Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Top 100 College Players 2020-2021 When on Court

The final ratings for the 2020-21 season are nearly complete. The final ratings for all players on every team except those in the Final Fours are calculated and are will be current on by morning. The Final Four teams will be updated for a final tally for the year after the National Title game Monday night.

However, we wanted to make one distinction.

The ratings at the link of all 4,000+ D1 college players provides are based on their Value Add ratings - that is how many points per game they improved a team on both offense and defense verses how the team would have done with a standard replacement player (7th or 8th player on an average team). If Evan Mobley (11.16), Luka Garza (11.09) and the much lesser known Kendric Davis (11.01) had missed the whole season we would have expected USC, Iowa and SMU to average doing 11 points worse each game. So a 70-65 win, would have been about a 65-71 loss.

Under this system, when a player is out injured (or on Covid-19 quarantine this year) the player gets a 0.00 for a game, so the players who missed time drop in the ratings. 

Therefore, we are listing the top 100 players this season PER GAME and put it in the notes fields in the database, so you will know where a player would have ranked if he had played the whole season. The table below provides the top 100 most valuable college basketball players this year when they were on the court. Here are some notes on elite players whose ratings were held down.

Keep in mind a player in the top 41 is in the top 1% of all players, the top 82 players in the top 2%, and the top 410 players are in the top 10% and elite.

The top 4 players, the three mentioned above plus Gonzaga's Drew Timme, did not miss any games so their ratings in the database is the same as their total below.

Oregon's Chris Duarte is the first player impacted. In the 25 games in which he played, his Value Add was 9.78, the fifth best in the country. However, he missed two games so will rank 10th in the database. The database and list below show "25/0/2," meaning he started 25 games, had 0 games off the bench, and missed 2 games.

Auburn's Sharife Cooper was the most impacted player. He just missed the top 1% of all players with a 7.65 rating, the 46th most valuable player in the country when he played. He also has an NBA rating of 98 of 100, so an almost sure fire strong NBA player in the future. However, because he played only 12 games and missed 15, his actual calculation will leave him with less than half as high a Value Add rating and ranked 585th - in the top 15% of players but not a reflection of how dominant he is.

Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu would have ranked 11th of all players but is 25th due to injuries, and Stanford's Oscar da Silva would have ranked 16th, but injuries pushed him to 29th.

Three other players would have ranked just a bit out side of the top 1% except for injuries. These are Virginia Tech's Tyrece Radford (57th most valuable when playing), Villanova's Collin Gillespie (64th) and UConn's James Bouknight (65th).

Here are the top 100 in the games in which they played:

11Evan Mobley #4USC11.1633/0/0100
22Luka Garza #55Iowa11.0931/0/071
33Kendric Davis #3SMU11.0117/0/010
44Drew Timme #2Gonzaga9.9630/0/084

