NIT Projections

With the NIT set to tip off shortly, here’s a statistical look at the probability of each school advancing and ultimately winning the title of the nation’s 69th-best team. This is in the same spirit as Ken Pomeroy’s log5 projections, though it does not actually utilize the log5 model. To incorporate home-court advantage, I use Jeff Sagarin’s predictor ratings, with the Pythagorean method giving a probability of each team winning based on rating plus any appropriate home-court advantage.

Here are the figures:

School         Sagarin   2R     QF     FF   Final  Champ
--------------------------------------------------------
Virginia         84.6   .969   .773   .538   .323   .179
Kentucky         85.0   .782   .642   .437   .288   .164
Baylor           85.0   .922   .764   .405   .266   .152
Iowa             85.0   .898   .606   .290   .179   .102
Southern Miss    81.8   .920   .729   .493   .200   .088
Alabama          81.9   .912   .583   .368   .155   .069
Maryland         82.5   .887   .598   .298   .133   .062
Tennessee        82.2   .831   .371   .183   .077   .035

School         Sagarin   2R     QF     FF   Final  Champ
--------------------------------------------------------
Stanford         82.7   .808   .357   .148   .067   .032
Denver           82.2   .752   .310   .152   .066   .030
BYU              80.5   .694   .422   .183   .065   .025
Providence       80.1   .828   .280   .078   .036   .013
Massachusetts    79.3   .648   .287   .083   .032   .011
Saint Joseph's   80.4   .749   .182   .058   .025   .010
Washington       79.2   .306   .169   .053   .016   .005
Arizona St.      78.7   .608   .130   .043   .017   .005

School         Sagarin   2R     QF     FF   Final  Champ
--------------------------------------------------------
Detroit          79.5   .392   .092   .025   .011   .004
Florida St.      77.3   .632   .161   .047   .011   .003
Ohio             79.1   .248   .076   .020   .006   .002
Stony Brook      79.2   .352   .074   .016   .006   .002
Louisiana Tech   77.6   .368   .097   .030   .008   .002
SFA              77.7   .192   .052   .012   .003   .001
St. John's       77.5   .251   .043   .010   .003   .001
Mercer           76.4   .169   .038   .008   .002   .000

School         Sagarin   2R     QF     FF   Final  Champ
--------------------------------------------------------
Indiana St.      75.7   .102   .033   .004   .001   .000
Charlotte        74.6   .172   .036   .005   .001   .000
Robert Morris    74.2   .218   .042   .004   .001   .000
Long Beach St.   74.1   .078   .015   .002   .000   .000
Niagara          74.1   .113   .015   .002   .000   .000
Charleston       71.6   .080   .012   .001   .000   .000
Northeastern     72.1   .088   .008   .001   .000   .000
Norfolk St.      68.8   .031   .002   .000   .000   .000

A few notable things:

– As compared to the four-letter tournament, seeding is even more important in the NIT because the first three rounds are played at host sites. So Iowa, despite being tied for the best rating, has only the fifth-best chance of reaching the semifinals at Madison Square Garden as a No. 3 seed.

Virginia got the most favorable draw of the top teams. The Cavaliers’ opening-round game against Norfolk State is close to a 1-16 matchup in terms of lopsidedness, and their second-round game should be relatively easy. It’s not until a potential quarterfinal matchup with Iowa that UVa will really be tested.

Baylor also got a tough break. The Bears are the second team with a power rating of 85.0, but happen to be in the same bracket as the third (Kentucky), and would have to play at Rupp Arena if both teams advance to the quarterfinals.

– Sagarin likes UK quite a bit more than Pomeroy, who has the ‘Cats in 41st, and especially BPI (52nd), which attempts to account for Nerlens Noel’s injury. So Kentucky’s chances of winning are surely overstated. In fact, UK isn’t a sure thing to get past tonight’s game at Robert Morris, played on the road because Rupp is busy preparing to host the NCAA tournament.

– The other higher seed we know will be affected by hosting other tournaments (the NCAA women, in this case) is Tennessee. Should the Volunteers beat Mercer, they’ll have to play at the winner of BYU and Washington, which will be a long haul either way. Due to that, and playing in the most wide-open bracket, the Huskies actually got an incredibly favorable draw for a sixth seed. If they can get past Brigham Young on the road, UW has a 1 in 6 shot at reaching Madison Square Garden.

Baylor and Maryland are also hosting the women’s tournament, and it’s unclear whether these teams might have to play on the road in the second and/or third rounds.

– The widest-open bracket is in the Alabama region, where four teams have a 14.8 percent chance or better of getting to the Final Four.

– Lastly, take these projections with a note of caution that the NIT is unlike other tournaments because motivation differs so widely among teams. Every year, we see one of the top seeds sleepwalk at home and stumble to a lesser foe. So I might be understating the variability in the projections.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “NIT Projections

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s