, and this should be the deciding factor.  UNC will score on several consecutive possessions at some point in this game and take a commanding lead that forces Auburn to panic on offense and commit some mistakes of their own.

Prediction: North Carolina by 10-15 points

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Duke

62.61

9.8

35.5

71.0

14.7

17.0

12.1

Virginia Tech

58.20

8.5

29.0

72.9

15.3

19.1

6.1

 

Virginia Tech’s home court advantage in a game with Duke was three points and change, but let’s round it back to 3.  They beat Duke in Blacksburg by five points.  Duke didn’t have Zion Williamson.  Is Zion worth three points more for Duke than his backup?  Of course, he is; he’s worth a lot more than three extra points in Duke’s overall production.

Duke has an exploitable liability, and Central Florida exposed it.  Buzz Williams will do everything to try to force the Blue Devils to beat his squad by not being weak in their perimeter shooting.  UCF had two big guys inside that could force Duke to shoot from the perimeter.  Virginia Tech has one big guy, Kerry Blackshear, who probably cannot stop the Duke inside game.

In my opinion, there are a couple teams that can force Duke to have a better than average perimeter shooting night to beat them, but Virginia Tech is not one of them.

Prediction: Duke by 8 to 13 points

Team

SOS

TS Marg

OReb%

DReb%

TOV%

DTOV%

R+T

Kentucky

60.44

9.8

36.6

74.7

15.8

16.0

16.2

Houston

55.45

8.3

34.2

74.8

14.0

15.8

14.6

This game could be very interesting in a different way than the Michigan and Texas Tech game.  You get contrasting styles in this contest, and there are many variables, some of which favor the underdog Cougars in this cat fight.

There is a giant variable here, one that is enough to take this game from a relatively safe victory for Kentucky to a toss-up.  Star forward P.J. Washington might play in this game, and he might not be healthy enough.  Even if he plays, he cannot possibly be all that effective.  What bothers me is that he went from a protective boot to a cast, which means the injury was worse than first thought.  He’s going to one of the top foot specialists in the nation, and I think the goal here is to make sure Washington is ready for the NBA Draft.

If Washington does not play in this game, it becomes one where Houston has a 40-45% chance of winning.  If Washington plays sparingly, Kentucky’s chances increase by another 5-10%.  If miraculously Washington can play near full strength for 25 minutes, then the Big Blue win this game going away.

I will select this game based on the assumption that Washington will play but at much less than full strength.  Reid Travis is ready to have a big game for Kentucky now that he is basically 100% at full strength following his injury, and I look for John Calipari to direct his team to play intelligently and take advantage of their muscle advantage.

Prediction: Kentucky but 5-10 points

 

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2019

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament For Saturday, March 23, 2019

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 4:57 am

Home

Rating

HCA

Visitor

Rating

Spread

LSU

114.6

0.0

Maryland

113.0

1.6

Kentucky

118.5

0.0

Wofford

113.9

4.6

Michigan

119.0

0.0

Florida

111.9

7.1

Florida St.

115.2

0.0

Murray St.

110.4

4.8

Gonzaga

123.1

0.0

Baylor

110.5

12.6

Michigan St.

120.9

0.0

Minnesota

110.2

10.7

Purdue

117.1

0.0

Villanova

111.8

5.3

Kansas

115.3

0.0

Auburn

115.7

-0.4

Saturday’s Schedule

TIME (ET)

GAME

TV

SITE

12:10 p.m.

(6) Maryland vs. (3) LSU

CBS

Jacksonville

Approx. 2:55 p.m.

(7) Wofford vs. (2) Kentucky

CBS

Jacksonville

5:15 p.m.

(10) Florida vs. (2) Michigan

CBS

Des Moines

6:10 p.m.

(12) Murray St. vs. (4) Florida St.

TNT

Hartford

7:10 p.m.

(9) Baylor vs. (1) Gonzaga

TBS

Salt Lake City

Approx. 8:00 p.m.

(10) Minnesota vs. (2) Michigan St.

CBS

Des Moines

Approx 8:55 p.m.

(6) Villanova vs. (3) Pudue

TNT

Hartford

Approx 9:55 p.m.

(5) Auburn vs. (4) Kansas

TBS

Salt Lake City

 

January 15, 2019

Advanced Basketball Statistics–Fun Stuff for Stats Buffs, Part 2

Last week, we introduced you to the basics of advanced basketball statistics, the Four Factors.

If you missed that feature, you can find it here:

https://piratings.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/advanced-basketball-statistics-fun-stuff-for-stats-buffs/

This week, we hope to explain how to apply advanced stats to individual players. It is a bit more involved, but if you break it down, it is not difficult to understand.

Then, in our final installment next week, we will attempt to explain offensive and defensive efficiency, which is a multiple step process and quite involved, but once you have the formulas placed in a spreadsheet, you can have the same data that the Selection Committee will have in the room when they meet to select the field and seed the teams.

Let’s start with individual statistics.

True Shooting %
The basic shooting stat for an individual is True Shooting Percentage. It incorporates field goal shooting from behind the three-point line, inside the line, and foul shooting into one percentage that provides a decent look at how efficient a player is when he shoots the ball to his basket.

 
The formula for TS% is: College: Pts/(2*(FGA+(.465*FTA))) &

NBA Pts/(2*(FGA+(.44*FTA)))

Example: Let’s take a look at the incredible Markus Howard of Marquette. As of this afternoon (January 15, 2019), Howard has scored 439 points for the season. He has taken 301 field goal attempts and 116 free throw attempts.

439/(2*(301+(.465*116))) = .618 or 61.8%

Let’s now take a look at a big man and how Howard stacks up as a perimeter player. Let’s look at Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura. As of this afternoon, the Bulldogs’ power forward has scored 374 points on 233 field goal attempts and 117 free throw attempts.

374/(2*(233+(.465*117)))= .651 or 65.1%
Hachimura is a little more efficient in scoring points when he shoots the ball for any reason than Howard, but they are both quite excellent at scoring for their teams.
How do they compare with a couple of all-time greats from the past?