65McKinley Wright #25Colorado9.7532/0/057
77Quentin Grimes #24Houston9.6829/0/191
86Alex Barcello #13BYU9.4626/0/010
98Miles McBride #4West Virginia9.2629/1/090
109Corey Kispert #24Gonzaga9.1630/0/095
1125Ayo Dosunmu #11Illinois9.0128/0/393
1211Matthew Hurt #21Duke8.8424/0/076
1312Jose Alvarado #10Georgia Tech8.7426/0/010
1413Jared Butler #12Baylor8.7328/0/091
1514Trayce Jackson-Davis #23Indiana8.7227/0/064
1629Oscar da Silva #13Stanford8.6924/0/262
1715Neemias Queta #23Utah St.8.6728/0/076
1824Moses Wright #5Georgia Tech8.6225/0/110
1916Kofi Cockburn #21Illinois8.5331/0/085
2017Franz Wagner #21Michigan8.5128/0/081
2118Max Abmas #3Oral Roberts8.5125/0/010
2236Justin Champagnie #11Pittsburgh8.4220/1/210
2319Jay Huff #30Virginia8.4125/0/010
2420Sam Hauser #10Virginia8.3925/0/080
2521Davion Mitchell #45Baylor8.3728/0/065
2622Cameron Krutwig #25Loyola Chicago8.3728/0/010
2723Marcus Carr #5Minnesota8.3429/0/070
2837Tyreke Key #11Indiana St.8.2522/0/210
2931Charles Bassey #23Western Kentucky8.1928/0/196
3078Isaiah Livers #2Michigan8.1723/0/580
3126Cameron Thomas #24LSU8.1129/0/092
3227Gaige Prim #44Missouri St.8.122/0/010
3338Jalen Suggs #1Gonzaga8.0428/0/2100
3452Cade Cunningham #2Oklahoma St.8.0327/1/3100
3528Joel Ayayi #11Gonzaga8.0230/0/075
3646Austin Reaves #12Oklahoma7.9725/0/21
3730Osun Osunniyi #21St. Bonaventure7.9721/0/01
3832Jeremiah Robinson-Earl #24Villanova7.8924/0/094
3933Tyson Etienne #1Wichita St.7.8820/0/01
4049EJ Liddell #32Ohio St.7.829/0/227
4134Jordan Schakel #20San Diego St.7.7827/0/01
4235DeVante' Jones #3Coastal Carolina7.7822/0/01
4356Nah'Shon Hyland #5VCU7.7424/0/267
4447Tre Mann #1Florida7.6824/0/184
4555Marcus Zegarowski #11Creighton7.6528/0/258
46585Sharife Cooper #2Auburn7.6512/0/1598
4754Emanuel Miller #5Texas A&M7.5917/4/11
4881Scotty Pippen #2Vanderbilt7.5722/0/31
4951Eric Ayala #5Maryland7.5329/1/11
5039JaQuori McLaughlin #3UC Santa Barbara7.525/0/01
51115Nijel Pack #24Kansas St.7.4923/0/51
5240Jaime Jaquez #4UCLA7.4631/0/050
5363Carlik Jones #1Louisville7.4419/0/11
5441MaCio Teague #31Baylor7.4328/0/067
5542Aamir Simms #25Clemson7.4224/0/056
5643Grant Sherfield #25Nevada7.4125/0/01
57124Tyrece Radford #23Virginia Tech7.4118/0/41
5844Moses Moody #5Arkansas7.432/0/099
5945Dru Smith #12Missouri7.426/0/012
6068LJ Figueroa #12Oregon7.3925/5/21
6167Grayson Murphy #2Belmont7.3827/0/21
6272Julian Champagnie #2St. John's7.3725/1/225
6348Keve Aluma #22Virginia Tech7.3422/0/01
64119Collin Gillespie #2Villanova7.3320/0/472
65270James Bouknight #2Connecticut7.3315/1/895
6650Tahj Eaddy #2USC7.2833/1/01
6753DeJon Jarreau #3Houston7.1930/0/01
6857Jacob Gilyard #0Richmond7.1322/0/01
6958Nate Watson #0Providence7.1126/0/068
7059Armando Bacot #5North Carolina7.129/1/058
7160Jaylen Forbes #25Tulane7.0923/0/01
7261Micah Potter #11Wisconsin7.0831/11/01
7362Eugene Omoruyi #2Oregon7.0727/0/051
7464Montre' Gipson #1Tarleton St.7.0615/0/01
7565Jermaine Samuels #23Villanova7.0224/1/01
7666Jared Rhoden #14Seton Hall6.9327/0/01
7793Marcus Sasser #0Houston6.8828/1/21
7869Marreon Jackson #3Toledo6.8430/0/01
7970David Roddy #21Colorado St.6.8426/1/01
8071Trevion Williams #50Purdue6.8228/2/046
8173Justin Gorham #4Houston6.8130/0/01
82117Iverson Molinar #1Mississippi St.6.7928/1/31
8374Jamaree Bouyea #1San Francisco6.7925/0/01
84187Jason Preston #0Ohio6.7819/0/590
8575Collin Welp #40UC Irvine6.7524/0/01
8676Matt Coleman #2Texas6.7327/0/068
8777Hunter Dickinson #1Michigan6.7228/5/041
8879Aaron Wiggins #2Maryland6.730/1/079
8980Baylor Scheierman #3South Dakota St.6.722/0/01
90511Michael Nuga #1Kent St.6.6912/0/101
91147Tre Mitchell #33Massachusetts6.6913/1/21
92240DeAndre Williams #12Memphis6.6820/1/71
9382Timmy Allen #1Utah6.6325/0/061
94100Colin Castleton #12Florida6.6124/3/11
9583Myles Johnson #15Rutgers6.5828/6/01
9684Joe Wieskamp #10Iowa6.5731/0/060
97317Dylan Disu #1Vanderbilt6.5717/0/81
9885Tyson Walker #2Northeastern6.5719/0/01
9986D'Mitrik Trice #0Wisconsin6.5531/0/01
10087Tanner Holden #2Wright St.6.5524/0/01

