by Rohan Rao Recently, organizations such as the NCAA have been attempting to increase viewership of tennis by implementing rule changes to reduce the length of the individual matches. The logic behind these changes is to increase the relative importance of each point making the overall experience more exciting. I think this is a particularly interesting problem for the sport of tennis, which is currently … Continue reading A New Metric to Analyze Viewer Experience in Pro Tennis (Full Paper)
by Chris Murphy
With the season coming down its final weeks, it is crunch time for any and all College Football Playoff hopefuls. It is also crunch time for College Football Playoff predictions. Perhaps the question you will hear most over the next two weeks is “who’s in?”, and everyone has an answer along with an explanation.
By Chad Horner Yesterday, I posted my picks for the tournament games that will be played tomorrow; I’m back with my picks for Friday’s games. Once again, I encourage you to join our Tournament Challenge group and compete against our writers and readers! On to the picks. As with yesterday, games appear in the order that they will be played. (2) Duke Blue Devils over (15) Albany … Continue reading NCAA Tournament 2013: Round of 64 Picks for Friday’s Games
By Chad Horner
It’s official, the bracket has been revealed, and now it’s time to start looking for those 1st round upsets! Here we’ve laid out some of the first round matchups that look particularly enticing as an upset pick.
Before we get to the picks, Princeton Sports Analytics invites you to challenge us in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge! See how you do against those of us who will be writing about these games for the next few weeks. Here is the link to the group; pick your best entry and join!
Now, on with the picks:
(11) Belmont Bruins over (6) Arizona Wildcats
For the past two years, the Belmont Bruins have come into the tournament as a popular upset pick, and for the past two years, they’ve been soundly defeated. But this is Belmont’s best chance yet. Arizona boasts the country’s 274th-ranked 3-pt defense, and the Bruins are 33rd in the country in 3-pt shooting. The Wildcats have only faced on team all year who is better than Belmont at shooting the 3: Florida. Yes, they defeated Florida, but the Gators controlled the entire game – well, the first 39 minutes – and they were 10/18 from behind the 3-point line. I like Belmont to knock off the Wildcats.
By Chad Horner
The Duke Blue Devils, the number one team in the land for the past month, were finally knocked off their perch Saturday afternoon by the North Carolina State Wolfpack team that was favored to win the ACC in the preseason.
In fact, if you had examined Duke’s schedule in the preseason and tried to find which game would be their toughest, it likely would have been this one. However, after plowing through five potentially elite teams – Louisville, Ohio State, Minnesota, Kentucky, and VCU – in a two week span earlier this season, while NC State was run off of the floor by Oklahoma State in a twenty point loss, their positions in the rankings flipped. Duke came into this game as a modest favorite, despite the absence of Ryan Kelly, who they lost to injury earlier this week, and the fact that this was their first true road game of the season. But there was one sign that the Pack was not an ideal matchup for the Blue Devils.
By Chad Horner
Tomorrow night, Oregon and Kansas State will face off in the Fiesta Bowl in a matchup that many expected to see as the National Championship game until both teams lost in the final weeks of the season. Here’s a quick preview of what to expect from each team. We’ll focus on offense here, as both teams are in the top 10 in the nation in scoring.
By Julian HK
Lou Holtz said yesterday that these two teams were matched up, with similar stats, but that South Carolina’s stats were more impressive since they were in the SEC. And while I’m the first to acknowledge the S-E-C and #SECspeed™, I wasn’t convinced the numbers backed this up. Consider that 3 out of Michigan’s 4 losses came against Alabama, Notre Dame, and Ohio State; that is, they lost to two undefeated teams and the National Championship favorite. Their fourth loss to Nebraska was largely due to an injury to starting QB and human dynamo Denard Robinson and the subsequent struggle of freshman QB Russell Bellomy. Perhaps the Wolverines go on to win that game if they played Devin Gardner instead.
Taking a look at Jeff Sagarin’s ratings which are one of the six BCS computer rankings, we can see that Michigan’s schedule is ranked slightly tougher than South Carolina’s (30th to 33rd). South Carolina was still ranked higher at 9th of course because of their better season performance, but this just serves as a reminder for Lou Holtz and other analysts that SEC schedules (while still tough) aren’t necessarily the toughest schedules.
*Little side note, don’t tell the SEC but according to the Sagarin ratings, and Congrove rankings, the Big 12 actually has a harder strength of schedule! SEC fans can still take solace in many other algorithms which have them on top.