Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Team KenPom and Value Add Ratings Most Hurt by Injuries

Tres Tinkle was worth an extra 4.23 point per game to Oregon State as a freshman in 2016. Tinkle was off to a blistering start of this sophomore year, averaging 7.73 points per game through the first six games. If he kept up that pace, he would have finished as the 40th best player out of more than 4100 who played this year according to Value Add Basketball.

The future looked incredible in Oregon State's sixth game against Fresno State, when Tinkle put up an incredible 31 points, 10 rebounds and 6 steals, but the rest of the Beavers scored only 27 points combined in a narrow 63-58 loss. Unfortunately he broke his hand attempting to reject a dunk late in the game, and would not play again all year.

After 25 games of 0.0 Value Add Ratings because he could not play, Tinkle's overall Value Add for the season dropped to 1.59.

In calculating how much Oregon State was hurt by the broken hand, we subtract his final 1.59 overall average from the 7.73 pace he set in the six games he played to see it cost them 6.64 over the course of the season, but we take another 1.50 off of that total since every team has a few minor injuries. Put it together, and the loss of Tinkle cost Oregon State 5.14 points from their Team Value Add Ranking.
Value through those six games. Add those five points per game, and Oregon State starts 6-5 instead of 3-8 and goes into Pac-12 play with more confidence.

The only team hurt more than Oregon State by an injury over the course of a season was St. Joseph's due to the loss of Shavar Newkirk, who tore his ACL in the opening game of the A-10 season after scoring 20 points in eight of his first 11 games. His loss cost St. Joe's 6.98 points per game even after allowing for the 1.50.

The two biggest end of season injuries occurred to Georgia's Yante Maten, who had a chance to go All-American, and Chris Boucher, who might have given Oregon the inside play the need to beat UNC in the national semifinals. However, since both of these superstar players missed less than a half dozen games, their per game impact was not big enough to make this list. You can sort www.valueaddbasketball.com and type the "play" in the search field to pull up all info on major injuries.

RnkTeamPlayers Worth +2 points or more if healthy all yearGames PlayedWhat if' Value Add
1St. Joseph'sShavar Newkirk (if played other 19 gms)12 Gms6.98
2Oregon St.Tres Tinkle (if played other 25 gms)6 Gms5.14
3Texas SouthernDerrick Griffin (if played other 22 gms)13 Gms4.31
4NevadaElijah Foster (if played other 28 gms)7 Gms3.94
5ArizonaAllonzo Trier (if played other 19 gms)18 Gms3.76
6Maryland Kings CoMartez Harrison (if played other 27 gms)5 Gms3.75
7ConnecticutAlterique Gilbert (if played other 29 gms)3 Gms2.89
8TexasTevin Mack (if played other 18 gms)15 Gms2.87
9Northwestern St.Zeek Woodley (if played other 14 gms)11 Gms2.85
10UC IrvineLuke Nelson (if played other 17 gms)17 Gms2.83
11WagnerRomone Saunders (if played other 28 gms)1 Gms2.72
12OhioAntonio Campbell (if played other 16 gms)14 Gms2.68
13Texas El PasoTerry Winn (if played other 29 gms)2 Gms2.48
14XavierEdmond Sumner (if played other 17 gms)21 Gms2.4
15Bowling GreenJeffrey Uju (if played other 29 gms)2 Gms2.26
16Nevada Las VegasDwayne Morgan (if played other 24 gms)8 Gms2.06
17IndianaOG Anunoby (if played other 18 gms)16 Gms1.97
18CreightonMaurice Watson (if played other 16 gms)18 Gms1.73
19Southern CaliforniaBennie Boatwright (if played other 17 gms)19 Gms1.56
20Louisiana St.Craig Victor (if played other 23 gms)8 Gms1.55
21Illinois ChicagoDikembe Dixson (if played other 25 gms)9 Gms1.54
22New Mexico St.Sidy N'Dir (if played other 23 gms)8 Gms1.46
23PrincetonHenry Caruso (if played other 22 gms)7 Gms1.41
24Southern MississippiTim Rowe (if played other 23 gms)6 Gms1.33
25Santa ClaraKJ Feagin (if played other 13 gms)19 Gms1.33
26Grand CanyonJoshua Braun (if played other 9 gms)20 Gms1.27
27UC Santa BarbaraAmi Lakoju (if played other 18 gms)9 Gms1.22
28OklahomaJordan Woodard (if played other 11 gms)20 Gms1.18
29Ohio St.Keita Bates-Diop (if played other 23 gms)9 Gms1.14
30NJ Inst of TechnologyDamon Lynn (if played other 10 gms)19 Gms1.13
31ArmyAdam Roe (if played other 23 gms)8 Gms1.12
32Brigham YoungKyle Davis (if played other 21 gms)10 Gms1.02
33NortheasternJeremy Miller (if played other 15 gms)16 Gms0.98
34PennsylvaniaRyan Betley (if played other 10 gms)18 Gms0.95
35LibertyCaleb Homesley (if played other 24 gms)8 Gms0.93
36NortheasternDonnell Gresham (if played other 27 gms)4 Gms0.9
37East Tennessee St.Julian Walters (if played other 26 gms)7 Gms0.87
38ConnecticutTerry Larrier (if played other 28 gms)4 Gms0.85
39TennesseeJohn Fulkerson (if played other 21 gms)10 Gms0.8
40South CarolinaSindarius Thornwell (if played other 5 gms)31 Gms0.79
41New MexicoTim Williams (if played other 9 gms)22 Gms0.79
42TempleJosh Brown (if played other 26 gms)6 Gms0.78
43Virginia TechChris Clarke (if played other 9 gms)24 Gms0.76
44Fresno St.Karachi Edo (if played other 14 gms)17 Gms0.74
45UC Santa BarbaraJalen Canty (if played other 18 gms)9 Gms0.69
46WashingtonMarkelle Fultz (if played other 6 gms)25 Gms0.69
47George MasonDanny Dixon (if played other 27 gms)6 Gms0.6
48BinghamtonJC Show (if played other 19 gms)10 Gms0.58
49BuffaloQuate McKinzie (if played other 15 gms)15 Gms0.55
50DuquesneJosh Steel (if played other 30 gms)2 Gms0.53


