The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 3, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For February 4, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:33 pm

Tuesday’s Games

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Rhode Island

Massachusetts

15.7

Boston College

Duke

-17.2

Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech

3.2

Texas Tech

Oklahoma

7.0

DePaul

Xavier

0.8

Maryland

Rutgers

7.4

Michigan

Ohio St.

1.1

Michigan St.

Penn St.

7.9

Fairfield

Monmouth

0.1

Kent St.

Ball St.

3.5

Eastern Michigan

Buffalo

-1.7

Miami (O)

Western Michigan

4.3

Toledo

Northern Illinois

6.0

Central Michigan

Bowling Green

1.5

Fresno St.

Colorado St.

-0.8

Wyoming

Boise St.

-10.7

Nevada

Air Force

10.4

Arkansas

Auburn

3.4

Alabama

Tennessee

6.1

Kentucky

Mississippi St.

4.7

Texas A&M

Missouri

-0.9

 

Tuesday’s Best TV Games

 

Time (EST)

Network

Home

Visitor

7:00 PM

FS1

Maryland

Rutgers

7:00 PM

SECN

Arkansas

Auburn

7:00 PM

ESPN2

Michigan

Ohio St.

7:00 PM

ESPNU

Alabama

Tennessee

8:00 PM

BTN

Michigan St.

Penn St.

9:00 PM

ESPN

Kentucky

Mississippi St.

9:00 PM

ESPN2

Texas Tech

Oklahoma

 

 

January 13, 2020

PiRate Ratings For Conference Championship Round January 19, 2020

Margins

Home

Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Kansas City

Tennessee

5.5

6.0

7.0

San Francisco

Green Bay

7.3

7.8

7.5

Totals

Home

Visitor

Total

Kansas City

Tennessee

51

 

San Francisco

Green Bay

49.5

December 31, 2019

PiRate Ratings Picks For December 31-January 5, 2019

Happy New Year to all our readers

 

This should be the year where we all see clearly.  2020 isn’t 2010 or 2005 when we could all be quite far-sighted, but after this year, we all become nearsighted.  We will be blind in another 70 years!

If that looks like nonsense to you, then you should consider that what follows makes the above look like rocket science.

Once again, we are issuing picks against the spread as entertainment purposes only.  These are not our more scientific Davey19 picks that enjoyed an experimental winning season.  So, please do not wager real money based on what you see below.

Because games are now down to a minimum, we do not have any great teaser or money line parlays through Sunday’s playoff games.  We are going with straight margin selections.  Enjoy, but in order to enjoy, you should keep your wallet in your pockets.

 

 

College Bowl Games

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Virginia Tech

Kentucky

2.5

Va. Tech

Arizona St.

Florida St.

4

Florida St.

Wyoming

Georgia St.

7.5

Georgia St.

Utah

Texas

7.5

Texas

Wisconsin

Oregon

3

Oregon

Tennessee

Indiana

2

Tennessee

 

NFL Wildcard Playoffs

 

Favorite

Underdog

Spread

Pick

Houston

Buffalo

3

Buffalo

New England

Tennessee

4.5

New England

Seattle

Philadelphia

2.5

Philadelphia

December 23, 2019

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 17: December 29, 2019

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

 

Home

Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Baltimore

Pittsburgh

13.8

13.6

14.0

Buffalo

N.Y. Jets

8.3

8.6

9.4

Carolina

New Orleans

-14.7

-13.4

-13.7

Cincinnati

Cleveland

-4.1

-4.5

-4.3

Dallas

Washington

16.0

15.4

15.5

Detroit

Green Bay

-7.2

-8.7

-9.2

Houston

Tennessee

1.4

1.7

1.7

Jacksonville

Indianapolis

-7.8

-8.5

-8.0

Kansas City

LA Chargers

9.2

10.2

10.9

Minnesota

Chicago

6.7

7.8

8.0

New England

Miami

21.7

22.0

21.6

N. Y. Giants

Philadelphia

-7.2

-5.7

-5.0

Tampa Bay

Atlanta

1.5

2.5

2.9

Denver

Oakland

7.1

7.6

7.3

LA Rams

Arizona

9.4

8.3

8.1

Seattle

San Francisco

-3.0

-3.9

-3.9

 

