Friday, March 29, 2013

Men's basketball, Opponent recap....

Now that the dust is settling a little bit, we can start to look back at the men's basketball season and review what we saw.  The first step will be to look at how our opponents fared over the course of the year.  Sometimes you play a team early in the year and you win or you lose and you don't find our later what that might have meant.  So, I think it is good to see how our opponents did...

First, BG played a schedule with a strength of 198 (out of 347), based on the RPI of our opponents.  That's out of 347, so we are just in the bottom half.  (Kenpom has our schedule ranked 212 and our non-conference schedule ranked 298).

In fact, the biggest issue for our team was that BG was 7-7 against teams with an RPI over 200.  Of those 7 losses, 5 were road games (North Dakota, CMU, Miami, Buffalo and IPFW), one was home (Miami) and one was neutral (IUPUI).  The inability to beat even bad teams on the road even once in a while kept this team from a shot at finishing .500 for the season.

And then there was one home and one neutral floor game that BG should have won, as well.

For whatever it is worth, BG's RPI was 269 and kenpom was 204.

(Note: the RPI is sort of the establishment ranking that the NCAA uses. Kenpom is a ranking from that is more favored by stats dudes.  It factors in margin of victory/defeat and digs a little deeper to determine SOS.  You can learn more here from Dean Oliver, the man who started all this.)

So, for these rankings, you will see something like this, which is RPI/Kenpom.

To wit:  BG was 269/204.

Kenpom rewards BG for close games against MSU and South Florida, for example.

Anyway, here is what our opponents did, focusing on non-conference games.  I think we are familiar with the body of work for our conference brethren.

Lake Erie (8-18) DII

BG beat Lake Erie by 10 at the Stroh.  They were 8-18 in DII and finished 7th in the GLIAC's South Division.

Cleveland State (14-18) 199/265 T-7 in Horizon

BG lost by 6 on a neutral floor.  Cleveland State did not distinguish themselves in 12-13.

IUPUI 6-26, last in Summit, lost last 16 games.  326/336

Far and away the worst loss of the BG season.  Losing by 14 to these guys on a neutral floor is just inexplicable.

@Robert Morris (24-11)  NEC Regular season champ.  Beat KY in NIT before losing to Providence.  123/133

BG lost by 11 in what amounted to a road game.  Robert Morris ended up winning their conference and shocking Kentucky in the NIT, making them the only team to beat BG and Kentucky in the same year.  (I made that up.  They might not be).  This was a good team.

Alabama-Huntsville DII  25-6 #9 ranked.  Lost in NCAA South Regional Championship.

BG won by 14 on a neutral floor.  While a DII team, they were a very good team and better than a few of our D1 wins, probably.

Detroit  20-13.  Horizon #2 in reg. season.  Lost to Az State in NIT.  64/79

Our best win of the season.  BG won by 5 at the Stroh, entering as a 4.5 point dog.  This is one BG won that they probably should not have, on paper.

YSU 18-16.  T-5th in Horizon.  Lost to Canisius in CIT.  188/200

BG lost by 9 at home.  After the IUPUI loss, this one has to be high on the list of ones you'd like to get back.

Wright State 23-13, T-3rd in Horizon. Lost conference title game.  Won 2 games in CBI.  130/117

BG's second-best non-conference win.  Wright State was very competitive and nearly made the Big Dance.

Samford 11-21, T-5th in Southern Conf.  291/283

BG won by 15 at home, as it should have.

Michigan State 27-8.  T-2 in Big 10.  Sweet 16.  9/7.

BG loses by 11, makes a reasonable showing.

@South Florida 12-19.  T-13 in Big East.  156/145

Triple overtime defeat.  BG came close to a nice road win here and really should have won the game.

@North Dakota 16-17.  3rd in Big Sky.  Lost in CBI.  224/247

North Dakota won by 3 on their floor.

@Temple 24-10.  T-3 in A-10.  Lost to Indiana, round of 32.  41/61

BG destroyed on road by much better team.

New Orleans  8-18.  346/346

BG beats New Orleans at the Stroh.  Privateers second lowest ranked team in both systems.

@IPFW 16-17.  5th in Summit.  254/241.

Bracket buster defeat for BG...another winnable road game.

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