Monday, April 10, 2017

Top 40 Freshman of 2017, Who Will Be Dominant Sophomores or NBA Players

Year after year, the stats prove even the greatest freshman basketball players are overrated. They simply turn the ball over too much, play bad defense and miss too many bad shots to be as valuable as players with at least one year under the belts. The only players who were truly the greatest players in the country their freshman season were Anthony Davis (greatest in history of ValueAdd in 2012), Michael Beasley (2008), Kevin Durant (2007) and Shelden Williams (2006).

This year, Value Add Basketball indicates 40 of the top 400 Value Add Basketball players were freshman, and for all the long-term potential of the top freshman Lonzo Ball, his value of 9.33 additional points a game for UCLA ranked 14th of all players. You can sort any current players or players going back to the 2002-03 season at www.valueaddbasketball.com.

Here is the list of those 40 freshman, and their projected value in 2018 if they play their sophomore season. Many will be in the NBA, so any team with one or more of the other two dozen on this list start with a huge advantage for the 2017-18 season.

2017 RnkBest Freshman 2017TeamValue Add v5.0 Pts/Game2018 Proj
14Lonzo Ball #2UCLA9.33NBA
21Lauri Markkanen #10Arizona8.89NBA
36Malik Monk #5Kentucky7.79NBA
37Josh Jackson #11Kansas7.78NBA
43TJ Leaf #22UCLA7.62NBA
58Edrice Adebayo #3Kentucky7.31NBA
67Shamorie Ponds #2St. John's7.1310.01
69De'Aaron Fox #0Kentucky7.09NBA
72Bruce Brown #11Miami FL7.029.65
83Mike Watkins #24Penn St.6.789.36
92MaCio Teague #31UNC Asheville6.689.18
97Josh Okogie #5Georgia Tech6.628.65
98Justin Patton #23Creighton6.62NBA
99Dennis Smith #4North Carolina St.6.62NBA
111Jonathan Isaac #1Florida St.6.39NBA
113Zach Collins #32Gonzaga6.38NBA
116Robert Williams #44Texas A&M6.378.64
117Markelle Fultz #20Washington6.36NBA
123Jarrett Allen #31Texas6.29NBA
126Nick Ward #44Michigan St.6.278.36
142Grant Williams #2Tennessee6.138.16
145Landry Shamet #11Wichita St.6.128.12
147Miles Bridges #22Michigan St.6.06NBA
162Jayson Tatum #0Duke5.88NBA
201Andrew Jones #1Texas5.57.78
203Dazon Ingram #12Alabama5.497.75
260Rawle Alkins #1Arizona5.067.71
261Kevin Huerter #4Maryland5.067.72
285Amir Coffey #5Minnesota4.877.6
287Anthony Cowan #0Maryland4.857.38
305Kamar Baldwin #3Butler4.757.21
328Justin Jackson #21Maryland4.67.09
342Donte DiVincenzo #10Villanova4.477
347Sam Hauser #10Marquette4.436.77
351Danjel Purifoy #3Auburn4.416.68
356De'Anthony Melton #22Southern California4.366.29
358Markus Howard #0Marquette4.366.25
372Mustapha Heron #5Auburn4.286.12
388Sam Merrill #3Utah St.4.26.11
399Marcus LoVett #15St. John's4.176.02

