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

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  • 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. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    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.
    I agree with what you're saying here, except for one thing. If you want to reward teams for tougher schedules, then make schedule strength a more influential factor in your rating system.

    This was obviously a bigger problem with the RPI. That system made schedule strength worth 75% of the rating (putting aside that the way they calculated schedule strength was stupid). And then the committee used schedule strength as an important factor on top of it. If they felt that strongly, they should have made schedule strength worth 80% or 90% of the rating and not counted it twice. The same problem exists here, it's just more subtle, in that (a) schedule strength is worked into the system in a more complicated way; and (b) the way they calculate schedule strength is less stupid. But still, if they don't think schedule strength is prominent enough in the rankings, the solution would be to change the ranking system, not count one particular factor twice.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    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.
    OK, yes, I apologize. My observation wasn't entirely useful or relevant in relation to your point, and I don't like it when people do that to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    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.
    With this, I disagree. If in a hypothetical game each team got the ball only five times and one team won by 10, that's a LOT more impressive than winning by 20 in a game when each team gets the ball 80 times. Sure it all counts the same in win/loss records, but in any system evaluating which team is better (based on past performance), pace matters.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I agree with what you're saying here, except for one thing. If you want to reward teams for tougher schedules, then make schedule strength a more influential factor in your rating system.

    This was obviously a bigger problem with the RPI. That system made schedule strength worth 75% of the rating (putting aside that the way they calculated schedule strength was stupid). And then the committee used schedule strength as an important factor on top of it. If they felt that strongly, they should have made schedule strength worth 80% or 90% of the rating and not counted it twice. The same problem exists here, it's just more subtle, in that (a) schedule strength is worked into the system in a more complicated way; and (b) the way they calculate schedule strength is less stupid. But still, if they don't think schedule strength is prominent enough in the rankings, the solution would be to change the ranking system, not count one particular factor twice.
    Right, I'm not saying it's the BEST way to do it. Just A way. And an easy way for them to have an overt excuse for any discrepancies in seeding.

    Another reason I think they do this is to allow themselves for some wiggle room come selection time. If the NCAA suddenly decided "hey, we're going to use this super-awesome formula as the one and only measure for at-large selection" then there would be some fallout from that too:
    1. You lose the "excitement" of Selection Sunday; and
    2. You lose argument ground in how you finagle seeding to account for the non-basketball stuff they account for

    By keeping several different metrics in play, they give themselves enough subjectivity to justify different selections and different seeding arrangements.

    That said, it will be interesting to see how the committee seeds teams with respect to NET.

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Right, I'm not saying it's the BEST way to do it. Just A way. And an easy way for them to have an overt excuse for any discrepancies in seeding.

    Another reason I think they do this is to allow themselves for some wiggle room come selection time. If the NCAA suddenly decided "hey, we're going to use this super-awesome formula as the one and only measure for at-large selection" then there would be some fallout from that too:
    1. You lose the "excitement" of Selection Sunday; and
    2. You lose argument ground in how you finagle seeding to account for the non-basketball stuff they account for

    By keeping several different metrics in play, they give themselves enough subjectivity to justify different selections and different seeding arrangements.

    That said, it will be interesting to see how the committee seeds teams with respect to NET.
    You make a lot of sense here.

    But that also means when doing an exercise such as the one that started this thread, people need to distinguish between which teams deserve the better seeds and predicting what the committee will do. Because those might be two entirely different things.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    With this, I disagree. If in a hypothetical game each team got the ball only five times and one team won by 10, that's a LOT more impressive than winning by 20 in a game when each team gets the ball 80 times. Sure it all counts the same in win/loss records, but in any system evaluating which team is better (based on past performance), pace matters.
    I fully understand that point...and by ratio you are certainly correct. However, consider this: there are high paced Duke games where the margins often shrink by 8-10 points very late because Duke ran off and buried the team early, and you have mop up time for extended minutes. I would not think that this is as true as often for UVa, though I don't know that for sure.

    In some games, I suspect you would find that at the possession mark of most Virginia games, that Duke was further ahead than UVa's 20 point average. That's why in a final score situation, there can be a lot of deception related to how the game actually went. I know Duke has won a good number of games this season when the final margin was significantly lower than a margin held midway through the second half - or at the 8 minute mark, or 5 minute mark, what have you.

