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NCAA Tourney Back On (well sort of)

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1 week 1 day ago #25321 by CorpusJayhawk
I decided to do my own NCAA Tourney using my DPPI. Her's how it works. I set the field based on the DPPI's top team in each conference and then used the top 32 teams not a conference champ.

1st 4 out
USC (48)
Saint Mary's (49)
Stanford (50)
NC State (51)

Texas was 12th team out being ranked 61st overall.

Okay, I seeded the teams in an "S" configuration 1 through 64. That set the field. Ignore the locations and regions. I will refer to the regions as the Kansas Region, Michigan St. Region, Dayton Region and Gonzaga Region.

Now each matchup has a probability based on the DPPI. For instance, KU's 1st round opponent, Norfolk St., has a 0.53% (roughly 1 in 200) probability of winning whereas, No. 9 seed Auburn has a 49.9% probability of defeating No. 8 seed Richmond. Given all the probabilities, I then run a SINGLE iteration of the 1st round. So if KU played Norfolk St. 200 times they would likely win 199 but there is that probability that Norfolk St would win 1 out of 200. But I did not run the tourney 10 iterations or 100 iterations or 1000 iterations or 1 million iterations. I ran it once.

Of the 32 initial round games, 11 were upsets. In fact, there were a couple huge upsets in Michigan St's bracket that will really enhance their probability of getting to the final four. The No. 2 seed Baylor lost in an OT game to the new Cinderella 15 seed UC-Irvine. The very inconsistent 3 seed Arizona had a not too rare off game and went down to No. 14 seed Northern Colorado. Michigan St. went from a 34.8% probability of making the Final Four to a 41.0% probability.

The Kansas region had 3 upsets. 12 seed Vermont upended Seton Hall on the back of a 3 point barrage. Northern Iowa (KU's old nemesis from 2011) upset self-declared National Champ Florida St. Also, 11 seed Cincinnati defeated 6 seed Butler.

Over in Dayton's region, there were 3 upsets but all pretty mild. 9 seed Illinois defeated 8 seed Florida which was not really an upset. In a slightly bigger upset, Gregg Marshall's Shockers, shocked No. 7 seed Minnesota. The biggest upset was 12 seed East Tennessee defeating 5 seed Michigan. 3 12 seeds are headed to the round of 32.

Gonzaga's region had only 2 relatively minor upsets. 11 seed Miss St. defeated another Big 10 team in 6 seed Iowa and 12 seed UConn defeated 5 seed Villanova.

So the big names to go down were 5 seed Villanova, 3 seed Arizona, 4 seed Florida St. and 2 seed Baylor. Also, 5 seed Michigan who made it briefly into the top 5 when they won the Battle for Atlantis, also lost and 5 seed Seton Hall who many had making it to the Final Four were defeated as well.

KU is still the favorite to win it all with a probability of 22.3% barely ahead of Gonzaga at 21.8%. Michigan St, by virtue of the upsets in their region are up to 12.0% just behind Duke at 12.1%. The rest of the field has less than a 1 in 3 probability of winning.

Even though the Big Ten had 12 teams in the tourney, they have the 3rd best probability of winning the NC. The Big 12 has a 26% probability of winning the championship followed by the West Coast (Gonzaga) at 24%. The Big Ten has only a 19% probability of winning the Championship. Also the Big 12 is projected to win 66.7% of their games, 2nd only to the West Coast at 76.3%. The Big East put in 6 teams but 3 lost in the first round, Villanova, Seton Hall and Butler, all significant upsets.

KU faces Big East no. 8 seed Providence in the next round. If they win, they will face the winner of 12 seed Vermont and 13 seed Northern Iowa.

I will send out the 2nd round this afternoon after you have had a chance to absorb the 1st round.

The first graphic is the completed bracket for the 1st round;



The next table is the probabilities by round for every team before the tourney started.



The next table is the probabilities by round for the 32 teams that remain.



The final table is the sum probabilities by round by conference.



Hope you enjoy this virtual tourney.

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1 week 6 hours ago #25332 by CorpusJayhawk
Round 2 is in the books and what a round.

-- The first No. 1 seed falls (will it be our beloved Jayhawks?)
-- Another 2 seed falls and not altogether surprisingly.
-- Two 12 seeds in the Sweet 16 plus an 11 seed.
-- We have a bona fide Blue Blood matchup in the Sweet 16.
-- Only 2 Big 12 teams survive the 1st weekend.
-- Atlantic 10 got only 2 teams in the tourney but both make it to the sweet 16.
-- Big 10 dominates Sweet 16 with 4 teams but 8 lost in 1st weekend.
-- 2 of 4 AC teams survive the 1st weekend.
-- Many thought the Big East was top conference in 2020 but only 1 teams makes Sweet 16.
-- Only one of 8 Sweet 16 games has the top possible seeds
-- Two of the Sweet 16 games do not have a single team from the power 6 conferences.
-- Half of Sweet 16 teams are 5 seed or lower.
-- 8 of 15 1st, 2nd and 3rd team AA's survive to Sweet 16. (only 2 of 1st team)

Without further adieu, here are the results of the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.

