Monday, March 15, 2010

Complete 2010 NCAA Tournament Analysis

This will be the first post of a series of six posts that will have my complete bracket take. The next four posts after this will be a post on each region, followed by one more on Final Four picks. This will be different from the type of analysis that you get in most places for a couple of reasons. I do a much more statistical take, and don't just post crazy opinions for no reason other than to get attention from people. An example: I was on Yahoo earlier today to do a web search and noticed a front page article on "the five most overrated tournament teams" and decided to click on it to see what the highly paid Yahoo blogger was saying (link here), and he said things like "You wonder if [Villanova] will escape its second-round game if it gets Richmond, which has a better backcourt than Villanova." Now I'm on record as saying that Villanova is overrated, and I do think that Richmond is a very good team, but... Richmond has a better backcourt than Nova? Is that a joke?

A more important difference here is that I will break down all of the realistic game scenarios. By that I mean that I won't just pick 63 winners, because it means that if you don't agree with me on the early rounds then my late round help will be useless. For example, last night Jay Bilas picked Cornell to the Elite 8. Forget that it's a stupid pick just designed to get him attention -- more importantly it forces him to analyze Cornell vs West Virginia. I'm guessing that most people would rather hear my take on Kentucky vs West Virginia, since that will be the most common Elite 8 match-up that people will have in their bracket. I actually do not have Kentucky playing West Virginia in my bracket, but I will still talk about that match-up, so that in case you disagree with my early round picks you can still hear my thoughts on the match-ups that you put together.

Some of the key tools I will be using are below:
Sagarin ratings
Pomeroy ratings
BP Bracket Lesson #1: Which Upsets To Pick
BP Bracket Lesson #2: Clutch vs Overrated
BP Bracket Lesson #3: Road/Neutral Records

The Analysis:
(If the link isn't up yet it means I haven't posted it yet... stay tuned)

South Region
West Region
East Region
Midwest Region
Final Four


CLIN said...

You're the man

Unknown said...

Your breakdown is the South not the West region.

Jeff said...

You're right, I wrote "west region" as the title, then went away from my computer for a few minutes and when I got back started writing about the Duke region, and totally forgot which region that was.

Not that the ordinates mean anything anyway. It's not like the old days when the West Region was only teams from the west (which, by the way, is something that nobody ever mentions about that John Wooden dynasty: that his teams always had cakewalks to the Final Four because the West Region was always the weakest region).

Unknown said...

Jeff -- new to the blog. Interesting stuff, even though if I (a self-professed numbers "geek") don't necessarily agree with everything. Although I agree that statistics provide useful information, the notion that "numbers don't lie" is, in itself, a lie (actually it's near the top of the list). I'd appreciate if you could answer a few questions, if you'd be so kind:

1. As far as overrated/clutch, how do they break out road/neutral close wins versus home close wins. I would think that if a team that goes 5-0 in close games on the road might be considered clutch as opposed to a team that is 5-0 in close games at home, which may be more lucky. I ask because I'm a spider fan. they are 11-3 in games decided by 5 points or less. However, they are 7-3 in road/neutral games versus 4-0 at home.

2. How do you take into account what I think is one of the most important factors: matchups. Team A could beat Team B 7 out of 10 times, Team B could beat Team C 7 of 10 times, but Team A may not be able to win more than 1 in ten games versus Team C due to matchups.

Again, very interesting reading. Thanks for your time (and info).

Jeff said...

Hi Floyd, thanks for the kind words. And I agree that we can't just go by the numbers, which is what I try to make this blog about. I try as best as I can to balance the numbers with what I know about team match-ups, and other considerations like team psychology.

If you go through the region-by-region analysis linked in this post you'll see a combination of all of those things in my projections.

Unknown said...

Jeff -- thanks for your response. I have to disagree with your assessment of Richmond "overlooking" the lower seed. These boys hear all the time that Richmond is the only school to win as a 15, 14, 13 and 12 seed. They KNOW lower seeds are dangerous. They know this is the first time Richmond has ever bee the higher seed. There is NO chance they'll overlook St. Mary's. I just think that their matchup zone and quasi-Princeton style offense will take St. Mary's a long time to figure out. And I don't discount the "jet lag" issue of playing an "early" game. However, no matter what, I think this could be one of the best games of the whole first round.

Mark said...

I found your Blog on the internet and think it's really interesting. I live on the East Coast and always worry about the Big East tournament winner laying an egg in the NCAA tournament. I like West Virginia to go far but it's in the back of my mind. Also, I think the power conferences typically prevail over the mid-majors except for some cases. Again, good stuff and I look forward to the Final Four analysis.