Let’s look at Steph Curry’s and Bill Walton’s final years at Davidson and UCLA respectively.

Curry: 974/(2*(687+(.465*251)))= .606 or 60.6%, not as good as Howard so far this year.

Walton: 522/(2*(349+(.465*100)))=.660 or 66.%, which is a little better than Hachimura.

Hachimura has benefitted from some three-pointers that did not exist when Walton played at UCLA, but Walton would have never attempted a three-point shot playing in the low post for the Bruins. Walton also missed some games his senior year due to knee troubles, and he was a lousy foul shooter his last two years in Westwood, or else his TS% would have been even higher.

Offensive, Defensive, and Total Rebounding Percentage
For an individual player, the formula for offensive rebounding percentage is:

100 * [(Individual Player’s Offensive Rebounds * (Team Minutes Played/5)) / (Individual Player’s Minutes Played * (Team Offensive Rebounds + Opposing Team Defensive Rebounds))]

The formula looks bulky but it is quite easy to calculate and once you plug them into a spreadsheet, it is a quick process.

Defensive Rebounding percentage is just the opposite formula
100 * [(Individual Player’s Defensive Rebounds * (Team Minutes Played/5)) / (Individual Player’s Minutes Played * (Team Defensive Rebounds + Opposing Team Offensive Rebounds))]

And Total Rebounding Rebounding Percentage brings the whole into the parts.
100 * [(Individual Player’s Total Rebounds * Team Minutes Played/5) / (Individual Player’s Minutes Played * (Team Total Rebounds + Opposing Team Total Rebounds))]

Examples: Let’s compare the key board men from the hot rivals in the Big Ten: Kenny Goins of Michigan State and Jon Teske of Michigan

Goins offensive rebounding: 100 * [(41*3425/5)) / (450 * (201 + 356))] = 11.2%
Goins defensive rebounding: 100* [(119*3425/5)) / 450 * (543 + 185))] = 24.9%
Goins total rebounding: 100 * [(160 * 3425/5) / (450 * (744 + 541))] = 19.0%

Teske offensive rebounding: 100 * [(31 * 3400/5)) / (458 * (156 + 415))] = 8.1%
Teske defensive rebounding: 100 * [(82 * 3400/5)) / (458 * (463+135))] = 20.4%
Teske total rebounding: 100 * [(113 * 3400/5)) / (450 * (619+550))] = 14.6%

Because Michigan and Michigan State have played comparable schedules this year, Goins is a little better on both the offensive and defensive glass than the seven-foot Teske.

For what it is worth, Blake Griffin’s total rebounding percentage in 2009 at Oklahoma was 24.0, so Goins and Teske are not quite up to his lofty standards.

Turnover Percentage

The formula for individual TOV% is: 100 * TOV / (FGA + (.465 * FTA) + TOV)

It is rather simple to calculate, but it has its limitations, because point guards handle the ball much more per possession than other players, and this formula does not include assists which might show that it is worth a couple extra points of TOV% for a point guard to have higher numbers of assists. Additionally, some point guards do not attempt many shots, so the denominator of this equation is skewed too low.

We’ll combine this stat with the next stat to come up with an improvement over assist to turnover rate.

Let’s look at a couple of outstanding playmakers–Cassius Winston of Michigan State and Jared Harper of Auburn.

Winston: 100 * 42 / (205 + (.465 * 69) + 42) = 15.0%
Harper: 100 * 32 / (183 + (.465 * 53) + 32) = 13.4%

Assist Percentage
Now we give the playmakers a chance to shine and balance out the bad turnover percentages they receive for having possession of the ball more than others (like a running back in football will fumble the ball more than the tight end per team possession).
The formula for individial AST% is: 100 * AST / (((MP / (Team MP/5)) * Team FG) – FG)

Winston: 100 * 125 / (((528/(3425/5)) * 517) – 100) = 41.9%
Harper: 100 * 101 / (((506/(3050/5)) * 452) -69) = 33.0%

Assist Percentage to Turnover Percentage

Simply divide AST%/TOV% to get a better ratio than the standard AST/TOV.

Winston: 41.9/15.0 = 2.8
Harper: 33.0/13.4 = 2.5

Both of these rates are outstanding. For Michigan State, the Spartans have an outstanding playmaker in Winston, an outstanding dominator on the glass in Goins, and an outstanding group of shooters and defenders. Coach Tom Izzo has a Final Four caliber team for sure.

Block Percentage
Blocks are very important defensive tools. Obviously every time a player blocks a shot, it is also a missed field goal attempt for the other team. Obviously, a blocked shot is not as valuable as the non-blocked missed field goal attempt, because not every blocked shot would have been a made shot, and more blocked shots become offensive rebounds or offensive team rebounds than regular missed shots. However, an intimidator underneath the basket can influence a lot of shots that he does not block, thus lowering non-blocked field goal percentages. There are multiple algorithms used to calculate how valuable a blocked shot is worth in points with and without the inclusion of intimidation.

We like to compare this variable to baseball’s stolen base variable, where traditional sabermetrics lovers hate the stolen base attempt due to the effects on WAR not being great and needing a base stealer that can consistently steal better than 75% of the bases he attempts. They don’t factor in the extracurricular events such as middle infielders having to cheat a step closer to second base, pitchers worried about throwing off-speed (non fastball) pitches, pitchers having to throw to first a lot to reduce leads, and even the first baseman having to delay by a fraction of a second before moving out to cover his area.

For instance, when Maury Wills was stealing bases left and right for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the early 1960’s, Jim Gilliam benefited from being the next batter in the batting order. Gilliam liked to take a lot of pitches, so taking a couple to give Wills a chance to steal didn’t harm him. Actually, because pitchers worried so much, Gilliam was frequently ahead in the count. A veteran with a 2-0 count can hit about 100 points higher than when he has an 0-2 count. Also, Gilliam was an excellent placement hitter. He could hit the ball in the open space created by the first baseman holding Wills on base. When the switch-hitting Gilliam faced a left-handed batter, and the second baseman was covering the bag, while the first baseman was holding Wills on, Gilliam saw a monstrous hole to slap grounders towards right field that allowed Wills to take third base.