-- (1) Kansas defeats Big East (8) Providence to proceed into the Sweet 16.
-- (1) Kansas will face (12) Vermont who is now one of 4 Cinderella's in the 2nd week of the tourney.
-- Kansas catches a break when 2 seed San Diego St. goes down to Rutgers. This begs the question of can a non-power conference team this highly rated really be prepared for the rigors of the NCAA Tourney against teams that have played nothing but top quintile competition like Rutgers in the Big 10?
-- Creighton Blu Jays continue their late season surge as the 3 seed in the Kansas region defeating (11) Cincy.
-- 1 seed Michigan St. gets the rematch they were longing for with a Sweet 16 matchup against (5) Kentucky who defeated them in the 1st game of the season to knock them out of the No. 1 ranking in the AP. Both teams have steadily improved late in the season. This is the bluest of the blue blood games in the Sweet 16.
-- (1) Michigan St. gets a break as the other side of their bracket sees (7) Penn St against (11) Oklahoma. Michigan St. could make it to the Final Four without playing a team seeded higher than 5.
-- (1) Dayton, along with Kansas, are looking like they definitely belong on the 1 seed line. Both Kansas and Dayton have easily cut through the 1st weekend, never really being challenged. Dayton easily defeated a very good (9) Illinois team.
-- But Dayton draws perhaps the biggest of the Cinderella's in (12) East Tennessee. (12) ETSU has been the talk of NCAA since the seeds were announced. Many pundits tapped (12) ETSU as a possible surprise.
-- If Dayton gets by (12) ETSU, they will face the winner of (6) Wisconsin and (2) Duke. Duke has struggled at times in this tourney requiring OT to beat Wichita St. in the round of 32. (6) Wisconsin, co champions of the regular season Big Ten, are looking like they are poised to make a run. They easily defeated a strong fellow Big Ten (3) Ohio St. team to advance to the Sweet 16.
-- (1) Dayton against (12) ETSU involves two non power 6 teams but a more impressive matchup pf non power 6 teams in the Sweet 16 is (8) Richmond against (4) BYU. Richmond is vying for the top Cinderella spot, despite being a relatively high 8 seed. But when you are the team that knocks off the 1st 1 seed and the No. 2 overall seed at that, you are a bona fide Cinderella.
-- Despite No. 1 Gonzaga going down, the Gonzaga region has 3 of the top four seeds still playing. The final matchup is (3) Oregon, led by 1st team AA Payton Pritchard, against (2) Louisville, led by 3rd team AA Jordan Nwora. This represents the only game in the Sweet 16 involving the 2 highest possible seeds.

-- Will Kansas stop the Cinderella Vermont in the Sweet 16?
-- Will Michigan St. and Penn St. make that region an all Big 10 Regional final?
-- Will one of the two 12 seeds still playing survive into the Elite 8? Both are playing 1 seeds.
-- Will the Atlantic 10 keep their perfect record in the tourney ((1) Dayton and (8) Richmond))
-- At least 2 non power 6 teams will make the Elite 8 and possibly three if (12) Vermont can knock off (1) Kansas.
-- Will all 4 Big 10 teams still playing make it to the Elite 8?

-- Kansas now has a 67% probability of making it to the Final Four and a 29.7% probability of winning it all.
-- Duke has an 18.2% probability of winning it all followed by Michigan St. at 17.0% and Dayton at 9.9%
-- Kansas has a 90% probability of winning the next game, the highest of any team remaining.
--



Stay tuned for this exciting March Madness.






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1 week 30 minutes ago - 1 week 29 minutes ago #25336 by konza63
This beats watching the 2011 Scranton, PA roller derby semifinals on ESPN, Corpus.

Thanks for doing it and keeping us entertained!

RCJHGKU!

“With kindest regards to Dr. Forrest C. Allen, the father of basketball coaching, from the father of the game.”

1936 inscription on the portrait of Dr. Naismith, displayed above Phog Allen's office desk at KU.
Last Edit: 1 week 29 minutes ago by konza63.

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6 days 21 hours ago #25339 by CorpusJayhawk
Oh my, what a Sweet 16!! Some are saying the 2020 Sweet 16 is one of the most memorable in history.

-- SEC is done for the tournament, originally had 6 teams.
-- Only 2 of the 12 Big 10 teams remain
-- Atlantic 10 is still perfect for the tournament
-- Kansas gets a scare
-- Richmond is the new Cinderella
-- Both 12 seeds still alive in the Sweet 16 go down
-- Three 1 seeds still alive
-- Duke wins in foul fest
-- Calipari loses his cool in loss to Michigan St.
-- Creighton is gaining traction, easiest win in Sweet 16
-- West Coast conference is done for the tournament
-- More 3 seeds than 2 seeds remain (2 vs. 1)
-- Payton Pritchard shows why he was 1st team AA.

Michigan St. vs. Kentucky
Kentucky comes out like a house afire as Tyrese Maxey and Nick Richards combine for 34 points in the first half taking a 14 point lead into the locker room at halftime. But this is March and that means it is Izzo time. Never count out Ton Izzo and Sparty in the NCAA Tournament. Izzo made adjustments at halftime and the duo that seemed uncontrollable in the first half did not score until the final minute of the 2nd half. Senior Cassius Winston was has not been known as a lock down defender but rather a solid defender throughout his time in East Lansing. But the senior made a huge statement that he is not ready to hang up his green jersey quite yet. He dogged Maxey into 5 2nd half turnovers and 0 for 6 from the field. Without a true surge or patented run, Sparty chipped away gradually until they took the lead with 54 seconds left in the game. That's when Nick Richards made his only basket of the 2nd half putting Kentucky up by 1 with 28 seconds left in the game. On the ensuing possession, Winston drove to the basket but had his shot rejected by Sestina. But as if the Spartan gods were expecting that, the ball fell directly into back into Winston's hands and as he was falling to the floor as the buzzer sounded he flips the ball over his head and into the basket for the win. Michigan St. had wanted this rematch after losing to Kentucky in the Champions Classic in November. The game did not disappoint. In one of the most systematic comebacks in NCAA history, the Spartans win to advance to the Elite 8. John Calipari was visibly upset that the referees ruled the last shot good after a video review that took almost 4 minutes. Given the scrum of players surrounding the Winston as he puts up the shot, the camera angles were challenged to show definitively whether the shot was released prior to the buzzer. Since the call on the court was a made basket, the play stood. Calipari refused to shake hands with Izzo but reports have come in that said he did visit him later and apologized. Izzo will now have the opportunity to coach in his 10th Elite 8 game of his career as head of the Spartans.

