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Stathead Blog

Posted by Sean Forman on April 25, 2011

Sports Reference’s New Blog: Stathead

I have to admit that I find it very hard to follow all of the great research that people people are producing every day on the web. Following just the top two or three sites is hard enough, but when you add in team blogs, other stathead blogs and everything else, it becomes impossible. This doesn’t even include trying to locate recent research in hockey, baseball, football and soccer.

So we’ve decided to do something about it. Every weekday, the Stathead blog will summarize the best research-related studies, news, conferences, and resources for baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer.

The blog will primarily be edited by Neil Paine and will typically feature 20-30 links to analytic content around the internet. We’ve been working out the format over the last two weeks, and we think you’ll soon appreciate our concise summaries for all of the articles we write about.

Feedback as always is welcome.

Posted in Announcements | 4 Comments »

The Unlikeliest Final Four

Posted by Neil Paine on March 28, 2011

Just how unlikely is this year’s Final Four of Kentucky, UConn, Virginia Commonwealth, and Butler?

Well, going by one measure, the odds of it happening were¬†0.00003% — only two entries (out 5.9 million) correctly picked the four teams in ESPN.com’s Bracket Challenge. But I decided to see how this year’s improbable group matched up against other inexplicable Final Fours since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Here were the Final Fours with the highest average seed # since then:

Year Team A Seed Team B Seed Team C Seed Team D Seed Avg #1s
2011 KEN 4 CONN 3 VCU 11 BUTL 8 6.50 0
2000 UNC 8 FLA 5 WISC 8 MICS 1 5.50 1
2006 GEOM 11 FLA 3 LSU 4 UCLA 2 5.00 0
1986 KAN 1 DUKE 1 LSU 11 LOU 2 3.75 2
1992 IND 2 DUKE 1 MICH 6 CIN 4 3.25 1
2010 MICS 5 BUTL 5 WVIR 2 DUKE 1 3.25 1
1985 STJO 1 GTWN 1 VILL 8 MEM 2 3.00 2
1990 ARKA 4 DUKE 3 GEOT 4 UNLV 1 3.00 1
1996 MIST 5 SYRA 4 UMAS 1 KEN 1 2.75 2
2005 LOU 4 ILL 1 MICS 5 UNC 1 2.75 2

Aside from 2011, two other years stand out at the top of the list: 2000, when two 8-seeds crashed the Final Four, and 2006, when no #1 seeds made it (but George Mason did). In terms of pre-tournament likelihood, how do those years stack up to 2011?

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Posted in History, NCAA Tournament, Statgeekery | 8 Comments »

Which Coaches’ Teams Underperform Their Seeds?

Posted by Neil Paine on March 21, 2011

Watching Texas and Pitt destroy my bracket for what seems like the fifth or sixth time in the last 10 years, I was compelled to ask: is it just perception, or do Rick Barnes’ and Jamie Dixon’s teams always significantly underachieve in the NCAA Tournament?

Luckily, I can answer that question two ways. The first is to look at every NCAA Tourney game since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, and measure the probability of any team winning any game based on the seeds of the two teams involved. The logistic regression formula, based on 1,686 games (including Sunday’s results), is this:

Expected W% ~ =1 / (1 + EXP(0.1738176 * Seed Diff))

Where Seed Diff is simply the team’s seed # minus the opponent’s seed #. For instance, when a 4-seed plays a 5-seed, as Texas did Sunday, their seed difference is (4 – 5) = -1, which yields an expected win % of 54.3%. And when a 1-seed (like Pitt) plays an 8-seed (like Butler), the seed difference is -7, giving an expected W% of 77.1%.

Anyway, add all up of these expected wins for every coach’s NCAA career, compare to his actual wins, and you can see which coaches have disappointed the most over their post-1985 careers:

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Posted in History, NCAA Tournament, Statgeekery | 22 Comments »

2011 NCAA Tournament Game Previews

Posted by Neil Paine on March 15, 2011

To get you prepared for the matchups in this year’s NCAA Tournament, we now have printable game previews at SR/College Basketball:

Game Previews | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

Each preview contains key information about both teams, including SRS ratings; offensive and defensive ratings; and player statistics from the 2010-11 season. Check them out, and increase your knowledge when watching the games this month!