Editorial over

Here is the formula for Block Percentage
100 * (Blk * (Team MP/5)) / (MP * (Opponents FGA – Opponents 3-Point Attempts))

Example: Brandon Clarke of Gonzaga is a true intimidator in the paint. His ability to swat balls away has helped the Zags hold teams to just 38.8% field goal shooting. Here is his BLK%.

100 * (58 * (3600/5)) / 497 * (1148-418) = 11.5%

When a player has a double digit BLK%, it is almost a fact that he is also an intimidator in the paint, which means other teams will miss three or four shots that they normally would make against other teams. This is in addition to the blocks that would have been made baskets had they not been blocked.
If an opposing team normally averages 27 field goals on 58 attempts for 46.6%, but with Clarke’s blocks and intimidation this opponent hits only 21 of their 58 attempts for 36.2%. That is a 10% difference created mostly by one intimidating player. Block percentage is one of the most underrated defensive tools in basketball.

Steal Percentage
The steal is a dying art but for a reason. Ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of the time, the steal comes from an intercepted pass and not from a player actually stealing the ball off a player’s dribble. So, steals should be renamed as interceptions like in football. Because so many teams cannot pass the ball worth a darn these days, steals have been dropping in number for several years. This does not mean that the monotonous dribbling of the ball is the way for offenses to score. It is easier to guard the movement of a dribbled ball opposed to the movement of a passed ball, because a dribbler can rarely exceed 15 MPH, while a weak pass is double that speed and a crisp pass is triple that speed or more. When you see a player dribble the ball all the way up the floor on a fast break attempt, he is actually hurting his team’s chances of scoring points on that break. Two quick passes up the floor can result in a wide open basket and/or defensive foul. Many times, the dribbling player is the last of the 10 players to enter the scoring zone, and then the fast break is dead.

Once again editorial over.

The formula for steal percentage is: (100 * Steals * (Team MP/5)) / (Player MP * Opponents Possessions)

You can find team possessions in many locations today, but if you need to calculate this from scratch, team possessions can be very accurately estimated by this calculation:

FGA + (.465 * FTA) – Off. Rebounds + Turnovers {for college}

FGA + (.44 * FTA) – Off. Rebounds + Turnovers {for NBA}

If you are trying to calculate this for your high school, middle school, or youth league team, you will have to adjust the constant that you multiple with FTA. Unfortunately, we do not know what to use for the constants.

Example: Tremont Waters of LSU has come close this year to recording a triple double the hard way with points, assists, and steals. He needed two more steals against UL-Monroe to pull off a feat that is extremely rare in the 21st Century.
Here is Waters’ Steal %.
(100 * 45 * 3050/5) (478 * 1088) = 5.28%

This is an excellent percentage, but it does not approach the percentages of past years, especially when more teams used full-court pressure defense for 40 minutes per game. Some of the Kentucky players under Coach Rick Pitino exceeded 6%.

Usage Percentage
Usage percentage attempts tp gauge the percentage of team plays in which a specific player was key to the possession. It actually measures percentage of team plays USED by an individual while he was on the floor.

The formula for USG % is: 100 * ((FGA + (.465*FTA) + TOV) * (Team MP/5)) / (MP * (Team FGA + (.465* Team FTA)+Team TOV))

Example: Carsen Edwards of Purdue is heavily involved in all of the Boilermakers’ possessions.

100 * ((313 + (.465 * 90) + 52) * (3225/5)) / (537 * (985 + (.465*194)+174)) = 39.1%

At the same time, teammate Ryan Cline plays about the same number of minutes per game but has a USG% that is less than half of Edwards. Thus, Edwards is vital to Purdue’s offensive success. If Edwards gets in foul trouble, Purdue is in much worse shape than if Cline gets in foul trouble. Of course, Matt Painter doesn’t want either star getting into foul trouble, as they both play better than 33 minutes per game.

In our final installment of Fun Stuff for Stats Buffs, we will attempt to explain offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, the big advance metric that the Selection Committee will use as part of their selection and seeding criteria. It is quite bulky and involves multiple steps to figure. If you ever tried to calculate Base Runs in baseball, you know how involved that calculation was. oRAT and dRAT make base runs calculations look like simple addition.

March 23, 2018

PiRate Ratings Spreads For NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Games of Friday, March 23

Sweet 16–Friday, March 23

Higher Seed Lower Seed Spread
Kansas Clemson 1.7
Villanova West Virginia 6.4
Duke Syracuse 5.1
Purdue Texas Tech 3.3

Friday Night’s Schedule

Friday, Mar 23, 2018
TIME (EDT) Higher Seed Lower Seed City TV
7:07 PM 1 Kansas 5 Clemson Omaha CBS
7:27 PM 1 Villanova 5 West Virginia Boston TBS
9:37 PM 2 Duke 11 Syracuse Omaha CBS
9:57 PM 2 Purdue 3 Texas Tech Boston TBS

 

 

 

 

March 17, 2018

PiRate Ratings Spreads For NCAA Tournament Games of Sunday, March 18

Sunday’s PiRate Rating Spreads For NCAA Tournament Games

Higher Seed Lower Seed Spread
Purdue Butler 5.4
Michigan St. Syracuse 8.5
North Carolina Texas A&M 5.9
Cincinnati Nevada 4.9
Auburn Clemson 1.4
Kansas St. MD-Baltimore Co. 9.8
Xavier Florida St. 3.7
West Virginia Marshall 10.2

Sunday’s TV Schedule

All times Eastern Daylight

Sunday, Mar 18, 2018
TIME Higher Seed Lower Seed City TV
12:10 PM 2 Purdue 10 Butler Detroit CBS
2:40 PM 3 Michigan St. 11 Syracuse Detroit CBS
5:15 PM 2 North Carolina 7 Texas A&M Charlotte CBS
6:10 PM 2 Cincinnati 7 Nevada Nashville TNT
7:10 PM 4 Auburn 5 Clemson San Diego TBS
7:45 PM 9 Kansas St. 16 MD-Baltimore Co. Charlotte TruTV
8:40 PM 1 Xavier 9 Florida St. Nashville TNT
9:40 PM 5 West Virginia 13 Marshall San Diego TBS

Bracket-Picking Criteria Results

Of the eight teams in the Sweet 16 as of Saturday night, we still have six teams alive.  Our picks went 6-2 and were within a half-second of going 8-0, as our two losses came on last-second shots in the Loyola-Tennessee and Michigan-Houston games.