Wisconsin vs. Duke
Duke is once again headed to the Elite 8 for the 16th time under Coach K. Coach K had been tied with Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp with 15 trips each to the Elite 8. Coach K now holds that record all to himself after the unconventional win over Wisconsin. Wisconsin has 7 players on the season that averaged 8 points per game or more. Their signature was their balance. But that balance was severely upset when 2 very controversial calls sent their two top scorers to the bench with more than 10 minutes to go in the 1st half. On one play, Tre Jones of Duke who had already accumulated two fouls in the first 8 minutes, was driving to the basket when he apparently charged into Nate Reuvers. The ref called for a blocking foul giving Reuvers his 2nd foul rather than a charge which would have put Tre Jones on the bench. Replays showed that Reuvers feet were clearly outside the arc. On the very next Wisconsin possession on an uncannily similar play, Cobe King was driving to the basket when he charged into Vernon Carey Jr. The same ref called a charge. Replay in this instance showed that Carey's foot was clearly on the line. King's foul was his 2nd so he headed to the bench as well. After the call on King, Greg Gard, the Wisconsin head coach, already livid after the call on Reuvers, charged onto the court demanding a review and received a technical for his trouble. Tre Jones sank both free throws. Tensions ran high from that point on and it appeared the referees felt a need to tone down the physicality. By the end of the 1st half, 23 fouls had been called. Unfortunately for Wisconsin, 14 were on the Badgers. This theme continued into the 2nd half as the game finished with 45 foul calls. 27 on Wisconsin and 18 on Duke. The close calling of the referees made the last play of the game all the more surprising when Duke had the ball and trailed by a single point with 10 seconds to go. Coach K sets up the classic Duke double high screen for Cassius Stanley. This has the option of a drive to the hoop, a stop and pop at the elbow or a feed to the corner where freshman Matthew Hurt was waiting. Gard said after the game he had called his defense for that exact play. Stanley came around the first screen at the top of arc set by Tre Jones. But Reuvers moved underneath the screen being set by Vernon Carey forcing Stanley to adjust his angle but also forcing Carey to move back to attempt to stop Reuvers. In doing so, Carey clearly committed a moving screen knocking Reuvers off balance and giving Stanley and open look from 15 feet which he sank giving Duke the win. Gard was gracious in the defeat even though it appeared he was denied his 1st trip to the Elite 8 as a result of some questionable calls.

Oregon Vs. Louisville
A see-saw battle with two All-Americans pitted against each other. Payton Pritchard was every bit an 1st team All-American in this game going 6-6 from the arc and scoring 25 points. Jordan Nwora had a solid game, but Louisville was unable to stop Pritchard. This game saw 12 lead changes and 12 ties before Oregon pulled away to give the Pac-12 their only Elite 8 team.

Dayton vs ETSU
The Cinderella story for ETSU ended as Dayton behind Obi Toppin, edged out the Buccaneers by 2 in OT. Bo Hodges, the Junior guard for ETSU played the game of his life. He finished with 22 points, 7 assists, 4 steals 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. But it was not enough as Obi Toppin was seemingly unstoppable. Toppin's stats were not gaudy, but he was the man for all seasons so to speak. He seemed to make every play when the Flyers really needed it. With the clock running out and the Flyers down by 2, Toppin dribbled into the lane, and somehow managed to get a shot over Lucas N'Guessan to tie up the game. But ETSU had 8 seconds left to win the game. As the Buccaneer play broke down, the pass came to N'Guessan inside, who had made all of his previous 5 shots. But as the buzzer sounded, N'Guessan went up for a hook shot only to have a flying Toppin tip the shot out of bounds sending the game to overtime. In OT, Toppin was held in check by a swarming guard oriented defense with N'Guessan in the middle. After 4:50 had been played in OT, each team had scored only 4 points. That is when Toppin, goes flying down the lane for a shot which is blocked by N'Guessan. But much like the play in the Michigan St. game earlier, the ball came back to Toppin and he laid it in for the win. Dayton now heads to their 4th Elite 8 in school history.

Richmond vs. BYU
The new Cinderella, the Richmond Spiders, and the BYU Cougars played one of the more wildly offensive games of the tournament. Both teams shot over 50% from the 3-point line as defense was not much on display. BYU played well but Richmond truly looks like a team that knows it is on borrowed time and is playing with an intensity that only an underdog on a mission can muster. While both teams executed well, both teams shot 52% for the game, BYU was 12-15 from the FT line while Richmond was 11-14. They each grabbed 33 rebounds and both teams took good care of the ball with each team turning the ball over only 6 times. The difference in the game was that Richmond got seemingly every loose ball. If Richmond keeps floor burns as a stat, this game had to set a team record. Spiders were flying all over the gym chasing balls. Twice there were scares as one time Spider guard Blake Francis went flying over the scorers table chasing a losse ball and landing in the 2nd row of seats. Fans held their collective breath to see if he was okay. He was. On another play, Spider guard Nich Sherod went sliding underneath the scorers table as he dove for a loose ball and skidded full speed into the table. He too was alright. After a fast paced game, Richmond keeps their dreams alive with the schools 1st ever trip top the Elite 8 where they will take on 3 seed Oregon.

