Monthly Archives: March 2005

Michigan State has played its three fastest games of the year in the Big Ten or NCAA tournament. Knowing what we know about UNC, the second of Saturday’s semifinal games figures to be played with 70-80 possessions, but only seven of those possessions are going to tell the story of this game. Much has been […]

As the season concludes, it might be useful to see where we have come from. So here’s a review of the season through nine notable predictions made on this site over the past year, some on the money, some so far off I wonder why anyone comes here: Good: September 20, 2004. It is interesting […]

Predictable

Few things in the NCAA tournament are predictable. But one thing that slipped under my radar before the dance started was the near impossibility of Washington making the Final Four. You see, since the field expanded to 64 in 1985, only one team has started the season outside the AP top 20, been selected as […]

What If…

There was no better illustration of how random chance can affect a game than on Patrick Sparks’ successful three-pointer to send the Kentucky/Michigan State game to overtime. There were three main variables that could have flipped the other way from what actually occurred. 1) What if Patrick Sparks’ foot is a micron closer to the […]

Speechless (Almost)

One day, two overtime games. The first time it’s happened in the elite eight in the history of the tournament. West Virginia/Louisville: If you can’t win in regulation by hitting 18 of 24 three pointers, then you just can’t win. The 18 makes were a WVU record, and the second most in a tournament game. […]

It sounds kind of goofy, but there is some value in a missed shot. For instance, just compare it to a turnover. There is no offensive value in a turnover because the possession ends right there. But the same is not true for a missed shot, because there is a chance of the possession continuing […]

The best game of the sweet 16 is Louisville vs. Washington. This is going to be real basketball – presses, fast breaks, dunks, long range snipers. There are other games that will be great over the next two days, but they won’t have all of those elements. Louisville and Washington will score points, and that’s […]

Ranking the Eight

Eight more games are coming at us Thursday and Friday. Only two are mismatches, with the other six being close to toss-ups, so there are bound to be a couple of classics that fall out of these. Here’s the list of games, in order of appeal, with rankings of tempo/offensive efficiency/defensive efficiency among the 16 […]

Cleaning up some first-round issues…collectively, this year’s 1 vs. 16 and 2 vs. 15 games were the closest ever with an average margin of victory of 13.1 points. And by "ever," I mean since the tournament went to the 64 team format in 1985. The previous low (14.3) occurred during the magical 1989 tourney when […]

Boeheimian Rhapsody

So the madness got put pack in March tonight. A fun night unless you had a rematch of the 2003 final in your Final Four. It just so happened that the Vermont/Syracuse contest was the first game that I tried to take notes on using the Oliver possession scoring method. I really struggled with it, […]