Archive for NCAA

Because It’s Never Too Early To Start…

Given the success of the wacky formula I came up with to predict the outcomes of college basketball games, I’ve decided to try my hand at creating a similar formula to predict the outcomes of NFL games. Readers, new and old, maybe have a couple questions about this.

The new group might ask, “Hey, stupid, why don’t you try to create a formula to get a better grip on picking baseball winners. Or are you satisfied with that 192-190 record?” To which I respond, there are quite enough formulas out there that try their hand at predicting baseball. The world doesn’t need yet another one, and I wouldn’t even know where to begin since the game is far more complex, in my estimation, than football or hoops.

The old group, meanwhile, might derisively remark, “Too bad you made that bet and lost to a computer, huh, dipshit? That’s what you get for mouthing off to Arrow Smith! Now your precious little formula can only be applied to professional football!” And to that group I say, touche.

Of course, there’s the whole matter of whether this heavily statistically-reliant formula should, in fact, be considered “my” picks. Essentially, I’m letting the numbers do the talking. But that’s a debate to be contested on another day.

Once I figure out exactly what stats and what-have-you that I’m going to plug into the formula, I’ll get started. It’s obviously a work in progress, but then again, I should have plenty of time to tinker with it before the season starts in September. (One thing’s for sure: sacks will be looked at. [Wow, that came out wrong. {That may have, too.}])

I’ll keep you posted.

(Oh, by the way, that ground ball pitchers vs. speedy hitters study was a bust. I’ll post the Excel link at some point, but I can officially say that there is little if any correlation present besides an increased window of opportunity to steal bases.)

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One Shining Moment

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April 7 MLB Roundup: No Lead Is Safe

Obviously, Monday’s biggest sports story had nothing to do with baseball. As we predicted less than a month ago, the Kansas Jayhawks knocked off the Memphis Tigers in overtime, 75-68, to be crowned the collegiate national champions for the first time since 1988.

It was an incredible back-and-forth affair, as neither team could seemingly pull away when it took the lead. It wasn’t until late in the second half, when the Tigers took a nine-point advantage with 2:12 left on the clock, that the game looked to be in hand. Kansas had chosen to foul Robert Dozier, with its apparent game plan being to exploit what was perceived to be Memphis’s glaring weakness, foul shooting. But when Dozier sank both shots, the game looked to be over.

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Kansas Wins National Championship

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Told You So: Kansas and Memphis To Play For National Championship

Exciting times here at Merrill Park Superstar headquarters, as with wins by the Memphis Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks in Saturday’s National Semifinals, the wacky formula that we’ve been working on throughout much of the 2007-08 college basketball season is actually starting to look like a pretty useful tool for predicting the likely outcomes of college games.

The wacky formula, which as press of time lacks a more clever name or even a more descriptive name, has correctly projected the Final Four (not a big stunner) and the teams that are to compete in the National Championship game on Monday. It also had Davidson reaching the Elite Eight. The big issue I found with that bracket, which you can view here, is that the formula called for a lot of first round upsets that didn’t pan out.

I actually kind of saw that coming before the tournament began, though, and decided that I needed to modify the formula a bit. As mentioned in this post, I noticed last year that the Pythagorean theorem of basketball was fairly reliable in predicting the tournament. Whereas the wacky formula figured North Carolina and Kansas would end up in the finals, Pythagoras did a little bit better, forecasting a Florida-Texas A&M showdown. The Gators, of course, went on to win their second straight NCAA Championship a year ago.

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NFL’s Annual Campaign Against Student-Athletes Under Way


Dr. Horacio Nicaragua has compiled a list of Wonderlic scores for some of this year’s NFL Draft’s prospects over at his blog.

This list, which really started to attract attention when Vince Young was discovered to be borderline retarded, continually delivers a black eye to the institution of collegiate athletics. Young was initially rumored to have scored a 6, a Wonderlic score usually reserved for the illiterate.

Young is not alone, however. San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore also scored a 6 on his Wonderlic, and Javon Walker scored a 9. A score of 20 indicates average intelligence, while a score under 10 suggests illiteracy.

So which of this year’s NFL Draft prospects are illiterate?

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Who Is This Year’s George Mason?

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March Madness: What A Duketastrophe!

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March Madness: UConn In Trouble vs. San Diego Live Blog

The afternoon games haven’t been quite as riveting as the morning session. We’ve seen three blowouts — Georgetown, Texas and Butler rolled over UMBC, Austin Peay and South Alabama, respectively — and one competitive game: #13 San Diego giving #4 Connecticut all it can handle.

We’re picking it up with just under four minutes left. The 13th-seeded Toreros are clinging to a 52-51 lead, and Connecticut will have the ball after a television timeout.

5:33 ET: Out of the timeout, Doug Wiggins connects on a three to give UConn its first lead of the half.

San Diego responds at the other end, as Gyno Pomare picks up two more points, giving him 20 for the game, to knot the game up at 54.

5:36 ET: San Diego reclaims the lead on what I’ll describe as a windmill layup by Rob Jones.

After a Connecticut turnover at the other end, Jones picks up two more with a runner. With 50.3 seconds left to play, the Toreros have extended their lead to four points, 58-54.

5:39 ET: Hasheem Thabeet gets an easy layup out of the timeout, and it didn’t take much time. There are still 37.6 seconds left on the clock, and now Connecticut only trails by two.

However, the Huskies are well under the foul limit, which works against them at this stage of the game.

5:42 ET: After UConn finally gave up enough fouls to get San Diego to the line — they spent almost 10 seconds doing so — Devin Ginty goes to the line for the Toreros and sinks one of two in the one-and-one situation.

Connecticut quickly gets the ball down the court and slashes the lead back to a single point with a quick Jeff Adrien layup. Just over 20 ticks left on the clock, timeout UConn.

5:47 ET: Connecticut gets called on a blocking foul while trying to pick up a charge on an inbounds play. Ginty goes back to the line for San Diego.

One of two again.

5:48 ET: Jerome Dyson gets fouled as he drives to the basket for the Huskies. He can tie the game from the line if he makes both shots. As it stands now, it’s 60-58 with 10.4 seconds left.

He ties it up.

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YouTube Early Returns: Western Kentucky Game Winner

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