Category: predictive


America East, Summit, and Colonial Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 7th, 2013 — 10:01pm

Previously covered: (1) Big South and Horizon, (2) A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC, (3) MVC, and (4) SoCon, MAAC, and Sun Belt.

Three tournaments begin play Saturday. The America East is a 3-team race led by top seed Stony Brook, who wins nearly half the time. The 2-seed Vermont has the best chance to knock them off, and the host Albany can’t be overlooked with home court advantage throughout.

SdTeamSemisFinalsChamp
1Stony Brook97.857.947.8
2Vermont77.559.326.5
4Albany (NY)87.940.017.3
3Hartford78.026.76.5
7New Hampshire22.511.31.4
5Maine12.12.00.5
6Maryland-Baltimore County22.02.70.0
8Binghamton2.20.10.0

Before Taylor Braun went out with a foot injury, North Dakota St. was riding high at 15-3 as one of the best non-major conference teams in the country. In the 10 games he missed, they went just 5-5 and dropped to 3rd in the conference. Braun is back and after struggling in his first game back, went for 22 in his 2nd game back. Watch for the Bison in this one as even with those 10 games weighting them down, I still project them to win over half the time. The biggest competition is last year’s conference champion South Dakota St. led by Nate Wolters. Those two teams win over 80% of the time. Continue reading »

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SoCon, MAAC, and Sun Belt Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 6th, 2013 — 10:11pm

If you missed it, here are the previous conferences covered: (1) Horizon and Big South, (2) A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC, and (3) Missouri Valley.

The Southern Conference, once again, has been dominated by Davidson. The Wildcats haven’t been quite good enough to garner any at-large consideration, but the way they’ve run through the SoCon it shouldn’t matter. They have a 2 in 3 chance to head back to the NCAA Tournament. Should somebody stop them, it will have to be the College of Charleston, and they have a 20% chance to do so. Elon at 8% is the only other team with more than a prayer. Continue reading »

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Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 6th, 2013 — 8:33pm

I’ve already covered the Big South and Horizon tournaments, as well as the A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC. The Missouri Valley, along with Bucknell, Belmont, and the WCC power duo of Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s already covered, sports two potential Bid Stealers as both Creighton and Wichita State should be in the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens in Arch Madness this week.

There is, however, a good chance that a team outside of the MVC’s top pair takes home the tournament title and accompanying ticket to the big dance. Northern Iowa, Illinois St, Indiana St., and Evansville combined have a nearly 20% chance to win the title, with each having a better than 3% chance. For Creighton and Wichita State, they still have plenty to play for. Right now, both teams are looking at a seed in the middle of the pack, and they want to do everything they can to Acyclovir ingredients. A couple wins in the conference tournament could shift them into the 5-7 seeds and greatly increase their chances of reaching the Sweet 16.

SdTeamQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
1Creighton89.372.146.9
2Wichita State90.962.733.0
3Northern Iowa51.219.67.5
6Illinois State48.816.45.6
5Indiana State52.513.73.1
4Evansville47.510.43.1
9Drake54.26.72.40.4
8Bradley45.84.01.40.3
10Southern Illinois62.86.81.20.1
7Missouri State37.22.30.10.0

Next up: The Southern, MAAC, and Sun Belt conferences get under way Friday.

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A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 6th, 2013 — 12:14am

This is the second group of conference tournament I’ll take a look at. Earlier I looked at the Big South and Horizon tournaments.

The Atlantic Sun is mostly a two-team conference. Florida Gulf Coast ranks as the best team in the conference (#173 in my predictive rankings), but Mercer is close behind (#184) while grabbing the top seed and having the benefit of hosting the conference tournament. That is enough to make Mercer a better bet than the field here at 54%. FGCU is the only other team in double digits (23%), as far as their chances to go dancing. Continue reading »

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Big South and Horizon Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 5th, 2013 — 11:14pm

First up among this year’s conference tournaments are the Big South and the Horizon as both leagues kicked off with their 1st Round games today.

The Big South is one of the weakest leagues in the country, and my predictive ratings rank just one team in the top 190 teams in the country: Charleston Southern at #164, making them the favorite in the Big South. With host Coastal Carolina and the next-strongest team UNC-Asheville both getting upset tonight, the only other team with a reasonable chance at unseating Charleston Southern is Gardner-Webb, clocking in at a 19% chance at snagging the Big South’s automatic bid (which will definitely increase after tonight’s upsets). Continue reading »

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Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 5th, 2013 — 9:24pm

Conference tournaments got under way today with the 1st Round of the Big South and Horizon tournaments. This year I’m going to put my predictions on “paper” and compare them to some other predictions out there, notably Ken Pomeroy’s Log5 predictions and Team Rankings conference tourney predictions. If you know of any other posted predictions out there, let me know.

