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  1. #1

    Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Alright fellas. Itís that time.
    These numbers can still change as the tourney progresses, but based on the way things stand right now, I wanted to get a list of the favorites and be able to come back later and look.

    As a reminder, we discussed 4 categories that have been most predictive (and there may be more we missed). I am listing these categories in order of their influence on the NC:
    1. Top 25 (with small exceptions) in Kenpom Defense. Defense is actually the key here. Itís by far the most predictive. So if a team is #2 in defense and 28 in offense they qualify.
    2. Top 50 Kenpom Offense
    3. Top 50 3pt FG attempts. (As well as having at least one shooter at 38% or above who takes at least 2 3ís a game)
    4. Did not win their conference tourney. I believe D said that 70% of the national champs this decade did not (correct me if Iím wrong). OR hot at end of the year. We have seen this as predictive for Final Four.
    Since these stats can and will change by the end of the tourney, if a team is close to Top 50 for instance I will include them since they could end there.
    Also, the Kenpom offense and defense is more predictive than winning or losing conference tourney. So I am weighing those as slightly more.
    If a team is way off in one category I am lowering them as well.
    Also, no team with 10 losses has won the NCAA tourney since Danny Manning in 1988. So teams with 10 losses or more get dinged down a tier just for that.
    Taking those stats, this is how I would group the teams with the best chances to win. In tiers.

    Tier 1 -

    Villanova - they are 1st in offense. 22nd in defense. And 5th in 3pt attempts. Their only knock is they won their conference tourney.

    Duke - I hate to say it but itís true. They are 3 in offense. 7 in defense. And lost their conference tourney. Their knock is oddly 3pt shooting. They are 157th (but notoriously take a lot so Iím a little hesitant with this one).

    MSU - 9th in offense. 9th in defense. Lost conference tourney. But 230 in 3 pt attempts.

    Gonzaga - 12th in offense. 15th in defense. 79 in 3pt attempts. Won conference tourney.

    Purdue - 2nd in offense. 29th in defense. 88th in 3pt attempts. Lost conference tourney. But finished year poorly.

    Kansas - 6th in offense. 46th in defense. 49th in 3pt attempts. Won conference tourney.

    Michigan - 29th in offense. 4th in defense. 58th in 3pt attempts. Won conference tourney. Hot.

    Tier 2 - (2ish out of 4)

    Virginia - 1st in defense. 21st in offense. Won conference tourney. But 265th in 3pt attempts.

    UNC - 4th in offense. 34th defense. 63 in 3pt. And lost their conference tourney. But 10 losses knocks them to this tier.

    WVU - 14th in offense. 39th in defense. 52nd in 3pt attempts. Lost conference tourney. But 10 losses dings them.

    Cincinnati - 54th in offense. 2nd in defense. 179th in 3pt attempts. Won conference tourney.

    Tennessee - 40th in offense. 5th in defense. 200th in 3pt attempts. Lost conference tourney.

    Texas Tech - 46th in offense. 3rd in defense. But 251st in 3pt fga. Lost conference tourney.

    Xavier - 7th in offense. 59th in defense. 174th in 3ptfga. Lost conference tourney.

    Ohio State - 27 offense. 17 Defense. But 284th in 3pt attempts. Lost conference tourney. But struggled late.

    Auburn - 16 in offense. 44 Defense. 36 3pt fga. Lost conference tourney (they are literally the only team that qualifies in all 4 categories). The only reason I have them in Tier 2 is because of injuries and they struggled late.

    Houston - 31 offense. 18 Defense. 126 in 3pt fga. Hot late.

    Kentucky - 25 offense. 23 Defense. But 343rd out of 351 teams in 3ptfga. Hot late. But 10 losses.

    Clemson - 48 offense. 8 Defense. 140 3pt fga. Struggled late.

    Arizona - 15 offense. 70 Defense. 262 in 3pt fga. Hot late.

    Tier 3 - (mostly 10+ loss teams):

    Butler - 32 offense. 48 Defense. 100 3pt fga.

    Seton Hall - 26 offense. 58 Defense. 242 in 3ptfga.

    Creighton - 22 offense. 61 Defense. 20 in 3pt fga.

    Penn State - 57 offense. 21 Defense. 223 3pt fga.

    Florida - 37 offense. 25 Defense. 77 3pt fga. Inconsistent late. 12 losses.

    Texas A&M - 71 offense. 12 Defense. 237 in 3ptfga. 12 losses.

    Want a long shot for the Final Four?

    Missouri - 53 offense. 47 Defense. 75 3ptfga. But if Porter gets healthy and in shape. You never know.

    My guess is our NCAA champ comes from Tier 1. Final Four comes from Tier 2. And longshot Final Four contenders from Tier 3. Do with it what you will.
    But it will be fun to come back and check as the tourney progresses.
    Obviously there will be upsets. Nova could lose the 1st weekend. We all know that. Itís more predictive of who WONT win it than it is who will win it.

  2. #2

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Good stuff, Puma.

    Do we know if Missouri's 2nd leading scorer/leading rebounder will return? I heard he was suspended, but if they advance, would he return?

  3. #3

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    Good stuff, Puma.

    Do we know if Missouri's 2nd leading scorer/leading rebounder will return? I heard he was suspended, but if they advance, would he return?
    I missed that. It says heís only suspended one game.

  4. #4

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Looking at these Tiers, it also tells me the Midwest is loaded.
    3 teams in the Top tier. They may beat each other up.

  5. #5

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    I missed that. It says he’s only suspended one game.
    Great, thanks. Hopefully they can survive one game.

  6. #6

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    Looking at these Tiers, it also tells me the Midwest is loaded.
    3 teams in the Top tier. They may beat each other up.
    There are a ton of ways to look at brackets. You can find just about anything. I trust your analysis with this as much as any.

  7. #7

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    I missed that. It says heís only suspended one game.
    I think the suspension was either first game or first weekend. He is traveling with the team.

  8. #8
    Comeback Cat Catfan73's Avatar
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    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    Good stuff, Puma.

    Do we know if Missouri's 2nd leading scorer/leading rebounder will return? I heard he was suspended, but if they advance, would he return?
    Dang it! I forgot about the DUI.

    This thread brings up something else I've always wondered...do teams with a tough road fare better or do the ones where the path is cleared so to speak?
    Last edited by Catfan73; 03-13-2018 at 02:08 PM.
    Don't panic

  9. #9

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithKSR View Post
    I think the suspension was either first game or first weekend. He is traveling with the team.
    Sometimes that can be a rallying cry for a teammate. With Porter back, they might not feel the absence.

  10. #10

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by Catfan73 View Post
    Dang it! I forgot about the DUI.

    This thread brings up something else I've always wondered...do teams with a tough road fare better or do the ones where the path is cleared so to speak?
    That would be so hard to figure out. I think itís all about surviving and advancing. Everyone has to play good teams at some point.

  11. #11

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Btw, how do these stats hold up to last years Final Four? 100%.

    Gonzaga, UNC and Oregon would have been in Tier 1 (no one else would have had Oregon in this tier. But they would have been. They were Kenpom 17/17 and 18th in 3pt fga

    And South Carolina would have been in Tier 2 (which was way higher than their seed). They were #3 in Kenpom defense.

    All 4 teams were Top 20 in Kenpom defense.
    Last edited by ukpumacat; 03-13-2018 at 04:26 PM.

  12. #12

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    All 4 teams were Top 20 in Kenpom defense.

    Pre-tourney or Final?

  13. #13
    Super Kitten
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    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    Btw, how do these stats hold up to last years Final Four? 100%.

    Gonzaga, UNC and Oregon would have been in Tier 1 (no one else would have had Oregon in this tier. But they would have been. They were Kenpom 17/17 and 18th in 3pt fga

    And South Carolina would have been in Tier 2 (which was way higher than their seed). They were #3 in Kenpom defense.

    All 4 teams were Top 20 in Kenpom defense.
    Lot of good info there. Thanks.

