Computer Predictions for Tonight (Jan 15 vs. Missouri)

[Was going to wait and post this as a comment to Hoopinion's usual preview, but I don't know if I'll be at the computer at the right time.] I've looked at the ratings on the Massey comparison page (plus the Dunkel), and compiled predictions for those that either list them or give explicit instructions on how to calculate them. So, here is what the computers (and Vegas) think about tonight's game. (Game scores are rounded, so may not match score margins. And I used Sagarin's "pure points.")

Mean: +15.4 ... Median: +15.8 ... right in line with Vegas.

Big 12 Tournament Pythagorean Predictions

Over on Ken Pomeroy's site, a reader sent in Big East and ACC tournament predictions based on his Pythagorean Ratings. (Thanks to Jeremy for pointing this out.) They're about what you'd expect: the only teams with a better than 10% chance of winning their tournaments are Duke and UNC in the ACC and UConn and Villanova in the Big East. I thought it'd be fun to do the same with the Big 12 tournament:

Seed Team Quarters Semis Finals Champions
1 Texas 100.00% 89.71% 75.07% 50.93%
2 Kansas 100.00% 82.20% 65.43% 32.91%
3 Oklahoma 100.00% 75.68% 22.80% 6.11%
4 Texas A&M 100.00% 61.19% 13.90% 4.81%
5 Colorado 75.55% 33.75% 6.61% 2.01%
7 Oklahoma State 53.13% 9.91% 4.82% 1.05%
9 Kansas State 65.59% 7.97% 3.35% 0.87%
10 Iowa State 46.87% 7.89% 3.60% 0.72%
6 Nebraska 63.86% 17.83% 2.72% 0.37%
8 Texas Tech 34.41% 2.33% 0.65% 0.11%
12 Baylor 24.45% 5.06% 0.42% 0.06%
11 Missouri 36.14% 6.50% 0.62% 0.05%

At first I was surprised how unbalanced the Big 12 tournament is compared to the other two. The lowest chances of any team in the Big East or ACC tournaments is Georgia Tech, with a 0.42% chance. Meanwhile here in the Big 12, there are 4 teams with worse shots. Then I realized that the spread from best to worst in the Big 12 is a lot larger:

Big East: UConn - Seton Hall = .955 - .783 = .172

ACC: Duke - Georgia Tech = .954 - .731 = .223

Big 12: Texas - Missouri = .967 - .582 = .385

Nebraska, Texas Tech, and Baylor are all also worse than Georgia Tech (the worst team in either of the other two tournaments). No wonder people are dumping on the Big 12 so much this year. The bottom teams are really, really bad.

I was also a little surprised that Texas's odds are so much better than Kansas's, but take a look at their most likely opponents for each round.

Texas: KSU (.802), Tex A&M (.865), Kansas (.953)

Kansas: OSU (.823), OU (.864), Texas (.967)

Regardless of the stats, it's clear that Texas are the two solid favorites to take home the trophy. Although if KU wins, the Big 12 may forget to give one to them.

KU Climbs in Power Rankings

ESPN has us as a three seed (effectively ranked #11) in their latest Power 16, and the silver tongues are wagging our way:

Yes, KU is blasting people left and right, but aside from a one-point W over Oklahoma, is this streak a product of a mediocre Big 12? We'll know more Saturday, but I think that answer is no.

Check out the individual voter's breakdowns here.

Luke Winn is sprouting flightless wings this week, naming the Baby Jays the 8th best team in the nation. His sailor-tongued missive on our own Julian Wright is a must read:

Damn, Julian Wright! The Jayhawks' freakishly athletic point/power forward scored 20 points in 22 minutes on Tuesday in a win over Baylor -- on 10-of-11 shooting. It was Wright's breakout performance this season, his first time over 15 points in a game. And according to the Kansas City Star, it was the best percentage (90.9) a KU player had shot in a Big 12 game since the venerable Mark Randall made 11 of 12 attempts against Oklahoma State in 1989.

Dunkel says 3rd best.

Pomeroy says 7th, 4th and 4th.

Sagarin Predictive says 6th.

Dolphin Predictive says 4th.

Is this team that good or do we just know how to play to make computers love us?

Pomeroy: KU #1

Not terribly meaningful, but KU is #1 in the country over the last five games. We're 9th overall for the season. For the last month, we've been consistently in the top 5. This is the first year I've followed Pomeroy's ratings very closely, but I'd rather be first than worst.

SI says that KU's student section is the 6th best in the country. I'd be inclined to thinking KU students would be higher, but after last night's no-show, we're probably lucky to be there.