Developing ... How Garza Passed for National MVP

The new run of Value Add Basketball rankings after the Elite 8 games show the following Top 10 with only the three Final Four games remaining. We will update later today with all 4000+ players. In the 2nd column we show Top 10 players who overlapped with the ratings at Luka Garza led both all season, but in the final weekend Evan Mobley snuck ahead of him in the Value Add Basketball rankings (still 3rd place at www.kenpom), and Drew Timme passed him at (still 4th place in More to come ...
RnkKenPomPlayerTeamValue Add
13Evan MobleyUSC11.16
22Luka GarzaIowa11.09
3NRKendric DavisSMU11.01
41Drew TimmeGonzaga9.96
5NRMcKinley WrightColorado9.75
6NRAlex BarcelloBYU9.46
79Quentin GrimesHouston9.36
8NRMiles McBrideWest Virginia9.26
910Corey KispertGonzaga9.16
10NRChris DuarteOregon9.06

To better understand how Mobley skyrocketed in our ratings (and we do emphasize defense a bit more than Pomeroy's leader board I believe), start by looking at how dominant USC's defense was in the tournament.

Based on the number of possessions in each game, and Pomeroy's calculations of each opponents Adjusted Offense (Adj) we know how many points each team would have been expected to score in that many possessions against an average opponent. For example, Value Add rated defensive god Anthony Davis as by far the best player in college basketball his one year at Kentucky, but in Pomeroy's rating he was 4th.
Drake would normally score 73 in 65 possessions, Kansas would normally score 75 in 68 possessions, Oregon 79 in 67 possessions, and even in the tough Gonzaga game the Zags would normally score six more points - 80 in a 72 possession game. Put it all together, and USC averaged giving up 15 fewer points per tournament game then would have been expected.

OpponentUSC AllowedKenPom AdjO x PossPoints Saved
Tourney Ave.6580-15

You look at Pomeroy's breakdown to get an idea of how much of that was Evan Mobley altering shots with eight blocked shots in the first three games, and he did alter shots if you watched the Zags game. Add the 24 defensive rebounds to end possessions, and we factor all that with steals along with the factors above of the overall team defense and he passes Garza.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

8 Title Scenarios, and Possible Multiple Brackets in 100th Percentile

With most of the brackets we published in the 98th to 100th percentile, here are the scenarios based on the 8 possibilities for the title game. Here is the blog of all 7 brackets that was posted and sent out a few hours after the brackets were announced.

1. Gonzaga beats Houston

Our coaches ballot, already in the 100% would stay our best, but our Value Add only and our Defense brackets should all end up at 100% since all three picked this result.

Only 34% of all brackets picked Gonzaga to win and only 5% picked Houston to finish 2nd, so this would mean our three brackets were among only about 2% to have the correct and thus pass millions of brackets to likely all end up in the 100th percentile.

2. Baylor beats Gonzaga

Our Experienced Guard bracket would end up the top of our brackets and move up from the 99th percentile to 100th percentile, since it would have picked the title game correctly, and the three above would drop a few because it means they would have been wrong predicting Houston beating Baylor and on the Zags inning it all.

However only 3 percent have Houston winning and only 18% percent have Gonzaga finishing 2nd, so probably only about 2 percent have this as the title game so the three above would be in the top couple of percent. We know this from this breakdown of the 17.2 million brackets.

3. Gonzaga beats Baylor

The most likely result at this point, but probably only about 6% or a little higher percentage of brackets would have this correct exactly since 34% picked the Zags to win and 17% picked Baylor in 2nd.

The coach brackets would still be 100th percentile and the defense and value add only would be close to it despite all 3 missing one semifinal game but nailing the other and the title game.

4. Houston beats Gonzaga

Because the champion is weighted so heavily, all four of the brackets mentioned above would drop the most if this happened since all would have the wrong champion.

5. Baylor beats UCLA

This is actually the worst of all scenarios for all 4 brackets because all would have the wrong champ and would have missed with predicting a Gonzaga semi final win, but likely still in the 90+ percentile since less than 1 percent picked ucla in the title game.

6. Houston beats UCLA

Experience guards would be our best and in the 100th percentile. 

7. UCLA beats Baylor

With only 0.2 percent picking UCLA to win, our top few might stay where they are at 100th, 99th and 98th.

