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

Posted by Neil Paine on November 8, 2010

With the 2010-11 NCAA basketball season technically commencing this week, let’s return to these rankings

15. Connecticut Huskies (+14.16 SRS)

Record: 682-312 (.686)
Prominent Coaches: Jim Calhoun
Best NCAA Finish: Won NCAA Championship (1999, 2004)

Two national titles in the last 12 years makes up for a mediocre first half of the 1980s under Dom Perno, as the leadership of Calhoun has transformed Storrs into an unlikely national hoops hotbed. And to think that it all started with Scott Burrell & Tate George

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Server Downtime – Wednesday Morning

Posted by Neil Paine on September 28, 2010

Just a quick note to let everyone know there will be a brief site downtime at 4AM EST tomorrow morning. As always, send us an e-mail if you have any questions or comments, and hopefully everything will go smoothly with minimal inconvenience to all.

Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment »

Layups: The 50 Best Dunks in NCAA History

Posted by Neil Paine on September 9, 2010

Via Yahoo‘s The Dagger college hoops blog, here’s a countdown from YouTubers Mixst311 and Dawg5, featuring the 50 sickest slams in NCAA basketball history:

Send it in, Jerome!!!

(A Special Hat Tip goes to my buddy Brent for the link.)

Posted in History, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

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

Posted by Neil Paine on August 26, 2010

See also: #21-25, #26-31

20. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+12.87 SRS)

Record: 586-365 (.616)
Prominent Coaches: Carl Tacy, Dave Odom, Skip Prosser
Best NCAA Finish: Lost Regional Final (1984, 1996)

Perhaps better known for what their alums do after leaving the program (Billy Packer, Muggsy Bogues, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, etc.), Wake nonetheless has maintained a near-perennial NCAA Tournament presence (and a frequent top-4 ACC team) over the past 3+ decades. Carl Tacy’s teams were very good (AP top-20 three times) in the first half of the eighties, and following a short, mediocre stint under Bob Staak from 86-89, Dave Odom took the reins and oversaw one of the most successful periods in school history (including the recruitment of the greatest Deacon of all, Tim Duncan). Under Odom, WF had 7 consecutive NCAA berths, but the last in that run was the most disappointing — after climbing as high as #2 in the AP poll, Wake was unceremoniously bounced by Stanford in the 2nd round, ending Duncan’s collegiate career. After Odom left for South Carolina in 2001, the late Skip Prosser continued a winning tradition with 4 straight Tourney appearances and the development of Paul, before tragically passing away in 2007. Today, the Deacs hope to rebound from Dino Gaudio‘s up-and-down tenure with the hiring of Jeff Bzdelik in 2010.

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Posted in History, Statgeekery | 7 Comments »

Layups: Sports-Reference Named to TIME’s 50 Best Websites

Posted by Neil Paine on August 25, 2010

OK, I’ve gotta toot our own vuvuzela for a second here: I just found out that the Sports-Reference family of sites has been named to TIME Magazine‘s list of the 50 Best Websites for 2010! It’s a great honor for us, and a thrill to know that our users get so much enjoyment & utility out of the sites. Here’s to being your favorite sports stats destination for many years to come…

Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments »

Introducing College Football at

Posted by Sean Forman on August 11, 2010

I am pleased to announce the launch of College Football at, the latest addition to the Sports Reference family of web sites. We have had plans to launch a college football site for quite some time, but for one reason or another we always ran into roadblocks, most of them data-related. However, we now have a college football database that we believe to be second-to-none. Let me tell you a little bit about what the site does (and does not) have:

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

Posted by Neil Paine on August 5, 2010

Continuing our list from Tuesday

25. Ohio State Buckeyes (+12.29 SRS)

Record: 522-337
Prominent Coaches: Eldon Miller, Jim O’Brien, Thad Matta
Best NCAA Finish: Lost National Final (2007)

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Posted in History, Statgeekery | 12 Comments »

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

Posted by Neil Paine on August 3, 2010

With the addition of 2010 stats to the site about a month ago, CBB at SR now has game-by-game results for each of the past 31 seasons (1980-2010). This means that we can calculate our signature team power-ranking statistic — the Simple Rating System (SRS) — for every team in that span, estimating a team’s “true” strength by adjusting point differential for strength of schedule. Armed with those ratings, I went back and found the average SRS for each program over the past 31 seasons; this post is the first in a ranking of the top 31 programs by that average. The only rule for qualification: teams who didn’t play all 31 seasons in D-IA were not eligible (sorry, Miami, Missouri St., & Tulane). Other than that, it’s all about having the highest average SRS since 1980. To the rankings…

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Posted in History, Statgeekery | 5 Comments »

R.I.P. John Wooden (1910-2010)

Posted by Neil Paine on June 5, 2010

When the great John Wooden passed away on Friday at the age of 99, he left behind a staggering resume, arguably the most dominant winning legacy of any coach in any sport. Wooden won 10 championships at the helm of the UCLA Bruins during the 1960s and 70s, including an astonishing run of 7 straight titles from 1967-73; in the annals of basketball history, the only coach whose run of dominance is even on par with Wooden’s is his NBA contemporary, Red Auerbach. Of course, Wooden was more than just a great coach — and I’ll leave the kind words about Wooden as a human being (of which there are many) to better writers than I — but I did want to take a statistical look at just how amazing his coaching career was.

Exactly how impressive was Wooden’s run in the 60s and early 70s? One measure of coaching greatness is the ability to resist the “pull of parity” — since a .500 record relentlessly tugs at good teams and bad ones alike, drawing them inexorably toward the mean if given enough seasons, sustained greatness like Wooden’s suggests a significant amount of skill. In the NCAA Tournament era (1939-present), we can quantify the pull of parity on any school thusly:

Expected Win % = 0.235 + 0.552*Previous Season Win %

This means that a team that won 88% of its games last year (for instance, Duke in 2010) should only expect to win 72% of its games next year, because parity wants to drag them toward .500. The assumption we’re going to use is that if Duke ends up winning more than 72% of their games, it would be an indicator of Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching skill.

So back to Coach Wooden… Here’s his career coaching record, alongside his school’s expected Win % every year, and the number of wins by which he exceeded that expectation:

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Posted in History, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »

Lost E-mails and Feedback

Posted by Neil Paine on May 6, 2010

One of the things we pride ourselves on at Sports-Reference is that we respond to every e-mail & comment that users send us, and Justin and I have done that for College Basketball Reference ever since it launched. Unfortunately, we just discovered that our technology has been letting us down for the past few months (the entire lifespan of this site). When investigating a separate feedback problem at Baseball-Reference, Sean discovered another 150 or so messages stuck in our spam filter, some of which were related to College Basketball Reference. Those were just from the past month, so it appears we’ve been losing a lot of legitimate messages to our spam filter for the entire time CBB has been live. We believe we have fixed the problem going forward, but if there is something you sent us that we did not respond to, please accept our apologies and resubmit it here:

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