For the tournament, our picks are now 32-12.

The New PiRate Ratings Bracketology Criteria have performed on par with the traditional criteria that we used for over 20 years.  We will wait until the championship before deciding if the new criteria was worth discarding the old method.

Here is a look at today’s games as the criteria applies to each of the eight contests.

Purdue vs. Butler
The big question is, “Will Isaac Haas play?” The next biggest question is, “If he plays, can he be anywhere near 100%?”

If Haas is able to give anything close to his regular contribution, Purdue is too strong for Butler. But, as we have already seen in this tournament, Virginia not having its best defender, and Tennessee not having one of its key big men available were contributing factors in losses. If Haas is not able to play, then Butler gains a major advantage in this game. The Boilermakers rely on Haas more for his offense than his defense, and it is true shooting percentage margin where Purdue is so superior in this contest. Remove Haas and his 66% TS%, and this advantage melts away somewhat.

PiRate Pick: Purdue

Michigan St. vs. Syracuse
This will be an interesting contest. The schedule strengths are identical, so we can look at the stats as if the two teams have played the same exact schedules. Michigan State has a clear true shooting percentage margin advantage and the Spartans also enjoy a modest R+T rating advantage.
The interest in this game comes from Michigan State’s issue against zone defenses. The Syracuse 2-3 matchup zone is tough to face the first time, and the Spartans had all of a day to study it and then implement a strategy against it.
It’s a different zone entirely, but Michigan State fared poorly twice against Michigan’s 1-3-1 trapping zone. Syracuse will trap out of their matchup zone as well.
On paper, Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston should thrive against zone defenses, but they did not hit from outside in one of the two games, and they turned the ball over against the traps the other. Maybe, the third time’s the charm? Or then maybe Syracuse is primed to make another surprise run to the Final Four? We’ll stick with Sparty.

PiRate Pick: Michigan St.

North Carolina vs. Texas A&M
North Carolina is almost playing at home, but Kansas just showed that having an in-state regional doesn’t guarantee two easy victories. However, the Jayhawks advanced, so the Tar Heels should get a little extra help with maybe a point or point and a half for playing so close to home as the state school where the tournament will be played.
The Tar Heels don’t need all that much extra oomph in the Big Dance. They are the defending champions, and they appear to be nearing peak performance at the right time.
Texas A&M is not going to be the weak victim. The Aggies will have the power to keep the inside game honest. A&M actually has a slightly better true shooting percentage margin than the Tar Heels, but North Carolina enjoys the R+T advantage. Down the road, North Carolina might struggle against a team that can force turnovers, but A&M isn’t one of those teams.

PiRate Pick: North Carolina

Cincinnati vs. Nevada
This game could be interesting for awhile, but Cincinnati is a bit too physical for the underdog Wolf Pack. The Bearcats’ R+T rating advantage is considerable here, and they enjoy a small true shooting percentage advantage as well. Eventually, Cinti will dominate on the glass, and this should lead to a run of several points, where the Bearcats send the Wolf Pack back to Reno, and that’s no gamble saying so.

PiRate Pick: Cincinnati

Auburn vs. Clemson
This is another one of those games where one key injury makes a huge difference in one team’s statistics. Auburn just narrowly escaped a first round upset bid by Charleston, and without a dominating or even contributing big man, the Tigers just aren’t the same team they were before Anfernee McLemore was lost for the season.

Clemson is not going to just show up and win this game, and they may not win even if they produce an A+ effort. Auburn still has a tough pressure defense on the perimeter, and Clemson has a negative turnover margin, so the War Eagles should get a couple extra scoring opportunities with steals.

However, when it comes down to it, Clemson has a decidedly better true shooting percentage margin and should be able to score inside enough times to win this battle again. CU enjoys a slightly better stength of schedule, and this should be the final nail in the coffin in this game.

PiRate Pick: Clemson

Kansas St. vs. MD-Baltimore Co.
Can they do it again? Is there any way a Number 16 seed can be one of the last 16 in the field? Here’s the funny thing about this game: Kansas State is precariously on the minimum R+T margin line to be picked against anybody in the tournament. Teams that rebound as poorly as Kansas State seldom make it very far in the NCAA Tournament. There are just a handful of teams in the last 50 years that won twice in one NCAA Tournament when their rebounding margin was worse than -3.
Maryland-Baltimore County would have been our pick in this game if the Terriers had a positive rebounding margin of 1.5 or better, but UMBC also has a negative rebounding margin. The Terriers might have been our pick if they held the true shooting percentage margin advantage in this game, but Kansas State has the better numbers here as well. Throw in the fact that the Wildcats’ schedule strength is about 15 points stronger than that of UMBC, and we just cannot pull the trigger on this one and take the most incredible long shot to ever make the Sweet 16.

PiRate Pick: Kansas St.

Xavier vs. Florida St.
This game should be the second most exciting game of the day. The Seminoles match up well with the top-seeded Musketeers, and this game should remain close for at least all of the first half and a good bit of the second half. Xavier has a slightly stronger schedule strength which makes their true shooting percentage margin and R+T rating advantages enough to matter. The margin of safety in this game is rather small, almost nonexistent, so a cold shooting day by Xavier could be enough to turn this game the other way.

