this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
The former Duke guard will play his final season at Maryland. Given the Swanigan decommit and this addition, Maryland seems to be the clear favorite in the B1G next year.
B1G released their scheduling guidelines for basketball moving forward with expansion to 14 teams next year: 5 double plays and 8 single plays with no protected rivals or geography in a true rotation. The regular season conference championship could be significantly impacted by schedule fortune.
In the wake of today's 2013-2014 B1G Men's Basketball schedule release and the dislike that came with it, I thought of a new way to formulate a conference schedule. I tried to keep it balanced where the high-level teams play more high-level teams and the low-level teams play more low-level teams so there's no repeat of Wisconsin's/Ohio State's favorable one-offs.
I introduce to you tier scheduling. Taking the final standings of last year, I broke up teams into four three-team tiers, Tiers 1, 2, 3, and 4 obviously.
Now, once these teams are in tiers, it's time to set up which tiers will play the other tiers how many times. It is cumbersome to explain it in words so I will just show what I have in my spreadsheet
There might be a better way to balance this out, but I feel this does a decent job making sure good teams play more good teams with the occasional bad team and vice versa.
So what would this mean for Michigan this year? Here's a hypothetical schedule based on their tier 2 standing
When it came to the one-offs I picked teams with less of a recent history with Michigan so that's why they play Indiana once out of tier 1 but OSU and MSU twice, then Minnesota and Purdue once out of tier 3 but Illinois twice, etc.
I did this somewhat hastily so if there's any apparent flaws please point them out but I think I have everything squared away.
Obviously this kind of scheduling is too late because 1. 2013-2014 schedule is already done and 2. this is the final year of having 12 teams. But this was a fun "What If?" scenario I wanted to share.
So I was curious how each team in the B1G was doing Home vs Away, and decided to do a quick compilation of some data. Here are resulting charts (H means home team won, A means away team won, N means that game does not happen, and U means it's an upcoming game still):
And a chart with just the records by team:
As most of us are aware, Michigan is the only team with a perfect record at home in the B1G so far this year. For as bad as Michigan has played on the road this year, Minnesota has the biggest difference in win percentage for home/road games. Michigan comes in at #2, and Iowa at #3.
The average B1G team wins 64% of their home games to just 36% of their away games. I'd be curious to see how that compares to other conferences, but I'm too lazy right now to try to dig up the data for that.
Pretty fair and interesting analysis of Duke and Miami as well as the chaos in the top half of the B1G. Love this graphic:
This puts top half B1G road records at:
- Indiana: 1-0 (@Michigan, @MSU, @Minnesota remaining)
- Michigan: 1-4 (done)
- Ohio: 0-3 (@Indiana remaining)
- Wisconsin: 1-2 (@MSU remaining)
- Michigan State: 1-2 (@Michigan, @Ohio remaining)
- Minnesota: 0-3 (@Ohio remaining)
Michigan had the toughest schedule against the top half playing all 5 on the road and only getting 3 home matchups. Road wins are hard to come by and I would expect Michigan to be win a share of the B1G crown IF they can protect Crisler. If Indiana or State manages to win 3 road games, they probably win the conference outright, but I doubt that happens.
As bad as the loss in East Lansing was, the haunting loss here is Wisconsin. We had them and a 2-3 road record against this group would be nothing to be ashamed of and would have put us in solid position to win the conference. I still fully expect Michigan to have a shot in the end with 2 weeks to regain some mojo before Michigan State visits Ann Arbor.
KenPom's opening projection for the season has Michigan 4th in the B1G, MSU 5th and Ohio 1st, for those interested, and the B1G opens as the toughest conference in the land. Worst team by far is Penn State, but they would be ahead of at least one other team in every other conference.
www.kenpom.com for the uninitiated.