Posted in Announcements, NCAA Tournament | 3 Comments »

Reminder: Super Bowl Squares App Now Available!

Posted by Neil Paine on February 4, 2011

Another friendly reminder that our Super Bowl Squares mobile app is available for $0.99 at the iTunes store and the Android Marketplace.

If you’re playing Super Bowl squares this weekend, this app will tell you which squares have the best chance of winning (based on game data from 1994-2010). For more information about features, as well as links to posts about Super Bowl squares theory, click here.

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S-R News: Super Bowl Squares App Now Available!

Posted by Neil Paine on February 2, 2011

Just in time for the big game, our Super Bowl Squares mobile app is now available at the iTunes store and the Android Marketplace.

If you’re at a Super Bowl party this weekend and there’s a game of squares set up, this app will tell you which squares have the best chance of winning based on game data from 1994-2010. Also, if you’re new to the game, there’s a page devoted to basic rules that will help you navigate your first SB squares experience. The app costs $0.99, but will pay for itself many times over if you win the pool.

For more information about its features, as well as links to posts about Super Bowl squares theory, click here.

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Send us Your Suggestions!

Posted by Neil Paine on December 22, 2010

Just a friendly reminder that we welcome site feedback/suggestions via our feedback form:

User Feedback – Sports-Reference.com/CBB

You can also email us directly at this address. We’ll try to respond to everything within a week (although it may take longer this time of year, due to the holidays).

Posted in Announcements | 4 Comments »

Follow CBB at Sports-Reference on Twitter and Facebook!

Posted by Neil Paine on November 30, 2010

Just a friendly reminder that you can follow us at your favorite social media sites:

Also, be sure to check out the CBB Play Index!

Posted in Announcements | 3 Comments »

The Top 31 College Basketball Programs of the Last 31 Years (The Top Ten)

Posted by Neil Paine on November 19, 2010

With the 2010-11 season warming up, let’s finish up our ranking of the 31 best NCAA teams from 1980-2010:

10. Louisville Cardinals (+14.76 SRS)

Record: 709-329 (.683)
Prominent Coaches: Denny Crum, Rick Pitino
Best NCAA Finish: Won NCAA Championship (1980, 1986)

Louisville has somewhat quietly amassed a dominant resume over the past 3 decades. With 2 national titles and 4 Final Fours, the Cardinals were probably the best program of the 1980s, while their “down” years of the 1990s consisted of 8 NCAA berths & 208 wins. And in the 2000s, Rick Pitino took them to a Final Four in 2005, seamlessly transitioning from the Crum era with 220 victories of his own. Pick any year since 1980, and chances are The Ville was one of the better college basketball teams in the country.

9. Syracuse Orange (+15.41 SRS)

Record: 755-279 (.730)
Prominent Coaches: Jim Boeheim
Best NCAA Finish: Won NCAA Championship (2003)

Under Jim Boeheim, the Orangemen won more games than all but four schools since 1980. He took a solid program and turned it into a perennial contender, produced a number of NBA prospects, won 14 Big East regular-season or tournament titles, and finally filled the gap in his resume when Carmelo Anthony carried ‘Cuse to their elusive NCAA crown in 2003. Simply put, no Big East team has been better over the past 30 years.

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Posted in History, Statgeekery | 15 Comments »

Daily Updates

Posted by Sean Forman on November 17, 2010

Starting today, the site will be updated on a daily basis with 2010-11 statistics and results. Player game logs and splits are not ready yet, but they should be up by December 1 at the latest. Keep in mind that there are almost 350 Division I schools, so early on there may be a few hiccups. Please help us out by letting us know if anything looks amiss, either by posting a comment here or by filling out our feedback form.

Posted in Announcements | 4 Comments »