8. UCLA beats Houston

Experienced guards would pass the other three for picking Houston over Baylor correctly, and would likely be in the 100th percentile, and the other three might stay 100th, 99th and 98th, but could slip a perfnet.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Elite 8 Brackets: Value Add/Guards 100th Percentile, Coaches 99th

To update the public brackets we released before the tournament, all five brackets based on the Value Add Basketball rankings are in the top 10% of the 17.2 million brackets submitted. The top 2 are the system that also factors experienced guards (100th percentile, picks Baylor to win the title) and the system that also factors coaches (99th percentile, picks Gonzaga to win the title).

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Sweet 16 Features 5 of top 10 Value Add Players, Mobley Challenging Garza for MVP

The ratings of college basketball players will be updated shortly, and we started by posting them here. We posted two separate blogs, one with the top NIT Final Four Players, while this blog includes the final ratings for players on the 327 teams who were no longer playing as of Saturday morning.

One interested shocker to us is that USC's Evan Mobley's rating of 10.97 is on the verge of topping Luka Garza's 11.09 as the Most Valuable Player in the country this year. Garza continues to easily be the most valuable offensive player, however his defensive rating is a decent but not great -1.23 after Iowa yield 95 points to Oregon in only 75 possessions to be eliminated after allow 74 points in just 63 possessions to one of the weakest offenses in the tournament, Grand Canyon as shown at

(Correction) the original email stated Grand Canyon was one if the worst offenses innthe country, which we corrected to note we meant one of the worst in the tournament. They rank 57th out of 68 tournament teams in AdjO, however they were 119th out of 347 offenses in the country, so a good overall offense just poor compared to other teams that made the tournament.

Sat Mar 206104Grand CanyonW, 86-7463 Neutral22-8 
Mon Mar 22617OregonL, 95-8075 Neutral22-9 
Home games played at Carver Hawkeye Arena (15,056, 28th largest in D-I)

Meanwhile Mobley grabbed 15 defensive rebounds and blocked six shots - more than twice as many of each as the other five elite freshmen to play in the first two rounds, to help USC allow on 56 points in 65 possessions to Drake and an unbelievably low 51 points in 68 possessions against Kansas, again as shown by Ken Pomeroy. Mobley has the second best AdjD (defensive value add) in the country at -3.53 to bring his overall Value Add (AdjO - AdjD) almost equal to Garza.

Sat Mar 201153DrakeW, 72-5665 Neutral23-7 
Mon Mar 22929KansasW, 85-5168 Neutral24-7 

The ratings below, and that will be posted as this weekend are as of the opening of the Sweet 16 games, so do include the first NIT semifinal but no other games played on Saturday.

