Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

March 8, 2011

Log5: C-USA, Southland, SWAC, and WAC

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken Pomeroy @ 1:57 am

Saint Peter’s became the new masters of improbability last night with their 62-57 win over Iona in the MAAC title game. The Peacocks’ title was given a 5.4 percent chance of happening. It’s true that Belmont has been the only one-seed to win a conference tourney so far, but both Morehead State and Gonzaga were pre-tourney favorites despite not being the top-seeded team in their respective events.

The numbers in each table represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.

Conference USA
March 9-12. All games at UTEP.

UTEP hosts this event and that means a lot when there’s not much to distinguish the teams at the top. Southern Miss should be the trendy darkhorse pick here.

                      Qtrs   Semis   Final   Champ
 3 UTEP                100    74.3    57.9    37.9
 1 UAB                 100    72.4    48.4    25.9
 5 Southern Miss      79.4    51.1    23.8    10.6
 2 Tulsa               100    66.3    20.7     8.4
 6 Marshall           82.5    24.3    14.5     6.5
 4 Memphis             100    42.4    14.1     4.5
 9 Central Florida    65.1    20.6    10.1     3.7
 7 SMU                50.8    17.3     3.4     0.9
10 Rice               49.2    16.4     3.1     0.8
 8 East Carolina      34.9     7.0     2.4     0.6
12 Tulane             20.6     6.5     1.3     0.2
11 Houston            17.5     1.4     0.4     0.05

Southland
March 9, 10, 12. All games at Katy, Texas.

You could flip coins and simulate the Southland tourney well. I didn’t follow the league, but I can only assume there was a whole lot of random nonsense deciding games. The top eight qualifiers all won between eight and 11 conference games. Yes, the two-seed is the least likely to win.

                      Semis   Final   Champ
3 Sam Houston St.      52.2    35.1    22.0
6 Stephen F. Austin    47.8    31.3    19.0
1 McNeese St.          55.8    34.5    17.1
8 Nicholls St.         44.2    24.8    10.9
7 UT San Antonio       58.2    21.4    10.4
4 Texas St.            54.6    23.3     9.4
5 SE Louisiana         45.4    17.4     6.2
2 Northwestern St.     41.8    12.2     5.0

SWAC
March 9-12. All games at Garland, Texas.

Texas Southern and Jackson State have nearly equal chances of taking the SWAC crown, in a league where chances of winning it all rank nearly according to seed. Given what we’ve seen over the past week, that’s a refreshing change of pace.

                      Semis   Final   Champ
2 Jackson St.          79.7    53.6    30.9
1 Texas Southern       82.0    52.4    30.5
3 Miss. Valley St.     65.1    28.6    13.0
4 Alabama St.          51.7    22.4    10.2
5 Alabama A&M          48.3    20.2     8.9
6 Grambling            34.9    10.7     3.3
7 Prairie View A&M     20.3     7.1     1.9
8 Ark. Pine Bluff      18.0     5.0     1.3

WAC
March 9-12. All games at Las Vegas, Nevada.

The WAC debuts its neutral-site event which also copies the WCC in going to a stepladder bracket where the top two seeds get a free pass to the semifinals. This helps boost Utah State’s chances, and they’re the second-biggest favorite in any tourney this season, having narrowly been beaten by Belmont in the Atlantic Sun for that honor.

                      Qtrs   Semis   Final   Champ
1 Utah St.             100     100    90.8    77.5
2 Boise St.            100     100    66.3    14.3
3 New Mexico St.       100    58.4    21.5     3.1
4 Idaho                100    61.3     6.5     2.7
7 Fresno St.          50.3    21.0     6.2     0.7
6 Nevada              49.7    20.6     6.0     0.7
5 Hawai'i             59.6    25.3     2.0     0.7
8 San Jose St.        40.4    13.5     0.7     0.2

March 7, 2011

Log5: Big East

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Gasaway @ 8:42 pm

My Big East tournament preview will run concurrently here and at ESPN Insider later tonight/early tomorrow. But for those of you who just can’t wait for Ken Pomeroy‘s log5 odds, here you go:

