View Poll Results: Who amongst these "blind resume" teams would you pick as the No. 1 overall seed?

Voters
37. You may not vote on this poll
  • A

    27 72.97%
  • B

    0 0%
  • C

    3 8.11%
  • D

    6 16.22%
  • E

    0 0%
  • F

    1 2.70%
  • G

    0 0%
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    I think team G is missing a win...
    Darn, I knew there would end up being a mistake there somewhere... and I can’t edit the original post anymore

  2. #22
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    The big reveal!

    So here's who each of the teams were (I know many of you probably sussed it out on your own):
    A=Duke
    B=Kentucky
    C=Virginia
    D=Michigan State
    E=Gonzaga
    F=Michigan
    G=Tennessee

    As far as the No. 1 overall seed, a vast majority of people picked us... with MSU in second, Virginia in third, and one vote for Michigan (which wasn't me surprisingly, haha).

    When it came to who the No. 1 seeds were, almost everyone who participated said Duke, Virginia and Tennessee would be on the top line (which corresponds with the general consensus from Bracketologists, it seems, so nice job!). The fourth No. 1 seed was a bit more of a debate, with Michigan and Michigan State being the most picked teams (some people actually had both of those as No. 1 seeds instead of Tennessee, which is an interesting scenario).

    For those who might be interested, when I was looking through things (trying my best to keep things "blind", but I was also looking at the Team Sheets) I thought Duke, Tennessee, Michigan, and Virginia should be the top seeds (in that order), with MSU the next closest. How did I come to this decision? Well:
    • Kentucky was the first eliminated. While they have the potential to jump up to the 1 line with the way they're playing and two matchups against Tennessee left to go, obviously they aren't there yet. I included them just to show that they've quickly turned their season around to even put themselves back in the running for a top seed. I would suspect that at most one SEC team will get a No. 1 seed, and it could very well come down to the UK-Tennessee matchups.
    • Gonzaga is also eliminated because they just don't have enough top-tier victories. A one-loss Gonzaga team might be in the running, but two losses with only 5 total Q1/Q2 wins is pretty tough to overcome. Gonzaga only has a shot at a No. 1 seed at this point, in my analysis, if a lot of top teams falter considerably.
    • Among the remaining 5 teams, Duke clearly differentiates itself based on overall SOS, Q1 victories, and the relative quality of those Q1 victories. Duke wins in Q1 resume both in quality and quantity, which overcomes the extra loss.
    • Among the four remaining teams, MSU has the most Q1 wins. However, I eliminated MSU based on two factors: first, the relative quality of those Q1 wins (their most impressive win came at home, and all of their away/neutral court wins were amounted to "lower tier" Q1 wins), and the fact that you can't discount two additional losses. I recognize that this is not the prevailing opinion on this board or amongst "bracketologists", but I think that losses have to count for something. IMHO for a team with two more losses than another team from a power conference to overtake them on the seeding line, their resume would have to be clearly superior. While you can argue that MSU has the best resume based on Q1 wins, I don't think that resume is clearly superior to any of the 1 loss teams. The closest team is probably Michigan, but considering they're in the same conference, with the same record, and Michigan had a superior NC resume, I don't see how you choose MSU over Michigan.

    All that said, a lot of this will sort itself out, particularly Michigan vs. MSU and Kentucky vs. Kansas. I think there's a scenario in which the SEC cannibalizes itself (i.e. Kentucky sweeps Tennessee and shows up for those big games, but also drops a couple more bad upsets as they're prone to do) and leaves the 1 line open just for the ACC and B1G. But for me, the most interesting part of this exercise was how much people liked MSU's resume despite having the most losses on the board... I found it very surprising that not only were they consistently chosen as a No. 1 seed, but that many thought they deserved the OVERALL No. 1 seed despite 3 losses. Again, I may be in the minority but I think losses have to count for something. It'll be interesting to see which way the committee goes come Selection Sunday if a choice like this presents itself!
    Trinity BS 2012; University of Michigan PhD 2018
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  3. #23
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    Thanks for taking the time to put this thread/chart together. I didn't know Virginia's SOS was that bad with 222 out of conference rating. The conference schedule helped get them into the 60s. It will be good to see how this shapes up in the 2nd half schedules. As some have said, TN and the Mildcats can separate themselves with a sweep. The same can be said of Duke-VA. If the Hoos win in Charlottesville, it could come down to the ACCT. No matter what happens, I love this Duke team. GoDuke!