Penn St. vs. Oklahoma
In one of the saddest stories of the tournament and one of the truly freak accidents in tournament history, shortly after tipoff on only the 2nd Penn St. offensive possession, Lamar Stevens misses a 3-pointer when Kristian Doolittle and Brady Manek each go for the rebound. They each got their hands on the ball but when Doolittle lands, he losses his footing causing him to fall awkwardly dragging Manek down with him. Both players hit the floor hard with Manek falling directly on top of Doolittle and their heads smashing into each other. Both players were stunned. After being taken to the locker room, both players were held out of returning to play in lieu of concussion protocol. Doolittle was the leading scorer and Manek was the third leading scorer for the Sooners. As if to add insult to injury, (pun intended) Austin Reaves would not return after he turned his ankle late in the first half. Despit losing their top three scorers, the Sooners played well and managed to keep it close before losing to the Nitney Lions by only 5 points. Lon Kruger, the Sooner coach said after the game, he thought all three players would be fine but he did not want to sacrifice their potential health by allowing them to return.

Creighton vs. Rutgers
Creighton showed why they are a threat to win it all by trouncing a good Rutgers team by 22 points. Creighton scored form inside, from outside and from the FT line. It was not so much that Rutgers did not have the defense to match them as Creighton simply looked like a well-oiled machine running their plays to perfect execution. For the 1st time in NCAA Tournament history, Creighton had nine players score in double figures, thanks is some part to the surge at the end of the game when Coach McDermott put his starters on the bench with more than 5 minutes to play and the Blu Jays up by 28. The game turned into a track meet with both teams scoring at will in those last 5 minutes allowing the 2 string Blu Jays to run up their individual scoring.

Kansas vs. Vermont
Kansas entered the Sweet 16 with a 90% probability of winning against 12 seed Vermont. That probability took a serious hit when Self announced before the game that Devon Dotson had contracted a stomach bug and it was doubtful if he would play. Then on the very first play of the game, Udoka Azubuike is undercut as he goes up for a rebound and hits the floor hard. He is taken to the locker room and spent the rest of the half there. Kansas has now seemingly lost both 2nd team All-Americans. But Junior Marcus Garrett and freshman Christian Braun step up and shows why Kansas is dangerous regardless of who is on the floor. KU's offense was clearly impacted by the loss of Azubuike who is about to finish his career with the highest career FG% in NCAA history and Devon Dotson, the leading scorer in the Big 12. But their defense looked like they did not miss a beat. KU struggled to score consistently but Christian Braun was a bright spot hitting 4 of 4 from the arc in the 1st half to go along with 2 for 2 from the FT line and another offensive rebound put back for a 16 point outburst in the 1st half. Even without Azubuike and Dotson, Kansas managed to head to the locker room at the half up by 6 on the Catamounts, 30-24. What could only be called a complete demoralizing sight for the Catamounts, both Azubuike and Dotson come out to start the 2nd half. Dotson, still feeling the effects of the stomach bug simply would not stay down. Azubuike had been cleared for a concussion but had suffered a laceration when his head hit the floor requiring 10 stitches. According to team sources, it took that long to get the bleeding to stop and to get his head stitched up but mostly to secure a custom headguard that protected his newly repaired noggin. Kansas dominated from that point forward as Dotson played 10 minutes in the 2nd half and Azubuike played 12 minutes. Self reported after the game that he fully expected Dotson and Azubuike to be 100% for the game this weekend against Creighton. Creighton has emerged as perhaps the hottest team in the country and definitely the hottest offensively. The Elite 8 matchup between Kansas and Creighton will match the nations best defense against the nations hottest offense.

Okay what to look for.
-- Dayton is chomping at the bit for a rematch with Kansas which could only come in the National Championship game.
-- Kansas vaunted defense against the sizzling hot Creighton offense?
-- The Blue blood Duke against the All-American and 1 seed Dayton in the only 1 seed vs. 2 seed in the Elite 8?
-- Can Richmond continue the Cinderella intensity?
-- Can Izzo continue to find March Magic?
-- Can 3 1 seeds make the Final Four?
-- Can Payton Pritchard continue to dominate as the only 1st team AA left in the tournament?

-- Kansas now has a 71% proabability of making it to the Final Four and a 28.6% probability of winning it all.
-- Michigan St. has the best shot at winning the next game at 75.3%.
-- Dayton is the 1 seed but a 40% underdog to Duke.

Stay tuned, more March Madness is still to come.






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6 days 8 hours ago #25340 by Wheatstate Gal
Really enjoying this and your play by play, Corpus! Thank you. Looking forward to more games!
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3 days 6 hours ago #25353 by CorpusJayhawk
Whew! The Elite 8 of the 2020 NCAA Tournament was one for the record books. When the dust settled, all three No. 1 seeds prevailed along with one of the most exciting Cinderella’s in memory.

(1) Dayton vs. (2) Duke
In the first game of the round, 1 seed Dayton met 2 seed Duke. Despite being a higher seed, oddsmakers had Duke as almost a 1.5 to 1 favorite over Dayton. In a pre-game interview of this regional final, Dayton head coach Anthony Grant, who had only 1 day earlier had been informed he was the National AP Coach of the Year, was asked what he thought about Dayton being almost a 1.5 to 1 underdog. He replied, “Coach K may be the better coach. They may have better players top to bottom. They may have a pedigree and blood that is blue. They may be Duke and all that entails. But, and after I say this I would like for you to provide a copy to the Duke locker room for their bulletin board, but quote, we are going to kick their butts because we are a better team and we play better together and we will not take one second or one possession of this journey for granted, unquote.”