Seed                   Rd1    Qtrs   Semis   Final   Champ
 1 Pitt                100     100    72.9    44.3    29.4
 4 Syracuse            100     100    57.8    27.5    15.9
 3 Louisville          100     100    59.0    31.0    13.3
 2 Notre Dame          100     100    55.5    29.3    12.5
 5 St. John's          100    78.5    37.7    17.2     9.6
 7 Cincinnati          100    60.8    28.8    14.5     5.8
 6 West Virginia       100    63.5    28.4    13.5     5.1
10 Villanova          85.6    37.5    15.5     6.8     2.4
 8 Georgetown          100    52.8    14.3     5.3     2.2
 9 Connecticut        92.8    46.6    12.7     4.7     2.0
11 Marquette          76.4    32.1    11.9     4.7     1.5
12 Seton Hall         63.7    15.7     3.6     0.8     0.2
13 Rutgers            36.3     5.7     0.8     0.1     0.02
14 Providence         23.6     4.3     0.7     0.1     0.01
15 South Florida      14.4     1.7     0.2     0.02    0.002
16 DePaul              7.2     0.5     0.01    0.0007  0.00004

St. John’s is credited here with a full home-court advantage. That and the fact that Steve Lavin‘s team gets the winner Rutgers-Seton Hall (possibly the only game in a 15-game tournament that will not include an NCAA tournament team) gives the Johnnies a better look here than one might expect from a group that outscored its league by just 0.02 points per trip. That being said, Pitt is, of course, the favorite.

Log5: A-10, MAC, and MEAC

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken Pomeroy @ 1:41 am

The A-10, MAC, and MEAC tournaments get underway tomorrow. Read on below for the probabilistic preview of each. The most improbable tournament event to date has been North Florida’s appearance in the Atlantic Sun title game, which had a 8.2 percent chance of occurring. Some team will beat that this week. Maybe even a team in one of the tournaments below.

The numbers in each table represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.

Atlantic 10
March 8, 11-13. First round at higher seed. Remainder at Atlantic City.

The top four seeds are the teams to watch here – there is only a four percent chance that one of the teams participating in the first round wins the title. Xavier has been rolling, with a four-point loss at Charlotte being the only blemish on its record over the past two months. But given the strength of the two-through-four seeds, this tournament is far from a gimme for the Musketeers.

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
 1 Xavier              100    84.4    55.6    31.9
 2 Temple              100    84.6    52.4    28.8
 3 Richmond            100    76.8    38.0    18.6
 4 Duquesne            100    81.2    36.3    16.8
 6 Rhode Island       65.1    15.2     3.8     0.9
 9 Dayton             51.7    10.2     3.5     0.9
 5 G. Washington      77.9    16.2     3.1     0.6
 7 St. Bonaventure    71.8    11.8     3.1     0.6
11 St. Louis          34.9     8.1     2.0     0.5
 8 Massachusetts      48.3     5.4     1.2     0.2
10 La Salle           28.2     3.5     0.7     0.1
12 St. Joseph's       22.1     2.7     0.3     0.04

Mid-American
March 8, 10-12. First round at higher seed. Remainder at Cleveland.

Throw out the seeds in this one. The conference that sent its nine-seed to the NCAA tournament last season to disembowel Georgetown in the first round produces the most unusual breakdown I’ve seen in five seasons of doing this. Much like in the Sun Belt, there’s plenty of parity at the top of the MAC. Unlike the Sun Belt, the MAC’s favorite is an eight-seed, closely followed by its six-seed. And there’s this: Eighth-seeded Buffalo has about a one-in-five chance of cutting down the nets at the Q, while ninth-seeded Central Michigan has a one-in-2000 chance of doing so. Enjoy!

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
 8 Buffalo            92.6    50.2    32.0    20.4
 6 Akron              90.8    58.6    37.6    19.0
 1 Kent St.            100    48.7    29.1    17.5
 2 Western Michigan    100    72.8    35.0    14.7
 5 Ohio               96.6    52.9    21.6    11.4
 4 Ball St.            100    46.8    17.1     8.2
 3 Miami OH            100    39.0    19.6     7.1
 7 Bowling Green      69.0    19.6     5.4     1.2
10 Northern Illinois  31.0     7.6     1.8     0.4
11 Eastern Michigan    9.2     2.4     0.6     0.1
 9 Central Michigan    7.4     1.1     0.2     0.05
12 Toledo              3.4     0.2     0.01    0.0008

MEAC
March 8-12. All games at Winston Salem, N.C.