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    When it came to who the No. 1 seeds were, almost everyone who participated said Duke, Virginia and Tennessee would be on the top line (which corresponds with the general consensus from Bracketologists, it seems, so nice job!). The fourth No. 1 seed was a bit more of a debate, with Michigan and Michigan State being the most picked teams (some people actually had both of those as No. 1 seeds instead of Tennessee, which is an interesting scenario).
    Interestingly, I had Michigan and Michigan State in over Virginia rather than Tennessee. It is hard for me to remember exactly why, and I'm not sure I agree with myself.

    I originally had Duke(A), Michigan State (D), Tennessee (G), Michigan (F) in that order.

    In hindsight, it should be Duke (A), Michigan State (D), Tennessee (G), Virginia (C). Michigan's SOS takes them just barely out, and I'm not sure why I edged them over UVA (although I noted in my originally post that C was very close to F, so I was undecided when I made the decision as well). I think I might have drifted columns and attributed Kentucky's losses to UVA when doing my analysis on the C team.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    Interestingly, I had Michigan and Michigan State in over Virginia rather than Tennessee. It is hard for me to remember exactly why, and I'm not sure I agree with myself.

    I originally had Duke(A), Michigan State (D), Tennessee (G), Michigan (F) in that order.

    In hindsight, it should be Duke (A), Michigan State (D), Tennessee (G), Virginia (C). Michigan's SOS takes them just barely out, and I'm not sure why I edged them over UVA (although I noted in my originally post that C was very close to F, so I was undecided when I made the decision as well). I think I might have drifted columns and attributed Kentucky's losses to UVA when doing my analysis on the C team.
    I think what you just outlined is a very interesting example of how blind vs. non-blind can influence things. I would argue (and I think the numbers back me up) that Michigan has a superior resume over Virginia in every aspect except the actual NET and KPI rankings, and perhaps maybe the "eye test". As much as Michigan's SOS might hurt them, Virginia's is significantly worse, especially in the non-conference. Michigan also has two "marquee" NC victories (at Villanova and home against UNC) while UVA's best NC win was against Wisconsin on a neutral site. But UVA plays in the ACC and has been talked up in the media as a contender a lot more than Michigan. So I think the fact that you didn't have Virginia as a 1-seed when things were blind (even though it was close) but afterwards you do is a very interesting development... and again, something interesting to consider when we think about whether or not this will impact the committee.
    Trinity BS 2012; University of Michigan PhD 2018
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to put this thread/chart together. I didn't know Virginia's SOS was that bad with 222 out of conference rating. The conference schedule helped get them into the 60s. It will be good to see how this shapes up in the 2nd half schedules. As some have said, TN and the Mildcats can separate themselves with a sweep. The same can be said of Duke-VA. If the Hoos win in Charlottesville, it could come down to the ACCT. No matter what happens, I love this Duke team. GoDuke!
    Appreciate it! Putting that chart together took more time than I'd like to admit, haha, but I think it was a very interesting exercise. Maybe I'll have to do it again in a month or so when things start to shake themselves out!
    Trinity BS 2012; University of Michigan PhD 2018
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    I think what you just outlined is a very interesting example of how blind vs. non-blind can influence things. I would argue (and I think the numbers back me up) that Michigan has a superior resume over Virginia in every aspect except the actual NET and KPI rankings, and perhaps maybe the "eye test". As much as Michigan's SOS might hurt them, Virginia's is significantly worse, especially in the non-conference. Michigan also has two "marquee" NC victories (at Villanova and home against UNC) while UVA's best NC win was against Wisconsin on a neutral site. But UVA plays in the ACC and has been talked up in the media as a contender a lot more than Michigan. So I think the fact that you didn't have Virginia as a 1-seed when things were blind (even though it was close) but afterwards you do is a very interesting development... and again, something interesting to consider when we think about whether or not this will impact the committee.
    Spoiler alert: it will impact the committee. As long as the committee has human people on it, and the team sheets are NOT blind, the names of the schools will have a tangible impact. Perhaps not quantifiable, but it'll be there. And, it'll not be uniform across the membership, just as things like conference regular season and tournament champs will have an uneven impact across membership. And good wins vs bad losses, and home vs neutral vs away. And how much value is ascribed to KPI and NET vs the eye test.