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Totals

 

Home

Visitor

Total

Baltimore

Pittsburgh

44

Buffalo

N.Y. Jets

38

Carolina

New Orleans

53

Cincinnati

Cleveland

47.5

Dallas

Washington

41.5

Detroit

Green Bay

47.5

Houston

Tennessee

45

Jacksonville

Indianapolis

41

Kansas City

LA Chargers

51.5

Minnesota

Chicago

38.5

New England

Miami

48

N. Y. Giants

Philadelphia

49

Tampa Bay

Atlanta

55.5

Denver

Oakland

44.5

LA Rams

Arizona

51

Seattle

San Francisco

49.5

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New England

108.0

108.7

108.2

108.3

19.5

12-3

Buffalo

102.0

103.0

103.0

102.7

17

10-5

N. Y. Jets

94.7

95.4

94.6

94.9

21

6-9

Miami

89.4

89.7

89.6

89.6

28.5

4-11

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Baltimore

111.7

111.9

112.7

112.1

25

13-2

Pittsburgh

98.9

99.4

99.7

99.3

19

8-7

Cleveland

97.8

97.9

97.8

97.8

24

6-9

Cincinnati

92.7

92.4

92.5

92.5

23.5

1-14

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Houston

102.2

102.7

102.7

102.6

23.5

10-5

Tennessee

101.8

102.0

102.0

101.9

21.5

8-7

Indianapolis

100.1

100.9

100.3

100.4

23

7-8

Jacksonville

91.3

91.4

91.3

91.3

18

5-10

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Kansas City

107.0

107.7

107.7

107.5

29.5

11-4

LA Chargers

100.4

100.0

99.3

99.9

22

5-10

Denver

99.0

99.3

99.1

99.1

19

6-9

Oakland

92.8

92.7

92.8

92.8

25.5

7-8

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Dallas

104.2

104.3

103.9

104.1

22

7-8

Philadelphia

101.9

100.7

100.5

101.0

23.5

8-7

N.Y. Giants

93.7

94.0

94.4

94.0

25.5

4-11

Washington

91.3

91.9

91.4

91.5

19.5

3-12

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Minnesota

106.8

105.7

105.8

106.1

21.5

10-5

Green Bay

103.8

103.8

104.2

103.9

24

12-3

Chicago

101.1

98.9

98.8

99.6

17

7-8

Detroit

95.0

93.6

93.5

94.1

23.5

3-11-1

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New Orleans

108.7

107.2

107.7

107.9

27

12-3

Tampa Bay

101.1

102.3

102.6

102.0

29.5

7-8

Atlanta

100.6

100.8

100.7

100.7

26

6-9

Carolina

93.0

92.8

93.0

92.9

26

5-10

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

San Francisco

107.2

107.9

108.1

107.7

26

12-3

LA Rams

104.5

103.6

104.0

104.0

26.5

8-7

Seattle

101.2

101.0

101.2

101.1

23.5

11-4

Arizona

96.1

96.3

96.9

96.4

24.5

5-9-1

 

 

 

Week 17 Playoff Scenarios

 

NFC

If San Francisco, New Orleans, and Green Bay all win, San Francisco is  the #1 seed, Green Bay the #2 seed, and New Orleans the #3 seed.

If Seattle beats San Francisco, then Green Bay will get #1 seed with win over Detroit.

If Seattle beats San Francisco, and Detroit beats Green Bay, then New Orleans gets #1 seed with a win over Carolina.

If Seatlle beats San Francisco, and Green Bay and New Orleans lose, Seattle gets the #1 seed.

Philadelphia wins the NFC East with a win over the Giants or a Dallas loss to Washington. Any ties in the standings would go to Dallas.

Minnesota is #6 seed regardless of week 17 results.

 

AFC

Houston has clinched the #1 seed in the AFC

New England clinches the #2 seed with a win over Miami or a Kansas City loss to the Chargers.

Houston can pass Kansas City for the #3 seed with a win over Tennessee and a loss by Kansas City.

Buffalo is the #5 seed regardless of week 17 results.

Tennessee wins the #6 seed if they beat Houston, or with a loss with Pittsburgh losing to Baltimore while both Oakland and Indianapolis do not win.