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

South Region: UNC beats Kentucky (Wichita based on match-ups, UCLA based on Top 3 Players)

This blog breaks down all four double header of games played in the South Region, which are the games that appear in the lower right corner of brackets. It shows the top 10 players on the floor for each of these double headers, and gives details on which factors give advantages to which teams.

UNC wins the entire national championshipo based on the Las Vegas odds, and Kentucky wins the whole title based on the most NBA talent on the court. UCLA wins the Region based on the top 3 players, and Wichita State based on specific matchups.

Click here for the grid showing the results of the entire tournament using 10 different approaches. If you simply want to fill out a bracket quickly, you can go straight to that link and fill out your bracket in about two minutes choosing any of the 10 options. That post also explains the 10 different approaches. Many more stories appear here, and you can sort the rating for all 4000+ players and see who is injured by clicking on www.valueaddbasketball.com.

Greenville, South Carolina
South: No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Texas Southern
South: No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Seton Hall

Top 10 Players
37, Justin Jackson #44, North Carolina
68, Joel Berry #2, North Carolina
92, Kennedy Meeks #3, North Carolina
96, Angel Delgado #31, Seton Hall
139, Isaiah Hicks #4, North Carolina
155, Khadeen Carrington #0, Seton Hall
190, Daryl Macon #4, Arkansas
229, Desi Rodriguez #20, Seton Hall
277, Moses Kingsley #33, Arkansas
348, Marvin Jones #24, Texas Southern

Everyone in this group is red hot, with UNC letting one slip away against Duke, Arkansas improving from 59th to 38th, and Seton Hall moving up falling just short of making it six straight wins with a defeat of Villanova until Josh Hart scored a game-winning on an offensive rebound.

Health: UNC’s Theo Pinson makes them even better, but missing games kept him out of the top 100.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: UNC’s weakness is they do give up a lot of steals (179th at protecting the ball) which could be a real problem against Seton Hall (68th in steals) but a bigger problem against Arkansas (37th in steals). Still, UNC’s huge home crowd for a game played just down the road in South Carolina should pull them through even if they get a close game.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1st two rounds
South: No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee
South: No. 4 Butler vs. No. 13 Winthrop

Top 10 Players
58, Reggie Upshaw #30, Middle Tennessee
88, Giddy Potts #20, Middle Tennessee
102, Nate Mason #2, Minnesota
136, Jacorey Williams #22, Middle Tennessee
146, Keon Johnson #5, Winthrop
217, Andrew Chrabascz #45, Butler
244, Kelan Martin #30, Butler
273, Jordan Murphy #3, Minnesota
276, Amir Coffey #5, Minnesota
293, Kamar Baldwin #3, Butler

If it comes down to the top trio, Middle Tennessee dominates with three of the top four players.
Possible “style/home” edge upset: Middle Tennessee could get some steals (23rd best) against Minnesota (93rd best at protecting the ball). Winthrop should get up some 3-pointers (49th) against a Butler team that is only 224th in forcing opponents to shoot 2s instead of 3s, but Butler has huge home advantage in a Big East arena they play in every year.

Sacramento, California
South: No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 11 Kansas State/Wake Forest
South: No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 14 Kent State

Top 10 Players
9, John Collins #20, Wake Forest
10, Lonzo Ball #2, UCLA
38, Jacob Evans #1, Cincinnati
47, TJ Leaf #22, UCLA
51, Gary Clark #11, Cincinnati
59, Bryant Crawford #13, Wake Forest
79, Wesley Iwundu #25, Kansas St.
114, Jimmy Hall #35, Kent St.
133, Dean Wade #32, Kansas St.
175, Bryce Alford #20, UCLA

Potential coaching match up of great former players in Danny Manning (coaching Wake Forest) and Steve Alford (UCLA).