2Evan Mobley #4USC10.977'0PF100
4Drew Timme #2Gonzaga9.696'10"C84
8Quentin Grimes #24Houston9.146'5"SF91
9Corey Kispert #24Gonzaga9.136'7"PF95
10Chris Duarte #5Oregon9.046'6"SG86
11Jared Butler #12Baylor8.956'3"SG91
16Franz Wagner #21Michigan8.566'9"PF81
17Cameron Krutwig #25Loyola Chicago8.546'9"C1
19Max Abmas #3Oral Roberts8.446'1"SG1
22Davion Mitchell #45Baylor8.386'2"PG65
28Joel Ayayi #11Gonzaga8.16'5"SF75
29Jeremiah Robinson-Earl #24Villanova86'9"C94
31Moses Moody #5Arkansas7.966'6"SF99
48MaCio Teague #31Baylor7.256'4"SF67
49Jalen Suggs #1Gonzaga7.236'4"PG100
50Marcus Zegarowski #11Creighton7.236'2"PG58
51Tahj Eaddy #2USC7.196'2"PG1
56Jermaine Samuels #23Villanova7.126'7"PF1
61Isaiah Livers #2Michigan7.066'7"SF80
63Eugene Omoruyi #2Oregon7.046'6"PF51
64DeJon Jarreau #3Houston7.026'5"PG1
65Jaime Jaquez #4UCLA7.026'6"SF50
68Hunter Dickinson #1Michigan6.927'1"C41
72LJ Figueroa #12Oregon6.846'6"PF1
80Justin Gorham #4Houston6.76'7"PF1
89Quincy Guerrier #1Syracuse6.476'7"PF1
90Jaden Shackelford #5Alabama6.446'3"SG27
98RaiQuan Gray #1Florida St.6.376'8"PF16
104Herbert Jones #1Alabama6.226'8"PF87
107Collin Gillespie #2Villanova6.216'3"SG72
117John Petty #23Alabama6.126'5"PG72
119Eli Brooks #55Michigan6.116'1"SG1
126Marcus Sasser #0Houston6.046'1"PG1
127Alan Griffin #0Syracuse5.996'5"SF1
128Ethan Thompson #5Oregon St.5.996'5"PG73
141Kevin Obanor #0Oral Roberts5.836'8"C1
153Christian Bishop #13Creighton5.76'7"C1
154Drew Peterson #13USC5.696'8"SG1
155Marek Dolezaj #21Syracuse5.676'10"C1
161Warith Alatishe #10Oregon St.5.636'7"PF50
162Lucas Williamson #1Loyola Chicago5.626'4"SF1
163Buddy Boeheim #35Syracuse5.626'6"SG1
166Damien Jefferson #23Creighton5.556'5"PF1
169Scottie Barnes #4Florida St.5.526'9"SF98
183Justin Moore #5Villanova5.386'4"PG60
185Anthony Polite #2Florida St.5.346'6"SG1
191Andrew Nembhard #3Gonzaga5.326'5"SG71
192Justin Smith #0Arkansas5.316'7"PF1
198Jarod Lucas #2Oregon St.5.256'3"SG1
205Isaiah Mobley #3USC5.196'10"C1
235Mike Smith #12Michigan4.975'11"PG1
239Johnny Juzang #3UCLA4.946'6"SG25
248Mitch Ballock #24Creighton4.866'5"SG1
266Jules Bernard #1UCLA4.786'6"PF35
274Jahvon Quinerly #13Alabama4.756'1"PG27
279Marquise Kennedy #12Loyola Chicago4.716'1"PG1
281Anton Watson #22Gonzaga4.76'8"PF86
291Balsa Koprivica #5Florida St.4.657'1"C44
311Aher Uguak #30Loyola Chicago4.516'7"PF1
330MJ Walker #23Florida St.4.396'5"PG82
344JD Notae #1Arkansas4.346'1"PG1
354Tyger Campbell #10UCLA4.295'11"PG1
374Mark Vital #11Baylor4.26'5"PF42
375Jalen Tate #11Arkansas4.26'6"PG1
393Braden Norris #4Loyola Chicago4.156'0PG1
417Matthew Mayer #24Baylor4.046'9"PF1

Top Rated Players Going into NIT Final Four

The NIT was a great tournament again this year, and the Final Four teams will all play again after today because there is a consolation game. These are the stats before Saturday's semifinals. While the highest rated player David Roddy will be in the 3rd place game with Colorado State, notice that there will be several players with NBA-level talent, topped by DJ Stewart's NBA Rating of 89 for Mississippi State, in their title game against Memphis.

The ratings will be updated at soon. 

71David Roddy #21Colorado St.6.856'5"PF1
130Iverson Molinar #1Mississippi St.5.996'3"PG1
157Lester Quinones #11Memphis5.646'5"SF1
193Isaiah Stevens #4Colorado St.5.296'0"PG1
240DJ Stewart #3Mississippi St.4.946'6"SG89
243DeAndre Williams #12Memphis4.886'9"C1
246Tolu Smith #35Mississippi St.4.886'10"PF1
270Landers Nolley #3Memphis4.776'7"SF77
298Isaiah Crawford #22Louisiana Tech4.66'6"PF1
400Kenneth Lofton #2Louisiana Tech4.16'7"C1
530Adam Thistlewood #31Colorado St.3.66'6"SF1
543Alex Lomax #2Memphis3.536'0"PG1
545Boogie Ellis #5Memphis3.526'3"SG74
553Abdul Ado #24Mississippi St.3.496'11"C37
599DJ Jeffries #0Memphis3.346'7"PF42
640JaColby Pemberton #11Louisiana Tech3.246'5"PF1
728Cobe Williams #24Louisiana Tech2.975'11"PG1
759Kendle Moore #3Colorado St.2.875'10"SG1
789Kalob Ledoux #5Louisiana Tech2.786'4"SF1

Final Value Add Ratings for Players Done Playing

The are the top rated players for the 327 teams whose season ended before the NIT Final Four and March Madness Sweet 16 ended. The ratings will be updated at soon. While Luka Garza is still the most valuable player in the country with an 11.09 Value Add, his lead is the smallest margin of the year as Evan Mobley has pulled within one-tenth of a points and has led USC into the Sweet 16.

