Net Eff Rating
South Region – (11) Loyola-Chicago vs (7) Nevada
Math Man’s Bracket Pick: Loyola-Chicago
LoyChi has been more successful against the number this season than Nevada, and at +1 it seems like Vegas is giving Loyola more of a fair shake than most people consider. Nevada scores 12+ more points per game than Loyola, however Loyola allows about 11 less points per game than Nevada – defense will be a huge factor in this game. Loyola’s defense is far superior than Nevada’s and Nevada’s offense is only a tad bit better than Loyola’s – defense wins championships – Loyola Chicago to the Elite 8.
West Region – (7) Texas A&M vs (3) Michigan
Math Man’s Bracket Pick: Michigan
Have to go against the smart money on this one – I just don’t see what everyone else is seeing – Michigan has been far more successful against the number this season – up on A&M 3 whole points in measure of expectation – that is very telling to me. A&M scores 2 points more than Michigan per game – however Michigan allows 6 points less per game. Michigan allows 3 points less than A&M per 100 possessions on defense and scores 8 more points per 100 possessions on offense. Michigan is 8-2 ATS in their last 10. The hot streak continues tonight. Take Michigan.
South Region – (9) Kansas State vs (5) Kentucky
Math Man’s Bracket Pick: Kentucky
Kentucky wins here – but don’t a slight lean on KSST ATS. Although Kansas St has a minus number in success rate against the number – they still shine a bit of value on their side in this match up. Kentucky only scores 5.7 more points than KSST per game, and seeing as the spread is only -5, that shows me there is value on the Kansas St side. On top of that Kansas St allows 3.6 fewer points per game than Kentucky – so net/net this match up is shaping up to be more than just a set up spot for Kentucky. KSST & UK share almost the same defensive efficiency rating – however UK is about 2pts better /100 possessions on offense. I think this one is closer than most people imagine. Kentucky wins – Kansas St covers.
West Region – (9) Florida State vs (4) Gonzaga
Math Man’s Bracket Pick: Gonzaga
Alot of people are suspecting an upset here – I am not. Gonzaga and FSU have had almost the same amount of success against the number this season – However Gonzaga is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 and FSU is 3-7 ATS. Gonzaga scores just over 3 pts per game more than FSU – which favors FSU’s side at +6. Although Gonzaga’s defense is just over 6pts better than FSU net/net. Gonzaga scores about 8 points more per 100 possessions than FSU and allows 5 fewer points per 100 possessions on defense. All in all – this match up seems like a wash. The line may be too low – Gonzaga wins impressively.
MidWest Region – (5) Clemson vs (1) Kansas
Math Man’s Bracket Pick: Kansas
This one is a doozey. Clemson has beaten expectation all throughout this season. Kansas on the other hand has been even keel throughout the entire campaign. On paper this games looks like a total blow out – but again, don’t count out the value on the side of the dog in this one. Kansas scores on average 7.6 more points per game than Clemson – making it look like the spread at -5 has immense value – the only issue is that Clemson has allowed 5 pts fewer per game on average this season than Kansas. Clemson only trails Kansas in average point differential by only 2.2 points – even though Kansas scores 7.6 more points than them per game. This leads me to believe that Clemson may in fact be a more discipline team than Kansas. Clemson allows 4 fewer points per 100 opponent possessions than Kansas – Kansas scores 7 more points per 100 offensive possessions than Clemson. I think this one goes down to the wire similarly to the Kansas/Houston game from the other night – Kansas moves on, Clemson covers.
East Region – (5) West Virginia vs (1) Villanova
Math Man’s Bracket Pick: Villanova
WVU has a quirky defense that some teams can handle better than others – Villanova is the highest scoring team in the country. Villanova should be able to handle Press Virginia’s D. Villanova is number 3 in the country in assist to turn over ratio. They do not turn the ball over. One over looked factor in this line is the fact that WVU commits a ton of fouls because of their press defense – Villanova shoots free throws very well. Take Villanova to win and cover and move on to the Elite 8.
WVU is the #6 team in the country in NET PPG in the 1H – in the 2H they are much worse, teams adjust to their system and find out how to play against the press. WVU is #58 in the country in the 2H. Top 10 team in the 1H – not even a top 50 team in the 2H. This makes me inclined to take Villanova 2H. Use the closing number as a guide and a measure against the spread for what line you should get, and take Villanova at half time.
MidWest Region – (11) Syracuse vs (2) Duke
Math Man’s Bracket Pick: Duke
This one is simple. Duke has a better number against the spread on average this season. Duke scores more than Syracuse. The Orange allow 6 pts less than Duke per game, however Duke has a +15.6 point differential on average – Syracuse has only a +3.1 point differential on average. Duke scores 16 more points than Syracuse per 100 offensive possessions. There is no edge here in anyway for Syracuse – they have no business being in this match up. Duke wins and covers the double digit.
East Region – (3) Texas Tech vs (2) Purdue
Line is too low – Purdue rolls here. Haase or no Haase.