Kent State improved from 171st to 141st with a great end of season run.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Cincinnati (19th in steals) could wreak havoc on Kansas State (258th in protecting the ball) or even Wake Forest (140th). Wake Forest could make up some of that ground with 3-pointers (30th in the country, while Cincy’s defense is only 197th at forcing 2-point shots). UCLA has the big home court advantage and as the 6th best three-point shooting team should have their way with any of the other four teams from behind the arc except perhaps Kansas State (83rd best at forcing 2-point shots).

Indianapolis, Indiana
South: No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Wichita State
South: No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Northern Kentucky

33, Malik Monk #5, Kentucky
76, Edrice Adebayo #3, Kentucky
80, De'Aaron Fox #0, Kentucky
98, Markis McDuffie #32, Wichita St.
108, Landry Shamet #11, Wichita St.
167, Scoochie Smith #11, Dayton
207, Conner Frankamp #33, Wichita St.
214, Charles Cooke #4, Dayton
228, Kyle Davis #3, Dayton
299, Derek Willis #35, Kentucky

Wichita has won 15 straight to move from 28th to 8th. Kentucky rolled through the SEC championship.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Both Dayton and Wichita State allow a lot of 3-point attempts (283rd and 267th respectively at forcing opponents to take 2’s). The problem for Dayton is that Wichita shoots 3-pointers even better than they do (3rd in the nation vs. 29th). Unfortunately for the winner of that game, Kentucky is one of the best at preventing both three-point attempts (51st) and steals (6th).

Midwest Region: Kansas Beats Louisville (but some methods show Iowa St. in Finals or Louisville)

This blog breaks down all four double header of games played in the Midwest Region, which are the games that appear in the upper right corner of brackets. It shows the top 10 players on the floor for each of these double headers, and gives details on which factors give advantages to which teams.

This bracket looks wide open however. Kansas is the overall winner despite Louisville and Iowa State splitting the nine categories evenly, and based on the "Top 3 Players" equation Iowa State goes all the way to the championship game.
Click here for the grid showing the results of the entire tournament using 10 different approaches. If you simply want to fill out a bracket quickly, you can go straight to that link and fill out your bracket in about two minutes choosing any of the 10 options. That post also explains the 10 different approaches. Many more stories appear here, and you can sort the rating for all 4000+ players and see who is injured by clicking on www.valueaddbasketball.com.

Tulsa 1st two rounds
Midwest: No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 NC Central/UC Davis
Midwest: No. 8 Miami vs. No. 9 Michigan State

Top 10 Players
3, Frank Mason #0, Kansas
40, Davon Reed #5, Miami FL
49, Josh Jackson #11, Kansas
63, Bruce Brown #11, Miami FL
77, Devonte' Graham #4, Kansas
176, Nick Ward #44, Michigan St.
191, Miles Bridges #22, Michigan St.
308, Landen Lucas #33, Kansas
327, Brynton Lemar #0, UC Davis
381, Anthony Lawrence #3, Miami FL

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Kansas will have the big home advantage.

Milwaukee 1st two rounds
Midwest: No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Nevada
Midwest: No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Vermont

10 Best Players

7, Monte Morris #11, Iowa St.
17, Caleb Swanigan #50, Purdue
42, Marcus Marshall #1, Nevada
55, Nazareth Mitrou-Long #15, Iowa St.
120, Vincent Edwards #12, Purdue
171, Dakota Mathias #31, Purdue
174, Matt Thomas #21, Iowa St.
198, Cameron Oliver #0, Nevada
238, Deonte Burton #30, Iowa St.
256, Jordan Caroline #24, Nevada

Possible “style/home” edge upset: None. “Home” advantage: Two higher seed home edge, but Iowa State more so in second game including Deonte Burton coming back to the arena where he played for Marquette before transferring.

