Subscribe!
CourtIntelligence powered by kenpom.com

The good stuff


At other venues...
  • ESPN.com ($)
  • Deadspin
  • Slate

  • Strategy
  • Whether to foul up 3 late
  • The value of 2-for-1’s

  • Philosophy
  • Brady Heslip’s non-slump
  • The magic of negative motivation
  • A treatise on plus-minus
  • The preseason AP poll is great
  • The magic of negative motivation
  • The lack of information in close-game performance
  • Why I don’t believe in clutchness*

  • Fun stuff
  • The missing 1-point games
  • Which two teams last lost longest ago?
  • How many first-round picks will Kentucky have?
  • Prepare for the Kobe invasion
  • Predicting John Henson's free throw percentage
  • Can Derrick Williams set the three-point accuracy record?
  • Play-by-play Theater: earliest disqualification
  • Monthly Archives

  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • July 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • July 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • November 2006
  • October 2006
  • September 2006
  • August 2006
  • July 2006
  • June 2006
  • May 2006
  • April 2006
  • March 2006
  • February 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005
  • December 2004
  • November 2004
  • October 2004
  • September 2004
  • August 2004
  • July 2004
  • June 2004
  • May 2004
  • April 2004
  • March 2004
  • February 2004
  • January 2004
  • December 2003
  • November 2003

  • RSS feed

    Conference-race simulations: Part II

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, January 1, 2014


    This is part two of my look at every conference race using a Monte Carlo and my current ratings for each team. The listed numbers are how many simulations each team won out of 10000, so divide that number by 100 to get the percent chance I am giving each team of winning the one-seed for its conference tournament. (Note: not all teams listed are eligible for their conference tournament, so in some cases it’s a mythical one-seed.) If a team isn’t listed, I didn’t forget about them - they didn’t win a single simulation.

    Conferences are ordered from least to most competitive. I’ll tackle the ten-most competitive conference races in the final part tomorrow. The following results include all games played through yesterday.

    21. Southland

    The pick: Stephen F. Austin. The Jacks have continued to roll under first-year head coach Brad Underwood and it looks like they’ll be favored in every Southland game except for a January 23rd game at Oral Roberts.

    The contrarian pick: Oral Roberts. After a two-year stint in the Southland, ORU is going back to the Summit next season, which has something to do with the fact that nine of the 14 Southland teams are rated worse than #300.

    Stephen F. Austin      6357
    Oral Roberts           2168
    Northwestern St.       1000
    Sam Houston St.         360
    Southeastern Louisiana   90
    New Orleans               9
    Houston Baptist           6
    Nicholls St.              5
    McNeese St.               3
    Texas A&M Corpus Chris    2
    
    

    20. Big West

    The pick: UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos are more than just Alan Williams. OK, no, they’re actually just Alan Williams, but he is a really good player.

    The contrarian pick: UC Irvine. If you follow the Big West, then you might think Hawaii at 10-3 would even be the favorite. But keep in mind they play their non-conference schedule almost entirely at home, where they have one of the best home court advantages in the country. What I’m saying is UC Irvine at 7-7, playing a few road games against Pac-12 teams, has about the same chance as the Rainbow Warriors.

    UC Santa Barbara       5690
    Hawaii                 1883
    UC Irvine              1804
    Cal Poly                362
    Long Beach St.          181
    Cal St. Fullerton        70
    Cal St. Northridge        9
    UC Riverside              1
    
    

    19. MAC

    The pick: Toledo. The Rockets’ unbeaten run ended at Kansas on Monday night, but their streak of scoring at least 1.08 PPP in every game didn’t.

    The contrarian pick: Eastern Michigan. Rob Murphy’s team has been the surprise of the conference so far, and convincing wins over Green Bay and Cleveland State are solid evidence that they’ll win a few games in league play.

    Toledo                 5087
    Ohio                   2264
    Akron                   818
    Eastern Michigan        573
    Western Michigan        440
    Buffalo                 403
    Kent St.                334
    Bowling Green            64
    Miami OH                 13
    Ball St.                  4
    Northern Illinois         2
    
    

    18. Big East

    The pick: Villanova. The Big East seas have kind of parted for the Wildcats with Georgetown and Marquette struggling more than expected. This is looking like a two team race. Villanova’s win at Butler yesterday was probably underrated by most. It boosted their title chances by 3%.

    The contrarian pick: Creighton. This isn’t all that contrarian. I had actually pencilled Marquette in here because the offense has to come around at some point, right? After seeing it shut down by the Jays less-than-stellar D last night, it’s clear that it might not.