PiRate Pick: Xavier

West Virginia vs.Marshall
We saved the best for last. In case you didn’t know, there is more than just a Round of 32 game here. These two in-state rivals don’t get along, and it’s almost as hated as Xavier and Cincinnati. It carries over to the two coaches, as they don’t really like each other.
When there is a game like this, the smaller school almost always benefits in some way.

Marshall is a woman scorned as these teams prepare to face off in a foreign land known as San Diego. West Virginia refuses to play Marshall in basketball (and football), unless the Mountaineers get two home games for every Thundering Herd home game.
What about the game itself? This will be the most interesting game of the day. Press Virginia’s defense may not exploit much in the way Marshall attacks it. The Herd had no difficulty facing Middle Tennessee’s trapping defense, as they pasted the CUSA regular season champions both times they faced them.

Alas, there is one important rule that we always follow at the PiRate Ratings. Whenever a team in the NCAA Tournament had a negative R+T Rating, we select the other team as long as that team has a positive R+T Rating. Marshall’s R+T Rating is -4.8, while the Mountaineers have a 16.6 R+T, and that is enough to give WVU about 18 more scoring opportunities. Marshall would have to hit about 18 three-pointers to neutralize that advantage.

PiRate Pick: West Virginia

Original PiRate Ratings Bracketology Sunday Teams Picked for Sweet 16
All 8 of our original picks are still alive today.
Cincinnati
Xavier
North Carolina
West Virginia
Texas Tech
Purdue
Clemson
Michigan St.

 

March 16, 2018

PiRate Ratings Spreads For NCAA Tournament Games of Friday, March 16

Friday’s PiRate Rating Spreads For NCAA Tournament Games

Higher Seed Lower Seed Spread
Texas A&M Providence 3.8
Purdue Cal St. Fullerton 17.0
Wichita St. Marshall 9.4
Cincinnati Georgia St. 12.7
North Carolina Lipscomb 17.4
Arkansas Butler -1.2
West Virginia Murray St. 6.3
Nevada Texas 2.5
Creighton Kansas St. 2.5
Michigan St. Bucknell 12.8
Xavier Texas Southern 20.0
Auburn Charleston 11.9
Virginia MD-Baltimore Co. 20.6
TCU Syracuse 4.3
Missouri Florida St. -1.1
Clemson New Mexico St. 4.1

Today’s NCAA Tournament Schedule

Friday, Mar 16, 2018
TIME Higher Seed Lower Seed City TV
12:15 PM 7 Texas A&M 10 Providence Charlotte CBS
12:40 PM 2 Purdue 15 Cal St. Fullerton Detroit truTV
1:30 PM 4 Wichita St. 13 Marshall San Diego TNT
2:00 PM 2 Cincinnati 15 Georgia St. Nashville TBS
2:45 PM 2 North Carolina 15 Lipscomb Charlotte CBS
3:10 PM 7 Arkansas 10 Butler Detroit truTV
4:00 PM 5 West Virginia 12 Murray St. San Diego TNT
4:30 PM 7 Nevada 10 Texas Nashville TBS
6:50 PM 8 Creighton 9 Kansas St. Charlotte TNT
7:10 PM 3 Michigan St. 14 Bucknell Detroit CBS
7:20 PM 1 Xavier 16 Texas Southern Nashville TBS
7:27 PM 4 Auburn 13 Charleston San Diego truTV
9:20 PM 1 Virginia 16 MD-Baltimore Co. Charlotte TNT
9:40 PM 6 TCU 11 Syracuse Detroit CBS
9:50 PM 8 Missouri 9 Florida St. Nashville TBS
9:57 PM 5 Clemson 12 New Mexico St. San Diego truTV

Saturday’s Schedule

Saturday, Mar 17, 2018
TIME Higher Seed Lower Seed City TV
12:10 PM 1 Villanova 9 Alabama Pittsburgh CBS
2:40 PM 2 Duke 7 Rhode Island Pittsburgh CBS
5:15 PM 5 Kentucky 13 Buffalo Boise, ID CBS
6:10 PM 3 Tennessee 11 Loyola (Chi.) Dallas TNT
7:10 PM 1 Kansas 8 Seton Hall Wichita, KS TBS
7:45 PM 4 Gonzaga 5 Ohio St. Boise, ID CBS
8:40 PM 3 North Texas 6 Florida Dallas TNT
9:40 PM 3 Michigan 6 Houston Wichita, KS TBS

Bracket Results To Date: 15-5

Today’s Criteria Bracket Picks

Virginia over Maryland-Baltimore Co.

Creighton over Kansas St.

Texas over Nevada

Cincinnati over Georgia St.

Xavier over Texas Southern

Missouri over Florida St.

Texas A&M over Providence

North Carolina over Lipscomb

West Virginia over Murray St.

Wichita St. over Marshall

Butler over Arkansas

Purdue over Cal. St. Fullerton

Clemson over New Mexico St.

Auburn over College of Charleston

Syracuse over TCU

Michigan St. over Bucknell

 

 

 

March 4, 2018

PiRate Ratings Conference Tournament Update–March 4, 2018

Spreads For Sunday’s Games

Home Team Visitor Spread
Wichita St. Cincinnati -0.9
South Florida SMU -11.0
Tulsa Temple 1.0
Memphis East Carolina 11.0
Houston Connecticut 15.2
Central Florida Tulane 8.3
Florida Gulf Coast Lipscomb 6.5
Radford Liberty 3.8
Purdue Michigan 3.9
Charleston Drexel 9.8
William & Mary Towson -1.6
Northeastern Delaware 8.9
Hofstra UNC-Wilmington 6.4
Illinois-Chicago Milwaukee 0.1
Oakland IUPUI 7.3
Iona St. Peter’s 5.1
Fairfield Quinnipiac 3.7
Loyola (Chi.) Illinois St. 7.9
Colgate Holy Cross 4.8
Bucknell Boston U 9.2
UNC-Greensboro Wofford 4.9
East Tennessee St. Furman -0.3
Fort Wayne North Dakota St. 0.9
Denver Oral Roberts 1.5
Gonzaga San Francisco 14.5
Saint Mary’s BYU 4.5