Welcome to the MEAC, the only conference creative enough to play different rounds of its tournament on the same day. Coppin State goes from league doormat last season to a legitimate title contender in 2011. And for the first time since 2007, Todd Bozeman’s Morgan State Bears are not the top choice to win the tournament. That honor belongs to Hampton who has a neutral site victory over Colorado State to its credit.

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
 2 Hampton             100    84.4    50.3    32.5
 3 Coppin St.          100    69.4    35.3    21.3
 4 Morgan St.          100    58.8    37.2    17.5
 1 Bethune Cookman     100    61.3    27.0    10.2
 5 North Carolina A&T  100    41.2    22.6     8.7
 6 Norfolk St.        78.6    27.9    10.4     4.8
 8 Delaware St.       62.9    27.2    10.2     3.2
 9 South Carolina St. 37.1    11.5     3.0     0.7
 7 Florida A&M        58.4    10.2     2.5     0.7
10 UMES               41.6     5.4     1.0     0.2
11 Howard             21.4     2.8     0.4     0.08

March 4, 2011

The incredible vanishing turnover (cont.)

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Gasaway @ 11:38 am

I’m jumping the gun on identifying multi-year trends, of course, given that this year isn’t over. Then again unless turnover-happy Baylor plays turnover-happy LSU about 15 times between now and Sunday night, I think a cry of “Vanishing turnovers!” based on major conference play is relatively safe from refutation.

Very well, then. Vanishing turnovers!

Everybody’s imitating Wisconsin all the sudden
Turnover percentages, 2006-11
Major conference games only

       TO%
2006  20.8
2007  20.1
2008  19.6
2009  19.7
2010  19.2
2011  18.9

If you have this year’s book mouth the following words along with me. I chalk up that one-year trend-interruption you see in 2009 to the introduction of a new three-point line that season. Am I right? Who knows, but that’s what I said would happen in advance, so of course I’m going to stick to that story.

The drop in turnovers this season is smaller than anything we’ve seen in any year where there was not a new three-point line introduced. I blame the Big 12. Apparently after last summer’s round of conference realignment the Big 12 was so surprised and happy to find that it still existed that its teams ran out onto the floor and charitably threw the ball into the hands of the opponent. A lot. If you watch college hoops in that part of our nation you’ll see a turnover on more or less one in every five trips (19.7 TO%), which is so 2008. Come on, Big 12, join the Charlie Sheen/Libya present-day. It’s neato.

Only a record-smashing performance from this year’s Big Ten was able to drag the overall major-conference number down below 19. Prior to this season no major conference had recorded a TO percentage below 18.4, but this year Big Ten teams gave the ball away on just 17.3 percent of their trips. (If the entire Big Ten were a team, they’d have the second-best TO percentage in the Big 12.) Obviously this ostentatious performance was spearheaded by Wisconsin, which at the moment has committed a turnover on just 11.2 percent of their Big Ten possessions.

The Badgers’ microscopic TO rate is a major contributing factor behind an offense that’s scoring 1.19 points per trip in conference play. (Fun fact: in a magical realm without turnovers, Ohio State, currently scoring 1.16 points per possession against the Big Ten, would actually have the superior offense.) My working assumption is that coaches notice things like Wisconsin scoring a ton of points through the simple expedient of a ban on turnovers. As my colleague Ken Pomeroy rightly notes, coaches have a professional incentive to notice stuff like that. Thus this trend is likely to continue its long inexorable spiral downward.

Unfiltered-back!
Don’t just mutter ineffectually; email me!

John,

I think you need to get back to Seth Davis with some facts, after he wrote this paragraph in his Hoop Thoughts:

I’m a big fan of Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency ratings, and I check his website often to look up all kinds of cool stats (even though I only understand about half of them). I also have no problem with members of the selection committee consulting those efficiency ratings to inform their decisions. But this notion that the efficiency ratings should replace the RPI as the primary organizational tool is totally ridiculous. The only thing that truly matters on a team’s resume is wins and losses, not a particular statistic, and that’s all the RPI takes into account. I mean, look at Pomeroy’s ratings: Washington is ranked 10th, Maryland is 16th, Utah State is 17th and Belmont is 21st. Is anyone really going to argue that those ratings serve the committee’s purposes better than the RPI?

