Monday, March 10, 2008

MVC Live Report and PASE Defined

Here are a few comments from my MVC tournament correspondent Lynn:

“For being pretty close to St Louis, Drake brought a pretty weak contingent of fans to the MVC tournament. I guess this shows you that sucking for a solid decade will kill your fan support. On the other hand, hats off to the Wichita State fans that showed up even though their team was not good this year. They stuck around and enjoyed some good basketball.

After watching multiple Drake games this year I think they have the potential to beat a very good team. However, they also can play horribly and have lost to some bad teams. This is because, for a very experienced team, Drake plays with a lot of emotion. Friday, they came out and expected to roll Indiana State. This led to a lack of focus and sloppiness and a very tight game at the half. However, they regained their focus and energy in the second half and looked very good. When filling out the bracket be aware of the where Drake plays. If they play close to home and/or play a big name that gets them excited, pencil them in as a winner. If they're playing in hostile territory or against a no name team you may want to pass.

I think even though Illinois State put on an extremely poor performance yesterday, they should be in the tournament. Their RPI is good and I think they've improved during the year. They are certainly the most athletic team in the Valley and have the most well rounded team in terms of inside and outside game. If they buckle down and play their game, they'll be a tough out. However, as you saw yesterday, if they don't stick to the game plan, it can be ugly.”

Thanks Lynn!

Yet Another

Recognizing the near impossibility of providing completely unique content, I named this site “Yet Another Basketball Blog”. And certainly when I do something like publish a Nitty-Gritty report to discuss the bubble, all I’m really offering is a free, nicely organized, 27th take on the same situation.

But in my effort to launch some unique content, I developed my coach ratings starting last spring. One component of those ratings is how well coaches have performed relative to seed expectations in the tournament. I certainly never thought this was a unique idea, and I’m reminded today that this statistic actually has a name, PASE, or Performance Against Seed Expectations. Apparently, someone named Peter Tiernan who has been “studying the NCAA tournament for 16 years” uses it as a metric to evaluate other predictors of overachievement and underachievement in the tournament. And if I had surfed the web more, I would have seen that Peter discussed it on ESPN in February 2006. (See his column on PASE.)

Ah well, my column last week on how the Big Ten has fared in the last decade looks less original now, but at least it was still free. Moreover, while Peter Tiernan was kind enough to mention how Coach K has generally exceeded seed expectations over his career, what he didn’t say in the ESPN article was how Coach K has been a seed bust over the last decade. You’d have to look at my numbers to see that.