Note:  Games in Bright Red are for Automatic NCAA Tournament Bids

Automatic NCAA Tournament Bids Awarded to Date

Murray State (26-5) 

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
Murray St. 68 Belmont 51

Conference Tournaments Scores From Saturday with Updated Brackets

America East Conference Tournament
Quarterfinals–March 3
UMBC 89 UMass-Lowell 77
Hartford 71 New Hampshire 60
Vermont 75 Maine 60
Stony Brook 69 Albany 60
Semifinals–March 6
Time Home Visitors TV
7:00 PM #1 Vermont #5 Stony Brook ESPN3
7:30 PM #2 UMBC #3 Hartford ESPN3
       
Championship–March 10
Time Home Visitors TV
11:00 AM Higher Seed Lower Seed ESPN2

 

Big Ten Conference Tournament
Michigan 75 Michigan St. 64
Purdue 78 Penn St. 70
Championship–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
4:30 PM #3 Purdue #5 Michigan CBS

 

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
First Round–March 3
Drexel 70 James Madison 62
Delaware 86 Elon 79
Quarterfinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:00 PM #1 College of Charleston #8 Drexel CAA TV
2:30 PM #4 William & Mary #5 Towson CAA TV
6:00 PM #2 Northeastern #7 Delaware CAA TV
8:30 PM #3 Hofstra #6 UNC-Wilmington CAA TV
       
Semifinals–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM CofC/Drex/JMU W&M or Towson CBSSN
8:30 PM NE/Del/Elon Hofstra or UNCW CBSSN
       
Championship–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     CBSSN
Horizon League Tournament
Wright St. 87 Green Bay 72
Cleveland St. 89 Northern Kentucky 80
Quarterfinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
5:00 PM #3 UIC #6 Milwaukee ESPN3
7:30 PM #4 Oakland #5 IUPUI ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM Oakland or IUPUI #8 Cleveland St. ESPNU
9:30 PM #2 Wright St. UIC or Milwaukee ESPNU
       
Championship–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     ESPN

 

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament
Fairfield 90 Niagara 77
Iona 72 Manhattan 60
Semifinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM #4 Iona #9 St. Peter’s ESPN3
9:30 PM #6 Fairfield #7 Quinnipiac ESPN3
       
Championship–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM     ESPN

 

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
Loyola (Chi.) 62 Bradley 54
Illinois St. 76 Southern Illinois 68
Championship–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM #1 Loyola (Chi.) #3 Illinois St. CBS

 

Northeast Conference Tournament
Wagner 75 Robert Morris 64
Long Island 78 Fairleigh-Dickinson 77
Championship–March 6
Time Home Team Visitors TV
7:00 PM #1 Wagner #4 Long Island ESPN2

 

Southern Conference Tournament
UNC-Greensboro 72 The Citadel 58
Wofford 73 Mercer 53
East Tennessee St. 77 Chattanooga 59
Furman 97 Western Carolina 73
Semifinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
4:00 PM #1 UNC-Greensboro #5 Wofford ESPN3
6:30 PM #2 East Tennessee St. #3 Furman ESPN3
       
Championship–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
9:00 PM     ESPN2

 

Summit League Tournament
Quarterfinals–March 3
South Dakota St. 66 Western Illiois 60
South Dakota 87 Omaha 73
Quarterfinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #4 Fort Wayne #5 North Dakota St. ESPN3
8:30 PM #3 Denver #6 Oral Roberts ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 5
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #1 South Dakota St. Ft.Wayne or NDSU ESPN3
8:30 PM #2 South Dakota Denver or ORU ESPN3
       
Championship–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:00 PM     ESPN2

 

West Coast Conference Tournament
BYU 85 San Diego 79
San Francisco 71 Pacific 70 ot
Gonzaga 83 Loyola Marymount 69
Saint Mary’s 69 Pepperdine 66
Semifinals–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #1 Gonzaga #4 San Francisco ESPN
8:00 PM #2 Saint Mary’s #3 BYU ESPN2
       
Championship–March 6
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM     ESPN

Other Conference Tournaments Resuming Today

Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament
Championship–March 4
Time Home Visitors TV
3:00 PM #1 Florida Gulf Coast #2 Lipscomb ESPN
Big South Conference Tournament
Championship–March 4
Time Home Visitors TV
1:00 PM #2 Radford #5 Liberty ESPN
Semifinals–March 4
Time Home Visitors TV
12:00 PM #2 Colgate #6 Holy Cross CBSSN
2:00 PM #1 Bucknell #5 Boston U CBSSN
       
Championship–March 7
Time Home Visitors TV
7:30 PM     CBSSN

Bids That Will Be Awarded on Sunday

Big South Conference:  Radford or Liberty   1:00 PM EST on ESPN

Even with 2-seed Radford’s home court advantage, this game should be considered close to a toss-up.   Earlier in the season, these two teams had to play an extra five minutes to determine the outcome, as Radford won by a bucket 59-57.  Of the 20 players that appeared in that game, only one could find the basket consistently that night, as Radford’s Ed Polite, Jr. finished a perfect 7 for 7 from the field in that game.  It was no fluke, as in the return game at Liberty, Polite, Jr. went 7 for 10 from the field with a three-pointer and a perfect 8 for 8 at the line for 23 points, as Radford cruised to an easy win.  Any chance Liberty has of winning will come from limiting Radford’s ability to get second chance baskets and getting to the foul line, where they lead the Big South with a 78.5% accuracy rate.