That certainly set the stage for the tip of this highly anticipated game. Duke had not exactly set the world on fire in the first three rounds while Dayton clawed through the first two rounds like a hot knife through butter before barely getting by a motivated ETSU team in the Sweet 16. Regardless, the oddsmakers seemed to be blinded by the specter of the winningest Coach of all time and the perpetual excellence that is part and parcel of the Duke program over the last 35 plus years. Once the ball tipped, all else ceased to matter.

It became obvious that Coach K had designed a defense that was focused on stopping Obi Toppin and Jalen Crutcher. It was a modified Diamond and two type defense. Tre Jones, one of if not the best man on man PG in the country, was guarding Crutcher while Matthew Hurt and Javon DeLaurier traded off on Obi Toppin. Coach K felt that Mikesell was not enough of a threat that 3rd team AA Vernon Carey Jr could not contain. What Coach K had not anticipated was that Dayton head coach Anthony Grant had anticipated something like this. He had been working all season on plays run for Mikesell at center. There is no time like the present. When Dayton won the toss, Grant called the first play for a fake screen for Toppin with the ball swinging to the weak side entry pass for Mikesell. It caught the Duke defense completely off guard. In fact, Tre Jones briefly went over to coach K and said, “You promised we would score first.” When Carey saw what was happening, he tried to adjust but it was just a second late. He fouled Mikesell on the shot as the shot went in. Mikesell made the FT giving Dayton a 3-0 start to the game.

On offense, Coach K saw the biggest advantage Duke had other than the fact that they were entitled, was Carey against a smaller Mikesell. Duke also called their set first play where Tre Jones would drive off of a high screen and make an corner pass to Matthew Hurt who would quickly make a straight baseline entry pass to a waiting Carey Jr. who would be able to carve position from less mobile and certainly less entitled Mikesell. It was a well-designed play. The problem was, Anthony Grant had thought the same thing. So he switched off Mikesell and Toppin so Toppin was on Carey Jr. and Mikesell was on Hurt. Tre Jones got the ball right on the money to Hurt. But Hurt now had a little trouble with a bigger but lesser entitled Mikesell guarding him. His pass was just ever so slightly off. More importantly, a more mobile Toppin was able to slip around the blocking Carey and stole the entry pass. Running back down the court, Tre Jones could be heard saying to Coach K, you said we would score first.

I give the detail on these two plays to paint the picture that became the dominant theme of this game. In one form or another, this theme played out possession after possession. Duke had been playing with fire this entire tournament, and not the kind in the belly or the pants but nipping at their butts. The fire burned them in the first half to the tune of a halftime deficit of 44-32. Sideline reporter Erin Andrews attempted to interview Coach K as he was walking to the locker room at halftime. He refused to slow down or answer her questions but could be heard mumbling to himself, :I thought we would score first”. She did manage to catch Coach Grant. “What was the secret to the Flyers success on both ends of the court in this first half” she asked. “There is absolutely no secret” he replied. “As I said in the pre-game interview, we are the better team. We just did what better teams do. And most importantly, we scored first.”

Coach K and his staff attempted to make adjustments at halftime. But so did Grant and staff. Mikesell, Landers and Watson scored a combined 30 of the 44 Dayton points in the first half. Leading scorers on the season, Toppin and Crutcher scored a combined 8 points. With the Duke defense back to a straight man to man, Dayton behind Toppin, relentlessly continued to confuse Duke with Toppin scoring 21 points in the 2nd half to take Dayton to an 88 to 64 win. This was the second worst loss for Duke and Coach K in the NCAA. Only the 30-point blowout loss to UNLV in the 1990 championship game was worse. In the post-game interview Coach K said he knew his team would be challenged after an emotional win 2 days earlier against Wisconsin. He said his team was tired and they played as poorly as they had all season. When asked if the Dayton game plan caused any confusion for his team, he said they were not so much confused as tired. Dayton’s coach Grant was effusive in his praise for Duke after the game. He said it is always an honor to defeat a team as well-coached as Duke. He said he was proud of his guys for playing so hard and said they are some of the smartest players he has ever coached.

Dayton is headed to their first Final Four in school history where they will face the tournament Cinderella the fellow Atlantic 10 and 8 seeded Richmond Spiders. These teams met only once during the regular season when Dayton defeated Richmond by 8 back on January 25th. In that game, Dayton led by 19 inside of 10 minutes left to go but Richmond outscored the Flyers by 11 in the last 10 minutes. Richmond’s head coach Chris Mooney said after the game said they didn’t so much get beat as ran out of time. He said that if Toppin and Crutcher fouled out and they had 10 more minutes, they could come closer to winning and possibly even win, although it wouldn’t count because the game was already over.