My predictions as well as KenPom and TeamRankings give the percentage chance of each team advancing to each round of every conference tournament. To grade each set of predictions, I’ll use the sum of squared error for each game winner. For example, let’s take Ken Pomeroy’s prediction of Charleston Southern in the Big South tournament:

                   Qtrs Semis Final Champ  1S Char Southern     100  77.2  50.5  31.6

So Charleston Southern has a 100% chance of reaching the quarterfinals (they have a bye), a 77% chance of reaching the Semifinals, 51% chance at making the final, and a 32% chance of grabbing the conference’s automatic bid. If Charleston Southern were to make the semifinals, for instance, KenPom’s prediction would receive (1 – .772)^2 “error points”, which comes out to .052. The fewer the error points, the better the predictions did. If, for instance, Longwood reaches the semis, KenPom’s ratings would suffer for their 2% prediction of that happening. That would give (1 – .020)^2, or .960 error points. In fact, Longwood did pull of the 1st Round upset and is just one game from reaching the semis.

It’s finally March and I see no reason why we need to wait for Selection Sunday to fill out some brackets when we have 31 perfectly good conference tournaments to predict. Let the Madness begin.

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Evaluating QBs: Why Not Wins?

January 27th, 2013 — 12:35am

Full disclosure: I’m a Peyton Manning fan. If you can’t get past that, stop reading now. Still there? Good, welcome.

Following the Broncos recent loss to the Ravens (and the subsequent Patriots loss), there has been a new wave of the old Manning vs. Brady argument. Clutch vs. choke. Winner vs. can’t-win-the-big-one. Add in another playoff loss for Matt Ryan and a couple big wins for Joe Flacco, and the debate is raging like never before.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably at least touched on the subject this January. I have. The debate always seems to deteriorate into emotional arguments filled with snarky retorts and anecdotal “evidence”. Tuck Rule game is countered with the Helmet Catch. The Flacco Prayer is answered with the Tracy Porter pick six. And on and on. And on. Every quarterback has been lucky, and every quarterback has been unlucky. Everyone can bring up some argument to support their claim. Without looking at the entire picture, we’ll never reach a valid conclusion. There has to be a better way.

A Clean Slate Continue reading »

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An Improved Look at Pre-season Strength of Schedule

August 29th, 2012 — 12:17am

As we gear up for another NFL season kicking off in just over a week, there will be lots of discussion of Super Bowl contenders and playoff predictions. Which teams will improve and which will decline. One of the big and often over-looked factors in these exercises is a team’s strength of schedule.

Often, when the schedule is released, you’ll see attempts at determining the most difficult schedules like this one that use the previous season’s records to determine the quality of the opponent for each game. While this is a reasonable starting point, it definitely has its flaws.

What’s wrong with traditional Strength of Schedule measures? Continue reading »

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Is paxil a narcotic

February 23rd, 2012 — 9:42pm

Earlier today on CBSsports.com, Matt Norlander wrote an article about the much-maligned RPI. He comes to this conclusion:

If anything else, this chart proves there are far too frequent communication breakdowns with teams across the board, enough so that the RPI goes beyond outlier status and continues to prove what many have known for years: If the RPI was introduced in 2012, it’s hard to reason that it would be adopted as conventional by the NCAA or in mainstream discussion.

Norlander then provides the heart of his argument, a table comparing the RPI to various other basketball ratings: Sagarin (overall), KenPom, LRMC, Massey and BPI. He points out that “Texas, Belmont, Arizona and Southern Miss all have big disparity as well. The largest gaps are UCLA (62 points lower in the RPI) and Colorado State (65 points higher in the RPI).”

The RPI is a rating created to measure what a team has accomplished so far this season based on their record and their strength of schedule. It is a descriptive rating. LRMC, Massey, BPI, and Sagarin are predictive ratings at their core (though some are even worse, a random combination of descriptive and predictive). Comparing the RPI to these ratings and concluding that because it doesn’t match, it is flawed, is itself a terribly flawed argument. Of course it doesn’t match, it is trying to measure a completely different thing. I agree, the RPI is flawed, but not because of this.

Norlander’s article should have been about his preference for selecting and comparing teams based on their true strength instead of their resume, and not about the quality of the RPI which has little to do with this debate. Even if the RPI perfectly did it’s job (of measuring how much to reward teams for their performance on the season), it would have failed the test in this article. Let’s take a deeper look. Continue reading »

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February 23rd, 2012 — 7:34pm

This post was a 2-part guest post at TeamRankings.com. Here are Part 1 and Part 2.

With a month left in the season, most of college basketball is focused on who’s in and out of the tournament. Those teams near the cut line are on the Bubble, while teams that are securely in the tournament are Locks with little worry of falling out of the bracket and seemingly little left to gain with their dance cards punched.

Turns out, there’s still plenty to play for, especially at the top. As every fan knows, the NCAA Tournament is seeded from 1 to 16 in four separate regions. The top seeds are rewarded by being placed at locations close to home, protected from a home-crowd disadvantage, and–most importantly–pitted against easier opponents. That last point is even more pronounced than one might expect. Obviously every team wants to move up a seed line, but the importance of climbing each rung of the seeding ladder might surprise. Continue reading »

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