1Luka Garza #55Iowa11.096'11"C71
3Kendric Davis #3SMU10.955'11"PG1
5McKinley Wright #25Colorado9.656'0PG57
6Alex Barcello #13BYU9.386'2"SG1
7Miles McBride #4West Virginia9.246'2"PG90
12Matthew Hurt #21Duke8.876'9"PF76
13Jose Alvarado #10Georgia Tech8.816'0SG1
14Trayce Jackson-Davis #23Indiana8.746'9"C64
15Neemias Queta #23Utah St.8.647'0C76
18Kofi Cockburn #21Illinois8.527'0C85
20Sam Hauser #10Virginia8.436'8"PF80
21Jay Huff #30Virginia8.437'1"C1
23Moses Wright #5Georgia Tech8.366'9"C1
24Marcus Carr #5Minnesota8.316'2"PG70
25Cameron Thomas #24LSU8.176'4"SG92
26Gaige Prim #44Missouri St.8.156'8"C1
27Ayo Dosunmu #11Illinois8.146'5"PF93
30Osun Osunniyi #21St. Bonaventure7.976'10"C1
32Oscar da Silva #13Stanford7.956'9"C62
33Charles Bassey #23Western Kentucky7.916'11"C96
34Tyson Etienne #1Wichita St.7.836'2"SG1
35Jordan Schakel #20San Diego St.7.736'6"SF1
36DeVante' Jones #3Coastal Carolina7.736'1"SF1
37Justin Champagnie #11Pittsburgh7.676'6"PF1
38Tyreke Key #11Indiana St.7.546'3"SG1
39Aamir Simms #25Clemson7.456'8"C56
40Dru Smith #12Missouri7.446'3"SG12
41JaQuori McLaughlin #3UC Santa Barbara7.446'4"SF1
42Grant Sherfield #25Nevada7.46'2"PG1
43Tre Mann #1Florida7.396'5"PG84
44Austin Reaves #12Oklahoma7.366'5"PG1
45Keve Aluma #22Virginia Tech7.366'9"C1
46EJ Liddell #32Ohio St.7.36'7"PF27
47Eric Ayala #5Maryland7.286'5"PG1
52Cade Cunningham #2Oklahoma St.7.186'8"PF100
53Jacob Gilyard #0Richmond7.155'9"PG1
54Nah'Shon Hyland #5VCU7.136'3"SG67
55Emanuel Miller #5Texas A&M7.136'7"PF1
57Nate Watson #0Providence7.126'10"C68
58Jaylen Forbes #25Tulane7.116'5"SF1
59Armando Bacot #5North Carolina7.16'10"C58
60Carlik Jones #1Louisville7.16'1"PG1
62Micah Potter #11Wisconsin7.056'10"C1
66Montre' Gipson #1Tarleton St.7.025'11"SG1
67Jared Rhoden #14Seton Hall6.976'6"SF1
69Marreon Jackson #3Toledo6.876'1"PG1
70Grayson Murphy #2Belmont6.866'2"SG1
73Julian Champagnie #2St. John's6.846'8"PF25
74Trevion Williams #50Purdue6.836'10"C46
75Jamaree Bouyea #1San Francisco6.736'2"PG1

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

'What If' Value Add Game 2021 Game Log

We decided to hold an 128-team Value Add Basketball Game tournament with this year's player cards, meaning the 28-seed in each region starts against the 5-seed, the 27-seed plays the 6-seed etc., and the top four seeds in each region get a first round bye.

Click here for details on Midwest Games:

22-Marquette 78, 11-Clemson 75

Click here for details on South Games:

17-Auburn 91, 16-SMU 84 (OT)

Click here for details on West Games:

10-VCU 77, 23-Eastern Washington 75

Click here for details on East Games:

11-Penn State 85, 22-Notre Dame 73

For regular players of the game, note there is a new optional rule to adjust for match-ups for teams that play at a much slower or faster pace than average teams.

Optional Pace Rule to start at score other than 20-20 for game between faster or slower paced teams: While starting the game 20-20 with 44-53 possessions left to play is normally realistic, certain teams play at a much faster or slower pace. This optional rule allows you to change the starting score, and in turn change the distribution of points by player at the outset of the game from the normal 2 points per game per player to equal that total.

Step 1 determine each team's pace - Determine the pace for each team. For teams since 2002, you can go to or another site to see the pace (number of possessions per game) for each team. For example the two fastest pace teams in the 2021 tournament were Gonzaga (round to 74 possessions) and Alabama (73), while the two slowest pace teams were Virginia (62) and Mount St. Mary's (60). For teams from before 2002 or if you don't have the pace, average their points scored per game and points allow per game - so the highest estimated pace in history would be the 1990 Loyola Marymount team which average winning 122-108 - average those two together and their estimated pace is 115 as the average of 122 and 108.