Pittsburgh wins the #6 seed only if they win and the Titans lose.

Oakland can clinch the #6 seed with a win over Denver, plus losses by Tennessee and Pittsburgh and Indianapolis beating Jacksonville.

 

PiRate Ratings Playoff Projections

 

What are the chances that the Oakland Raiders, in their last season playing in Oakland, could sneak into the NFL Playoffs?  It ranges from + or – 10-15% depending on which advanced metric expert you listen to.  We’re sabermetric experts that do not perform these type of metrics on pro football.

The way we look at things, Baltimore has nothing to gain this week against Pittsburgh in their season finale.  Their key players should play little or not at all.  Can the Steelers with poor quarterback play rise up and beat the Ravens’ reserves if they couldn’t beat the Jets last week?

Tennessee has now dropped two games in a row to playoff teams in Houston and New Orleans, both at home.  Houston may have a chance to move up to a #3 seed if Kansas City is upset earlier in the day.  

Oakland closes out regular season play at Denver, where the Broncos have nothing to play for in Week 17.

Indianapolis is playing solely to get to 8-8, while Jacksonville has nothing to play for in Week 17.

We think Oakland’s chances to sneak in as the final playoff team is considerably better than 15%.  In fact, just because it would make such a great story, we are going to select the Raiders as our 6th seed to set up a probably Oakland finale against their most hated rivals.

 

AFC Seeding

1

Baltimore

2

New England

3

Kansas City

4

Houston

5

Buffalo

6

Oakland

 

 

NFC Seeding

1

Green Bay

2

New Orleans

3

Seattle

4

Philadelphia

5

San Francisco

6

Minnesota

 

Wildcard Round

Kansas City over Oakland

Buffalo over Houston

Minnesota over Seattle

San Francisco over Philadelphia

 

 

Divisional Round

Buffalo over Baltimore

Kansas City over New England

Green Bay over Minnesota

New Orleans over San Francisco

 

 

Conference Championship

Kansas City over Buffalo

New Orleans over Green Bay

 

 

Super Bowl 54

New Orleans over Kansas City

 

 

December 9, 2019

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 15: December 12-16, 2019

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Margins

Home

Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Baltimore

N. Y. Jets

19.3

18.9

20.6

Detroit

Tampa Bay

1.2

-1.8

-2.0

Washington

Philadelphia

-6.6

-4.1

-4.0

Green Bay

Chicago

1.0

3.5

3.6

Cincinnati

New England

-12.2

-12.8

-11.9

Tennessee

Houston

4.0

4.3

4.7

Carolina

Seattle

-5.0

-5.0

-5.0

Kansas City

Denver

7.8

8.0

8.0

N. Y. Giants

Miami

5.7

5.5

5.8

Buffalo

Pittsburgh

5.3

5.7

5.2

Oakland

Jacksonville

4.1

4.0

4.3

Arizona

Cleveland

-3.9

-4.1

-3.6

San Francisco

Atlanta

13.7

14.5

15.3

Dallas

LA Rams

-1.5

-0.2

-1.2

LA Chargers

Minnesota

0.1

1.3

0.4

New Orleans

Indianapolis

11.2

8.3

9.2

 

