Monday, March 7, 2011

Atlantic 10 Tournament -- log5 Through the Quarter Finals

Two Rounds
A quick log5 calculation for the first round games Tuesday and the quarter finals on Friday...

Pythag.Prob. Thru
TeamWin %Rnd 1Quart.
George Washington0.54790.6640.130
Rhode Island0.61820.5030.113
St. Louis0.61580.4970.111
St. Bonaventure0.57290.5830.090
La Salle0.48930.4170.048
Saint Joseph's0.38010.3360.037

The value of a bye seed, any bye seed, is clear. Three extra days of rest, the decreased exposure to injury risk and the additional preparation time are all benefits from a season well-played. The probabilities for Temple, Xavier, Duquesne and Richmond provide a quantitative sense of the advantage. The probabilities for the semi-finals and finals will emphasize the built in advantages of the bye seeds.

Quick Thoughts
1. Though Richmond has the better Pythagorean Winning Percentage than Duquesne, the Spiders drew two of the tougher quarter final opponents, Rhode Island & St. Louis. The probability is based on the Pythagorean Winning Percentage, while the seed is determined by the conference won-loss record...and tie breakers.
2. Dayton, which travels to Massachusetts is the "upset special" of the first round. The caveat emptor however, is that while UMass has struggled lately, the Minutemen are riding a three game losing streak, the Flyers are also on a three game skid, and do not travel well (-0.047, ranked #9 in the conference) to boot. The pressure however, is on Dayton to make a run in the tournament, and the road starts at Massachusetts.
3. The Rhode Island - St. Louis first round game appears to be the "toss up special". The Runnin' Rams are on a two game slide (after a decent, 5-2 February), but the Billikens' net efficiency away from Chaifetz, -0.096, is worse than Dayton's, and Coach Rick Majerus' squad is ranked #339 out of 345 in experience, per Ken Pomeroy, another factor when assessing the Billikens' chances for getting to Atlantic City. St. Louis is six games under 0.500. Unless St. Louis runs the table in the conference tournament, their season ends with the next loss.

On Second Glance...
Ken Pomeroy over at the Basketball Prospectus has completed the brackets for the A-10 among others. Check it out if you have a chance. He apparently is planning to compute the log5 for a number of conference tournaments this week.

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