    Just curious on the data from last year. Was that prior to the tournament? As we know that data can shift quickly.

  14. #14

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopcat View Post
    Lot of good info there. Thanks.

    Just curious on the data from last year. Was that prior to the tournament? As we know that data can shift quickly.
    It doesnít allow to search week by week (that I can find). So those are total season.
    Fivethirtyeight does allow you to look at pre-tourney and it looks like they are virtually the same.

  15. #15

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    I sent all the info to my son for his brackets. He has a spreadsheet he created himself with each team, seed, whether they are a "choker," an "upsetter," their depth, their offense, defense, whether they are 1-2 player reliant, their record v top 25, and comments he made. Not a bad effort (Now at least I know what he was doing in school today), but it is lacking in specifics like the above.

  16. #16

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Another note, not one team with a Kenpom Defensive rating worse than Top 21 has won the title.

    So you guys keep picking Az all you want. But it will be a statistical anomaly in about 4 different ways.

  17. #17

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    Another note, not one team with a Kenpom Defensive rating worse than Top 21 has won the title.

    So you guys keep picking Az all you want. But it will be a statistical anomaly in about 4 different ways.
    Well, I wouldn't use Pomeroy's defensive rating of "21" as anything magic. Remember, one team was 21. Would you exclude someone who was 22? (Villanova) 23? (Kentucky-cough-Kentucky).

    But I would exclude someone who was outside the margin of error. Arizona's 70 is certainly outside whatever margin of error you might extend.

    (Yeah, I know Kentucky is excluded for other reasons. Still...)

  18. #18

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    Well, I wouldn't use Pomeroy's defensive rating of "21" as anything magic. Remember, one team was 21. Would you exclude someone who was 22? (Villanova) 23? (Kentucky-cough-Kentucky).

    But I would exclude someone who was outside the margin of error. Arizona's 70 is certainly outside whatever margin of error you might extend.

    (Yeah, I know Kentucky is excluded for other reasons. Still...)
    Right. Itís more just saying....in the last decade, 21 was the worst defensive rating of any National Champion.

  19. #19

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    And just because I was curious:

    2016 Final Four defensive ratings:

    Nova - 5
    UNC - 21
    Okl- 17
    Syracuse - 18

    And just for good measure:

    All 4 were Top 50 offense as well. 3,1,16,50 in that same order.

    And what the heck. 3 pfga?
    5, 63, 11, 21 in that order.

    All 4 would have been Tier 1. Maybe Syracuse in Tier 2.

    So once again, this system would have been 100%.
    Last edited by ukpumacat; 03-13-2018 at 06:23 PM.

  20. #20

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    So...if you were to pick ONE factor, and had to exclude all others...it would be DE ratings. Interesting.

    Of course, you don't have to exclude all others. But it was interesting.

  21. #21

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Oh and what the heck. 2015 by order of defensive rating, offensive rating, and 3ptfga:

    Duke - 11,3,43
    UK - 1,6, 201st (not kidding. Cal has to change this. UK would have been a Tier 2 team in a year they were undefeated. Meaning based on this system they could make the Final Four but couldnít win it all. That is nuts.)

    Wisconsin- 35,1,22

    MSU - 27, 14,7.

    Once again, all would have been Tier 1 EXCEPT the undefeated UK team who would have been Tier 2.

  22. #22

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    So...if you were to pick ONE factor, and had to exclude all others...it would be DE ratings. Interesting.

    Of course, you don't have to exclude all others. But it was interesting.
    I would say very strongly:

    They need to be Top 25 Defense to win it all. And I would say if they arenít Top 10 Defense they need to be Top 10 offense to make up for it.
    And they need to be Top 75 3pt fga.

  23. #23

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    The teams this year that would really scare me to pick to win it all (they could for sure make Final Four) based on these numbers:

    Virginia
    Michigan State
    Texas Tech
    Kentucky
    Arizona
    Xavier

    Virginiaís Defense is SO good that maybe they are an anomaly on the defensive rating and it makes up for the lack of 3ís. I am only listing what the stats say.

