Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

March 20, 2012

NIT Log5 Analysis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Pelton @ 5:04 pm

The world has cried out for a Ken Pomeroy-style analysis of the chances of each team advancing in the NIT, and since I care a wee bit more than normal about the NIT (for nebulous reasons), I did one for the eight teams that have advanced to the quarterfinals.

Team              Rating  Semis   Final   Champs
Drexel             .829    .760    .454    .252
Stanford           .789    .760    .357    .175
Washington         .789    .640    .309    .152
Middle Tennessee   .786    .590    .292    .142
Minnesota          .820    .410    .225    .121
Oregon             .790    .360    .174    .086
UMass              .734    .240    .110    .046
Nevada             .673    .240    .079    .027

As the NIT probably should be, the tournament looks wide open. The three Pac-12 teams have essentially identical ratings, with Middle Tennessee State close behind. Drexel and Minnesota are the top-rated teams by Pomeroy, with UMass and Nevada lagging behind. Because the NIT doesn’t shift to a neutral site until the semifinals and finals at Madison Square Garden, home-court advantage has a big impact here. That explains why the Golden Gophers are still unlikely to reach New York. (Note that projections for this set of games are based on FanMatch, so as to include home-court advantage.) The Ducks’ chances are also much better if they get to the Garden.

Barring an upset by one of the weaker teams, we should have three solid games at MSG next week. Drexel is the favorite, definitely, but doesn’t project to win more than 57 percent of the time on a neutral floor against any of the non-UMass/Nevada opponents, so expect a dramatic conclusion. The other likely winner here is the Pac-12. The chances of someone from the conference winning are better than 40 percent, and there’s about a one-in-six shot (17.2 percent) of an all Pac-12 final matching Stanford against either Oregon or Washington.

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