Set him straight, Gasaway. (In a kind efficiency-based way, of course!)

Luke S.

Like Seth, I too expect that in the near future selection committee members will avail themselves of the kind of information first unearthed by Dean Smith more than 50 years ago. Not to the exclusion of other information and certainly not by rule, but simply because some committee members will find it useful to do so.

It would be nice if wins correlated more strongly with future performance, but we know from experience that they do not. We can shout at this gap all we want, but when we’re done it will still be part of our sport’s original equipment. The question is what to do about it. Right now the committee effectively looks past it. In the future I anticipate they’ll acknowledge the gap without becoming mastered by it. That strikes me as about right.

But I would never paint a sign championing Dean Smith’s handiwork as the new primary organizational tool, simply because I’m not sure the committee needs a primary organizational tool. Discussion among curious and alert fans of the game armed with good information should suffice.

Twitter: @JohnGasaway. Contact: here. Book: now available on Amazon.

Log5: Big Sky, Summit, and Sun Belt

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken Pomeroy @ 10:41 am

Three conferences use Saturday as the launch day for their tournaments. Read on below for the probabilistic preview of each.

The numbers in each table represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.

Big Sky
March 5, 8, 9. First round at higher seed. Semifinals/finals at Northern Colorado.

This is my favorite tournament in all the land. The Big Sky’s version is structured in such a way to give some sort of advantage to each rung of the standings ladder. Well, each rung above six, since the Big Sky’s event is also the most exclusive in D-I. UNC gets to host the semifinals and finals for the first time, which is an important perk since the top four seeds are evenly-matched.

                     Semis   Final   Champ
1 Northern Colorado    100    70.5    46.4
2 Montana              100    59.4    25.0
4 Northern Arizona    89.6    33.6    16.8
3 Weber St.           84.9    33.7    11.3
6 E. Washington       15.1     1.6     0.3
5 Montana St.         10.4     1.2     0.2

Summit
March 5-8 at Sioux Falls, S.D.

Oakland is the favorite and the most well-known team to casual hoops passers-by. And they did lead the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency. However, South Dakota State is one of the most worthy darkhorses to be found in Championship Week. I’m giving them half of a home-court advantage here, but even without it, they may be the second-best team in the Summit. And thus, there’s a high chance that a potential semifinal game between the Grizzlies and Jackrabbits will produce the Summit’s NCAA tournament participant.

                     Semis   Final   Champ
1 Oakland             88.9    54.9    39.8
5 South Dakota St.    74.1    36.1    24.4
2 Oral Roberts        60.7    36.4    13.3
3 IUPUI               78.8    39.4    13.0
7 North Dakota St.    39.3    19.6     5.4
4 IPFW                25.9     6.9     2.9
6 UMKC                21.2     4.6     0.6
8 Southern Utah       11.1     2.0     0.5

Sun Belt
March 5-8 at Hot Springs, Ark.

How confusing is it that the Sun Belt plays its tournament at Summit Arena? It would be like the Pac-10 playing its tourney at the Big East Center. Hot Springs is the home for unpredictability – no team can claim more than a 20 percent chance to win this 12-team event. Really, I don’t think your office could have any more fun than to participate in a Sun Belt pool. Start one today, then pick Western Kentucky to maximize your chances of taking home some cash next week!

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
1E Florida Atlantic    100    62.2    35.4    20.2
1W Arkansas St.        100    67.0    36.0    18.4
2E Middle Tennessee    100    59.0    32.1    16.1
3E Western Kentucky   88.6    52.9    27.6    15.2
2W La. Lafayette       100    45.3    19.3     8.8
3W Denver             67.8    31.6    16.2     7.6
4W North Texas        69.2    30.0    15.1     7.6
5W Ark. Little Rock   64.2    24.1     9.9     3.8
6E Florida Int'l      32.2     9.4     3.2     0.9
5E Troy               30.8     7.8     2.5     0.8
4E South Alabama      35.8     9.0     2.6     0.7
6W La. Monroe         11.4     1.8     0.2     0.03

March 3, 2011

Log5: CAA, MAAC, and SoCon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken Pomeroy @ 10:41 am

We’re on the eve of three more conference tournaments, and accordingly, here’s another dose of log5 analysis. Read on below for the probabilistic preview of each. The early leader in the clubhouse for unusual tournament happenings is High Point, who went on the road and knocked off second-seeded Liberty in the Big South first round.

