Sunday, March 13, 2022

March Madness 8 - Final and Most Important, the Best Teams Being Put on the Court

While we've broken down seven factors that can give a team a chance for an upset in March Madness, we finish with by far the most important factor - who is the best team on the court in each game?

The best team doesn't always win, but they win two-thirds of the team.

If course the first place people should go as a starting point is, who revolutionized analytics. However, I do suggest people also go to for one reason - it breaks the ratings down to each player on a team so that you know how much an injured player will hurt them or who much better their rating would be with a player who has returned.

The following rankings for all teams who will (or in a few cases might) make the tournament are based on the following:

1. VA5 indicates the sum of the player rankings at - which is similar to but represent more than a point (e.g. Gonzaga is a 51.97 here and a 32.97) mainly because our math indicates players on good teams would be even more valuable if the could play more.

2. Then the big difference is the "healthy" column. If that number is 0 then there is no adjustment because there have been no major injuries. However, if that number is a positive number then it is added to the first number because it indicates the team's ranking is actually higher when a player who misses some games is back. However, a negative number means the team is missing a key player or players so is actually not as good as their or raw ranking would indicate.

The two really tough variables are from the Big Ten. Both Illinois and Ohio State have key players that might or might not be ready to play in the tournament, so look at the notes on them in particular and move them up or down several spots based on monitoring those key injuries at this site.

The following are the most important numbers if you only read one of these blogs.

RnkTeamVA 5Healthy?Team on CourtNotes on injuries, or players who were out
2UCLA47.332.5149.84Despite their loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 title game, the fact that Jaylen Clark, Cody Riley and Johnny Juzang all appear to be healthy pushes them to the No. 2 team on the court.
4Texas Tech432.2245.22With Kevin McCullar and Terrence Shannon back, Texas Tech is loaded again.
5Houston46.18-1.344.88The drop of Houston assumes Marcus Sasser is not coming back.
10Tennessee43.51-1.3242.19As great as they have been, they are hurt by Olivier Nkamhoua being out.
15Loyola Chicago37.650.9538.6 
16Baylor44.85-6.6938.16The defending champs are the most hurt, with both Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua and LJ Cryer out.
17Saint Mary's38.01038.01 
18Illinois38.82-1.337.52if Jacob Grandison's shoulder is ok and he plays, this improves by 2.3, if not drop it by 2.3 - so one of two big question marks.
20San Francisco36.62036.62 
22San Diego St.36.36036.36 
24Texas37.31-1.6835.63This drop assumes Tre Mitchell does not return - if he does they go back up to a 37.31.
26Murray St.35.42035.42 
27North Carolina36.43-1.0335.4No word on Dawson Garcia, so assuming he is out for the season.
28Memphis32.861.8434.7As disappointing as Memphis has been with all that talent, if they win the American tomorrow with Jalen Duren and DeAndre Williams playing, they could be a scary first round game.
32Virginia Tech33.29033.29 
33Boise St.33.05033.05 
34Wake Forest31.970.6732.64 
35Colorado St.32.47032.47 
36Michigan St.32.38032.38 
39Iowa St.31.31031.31 
46Seton Hall32.18-2.329.88Bryce Aiken's concussion has kept him out for a while, one of the biggest injuries and they would shoot up several spots if he returned.
49Miami FL29.35029.35 
51Ohio St.33.15-4.129.05Key is if Kyle Young and Zed Key are back. If not -8.2 instead of -4.1, but if back take the -4.1 away. They would move all the way up to 33rd if both are back, but drop to 60th if not - so I split the difference here.
53Creighton29.85-1.4328.42All know Ryan Nembhard's injury hurts, but if Trey Alexander keeps playing well in his place, the inside outside with Ryan Kalkbrenner - who now ranks on the verge of All-American as the 17th best player in the country - can still make them lethal.
54Chattanooga27.480.7528.23Gillespie's only competition for 1st team All-American PG is this Malachi Smith (there is another one at Dayton), and with Silvio De Sousa back they are stronger.
55Texas A&M28.17028.17 
56Notre Dame28.15028.15 
57South Dakota St.28028 
59New Mexico St.25.49025.49 
61Long Beach St.22.46022.46 
62Georgia St.19.791.421.19They will be a big underdog, but with one of their two players in the top 10% of all players, Eliel Nsoseme, back they will be a stronger challenge.
63Montana St.20.54020.54 
64Saint Peter's20.26020.26 
66Jacksonville St.18.73018.73 
67Norfolk St.18.5018.5 
68Bryant17.10.7217.82Bryant would have ranked higher if Hall Elisias didn't miss games, but he is back now.
72Cal St. Fullerton17.21017.21 
74Wright St.15.83015.83 
75Texas Southern10.97010.97 
76Southeastern Louisiana10.8010.8

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