"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
Out of sheer boredom and procrastination in my last semester at Michigan, I created this hype video today of our favorite basketball misfits (or fits?) that has highlights from the previous 3 tournament games. This is my first time embedding a video to begin a thread, so let me know if you have any problems so I can fix them!
The video quality isn't spectacular because the Kansas raw footage is not exactly common currently (you will also see that I am a video making amateur). However, I am extremely satisfied with the finished product. I hope it gives you the same goose pimples it gave me when I watched it for the first time (ps: it killed me to go through some of the middle sequences)!
'm a little worried about this matchup (assuming that Kansas pulls its head out of its ass and plays a complete game), so I didn't do any cocky demeaning of their mascot or whatever. Instead, I decided to go a little more conservative and just celebrate the guys for their excellent play in the tournament thus far. Hope you enjoy the wallpaper, even if it's only for a day or two. Go Blue, Beat Kansas!
This is my first diary, and the statistical analysis isn't normalized as much as I'd like (just gathering the data was tedious enough). Ironically, I put this together Monday, only to see Brian's DOME post on Tuesday. He graciously upped my MGoPoints so I could post this.
Be kind - constructive criticism is much apprecited.
Now that we're facing the Regional Semifinals/Finals, I thought I'd try to quantify the effect of the venue on scoring totals. For this exercise, I complied a list of all Sweet Sixteen teams over the past 5 NCAA Tournaments (2008 - 2012). I also included this year's teams. I looked at the regular season scoring avererags for the individual teams*, the individual team scoring average for the Tournament thus far (including all games not played at football stadium/dome sites), and then the average scoring for those teams during the Regional Semifinals/Finals and Final Four games.
*Taken from the Wednesday prior to NCAA Tournament games
LIMITATIONS: Obviously, the data is going to be affected by the quality of opponents and individual matchups. It follows that the Sweet Sixteen teams typicaly score more during the first weekend, as opposition isn't as elite as the teams they may face the rest of the tournament. My hope is including a larger sample size and including regular season averages helps mitigate that impact to some degree. The regular season scoring average is also the raw statistic, not adjusted for tempo-free. Last caveat is that overtime periods (especialy for tournamet games) may impact final numbers (there have been 18 OT games since 2008 - not all in the first weekend or involving Sweet Sixteen teams - vs. 160 total games for my sample size)
Before I get into that analysis, another interesting trend emerged. From comparing a team's regular season scoring average to the team's tournament (non-football site) average, it becomes possible to rank the Sweet Sixteen teams against their increase or departure from their regular season scoring average. In four of the past five seasons, among Sweet Sixteen teams, one of the top two teams that increase their scoring average in the tournament over their regular season average made the Final Four. Similarly intersting is that in four of the past five seasons, one of the bottom two teams who score LESS in the tournament than their regular season average also made the Final Four:
|YEAR||TEAM||SCORING DECREASE||TOURNEY PPG (1st Weekend)||REG SEASON PPG|
|2008||UCLA||1st / -13.5||60.5||74.0|
|2010||Duke||2nd / -7.5||70.5||78.0|
|2011||Kentucky||1st / -11.4||65.0||76.4|
|2012||Kansas||1st / -11.5||63.5||75.0|
|YEAR||TEAM||SCORING INCREASE||TOURNEY PPG (1st Weekend)||REG SEASON PPG|
|2008||UNC||1st / +21.8||110.5||88.7|
|2009||UConn||2nd / +20.2||97.5||77.3|
|2011||VCU||2nd / +9.5||81.0||71.5|
|2012||Kentucky||1st / +7.3||84.0||76.7|
This year, the teams with the biggest scoring increase are ohio state* (87.5 ppg tournament, 69.3 reg season) and FGCU (79.5 ppg tournament, 72.3 ppg reg season)
The teams with the biggest scoring decrease this year are Indiana (70.5 ppg tournament, 80.0 ppg reg season) and Oregon (62.5 ppg tournament / 71.7 ppg reg season)
* Personally, I do not capitalize ohio state or osu. Out of spite.
So, back to the overall point of this exercise. Do football stadiums/domes negatively affect scoring more than basketball arenas? Based on my research, no.
In the past five tournaments, there have been 11 basketball-arena sites hosting the second weekend of the tournament and 9 football-stadium sites.
- Overall, scoring is down: -8.1% the second weekend vs the first weekend; -8.4% from a team's regular-season scoring average.
- True basketball sites have a larger drop in scoring: -9.9% from tournament average, -10.5% from regular season average.
- Football stadiums see a drop of only 6.2% and 6.3%, respectively.
All Final Fours have been played in football stadiums over the past five tournaments. Scoring is down 15.0% from previous tournament performance and down 14.9% from regular season performance.
There were a few outlier games/teams/seasons which impact the analysis (full chart - ED-S: I put it as a Google Chart here). Breaking it down by venue shows further impact (also gives wise readers some insight to Vegas totals for the East Region at Lucas Oil):
|VENUE||VAR / TOURNEY PPG||VAR / REG SEASON PPG||YEAR|
|FORD FIELD||-15.74%||-10.73%||2009 FF, 2008 MW REG|
|LUCAS OIL||-14.81%||-15.40%||2013 MW REG, 2010 FF, 2009 MW REG|
|RELIANT STADIUM||-11.67%||-13.19%||2011 FF, 2010 S REG. 2008 S REG|
2011 SW REG, 2008 FF
|EDJONES DOME||-7.84%||-10.40%||2012 MW REG, 2010 MW REG|
|PHOENIX STADIUM||-4.11%||+4.77%||2009 W REG|
|GEORGIA DOME||+9.11%||+8.21%||2012 S REG|
(Cowboy Stadium has never hosted NCAA Regionals/Final Four)
Here we go! Second day of the most wonderful time of the year!