Sacramento, California
Midwest: No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 11 Rhode Island
Midwest: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 14 Iona

36, Jordan Bell #1, Oregon
72, Khyri Thomas #2, Creighton
111, Justin Patton #23, Creighton
134, Hassan Martin #12, Rhode Island
151, Dillon Brooks #24, Oregon
226, Dylan Ennis #31, Oregon
263, Tyler Dorsey #5, Oregon
335, EC Matthews #0, Rhode Island
349, Rickey McGill #0, Iona
382, Kuran Iverson #23, Rhode Island

When one of the greatest coaching family’s of all time (Dan Hurley) is coaching Allen Iverson’s cousin, it is no surprise Rhode Island has improved from 50th to 37th. Greg McDermitt steadied the ship with a run to the Big East Finals after the team had fallen from 16th to 27th after Watson’s injury. He hopes to have a chance to take on Creighton’s former coach in Dana Altman of Oregon.

Healthy: Oregon and Creighton were hit with two of the biggest injuries in the country, however Oregon’s bench is good enough to offset most of the loss of Chris Boucher, while Creighton was one of the most hurt teams in the country after point guard Mo Watson went down for the season.
Possible “style/home” edge upset: Rhode Island is very good at denying 3-pointers (18th in country) that Creighton needs (13th best 3-point shooting).

Indianapolis, Indiana
Midwest: No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State
Midwest: No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 15 Jacksonville State

8, Derrick Walton #10, Michigan
19, Donovan Mitchell #45, Louisville
21, Jawun Evans #1, Oklahoma St.
30, Jeffrey Carroll #30, Oklahoma St.
141, Phil Forte #13, Oklahoma St.
161, Moritz Wagner #13, Michigan
168, DJ Wilson #5, Michigan
235, Deng Adel #22, Louisville
255, Erik Durham #15, Jacksonville St.
289, Quentin Snider #4, Louisville

Michigan improved from 40th to 21st in the last month, winning the Big Ten title along the way after surviving a plane crash to enter the tournament as the hottest team in the country behind only SMU.
Possible “style/home” edge upset: Michigan doesn’t turn the ball over (9th best at protecting the ball) and forces opponents to take 2-pointers (9th best), which seems to stop the two chances Oklahoma State would have at the upset (29th in steals, and 9th in three-point shooting).

West Brackets: Gonzaga Beats Arizona (WVU, FSU Also Win 2)

This blog breaks down all four double header of games played in the West Region, which are the games that appear in the lower left corner of brackets. It shows the top 10 players on the floor for each of these double headers, and gives details on which factors give advantages to which teams.

Gonzaga wins this bracket based on all 10 factors, though many observers are picking Arizona to beat them.  The system that analyzes the way teams match-up on steals and three-pointers projects Virginia as the Eastern Champion. This

Click here for the grid showing the results of the entire tournament using 10 different approaches. If you simply want to fill out a bracket quickly, you can go straight to that link and fill out your bracket in about two minutes choosing any of the 10 options. That post also explains the 10 different approaches. Many more stories appear here, and you can sort the rating for all 4000+ players and see who is injured by clicking on www.valueaddbasketball.com.

Salt Lake City 1st Two Rounds
West: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 South Dakota State
West: No. 8 Northwestern vs. No. 9 Vanderbilt

Ten Best Players

5, Nigel Williams-Goss #5, Gonzaga
34, Mike Daum #24, South Dakota St.
110, Zach Collins #32, Gonzaga
118, Luke Kornet #3, Vanderbilt
138, Riley LaChance #13, Vanderbilt
170, Johnathan Williams #3, Gonzaga
181, Jeff Roberson #11, Vanderbilt
187, Przemek Karnowski #24, Gonzaga
239, Vic Law #4, Northwestern
257, Jordan Mathews #4, Gonzaga

Healthy: Northwestern’s Dererk Pardon would have also ranked in this top 10 if he had been with the team the entire season.

South Dakota State’s last six games were against higher ranked teams, and it beat all seven en route to the Summit League title and improving more than 30 spots on the rankings at www.kenpom.com.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Gonzaga so good on both offense and defense on steals and 3-pointers that it’s hard to see an upset, even though Salt Lake is a relatively neutral site.