Step 2 adjust if either team's pace is lower than 65 or higher than 70. If both team's pace is between 65-70, then the score starts at the normal 20-20 score. However, for each team that is higher than 71 add a point to the starting score, add a point to the starting score. If Gonzaga (74) played Alabama (73) then you would +4 for Gonzaga's pace and +3 for Alabama's pace to make the starting score 27-27 instead of 20-20. If UVa (62) and Mount St. Mary's (60) played then you would subtract -3 for UVa (3 lower than 65) and -5 for Mount St. Mary's for a total of -8 and therefore start the game 12-12 instead of 20-20. If a team with an average pace of 65-70 (no adjustment) played 1990 Loyola Marymount (115 from previous paragraph) then the other team would be a +0 and Loyola would be +45 (45 higher than 70) and the score of the game would start at 65-65 instead of 20-20.

USC's Mobley Clearly Best Frosh, Hot Teams Cool Off In Tourney

After the blitz of games we now have four days with no March Madness games. While catching our breath, a couple of notes: 

As I tweeted last night, Evan Mobley of USC is clearly the best freshman in the country. While 2nd through 6th is very close, Cade Cunningham calculates as 6th, which is also where he ranks among Big 12 players. 

For the rankings going into the tourney above and at, he was worth three points more per game then the next five best. This is based on calculations similar to the AdjO for offense is AdjD for defense.

The top 6 all played two tournament games so far. On defense Mobley has been by far the best defender, with twice as many defensive rebounds (15) and blocked shots (6).  Cunningham was the second best defender with 7 steals and Suggs third best with 4 steals. 

In offense for the two games, the average rating at KenPom was Mobley first at 123, Thomas second at 120, Moody at 115, the other three were below average in double digits. 

Overall it was not close this year - Mobley was BY FAR the best freshman in the country both in the season and in the tournament first weekend. You can argue 2nd through 6th because they are very close.

As for our overall brackets, most rank very high - between the 87th and 98th percentile. The one that once again falls flat is the one adjusted for the hottest teams in the tournament. We always remember the occasional run by a hot team, like Louisville and UConn title runs in the last decade, but in most cases teams do not play better if they finished the season hot.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Why Oral Roberts' Abmans More Valuable than BEST Player, Cunningham

This was the statement we sent to sports writers across the US Saturday morning. An exclamation point was put on the statement when Max Abmans lit it up for another Oral Roberts upset while Cade Cunningham went 6 of 20 shots including getting rejected on jumpers twice at key moments and Oklahoma State was upset by Oregon State:

"This season Oral Roberts' Max Abmas ranked as one of only two players from smaller conferences ranked in the top 1 percent of all players by," said John Pudner, inventor of the Value Add Basketball rankings. "Friday he torched Ohio State for 29 points while committing only one turnover playing point guard to make Oral Roberts only the 9th 15-seed to defeat a 2-seed in 141 chances."

"Meanwhile Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham showed both sides of why he may be the BEST player in college basketball, but does not rank in the top 1% of MOST VALUABLE players over the course of the season based on his value add above replacement players. Like many games this year, Cunningham was in total control at the end of the game, securing the ball, hitting free throws, being a wall on defense, just like he will likely do in the NBA next year. However, his 3 of 14 shooting and 4 turnovers kept Liberty in the game until the closing minutes, in line with his higher than normal turnover percentage (22%) and lower than average 2-point fielding percentage (47%), both typical of talented freshmen."

Historical references for Value Add Basketball are included in this blog, and more in depth statistical background is written up regularly at

Friday, March 19, 2021

Updated Bracket End of 1st Round; Value Add + Coach Experience in 99th Percentile of Brackets

The bracket published basing picks on the ratings of all valuable players plus the experience of the head coach in winning March Madness games has been correct on 25 of 32 picks in the first round to place in the 99th percentile.

The system correctly picked four upsets on the lower bracket below, the team winning with the worse seed - UCLA, Rutgers, Syracuse and Wisconsin. Almost penciled in Mark Turgeon to tip Maryland past UConn and should have pulled the trigger. That was a brilliant packed defense to make UConn shoot jumpers instead of driving.