Totals

Home

Visitor

Total

Baltimore

N. Y. Jets

45.5

Detroit

Tampa Bay

53.5

Washington

Philadelphia

42

Green Bay

Chicago

42.5

Cincinnati

New England

42

Tennessee

Houston

44.5

Carolina

Seattle

50

Kansas City

Denver

50

N. Y. Giants

Miami

52

Buffalo

Pittsburgh

37.5

Oakland

Jacksonville

43.5

Arizona

Cleveland

47

San Francisco

Atlanta

51.5

Dallas

LA Rams

47

LA Chargers

Minnesota

44

New Orleans

Indianapolis

50

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New England

107.8

108.4

107.8

108.0

19.5

10-3

Buffalo

101.8

102.8

102.8

102.5

17.5

9-4

N. Y. Jets

94.5

95.1

94.1

94.6

21

5-8

Miami

89.7

90.0

89.9

89.9

27.5

3-10

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Baltimore

111.3

111.4

112.2

111.7

24.5

11-2

Pittsburgh

99.5

100.1

100.6

100.0

20

8-5

Cleveland

99.2

99.5

99.5

99.4

23

6-7

Cincinnati

93.2

93.1

93.4

93.2

22.5

1-12

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Tennessee

102.5

103.0

103.1

102.9

20.5

8-5

Houston

101.5

101.7

101.4

101.6

24

8-5

Indianapolis

99.1

100.1

99.6

99.6

23.5

6-7

Jacksonville

90.7

90.7

90.5

90.6

18

4-9

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Kansas City

104.4

105.1

104.9

104.8

30.5

9-4

LA Chargers

104.1

104.0

103.4

103.8

22

5-8

Denver

99.7

100.1

99.9

99.9

19.5

5-8

Oakland

91.8

91.7

91.8

91.8

25.5

6-7

 

 

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Dallas

102.6

102.9

102.4

102.6

22

6-7

Philadelphia

101.0

99.4

99.0

99.8

24

6-7

N.Y. Giants

92.9

93.0

93.2

93.0

24.5

2-11

Washington

91.9

92.8

92.5

92.4

18

3-10

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Minnesota

106.5

105.2

105.4

105.7

22

9-4

Green Bay

101.7

101.8

102.0

101.8

24.5

10-3

Chicago

103.2

100.8

100.9

101.6

18

7-6

Detroit

97.3

95.8

95.9

96.4

23.5

3-9-1

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New Orleans

107.3

105.4

105.8

106.2

26.5

10-3

Tampa Bay

99.1

100.6

101.0

100.2

30

6-7

Atlanta

98.6

98.7

98.4

98.5

26

4-9

Carolina

95.2

95.0

95.2

95.1

26

5-8

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

San Francisco

109.3

110.2

110.7

110.1

25.5

11-2

LA Rams

106.6

105.6

106.1

106.1

25

8-5

Seattle

103.2

103.0

103.2

103.1

24

10-3

Arizona

92.8

92.9

93.4

93.0

24

3-9-1

 

The NFL Playoff Scenarios

There are numerous Playoff scenarios that can still greatly affect the remaining teams in the Playoff hunt.  After the end of Week 15, the scenarios will be easier to describe, and of course after Week 16, it will be cut and dry.  For now, here are the basics–just who wins in each scenario without going into explanations about which tiebreaker causes it.

 

Division Championships

 

AFC

If Buffalo wins at New England, and the teams finish tied for first, New England is AFC East Champs.

If Pittsburgh wins out and Baltimore loses out to finish tied at 11-5, Pittsburgh wins the AFC North Division.

If Houston and Tennessee finished tied at 10-6 or 9-7, Houston wins the AFC South Division.

Should Houston and Tennessee both finish 9-7, and Indianapolis wins their remaining three games to finish 9-7, Indianapolis would win the AFC South in a three-way tie.  Houston and Tennessee must split their two games and then lose the other game to both finish 9-7.

Kansas City has already clinched the AFC West Division.

 

NFC

If Dallas and Philadelphia finished tied at 8-8 or 7-9, Dallas wins the NFC East.

If Green Bay and Minnesota finish tied at 12-4 with Minnesota winning versus the Packers in Week 16, Green Bay wins the NFC North Division. If they both finish tied at 11-5, with Green Bay losing to either Chicago or Detroit plus Minnesota, then Minnesota wins the division.

If Chicago, Minnesota, and Green Bay finish in a three-way tie at 10-6, then Chicago wins the NFC North.

New Orleans has already clinched the NFC South.

If Seattle beats San Francisco in Week 17, and the two teams finish in a tie for first at 12-4, Seattle wins the NFC West Division. Seattle also wins a three-way tie with the 49ers and LA Rams for first at 11-5.

There is no scenario where the LA Rams can win the division, because if they win out to finish 11-5, then if San Francisco loses out to finish 11-5, that means Seattle will have had to win their Week 17 game with San Francisco to make then also 11-5, where they hold the tiebreaker.

Wildcards

 

AFC

The Wildcard tiebreaker would come into play with three non-division winners ending with 10-6 or 9-7 records.

