Monday, March 09, 2015

Morning News: Bubble Watch, Wisconsin Crushes Ohio St, William & Mary Survives, And DJ Newbill's Buzzer Beater

A lot of people fell in love with North Florida's fans yesterday.
Bubble Watch North Florida, Coastal Carolina and SMU locked themselves into the Field of 68 yesterday, pushing us to 26 tourney locks. The bubble remains 14 teams for 9 spots.

Wisconsin Crushes Ohio State For a brief moment in the second half, Ohio State pulled within seven points and looked like they might make a game of this one. But Wisconsin's offense was dominant. The Badgers had a 16-to-8 advantage in made layups+dunks, and shot 59% on two-pointers compared to 39% for Ohio State. Wisconsin's 1.20 PPP were the most Ohio State had allowed in a game since February 10th, 2013.

It's always wise to ignore everything that the Selection Committee chair says on television, but there has been a lot of talk about the geographic emphasis of the Selection Committee putting a 2-seeded Wisconsin in the same region as Kentucky, which would be a worrying development for both teams. But this win is important for Wisconsin because if they can win out and take the Big Ten tournament then they'll have a great case for a 1 seed. They will be rooting for Arizona, Villanova and Duke to all lose in their conference tournaments.

Ohio State is significantly better than their record. They are 19th in Pomeroy and 10th in the Sagarin PREDICTOR. But they have only a single RPI Top 50 win and their RPI is hovering around 40th. They're not at serious risk of missing the NCAA Tournament, but they are at serious risk of something like an 8-11 seed if they don't do some damage in the Big Ten tournament.

William & Mary Survives For Another Day Five teams have missed every single NCAA basketball tournament, and two of them have a real shot to get in this season. One of those is William & Mary, who had a heartbreaking one point loss in last season's Colonial title game. But they're back to the title game this year after Daniel Dixon hit this shot:

DJ Newbill's Buzzer Beater Penn State has had more than their share of heartbreaking losses. They came into this game 1-8 in Big Ten games decided by six points or fewer. But DJ Newbill had himself a day here, scoring 31 points on 11-for-22 shooting, including this buzzer beater:
The thing with Penn State's awful luck in close games lately is that they were 7-1 in games decided by six points or fewer in non-conference play which, combined with a Charmin soft schedule had them 12-1 when they entered Big Ten play and getting some hype as a "clutch" team. It goes to show you, for the billionth time, that extreme records in a handful of close games are not in any way proof of anything but luck in close games.

Minnesota finishes 6-12 in Big Ten play, ending a disappointing regular season. They need to win some Big Ten tournament games just to get into the NIT.


Anonymous said...

So Penn State is better in close games against teams they're better than, and worse in close games against teams they're worse than.

Yep, checks out as 100% luck.

Jeff said...

I'm sure that explains their four point loss to Rutgers and the referee call that cost them a win against Maryland.

There's a reason I've said this a billion times. The fact that luck dominates skill in close games isn't even debatable anymore. That's been long settled for years.

Anonymous said...

How can you say the referee call cost them a win against Maryland? Sure, it was a terrible call, but they were losing at that point and still 1:50 left on the clock. You can not say for certainty they win the game if the foul was called against Maryland, not by a long shot. At best they tie the game on 2 free throws with 1:50 left on the clock. Based on MD's "luck" track record, they still win, right?

Jeff said...

Anything can happen. Block/charge calls happen, shots bounce in or out, etc.

Every fan base creates a slightly different narrative for why their team has won a bunch of close games in a row. The human brain wants to find meaning in patterns.