by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, August 26, 2004
Check it out, it's my 100th post. It only took me 9 months to get here. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself. I have so many memories from the last year. Like remember that time I predicted great things for Portland? Or when I said LSU would get an at-large berth? Good times. Good times, indeed. I look forward to bigger and better things in the next century of posts. At some point I may even select a presentable name for this thing as well. What I can promise is that I will continue to fight the injustices and misconceptions surrounding college hoops. I am super-blogger.
For instance, it's time for mid- and low-major schools to stop whining about how hard it is to schedule quality teams. I don't think there's a better time to be a "have-not" with respect to scheduling.
First, there's the fabulous Bracket Buster…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, August 23, 2004
Polls don't mean much in a sport where the champion is decided on the playing field. But in college hoops the preseason poll is a pretty good gauge as to which schools will be the power brokers in March. Since the tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, only seven teams ranked in the preseason AP top 10 have failed to make it to the tournament. That works out to a 96.5% success rate - and it's higher if Steve Alford isn't associated with the team. Here are the seven that dissapointed...
1984-85 Indiana (preseason #4) - Indiana upset UNC in the sweet 16 the previous year, then lost to Virginia with a Final Four bid on the line. With Alford as a sophomore, this team imploded when Mike Giomi was booted off the team for academic reasons. The Hoosiers lost 9 of its final 13 regular season games…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, August 20, 2004
Schedules for the '05 season are coming out at a breakneck pace now. The ACC and SEC recently finalized their respective conference slates, allowing most of its member teams to release their full schedules this week.
One of the interesting aspects of these schedules is the participants in the pre-season exhibition games. As you may remember, this past summer the NCAA legislated that exhibition opponents must be college teams. (As with any NCAA regulation, there are a few exceptions to this.) This was largely in response to Jim Calhoun's tactic of using one of last season's exhibition games as a way to send a $22,000 check to incoming freshman Rudy Gay's AAU coach. In fairness, Calhoun wasn't the only coach who used such methods. The practice became more prevalent across big-time college hoops in recent years.
So instead of UConn vs. the Beltway Ballers, we get Mount Olive vs.…
by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Just like with my post on the unlucky teams, I'm going to start this post on the lucky teams with a look at what happened two years ago. The following are the ten luckiest teams - as measured by wins over expected - from 2003 with their actual 2003 conference record in parenthesis.
1 Niagara +2.5 (12- 6) 2 Mercer +2.5 (14- 2) 3 Prairie View A&M +2.4 (14- 4) 4 Southern Illinois +2.4 (16- 2) 5 Wake Forest +2.3 (13- 3) 6 Wyoming +2.3 ( 8- 6) 7 Weber St. +2.2 (14- 0) 8 Massachusetts +2.1 ( 5-10) 9 William & Mary +2.1 ( 7-11) 10 Wichita St. +2.1 (12- 6)
In 2004 the teams above lost an average of 3.5 more conference games than in 2003. This shows much more of a decline than the unlucky teams showed improvement.
Here's the top 10, plus…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, August 6, 2004
Before I get to the teams that were the most unlucky last year, I should show if this method is effective or not. Below are the top 10 teams from 2003 who ended up with a worse conference record than they deserved as measured by wins below expected, using the Pythagorean formula mentioned in my previous post. For each team, wins below expected and 2003 conference record are given.
1 Pacific -3.1 ( 7-11) 2 Howard -2.9 ( 9- 9) 3 Canisius -2.6 ( 6-12) 4 NC Greensboro -2.6 ( 3-13) 5 Arizona St. -2.5 (11- 7) 6 Toledo -2.4 ( 7-11) 7 Kansas St. -2.3 ( 4-12) 8 Detroit -2.3 ( 9- 7) 9 Alabama A&M -2.3 ( 4-14) 10 American -2.2 ( 9- 5)
In 2004, these teams improved their conference record by an average of 1.5 wins. So a little less than this method would…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, August 2, 2004
Andy Katz recently published his preseason top 50 for the upcoming season. He did a very thorough job and I think captured something close to what the preseason polls will have. Although I am a little puzzled as to why Gonzaga is ranked as low as 22. At any rate, it's time to start speculating on the upcoming season.
Part of doing that is accurately assessing how good a team was last year. Some opinions will be inflated and some deflated based on the distribution of luck. Can we quantify which teams were lucky and which teams were unlucky last year? We can take a shot at it. (Why do I keep saying we? I am sounding like Beano Cook here.)
Bill James can help us. He's a genius who unfortunately has applied his genius to Major League Baseball. He was the one who invented the Pythagorean Theorem of…