At 10-6, Pittsburgh and Buffalo would earn the Wildcards, while Tennessee would be eliminated at 10-6. If the three teams were 9-7, then Pittsburgh and Tennessee would earn the Wildcards, while Buffalo would be eliminated.

If New England were to lose out finishing tied at 10-6 with Tennessee and Pittsburgh,  while Buffalo wins the AFC East, then The Patriots miss the Playoffs while the Titans and Steelers are the Wildcards.

NFC

There is only a minor chance that the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks would miss the Playoffs altogether. The 49ers would have to lose all three remaining games to have a very remote chance of missing the Playoffs, and the Seahawks would have to finish behind the Rams in the standings while finishing tied with the Bears at 10-6 to miss the Playoffs. For the 49ers to miss the Playoffs at 10-6, Minnesota and Los Angeles would have to finish 11-5 and Green Bay would have to finish 12-4 or 13-3. For the sake of making this a lot easier, let’s put both Seattle and San Francisco in the Playoffs, one as division champion and one as a wildcard, since the chance for both teams making the Playoffs is better than 97%.

The final wildcard spot would be up for grabs between Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Since the Bears can only improve to 10-6 by winning out, let’s show the tiebreakers at 10-6. If Minnesota, Chicago, and Los Angeles all finish 10-6, then the Rams make it a trio from the NFC West in the Playoffs. Los Angeles also wins a tiebreaker at 11-5 with Minnesota.

The Rams also win the tiebreaker with Green Bay if Minnesota wins the North, and the Packers and Rams both finish 10-6.

The Bears can earn the Wildcard if they win out to finish 10-6 and LA finishes 9-7 or 8-8, while either Minnesota or Green Bay also finishes 10-6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 24, 2019

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament For Sunday, March 24, 2019

Home

Rating

HCA

Visitor

Rating

Spread

Tennessee

117.9

0.0

Iowa

111.4

6.5

North Carolina

121.3

0.0

Washington

109.7

11.6

Duke

122.9

0.0

Central Florida

110.0

12.9

Texas Tech

118.0

0.0

Buffalo

115.2

2.8

Virginia Tech

115.5

0.0

Liberty

107.3

8.2

Virginia

120.8

0.0

Oklahoma

111.4

9.4

Houston

115.3

0.0

Ohio St.

110.2

5.1

Oregon

110.8

0.0

UC Irvine

106.6

4.2

Sunday’s Schedule

Time

Game

Network

Site

12:10 PM

Tennessee vs. Iowa

CBS

Columbus

2:40 PM

North Carolina vs. Washington

CBS

Columbus

5:15 PM

Duke vs. Central Florida

CBS

Columbia

6:10 PM

Texas Tech vs. Buffalo

TNT

Tulsa

7:10 PM

Virginia Tech vs. Liberty

TBS

San Jose

7:45 PM

Virginia vs. Oklahoma

TruTV

Columbia

8:40 PM

Houston vs. Ohio St.

TNT

Tulsa

9:40 PM

Oregon vs. UC-Irvine

TBS

San Jose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 22, 2019

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament For Friday, March 22, 2019

Home

Rating

HCA

Visitor

Rating

Spread

Cincinnati

110.8

1.5

Iowa

111.1

1.2

Ole Miss

110.3

0.0

Oklahoma

110.7

-0.4

Texas Tech

117.8

0.0

Northern Kentucky

104.5

13.3

Kansas St.

112.7

0.0

UC-Irvine

106.2

6.5

Tennessee

118.3

0.0

Colgate

102.8

15.5

Gardner-Webb

99.5

1.0

Virginia

121.1

-20.6

Buffalo

115.0

0.0

Arizona St.

107.9

7.1

Wisconsin

115.1

0.0

Oregon

109.7

5.4

Utah St.

111.3

0.0

Washington

108.8

2.5

Duke

123.1

0.0

North Dakota St.

97.9

25.2

Houston

114.8

0.0

Georgia St.

103.9

10.9

Mississippi St.

113.9

0.0

Liberty

106.7

7.2

North Carolina

121.7

0.0

Iona

97.8

23.9

Virginia Commonwealth

110.7

0.0

Central Florida

109.4

1.3

Iowa St.

114.8

0.0

Ohio St.