Buffalo 1st two Rounds
West: No. 4 West Virginia vs. No. 13 Bucknell
West: No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Princeton

Best 10 Players

4, Bonzie Colson #35, Notre Dame
20, Jevon Carter #2, West Virginia
119, Steven Cook #25, Princeton
149, Nathan Adrian #11, West Virginia
150, Zach Thomas #23, Bucknell
177, Devin Cannady #3, Princeton
180, Matt Farrell #5, Notre Dame
186, Nana Foulland #20, Bucknell
189, Steve Vasturia #32, Notre Dame
225, Tarik Phillip #12, West Virginia

Health: Princeton two small injuries.

Notre Dame vs. West Virginia features two of the greatest coaches in Mike Brey and Bob Huggins.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Bucknell can hit threes (55th best), but turns the ball over a ton (310th best at protecting the ball), West Virginia has a huge edge (3rd in steals). Home edge for Princeton heading into Buffalo snow – on rail perhaps?

Orlando 1st Two Rounds
West: No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier
West: No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast

Top 10 Players

73, Brandon Goodwin #0, Florida Gulf Coast
74, Trevon Bluiett #5, Xavier
126, Melo Trimble #2, Maryland
127, JP Macura #55, Xavier
129, Jonathan Isaac #1, Florida St.
232, Dwayne Bacon #4, Florida St.
249, Anthony Cowan #0, Maryland
261, Terance Mann #14, Florida St.
272, Demetris Morant #21, Florida Gulf Coast
283, Kevin Huerter #4, Maryland

Healthy: Xavier’s Edmond Sumner would have been in top 3 in this bracket if he was not injured.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Winner of second game with home advantage in their second game.

Salt Lake City 1st Two Rounds
West: No. 7 St. Mary’s vs. No. 10 VCU
West: No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 North Dakota

12, Jock Landale #34, Saint Mary's
23, Lauri Markkanen #10, Arizona
82, JeQuan Lewis #1, VCU
95, Quinton Hooker #21, North Dakota
125, Justin Tillman #4, VCU
158, Calvin Hermanson #24, Saint Mary's
213, Joe Rahon #25, Saint Mary's
258, Rawle Alkins #1, Arizona
271, Kadeem Allen #5, Arizona
320, Dane Pineau #22, Saint Mary's

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Big style edge to VCU in opener as VCU just doesn’t allow 3-pointers (28th best in denying them) that Saint Mary’s relies on (14th best in country) while VCU (28th in steals) can take advantage of the fact that Saint Mary’s is terrible at protecting the ball (229th). If VCU and Arizona win, Arizona has the huge advantage in the home court to their north and the fact that they do NOT turn the ball over (26th).

Vanderbilt is the only team in the group with any future NBA players to go up against Gonzaga’s NBA talent.

East Bracket: Villanova over Duke (UVa and SMU also win 2)

This blog breaks down all four double header of games played in the East Region, which are the games that appear in the upper left corner of brackets. It shows the top 10 players on the floor for each of these double headers, and gives details on which factors give advantages to which teams.

Villanova wins this bracket based on 9 of 10 factors, usually beating Duke, however the system that analyzes the way teams match-up on steals and three-pointers projects Virginia as the Eastern Champion. This

Click here for the grid showing the results of the entire tournament using 10 different approaches. If you simply want to fill out a bracket quickly, you can go straight to that link and fill out your bracket in about two minutes choosing any of the 10 options. That post also explains the 10 different approaches. Many more stories appear here, and you can sort the rating for all 4000+ players and see who is injured by clicking on www.valueaddbasketball.com.

Buffalo 1st Two Rounds 

East: No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 6 Mt. St. Mary’s/New Orleans

East: No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech

10 Most Valuable Players in this group
2, Josh Hart #3, Villanova
11, Ethan Happ #22, Wisconsin
25, Jalen Brunson #1, Villanova
31, Mikal Bridges #25, Villanova
45, Erik Thomas #14, New Orleans
65, Zach LeDay #32, Virginia Tech
115, Kris Jenkins #2, Villanova
122, Nigel Hayes #10, Wisconsin
173, Zak Showalter #3, Wisconsin
184, Bronson Koenig #24, Wisconsin
Health: Huge loss to Virginia Tech of 224nd ranked Chris Clarke
Hot: Nova coming off Big East title, Wisconsin dropped from 10th to 23rd since early February.

“Home” Advantage: Getting to Buffalo through the snow easiest for Villanova, hardest for New Orleans if they survive.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Virginia Tech has best style chance at upset as the 9th best 3-point shooting team against a Villanova team that is only 300th in forcing teams to shoot a 2-pointer instead of a 3-pointer. Villanova only 81st best at protecting the ball, which would give Wisconsin (41st at steals) a much better shot at upset than Virginia Tech (347th of 351).