The numbers in each table represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.

Colonial
March 4-7. All games at Richmond, Va.

With George Mason comfortably in the tournament field according to every bracketologist in the land, we have our first look at a potential bid thief. According to this analysis, there’s a 48 percent chance of somebody from the CAA stealing an at-large bid earned by the season-long performance of somebody else. JMU is an intriguing long-shot to back. They would be a slight favorite in a second-round game against the national leader in luck, third-seeded Hofstra. VCU has been given half of a home-court advantage here.

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
 1 George Mason        100    94.2    73.3    51.9
 2 Old Dominion        100    87.9    67.6    29.9
 4 VCU                 100    63.2    17.5     8.2
 6 James Madison      78.1    49.2    16.8     4.2
 5 Drexel             87.8    35.8     8.1     3.2
 3 Hofstra             100    43.8    10.7     1.8
10 Northeastern       52.8     6.7     2.2     0.3
 7 Delaware           47.2     5.4     1.7     0.2
11 William & Mary     21.9     7.0     1.0     0.1
 8 UNC Wilmington     53.6     3.3     0.6     0.09
 9 Georgia St.        46.4     2.5     0.4     0.06
12 Towson             12.2     1.0     0.05    0.005

Metro Atlantic
March 4-7. All games at Fairfield.

For the fourth consecutive season, the top seed in the MAAC tourney gets to play at home. This is noteworthy because the site is chosen before the season. Perhaps this is good news for Fairfield, since the home team has won its last nine games in this event. Of course, each of those teams was named Siena. Iona’s rated as the strongest team in the conference, but the home venue makes Fairfield the favorite.

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
 1 Fairfield           100    95.6    74.5    47.0
 2 Iona                100    86.7    61.5    32.6
 3 Rider               100    65.6    25.5     9.6
 4 St. Peter's         100    56.8    16.4     5.4
 5 Loyola MD           100    43.2     8.4     2.4
 6 Canisius            100    34.4     9.0     2.2
 7 Siena              79.1    12.3     3.9     0.7
 8 Niagara            60.9     2.8     0.5     0.04
 9 Marist             39.1     1.6     0.2     0.01
10 Manhattan          20.9     1.0     0.1     0.008

Southern
March 4-7. All games at Chattanooga.

Four of the top five options reside in the South division, and the North’s second-seed, Chattanooga, is the sixth choice despite hosting the event and getting a first-round bye. I’m OK with divisional scheduling the way the Big 12 does it. I’m even fine with a conference listing its standings in divisional format. But divisional seeding, especially in the SoCon where teams play more than one game each against teams in the opposite division, is a scourge upon conference tournaments everywhere.

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
1S Coll. Of Charleston 100    87.8    70.2    45.0
2S Wofford             100    79.7    53.2    27.9
1N W. Carolina         100    59.6    24.3    10.2
3S Furman             87.3    58.5    18.8     7.6
4S Davidson           81.8    36.8    15.4     5.7
2N Chattanooga         100    38.6     7.7     2.2
3N Appalachian St.    85.7    19.6     6.6     1.9
4N Elon               62.5     8.8     3.5     0.8
5S The Citadel        37.5     3.4     1.0     0.2
5N UNC Greensboro     18.2     3.6     0.5     0.07
6N Samford            12.7     4.5     0.3     0.04
6S Georgia Southern   14.3     0.7     0.08    0.005

March 2, 2011

More on Indiana’s weird, needless, suicidal fouling

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Gasaway @ 11:14 am

Yesterday I noted in passing that Indiana sure does send opponents to the line a lot. After hitting “post” I received some queries from readers who asked, in effect, that I define “a lot.”