    This was a really thoughtful exercise, thanks for setting it up.
    Haters gonna hate.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by English View Post
    Spoiler alert: it will impact the committee. As long as the committee has human people on it, and the team sheets are NOT blind, the names of the schools will have a tangible impact. Perhaps not quantifiable, but it'll be there. And, it'll not be uniform across the membership, just as things like conference regular season and tournament champs will have an uneven impact across membership. And good wins vs bad losses, and home vs neutral vs away. And how much value is ascribed to KPI and NET vs the eye test.

    This was a really thoughtful exercise, thanks for setting it up.
    Good point. It's so hard to suss out what's actually important when it comes to seeding because you get so many mixed messages from the NCAA and the committee, both before and after Selection Sunday. Obviously looking purely at the numbers (i.e. keeping things blind) isn't ideal, because via the eye-test we know things like Houston is overrated in the NET (for example)... but I'm of the mind that once you use that external information to sort of split teams into general tiers, the committee has an obligation to keep things as blind as possible so that they're truly rewarding resume and not name. How you accomplish that I'm not sure (as with most issues with the NCAA, it's straightforward to diagnose the problem, but not so straightforward to cure it, haha), but I think the easiest step forward would be more transparency... transparency in terms of how the NET is calculated, transparency in terms of what the actual directives to the committee members are, and maybe even transparency in the thought process on particular examples in seeding or bubble teams. Who knows if that'll ever happen. For now we'll have to satisfy ourselves with being armchair bracketologists I guess!
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  9. #29
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    NET changing end-of-game strategy?

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  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    This is typical NCAA stupidity...that leads to unintended consequences...design a system where a 1 point loss and a 9 point loss are equal...yet a 9 point loss and a ten point loss are totally different things.

    What could possibly go wrong?
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  11. I would’ve put C as either first or second in the pecking order — hard to be objective since it was obvious Duke was A.

    I find it interesting that people would look at the overall rank, and then qualify it by looking at other metrics like SOS which was already captured in the calculation of said rank! It’s double counting in short.

    My view is to go with the overall rankings as the North Star, and if you disagree with it’s methodology then go ahead make another, but don’t mix the algorithm with other variables. It might seem logical and more robust but instead all you’re doing is misrepresenting intuition as data.

    I don’t think I can come up with something better than NET or KP so I would’ve put C as the top team.

  12. #32
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    The latest Jordan Sperber pod "Solving Basketball" (guest Jeff Goodman) again addresses the NET--some (relevant) cliffs notes:

    - They cover the NCSU issue again of scheduling a laughably garbage NCSOS and pummeling all the sub-200 KP teams--Goodman has been, perhaps, the most vocal critic of this strategy and State for executing it; Sperber is more thoughtful about it, and explains that, when you analyze historically comparable situations where a team massacred a similarly egregious schedule, those teams ended up being pretty good (he used the post-NCAAT Champs* Louisville team as a comp). Although he doesn't totally editorialize about the merits of the strategy or the likelihood that other teams will see how it's fared for State and replicate it going forward, he doesn't fully agree with Goodman that this is a flaw of the NET.