Orlando 1st two rounds

East: No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNC Wilmington

East: No. 4 Florida vs. No. 13 East Tennessee State

Top 10 players
44, Devontae Cacok #15, UNC Wilmington
69, KeVaughn Allen #5, Florida
87, Devin Robinson #1, Florida
93, London Perrantes #32, Virginia
106, Isaiah Wilkins #21, Virginia
230, Denzel Ingram #10, UNC Wilmington
248, TJ Cromer #0, East Tennessee St.
253, Canyon Barry #24, Florida
281, Devon Hall #0, Virginia
288, Chris Chiozza #11, Florida

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Florida does not allow teams to get off three-pointers and has the big home advantage in their state, hurting East Tennessee State (44th in 3-pointers).

Tulsa 1st two rounds
East: No. 6 SMU vs. No. 11 Providence/USC
East: No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 New Mexico State

Top 10 players
15, Semi Ojeleye #33, SMU
18, Johnathan Motley #5, Baylor
32, Sterling Brown #3, SMU
52, Shake Milton #1, SMU
66, Ben Moore #0, SMU
105, Manu Lecomte #20, Baylor
178, Jarrey Foster #10, SMU
197, Jo Lual-Acuil #0, Baylor
203, Emmitt Holt #15, Providence
205, Ishmail Wainright #24, Baylor

Scott Drew continues to guide Baylor.

Baylor has slid a little from 7th in the final weeks, while SMU is the hottest team in the league with only a 2-point loss at Cincinnati preventing them from finishing 26-0.

USC’s Andy Enfield proved himself with the Sweet 16 run at Florida Gulf Coast, has a former Maxim cover wife, beautiful children, millions of dollars, and an up and coming program – but with one of the youngest teams in the country some are questioning if they were quite ready for a bid. Then again, that’s what they said about Syracuse last year and VCU several years ago before both made the Final Four.

Healthy: New Mexico State is better with Sidy N'dir playing.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Baylor and SMU both sites close to home in the openers to try to get to each other in the 2nd round. 

Greenville, South Carolina 1st two Rounds
East: No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 10 Marquette
East: No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Troy

1, Sindarius Thornwell #0 (+1 if all season), South Carolina
6, Luke Kennard #5, Duke
101, Amile Jefferson #21, Duke
131, Jayson Tatum #0 (+1 if all season), Duke
211, Grayson Allen #3, Duke
218, Luke Fischer #40, Marquette
240, Chris Silva #30, South Carolina
259, Andrew Rowsey #30, Marquette
266, Wesley Person #3, Troy
315, Markus Howard #0, Marquette

Healthy: Duke and South Carolina rank even higher with Thornwell and Tatum out – and Marquette could drop if Fischer (shoulder) cannot play Thursday.

Not only is South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell the No. 1 ranked player in the country at www.valueaddbasketball.com, but he would have rated even higher if had not missed six games. Marquette’s team is No. 1 in the nation in 3-pointers, and Markus Howard would break the all-time record of 56% if he hit 7 of 9 this weekend – a tough task against two of the toughest defenses in the country to get 3-pointers off against.

Unfortunately for whoever wins between South Carolina and Marquette, Duke is next up with four players who would be in the top 100 if Grayson Allen had not lost his cool and Tatum had played the whole season.

Possible “style/home” edge upset: Big South Carolina style edge as they are 21st in steals, and Marquette is terrible (224th) in protecting the ball, which could be a huge edge in light of the virtual home crowd for South Carolina. Marquette relies on being 1st in the country in 3-point shooting, but South Carolina’s suffocating defense is 87th best at forcing opponents to shoot 2-pointers, meaning Marquette must hope Luke Fischer can play through an injured shoulder to get an inside game. Duke absolutely denies the 3-pointers (7th best in forcing 2-pointers), should Marquette get through.

Bracket Winners: Gonzaga (overall), Villanova (Top 3 Players, Experience, Hot), UNC (Vegas), Kentucky (NBA)

Bracket Winners: Gonzaga (surprise overall), Villanova (Top 3 Players, Experience, Hot), UNC (Vegas), Kentucky (NBA)

The following table lists the teams in the order in which they appear on 2017 March Madness brackets. Brackets must be in by Thursday morning on March 16 before the games start, but some leagues may have an earlier deadline. If you simply want to fill out your bracket and be done with it, you can just count the lines below and turn in your bracket to get it off your step.