    Villanova              5049
    Creighton              3427
    Georgetown              642
    Xavier                  587
    Marquette               138
    Butler                   93
    St. John's               49
    Providence                9
    Seton Hall                7
    DePaul                    1
    
    

    17. Big 12

    The pick: Oklahoma State. The Cowboys don’t seem to get the respect they deserve because they lack a true big. (Especially so with Michael Cobbins done for the season.) Either it’s a point guard’s game or not people. What’s it going to be this season?

    The contrarian pick: Iowa State. Well, the Cyclones are one of seven remaining unbeatens, so this isn’t all that contrarian, but with Baylor in the AP top ten and Kansas’s omission from it being the best example of how useless the polls are, ISU is the de facto contrarian choice.

    Oklahoma St.           5005
    Kansas                 2943
    Iowa St.               1391
    Baylor                  483
    Texas                    68
    Kansas St.               46
    Oklahoma                 32
    West Virginia            31
    Texas Tech                1
    
    

    16. CAA

    The pick: Drexel. Before the season, the CAA race was one of the most difficult to predict, but the Dragons have emerged as a surprisingly heavy favorite despite not really overachieving. They were ranked 83rd preseason and are ranked 82nd now.

    The contrarian pick: Delaware. The Blue Hens are the classic team that doesn’t have any quality wins, but has demonstrated in their losses that they are going to be trouble in conference play. They’ve hung with the likes of Villanova, full-strength Notre Dame, and Richmond on the road. So I give Delaware’s Kyle Anderson a 25% chance of playing his last game after UCLA’s Kyle Anderson this season.

    Drexel                 4971
    Delaware               3450
    Northeastern            630
    Towson                  508
    College of Charleston   213
    William & Mary          162
    James Madison            44
    UNC Wilmington           19
    Hofstra                   3
    
    

    15. SoCon

    The pick: Elon. The Phoenix’s 7-7 record has been the result of a brutal non-conference slate. That schedule isn’t over, though. Somehow, they host UMass on January 18th. Upset alert!

    The contrarian pick: Wofford. The Terriers are 5-7, but they’ve played well against quality opponents, and they only have to play Elon once so the schedule gives them an edge over Davidson. They also have an all-name teamer in point guard Indiana Faithfull.

    Elon                   4790
    Davidson               2306
    Wofford                1212
    Western Carolina       1130
    Georgia Southern        361
    Samford                  58
    Furman                   44
    Chattanooga              37
    UNC Greensboro           33
    Appalachian St.          29
    
    

    14. Big Ten

    The pick: Ohio State. The Buckeyes continue to easily lead the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, having held every opponent but one below 1 PPP.

    The contrarian pick: Iowa. Well, the Hawkeyes would be a good contrarian pick if they had Wisconsin’s schedule. Instead, they get to play Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, and Minnesota twice each. So if Iowa does win the league, it will be be an amazing accomplishment.

    Ohio St.               4524
    Wisconsin              2223
    Michigan St.           1758
    Iowa                    891
    Michigan                365
    Minnesota               165
    Illinois                 40
    Indiana                  31
    Nebraska                  2
    
    

    13. Mountain West

    The pick: San Diego State. The MW has been a colossal disappointment, currently sitting tenth in the conference ratings. The Aztecs have been one of the few overachievers.

    The contrarian pick: UNLV. The Rebels got off to an extremely shaky start, but have looked like a competent squad in recent weeks. Nobody is going to confuse UNLV’s point-guard-playing Smiths with Kenny Smith or even Ishmael Smith, but the conference is so down that it wouldn’t be crazy if they won it.

    San Diego St.          4465
    New Mexico             1901
    Boise St.              1658
    UNLV                   1008
    Utah St.                671
    Wyoming                 228
    Colorado St.             45
    Fresno St.               21
    Nevada                    2
    
    

    12. Horizon

    The pick: Green Bay. The Phoenix has spent most of the season in the lower end of the top 100 and has the claim to fame of giving Wisconsin its closest game so far (a three-point Badger win in Green Bay).

    The contrarian pick: Cleveland State. The Vikings are coming off a road win against Kent State, and as you may remember, put a rather large second-half scare into Kentucky about a month ago.

    Green Bay              4168
    Cleveland St.          2243
    Valparaiso              863
    Oakland                 648
    Detroit                 570
    Youngstown St.          544
    Milwaukee               515
    Wright St.              440
    Illinois Chicago          9
    
    

    11. SWAC

    The pick: Texas Southern. Mike Davis’s team has gotten a boost from transfer Aaric Murray. The Tigers’ annual buy-game barnstorming tour included a win at Temple when Murray exploded for 48.

    The contrarian pick: Southern. Gotta be Southern, right? I mean, all that confidence they gained from a 104-point win has to be worth something.

    Texas Southern         4131
    Jackson St.            3095
    Southern               2328
    Alabama A&M             217
    Alabama St.             122
    Prairie View A&M         56
    Arkansas Pine Bluff      25
    Mississippi Valley St.   23
    Alcorn St.                3