I’m getting a head start on handicapping the likely 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament. I have taken all of the teams mentioned in the various “bracketology” sites, minus the low seed automatics, and I have power ranked the top 60 teams using something I call the “Ty Rating”.
Ty Rating is simply each team’s expected Winning Percentage (derived from the difference between the team’s Win Score average and its Defensive Win Score) subtracted from the expected Winning Percentage the rest of the country would have against the very same schedule. In other words, it first evaluates each team’s performance, and then adjusts it for the strength of the schedule the team faced. All of the calculations are based upon numbers I found at this nifty gambling site called “StatFox Sports” (Sidenote: While I love the site, if they are not affiliated with Fox Sports, or with the old site StatFox, they are creeping very close to two trademark violations).
StatFox Sports makes the Ty Rating possible because it not only lists each team’s “Team” and “Opponent” statistics, it also lists the averages yielded and produced by those opponents. By doing so, it allows me to precisely adjust each team’s success according to the strength of its schedule. SOS adjustment is an absolute must when it comes to college sports analysis because of the widely different competition faced by the different schools. Before now, I would have had to calculate each school’s opponent strength manually. That’s way too much work. With StatFox Sports its all done for me. That’s why I’ve been looking for a site like StatFox Sports for quite a while. I basically stumbled on this beauty, and now I’m back in the college basketball business, big time.
“Ty Rating” Calculation Example using #23 Virginia Cavaliers
Tony Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers have a team Win Score Average of 35.1 — not that great, just above the BCS average (based on my opponent strength calculations, I peg the upper Division I Win Score average at 31.98, and the Defensive Win Score average at 28.01, the difference is borne by the 200 or so lower Division I schools the team’s feast on). However the Cavaliers Defensive Win Score average is a phenomenal 12.6, way way above average. You subtract the difference and divide by ten and you get a Team Marginal Win Score of +2.25, which translates into an expected Winning Percentage of about 0.884, or about 20.3 wins in their 23 games played. Their actual record is 19-4, so MWS estimates extremely well. But, that does not give a necessarily accurate portrait of Virginia’s relative strength as a basketball team, because they could have been playing the Washington Generals every night for all we know.
So to adjust my power rating of Virginia to account for the strength of the opponent’s Virginia has faced, I take the collective Win Score average produced by Virginia’s opponents’ opponents, and that happens to be 28.6, pretty high. Then I calculate the collective Defensive Win Score average yielded by Virginia’s opponents’ opponents and that happens to be 27.9. If you put those two numbers together, you get an Opponent’s Opponent MWS of 0.07, which means Virginia has played a relatively weak schedule, because the rest of the country would be expected to play 0.514% basketball — or winning basketball — against the same schedule. For comparison, the NCAA Tournament field Opponent’s Opponent expected winning percentage average is 0.435%.
So, while Virginia has an impressive raw Marginal Win Score and winning percentage of 0.884%, when you adjust for their weak schedule, by subtracting the generic opponent expected Winning Percentage of 0.514%, you get a more modest “Ty Rating” for Virginia of 0.369, which is just above the field average “Ty Rating” of 0.354. Thus the Ty Rating levels the field and provides an opponent neutral evaluation of each team’s relative strength as we enter “Bracket Season”.
How to read the Chart
The Chart below features a ranking of the 60 most likely qualifiers and bubble teams for this season’s NCAA Tournament as presented by ESPN’s Bracketologists. The ranking is based on each team’s Ty Rating, as explained above. The first column marked “WS” is the team’s Win Score average. Win Score is an efficiency score based on a weighting of box score statistics based according to how each statistic correlates with winning. The column marked “DWS” is each team’s Opponents Win Score average. The third column is the expected Winning Percentage for a team with a Win Score/Defensive Win Score differential equal to the one posted by the given team. The fourth column, marked “SOS” for strength of schedule, is the very same evaluation, except done on the Opponent’s opponents. In other words, it is the expected winning percentage the rest of the country would post against the very same schedule of opponents. Finally, there is the “Ty Rating” which is an expression of each team’s relative strength by comparing the difference between the expected winning percentage each team has achieved against the expected winning percentage the rest of the country has achieved.
I have analysis of the field below that.
|39||Lng Be St||37.5||21.9||0.767||0.465||0.302|
|43||San D St||35.5||19.2||0.779||0.507||0.271|
Kentucky and Ohio State are this season’s War Machines
If you are looking for the favorites in this year’s NCAA field, it has to be Kentucky and Ohio State. First of all, Defensive Win Score, combined with a decent +40 Win Score, is usually the mark of a champion. Both Kentucky and OSU have those qualities, and they are the only two teams in the entire expected field that have Ty Ratings above 0.600. They have to be the prohibitive favorites. Look at Kentucky’s expected Winning Percentage — the team should not have lost a single game! (An expected winning percentage above 1.000% is a function of the uneven distribution of statistics).
Last Two Champions “Ty Ratings”
With all of that said about how strong Kentucky and OSU are, last season’s champion, UConn, had a Ty Rating of only 0.303, which would have been good for #38 in this season’s initial poll. Two years ago, the champion, Duke, had a Ty Rating of 0.509, which would be good for #9 in this season’s initial poll.
Underrated and Overrated
No matter what kind of analytical Power System you use, you will always have a head scratcher. This season’s is New Mexico, a team that is #4 in the initial Ty Ratings, ahead of UNC, Kansas, Missouri and Duke. New Mexico is not as highly rated by others as they are by me, but those are the breaks. I have to maintain the integrity of the system. New Mexico is my early sleeper. Another two teams who may be underrated are the battling Wisconsin Badgers, and the UNLV Running Rebels (who lost last night). Others in the list of underrated would be the Big Ten’s Michigan State and Indiana, each of whom grade out better than the respect they are currently being afforded by national polls.
The overrated seem to live in the ACC. Virginia, as I mentioned, has not played a strong schedule, but they certainly play winning defense. UNC is not as strong as reputed. Neither is Duke.
One team that is vastly overrated is Murray State. Murray State has a gaudy record, but they have been very lucky, and they have not played a very strong schedule at all. They could be an overseed that you would look to eliminate early in your bracket.
My ratings do not like the Georgetown Hoyas, either. But alot of of others, including Ken Pom, have them much higher rated
Let’s look at Joe Lunardi’s “Last 4 In” (Minnesota, NC State Cincinnati, and Miami) compared to some of his “Last Outs” (Xavier, Washington, Belmont, Wyoming, Oregon, and Northwestern). Of those ten teams, which do the Ty Ratings favor?
The Ty Ratings favor in reverse order: Minnesota (0.269); Washington (0.294); Wyoming (0.303); and NC State (o.351). Obviously, the Ty Ratings disagree with Lunardi heavily on the worthiness of Cincinnati (0.203) and Miami (0.232). It also sees NC State as more of a lock, and Wyoming as a deserving of much more respect (Lunardi has them in his “Second Four Out” — Ty Ratings have them all the way in).
More to Come
I will be keeping up the Ty Ratings on a separate page of this blog, and commenting on them all the way up to bracket picking time. Stay tuned. I will also be analyzing, retroactively, how the Ty Ratings would have fared in past tournaments. Stay tuned.