Saturday, March 10, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---Championship Week Edition

Florida State beat all four North Carolina schools for the first time this season.

Going into this year’s ACC Tournament, Duke is 33-3 in the ACC tourney since 1999…they have won three straight tournament titles.

The 24 point halftime lead that UNC put on Duke in their second game this year was the largest deficit Duke has ever faced at intermission at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Five times this season both teams have attempted at least 40 free throws.

The scads of empty seats at Conference Championship Tournament are a drag. Beyond the six power conferences, the leagues should do what the Horizon League does and reward the highest seed with a home-court site.

The Albuquerque and Portland sites in the NCAA Tournament will not have top seeds. That could make them the most wide open of any of the eight opening weekend venues. They could be ripe for upsets.

According to Andrew Clark, author of “Bracketeering” the most important stat to utilize when constructing your bracket is Scoring Margin. “The higher the scoring margin, the more balanced the team is.”

The second most important is Created Possession Margin. The formula is Rebound Margin plus Turnover Margin, and he considers a margin of five is the benchmark for a meaningful advantage.

A couple of red flags he points out: greater than 18 fouls per game; teams that take 1/3 or more of their attempted field goals from beyond the arc.

Look for teams that shoot better than 45% from the field, better than 36% on threes and 72% on the foul line.

One more thing: Five of the last six title teams have won their conference tourney.

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