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    Passing Fancy

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, April 18, 2005


    The best passing team in college hoops last season was Boston College. Illinois was widely admired for their ability to pass the basketball, but they had nothing on BC. I'll define the best passing team to be to be the team that can best make the difficult passes that produce points.

    One of the stats I posted last season was assist percentage. It measured the percentage of a team's field goals that were assisted on. A lot of the stats I posted during the year were meaningless, and assist percentage certainly could be placed in that group. It seemed that assist percentage was mentioned more by TV guys than it ever was in the past. It was all the rage when describing the crisp passing that Illinois often exhibited. But it turned out that across college basketball, assist percentage correlated poorly to an efficient offense.

    Not that there wasn't…

    Read more...

    Closing Credits

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, April 6, 2005


    With the 2005 season in the books, posting in this space will return to the usual sporadic off-season frequency. Before I sink into the background, I need to dole out some appreciation to the folks that publicized this site like nobody else could.

    First and foremost, the statistical experiment on this site would not have generated the discussion it did without Luke Winn of si.com and Andy Glockner of espn.com referencing the efficiency numbers in their work. In addition, prominent mentions from ESPN's Pat Forde and SI's Grant Wahl brought in untold traffic.

    The following radio people bravely put me live on their air without any safety nets: Jud Easterday and Brian Hanni of KLWN in Lawrence, KS; Willy Daunic of 104.5 The Zone (WGFX) in Nashville; Dave Weekley of WCHS in Charleston, WV; and Tony Caridi of the Mountaineer Sports Network.

    Additionally, there are…

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    St. Augustine

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, April 5, 2005


    The biggest single reason why Illinois lost - lack of playing time for James Augustine.

    Augustine picked up five fouls in nine minutes of action. If he gets his usual 27 minutes (or his 33 minute average in five tourney games), the Illini have a better defender for Sean May, Illinois gets more than six trips to the free throw line, and shoots fewer than 40 threes.

    The only time a team shot fewer free throws in the championship game was Dartmouth in 1944!! It was also the most threes shot in finals history. But considering there have only been 19 championship games played with a three-point line, that doesn't put the feat in proper perspective. It was the fourth-most threes shot in any tournament contest - a total of 1,202 games. Luther Head shot 16 threes on his own, equaling the UNC team attempts and breaking the individual…

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    Heads Will Roll…

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, April 4, 2005


    ...in the Blah, Blah, Blah fact checking department.

    Ken,

    I have not researched this and know you are just reporting what I have seen elsewhere but I don't see how UCLA and UK could have been Nos. 1 and 2 before the 1975 NCAA Tournament as IU was undefeated until losing to UK in the Mideast Regional Final and had beat UK by 24 during the regular season.

    I am just wondering whether they continued weekly polling back then and UCLA and Nos. 1 and 2 reflected poll after the Regional Finals.

    I have enjoyed reading your web site throughout the season!

    Quint

    Quint is exactly right. To be clear, I wasn't just reporting what I heard elsewhere. I did the research myself, using the trusty NCAA Record Book. The book has a section labeled "Final Season Polls." That section has two sub-headings. One labeled "Final Regular Season Polls" which (I…

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    Letdown Saturday

    by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, April 3, 2005


    There isn't much that needs to be said about the games on Saturday. Given what happened last weekend, and given the potential for Monday's game, this Saturday will be forgotten before too long.

    I never really got into the Illinois/Louisville game. For a reason I can't explain, I thought the game would not be all that tight. I decided to save my "watching energy" for the second game, which I thought would be close. As the Illini were putting away the Cards in the second half, I couldn't help but think how this kind of dominating performance might make Illinois a favorite against UNC, when the (betting) public consensus for a while has been that UNC was slightly better.

    Then UNC put up the kind of dominating half against Michigan State that folks were used to seeing from them in January. UNC is getting a lot of praise for…

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    A One and A Two

    by Ken Pomeroy on Saturday, April 2, 2005


    It hasn't happened yet, but it's a real possibility. The teams ranked one and two before the tournament are a game away from meeting in the championship game. It doesn't happen very often. It happens even less often than I thought. The last time was a long, long time ago.

    Here are all of the instances since the AP poll began in the '49 season that #1 and #2 have met in the final:

    1975 UCLA/Kentucky

    1965 Michigan/UCLA

    1962 Ohio State/Cincinnati

    1961 Ohio State/Cincinnati

    1957 UNC/Kansas

    1949 Kentucky/Oklahoma State


    Read more...