Fair enough. If you’ve been reading along for a while you know I like to talk about socially-determined behaviors like fouling — and, to a somewhat lesser extent, rebounding — in terms of how a team measures up in relation to their conference. In Indiana’s case, the Big Ten is traditionally a low-foul league. This season the league-wide number for opponent FTA/FGA is 0.33, and once again that’s the lowest such number among the six major conferences.

Alas the 2011 Hoosiers (opponent FTA/FGA 0.55 in conference play) are doing everything in their power to change that tradition. IU ranks No. 1 out of 73 major-conference teams in their ability to commit fouls that their league rivals do not.

So many whistles
Highest Hack Factors, 2011
Major-conference games only, thru March 1
HF: Opp. FTA/FGA, standard deviations above conference mean

                  HF
1. Indiana       2.63
2. Rutgers       2.60
3. Georgia Tech  2.05

When I see a team fouling this often, one question I like to answer for my own curiosity is how much better would their defense be if they simply fouled at a normal rate?

               Opp eFG%   DR%   Opp TO%   Opp PPP
Michigan         53.9    70.5    17.6       1.09
Indiana          52.8    68.7    17.5       1.13

Congratulations to the Wolverines, who are being deployed in a “Why can’t you be more like Michigan?” context for the first time in a very long while. The Hoosiers have the better FG defense, and they force almost exactly the same number of turnovers as does John Beilein‘s team. But thanks to a small superiority in defensive rebounding and a huge disparity in fouling (UM opp. FTA/FGA: 0.30), the Wolverines have a defense that’s better by a modest but significant margin. And when you’re being outscored on every possession by 0.10 points, as Indiana is, something that may or may not improve your overall performance by 0.04 points or so per trip is probably worth a shot.

I realize the Hoosiers aren’t going to be inspired to perform Rudy-level feats merely by Tom Crean giving a pep talk entitled “Our Defense Can Be as Good as Michigan’s!” But the fact of that matter is that’s a realistic and perhaps even easily attainable goal. If IU did have a D that good, they’d have more wins and the level of grumbling in Bloomington would be somewhat less grumbly.

Twitter: @JohnGasaway. Contact: here. Book: now available on Amazon.

Log5: America East, the Valley, and the NEC

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken Pomeroy @ 1:49 am

It’s day three of our log5 odyssey. Three more tournaments will begin tomorrow. Read on below for the probabilistic preview of each.

The numbers in each table represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.

America East
March 3, 5, 6, 12. All games at Hartford, except title game which is at higher seed.

America East gets underway with the pigtail game tomorrow. Evan Fjeld and Vermont dominated conference play, leading AE in both 2P% defense, 3P% defense, and defensive rebounding. Not to mention the Catamounts were second-best in the conference in forcing turnovers. Mike Lonergan, prepare to send out a few resumes this offseason!

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
1 Vermont              100    94.5    76.9    64.0
2 Boston U.            100    77.6    49.0    17.2
3 Maine                100    64.2    30.9     9.2
5 Stony Brook          100    60.3    12.6     3.9
4 Albany               100    39.7     9.4     3.3
6 Hartford             100    35.8    12.5     1.2
7 New Hampshire        100    22.4     7.6     1.0
9 Binghamton          61.1     3.9     0.9     0.1
8 UMBC                38.9     1.6     0.2     0.02

Missouri Valley
March 3-6. All games at St. Louis.

Arch Madness fields its usual level of parity, and it starts tomorrow night with two virtual coin flips. There’s a 73 percent chance that the top-seed (and the team that swept the two-seed) won’t win. So don’t be surprised if that happens. Also not surprising is that bracketologists say this is a one-bid conference. Somehow this season, the Valley tumbled to the 14th spot among conferences in my power ratings.

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
 1 Missouri St.        100    87.1    55.7    27.2
 2 Wichita St.         100    87.7    68.8    46.1
 3 Indiana St.         100    68.3    21.1     8.7 
 5 Creighton           100    53.4    22.9     8.6
 4 Northern Iowa       100    46.6    18.6     6.5
 6 Evansville          100    31.7     5.8     1.5
10 Bradley            50.4     6.2     2.2     0.5
 7 Drake              49.6     6.1     2.1     0.5
 9 Illinois St.       50.8     6.7     1.4     0.2
 8 Southern Illinois  49.2     6.3     1.3     0.2

Northeast
March 3, 6, 9. All games at higher seed.

