Friday, March 6, 2009

game quasi-preview: Maryland

I'm really just using the Maryland game tomorrow as a launching board for other basketball topics as well.

To start off, I had a little extra time this afternoon, so I decided to nerd it up and see who we're going to face in our tournament game. The answer is: the overwhelming likelihood is that we'll draw Boston College. The chances of that are about 82%. Other options: chance of seeing Clemson is about 12%, and the chance of getting Florida State is about 6%. Told you I nerded it up. These are the only options.


- Lay out all 64 possible outcomes of the six games this weekend.
- Use the KenPom percentage chances of each team winning to find the probability of each outcome. For example, our chances of beating Maryland are 48%. The chance of all six favorites winning is about 12%, which comes from multiplying all six individual game probabilities together.
- Determine the 6th-place team in the standings in each outcome. We're locked into 11th, so no matter what, we get #6.
- Add up the probabilities that match each possible 6th-place team.

Numbers are kind of fun like that.

Further nerdy results: BC ends up in some kind of tie involving 6th place in every possible scenario. However, they've got tiebreakers over Maryland, VT, and the three-way tie with both, so we're not getting those teams no matter what. Our playing Clemson would be the result of Clemson losing a three-way tie for fourth with BC and FSU, and our playing FSU is the result of FSU losing a tie with BC for fifth.

Alright, 'nuff of that. So what's it mean for tomorrow? Well, one might say it doesn't matter whether we win or lose because our seeding for the tournament is locked in. But seriously now. We're the second-worst team in the conference and whoever we play is going to hand us our ass, and if by some miracle they don't then we win the right to have Wake Forest hand us our ass instead. The Maryland game is in fact the one that actually means something.

For one thing, you always want to send your seniors off on the right note, and it'll be the last game at home for Mamadi Diane and Tunji Soroye. It's been a tough season and these two have had it the toughest. Both battled through injuries and never were their usual selves all season. Diane's shooting touch cheated him, which is ten kinds of a shame because the .414 he shot from beyond the arc as a junior would have been a godsend this year. And Soroye petitioned for a sixth season and waited longer than usual for the answer from the NCAA, all the while not knowing or caring if there'd be a scholarship for him. And to have the season go the way it did, especially for these Besides the fact that there isn't a Hoo alive who doesn't like watching Maryland walk the slow walk of the vanquished off our court, a win for the seniors would be only right.

Soroye won't be going out without at least some honors though. He and Jerome Meyinsse made the ACC All-Academic team - Meyinsse for the second time. So there's that, and congratulations.

The coverage map for tomorrow's game is right here. As you can see, Rhode Island is Big 12 territory, so the game's not on here, and I've been given tickets gratis for the BC-Georgia Tech game tomorrow. So I'll be off scouting the opposition for next Thursday's game.

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