Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Steve Alford: Statistical Guru

Today's ICPC had your typical late-season boilerplate stuff about a middling team trying to work their way up the bubble. (article here)

It wouldn't be worth mentioning... until Alford opened his mouth. And what fun that is. Let's take a look:

“Of all the Big Ten teams, nobody’s played more top-50 teams than we have,” Alford said. “Nobody.”

Sure, it's not the most dubious thing he's ever said, not by a long shot, but there are still some underlying implications that simply don't ring true.

Implication #1: Iowa has played the hardest schedule in the Big 10. Well, no. Their strength of schedule is currently rated at #56. That doesn't sound too shabby, until you look at the conference RPI standings and see how many other teams are in that neighborhood. When the dust settles, there's Iowa, sitting pretty at 9th in the Big Ten at strength of schedule.

Implication #2: The selection committee ought to look at how Iowa's done against those top 50 teams. Only if you don't want Iowa in the tournament, friend.

Here's Iowa's results against top-50 RPI teams, with the home team (if any) in bold:
  • (42) Alabama 72, Iowa 60
  • (22) Villanova 89, Iowa 60
  • Iowa 62, (20) Michigan State 60
  • (31) Illinois 74, Iowa 70
  • (24) Indiana 71, Iowa 64
  • (2) Ohio State 82, Iowa 63
  • (5) Wisconsin 57, Iowa 46
  • Iowa 81, (24) Indiana 75
  • (5) Wisconsin 74, Iowa 62
  • (20) Michigan State 81, Iowa 49
  • Iowa 78, (40) Purdue 59
That's 3-9 against tournament-level competition, and exactly zero wins away from Carver.

Implication #3: You should believe the words coming out of Steve Alford's mouth. Well, that's just silly. Iowa is not, in fact, the team that has played the most games against top-50 opponents. That would be Michigan State, having won 6 of 13 games.

The bottom line is that Iowa played two non-conference games against top-50 opponents and got killed in both of them. As for Iowa playing more top-50 games in the Big Ten, well... yeah. That's because Iowa isn't in the upper 50 themselves. There are 6 teams in the Big Ten in the top 50. For them, 5 of the remaining 10 potential conference opponents are in the top 50. For Iowa and the rest of the 51+, 6 of the remaining 10 opponents are in the top 50. It only makes sense, then, that Iowa would have more "tough games" on their docket; they can't play themselves, after all.

Coach of the Year, folks.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of Coach of the Year, why don't you start a post that highlights all of the retards that he has recruited and have either quit, transferred, or been charged with something? Here's my list of names off the top of my head: Pierre Pierce (x2), Marcus Sommersville, Sean Sonderleiter, Courtney Scott, etc.....

Deacon said...

Speaking of Pierre Pierce, why haven't you devoted a minimum of 1000 words to PP's tenure at Iowa? And why isn't your blog named, "Pierre Pierce Raped My Bunghole and All I Got Was This Lousy Blog (And VD)?" Way to overlook a gimme of a feature, dick.