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    A look at assisted-on data

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, March 30, 2012


    In today’s fast-paced society, it can be difficult to carve out time to break down video on your favorite team’s next opponent. One way to cheat the system and get a rough feel for offensive tendencies is to look at ‘assisted-on’ data, which indicates how many of a player’s made shots were assisted. Does a player primarily score off the pass or the dribble (or put-backs)? Does this change depending on where a player shoots? This kind of information can be derived from play-by-play data and I’ve done that for each team currently in New Orleans. The data below is in the from of assisted baskets/field goals made and there are a few interesting nuggets to be mined from reviewing this sort of data.

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    The untrained eye: Mercer vs. Utah State

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, March 28, 2012


    Mercer beat Utah State 70-67 in a 66-possession game Wednesday night. I was there. This is what I saw. (Really, this is heavier on the random thoughts than game recap.)

    Travel and Altitude Redux

    There’s nothing like travel and altitude to enhance one’s road struggles. So serious credit goes to Mercer for overcoming a 2000-mile trip from Macon, Georgia (elevation 400’) to Logan, Utah (elevation 4500’) in addition to the lively crowd. Mercer built an early lead and had to deal with the customary home-team run after halftime. Late in the second half, Utah State scored on eight consecutive possessions to turn a 48-41 deficit into a 55-49 lead. There were no weary legs here, though, as Mercer responded by scoring on the game’s last ten possessions – going 4-of-4 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free throw line - to pull…

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    Score another one for pre-season ratings

    by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, March 25, 2012


    If you’re into the twitter scene like I am, you’ve noticed Gary Parrish tweeting after each round where the remaining teams were ranked in his pre-season top 25 (and one).  That got me to thinking about the old issue of the pre-season poll versus the final poll. It’s been another good year for pre-season polls. The AP version had the Final Four teams ranked 2, 3, 9, and 13. (Is this really that good? I don’t know.) As you might suspect, after a full season’s worth of data, the voters were arguably worse, ranking the eventual Final Four teams at 1, 6, 7, and 17 in the pre-tournament poll.

    I’m not here to bash the AP voters for their late-season work. I’ve done that before and I hate repeating myself. I’m really here to support pre-season…

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    Elite 8 log5

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, March 23, 2012


    The field has been rid of the longshots. At this point, there aren’t any true surprises left in the field.

                    Final4 Final  Champ  Start    1 in…
    1S   Kentucky    76.6   57.2   33.6   19.7    3
    2E   Ohio St.    64.4   41.2   24.8   19.3    4
    2MW  Kansas      53.0   22.5   10.9    9.1    9
    1MW  N. Carolina 47.0   18.7    8.5    6.6    12
    1E   Syracuse    35.6   17.7    8.2    4.4    12
    7W   Florida     54.8   18.4    6.4    1.7    16
    4W   Louisville  45.2   13.4    4.1    0.5    24
    3S   Baylor      23.4   11.1    3.4    1.7    29

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    Sweet 16 log5

    by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, March 18, 2012


    Hot off the presses, we have the log5 analysis for the 16 remaining teams. These teams comprised 81% of the title-winning chances before the tourney started, up from 69% last season, indicating that this year’s group was more expected than last season’s. (Pre-tournament chances are indicated in the ‘Prev’ column.) Michigan State received nearly 6% of the 19% the losers left behind, primarily due to surviving the gauntlet that was their round-of-32 game.

    This obviously doesn’t account for injuries, but I have a feeling UNC’s chances aren’t that far off. They have the enormous benefit of getting to play the weakest team remaining in the field in their first game. Beating Ohio is not certain, of course, but just getting to play them is the best-case scenario if you’re trying to figure out how to play basketball without a point guard.

