Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NCAA First Round Preview: South Region

12:25 Thursday, New Orleans61.2 possessions
11 Old Dominion50.2%66.549.414.834.816.8
6 Notre Dame49.8%66.452.117.831.230.5
Folks were surprised when Notre Dame played as well as they did without Luke Harangody, but PAPER shows that Harangody was actually a below-average player in Big East games. The big guy puts up lots of points, sure, but he puts up points inefficiently on high-volume shooting, doesn't rebound particularly well for his size, and turns the ball over more than he should. That's not to say that he's not a valuable piece for the Irish, but when they were able to start relying on more efficient players the Irish became a much better team.

12:30 Thursday, Providence71.6 possessions
15 Robert Morris5.7%65.244.623.029.136.4
2 Villanova94.3%85.556.619.546.043.9
Bobby Mo's logo makes me crave a beer. Villanova is supposedly fading because they played a bunch of close games against some really good teams and happened to lose 6 of their last 10 games. Before that, they were supposedly a dominant team because they played a bunch of close games against really good teams and happened to win 11 in a row. Go figure.

2:55 Thursday, New Orleans67.2 possessions
14 Sam Houston St.23.6%71.347.715.432.024.4
3 Baylor76.4%80.559.619.439.532.1
I love it when teams from the same area have to travel elsewhere to play each other. Sure, Robert Morris and Villanova in Providence and Sam Houston State and Baylor playing in New Orleans aren't exactly as ridiculous as George Mason playing Maryland in Boise, but they're all we've got this year.

3:00 Thursday, Providence63.9 possessions
10 St. Mary's55.7%67.549.320.435.629.4
7 Richmond44.3%65.948.312.124.920.7
The conspiracy to deny us a suitable Cinderella deepens.

2:30 Friday, Spokane70.1 possessions
13 Siena22.0%66.444.820.031.128.5
4 Purdue78.0%75.952.116.432.119.7
Robbie Hummel is a great player--4th best in the country on a possession basis--and losing him is obviously huge for Purdue, but let's not write the Boilermakers completely off just yet. Using PAPER, we can calculate just what his absence might mean, and it's not all bad. Purdue's defense should remain one of the best in the land, dropping only 4 spots to #6 nationally; the offense suffers a bit more, falling from #47 to #64. Overall, the Boilermakers without Hummel have a TAPE rating of .6284, which drops them from the #12 team in the country down to #20. That makes them a bit of a soft 4-seed, but they're still not a team that should lose to a Siena squad that isn't nearly as good as last year's model.

4:55 Friday, Spokane59.9 possessions
12 Utah St.54.9%
5 Texas A&M45.1%62.648.013.832.230.1
The Aggies of Utah State play their second consecutive game against an Aggie opponent after dropping the WAC final to the Aggies of New Mexico State.

7:25 Friday, Jacksonville65.8 possessions
16 AR Pine Bluff1.2%53.138.624.230.028.3
1 Duke98.8%79.252.814.743.749.2
Do TV stations in New Jersey show Duke blowouts in their entirety? The rest of us will be watching Florida State-Gonzaga, Oklahoma State-Georgia Tech, or New Mexico State-Michigan State on Friday evening.

9:55 Friday, Jacksonville67.7 possessions
9 Louisville40.3%
8 California59.7%77.252.718.446.529.5
Cal doesn't have a really good defense, but they do a decent job of defending in the halfcourt and rebounding the ball, which, along with their unwillingness to turn the ball over, makes them a tough matchup for Louisville.

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