  24. #24

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    How does Pomeroy differentiate between teams with the same adjusted offense or defense in order to rank them? The Cats are tied with Villanova in adjusted defense, but trail Nova by one spot in the ranking. The Cats are also tied with others in adjusted offense, four schools are tied at 116.4, but all have a different rank.

  25. #25

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    I would say very strongly:

    They need to be Top 25 Defense to win it all. And I would say if they aren’t Top 10 Defense they need to be Top 10 offense to make up for it.
    And they need to be Top 75 3pt fga.
    Very interesting numbers, Puma, thanks for compiling this. I’d also be interested to see what our thoughts are in regard to weighting these 4 metrics identified, i.e. 40% AdjD, 30% AdjO, 25% 3FGA, 5% lost tourney. That would be about my off the cuff assessment, but I’m sure everyone views the values of each component differently.

  26. #26

    Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithKSR View Post
    How does Pomeroy differentiate between teams with the same adjusted offense or defense in order to rank them? The Cats are tied with Villanova in adjusted defense, but trail Nova by one spot in the ranking. The Cats are also tied with others in adjusted offense, four schools are tied at 116.4, but all have a different rank.
    Keith, I have assumed that those numbers are rounded to one place, but the order is based on further decimal points. I am not currently a subscriber, but perhaps someone who subscribes can verify that.

    In the meantime, I base my assumption on two things. First, it makes sense. Second, the spreadsheet I found that had pre-tournament figures and post tournament figures for 15 years used 3 decimal points, rather than one for Ken Pomeroy rankings. So I know that the numbers are not precise in the rankings available to me.

  27. #27

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    So...if you were to pick ONE factor, and had to exclude all others...it would be DE ratings. Interesting.

    Of course, you don't have to exclude all others. But it was interesting.
    Iíve thought more about this. Haha

    I donít think you can pick one. Because itís seemingly the balance of the two categories that are most predictive.

    Also, this does nothing for you as far as predicting upsets.
    I could list the Top 5 teams and 4 could lose in round 1 (unlikely). But 1 of those 5 is likely to win it all.
    Again, I think it predicts more who wonít win than who will win.

  28. #28

    Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopcat View Post
    Lot of good info there. Thanks.

    Just curious on the data from last year. Was that prior to the tournament? As we know that data can shift quickly.
    I finally found something on this. Here is a chart of the last 15 National champs.
    It is unbelievable how predictive just those two categories are.
    It lists before tournament and after tournament.
    As you can see, there is some change.
    But all were within shot of where they needed to be.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by ukpumacat; 03-13-2018 at 07:54 PM.

  29. #29

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Entering the tourney, no team was outside the Top 40 in Defensive Rating.

    And only one was outside the Top 25 in Offensive rating.
    And looking at this chart, it sure seems like a top offense is a tad better. Wouldnít you say Darrell?
    I think this answers your question.

    9 of 15 were Top 5 in offense entering the tourney.

  30. #30

    Re: Tournament Predictive Statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by Krank View Post
    Puma, these numbers are all fine and dandy, but I just need to know how to fill out my bracket.

    Who should I slot in, strictly based on this system, to the Final Four, title game, and Champ?

    And who ya got there, personally, after you take any other factors unto account?

    Fun thread.
    Haha. Well, none of this takes into account injuries, matchups, etc.

    I am still thinking through my bracket as I filled it out before I analyzed all these numbers (and ps. My thumbs are about to fall off because I have to do all of this on my phone because this forum is randomly blocked at my work. Which I canít twll you how frustrating it is).

    My simple advice: use the first post in this thread.
    Choose your winner from Tier 1. And your Final Four from Tier 1 or 2. Based on your gut, matchups etc. Tier 3 will sneak one in every few years if they are really high in one category.

    I tried to find a trend in upsets but havenít been able to find one yet.
    Your best bet at winning your pool would be to pick 4 teams from Tier 1 I would guess.
    But that wonít work in the South as itís the only group without a Tier 1 team.
    Last edited by ukpumacat; 03-13-2018 at 08:12 PM.

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