If you would like to see pictures of each of the four brackets filled out with explanations of which factors favor which teams and the top 10 players in each double header, you can click to see why UNC has a slight edge in the South Region, Kansas nudging Louisville and Iowa State in the Midwest Region, Gonzaga's chance to overcome skeptics to win the West Region, and Villanova's path to win the East Region and try to repeat. Just remember, the initial odds posted by Las Vegas gave no team more than a 9% chance of winning the title (UNC edged Villanova 9% to 8.3% in USA Today after Duke and Kansas initially led).

You can click here for my many college basketball stories, on www.valueaddbasketball.com for the rankings of all 4000+basketball players, or click on www.pudnersports.com to see the 8 breakdowns - one for each half of the bracket.

The following columns are:

% title - Las Vegas gives no team more than a 9 percent chance of winning the title (UNC is 9.0% exactly). To figure this out, you must look at the odds listed by USA Today, and convert them to percentages, at which case you see that Vegas has built more than a 70% margin into any bets. When we take those percentages out, the % titles below add up to 100%. Another reason not to be, the house always wins!

  1. Overall is a combination of the 9 bracket proposals that follow, so if you want to follow the overall bracket you would click on Villanova 4 times, or write them out on 4 lines, then fill in Wisconsin on one line, etc. In this case, Villanova would make the Final Four and Gonzaga would win the title.
  2. Vegas is based on the team given the best percentage chance of winning the title in Vegas beating each new opponent - in this case click on Villanova 5 times to have them lose to UNC in the title game.
  3. KenPom.com goes by the team ranked better at that site, which gives Villanova in the Final Four before losing to eventual champion Gonzaga.
  4. Top 3 Players is based on a theory by Al McGuire that it takes 3 1/2 stars to win a championship. The top players can be more important than deep benches in the tournament, so this ranks teams based on the best three players each team has according to www.valueaddbasketball.com, and if it comes to the top three players Villanova would be on six lines as the champion.
  5. NBA indicates the team with the most NBA talent - based on how many players they have and how high they are likely to go in the next two drafts - and once again that would make Kentucky the champion.
  6. Healthy adjusts the KenPom rating in No. 3 above with adjustments for any players who is now injured or has actually made the team better by returning during the season. That value is determined by the players ranking at www.valueaddbasketball.com.
  7. Experience adjust the KenPom rating by how experienced the team is - also determined by KenPom.com.
  8. Coach adjusts the KenPom rating for coaches with history of success in the tournament.
  9. Hot adjusts KenPom for how much they have improved or declined in their KenPom rating over the past month.
  10. Venue adjusts the KenPom rating based on if a particular team was given a tournament site close to home where they will have an advantage.

RegionTeam%titleOverallVegasKenpomTop3 PlayersNBAHealthyExp.CoachHotVenueMatchup
EastMount St. Mary's0.0%
EastNew Orleans0.0%
EastVirginia Tech0.3%
EastUNC Wilmington0.2%
EastEast Tennessee St.0.2%
EastNew Mexico St.0.1%
EastSouth Carolina0.4%111112
WestSouth Dakota St.0.0%
WestNotre Dame1.2%11122121111
WestWest Virginia1.9%22211212222
WestFlorida St.1.5%22213222222
WestFlorida Gulf Coast0.1%
WestSaint Mary's0.4%11331131311
WestNorth Dakota0.1%
MWNorth Carolina Central0.0%
MWUC Davis0.0%
MWMiami FL0.4%11111111
MWMichigan St.0.4%111
MWIowa St.1.2%2115112441
MWRhode Island0.2%111
MWOklahoma St.0.4%31
MWJacksonville St.0.1%
SthNorth Carolina9.0%56534553553
SthTexas Southern0.0%
SthSeton Hall0.3%11
SthMiddle Tennessee0.3%2111
SthWake Forest0.2%11
SthKansas St.0.2%
SthKent St.0.1%
SthWichita St.0.8%11111131315
SthNorthern Kentucky0.1%
RegionTeam%titleOverallVegasKenpomTop3 PlayersNBAHealthyExp.CoachHotVenueMatchup