    This is also why betting is such a gamble...you can have a very correct feel for how the game will play out, and be right, and yet have things that happen that mitigate the final margin.
    Last edited by HereBeforeCoachK; 02-05-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    I fully understand that point...and by ratio you are certainly correct. However, consider this: there are high paced Duke games where the margins often shrink by 8-10 points very late because Duke ran off and buried the team early, and you have mop up time for extended minutes. I would not think that this is as true as often for UVa, though I don't know that for sure.

    In some games, I suspect you would find that at the possession mark of most Virginia games, that Duke was further ahead than UVa's 20 point average. That's why in a final score situation, there can be a lot of deception related to how the game actually went. I know Duke has won a good number of games this season when the final margin was significantly lower than a margin held midway through the second half.

    This is also why betting is such a gamble...you can have a very correct feel for how the game will play out, and be right, and yet have things that happen that mitigate the final margin.
    I will say that it is generally hard to truly tease out what the "true" efficiency is in blowouts. Because teams sub in their benches at different times, and teams' starters can relax at different times. So I don't know one way or the other where that would go in discussing UVa and Duke. It could go either way.

    However, I will also say that a good team that plays slow will tend to get an efficiency boost in closer games due to late-game fouling. If you are ahead near the end, but it is close enough to foul for it, that difference is going to be magnified for a slow-pace team than for a fast-pace team.

    But that is a very specific instance, and I'm not sure how many games that has been relevant for UVa this year.

    I think the bigger driver is that we've had a series of games hurt by key injuries/illness to our starters, either early in the game or before the game.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    I fully understand that point...and by ratio you are certainly correct. However, consider this: there are high paced Duke games where the margins often shrink by 8-10 points very late because Duke ran off and buried the team early, and you have mop up time for extended minutes. I would not think that this is as true as often for UVa, though I don't know that for sure.

    In some games, I suspect you would find that at the possession mark of most Virginia games, that Duke was further ahead than UVa's 20 point average. That's why in a final score situation, there can be a lot of deception related to how the game actually went. I know Duke has won a good number of games this season when the final margin was significantly lower than a margin held midway through the second half.

    This is also why betting is such a gamble...you can have a very correct feel for how the game will play out, and be right, and yet have things that happen that mitigate the final margin.
    I suppose most of this is true, though if Virginia is winning their games by an average of 20 points I imagine they are similarly affected by the same phenomenon. Though it's also true that in many games the final margin is larger than the closeness of the game would suggest, either because of excessive fouling at the end of the game or because the end of game lineups for the winning team are superior to the end of game lineups for the losing team.

    I remember reading once where a guy talked about creating a rating system based on minute-by-minute win probabilities -- there are people who calculate the chance of each team winning at each minute of the game -- which would presumably take pace into account and would also eliminate the problem you're talking about, as well as the need for diminishing returns for larger point spreads. I've never actually seen such a rating system, though, so either (a) it was too difficult to create such a system that made sense; (b) the information necessary for such a system wasn't readily available; or (c) it's out there but I haven't seen it and it never got popular enough to matter.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I will say that it is generally hard to truly tease out what the "true" efficiency is in blowouts. Because teams sub in their benches at different times, and teams' starters can relax at different times. So I don't know one way or the other where that would go in discussing UVa and Duke. It could go either way.

    However, I will also say that a good team that plays slow will tend to get an efficiency boost in closer games due to late-game fouling. If you are ahead near the end, but it is close enough to foul for it, that difference is going to be magnified for a slow-pace team than for a fast-pace team.

    But that is a very specific instance, and I'm not sure how many games that has been relevant for UVa this year.

    I think the bigger driver is that we've had a series of games hurt by key injuries/illness to our starters, either early in the game or before the game.
    I agree with all of that, with one little quibble...a tiny one...and that is that it can be truly hard to tease out the true efficiency in many games, not just blow outs. Or let me back up...hard to tease out the final margin in many games. I'll use a betting example, but it works for this too: a 10 point underdog plays a great game and takes a heavily favored team to overtime. In OT, the favored team jumps out to a lead and ends up winning by 11 with late FTs.

    Here you have a game where A: those bettors who correctly analyzed that the game would be close and took the underdog...actually lost the bet...and B: the last couple minutes really skewed the overall efficiency and margin stats for the whole game.

    I hope I explained that in a way that makes sense.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    I agree with all of that, with one little quibble...a tiny one...and that is that it can be truly hard to tease out the true efficiency in many games, not just blow outs. Or let me back up...hard to tease out the final margin in many games. I'll use a betting example, but it works for this too: a 10 point underdog plays a great game and takes a heavily favored team to overtime. In OT, the favored team jumps out to a lead and ends up winning by 11 with late FTs.

