by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, March 24, 2013
The round of 32 was a bad scenario for the victorious teams from the East Region. While other regions were going up in flames to varying degrees, giving remaining favorites Florida, Louisville, and Ohio State a decent boost to their title chances, the East has gone to form. Previous odds that built in the potential for chaos have been revised. In Indiana’s case, it didn’t help they had to squeak by the lowest-rated at-large team in the field. That’s true to a lesser extent for the other three teams in the region. None of the top four seeds in the East improved their rating, while the opposite occurred in other regions.
by Ken Pomeroy on Saturday, March 23, 2013
The order of the top six favorites remains the same, but there are changes after that due to the stunning upset of Georgetown by Crazy Go Nuts University. The team that should be least appreciative of this result is Kansas because it’s now more likely they must go through Florida to get to Atlanta, and that is reflected in their chances of a title dropping from 4.2 percent to 2.8 percent. Syracuse is a mover in the opposite direction due to their comically easy win over Montana on Thursday.
Arizona benefits dramatically from the chaos in the West Region, but mainly from drawing an easier round of 32 opponent. Also, La Salle’s two wins took it from a 1-in-11,000 shot to about 1-in-900. By the way, my sympathies to Kansas State. Why were Boise State and La Salle 13-seeds, again? The other 13-seeds in the bracket were significantly worse and I’m not sure what K-State did to deserve having to play the tough 13.
The round of 32 log5 table is below…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, March 22, 2013
To kill some time this morning, I decided to create a nine-team conference where the top four teams where exactly equal, roughly equivalent to New Mexico. They had a 50/50 chance of beating each other head-to-head. I made the other five teams somewhat worse, mimicking the bottom five teams of the Mountain West, and then simulated the conference schedule assuming a double round-robin. How often did the four evenly-matched teams finish atop the conference with the same record? In one million simulations this happened just 4,069 times, or 0.4 percent.
by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, March 20, 2013
We begin this piece with an e-mail…
Florida is 0-6 in games decided by single-digits. A big deal is made of this. A big deal is not made of Indiana going an unimpressive 7-5 in such games, or Louisville going 6-5. Louisville’s record even includes a five-overtime game in which they screwed up the end-game situation six separate times, but that hasn’t stopped nearly every expert from picking them. (And for the record, I think it’s a fine pick. Just don’t tell me that you can’t pick Florida because Kenny Boynton is unreliable in crunch time when Russ Smith’s track record is equally poor.)
Maybe if Florida had played worse in some of their 26 double-digit wins, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Personally, I don’t think that would make sense. Consider the flip side - if Indiana had turned its close wins into double-digit margins, almost surely we’d be hearing about their lack of clutchness. It’s bizarre to me that people would punish a team for its ability to put opponents away. With this in mind, though, I found seven Florida wins against decent competition that had at least a moderate amount of tension at some point in the second half.
by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, March 19, 2013
We’ve heard that a lot from all of the experts all season. Just three days ago, this column promised us there was massive parity in the game, with quotes from the top coaches. Jim Boeheim says there would be ten different winners if we played the tourney ten times!
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, March 18, 2013
What follows is the master log5 for the 68-team field. For the noobs, here’s the deal:
- The calculations below represent the chance of each team advancing to a specific round based on the log5 formula and each team’s pythagorean rating. Unfamiliar with log5? Here’s more than you want to know.
- This does not represent Ken Pomeroy’s opinion. I don’t believe Florida has the best chance to win the tournament or that Pitt has the eighth-best chance, for instance.
- Don’t interpret these numbers as saying Ken Pomeroy’s computer is predicting Florida will win the tournament. It’s saying there’s a 79% chance they won’t.
by Ken Pomeroy on Saturday, March 16, 2013
I’ll update this as more tournaments are decided but I wanted to reprise my post from three years ago defensing the honor of conference tournaments. You can go to that link for the explanation, but the case boils down to the idea that the regular season, too, is an imperfect way to determine the best team.
Here’s a viewer’s guide to the Mountain West title game between New Mexico and UNLV which tips off shortly after 6 PM ET on CBS.
Both teams rely on a very good defense (UNLV 9th overall, New Mexico 13th) which defends the paint well. And both defenses carry less-than-stellar offenses. In UNLV’s case the offense is borderline dysfunctional, with senior Anthony Marshall playing his first season as a full-time point guard. While he hasn’t been bad in the position, both his own and his team’s turnover rate has risen this season. New Mexico’s defense doesn’t really take advantage of this weakness, but UNLV committed 17 turnovers anyway in the first matchup between these two in Albuquerque.
by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, March 14, 2013
When Michael Lyons got injured for Air Force in the second minute of their quarterfinal game with UNLV yesterday, he joined a rare club – the guys who start but don’t play more than two minutes in the game. According to my database, there were about 60 such cases involving Division I players this season. In Lyons’ honor, I thought it would be interesting to recap the circumstances of some of them.
There were three cases when a player started and didn’t record one minute in the box score. As you might imaging the story behind each of them involves an injury.