109.9

4.9

Virginia Tech

115.5

0.0

Saint Louis

104.1

11.4

 

Today’s Schedule

All Times EDT

TIME

MATCHUP

NETWORK

SITE

12:15 PM

(10) Iowa vs. (7) Cincinnati

CBS

Columbus 

12:40 PM

(9) Oklahoma vs. (8) Ole Miss

truTV

Columbia 

1:30 PM

(14) Northern Kentucky vs. (3) Texas Tech

TNT

Tulsa 

2 PM

(13) UC Irvine vs. (4) Kansas State

TBS

San Jose 

Approx. 3 PM

(15) Colgate vs. (2) Tennessee

CBS

Columbus 

Approx. 3:25 PM

(16) Gardner-Webb vs. (1) Virginia

truTV

Columbia 

Approx. 4:15 PM

(11) St. John’s / Arizona State vs. (6) Buffalo

TNT

Tulsa 

Approx. 4:45 PM

(12) Oregon vs. (5) Wisconsin

TBS

San Jose 

6:50 PM

(9) Washington vs. (8) Utah State

TNT

Columbus 

7:10 PM

(16) NC Central / North Dakota St. vs. (1) Duke

CBS

Columbia 

7:20 PM

(14) Georgia State vs. (3) Houston

TBS

Tulsa 

7:27 PM

(12) Liberty vs. (5) Mississippi State

truTV

San Jose 

Approx. 9:35 PM

(16) Iona vs. (1) North Carolina

TNT

Columbus 

Approx. 9:55 PM

(9) UCF vs. (8) VCU

CBS

Columbia 

Approx. 10:05 PM

(11) Ohio State vs. (6) Iowa State

TBS

Tulsa

Approx. 10:12 PM

(13) Saint Louis vs. (4) Virginia Tech

truTV

San Jose 

 

 

 

March 16, 2019

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For Sunday, March 17, 2019

Today’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home

Rating

HCA

Visitor

Rating

Spread

Houston

114.9

0.0

Cincinnati

111.1

3.8

Saint Louis

102.6

0.0

St. Bonaventure

102.2

0.4

Michigan St.

120.9

0.0

Michigan

118.5

2.4

Yale

106.0

2.5

Harvard

103.0

5.5

Tennessee

119.0

1.0

Auburn

115.8

4.2

Georgia St.

103.2

0.0

UT-Arlington

99.3

3.9

Late Saturday Night Bracketology Update

Includes Oregon’s Championship Win in the Pac-12

March 17, 2019 (AM Edition) 

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Duke

Virginia

Gonzaga

North Carolina

2

Michigan St.

Tennessee

Michigan

Kentucky

3

Houston

Purdue

Texas Tech

LSU

4

Florida St.

Kansas St.

Wisconsin

Kansas

5

Auburn

Villanova

Virginia Tech

Mississippi St.

6

Buffalo

Marquette

Cincinnati

Iowa St.

7

Wofford

Maryland

Louisville

Nevada

8

Iowa

Seton Hall

Minnesota

Washington

9

Ole Miss

Syracuse

Baylor

Central Florida

10

Virginia Commonwealth

Utah St.

Ohio St.

Oklahoma

11

Oregon

TCU

Temple/North Carolina St.

St. John’s/Florida

12

Saint Mary’s

Murray St.

New Mexico St.

Vermont

13

Liberty

UC-Irvine

Old Dominion

Montana

14

St. Louis

Northeastern

Northern Kentucky

Georgia St.

15

Yale

Bradley

Colgate

Abilene Christian

16

Gardner-Webb

Prairie View A&M

Iona/Fairleigh-Dickinson

N. Dakota St./UNC Central

 

Last 4 Bye

Virginina Commonwealth

Ohio St.

Oklahoma

TCU

Last 4 In

Temple

Florida

St. John’s

North Carolina St.

 

First 4 Out

Arizona St.

Belmont

UNC Greensboro

Furman

Next 4 Out

Indiana

Alabama

Clemson

Texas

 

The Bracket Gurus Take Over The Bracketology Seeding Sunday

Next Bracketology Update–Sunday Early Afternoon

Final Bracketology Update–Once Big Ten Championship Game Winner is Known

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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