Missouri Valley Conference:  Loyola (Chi.) or Illinois St.  2:00 PM EST on CBS

Loyola is the top seed, while Illinois State is the 3-seed.  During the regular season, Loyola won by identical 68-61 scores in a season sweep.  The Ramblers have won nine consecutive games and would be a formidable foe as an underdog in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  They rank third nationally in field goal percentage at 51% per game, and they play competent defense without fouling.

Atlantic Sun Conference:  Florida Gulf Coast or Lipscomb   3:00 PM EST on ESPN

These are the top two seeds, and they split the season series, winning on the other team’s home floor.  This game will be played at FGCU, where Lipscomb beat the Eagles 90-87, despite being forced into 23 turnovers at the hands of 19 FGCU steals.  Lipscomb has won seven games in a row and 11 out of 12, but FGCU is tournament tough and has been there before.  The Eagles have owned this league since Belmont left for the OVC, while Lipscomb has never been to the NCAA Tournament and only appeared in one previous A-Sun Tournament Championship Game.  This game should be exciting.

Big Ten: Purdue or Michigan  4:30 PM EST on CBS

Obviously, both teams are going to the NCAA Tournament, as will be Michigan State and Ohio State.  Nebraska has little or no chance, while Penn State’s chances of getting in are only marginally better.

 

 

 

February 16, 2018

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview for February 16-18, 2018

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:25 am

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Spreads For Multi-Bid Conferences and Top Mid & Low Majors

Friday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
St. Bonaventure Rhode Island 0.6
Saturday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
Central Florida SMU -0.7
Tulane Memphis 2.7
Miami (Fla.) Syracuse 6.2
Georgia Tech Virginia Tech -5.1
Boston College Notre Dame -0.9
Wake Forest North Carolina St. 0.3
Louisville North Carolina 0.0
Oklahoma Texas 5.7
Kansas St. Iowa St. 7.5
Kansas West Virginia 3.9
Baylor Texas Tech -1.1
TCU Oklahoma St. 8.3
Butler Providence 8.0
Xavier Villanova -4.0
Creighton Marquette 8.0
Northwestern Michigan St. -9.4
Iowa Indiana 0.9
Maryland Rutgers 12.6
Boise St. Air Force 17.8
San Diego St. UNLV 3.9
Wyoming San Jose St. 15.1
Utah St. Nevada -8.1
Fresno St. Colorado St. 13.9
Washington Colorado 3.7
Washington St. Utah -7.5
UCLA Oregon 4.9
USC Oregon St. 9.5
LSU Missouri 0.4
Kentucky Alabama 4.4
South Carolina Auburn -6.4
Arkansas Texas A&M 2.7
Vanderbilt Florida -3.2
Georgia Tennessee -4.4
Mississippi St. Ole Miss 6.3
San Diego BYU -3.4
San Francisco Loyola Marymount 8.8
Gonzaga Pepperdine 29.2
Portland Saint Mary’s -16.1
Pacific Santa Clara 10.0
Louisiana Tech Middle Tennessee -3.8
Rice Western Kentucky -12.2
Murray St. Tennessee Tech 14.1
Louisiana-Lafayette Texas-Arlington 10.3
Seattle New Mexico St. -8.0
Sunday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
East Carolina Connecticut -4.7
Tulsa South Florida 15.9
Cincinnati Wichita St. 7.3
Temple Houston -2.2
Clemson Duke -3.1
Florida St. Pittsburgh 20.7
Seton Hall DePaul 11.4
Michigan Ohio St. 2.0
Illinois Nebraska -0.7
Purdue Penn St. 11.9
California Stanford -6.4
Evansville Loyola (Chi.) -5.9

PiRate Ratings Top 25

Rank Team PiRate Conf.
1 Villanova 120.5 BIGE
2 Purdue 119.9 BTEN
3 Duke 119.8 ACC
4 Virginia 119.6 ACC
5 Michigan St. 119.4 BTEN
6 Cincinnati 118.5 AAC
7 North Carolina 116.1 ACC
8 Gonzaga 116.0 WCC
9 Kansas 116.0 B12
10 Texas Tech 116.0 B12
11 West Virginia 115.6 B12
12 Auburn 115.2 SEC
13 Wichita St. 114.7 AAC
14 Tennessee 114.1 SEC
15 Creighton 113.4 BIGE
16 Ohio St. 113.4 BTEN
17 Clemson 113.2 ACC
18 Xavier 113.0 BIGE
19 Arizona 112.8 PAC12
20 Nevada 112.5 MWC
21 TCU 112.4 B12
22 Texas A&M 112.4 SEC
23 Florida St. 112.3 ACC
24 Oklahoma 112.2 B12
25 Louisville 112.1 ACC

