The Michigan State Injuries

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Michigan State opened the preseason ranked number two in the country. They ended the season as the second most common champion in ESPN brackets. That isn’t exactly out of the ordinary, but consider MSU’s road to March. After a January 21st win vs. Indiana, the Spartans didn’t win two games in a row until the… Read more »

Visualizing the 2014 Sweet 16

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Even with Duke and Creighton getting knocked out last weekend, the tournament still features plenty of one dimensional teams. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Baylor are all strong on offense and (relatively) weak on defense. San Diego State is strong on defense and weak on offense.   Take a look at this Sweet 16 efficiency visulization (all… Read more »

NCAA Tournament Narratives: Defense Wins Championship

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The following is part of a series of NCAA tournament posts. You can find the intro to the series here.   Narrative: Defense wins championships.   In order to win a basketball game, you simply have to score more points than the other team. You do this through the combination of offense and defense. Some… Read more »

NCAA Tournament Narratives: March Momentum

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The following is part of a series of NCAA tournament posts. You can find the intro to the series here.   Narrative: Late season results are more important than early season.   Teams around the country are going to get “hot” every March. That’s just the nature of the single elimination conference tournament. One team… Read more »

NCAA Tournament Narratives: Road Wins

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The following is part of a series of NCAA tournament posts. You can find the intro to the series here.   Narrative: Road results are more important than home results.   If you go back to the intro post, I mentioned how an NCAA tournament game isn’t completely equal to a regular season game. Sometimes… Read more »

NCAA Tournament Narratives: Introduction

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When I was younger, long before I divided my points by possessions, I remember a particular Sports Illustrated for Kids article about the NCAA tournament catching my eye. The article was something along the lines of: “10 things to remember when filling out your bracket”. The article was clearly effective, I remember even saving it… Read more »

2014 NCAA Final Four Values

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Last year, I wrote about the idea of finding value in your NCAA bracket. The larger your tournament pool, the more important “value” becomes. That means not only picking who has the best chance of winning, but also considering who everyone else is going to pick. You can get three Final Four teams right, but… Read more »

Michigan vs. Louisville

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With just over an hour left until the final college basketball game of the 2013 season, I give you one last look at Michigan and Louisville. Michigan comes in with the number one ranked offense in the country, Louisville comes in with the number one ranked defense in the country. Obviously the reason Louisville is… Read more »

Keys for Wichita State

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Earlier this week I wrote about what I call opponent “compatibility”. I basically wanted to know if there was any evidence for bad matchups beyond simply the general strength of the two teams. Now, I decided to use that same sample to take a look at the Louisville-Wichita St game today. My sample includes every… Read more »