    - They cover the temptation to run up the score as a means of padding unadjusted efficiency, and thus, NET ranking. Sperber seems very confident that the NCAA will revisit unadjusted efficiency as a component because of its impact. He does mention something that struck me--he said that if they remove or tweak the efficiency component of the NET, the likelihood of getting outliers WRT KenPom goes up. This makes sense, obviously, but I hadn't considered it too much in those terms. Something tells me that the further astray from KenPom that a future NET might end up, the more head scratching there would be around here and among the analysts.

    - Sperber explains that one of the things he finds most lacking of the NET, in addition to the opaqueness of their formula (which, like myself and many here, he speculates will take care of itself with more data and reverse engineering the rankings), is the NCAA defining what the intent of the NET is--we've alluded to this before here, but is the goal to create a ranking system that selects and seeds the teams most inline to what their future performance will be (i.e., predictive, a la KenPom)? Or, conversely, is it to reward/punish teams for their results and performance throughout the season. The two men agree that the latter makes more sense, so including such a (seemingly high) premium on efficiency is curious.

    - To conclude, Goodman asks Sperber to give him a recommendation of an advanced stat that he would find useful but probably doesn't already know about--Sperber (and he says he and John Gasaway have spoken about this, and both find it enlightening) cites the "Wins Above Bubble" stat. I won't go into the details, mostly because I haven't delved into the formula too deeply at this point, but I plan to check it out in the next week or two.

    There are a bunch of other interesting nuggets in there. Anyway, as always, I recommend a listen for folks interested in an analytical discussion of hoops.

    ETA:
    - Sperber also notes that coaches have, almost as soon as the NET was announced, asked him point blank if it was in their interests to run up the score. He said initially it was unclear, but that isn't the case anymore. There is an unambiguous interest in running up the score (although, as he mentioned in an earlier pod, there is some consideration in running up the score too much to the detriment of your opponent in the quad system). He emphasized that, in fact, the coaches are very much paying attention to the NET and are adjusting strategy (as you would guess) to optimize their teams' ranking.

    - Sperber also mentions that, while he doesn't think the NET is the bee's knees (my phrase, not his), he says as long as the NCAA is using the quad system, the NET is a good--and certainly worlds better than RPI--metric. He explicitly says he doesn't like the quad system and wishes the NCAA would toss it.
    Last edited by English; 02-05-2019 at 10:48 AM. Reason: More thoughts
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  13. #33
    When coaches are making salaries in the millions/yr, and when keeping or getting such a job depends on the making the tournament, how can you expect them to not claw and grasp for every advantage possible. Of course they are going to game the selection criteria when to comes to running up the score and playing to the +10 cap rule. Anyone who expected different are fooling themselves.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by English View Post
    - Sperber explains that one of the things he finds most lacking of the NET, in addition to the opaqueness of their formula (which, like myself and many here, he speculates will take care of itself with more data and reverse engineering the rankings), is the NCAA defining what the intent of the NET is--we've alluded to this before here, but is the goal to create a ranking system that selects and seeds the teams most inline to what their future performance will be (i.e., predictive, a la KenPom)? Or, conversely, is it to reward/punish teams for their results and performance throughout the season. The two men agree that the latter makes more sense, so including such a (seemingly high) premium on efficiency is curious.
    I may have to listen to this whole section, because I actually think there's a reasonable compromise to be had between efficiency (NET, KenPom, etc) and results-based evaluations. Selecting the teams for the tournament should be based on a host of factors, including your black-and-white wins and losses, that efficiency metrics aren't designed to include. As a hypothetical, it would be possible for a team to go 10-20 on the season, but end up with a relatively high KenPom rating; perhaps they played a very hard schedule, and all of their 20 losses came by 1 point. But, obviously, this team should not make the tournament.

    However, seeding the teams absolutely, without a doubt, should be done via the efficiency metrics. The predictive metrics are all that matter once the tournament has its 68 teams. If you're a team who earns a 1 seed under this metric, you deserve to play a team truly of the caliber of an 8/9 seed in the 2nd round, 4/5 in the S16, etc. etc. I would be perfectly happy if the tournament seeds were a straight S-curve of the KenPom rankings at the end of the year (with the usual bracketing rules in place, of course).