PiRate Ratings By Power Conferences

Team PiRate Conf.
Cincinnati 118.5 AAC
Wichita St. 114.7 AAC
Houston 111.5 AAC
SMU 107.6 AAC
Temple 105.8 AAC
UCF 103.9 AAC
Tulsa 102.3 AAC
Memphis 99.7 AAC
Tulane 99.4 AAC
Connecticut 99.4 AAC
East Carolina 91.7 AAC
South Florida 89.9 AAC
Duke 119.8 ACC
Virginia 119.6 ACC
North Carolina 116.1 ACC
Clemson 113.2 ACC
Florida St. 112.3 ACC
Louisville 112.1 ACC
Miami FL 111.0 ACC
Notre Dame 110.7 ACC
Virginia Tech 110.6 ACC
North Carolina St. 108.3 ACC
Syracuse 108.3 ACC
Boston College 106.3 ACC
Wake Forest 105.6 ACC
Georgia Tech 102.5 ACC
Pittsburgh 95.1 ACC
Kansas 116.0 B12
Texas Tech 116.0 B12
West Virginia 115.6 B12
TCU 112.4 B12
Oklahoma 112.2 B12
Baylor 111.4 B12
Texas 110.0 B12
Kansas St. 109.1 B12
Oklahoma St. 107.6 B12
Iowa St. 105.1 B12
Villanova 120.5 BIGE
Creighton 113.4 BIGE
Xavier 113.0 BIGE
Butler 112.0 BIGE
Seton Hall 111.3 BIGE
Marquette 108.9 BIGE
Providence 107.5 BIGE
St. John’s 107.1 BIGE
Georgetown 104.9 BIGE
DePaul 103.4 BIGE
Purdue 119.9 BTEN
Michigan St. 119.4 BTEN
Ohio St. 113.4 BTEN
Michigan 111.9 BTEN
Penn St. 111.5 BTEN
Maryland 110.7 BTEN
Nebraska 107.8 BTEN
Indiana 107.1 BTEN
Northwestern 107.0 BTEN
Wisconsin 105.9 BTEN
Iowa 105.0 BTEN
Minnesota 104.8 BTEN
Illinois 104.1 BTEN
Rutgers 101.6 BTEN
Nevada 112.5 MWC
Boise St. 108.0 MWC
San Diego St. 106.8 MWC
Fresno St. 106.5 MWC
UNLV 106.4 MWC
New Mexico 102.1 MWC
Wyoming 101.9 MWC
Utah St. 100.9 MWC
Colorado St. 96.1 MWC
Air Force 93.7 MWC
San Jose St. 90.3 MWC
Arizona 112.8 PAC12
Arizona St. 110.8 PAC12
USC 109.2 PAC12
UCLA 108.7 PAC12
Oregon 107.8 PAC12
Utah 107.7 PAC12
Stanford 104.2 PAC12
Oregon St. 103.2 PAC12
Washington 103.1 PAC12
Colorado 102.9 PAC12
Washington St. 97.2 PAC12
California 94.8 PAC12
Auburn 115.2 SEC
Tennessee 114.1 SEC
Texas A&M 112.4 SEC
Florida 111.8 SEC
Kentucky 111.3 SEC
Arkansas 111.1 SEC
Missouri 110.7 SEC
Alabama 110.4 SEC
Mississippi St. 107.8 SEC
LSU 107.6 SEC
Georgia 106.2 SEC
Vanderbilt 105.6 SEC
South Carolina 105.3 SEC
Mississippi 104.5 SEC
Gonzaga 116.0 WCC
Saint Mary’s 112.0 WCC
BYU 106.9 WCC
San Diego 100.5 WCC
San Francisco 100.0 WCC
Pacific 99.4 WCC
Loyola Marymount 94.2 WCC
Portland 92.9 WCC
Santa Clara 92.4 WCC
Pepperdine 90.3 WCC

Top Mid-Major and Low-Major Teams

Rhode Island 111.5 A10
Middle Tennessee 108.2 CUSA
Western Kentucky 106.7 CUSA
Loyola Chicago 107.4 MVC
Murray St. 106.4 OVC
Louisiana Lafayette 108.3 SB
South Dakota 106.8 Sum
New Mexico St. 108.4 WAC

Great TV Watching Options This Weekend

Once again, another great schedule of games allows college basketball fans some excellent viewing options.  Beginning tonight (Friday) at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, St. Bonaventure hosts Rhode Island.  The game will air on ESPN2.  The Bonnies (9-4/19-6) are tied for second place in the Atlantic 10 still have a remote chance to receive an at-large bid, and any chance would necessitate a win over URI.

Saturday’s great slate of games begins at 12 Noon Eastern Time.  Oklahoma hosts Texas on ESPN; Butler hosts Providence on Fox; and Miami hosts Syracuse on CBS.

At 4 PM EST, one of the best games of the day could be Arkansas hosting Texas A&M on ESPN.  At 4:30 PM EST, the Big East regular season title could be decided when Xavier hosts Villanova on Fox.  The winner should remain a number one seed on Monday.

At 6 PM EST, Kansas hosts West Virginia on ESPN.  The loser of this game will probably be eliminated from the Big 12 regular season race, while the winner will become Texas Tech’s key rival.

At 7 PM EST, Florida Gulf Coast hosts Lipscomb on ESPN3.  FGCU has already clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Sun, while Lipscomb is currently number two.  The significance here is that FGCU will host the A-Sun Tournament, so it will be interesting to see if the second best team in the league can compete with them on the same floor.

At 7:30 PM EST on ESPNU, Baylor hosts Texas Tech.  TTU has a chance to gain a game on one of the two nearest contenders (KU-WVU), but if the Red Raiders lose, then they will lose a game to the winner of that other game.  Baylor is actually the hottest team in the Big 12, and a win here would give the Bears a great upward move in the Bubble.

At 8:15 PM EST, Louisville host North Carolina on ESPN.  The winner has a chance to move up to number two in the ACC by the end of the weekend, while the loser could fall down in the standings as far as ninth place.

At 10:15 PM EST on ESPN, UCLA hosts Oregon.  Both teams are currently Bubble teams, so the winner will start the new week in good shape, while the loser will be facing some must win games.

Sunday presents additional excellent viewing options.  It starts at 1 PM EST, with two excellent Power Conference games.  Rivals Michigan and Ohio State square off in Ann Arbor in a game televised by CBS.  At the same time, Clemson hosts Duke on the ACC Network.

At 2 PM EST on ESPN3, it might not sound like a big game, but the Vermont-Hartford game in Burlington might be one to consider watching.  UVA is 12-0 in the America East Conference and will most likely host the conference tournament.  Hartford is one of three teams with enough talent to pull off an upset.

The top game of the day tips off at 4 PM EST, when Cincinnati hosts Wichita State.  This will be a battle of two aggressive, defense-dominant teams.  Cinti fell at Houston Thursday night, while the Shockers had to come from behind to beat Temple.  Seeding will be on the line in this one.

Finally, at 8 PM EST on the Big Ten Network, Penn State visits Purdue.  The Nittany Lions roared big time in a Thursday night blowout against Ohio State.  If Penn State pulls off the upset Sunday, that will give them two Quadrant 1 wins in a row, and that will certainly place Penn State in the heat of the discussion.  Purdue must win this game to remain in contention for a number one seed.

 

 

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