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…
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.
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…
by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, February 23, 2006
I just reviewed Joe Lunardi’s 2/20/06 bracket projection on ESPN.com. 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…
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…
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…
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…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, February 17, 2006
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Leon Powe 38 10-14 0-0 10-14 6-10 2 2 0 3 0 30 Result: Win. California 75, Arizona 66.
Dan Grunfeld had a better shooting night (9-11 FGs, 11-11 FTs, 31 pts) in Stanford’s win over Arizona State. But this is more like a season-long achievement award for Powe. He has repeatedly had quality lines, but there’s always someone that does a little better. Grunfeld had easily his best game of the season, while Powe is doing something like the above all the time. Powe gets to the free throw line just as often as he did as a freshman (FTRate of 72.4 this season compared to 70.4 as a frosh), but he’s improved his free throw shooting from 61.0% to 69.7%.
by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, February 16, 2006
Ken- Love your website. I visit it regularly, even though I’m on the women’s side of college basketball. That said, I saw an amazing box score last night. Florida’s women’s team scored 63 points, won by 15… yet only had 3 assists. I thought that’d make an interesting scavenger hunt for your readers… what is the highest point total a team has ever scored with 3 or fewer assists? I can’t imagine it topping the 63 by the Lady Gators. Regards, Andy Demetra Broadcaster University of South Carolina women’s basketball
This was a seemingly innocuous question, but it turned up an interesting find. The two worst assist outputs of the season occurred in the SWAC, and they both occurred at Jackson State. But it’s not a coincidence.
Counting stats at a basketball game is to some degree subjective. Arguably, the most subjective element is how to record assists. There…
by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, February 15, 2006
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts DeWitt Maxwell 36 10-13 0-0 7-9 8-12 3 3 1 3 6 27 Result: Win. Fairfield 109, St. Peter's 108.
There were only about 80 possessions in this contest, so basically it had less defense than a high school all-star game. At least Maxwell contributed some blocks.