    All in all, very intelligent observation and conversation about the systems. Thank you for the recap!

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    I may have to listen to this whole section, because I actually think there's a reasonable compromise to be had between efficiency (NET, KenPom, etc) and results-based evaluations. Selecting the teams for the tournament should be based on a host of factors, including your black-and-white wins and losses, that efficiency metrics aren't designed to include. As a hypothetical, it would be possible for a team to go 10-20 on the season, but end up with a relatively high KenPom rating; perhaps they played a very hard schedule, and all of their 20 losses came by 1 point. But, obviously, this team should not make the tournament.

    However, seeding the teams absolutely, without a doubt, should be done via the efficiency metrics. The predictive metrics are all that matter once the tournament has its 68 teams. If you're a team who earns a 1 seed under this metric, you deserve to play a team truly of the caliber of an 8/9 seed in the 2nd round, 4/5 in the S16, etc. etc. I would be perfectly happy if the tournament seeds were a straight S-curve of the KenPom rankings at the end of the year (with the usual bracketing rules in place, of course).

    All in all, very intelligent observation and conversation about the systems. Thank you for the recap!
    I (mostly) disagree here. I think resume should still matter for seeding. For example, if Duke wins by a small margin at UVA (not an unlikely outcome), UVA will probably stay ahead of us in kenpom despite our sweep of them. But Duke would obviously deserve the overall #1 seed and the Washington D.C. bracket ahead of the Hoos at that point.

    I think it makes sense to use predictive analytics to seed, say, the 13 thru 16 seeds. I don't trust the Committee to have watched those teams enough or to even compare their resumes sensibly. It stinks when a 1 seed has to face a 16 seed that should've been a 14 seed based on kenpom, for example, and likewise, if a 14 seed should've been a 16 seed, then the 3 seed it is paired with gets an undeserved break.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I (mostly) disagree here. I think resume should still matter for seeding. For example, if Duke wins by a small margin at UVA (not an unlikely outcome), UVA will probably stay ahead of us in kenpom despite our sweep of them. But Duke would obviously deserve the overall #1 seed and the Washington D.C. bracket ahead of the Hoos at that point.

    I think it makes sense to use predictive analytics to seed, say, the 13 thru 16 seeds. I don't trust the Committee to have watched those teams enough or to even compare their resumes sensibly. It stinks when a 1 seed has to face a 16 seed that should've been a 14 seed based on kenpom, for example, and likewise, if a 14 seed should've been a 16 seed, then the 3 seed it is paired with gets an undeserved break.
    I agree, it would feel weird if Duke beats UVA twice but stayed behind them in KenPom, when evaluating the traditional way overall #1 seeds are awarded. My counter would just be, is it actually so obvious that Duke deserves the #1 seed instead of UVA in that scenario? The reason UVA had such a huge lead in KenPom (up until the last 2 games) is that they were absolutely destroying people. It might actually be the case that UVA is a better team, even with two losses to Duke.

    But the real reason I'd advocate using efficiency ratings to seed the entire bracket is that I don't trust the Committee to do anything right, not just those 13-16 seeds. Up and down the bracket, the tournament is mis-seeded. Just last year, Xavier was an abomination as a 1 seed. Butler was brutally underseeded as a 10 (#20 in KenPom). It's unfair to everyone when teams are mis-seeeded: the teams directly involved, their future opponents elsewhere in the bracket, etc.