    Here you have a game where A: those bettors who correctly analyzed that the game would be close and took the underdog...actually lost the bet...and B: the last couple minutes really skewed the overall efficiency and margin stats for the whole game.

    I hope I explained that in a way that makes sense.
    That's true. Even in semi-close games, things can be quirky. And in general, the fewer the possessions, the quirkier things tend to be, because any outlier occurrence takes on a larger proportion of the final result.

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I remember reading once where a guy talked about creating a rating system based on minute-by-minute win probabilities -- there are people who calculate the chance of each team winning at each minute of the game -- which would presumably take pace into account and would also eliminate the problem you're talking about, as well as the need for diminishing returns for larger point spreads. I've never actually seen such a rating system, though, so either (a) it was too difficult to create such a system that made sense; (b) the information necessary for such a system wasn't readily available; or (c) it's out there but I haven't seen it and it never got popular enough to matter.
    I love it, though that may be taking it to the absurd - but it would be a mathematically valid measure if for no other reasons than the fact that you'd have 40 reference points per game instead of one. Analytics was born in baseball because they are more predictive when your universe of reference points is 162 games versus 20 or 40 or whatever, depending on the sport.

    And if you watch those ESPN trackers, someone somewhere (or some machine) is calculating odds of winning after every play. So this could be done.
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  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    I fully understand that point...and by ratio you are certainly correct. However, consider this: there are high paced Duke games where the margins often shrink by 8-10 points very late because Duke ran off and buried the team early, and you have mop up time for extended minutes. I would not think that this is as true as often for UVa, though I don't know that for sure.

    In some games, I suspect you would find that at the possession mark of most Virginia games, that Duke was further ahead than UVa's 20 point average. That's why in a final score situation, there can be a lot of deception related to how the game actually went. I know Duke has won a good number of games this season when the final margin was significantly lower than a margin held midway through the second half - or at the 8 minute mark, or 5 minute mark, what have you.

    This is also why betting is such a gamble...you can have a very correct feel for how the game will play out, and be right, and yet have things that happen that mitigate the final margin.
    This has happened a lot to UVA this year as well. I don't know if it's happened more or less than it's happened to Duke but Bennett usually pulls starters when up big and the lead shrinks. As one example, we were up 29 against FSU with around 3 minutes left in the game. FSU then goes on a 16-0 run in the last 3 minutes (it was pathetic by our backups) to make the final score look somewhat respectable. Let's just say that there have been a lot of backdoor covers by the opponent in UVA games this year. I'm sure the people in the degenerate gambling thread can attest to that.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    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.
    the difference between Duke and uva is easily within the margin of whos third string played better.

  13. #53
    To clarify my semantic choice that semi-derailed this thread, the reason I said "they were destroying people" in reference to Virgina was, well, they were. (Emphasis on the past tense). Their KenPom rating before the OT win against State was 37-point-something, which is the highest I can ever remember seeing during a season, and would have been the highest ever rating for any end-of-season team.

    Anyway, when comparing Duke to UVA this year, obviously the margins are very close. And have only gotten closer over the past 2 weeks. What I still believe is that the efficiency ratings (choose your favorite, or choose a composite of some kind) are inherently superior to anything else we have as a rankings system. They are not perfect, of course. But for the purposes of seeding the tournament, I think a straight S-curve on, say, the Massey Composite ratings would be superior to every single tournament that the committee has ever bracketed.

    ETA: The discussion about how much "garbage time" impacts a team's final margin of victory, and thus, their efficiency rating is very interesting. One thing I've enjoyed following this year is Bart Torvik's Game Score and +/-. These two metrics do a very good job of showing how "in control" a particular victory was, and would (in general) penalize you less for giving up points in garbage time.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhmoss1812 View Post
    This has happened a lot to UVA this year as well. I don't know if it's happened more or less than it's happened to Duke but Bennett usually pulls starters when up big and the lead shrinks. As one example, we were up 29 against FSU with around 3 minutes left in the game. FSU then goes on a 16-0 run in the last 3 minutes (it was pathetic by our backups) to make the final score look somewhat respectable. Let's just say that there have been a lot of backdoor covers by the opponent in UVA games this year. I'm sure the people in the degenerate gambling thread can attest to that.
    I watched the game you guys played against FSU and you were destroying the Noles. Bennett pulled the starters and the game ended up looking a lot closer than it really was. I don't know if those bench players are that bad or just had a bad game. GoDuke!

