Data Don’t Lie
In my last update I had valid concerns for Indiana and Ohio State, my two picks for the Final Four. In a tournament of defense, their opponent shooting percentages were too mediocre compared to their opponents. And what did we see? Syracuse stifling Indiana and Wichita State upsetting Ohio State.
Fortunately OSU did just enough to put me in the office pool lead. Everyone has Louisville winning the tournament except me.
It wouldn’t be the first time I rooted against a Rick Pitino team. So what are my chances?
No Midnight for Cinderella… Yet
It’s 2 hours to tip-off! Will Wichita State live by their moniker and topple powerhouse Louisville into the final? One could only hope, but I’m not so sure.
If we look at pure defensive efficiency, both Louisville or Wichita State are giving up more possessions in the last 3 games compared to their 2012 games. Louisville is looking at a bigger drop-off however, but it could be the pace of games these teams have played. This isn’t telling us much, so let’s go further.
This is a little more telling. Opponents are shooting almost 5% better against Louisville this tournament. If we’re looking at pure performance, the Shockers could really do it. I think they have shot.
What About the Wolverines?
It might be a year late but Syracuse is riding their 2-3 zone to the Final Four. They held Marquette to 39 points and have been shutting down teams all tournament. But look at Michigan and their Opponent Average Scoring Margin below.
They’ve been blowing out teams all tournament long, and Syracuse struggles to score. My heart says Syracuse by my mind (and data) says Michigan.
My Picks (In Bold):
– Wichita State over Louisville (I really need this one)
– Michigan over Syracuse
– Michigan over Wichita State in the final
Louisville needs to lose, this game or the next if I’m to win the office pool. That’s two chances. Wish me luck!