Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Sweet 16

First of all - I offer my apologies to anyone who suffered monetary damages as a result of reading Jabesblog last week. I will get to Mr. Ken Pomeroy in a moment. I will also be making my picks for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games. I was so very proud to post the worst bracket I have ever completed on this site last week, that I thought I would give you more predictions. You may want to run to Vegas with the opposite of my picks.

Before my picks, a few things about last weeks blog regarding Ken Pomeroy's efficiency ratings. The first thing I learned, is that all my research was done on efficiency ratings after the previous tournaments had ended and those ratings included tournament games. Since these ratings are fluid, it was not necessarily comparing apples to apples. For example, Texas A&M finished with a higher efficiency rating than Utah State, even though the tournament started the opposite way, because Texas A&M beat Utah State. The same for Washington and Marquette. So the analysis had some faults. OBVIOUSLY.

Despite those faults, let's look at a few of last week's points.

#1 - the Final Four could still very well come from teams ranked in the top 10 in overall efficiency and/or top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The only change is that Baylor has joined the group at #9 overall. So now the Final Four appears to be down to Ohio State, Syracuse/Kansas State, Kentucky/West Virginia, and Duke/Baylor.

#2 - does not occur until the Final Four games, so this could very well happen

#3 - Kentucky is up to #3, but might have a hard time getting to #1 and #4 in offensive efficiency. So Duke would be the national champion.

#4 - this applies to the elite 8 games, so we will see what happens.

#5 - there is no explanation for Kansas being eliminated by Northern Iowa. Therefore this point is no longer valid. Coincidentally, Wisconsin both fell out of the top 6 and Cornell now has a higher offensive efficiency rating. Go figure!!

#6 - ok - because I tallied prior stats post tournament, this one is hard to judge. Just using pre-tournament ratings, picking the higher efficiency team would have yielded you 24 winners and would have only eliminated two teams that made the Sweet 16 in round 1 (Cornell and Washington). Using updated efficiency after round 2, 27 of the 32 teams that won first round games now have higher efficiency ratings. 2 of the 5 who lost are now over-seeded by 4. 29 out of 32, 90.6%. I would have taken the 24, or 25 because Clemson never wins.

#7 - 6 teams over-seeded by 7 - 5 did not make the second weekend. This one seems like a good predictor. Since we now know this is fluid, the teams closer to 7 can play there way off this over-seeding stat. Tennessee won there second round game over an over-seeded Ohio, so they did not ruin this stat yet. They are still over-seeded by 7, but if they beat Ohio State, they will likely finish over-seeded by less than 7, thus removing them from this statistic. Marquette was actually added to this statistic, now over-seeded by 8.

#8 - Utah State is still under-seeded by 18, but might not finish the tourney over 17. They were beat by a higher seeded team who is currently under-seeded by 1. Minnesota is now under-seeded by only 11, but Missouri is by 18 and won their first round game. Washington is now under-seeded by 18.

#9 - Under-Seeded 11's went 2-1 (San Diego State is now properly seeded). Under-seeded 12's went 1-2, Cornell now unded-seeded by 1. Under-seeded 10's went 2-0 and St. Mary's is sitting one spot away from making this 3-0.

#10 - The higher seeded 8/9 or 7/10 team was 6-2 after the Missouri/Clemson flip-flop in ratings. The two missed were a lower-seeded 8 over a 9 (Gonzaga) and a lower-seeded 9 over an 8 (Wake Forest).

So the biggest error in analysis thus far, has been the use of oranges to predict apples. This tournament has been crazy anyway, so it might fall as a 2000-like outlier in the history of tournaments.

So here are the picks:

These have been complicated by 2 key PG injuries, and we all know how important guard play is in this tournament. But, I can no longer pick against Tom Izzo in a tournament (yet), so

Michigan State over Northern Iowa
Ohio State over Tennessee
Syracuse over Butler
Kansas State over Xavier
Kentucky over Cornell
Washington over West Virginia
Duke over Purdue
St. Mary's over Baylor

Ohio State, Syracuse, Kentucky and Duke gather at Lucas Oil Stadium a week from Saturday.

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