(8) Richmond vs. (3) Oregon
Chris Mooney, in his 15th season as head coach at Richmond, has the Spiders in the NCAA Tournament for the 3rd time in his tenure and the 1st since 2010-2011. He made it clear that after a 24-7 regular season he was not going to be satisfied just being there. He thought he had the team to make a deep run. Most felt a deep run for Richmond meant getting past the 1st weekend. Few would have projected that Richmond would make it beyond the second weekend, especially considering they were in the same region with Gonzaga, Louisville, Oregon and BYU, not to mention Villanova, Iowa and Texas Tech. Well, after systematically dismantling top seeded Gonzaga in the second round, in the second weekend of the tourney they defeat 4th seeded BYU and 3rd seeded Oregon. In defeating Oregon and advancing, they become only the 12th team seeded 8 or lower since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, to advance to the Final Four.
Oregon was led by 1st team AA Payton Pritchard who was playing his best basketball in the NCAA. He had been dominant through the 1st three rounds. But Richmond, with their decidedly smaller lineup used their frenzied pace to keep Oregon off balance. Grant Golden was truly the golden child as he set the NCAA tournament record with 10 steals leading the way to a team record 18 steals by the spiders. Oregon shot the ball well, hitting 48% of their shots overall and 40% from three-point range. They simply did not have enough shots on goal due to the 28 turnovers in 70 possessions. That is a whopping 40% of lost possessions, largely by the thievery of Grant Golden.

The Spiders looked like they were on 2X fast forward compared to the Ducks. Of course Ducks have never been very fast on the ground unless they are chasing your 3 year old because he won’t let that silly piece of bread go. It’s not that the Ducks played poorly or slowly. And it was not because the Spiders had no bread. In fact, the Ducks need no bread since they have their benefactor Phil Night of Nike who is like a bazillionaire. The Spiders know their smaller guard dominated lineup needs to rely on speed and quickness. I mean they are Spiders so they are sneaky little bastards. (oops, I’m not sure an esteemed journalist like me can use such a word) So they were as speedy and quick as they could possibly be. The regular season Pac-12 champion Ducks had a size advantage, but the quickness of Richmond proved to be the decisive factor.

There is an unofficial report that after the game, Phil Knight offered Richmond 5 bazzilion dollars and all the Nike equipment they could ever want to vacate their recent victory and let Oregon go to the Final Four in their place. The Richmond head coach Chris Mooney said he would do it as long as Knight would throw in that gawdawfulugly home court floor Oregon played on and then extended his hand to shake on it. When Knight excitedly said it was a deal and extended his hand to shake, Mooney slyly pulled his hand back, suavely smoothed his hairline and said “Psych!! We an Adidas school fool!” Then he casually walked away laughing hysterically whistling “We are the Champions” by Queen.


Michigan St. vs. Penn St.
During conference play in the rugged Big 10 conference, Michigan St. and Penn St split their two matches. Both were highly anticipating the rubber game. In their first meeting, Penn St’s season leading scorer and now all-time leading scorer scorched the Spartans for 24 points but also had 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and some speculated he sold popcorn and drinks at halftime as well. The Spartans had no answer for him or for Myreon Jones who scored 20. In the 2nd game, Penn St. led by 19 points with 3:40 to in the first half and they were dominating Spartans in just about every way. This was the next to last game and with a loss, Michigan St. would be all but out of the running for a share of the Big 10 title. But the Spartan junior center Xavier Tillman Sr was having none of that. He engineered a comeback scoring 23 points on 11-14 from the field and game high 14 rebounds to lead the Spartans to an 11-point victory. Both teams felt they had the secret sauce to defeat the other in this Elite 8 game. They were intimately familiar with each other down to the bench players.

No fewer than 3 times in this game, Tom Izzo was warned by ref John Higgins to get back in the coach’s box. After the third warning, head coach for Penn St., Pat Chambers protested to Higgins whereon he was quickly warned by Higgins to stay in the coach’s box. It seems that John Higgins is very adamant about coaches staying in the coaching box.

This game was a back and forth affair most of the game. Then with 9 minutes to go and the game tied, Lamar Stevens goes on a personal 8 point run to give Penn St. their biggest lead of the game with just under 7 minutes to go. Records are not kept on such things, but as Michigan St. began a comeback in those last 7 minutes, Jim Spanarkel, the CBS color analyst was heard saying at least 18 times, which is believed to be a record, “Izzo and the Spartans just won’t go away.” It is not clear if Spanarkel believed that the Spartans should have gone away, or perhaps he simply expected them to go away and could not overcome his shock that they did not. In any case, the Spartans remained on the floor and proceeded to mount a comeback.

Perhaps feeling overshadowed by his broadcasting partner, Clark Kellogg was heard saying at least 6 times in the Sparty comeback in which Penn St. committed 5 turnovers, “The Nittney Lions need to squeeze the orange.”

Well Sparty didn’t go away and Penn St. didn’t squeeze the orange well enough and the Spartans won to give Izzo his 8th trip to the final four (unless they finally decide to go away) and Michigan St. their 10th trip to the Final Four. Izzo has not done well in the Final Four, going 2-6. When asked after the game why he did not go away, Izzo said, “because John Higgins told me to stay in the coach’s box.”

Kansas vs. Creighton
The premier game of the 2020 Elite 8 was Kansas against Creighton. Many pundits were predicting this would be the round where coach Self and the Jayhawks met their Waterloo. Creighton has attempted almost 43% of their field goals from outside the arc this season and that has been over 50% in the tournament. They made 39% from the 3-point line during the season but they are making 44% thus far in the tournament. Kansas has played well in the tournament. However, they have allowed their opponents to shoot 41% from the 3-point line thus far in the tournament after allowing only 30.8% from the 3-point line during the regular season. Conversely, led by Udoka Azubuike’s NCAA record setting 7 blocks per game, KU’s opponents have shot only 31.4% from inside the arc as compared to 40.3% on the season. For Kansas, it has really been their ability to turn the ball over along with complete domination on the boards that has allowed them to dominate through the first three rounds.