  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by jhmoss1812 View Post
    This has happened a lot to UVA this year as well. I don't know if it's happened more or less than it's happened to Duke but Bennett usually pulls starters when up big and the lead shrinks. As one example, we were up 29 against FSU with around 3 minutes left in the game. FSU then goes on a 16-0 run in the last 3 minutes (it was pathetic by our backups) to make the final score look somewhat respectable. Let's just say that there have been a lot of backdoor covers by the opponent in UVA games this year. I'm sure the people in the degenerate gambling thread can attest to that.
    Adding a detail: UVA has held at least a 20 point lead in every ACC game except vs Duke and the last 2. Dunno how that compares with Duke.

  16. #56
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    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.

    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.
    I think this bears some emphasis--the efficiency rankings do not discount games with significant injuries, but the Committee (rightly or wrongly...and certainly subjectively) does in the case that a team was minus one or more players who have since returned and shown that they're back to health/productivity. That's relevant in the Duke/UVa example, and plenty of others. Likewise, there are other examples (see Martin, Kenyon & the Bearcats back in the day) where the efficiency rankings might have a team much higher than its predictive potential because its efficiency margin was largely earned before a key contributor was lost. It would be tough to quantitatively build that into a formula (and that's been the subject of some discussion recently among KenPom and others, specifically WRT Tre Jones this season).
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  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    The discussion about how much "garbage time" impacts a team's final margin of victory, and thus, their efficiency rating is very interesting. One thing I've enjoyed following this year is Bart Torvik's Game Score and +/-. These two metrics do a very good job of showing how "in control" a particular victory was, and would (in general) penalize you less for giving up points in garbage time.
    I’ve got a question re: efficiency. Obviously margin of victory is key, winning by 5 is better than by 2. But how valuable is the win itself? Winning by 5 instead of 2 is 3, with some degree of sliding scale, but surely that ~3 is less valuable than winning by 1 instead of losing by 2, right? How much better? Any idea?

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by ElliottHoo View Post
    I’ve got a question re: efficiency. Obviously margin of victory is key, winning by 5 is better than by 2. But how valuable is the win itself? Winning by 5 instead of 2 is 3, with some degree of sliding scale, but surely that ~3 is less valuable than winning by 1 instead of losing by 2, right? How much better? Any idea?
    I could butcher this, so someone please correct me if wrong, but I'm pretty sure the efficiency systems do not "reward" or "punish" a loss, per se. Any boost to your efficiency score would come from your adjusted per-possession performances on offense and defense. Obviously, a net positive per-possession performance during a game is just a fancy way of saying you won the game. If you're talking about the difference between a win and a loss, an efficiency-based system like KenPom or Torvik just cares about how you did on an adjusted per-possession basis, and how much better or worse that was than your season average was.

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    ETA: The discussion about how much "garbage time" impacts a team's final margin of victory, and thus, their efficiency rating is very interesting. One thing I've enjoyed following this year is Bart Torvik's Game Score and +/-. These two metrics do a very good job of showing how "in control" a particular victory was, and would (in general) penalize you less for giving up points in garbage time.
    That sounds like a fascinating, and valid metric. I'm not too familiar with that...gonna Google that guy and learn more. I think "in control" - if his numbers capture it - is incredibly valuable and predictive information.
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  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by ElliottHoo View Post
    I’ve got a question re: efficiency. Obviously margin of victory is key, winning by 5 is better than by 2. But how valuable is the win itself? Winning by 5 instead of 2 is 3, with some degree of sliding scale, but surely that ~3 is less valuable than winning by 1 instead of losing by 2, right? How much better? Any idea?
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    I could butcher this, so someone please correct me if wrong, but I'm pretty sure the efficiency systems do not "reward" or "punish" a loss, per se. Any boost to your efficiency score would come from your adjusted per-possession performances on offense and defense. Obviously, a net positive per-possession performance during a game is just a fancy way of saying you won the game. If you're talking about the difference between a win and a loss, an efficiency-based system like KenPom or Torvik just cares about how you did on an adjusted per-possession basis, and how much better or worse that was than your season average was.
    Yeah, Hingeknocker got it right. Efficiency-based systems like Pomeroy and Torvik don't give any extra boost for winning the game.

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