1. With the non-conference season nearing it’s end, we can take some time to look back on the OVC’s performance this year against the NCAA. I wouldn’t take too much time, because it’s not all that pretty. Yes, there was Belmont’s high-profile win over North Carolina. And then…there’s not a lot else to brag about. In games against Division I opponents, the conference is currently 47-87, with 13 non-conference games remaining. If it holds, it will be the worst overall win loss by the conference since the 2010-11 season, a year the conference went 31-75. The OVC is ranked 27th in conference RPI, and has only three teams (Belmont, Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State) ranked in the RPI top-200, with Belmont the only team in double digits. The bottom of the barrell? Five teams (Austin Peay, Jacksonville State, Tennessee State, SIU Edwardsville, and Eastern Illinois) have an RPI of 300+, with SIU Edwardsville setting the low bar at 342, according to BB State. In case you’re wondering, there are 351 Division I teams.
2. One of the more interesting advanced statistic that’s been invented is trying to put a number to a team’s “luck.” Here’s the explanation of the score from kenpom.com:
A measure of the deviation between a team’s actual winning percentage and what one would expect from its game-by-game efficiencies. It’s a Dean Oliver invention. Essentially, a team involved in a lot of close games should not win (or lose) all of them. Those that do will be viewed as lucky (or unlucky).
So which team’s have been the luckiest this year? Here’s the full list.
|Team||Luck (win% versus expected)|
Does that not look really close to the OVC’s standings? It kind of does. So, what does this tell us? Good teams win close games. I know, it’s earthshattering, isn’t it.
3. If I’m picking the most interesting game from today’s slate, it’s probably Morehead State at Tennessee. The Volunteers have already handled in-state opponents Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech, but in theory the Eagles should provide more of a challenge. UT has lost two straight against good teams, and don’t have any horrible losses, so I’m not calling for the upset. SIU Edwardsville heads to play big-brother in Carbondale, in what should be a winnable game for the Cougars on the road, even with an 11-point spread. (That just seems really big given how bad SIU has been this year) Rounding out the slate, SEMO hosts IUPUI, and assuming they don’t give the Jaguars a 16-point cushion to start the game like the Redhawks gave their opponent in their last game in Cape Girardeau, they should be able to notch a win.