by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, November 30, 2011
[Update: 144 people responded. The median response was 27 minutes. Thanks to everyone that participated.]
As mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, I’d like to do some crowdsourcing from the people that have been generous enough to purchase a subscription to this site. Figuring that those folks are better informed than the average college hoops fan, we should take advantage of this knowledge. This evening I’d like to do an initial test of this concept by having the audience predict the number of minutes Harrison Barnes will play for North Carolina during regulation time in tonight’s game against Wisconsin. You can access the question from the banner on the home page. Obviously, you have to be logged in to participate.
The extremely basic facts pertinent to this question (I want to avoid influencing the jury with…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, November 28, 2011
The 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge gets underway this evening. Based on Monday’s ratings, here are the chances of the favored team winning each game…Tuesday
Michigan at Virginia (62%)
Northwestern at Georgia Tech (52%)
Illinois (55%) at Maryland
Miami at Purdue (79%)
Clemson (55%) at Iowa
Duke at Ohio State (78%)
Penn State (62%) at Boston College
Indiana (53%) at N.C. State
Florida State at Michigan State (68%)
Virginia Tech at Minnesota (62%)
Wake Forest at Nebraska (86%)
Wisconsin (54%) at North Carolina
Obviously there are a few grains of salt to be taken here. Even if Harrison Barnes is less than 100%, UNC should be expected to beat Wisconsin. And Minnesota no longer has the services of Trevor Mbakwe, thus their chances against Virginia Tech may be closer to a toss-up.
Using the game probabilities listed,…
by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, November 27, 2011
Let’s take a look back at the eight tournaments for which log5 calculations were posted in this space and see how those predictions turned out. What follows is the winner of each tournament, their chances of winning it and how that ranked in the field.
76 Classic: Saint Louis 35.7% (1)
Old Spice Classic: Dayton 19.5% (2)
Battle 4 Atlantis: Harvard 14.6% (3)
Great Alaska Shootout: Murray State 31.3% (1)
Maui Invitational: Duke 43.1% (1)
Paradise Jam: Marquette 56.9% (1)
Charleston Classic: Northwestern 38.6% (1)
Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Alabama 20.3% (3)
The results are difficult to interpret when it comes to validating the predictions. If every top pick had won that actually wouldn’t validate the model very well at all because each top pick had a significant chance of not winning its tournament.
Based on the probabilities given by the log5…
by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Let’s conclude the look at November’s eight-team tournaments with the two that start on Thursday, providing alternative programming for football.
The 76 Classic gives you three chances to judge whether Saint Louis is a legitimate at-large threat. However, unless you like a slow-tempo, defensive-minded team, you will want to keep your viewing options open while the Billikens play. Rick Majerus’s teams refuse to allow fast breaks and defend the three-point line at all costs, and this year’s version is no different. Amazingly, SLU’s first three opponents have made just 34% of their twos, and if that continues, I have the Billikens going 30-0 heading into the A-10 tournament.
Semis Final Champ Saint Louis 92.6 56.1 35.7 New Mexico 79.7 53.1 25.8 Villanova 88.4 41.5 23.8 Washington St. 51.2 20.8 6.8 Oklahoma 48.8 19.3 6.2 Santa Clara 20.3 6.9 1.4 UC Riverside 11.6 1.5 0.2 Boston College 7.4 1.0…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, November 21, 2011
Two of the tourneys not affiliated with ESPN get underway on Wednesday. And it doesn’t come as a surprise that without the benefit of big-time TV, it is easier to lure elite teams to the Bahamas than to the tundra. Let’s start with the event that uses a texting abbreviation in its name and bills itself as a one-of-a-kind tournament. No justification is given for that claim.Semis Final Champ UConn 87.1 62.7 39.9 Florida St. 84.3 67.5 36.6 Harvard 81.9 31.0 14.6 C of C 50.8 13.2 3.2 UCF 49.2 12.5 3.0 UMass 15.7 6.8 1.3 UNC Asheville 12.9 3.9 0.9 Utah 18.1 2.5 0.5
UConn is the favorite but figures to get a good test from Florida State or yes, Harvard, should the Huskies make it to the title game. After Saint Louis’s rout of Washington…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, November 18, 2011
Action in the premier pre-season tournament starts Monday. Five of these teams are expected to be in the NCAA field.Semis Final Champ Duke 86.9 62.5 43.1 Kansas 62.2 52.4 25.4 Memphis 61.5 23.0 11.9 Georgetown 37.8 29.0 10.8 Michigan 38.5 10.8 4.5 UCLA 87.8 18.2 3.3 Tennessee 13.1 3.7 1.0 Chaminade 12.2 0.4 0.01
The winner of the Kansas/Georgetown game gets the winner of the rather weak UCLA/Chaminade first round matchup. A potential Belmont/Middle Tennessee game in the “mainland bracket” on Sunday might be more compelling. Thus we get the odd circumstance where Georgetown has a similar chance of winning three games than Memphis, despite being rated somewhat worse.
Michigan’s rating took a hit with their struggle against Western Illinois last night. While the 59-55 win wasn’t exactly as close as the final score looks, the Leathernecks are just a few…
by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Charleston Classic isn’t on the level of the Puerto Rico Tip-off, and I confess I’m not looking at the event with the same anticipation. However, there’s an interesting field here, too, even if it’s somewhat less talented across the board. Here’s how log5 breaks down each participant’s chances in the event that starts today…Semis Final Champ Northwestern 81.1 56.1 38.6 Tulsa 86.9 35.6 19.1 Georgia Tech 61.1 32.4 13.9 VCU 52.6 27.7 11.4 Seton Hall 47.4 23.7 9.2 Saint Joseph's 38.9 16.3 5.3 LSU 18.9 6.9 2.4 W. Kentucky 13.1 1.4 0.2
There hasn’t been much buzz about the Big Ten being the nation’s best conference, but a Northwestern win here might nudge the marketing effort in the right direction. They appear to be the best team in the field and draw an LSU that fell to Coastal Carolina in the Tigers’ tune-up for…
by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The Puerto Rico Tip-Off opens tomorrow and it’s one of the more competitive tournaments on the preseason docket. Say what you want about ESPN taking over the preseason-tournament business, but you seem to end up with compelling fields and you get every game on TV somewhere.
The field in Puerto Rico doesn’t have the ratings-grabbing names that the more prestigious tourneys do, but it pegs the needle in terms of lack of predictability. Plus, all 12 games are on the family of networks. Let’s take a look at what log5 says about the field.
The numbers below represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.Semis Final Champ Purdue 68.6 40.6 24.9 Temple 78.0 41.1 23.9 Alabama 63.8 40.0 20.3 Wichita St. 74.7 36.0 15.9 Maryland 36.2 17.9 6.7 Iona 31.4 12.9 5.5 W. Michigan 22.0…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, November 11, 2011
Suppose you wanted to produce the best guess of how many points UNC freshman forward James McAdoo will score tonight. How would you do this? I suppose one could spend some time and figure out a reasonable estimate of minutes played for McAdoo and then estimate what a freshman of his stature normally produces in terms of point per minute. Then make some adjustments for pace and the offensive usage of his teammates. After a little work, I think I could come up with an estimate I was comfortable with.
Only, I lack self-esteem and find myself questioning my methods all the time. So I’m not confident that would be the true expectation for McAdoo’s point total. Really what I would want to do is ask dozens of informed college basketball fans what they think the answer is and take an average. Some people would be more informed than others.…
by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I’ll bring this back to college hoops eventually. But first, I’ve got data to show that betting on NFL point spreads is like playing the slots in that you have no control over whether you win or lose. I know, you think you are the exception. You study the trends and wait for Donny Gridiron’s 10,000 dime play and you win money all the time. And I surely can’t prove that you, specifically, don’t have magical predictive ability. But I’m nearly certain you don’t.
I have come to this conclusion using the results of the 515 participants in the Las Vegas Hilton’s Supercontest. The rules of the contest are fairly simple and provide a great experiment on whether there is skill in betting on NFL games. Each entrant pays $1500 to participate before the NFL season begins. Each week the contestants pick five games…