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    Opponents’ Three Point Production

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, February 18, 2005

    It's been hard to get motivated to update the stats page this morning.

    First, there is the matter of Ike Diogu hitting his 200th free throw of the season in Arizona State's 75-73 win over Oregon State last night. Diogu squandered an opportunity to pad his total by missing seven of his 15 attempts.

    Ike looks like he will come up short in his effort to topple the alleged modern-day record of 272 free throws established by Alonzo Mourning. With ASU on course for an NIT bid, he may get some bonus games to give 'Zo a scare. But he probably will set a new Pac 10 record, which he also set last season with 243. With NBA scouts still cool on his pro potential, maybe Diogu will be back next season to give it another try.


    The other big news was that the alma mater…


    The Year of the Mid Major

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, February 17, 2005

    You're starting to hear it more and more. Oh, how those power conferences have really fallen. Finally, the little guy will get his revenge. The Chinese recently celebrated the Year of the Rooster and college hoops observers are starting to hail the Year of the Catamounts, Salukis, and Monarchs.

    These statements have been driven in large part by the RPI - an RPI that changed its formula this season. Hey look, Vermont is in the top 20! Pacific is in the top 25! Hoo-rah! The RPI now favors teams from outside the power conferences, that should be obvious. But measuring teams by a new formula is akin to someone measuring themselves in pounds one day and kilograms the next and concluding that their diet is really working.

    In a sense, it doesn't matter whether the power conferences are really worse this year, they are going to be less represented in…



    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, February 15, 2005

    When you don't have anything to say, let the readers say it for you...


    Just saw your column commenting on Seth Davis saying Illinois "needed" a loss. Someone should ask Seth how teams with 1 loss have won since undefeated IU. Based on the teams I read about in the Final Four program in '97 and the fact that there have been none since then, I'd say not well. So I guess you need 2 losses.


    This is so very true. Folks are obsessed with going unbeaten, but there hasn't been a one-loss champion since '76, either. There have been 17 teams to enter the dance with one loss from '77 to '04, and all of them came up short. Only three went so far as the Final Four, and only '99 Duke made it to the finals. So the evidence would seem to point against the utility…


    Bubble Wrap

    Begrudgingly, I submit my look at the at-large picture. In my patented piecemeal approach, I am adding bubble teams this week. This is probably more for my benefit than yours, so if you think I've missed something - maybe I have! Drop me a line to let me know.

    I've had to ax three teams from the lock list I produced last week.

    Texas - The reasons for the removal of Texas from this list were given last week in this space. Texas is still limping badly, evidenced by an overtime home win against Kansas State last Saturday, when the Longhorns went 11 for 20 from three. They are totally at the mercy of bombs and excellent defense from here on out.

    Minnesota - Individually, a home loss to Northwestern or a road loss to Indiana are not back-breakers. But together they hurt a lot, especially since…


    The Lost Episode

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, February 14, 2005

    On Saturday, there were two comebacks that will forever be remembered by fans of the teams involved in the games. UNLV's was the most impressive - an 11-1 run over the last 22 seconds against San Diego State to force overtime. But the most significant was Pacific's 11-2 run in the final 27 ticks to win at Utah State. It was only UoP's second win in 32 tries in Logan, and would seem to give them control of their own destiny in the at-large race.

    Pat Forde has a nice (and free!) edition of Forde Minutes on, giving additional details on both games (example: Steve Fisher's teams are 1-11 in overtime). There are also some other nuggets using the AP poll to show that Cinderella is dead when it comes to Final Four access. Parity, schmarity.

    [Update: Reader Jeff reveals another amazing - but more drawn…


    Defensive Assist Percentage

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, February 11, 2005

    This blog has been one-dimensional this season: it can shoot the three, it can dish the rock, but it plays no defense. Today, I look at a defensive statistic that gets little press - the ability to prevent assists. See the stats page for the defensive assist percentage of all 330 teams.

    Defensive assist percentage = assists allowed/total possessions

    On Wednesday, the North Carolina Tar Heels were bottled up for 40 minutes like no other time this ACC season. They didn't get many points on the fast break, and they didn't get easy points out of the half-court set. UNC, a team that averages two assists on every three field goals made, had only ten assists in 25 made buckets. Shocking.

    Or was it? In fact, there must be some skill at preventing fast breaks, preventing the smooth flow of the offense in the half-court, and…


    More on Assistststss

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, February 10, 2005

    What you may have missed last night:

    1) Miami Ohio and Kent State both won tight MAC road games, staying on a collision course for a March 2 showdown between the conference's two most deserving at-large teams. Miami's win was tainted by buzzer-beating controversy.

    The headline on the above Miami link at the time of this posting:

    RedHawks Pull Out Close 54-54 Win at Ball State

    This article explains why the game should have gone to overtime.

    [Update: the Muncie Star Press has produced a brief documentary video of the final moments.]

    2) There was a rare late-season showdown to settle the debate between the nation's biggest underachievers. Missouri won, er...lost, 74-71 to UNLV.


    I got a few thoughtful responses on a contradiction posed last Friday regarding teams with efficient offenses that don't get many assists. Dear reader Matt broke out…


    Texas Toast

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, February 9, 2005

    I posted 32 tournament locks on Monday, and by Tuesday night, I no longer had confidence in one of them. Injury-riddled Texas is reeling after getting routed in Boulder, despite a 27 and 21 performance from Brad Buckman.

    The character of the team has changed since the nearly simultaneous loss of starters PJ Tucker and LaMarcus Aldridge for the season. These were the two best interior scorers for the Longhorns, and as you might expect, Texas has become more of a jumpshooting team in their absence.

    Here's a chronological breakdown of the Longhorns' shooting percentage, and percentage of shots coming from three for games this season. I've weeded out the patsies on the non-conference schedule.

     FG% 3PA/FGA Result 45.9 34.4 vs Iowa, L 82-80 52.4 39.7 vs Tennessee, W 95-70 39.3 30.4 at Seton Hall, W 70-62 48.5 35.3 at Wake Forest, L 89-88 51.8 33.9 vs UNLV,… 


    Two Utes

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, February 8, 2005


    Utah has won their last 14 games by DD's (10+). Is this some kind of record? What is the record for consecutive games winning by DD's? It's gotta be approaching. If they get UNLV by 10 tonight, they should get to at least 16 with CSU at home next.


    I have to confess, once Rick Majerus and the Utes parted ways, I never thought I would see the words "Utah" and "double-Ds" in the same sentence. But Ryan came through. This question lost its relevance since Utah blew a late 13-point lead to UNLV last night, and won by only four. However, in a brief internet search, I did manage to find a 23-game double-digit streak pulled off by the '74-'75 Indiana team.

    The more perplexing question now is: what to make of these Utes? They're like the Cincinnati of the West. Only there's no Louisville-type…


    Battle Ready?

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, February 7, 2005

    A question to get the week started: Who is the only D1 team that has yet to experience a game that was six points or closer at the end of regulation? Read on for the answer.

    Now that an undefeated season by Illinois can be officially termed 'realistic,' we're going to see the usual diet of columns addressing whether a regular season loss would be good for them. Seth Davis got the ball rolling last week. He made the case that a regular season loss is beneficial, though he used circular reasoning.

    I'm not as interested in the can-they questions as much as the big should-they question, as in: Do you really want to go into the NCAA Tournament undefeated?

    My answer to that is no -- unequivocally, immutably, unquestionably, no. The last team to win a championship without a loss was Indiana in 1976. There's a reason nobody…


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