The NEC employs both campus sites and re-seeding. Basically, the little man doesn’t stand a chance. This method masks any seeding hijinks, of which there aren’t much to gripe about anyway. Robert Morris has a legit claim to being the second-best team in the conference, but they’ll be an underdog in a hypothetical semifinal game at Quinnipiac.

                     Semis   Final   Champ
1 Long Island         91.9    73.0    53.4
2 Quinnipiac          83.4    52.3    19.4
3 Robert Morris       83.8    39.8    16.5
4 Central Connecticut 78.2    25.1     9.0
5 St. Francis NY      21.8     4.4     1.0
6 Wagner              16.2     2.4     0.4
7 Mt. St. Mary's      16.6     1.9     0.2
8 St. Francis PA       8.1     1.0     0.1

March 1, 2011

Log5: A-Sun, OVC, and Patriot

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken Pomeroy @ 2:31 am

Three more conferences begin tourney play tomorrow. Read on below for the probabilistic preview of each. (Note for day 1 viewers: Horizon League probabilities have been revised and re-revised since our initial posting yesterday.)

The numbers in each table represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.

Atlantic Sun
March 2-5. All games at Mercer.

For the second consecutive year, the A-Sun hosts its post-season festivities in Macon, Georgia. Last season, Mercer parlayed a 10-10 conference record and home-court advantage into a final-game appearance. The Atlantic Sun is one of the few single-bid conferences remaining that offers no additional advantage, like home-court or a bye, to its top seed. This means there’s a much more real chance that Belmont, perhaps the best team outside of the top seven conferences, will be relegated to the NIT. Further complicating things is the presence of East Tennessee State, who in any other season since 2004 would have been the best team in the conference. Fun Fact: For all of its dominance, Belmont gets a higher percentage of its shots blocked than any other team in the country!

                     Semis   Final   Champ
1 Belmont             99.4    89.6    77.9
2 East Tennessee St.  91.8    66.4    14.0
3 Jacksonville        64.8    22.8     2.7
4 Lipscomb            50.2     5.2     2.3
5 Mercer              49.8     5.1     2.3
6 North Florida       35.2     8.2     0.6
7 Campbell             8.2     2.5     0.1
8 Kennesaw St.         0.6     0.06    0.005

Ohio Valley
March 2-5. All games at Nashville, Tn.

After some initial moments of doubt, the OVC regular season shook out as expected in the pre-season with Murray State and Morehead State grabbing the top two seeds. The conference figured to be top-heavy, but Austin Peay was an unexpected challenger to the top two, tying Morehead State for second and splitting four games with the top two teams. By virtue of losing the tiebreaker, Peay falls victim to the OVC’s brand new WCC-style double bye (or “merit-based”) format and will have to play one more game than the Racers and Eagles. Tennessee State is given half of a home-court advantage in these calculations.

                       Rd1   Semis   Final   Champ
2 Morehead St.         100     100    60.3    36.4
1 Murray St.           100     100    73.9    36.1
3 Austin Peay          100    79.6    35.4    19.5
5 Tennessee St.       75.5    44.3    13.7     4.2
4 Tenn. Tech           100    48.0    11.5     2.7
6 E. Kentucky         72.5    17.4     4.0     1.3
8 UT Martin           24.5     7.7     1.2     0.1
7 SE Missouri St.     27.5     2.9     0.3     0.05

Patriot
March 2, 6, 11. All games at higher seed.

Bucknell went 13-1 and earns the top seed which comes along with potentially three additional home games. What’s odd is that the Bison’s only loss was to last-place Army…by 20. The two meet again in Lewisburg tomorrow, where Bucknell won easily last Saturday against the Black Knights. Vlad Moldoveanu and American are the most likely impalers to Bucknell’s title plans.

                     Semis   Final   Champ
1 Bucknell            93.6    82.4    69.8
2 American            91.6    68.0    18.4
4 Lehigh              79.0    13.9     4.9
3 Holy Cross          69.0    22.1     4.8
6 Lafayette           31.0     8.9     1.3
5 Navy                21.0     2.3     0.5
8 Army                 6.4     1.4     0.3
7 Colgate              8.4     1.0     0.06
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