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    Loose Ends

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, March 3, 2006

    - With UAB’s win over Memphis, Ohio State or Illinois has a realistic shot at a one-seed, and may well control their destiny. Illinois is more of a darkhorse in this regard, but they have six wins over the RPI top 25 with three of them away from home. If either wins out, they’ll have a great case.

    - I received some nice feedback about the stuff on pre-tourney favorites yesterday. Here are some amendments: In 2002, Kansas had somewhere close to equal billing to Duke, and lost in the Final Four. And in ‘93, Kentucky and Michigan were as popular (if not moreso) a pick as UNC.

    - I envy folks privileged enough to be at the Savvis Center today. Tourney implications galore today in four Arch Madness games. It could get wild today, but not any wilder than Indiana State scoring 10 points in the first half against…


    Let It Be March

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, March 2, 2006

    It seems like the OK St game is killing [Texas]. The win one for Eddie S. thing bit them, but the treatment seems harsh. Is this team a legitimate No.1 seed with real Nat’l. Championship aspirations or this year really just a two team race? CK

    This has been the week to anoint UConn as the lead dog in the college hoops scene. A win over Villanova coupled with losses by Duke and Texas have clarified things dramatically. At least for the moment.

    And right now there is little doubt that UConn is the best team in basketball right now. There’s still some time for them to change my mind. To be honest, had UConn lost to Notre Dame, I don’t think you’d be seeing so much pro-UConn material.

    But being the pre-tournament favorite is by no means a guarantee of winning it all. If you give…


    Travis Ford Knew When To Get Out

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, March 1, 2006

    I’m working on something for, so this will have to suffice.

                               FG    3pt  FT   Reb
                          Min  M-A   M-A  M-A  O-T   A F S TO BLK Pts
    Walker Russell         38  8-16  5-7  0-0  2-11 11 1 0  2  0   21
    Result: Win. Jacksonville St. 82, Eastern Kentucky 59.


    All For One

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, February 28, 2006

    So Oklahoma pulled off an astounding fourth straight one-point victory last night. This hasn’t been done before in the limited data I have. Three straight one-point wins has only been done once since the ‘99 season - two years ago by High Point. If you have followed this streak, you have seen some examples of how luck is a large factor in determining the outcome of close games. As a further demonstration, I pulled every occurrence of a team playing two consecutive one-point games in the last eight seasons. Here were the results:

    Record Times 2-0 43 1-1 84 0-2 33

    This works out almost the way a coin flip situation should. You’d expect 25% in each of the first and last bins and 50% in the middle one. Take 3 each from the 2-0 and 1-1 and put them in the 0-2 and that’s exactly what you would have.…



    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, February 27, 2006

    Unfortunately, defensive stats are not to the point where I can consistently honor defensive specialists in a Line o’ the Night. But Saturday was a day for defenders to shine in obvious ways.

    Temple’s Dustin Salisbery shut down J.J. Redick to the tune of 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting. Hey, give John Chaney credit. His teams have given up the highest percentage of opponents points on three-pointers this season (to go with a #2 ranking last season, and #1 in ‘04). So this figured to be a game where J.J. would get his looks. But the typically stubborn Chaney showed some flexibility by using a lot of box-and-one, and when he used a straight zone, extending it farther than normal.

    San Diego’s Corey Belser once again slowed down Adam Morrison. Morrison also tallied 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting. In five career games against Belser, Morrison has been held to…


    A Look Back

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, February 24, 2006

    Back on January 5th, I jotted down some of the more unusual developments in our little Pythagorean baby. Let’s go back and look at how some of the surprising conference frontrunners have fared now that the regular season is drawing to a close. All preseason predictions cited come from Blue Ribbon.

    A-10: Xavier.

    Nice collapse by Xavier. You have to consider their season a disappointment.

    Big Ten: Illinois, with Indiana a close second.

    Illinois has struggled of late, but I wouldn’t give up on them just yet. But Ohio State has made a good case as the Big Ten’s best. And Indiana is right up there with Xavier in terms of collapses. Another point is that Pythag was down on Michigan State and they haven’t consistently shown themselves to be of Final Four quality.

    Big XII: Texas by a lot, but Colorado is a comfortable second.

    Sheesh. Well, Colorado…


    Loaded Brackets

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, February 23, 2006


    I just reviewed Joe Lunardi’s 2/20/06 bracket projection on  In general those projections usually look like a fair comparison to how the committee would seed the teams at that particular point in time.  I think that’s again the case with his 2/20/06 bracket.  However, I have to laugh when I see that Duke is seeded #1 in the Atlanta bracket.  While that’s great for Duke in terms of geography, I’m not so sure they wouldn’t rather be out West.  The Atlanta bracket includes 7 of the top 13 pythag winning% teams (Duke, Kansas, Ohio St, Pitt, North Carolina, Washington, and LSU).  I’m not a Duke fan, but I’ve got think Coach K would rather swap brackets with Memphis who’s slated to be in the Oakland bracket.

    It seems like a way around this would be to either (1) have you slot the tournament teams, or (2) have the committee…


    A Crying Notre Shame

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    My savant skills tell me Notre Dame will be the best team left out of March Madness. In fact, there will probably be 5 to 10 at-large teams that are worse than the Irish. They have outscored conference opponents by 33 points, suggesting an 8-5 record would be more appropriate than the 4-9 one they own after last night’s loss to UConn.

    The Irish have one of the best backcourts in the country, and their offense is smoking hot. Last night was a classic example of how raw FG% can mislead you about a team’s performance. ND shot 31 of 82, for 37.8%, yet was outstanding offensively. Any time you can put up a point per possession on UConn, you have done well. The reason they got there was 16 offensive boards and only 4 turnovers. Then throw in that 10 of the made field goals were threes, and you…


    My Best Shot

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    First off, I kind of screwed up my RPI analysis of conferences yesterday. Let’s just say that the old RPI values were off, and basically conference rank wasn’t affected much by BracketBusters. Serves me right for trying to talk about RPI.

    Second, I’m getting tired of hearing how certain teams get everyone’s “best shot”. As Gonzaga repeatedly struggles to put away the lesser competition in the WCC, analysts with high expectations for them excuse their performance with the best shot theory. But if you buy this line of reasoning, I’d say you’re on shaky ground, because what are Gonzaga’s opponents - of better quality - going to give them in March? I would say their “best shot”. And if you believe that Gonzaga will succeed against the better opponents’ best shot, you must then believe that Gonzaga themselves is not giving it their best shot in a few of these…


    BracketBusters Scoreboard

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, February 20, 2006

    A breakdown of conferences that played 5 or more games in the BracketBusters:

     RPI Pvs Now CAA 6-2 11 10 WAC 6-3 9 9 Big West 5-3 28 24 MVC 5-5 5 6 OVC 5-6 18 20 Horizon 4-5 14 15 MAC 5-7 15 16 MAAC 4-6 10 13

    George Mason and Missouri State were the top two BracketBuster teams in efficiency (adjusted Pythagorean) going into the weekend, and both got big road wins. They each control their own destiny for an at-large bid. Avoid bad losses and each is in.

    On a non-BracketBusters note, Texas was tops in efficiency and got blitzed by 13-12 Oklahoma State. On Saturday, Kansas travels to Texas in a game that should decide the Big XII regular season. It will be a game that features the #1 and #4 defenses in the nation, and can be considered close to a toss-up at this…


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