    And if it makes us feel better, we could use the Massey Composite ratings, which currently have Duke at #1.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    I agree, it would feel weird if Duke beats UVA twice but stayed behind them in KenPom, when evaluating the traditional way overall #1 seeds are awarded. My counter would just be, is it actually so obvious that Duke deserves the #1 seed instead of UVA in that scenario? The reason UVA had such a huge lead in KenPom (up until the last 2 games) is that they were absolutely destroying people. It might actually be the case that UVA is a better team, even with two losses to Duke.)
    Virginia has been destroying people, by average of 20. Duke has been destroying by an average of almost 22 - probably against a better schedule.
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  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    Virginia has been destroying people, by average of 20. Duke has been destroying by an average of almost 22 - probably against a better schedule.
    The numbers you cite don't tell the whole story, because Virginia plays at a much slower pace than Duke. If Virginia played as many possessions as Duke has, that 20 point average margin would be almost 25.

    But be that as it may, if Duke had performed better than Virginia against a better schedule, by definition Duke would be ahead of Virginia in the computer rankings. At this point, I assume the real reason Duke is behind Virginia is that our efficiencies were worse while Tre Jones was out with his injury. But if that weren't true, and UVa was still ahead of Duke, it would be because UVa performed better against their schedule than Duke did against their's. The only reason to say that a team lower in the computer rankings should be considered better than a team or teams ahead of them is because the computer system is flawed. But my big issue is, if the system is that flawed, it doesn't make sense to use that same system for the ancillary evaluation.

    For example, if you're using a team's performance against the "top 50" as secondary information because you don't entirely trust the overall ranking, but you determine which teams are in the top 50 based on the same rating system you don't entirely trust, that doesn't make a lot of sense, at least to me.

    And, as ice-9 said, if, e.g., schedule strength is a major part underlying the computer ranking, using schedule strength as a separate, supporting evaluator is double-counting, essentially saying that schedule strength should be counted more than it already is in the ranking calculation. And again, if you think that, it means you think the computer system is flawed, presumably too flawed to be relied upon (which begs the question, why are you even using it?).

    The obvious answer is to find a computer ranking system that isn't flawed (or at least is minimally flawed) and then live with what it tells us. But apparently that's either too difficult or not acceptable, so I guess we'll have to live with what we have.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    And, as ice-9 said, if, e.g., schedule strength is a major part underlying the computer ranking, using schedule strength as a separate, supporting evaluator is double-counting, essentially saying that schedule strength should be counted more than it already is in the ranking calculation. And again, if you think that, it means you think the computer system is flawed, presumably too flawed to be relied upon (which begs the question, why are you even using it?).

    The obvious answer is to find a computer ranking system that isn't flawed (or at least is minimally flawed) and then live with what it tells us. But apparently that's either too difficult or not acceptable, so I guess we'll have to live with what we have.
    I think the counterargument COULD be that the committee wants to reward teams for playing tougher schedules. So if you had one team rated #4 by the computer ranking and one team #5, but that #5 team played a MUCH tougher schedule, you might be inclined to give the #5 team a better seed as a reward for playing a tougher schedule.

    Not saying that is what is going on, but I could see that logic.

    That being said, there's basically no system that is going to be perfect, because we have too little information. There are only about 5-6 nonconference games per team with relevance for which to gauge a team's value, and almost all of those happen in November or December. So it's really hard to evaluate, no matter how intricate your calculations are. Now, you can get pretty reasonable guessimates, but a high degree of accuracy is going to be virtually impossible to achieve.

    Another of the problems with the system is that efficiency margins may be inherently somewhat tempo- and opponent-dependent. But that's another discussion altogether.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    The numbers you cite don't tell the whole story, because Virginia plays at a much slower pace than Duke. If Virginia played as many possessions as Duke has, that 20 point average margin would be almost 25.
    .
    Interesting, but another way to norm it is this:
    Duke is scoring about 1.34 points for every opponent point...UVa is scoring about 1.37, so it's very very close. Close enough so that the argument that "Virginia is destroying people" as a reason to put them ahead of Duke...doesn't hold water. There may be other reasons to do so, but that is not one of them. And THAT was the specific post I was responding to.

    I also think norming for pace is not necessarily indicated for this comparison. I understand the idea behind it, but at the end of the day, a FT counts 1, a hoop counts 2 and a trey counts 3...and in the last couple minutes of a game, that's all that matters and that's when the margins are determined.
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