RPI Watch

Ken Pomeroy's latest RPI projection has KU at 38th, which is important since we've now passed that mythical 40th parallel. We're up to 9th overall in his season-long ratings and nestled comfortably at 5th in his last 5 games rating (oddly enough, UNC is number 1 in that rating - good job Roy). By the way, KP's now predicting 13-3 in conference, with a lone loss at UT.

Dunkel has us at 4th in the country in his latest index, behind Duke, UT and UConn (before last night's game).

We're up to 19th overall and 6th in the pure points rating over at Jeff Sagarin's place (the pure points is more important to Vegas).

Dolphin hasn't updated yet, but I'll try to remember to update that later.

You might be interested to know that the composite of bracket projections has us at a #6 seed. Most of the latter day brackets have us as a #5, but some of the less frequently updated brackets have us as an #8 or #9, so we're averaged up a little. I think if we win out while losing impressively at UT, we have a very good shot at a #4. If we beat UT, I think a #2 is still *possible, but very very unlikely. A 4-6 is most likely at this point. I would almost prefer a #6 at this point to avoid a possible run-in with UConn, Duke or Villanova.

Thoughts?

Yet Another College Basketball Ratings update

It's the day after a game, so it's time to look at how KU is doing in the predictive power ratings, most of which I have become so fond of that I would happily let the whole lot of them live in a Utopian commune in my backyard. Without further ado:

Let's start with Pomeroy, whose statistical burgers are thick and plentiful. In his main Pomeroy ratings, we've moved from 14 to 13 after yesterday's win. We've held our position as the 4th best team in the country over the last five games, but oddly, the company ahead of us is different - we're now behind UConn, Georgetown and Oklahoma!

We're also still 4th in the country in Pomeroy's Pythagorean rankings and his efficiency numbers behind only Texas, Duke and UConn.

Dolphin hasn't updated his stats since Friday, but we're still 5th in the predictive ratings (it will probably be updated later today)

Sagarain hasn't updated yet either, but I don't expect a lot of movement, so we'll still likely be 7th in that (pure points) rating. Update, we've moved up to 6th.

Dunkel hasn't updated either, so we're still 4th there.

So this meaningless exercise has proved to be nearly Ecclesiastically meaningless, quite nearly a chasing after a wind which doesn't even end up being there. But that fact has never stopped me in the past, so you would be return-to-your-vomit foolish to expect that anything will change.

The long and short is that KU is a top 15, and perhaps a top 10 team in the country, right now. Given our youth, we may crash into some wall - physical or emotional - and end this season in a blaze of disappointment.

I don't think that's very likely though, because I'm not sure we're old enough to have learned about walls, physical or otherwise. I expect this team to win out the regular season with the lone exception of our game at Texas, which I believe will be a great one.

Looking ahead, we will almost certainly be ranked for the first time this year when the polls come out tomorrow.

Here's how the teams in front of us did:

#17/#18 Boston College Two wins on the road in the ACC this week should move them up a little.

#18/#19 Iowa - Lost to Northwestern, and deserve to plummet for that, but they're leading the Big 10 and they knocked off Indiana in Bloomington, which should keep them from falling too much.

#19/#17 Ohio State Couple of wins this week, including one at Ann Arbor. They will probably creep up, and deservedly so.

#20/#20 OU They will probably stay where they are after two good wins this week, and I don't think voters will count the KU loss against them.

#21/#23 Washington How on earth they stayed in the polls after losing three straight is beyond me, especially in the Pac-10, but two wins this week, including one over UCLA, should prevent them from falling out of the top 25.

#22/#22 Michigan Michigan can say good bye to their ranking after losing three straight by a combined 51 points. They will go down, and they will go down hard.

#23/#24 North Carolina For losing to Duke by 4, I don't think they'll get dropped. If they lose to Miami tonight, which is certainly possible, they will drop.

#24/#21 Indiana Like their B10 counterpart Michigan, Indy will fall after having lost three straight.

#25/#28 Northern Iowa A loss yesterday to Missouri State is plenty to drop them significantly.

#33/#25 Colorado That Colorado stayed ranked after getting run out of the gym by Iowa State is an embarrasment to the Coach's poll. A loss to the Texas Aggies this week won't help their case.

#26/#26 LSU LSU is a good team, but their loss yesterday to Florida will keep them out of the top 25.

I think three teams will drop in each poll, leaving the door open for up and comers like KU, Bucknell, Cal and UAB in the cool kid's club.

I think KU will be ranked as high as #19 and as low as #22 in the polls. A lot more pundits began noticing KU this week and the fact that we're 14-2 in our last 16 isn't being lost on most folks.

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