For all your fancy-pants statistical needs.

Praise for The Basketball Distribution:

"...confusing." - CBS
"...quite the pun master." - ESPN

how often does a team do better after doing worse, and vice versa

yes, I have made a stat for this (% of sinusoidality)

for the top 5 teams

Memphis - 76%
North Carolina - 79%
Pittsburgh - 63%
Connecticut - 64%
Duke - 67%

Carolina is the most apt to perform worse after performing well. Etc.

Upset Watch!

"Upset" watch for today.
(Games that Kenpom predicts to be the opposite of what the polls say---just click any team to see the predicted score of their future games).

-Unranked Davidson over #22 Butler, 68-66
-Unranked Georgetown over #11, 73-68
-Unranked USC over #19 Washington, 72-71
-Unranked Texas over #2 Oklahoma, 73-72 (hehe!!)
-Unranked St. Marys over #23 Utah St, 67-65

Let's go Texas!

Memphis, #1?

I have an immense amount of trust in and the LRMC's ranking systems. In head-to-head, I will almost always choose what says.

But is Memphis better than North Carolina? would like you to believe so. Personally, I'm pretty sure their stats are this way because they've done better than predicted four games in a row (they've won by an average of 12 points/100 possessions better than predicted in these last four games). Unfortunately, I'm afraid adjusts too much for recency.

But on, there is talk of them being ranked higher because of their exceedingly good performance against cupcakes, and "beating no real competition so far." This sounds like what many people felt about Kansas and Davidson about this time last

Anyways, I made a graph showing HOW cupcake-eatey Memphis is. This predicts how well they will do against specific competition (for reference, ~.85 and up is NCAA-atlarge tourney level competition, and .95 and up is top 10 teams).

(clik to enlarge)

I have added their predicted performance againinst Louisville and North Carolina for reference. According to their performances in the past, Kenpom only overpredicts Memphis by about 3.6  points per 100 possessions (which in a game against North Carolina, would translate to about 2.75 points).

And since Memphis is predicted to beat North Carolina by less than 1 point on a Neutral Court(in Kenpom's prediction formula), yes, Memphis is overrated.


Predicted NCAA performance

Here are the top 10 teams, ranked by my predicted bad day, average day, and good day performance (in predicted point margin against an average team)

click the underlined headers to sort:

The REAL Winehouse Factor and basketball prospectus have a statistic called the "winehouse factor." Unfortunately, it is based on statistics that do not have all that much to do with actual consistency.

It simply measures a teams' inconsistency in scoring throughout their schedule. However, if a team plays a BAD team, they should expect to do very well, and vice versa. In order to account for this, the better measure is the standard deviation in Actual-Expected efficiencies. And using only conference play is stupid--it gives us a sample size that is very small.

There are actually two more factors we must consider to get an accurate number of a teams' consistency, and only one that I can factor in (at the moment). The first is that offense and defense BY THEMSELVES are relatively unimportant. Examples being: Wright State has the 10th best adjusted Defense, but is 83rd overall in kenpom.....also: Notre Dame has the 6th best adjusted Offense and is 36th overall in kenpom. As we all know, it is the COMBINATION of these two that makes a team good. (You can have a 'bad' defensive day and win by 30). So instead of using offensive and defensive efficiencies, we should just use Efficiency Margins. (That is, one team's points per possession minus their opponents').

The second is this: if one team has a high standard deviation, but plays teams with high standard deviation, then their actual consisency is better than the numbers suggest. Unfortunately at this time I don't have the time to calculate this adjustment.

So let's look at consistency:
I call it the Rice-Factor. Tyrese Rice (and Boston College) is the reason for some of the most inconsistent team play in recent college basketball history (Beating Duke and Carolina, losing to St. Louis and Harvard).

Rice Factor: Standard Deviation of Actual Minus Expected Offense or Defense

Here's a random list of teams I think are inconsistent, and ones that John Gasaway calculated to be inconsistent.

