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Archive for March, 2010

How Often Does the Nation’s Best Team Win the National Championship?

30th March 2010

In a variation on a running theme (one that’s especially pertinent given the early departures of Syracuse, Kansas, & Kentucky from this year’s tourney), I wanted to know how often the “best” (i.e., most talented, most dominant over the entire season, etc.) team wins the NCAA Tournament. We know that the NFL’s best team wins the Super Bowl about 24% of the time, that the best team in baseball wins the World Series about 29% of the team (or at least, they did back in the 1980s when Bill James studied the issue), and that the NBA’s best team wins the Finals almost half of the time… So what’s your guess for college basketball?

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Posted in NCAA Tournament, Statgeekery | 14 Comments »

Best Final Four Fields (1980-2010)

30th March 2010

With Baylor and Tennessee in contention for a pair of Final Four slots on Sunday, we had the possibility of a Butler-West Virginia-Baylor-Tennessee group emerging from the regional finals, which would have been perhaps the least storied Final Four in recent history. Alas, Michigan State and Duke, two of the more successful schools of all time, crashed the Final Four party — but they also left us with an eclectic 4-team group that will provide ample storylines over the coming week. How does this year’s crop compare to past Final Fours in terms of the talent of the teams involved? Let’s take a look:

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Posted in History, NCAA Tournament, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »

The Real Field of 64?

16th March 2010

As much fun as the next few weeks will be, I think we can all acknowledge that the NCAA Tournament field does not represent the 64 best D-I basketball teams in the country (nor does it represent the 64 most “accomplished” teams in the land, however you want to define that). Automatic bids to teams from small conferences give the tourney a feeling of equality and tiny schools a chance to shine on a big stage, but the most talented team in the NIT field would still be favored by a wide margin against many of the NCAA Tourney’s lower seeds. I’m not complaining about this reality, mind you, and I certainly don’t begrudge the NCAA for giving an opportunity to small-conference and mid-major teams. But do you ever wonder what the NCAA field would look like if it did only include the 64 “best” or “most accomplished” teams in the nation?

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Posted in NCAA Tournament | 3 Comments »

BBR March Madness Pool 2010

15th March 2010

For the first NCAA Tourney of SR/CBB’s existence, we’re going to run our official blog bracket pool over at BBR. Details are here.

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NCAA Tourney in Monte Carlo

15th March 2010

As I’ve done for the last seven years (2009 post), I’ve relied on a little bit of computer science to fill out my NCAA tourney pool. I have two young kids at home, a baseball site to worry about, and I’ve watched zero NCAA basketball games this year, so using my own scouting and intuition is obviously out.

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Posted in Statgeekery | 9 Comments »

2010 NCAA Tournament First Impressions

15th March 2010

Some random thoughts on the 2010 bracket…

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Changing the Culture II

11th March 2010

On Tuesday, I kicked off our CBB/BBR cross-posting series by looking at coaches who “changed the culture” of a program, guys whose winning percentages at a school far exceeded its mark before they arrived. The usual suspects were at the top of the list (John Wooden, Jim Calhoun, etc.), and so was John Calipari for his performance at UMass during the 90s. Trouble is, did Coach Cal really change the Minutemen forever? Or, as BBR reader “Downpuppy” put it:

“UMass is on the list twice, but both times the culture snapped back to mediocrity pretty quick.”

OK, so maybe a “culture change” has to extend beyond the coach’s actual tenure with the school, and also into the tenures of later coaches, who build on their successor’s changes to take the school to new heights. After all, it’s not really a true culture change if the program only loses the stench of mediocrity for 5 years while a coach uses the school as a stepping stone to his next gig.

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Changing the Culture

9th March 2010

In the media, you often hear about certain players or coaches “changing the culture” of a program, ostensibly meaning they fostered a new atmosphere in the locker room, installed a new playing style, or gave their players newfound confidence in themselves. But has anyone measured which coaches “changed the culture” of a school’s hoops program the most?

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Posted in History, Statgeekery | 5 Comments »

Follow Our Updates On Twitter!

3rd March 2010

Hey, hoops fans, just a quick reminder that you can follow College Basketball @ S-R updates and blog posts on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/bball_ref

Our Basketball-Reference Twitter account now sends out tweets from CBB as well, in addition to the regular updates from BBR. It’s an easy way to keep up with the latest developments here at College Basketball @ S-R, so be sure to check it out and if you haven’t already, go ahead and add us to the people you’re following. Thanks!

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Recent Additions to the Site

2nd March 2010

In the last couple of days I have added some new pages to the site, so let me take a few minutes to outline the new additions.

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Posted in Announcements | 6 Comments »