I a pre-game interview, KU’s coach Self was asked if he was concerned about the high 3-point FG% his team has been allowing over the last three games. “Yes” was his replay. Then he was asked if he had a game plan to stop Creighton’s ultra high-powered offense. “Yes” was his reply. “What is the game plan?” was the next question. “We are going to guard better” was his response with the little Bill Self gleam and patented smile that always seems to say, “I know something that you don’t know.” Seeming to read his mind, or at least his smile, the young sideline reporter asked, “So what do you know that I don’t know?” Self said, “Never get into a land war in Asia and never bet with a Cicilian when death is on the line.” The young sideline reporter was speechless and simply turned and walked away.

The game opened as many expected. Creighton came out with a high motion perimeter offense, something like the weave KU employs. But this had more high screens intended to get the shooters open. KU’s defense was prepared. Creighton struggled uncharacteristically getting effective perimeter shots against KU’s efficient defense. Creighton had nearly perfected this high motion multiple screen perimeter offense. But they had not encountered a team that was as effective at switching off on the screens as the Jayhawks. In his post-game interview, Creighton’s head coach McDermott was full of praise for KU’s ability play through and around screens. He said he his Blue Jays had not encountered anything approaching the effectiveness of the Jayhawks defense. When Creighton had an open shot they were locked in, hitting 60% of truly open threes according to Shot-Tracker. McDermott also said after the game that they considered a mixing in some more plays to take it to the rim, but that Azuibuike and his 7 blocks per game made them think that even with the difficulties they were having with KU’s perimeter defense, their best hope to stay with their strength and the high motion perimeter sets. Thus All-American Udoka Azubuike finished the game with only 1 blocked shot but according to Coach McDermott, Azubuike’s defense was nonetheless a huge factor in the game.

The Jayhawks, on the other hand, had their way with Creighton on offense. Kevin Harlan, the greatest of all commentators in the known universe of all-time and even beyond time into the ethereum of multiple singularities, who by sheer coincidence is a University of Kansas graduate, was heard repeating the phrase, “Garrett feeds a lob into Azbubuike who slams it home.” Garrett only score 4 points on the day but the Big 12 leader in assists had 10 assists, 9 of them on lobs to Udoka Azubuike. Creighton had no answer for that combination. Asked after the game about the number of lobs to Azubuike, McDermott said “we had no answer to Azubuike. Hell, we obviously didn’t even understand the question.”

In addition to Azubuike’s 22 points, Kansas was led on offense by the usual culprit, Devon Dotson with 22 points as well. Dotson continued his “Dash Parr” impersonation, darting to and fro looking like he had another gear then the rest of the players. The emerging star for Kansas is clearly Christian Braun. Due to foul trouble on Ochai Agbaji, Braun ended up playing 27 minutes and made the most of it by getting his first double double of the season and his career. Braun scored 15 points on a perfect 5-5 from the 3-point line as well as grabbing 10 rebounds. The Blue Jays have made of living this season of not only hitting from the 3-point line but they have grabbed 50% of the rebounds off of missed 3-pointers to lead the nation in that stat. Between first shot points and 2nd chance points on missed 3-pointers, the Blue Jays have a nation leading 1.24 points per possession when they attempt a three. But Christian Braun put the huge kibosh on that plan. 9 of Braun’s 10 rebounds were on missed 3-pointers by the Blue Jays. KU seemingly had the answer for the Blue Jays in every facet of the game.

McDermott was gracious in defeat lauding much praise on the Jayhawks. The Big east was filled with top teams such as Butler, Seton Hall, Villanova and, of course, Creighton. But McDermott said this Kansas Jayhawks team was at another level. He said he did not see another team able to take down the Jayhawks, especially when they play like they did against the Blue Jays in this game. Early in the season, McDermott’s Blue Jays lost to San Diego St. by a score of 83-52. But that was early in the season and Creighton was without one of their key starters. McDermott posited that his team was a decisively better team now than when they played SDSU. But yet the Jayhawks thrashed the Blue Jays 88 to 52 in one of the most lopsided games in Elite 8 history, somewhat reminiscent of the Jayhawks thrashing of North Carolina in the Final Four in 2008.

Speaking of North Carolina, coach Roy Williams was spotted in the stands with a Jayhawk sticker on his shirt. After all, he had no place else to be since his team finished tied for last in the ACC with a losing record of 14-19. Our Tracy Wolfson managed to catch up with Coach Williams before he was able to sneak out of the arena and asked him what he thought about KU’s chances. “Dadgum it, those gol’ darn Jayahawks are dadgum gol’ darn good. Better than my crappy team.” Then Wolfson asked Williams about his rumored next destination, retirement. In a manner uncharacteristically animated for the normally deputy dog type demeanor or Williams, he responded, “I don’t give a s??t about North Caro…I mean…er…dadgum it…uh…wait, that was uh…well what the heck, darn, I don’t give a s??t about retirement.” As Williams was walking away Wolfson could overhear him repeating “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home….”

Coach Self, in his post game conference, was effusive in his praise for his team. “This team was built for a run in the tournament. These young men are focused and prepared. Mostly, they are a unit. This team plays as well as a unit as any team I have had. Of Marcus Garrett, who was named before the game as the best defensive player in the nation, Self said, “You will not find a tougher or smarter player than Marcus Garrett. Dang I am proud of these guys.”

