Submitted by Stat Intelligence
The early Thursday schedule was notable for the number of Dance-bound teams finally seeing action. If what happened on the floor today is any indication, not much should be expected from the likes of Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Cincinnati next week. Heck, Illinois WON but looked about as bad as you can while winning a game.
Let’s run the numbers…
Illinois 51, Minnesota 49
2-Point Percentage: Minnesota 43%, Illinois 39%
3-Point Shooting: Minnesota 6/17, Illinois 6/25
Free Throws: Minnesota 11/14, Illinois 9/10
1’s and 2’s: Minnesota 31, Illinois 33
Rebounds: Minnesota 36, Illinois 24
Turnovers: Minnesota 17, Illinois 5
(Minnesota 24 in Kenpom, 30 in Sagarin, 30 in BPI, Illinois 42-44-62)
Very ugly game. Minnesota continued it’s “Hey computers, will you just accept that we suck instead of talking about variance for two months” world tour with another poor performance. They did hustle on the boards though, which allowed them to hang close despite losing turnovers by an ungodly 17-5 margin. Basically, Minnesota would turn the ball over…Illinois would miss their shots so badly that it was like a turnover the other way. Maybe the Illini will perk up and catch Indiana flat tomorrow. Top seeds are prone to flatness in these things. But…the team that played today would lose to Indiana by 20.
Minnesota was favored by 2, and got bet up to 3. Are sharps devoting too much respect to the computers this year? They keep losing with the same teams over and over again in a way that lines up with the teams the computers have been wrong about. I was starting to wonder if Minnesota would have to lose to Grambling to fall out of Kenpom’s top 25. Today should finally do the trick. Minnesota is 2-9 ATS at the end of regulation in its last 11 games, 1-7 ATS their last eight away from their home floor. No trophies for being a solid team through early January before falling apart. Computers that weigh everything evenly don’t see wreckage.
#5 Georgetown 62, Cincinnati 43
2-Point Percentage: Cincinnati 38%, Georgetown 45%
3-Point Shooting: Cincinnati 6/17, Georgetown 7/17
Free Throws: Cincinnati 9/13, Georgetown 13/18
1’s and 2’s: Cincinnati 25, Georgetown 41
Rebounds: Cincinnati 22, Georgetown 23
Turnovers: Cincinnati 14, Georgetown 9
(Cincinnati 32-31-29, Georgetown 13-11-17)
Kind of the other end of the spectrum here…as Georgetown continues to post great results that aren’t reflected in computers or the market because they were shaky for half the season. Hoyas were only -3.5 here in a 1-8 game. They didn’t fall into the “flat #1 seed” trap, outside of a stretch mid-game where they blew a big lead before running away and hiding again. Solid stuff across the boxscore for a team that could still surge to a #1 seed and may be lined up for a #2 at worst even though the computers still don’t have them in the top 10.
Georgetown is 13-4 ATS its last 17 games, with two misses being by half a point, and another coming when the refs allotted Villanova a huge free throw edge against them in Philly. Georgetown is 9-4 ATS this season away from home dating back to the very beginning. ESPN’s BPI didn’t have them top 16 heading into the day even though they won the Big East and went 2-1 straight up during the season against the other co-champs.
Iowa State 73, Oklahoma 66
2-Point Percentage: Iowa State 54%, Oklahoma 47%
3-Point Shooting: Iowa State 7/26, Oklahoma 3/18
Free Throws: Iowa State 14/14, Oklahoma 15/18
1’s and 2’s: Iowa State 52, Oklahoma 57
Rebounds: Iowa State 42, Oklahoma 30
Turnovers: Iowa State 12, Oklahoma 6
(Iowa State 36-36-34, Oklahoma 50-40-43)
This was the other early meeting of Dance-bound teams. Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology had Oklahoma as a #10 seed and Iowa State a #12…even though the computers say Iowa State should be a few spots better. Funny game here. Iowa State lives and dies by the trey. They were 1 of 12 from long range in the first half, falling behind 37-29. They started making some in the second, while doing a better job of attacking inside as well…leading to a 44-29 second half rout. Oklahoma never could figure out how to make a trey, which is how the game got away from them.
Going to be a glob of ugly teams just getting into the Dance brackets. Here were Lunardi’s projections entering the day:
Illinois a #8 seed
Minnesota a #9 seed
Oklahoma a #10 seed
Cincinnati a #11 seed
Iowa State a #12 seed
Iowa State played like a #12 or so…maybe a bit better (computers saying a #9 would be right). The rest didn’t really play like tournament caliber teams under the spotlight today.
There’s a “name in a hat” feel amongst the best dozen or so in terms of winning the title. There’s a much uglier hat below that with everyone else in it…and it’s pretty tough to differentiate those guys you just read about from the Pac 10 contenders or the best mid majors or the mid-level messes behind the elites in the ACC or SEC. They’ve all got something wrong with them that can be exploited in playoff style basketball.
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