Georgetown: .203 PPP
West Virginia: .201 PPP
Notre Dame: .174 PPP
Kentucky: .171 PPP*
Boston College: .171 PPP
Duke: .167 PPP
Tennessee: .140 PPP*
Arizona: .127 PPP*

Arizona is inSANELY consistent. John Gasaway getting mad at their offensive consistency is silly.

And poor Georgetown.

Cool Ranking System:

Effective Points Per Possession (or, Kenpom'd RPI)


Good job knocked Duke off their #1 spot on and took it for yourself.

Now for a fun look at player efficiency vs. point margin with Carolina's starters.

You will see two trends:

as the 2-point men are more efficient, the scoring margin goes up (makes sense).
as the 3-point men are more efficient, the scoring margin goes down. This is pretty easily solved, as we all know that 3-point shots are used most often in comebacks. 

One thing is pretty clear:  the heels need the Hansbrough (R^2=.39 !!!!!)

I finalized a prediction method today, using Kenpom's stats and how teams perform under those given stats. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the Carolina-Duke prediction finalized.

For now, here are my 3 favorite game-predictors, ranked by how accurate I feel the scores are in general.

1. Duke-81, Carolina-76 (69%-31%)
2. LRMC: Carolina wins.
3. Carolina-82, Duke-78 (66%-34%)

My normal distribution formula gives:

Duke-59%, Carolina-41%

Sad teams

Just some guessin:

Here is a list of top 64 teams (from that probably aren't going to get an at-large NCAA tourney bid.

#23-Georgetown - (and, against #1, #2, #4,#5, and #7 they have been outscored by an average of only 4.4 points)
#32-Southern Cal
#37-New Mexico
#46-Oklahoma St.
#54-Washington St.
#56-Notre Dame
#60-Rhode Island
#61-Cleveland St.
#62-Virginia Tech

Now, for the top bubblers:

#7-West Virginia

Now, for some overratedness:

RPI rk Kenpom rk Overratedness Overratedness %
Dayton 21 75 54 15.70%
Florida St. 18 51 33 9.59%
Minnesota 25 48 23 6.69%
Ohio St. 19 40 21 6.10%
Tennessee 20 41 21 6.10%
Butler 10 28 18 5.23%
Utah St. 33 50 17 4.94%
Xavier 6 20 14 4.07%

UNC vs. Duke: game plan

Duke is predicted to win by five on Wednesday. I hope not. But it sure is looking that way.

But lets look at the game-makers.

For UNC:

#1: Floor defense- This is Carolina's biggest factor that makes them better or worse than expected. In order to make up for those five points, Carolina would need to hold Duke to around 41.5 eFG% (Field Goal percentage with an extra 50% weight for 3-pointers). Unfortunately, I predict Duke to shoot ~50% eFG (which, I would predict on its own to Duke an extra six points).

#2: Turning the ball over- This is UNC's 2nd biggest x-factor. In order to make up for the five points they are predicted to lose by, they would need to turn the ball over on only 14.5% of the time. Unfortunately again, they are predicted to turn the ball over on ~22.5% of their possessions. This alone would give Duke an extra nine points.

For Duke:

#1: Floor defense: - Duke's defense correlates to changing the score almost as much as Carolina's. With the predicted 48% eFG that Carolina will likely shoot, Duke would be predicted to lose 3 points of their predicted 5 point margin.

#2: Offensive rebounds: - This is their 2nd- highest x-factor. By this alone, they are predicted to lose 2.3 points of their predicted 5 point margin.

Honestly, unless Roy makes some defense and ball-handling changes for Carolina, this game looks favored in Duke's direction. But as we all know, rivalries change the way things work.

Really? I mean, really?

1) Wake Forest....really? 27 points? To Miami??? Really?
2) Duke.......really? 27 points? To Clemson??? Really?
3) Marquette....really? South Florida?


About Me

I wish my heart were as often large as my hands.