Wednesday, March 18, 2009

1st Round Wait...

My Reading List...
Looking over the 'net this week for information about the first round games, I decided to make my 1st stop the MSM sites (always checking out the East Region for information)
1. Gregg Doyel over at was assigned the task of breaking down the East Region. Doyel is an edgy writer who manned the online site for CBS almost single handed for the site's first few years. Doyel, never one to mince words (the only media he could have written for without getting fired or severely beaten...) moved off the college basketball beat a few years ago, giving way to a less confrontational Gary Parrish. Parrish followed in Doyel's footsteps, providing the daily grist for CBS's information mill, but seemed to step on fewer toes in the process, was handed the job of providing the overview and analysis to Doyel regional breakdowns authored by Doyel and Dodd. A sure sign possession-based stats are gaining headway -- Parrish used Pomeroy's offensive ratings (and a leaf out of Luke Winn's notebook) to narrow the field to those ranked in the top 4 for offensive efficiency. This season those four are North Carolina, Pittsburgh, UCLA and Duke. Parrish also penned a rant...if you are interested, he argues Arizona's spot should have gone to Creighton.
2. Also on the CBS site is statistician Peter Tiernan of who penned a very good piece with pointers on filling out your bracket. Every piece you have read with pointers about bracket pools was stolen from Peter's work. He has been at it for years, writing for ESPN before moving over to CBS. Peter has his own site with a good deal of free content -- my favorite is the table that holds the coaching records. Peter looks at how each coach has performed against his seed. Very compelling argument for taking Michigan over Clemson in the 1st round #7/#10 game in the South Region (and for those thirsting for an upset, this is one...). Think of it as a Purnell-Beilein matchup.
3. Jordan Brenner and Peter Keating over at ESPN are also hunting for upsets. They named their series the Giant Killers, and discuss a number of match up characteristics manifesting in the Giants (vulnerable high seed teams) and their Killers. Most of the series is behind the subscription firewall, but the introduction isn't and is very interesting (compare to Pete Tiernan's work...).
4. John Gasaway over at the Basketball Prospectus rolls out his Tournament Overview, tabbing efficiency as the key stat (and naming Memphis the favorite). The Big Ten Wonk also provides a breakdown of the seeds, identifying those that are under or over seeded teams (West Virginia under seeded, Boston College way, way overseeded). After I reconstructed the S-Curve for the tournament field I did the same thing, matching the seed with Ken Pomeroy's ranking system (based on Pythagorean Winning Percentages) and also the RPI. A few interesting seed discrepancies jumped out. I may work up a full post about it later. Gasaway also breaks out a log5 projection for each region. Great reading. That log5 calculation by the way, reveals another possible under seed in the East region (UCLA at #6).
5. I went over to the Patriot League to do some research on the American University Eagles and found the standard tournament seeding announcement. It noted that some of the highlights of the Eagle's season and made the case for the Eagle's inclusion in the field of 64.
6 Over at the Washington Post I found another background piece on American, this one authored by staff sportswriter Steven Goff. It provides a good chronology of the Eagle's season. Veteran sports writer Mike Wise (he authored a good analysis on Georgetown's problems about 3 weeks ago, also printed in the WAPO) had a good human interest piece on American's senior point guard (and graduate of St. Anthony's, the fabled prep school in Jersey City, NJ) Derrick Mercer, who went on to be name the Patriot League POY last week. Another veteran WAPO sports writer, John Feinstein, breaks down the East Region for American fans.

Odds and Ends from the Big East Tournament...
Guest contributor Ray Floriani sent me this earlier today. Ray was in MSG Friday night covering the Big East Tournament semi-final rounds...

Now I have two things about last Friday to be jealous about.

No comments: