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    Conference SOS

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, December 26, 2003

    After a few requests, I have added conference SOS to the conference RPI page. This is calculated by taking an average of each conference member's non-conference SOS.

    There will be no updates of the ratings until January 1st, at which point daily updates will resume.


    Defending the RPI, Part 3 of 3

    This is the final post in a three part series. (The first two parts are here: part 1 and part 2). This one deals with how a lack of including home court advantage affects the formula. For the most part the effects are negligible. For one, most of a team’s schedule is made up of conference games that involve an equal distribution of home and away games. So the smaller non-conference part of the schedule is where a team can be unfairly rewarded or penalized for an imbalance of home or road games.

    Sure, it’s easy to pick on a team like Georgetown that constantly plays a non-conference schedule of weak opponents at home. However, even if they played all of their games on the road, the competition has been so weak you might only expect one additional loss if that. Of their three losable non-conference…


    On the Radar: Nebraska

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, December 22, 2003

    Nebraska is not even on the radar of the folks in Lincoln, where even a lowly 9-3 football team still captivates the locals attention through December. The hoops team must play second fiddle to Creighton for the state's basketball interests. Creighton is also the only team Nebraska has lost to so far this year. Nebraska is incredibly balanced with their leading scorer, forward John Turek, only averaging 10.6 ppg.

    The only road game the Huskers have played was against Creighton, and they're going to have to do some damage on the road if they want to avoid another last place finish in the Big 12. A good barometer game will be next Monday at Minnesota, where their former coach Danny Nee nearly led Duquesne to an overtime win tonight.


    Parity Parody

    by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, December 21, 2003

    All the talk has been about parity this year. But it's really just a way for folks to excuse the fact that they didn't realize how good Georgia Tech, Stanford, St. Joseph's, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, etc. would be. This year is no different than any other year. In fact, if anything there is less parity. Last year there were 11 unbeatens going into Christmas break. Currently there are 17. We'll lose two more before Christmas when Florida St. plays Pittsburgh on Monday, and Dayton plays Cincinnati on Tuesday.



    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, December 19, 2003

    In one of the few compelling games of last night, UNLV collapsed at home and lost to Northern Arizona, who might not even qualify for its own conference tournament. Why is it so hard to build a winner at UNLV? It's going to be a long year for the Rebs. They can't rebound, don't shoot well, and don't take care of the basketball.


    Defending the RPI, Part 2 of 3

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, December 18, 2003

    The previous post in this series addressed the myth that strength of schedule controls the RPI, while winning percentage is relatively insignificant. Now I'll examine the common complaint that merely playing "so and so" can lower or raise your RPI, regardless of the outcome. This is a statement that can't be refuted because it's true. And this post isn't really a defense, but a demonstration as to how the RPI works.

    The effect of an RPI fluctutation merely due to whom one plays is obvious early in the year. By the end of the season this effect is reduced, but not eliminated. The RPI is only meaningful at the end of the year, so that's the perspective one should take when poking holes in it. And the RPI really only matters to a few teams at the end of the year, and those are the teams in the…


    On the Radar: BYU

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, December 16, 2003

    Before a review of today's team in issue 3 of OtR, let's review how the previous 2 OtR picks have fared in their next game, just to establish some credibility.

    Week 1: Troy St. Next game: Lost to a D2 team who had won like 6 games the year before and had to hitchhike to the game.

    Week 2: Portland. Next game: Lost to Duke. By 41 points. Shot 3-28 (10%) in the first half.

    This weeks entry features a BYU team led by Steve Cleveland. Seven years ago he was called in to rebuild a program that was coming off one of the worst seasons any team in a semi-major conference has ever had. But each year since then, BYU seems to have improved every year under Cleveland (except for a step back 2 years ago). Yet they have never accomplished any more than they deserved. They've never been…


    Don’t Call it a Comeback

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, December 12, 2003

    A follow-up to last night's post on how teams making big comebacks fare in overtime:

    I looked back on all the OT games played so far. I limited my search to games involving the "BCS" conferences and the A-10, Mountain West, MVC, and WAC. When you start dealing with lower conferences, it becomes difficult to get accurate game information. Below is a list of teams that overcame at least a 15 point deficit in the 2nd half to force OT.

    12/6 Michigan St. vs Oklahoma (MSU down 15 with 13 minutes to go) Result: OU 80-77 12/6 Kansas St. vs. Oregon St. (KSU down 16 with 15 minutes to go) Result: OSU 87-82 12/10 Florida vs. Maryland (Florida down 17 with 16 minutes to go) Result: Md 69-68

    So the team making the big comeback is 0 for 3 in overtime games. By the end of the year hopefully there…


    Number 1 and done

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, December 11, 2003

    I guess I wasn't really surprised that Florida once again failed to win a game as #1. They couldn't put away a dreadful Stetson team in their last game, like a top team should.

    This game provides an introduction for one of my wacky theories: A team making a big comeback to force overtime often loses. I don't have the facts to prove or disprove this at the moment, but hopefully I can get to it soon. College basketball record keeping is so poor it's going to be difficult.


    Defending the RPI, Part 1 of 3

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, December 9, 2003

    Most discussion of the RPI involves the weaknesses of the system. I haven’t seen anyone come to its defense, but the RPI is not that bad, really. Let me clarify - in the middle of December it's bad. But the RPI is a tool in the tournament selction process, so it's not meant to be used until March.

    First, I think we can agree that the best thing the RPI has going for it is its simple formula. For those who don't know, it's

    25% x your winning percentage (WP) + 50% x your opponents' WP + 25% x your opponents' opponents' WP

    More simply its 25% x WP + 75% x strength of schedule (SOS)

    It’s not something one can compute in their head. But any dork with a computer can calculate the RPI. While many fans know the formula, nobody really knows how it works. Which leads me…


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