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    Round of 32 log5

    by Ken Pomeroy on Saturday, March 17, 2012


                    Swt16  Elite8 Final4 Final  Champ    1 in…
     1S  Kentucky    81.5   60.0   48.5   31.9   19.3    5
     2E  Ohio St.    81.2   65.8   44.4   29.9   18.6    5
     1W  Michigan St 71.1   52.7   39.0   24.0   14.1    7
     2MW Kansas      73.6   49.5   31.9   16.3    8.6    12
     1MW N. Carolina 76.6   62.1   34.2   16.3    8.0    13
     4E  Wisconsin   64.5   38.5   19.1   10.8    5.5    18
     1E  Syracuse    67.8   34.6   15.9    8.4    3.9    25
     4S  Indiana     73.2   27.4   18.2    8.6    3.6    28
     3S  Baylor      76.8   57.0   20.2    8.4    3.0    33
     7W  Florida     92.8   52.0   20.1    8.1    2.9    34
     3MW Georgetown  71.7   32.0   17.2    6.9    2.8    35
     3W  Marquette   67.8   35.8   13.7    5.5    2.0    51
     5W  New Mexico  54.2   18.0    9.4    3.7    1.3    75
     9W  St. Louis   28.9   15.6    8.5    3.5    1.3    76
     5E  Vanderbilt  35.5   16.1    5.9    2.5    0.9    106
     4W  Louisville  45.8   13.6    6.5    2.4    0.8    132
     3E  Florida St. 53.9   14.0    4.9    1.7    0.5    185
    10MW Purdue      26.4   11.4    4.8    1.4    0.4    246
     8E  Kansas St.  32.2   10.8    3.3    1.2    0.4    282
     8S  Iowa St.    18.5    7.4    3.8    1.2    0.3    301
     6E  Cincinnati  46.1   10.8    3.4    1.1    0.3    324
     7E  Gonzaga     18.8    9.3    3.1    1.0    0.3    325
     8MW Creighton   23.4   13.4    3.8    0.9    0.2    475
    12MW S. Florida  57.1   15.2    3.8    0.8    0.2    594
     6W  Murray St.  32.2   11.5    2.7    0.7    0.1    680
    10S  Xavier      55.9   19.1    3.5    0.8    0.1    706
    12S  VCU         26.8    5.2    2.2    0.6    0.1    798
    11MW N.C. State  28.3    7.1    2.4    0.5    0.1    850
    15S  Lehigh      44.1   13.0    2.0    0.4    0.06   1813
    13MW Ohio        42.9    9.3    1.9    0.3    0.05   1856
    11S  Colorado    23.2   10.9    1.7    0.3    0.05   2156
    15W  Norfolk St.  7.2    0.7    0.04   0.002  0.0001 1033538
    

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    Rick Majerus: awesome coach

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, March 15, 2012


    It was high comedy on Sunday when the brackets revealed that Memphis and Saint Louis were forced to play each other in the round of 64. I haven’t done the research, but it would be hard for any previous round-of-64 game to top this one in the overall strength of the competing teams.

    Once my laughter died down, I began to truly feel sorry for Saint Louis. It has been a pretty amazing year for the Billikens, accompanied by no recognition whatsoever. For some context, let’s review the Rick Majerus era at SLU.
     AdjO AdjD Rank Rank 2012 36 10 2011 242 47 2010 190 29 2009 192 117 2008 194 103

    It took Majerus a couple of seasons to successfully implement his trademark defense that does everything in its power to take away fast breaks and three-point attempts. However, the offense showed…

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    This is the year a 1 loses to a 16

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, March 13, 2012


    Full disclosure: Every year I love the prospect of a 16 winning its first-ever game over a one-seed. Loyal readers will recall my irrational exuberance regarding Oral Roberts in 2006.

    This is not without reason, though. If you run the numbers, the chances of all of the one-seeds getting to the Final Four are typically roughly equivalent to one of the top-seeds losing in the first round. Yet somehow history has betrayed the odds. The Apocalypse Scenario played itself out in 2008 when all of the one-seeds made the Final Four, while 16-seeds are 0-108 against one-seeds all-time. And there have really only been four cases where the outcome was in doubt in the final minute - none since Western Carolina took Purdue to the wire in 1996.

    Even with this enormously long drought, I make it a point to watch each 1/16 game…

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    NCAA tourney log5 analysis

    by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, March 11, 2012


    What follows is log5-style predictions of each team’s chance of advancing to each round in the tournament. The full list of 68 follows the regional analysis. [Corrected tables due to error in UNC’s rating -kp 3/12]

    South

    - I agree with Luke. Kentucky has the easiest path for a one-seed. The reputations of Duke and Baylor are better (by quite a bit in Duke’s case) than their ability. I’m undecided as to whether to write the annual “(Insert favored team here) will not win the national title” column. But the odds are squarely on my side.

    - At the bottom of the bracket, watch South Dakota State. They didn’t get much of a break in drawing Baylor, but it’s not an impossible situation for them. And should they pull off the upset they’ll have just shy of a 50/50 chance of getting…

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    Contest winner

    Congratulations to Tommy Lemoine of Manchester, New Hampshire who earned himself a lifetime subscription to my site by virtue of winning the Mountain West tourney contest. Tommy is a recent Michigan State grad and here was his winning scorecard:

    QuestionPickResult
    What will be San Diego State’s largest lead against Boise State?1211
    How many points will Hank Thorns score against Colorado State?1719
    How many points will Michael Lyons score against New Mexico?1713
    How many offensive rebounds will UNLV get against Wyoming?76
    How many points will Colorado State score in the second half against San Diego State?3030
    How many rebounds will Drew Gordon get against UNLV?1113
    How many three-point attempts will New Mexico and San Diego State combine to take?3637

    The total error for the seven questions was 11, which was good enough to beat out six other contestants by one point. Although after missing…

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