For Coach Self, this will be his 4th Final Four, all with the Jayhawks, matching the four Roy Williams had as head coach at Kansas. For Kansas, this will be their 16th Final Four. Their opponent will be Michigan St., led by Tom Izzo. This will be the third time Self and Izzo will meet in the NCAA. They split their first two meetings, with Izzo winning the first time in the Sweet 16 in 2009 and Self prevailing in 2017 in the round of 32. Many though these two teams would meet in the finals of the Maui Classic in November but Dayton had other plans. In 53 tournament games at the helm of the Jayhawks coming into this season, Self had faced a No. 1 seed in 5 of those games. Self is 3-2 in those games. Self’s so-called struggles in the NCAA have not been when facing the very best teams.

So the Final Four is set. For the first time in history, two Atlantic 10 teams are in the Final Four. Three No. 1 seeds are in the final four. Four times since seeding began have 3 1 seeds made the final four. Only once, in 2008 did all four 1 seeds make the final four. This season marks the 6th time 36 tournaments that at least 3 one seeds have made the Final Four.

Kansas has the best odds of winning it all at 40.0%. Dayton has the best chance of making it to the final game since they are facing the Cinderella 8th seeded Richmond. Both Dayton and Michigan St. have about a 27% probability of winning it all while Richmond enjoys only a 5.3% probability of winning it all. The Atlantic 10 has run it’s record to a perfect 8-0 thus far in the tournament. That will end since the two teams are facing each other in the Final Four. The highly touted Big East put 6 teams in the tourney but only managed to come away with 5 wins. The SEC was even worse. They too had 6 entries but only managed a record of 3-6. The Big Ten is showing why they were the best conference in the country this season. They not only put 12 teams in the tourney but they will finish with least a better than .500 winning percentage having already won 14 games and Michigan St. still alive. The Big 12 had only 5 teams in the tourney but will have an even better winning % with 8 victories already.






Don't worry about the mules, just load the wagon!!
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3 days 6 hours ago #25354 by Bayhawk
Best read of the quarantine thus far! Thanks Commish :cheer:


RC

The end is nothing; the road is all.
-- Jules Michelet

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3 days 4 hours ago #25355 by HawkErrant
Betting with (S)icilians, “Dash Parr”*, “We had no answer to Azubuike. Hell, we didn’t even understand the question”, and “I don’t give a damn about...

You’re on a roll, CJ! Thanks for the chuckles, and the great use of too much time on your (and our) hands.


*Fess up, RCBers, did you get this reference? If so, incredible!

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” ~Albert Einstein

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2 days 23 hours ago #25356 by porthawk
Truly great stuff, Corpus!

I know you're running the computer models to get the outcomes, but outside of that, are you completely using your knowledge of basketball and your creative to create the details. If so, you should start consulting on basketball movies.

Like HE, I loved this line: "We had no answer to Azubuike. Hell, we didn’t even understand the question”

I don't know Dash Parr, but I do believe the the Sicilian reference is to the Princess Bride.

Looking forward to the Final 4!

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2 days 21 hours ago - 2 days 21 hours ago #25357 by CorpusJayhawk
As for Dash Parr, HE gave a great and witty clue.

I am running the program unbiased. I actually run it 5 times and take the result of the 5th iteration no matter what. I looked at the last round and Duke won in the first 4 iterations and Dayton won in the 5th. Richmond lost in the 1st 4 and won in the 5th. I am hoping on hope that KU wins since if they lose in a virtual tourney that I can ultimately control, what would that say. Te stats I am giving should all be correct. Senex castigated (okay, not really but he did correct me) that Udoka was 2nd team AA ONLY in the AP and pretty much 1st in other votes. Mostly it is just my characterizations or should I say, "caricaturizations" of the various people that I weave in. I have always felt John Higgins used to (I say used to because I think some PTB gave him some feedback) try to control too much minutia like coaches being out of the coaches box. I have probably been a little unfairly harsh to Calipari and Coach K but hell, let Kentucky or Duke fans do their own virtual tourney. I have not run the Final Four yet. I am actually nervous. I really want KU to win.

Don't worry about the mules, just load the wagon!!
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2 days 20 hours ago #25358 by porthawk
...but not nearly to the same level of thoroughness and detail.

ESPN Bracketologist, Joe Lunardi, has been running his own "NCAA Tournament" on Twitter. He is projecting the winners of each game of each round at the times the games would have actually been played. Thursday night starts the Sweet 16. Joe will be providing "live" commentary for each of the games and telling you who won each matchup on his Twitter handle. Check out his bracket on his Twitter that tells you the odds of each game and tip time. It would be best to review his Round of 64 and Round of 32 tweets to get an idea of how it works.

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2 days 49 minutes ago #25361 by porthawk
Well it's great stuff all around! And really good reading material!

As for Dash Parr, I had to look it up b/c I didn't see a clue from HE.

Upon learning what it's from, I have to say that I never saw that movie, so therefore did not get the clue, which, yes, was a great one...for someone who has seen the movie :)

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20 hours 59 minutes ago #25366 by HawkErrant

porthawk wrote: Well it's great stuff all around! And really good reading material!

As for Dash Parr, I had to look it up b/c I didn't see a clue from HE.

Upon learning what it's from, I have to say that I never saw that movie, so therefore did not get the clue, which, yes, was a great one...for someone who has seen the movie :)


Objection, Your Honor!

I thank my esteemed opposing counsel for conceding that it was a great clue.
However, I submit that no clue would be sufficient for someone who had not seen the movie, or at least had some knowledge of it, so his complaint is moot.:P B)

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19 hours 23 minutes ago #25367 by CorpusJayhawk
Clues and references aside. The important thing is that Devon Dotson is aptly described as Dash Parr. It is a fitting comparison. He looks to be simply operating on another quickness level.

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