Click for this CBS Sports 24/7 story:

Teams bolded when they win 2nd round game to advance to Sweet 16. The "Prev Yrs" indicates how many of the past 25 years the coach has advanced to at least the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament coming into this tournament. All times Central.

Gm CTRound 2 CoachPrev YrsBest Run
11:10Porter Moser, Loy12018 Final Four
 Brad Underwood, IL2No Sweet 16
1:40Greg Gard, WI22 Sweet 16s
 Scott Drew, Baylor5Elite 8 2010 and 2012
4:15Jim Boeheim, Syr132003 title, final 4 2013 & 2016
 Bob Huggins, WVU14Final 4 2010, 5 Sweet 16s
5:10Chris Beard, TX Tech32019 Title Game
 Eric Musselman, Ark1Sweet 16 in 2018
6:10Steve Pikiell, Rutg0No Sweet 16
 Kelvin Sampson, Hou8Final 4 2002 Oklahoma
6:45Paul Mills, Oral R0No Sweet 16
 Michael White, FL3Elite 8 in 2017
7:45Grant McCasland, N TX0No Sweet 16
 Jay Wright, Vill12NatlChamps 2016 & 2018
8:40Wayne Tinkle, OR St0No Sweet 16
 Mike Boynton, OK St0No Sweet 16
M 8:40Andy Enfield, USC2FGCU 2013 Sweet 16
 Bill Self, KS132008 National Title
M 6:10Will Wade, LSU2Sweet 16 in 2019
 Juwan Howard, MI0No Sweet 16
M 4:15Mick Cronin, UCLA5Sweet 16 in 2012
 Joe Golding, Abil Chr0No Sweet 16
M 1:40Mark Few, Gonz152017 Title Game
 Lon Kruger, OK6Final 4 2016
M 6:45Tad Boyle, Col1No Sweet 16
 Leonard Hamilton, FSU72018 Elite 8
M 7:45Mark Turgeon, MD7Sweet 16 2006, 2016
 Nate Oats, AL2No Sweet 16
M 11:10Dana Altman, OR8Final 4 2017
 Fran McCaffery, IA5No Sweet 16
M 5:15Jeff Boals, OH0No Sweet 16
 Greg McDermott, Creigh3No Sweet 16

Other systems factor on the Value Add Basketball Rankings, while other variations adjust for; 1, experienced guards, 2, defense and 3, how hot the team finished the season, or how much NBA talent they feature. 

Here are the rankings of the 7 brackets we published, as tracked by espn, followed by the bracket in the lead - Value Add adjusted for coaches who have taken their teams on big runs.

Here are the actual brackets released Sunday, hours after the brackets were announced. Readers were told to list the team on as many lines as indicated.

SeedWestRegionValue AddHotCoachDefExp GuNBAMy Pick
16Appalachian St./Norfolk StUnderdog       
8OklahomaFavored1 11111
9MissouriUnderdog 1     
12UC Santa BarbaraUnderdog       
4Virginia or LouisvilleFavored222212 
13OhioUnderdog      1
11Wichita St. or DrakeUnderdog       
14Eastern WashingtonUnderdog       
10VCUUnderdog      2
15Grand CanyonUnderdog       
SeedEastRegionValue AddHotCoachDefExp GuNBAMy Pick
16Texas Southern/Mt St. Mary'sUnderdog       
8LSUFavored     3 
9St. BonaventureUnderdog11111 1
5ColoradoFavored1 1121 
12GeorgetownUnderdog 1    2
4Florida St.Favored2222121
13UNC GreensboroUnderdog       
6BYUFavored12 11  
11UCLA or Michigan StUnderdog  1  11
14Abilene ChristianUnderdog       
7ConnecticutFavored1431 13
10MarylandUnderdog    1  
SeedSouthRegionValue AddHotCoachDefExp GuNBAMy Pick
8North CarolinaFavored     13
13North TexasUnderdog       
6Texas TechFavored111 13 
11Utah St.Underdog   1  2
10Virginia TechUnderdog       
2Ohio St.Favored3233114
15Oral RobertsUnderdog       
SeedMidwestRegionValue AddHotCoachDefExp GuNBAMy Pick
8Loyola ChicagoFavored1 11   
9Georgia TechUnderdog 1  111
12Oregon St.Underdog       
4Oklahoma St.Favored222211 
13LibertyUnderdog      1
6San Diego St.Favored22 3111
11SyracuseUnderdog  1    
3West VirginiaFavored1121222
14Morehead St.Underdog       
15Cleveland St.Underdog