Sagarin/Massey predictions for Nevada game

Rather unexpectedly, as of Sunday, Sagarin's web site was claiming thatall the teams are now connected, and that his ratings and schedule strengths are based solely on the results from the current season. Of, course, theoretically it's possible for all the teams to become connected after just two games. In past seasons, however, at least as long as I've been following Sagarin's ratings, it's taken more like seven or eight games before the teams are connected. (By "connected", it means it is possible to compare any two teams by some number of games already played between other pairs of teams. Perhaps someone with too much time on their hands can discover how Kansas is connected to Nevada.) I'm surprised the teams are connected already, considering the number of teams that have played only one game so far, like VMI, Eastern Kentucky, Northern Iowa, Mercer, and UAB. But the ratings have more meaning now, though you can expect them to be rather volatile until teams are more connected. Right now, we're dealing with the statistics of small numbers, that is, in most cases just single connections.

The Nevada game is interesting, because the reason for it no longer exists. It was a recruiting tool that Roy Williams used, namely to schedule a road game near the hometown of a recruit. In the case of Nevada, that recruit was, of course, David Padgett, who fled the Jayhawk nest for a Cardinal nest (well, at least he's still a bird). It was pretty high price to pay to lure Padgett to Kansas, considering that last year's trip to Reno resulted in a loss. It's payback time. Big time.

Sagarin's Monday ratings (complete through games of Sunday) give Kansas a 14-point edge in the rematch and a 90 percent chance of winning the game. Kansas is playing 9 points above its Sagarin Pure Points rating, all on the strength of the Saint Joseph's blowout. Vermont has acquitted itself nicely so far this season, and amazingly enough, the latest Sagarin ratings actually predict a 7-point victory by Kansas over Vermont, which matches reality perfectly. I'll ignore the 18.6 points per game improvement that Kansas experienced between its Vermont and Saint Joseph's games. I'll also ignore the 6.5 points per game downward trend that Nevada had between its Georgia State and Georgia games, given that both are fitting a straight line to just two points, which yields a perfect fit. But it's only fair to mention that Nevada is playing 6 points above its Sagarin Pure Points rating. The Wolfpack absolutely destroyed the Division II Colorado Springs Mountain Lions, but Sagarin includes only Division I games. Like Saint Joseph's, however, Nevada lost a starter to the NBA, so it won't be the same Nevada team playing in Allen Field House tonight.

I'm a little perplexed at what Massey is doing. His web site is still showing his ratings as of the end of last season. However, if you click on the individual teams, you'll get their schedule and results for last season, along with a link for 2005. Click on that link, and you can see his rankings for offense, defense, overall, and schedule along with the results for the current season. So he's obviously doing the computations. Why he hasn't displayed the ratings, I have no idea. So I'm still in no position to compute any predictions based on Massey's ratings, though I can tabulate his rankings, and it's worth noting that Massey rates Nevada's defense more highly than Kansas' defense. Another low-scoring affair?

The RPI rankings are still from last season.


               ======================== Sagarin =======================
               Rate    SoS    Elo     PP   Perf   Inc.       Trend
               ----   ----   ----   ----   ----   ----   --------------
Kansas         # 13   # 90   # 43   #  9   +9.3   13.2   18.62 +/- 0.00
Nevada         # 23   #107   # 19   # 53   +6.1    4.6   -6.46 +/- 0.00 

               ============ Massey ============     === RPI ===     ====
               Rate    SoS    Pow    Off    Def     Rate    SOS     Rec.
               ----   ----   ----   ----   ----     ----   ----     ----
Kansas         # 11   # 28   #      # 13   # 40     # 15   # 10      2-0
Nevada         # 15   # 97   #      # 29   # 27     # 29   # 44      3-0

Here is Kansas' season:

SITE   OPPONENT                         SCORE    PREDIC    ERROR    PROB.
----   -----------------------------   -------   ------    -----    -----
HOME   # 19 Vermont                     68  61    +7.00    +0.00
HOME   #124 Saint Joseph's              91  51   +21.38   +18.62
HOME   # 53 Nevada                               +13.99             0.898
HOME   # 64 Pacific                              +15.05             0.914
HOME   # 18 TCU                                   +6.74             0.730
HOME   #234 Louisiana-Lafayette                  +29.29             0.996
HOME   #105 South Carolina                       +19.74             0.964
HOME   # 55 Wis.-Milwaukee                       +14.07             0.900
HOME   # 65 Georgia Tech                         +15.12             0.915
HOME   # 98 Texas A&M                            +18.60             0.955
AWAY   # 30 Kentucky                              +1.90             0.569
AWAY   #235 Iowa State                           +21.48             0.975
AWAY   #132 Colorado                             +13.96             0.898
HOME   #  4 Nebraska                              +2.75             0.599
AWAY   # 21 Villanova                             -0.36             0.487
AWAY   #180 Baylor                               +17.40             0.943
HOME   #  1 Texas                                 -0.65             0.476
HOME   #249 Missouri                             +30.31             0.997
AWAY   #  4 Nebraska                              -5.23             0.317
AWAY   #123 Kansas State                         +13.33             0.887
HOME   #132 Colorado                             +21.94             0.977
AWAY   #  2 Texas Tech                            -7.04             0.261
HOME   #235 Iowa State                           +29.46             0.996
AWAY   # 62 Oklahoma                              +6.88             0.734
HOME   # 66 Oklahoma State                       +15.12             0.915
HOME   #123 Kansas State                         +21.31             0.974
AWAY   #249 Missouri                             +22.33             0.979

The projected season record for Kansas is now 22-5.

Here is Nevada's season to date:

SITE   OPPONENT                         SCORE    PREDIC    ERROR    PROB.
----   -----------------------------   -------   ------    -----    -----
Div2        Colorado Springs            88  33
HOME   #129 Georgia State               76  55   +11.70    +9.30
AWAY   #190 Georgia                     58  47    +8.16    +2.84
AWAY   #  9 Kansas                               -13.99             0.102
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