Saturday, March 31, 2012

Today's Games: The Final Four

6:09 PM Saturday, New Orleans65.9 possessions
Five of Kentucky's 8-point advantage in the model's projection come from the free throw line. With the officiating in the NCAA Tournament (and college basketball in general) having been a major topic of conversation all year and having grown to a crescendo in the week leading up to the Final Four, it's entirely possible that the officials could once again be the story. The model predicts 37.1 total personal fouls and 41.7 combined free throw attempts in this game, and 36.6 and 40.7 in the night-cap. Nobody outside the fans of the losing teams will complain much if those numbers come in low, but if we see more than 85 fouls called or more than 95 free throw attempts between the two contests tonight, we could--and should--see the criticism of the way college games are officiated ratchet up even further.

8:49 PM Saturday, New Orleans67.6 possessions
2Ohio St.54.7%68.846.317.932.125.5
Kentucky is the prohibitive favorite to cut down the nets on Monday night according to the betting public, but the TAPE model isn't nearly so high on the Wildcats. Ohio State would be a 1-point favorite against Kentucky, and Kentucky would only be favored by 0.2 points against Kansas.

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