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College Basketball Top 25 Rankings 02/12/18 - UC #5 AP , #5 Coaches
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digibrink Offline
2nd String

Posts: 326
Joined: Jan 2013
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I Root For: Cincinnati
Post: #41
RE: College Basketball Top 25 Rankings 02/12/18 - UC #5 AP , #5 Coaches
(02-15-2018 02:08 PM)Xpectations Wrote:  Couple things on the notion of "Luck."

First, Kenpom's Luck Factor actually doesn't have anything to do with close games. That may or may not even be a symptom, especially if there's more at play.

His Luck Factor simply measures how different your record is versus what his primary metric have predicted based on the strength of your opponents.

Others define luck as record in close games, and there's clearly some truth to that.

That said, a big part of Xavier's "Luck"--however you define it--is due to its incredible propensity to play significantly down or up to the level of its opponents.

Of the 9 games decided by 2 possessions or less, 6 of those games came against opponents that X thought it would comfortably beat and Xavier played extremely lackadaisical as a result. Those opponents were: DePaul, East Tenn. St., Georgetown, Marshall, and St. John's (twice). Xavier was comfortable to heavy favorites in those games but didn't really turn things on until the end.

If you want to argue that's a dangerous way to play, you'll get no argument.

This season, there has been Good Xavier and Bad Xavier. Good Xavier shows up against most tough opponents at home or away. Bad Xavier shows up against perceived crappy opponents or when they get a 15- to 20-point lead on any opponent.

The few times Bad Xavier showed up against good competition, they've been spanked: Neutral vs. Arizona St., @ Providence and @ Nova.

The other Bad Xavier showings though are the main reason that their score-based metrics are as low as they are (e.g., Kenpom).

Here is a chart I created for the Xavier pay board showing all Xavier wins that weren't against massive point spreads (20+ point spreads). It shows how Xavier performed against the Vegas spread in each of those games.

You can see there is a major difference in the quality of teams where Xavier beat or comfortably beat the spread vs the teams that Xavier didn't come close to covering.

It also doesn't include last night's game against Seton Hall, which would appear as a green line to the right of Baylor, with a 5.5-point beating of the spread.

I think Xavier's chances against quality teams is still right where it should be, and that doesn't have much to do with luck.

Again, not suggesting luck isn't involved in their record. But Xavier fans aren't as concerned about the "luck" against mediocre opponents--except one could suggest it might cause the first 1-seed loss ever in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Hmm, this makes sense. I haven't watched an X game all year - only seen the results/last minute shots against bad teams and it makes you wonder. UC has had this issue in the past, especially playing down to the level of opponents and it's not very reassuring as a fan.
02-15-2018 03:55 PM
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