So now that the brackets are out and Michigan has drawn a 4 seed in the South Region, I thought I'd take a look at how 4 seeds have fared in tournaments past, going back to when the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Surprisingly, Googling "Historical Performance of Seeds in NCAA Tournament" yields a plethora of data that just begs to be analyzed statistically and have conclusions drawn over which one can agonize. I wish the news were better.
The News Is Bad? How Bad?
In the 28 years since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams, squads seeded fourth have won grand total of 167 games for a per tournament average of 5.96 wins, give or take 2.06 wins. Essentially this falls in line with confirming chalk. If you're a 4 seed, you're a great bet to win your first game, a 50/50ish bet to win your 2nd, and then you're probably ewww. This probably doesn't come as a surprise, since if you're a 4 seed coming out of the first weekend, you're probably facing the 1 seed, and beating a one seed is hard.
So It's Hopeless Then?
Well no, it's not hopeless. Being a 4 seed is definately better than being a 5 or higher; as the numbers show that fortunes for teams not seeded in the Top 16 of the tourney fall precipitiously. For all the romance that media-types assign to "Cinderellas" in the tounament; runs like George Mason or Villanova are very much the exception.
Since 1985, 11 four seeds have advanced to the Final Four in 10 separate NCAA Tournaments (The 1990 Tournament saw 4 seeds Georgia Tech and Arkansas both advance to the Final Four). Of those 11 teams that managed to make it the Final Four, 2 of them advanced to the Finals (Syracuse 1996, Arizona 1997), with only Lute Olsen's 1997 Arizona Wildcats having the stuff to find themselves hoisting the championship trophy.
The only precedent we have to lean on, but there is a precedent
Only One Champion In 28 Seasons? That Sounds Pretty Hopeless.
Well, it does occur to me that this only has any real meaning if there is something to compare it against, say the 1 - 3 seeds. This sounds like a perfect opportunity for a...
|1 Seed||2 Seed||3 Seed||4 Seed|
|Final Four Appearances||46||25||14||11|
|FF Success Rate||41%||22%||13%||10%|
|Champ. Success Rate||61%||14%||14%||4%|
Lest we forget, one of those four 3 seeds is 1989 Michigan, woo!
So yeah, big surprise here. One and two seeds make up 2/3rds of all the teams that have appeared in the Final Four and have won 75% of all the titles since 1985. This can mean one of two things. One, that the Selection Committee is very good at seeding teams based on their relative strength or two, the path of the one and two seeds is conducive for advancing. Personally, I tend to think it's more Door #2 than Door #1. The real takeaway from this with regards to Michigan 2013 is that the distinction between a 3 and 4 seed seems to be pretty small.
[EDIT: I would like to point out the anomaly that while 2 seeds appear in the Final Four about half the rate of 1 seeds and twice the rate of 3 and 4 seeds, they only come away with a quarter of the titles, a disproportionately low number. Y U no pull your weight in the Finals two seeds?]
So What Does This All Mean For Our Guys?
Well, I'd rather see us as a 3 seed personally, and was a bit miffed to find us slide from a predicted 2 seed to a 4 based upon one loss to Wisconsin (F#*k, Wisconsin), but then I think the Selection Committee has undervalued the competitiveness of the B1G in general with the brackets. I am looking forward to seeing Michigan play some non-Big Ten competition. I think we'll be pleasantly surprised at how good we suddenly look again, assuming the guys haven't completely lost their confidence.
Still, Michigan has it's work cut out for it as the four seeds have historically had tough sledding in the NCAA Tournament. I do take some comfort in the words of my old Econ professor who liked to remind his class that, "past performance is no guarantee of future earnings". Here's to a deep, entertaining, and trend-bucking tournament run from the 2013 Wolverines. Go Blue!
Another game, another series of questionable calls, another torrent of frustration on the MgoBoard.
The B1G is the best conference in basketball this year, but one thing appears to be the same this year as every year: B1G officials let a lot of physical play go, and the games are tough as a result.
In past seasons the question has been asked, "Does this hurt Big Ten teams in the tournament?" The logic being that the NCAA tournament is not called the same way the B1G regular season is. I don't think the contrast in officiating has changed much, but there is one thing that has:
I wonder if Michigan, as it is built this year, is better-suited to winning in the NCAA tournament than in its own conference. As we've progressed into the meat of the conference season, Michigan continues to be good at shooting 3s and moving the ball in transition, but as B1G teams bog games down into half-court grindfests and officials allow muggings underneath the basket, Michigan's penetration offense has become significantly less substantial.
In the tournament, Michigan's ability to stay out of foul trouble will be a big plus, and defenders won't get away with handchecking Burke and mauling our frontcourt. All of the adjustments other B1G teams have to make are ones that come naturally to this club. Won't this play to Michigan's strengths when the games really matter?