2024 Conference Analysis (Post #1) | Syracusefan.com

2024 Conference Analysis (Post #1)

jncuse

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There have been many various discussions recently on various conference issues.
1) The Big 12 is gaming the NET with Q4's. Is that why they are ranked so highly.
2) The MWC has 5 teams in? What are we missing?
3) Why is the ACC getting hammered? Should they be?

Back in early January I had started compiling some detailed numbers. Knowing that it would become an issue if the ACC was getting hurt by it... and hoping that Syracuse would play well enough that it would be point of the discussion.

I got through 4 conferences in full at the time, but the analysis is incomplete (Note - some of the quad's could have shifted since I analyzed, but I'm assuming things would move in / move out not significantly)
The good thing is the 4 conferences I got through were the ACC, SEC, MWC, and B12. So we can look at those, as those are being discussed in other threads specifically, until I get the BE, BIG, P12 updated (that will be Post 2, and that might not be anytime soon if at all)

This post will focus on scheduling


Regarding Schedule Strength of Loading up on Q4's
Q4 Game %

Big 12 = 55%
ACC = 44%
MWC = 43%
SEC = 43%

The conclusion is that yes the Big 12 has certainly had an abnormal level of Q4 games compared to others, even though they are a high proportion of every team's games. Tha being said in the end its only 1 extra game per team - and given that NET is margin based, I'm not convinced this is what is driving the B12 NET.. or that it isn't either.


Q3+Q4 Game % vs Quality Game % (Q1+Q2)
Big 12 = 70% vs 30%
MWC = 69% vs 31%
ACC = 67% vs 33%
SEC = 58% vs 42%

From the above, it does appear that the one conference that is really challenging itself more than the others is the SEC.
The other 3 all got to to about the same number. The B12 plays more patsies (55% Q4, 15% Q3. while the others tend to be more Q3 based). So Big 12's is certainly easier, but

That being said tourney level or bubble teams that play Q3 games at home in OOC are winning almost all those games.

Q1 Game % / Q2 Game %

SEC - 22% and 20% (42% total)
ACC - 22% and 11% (33% total)
Big 12 - 17% and 13% (30% total)
MwC - 13% and 18% (31% total)

SEC has played the most quality games by a decent amount.
For whatever reason the ACC's games have tilted towards Q1 - perhaps playing more on the road.
Big 12 is a bit lower in all categories, but not markedly except for the SEC.

The MWC is interesting in that it only has 13% of its games in Q1. Plays a comparable level of Q2. I think part of it is their inability to get Q1 games at home if I had to guess.
 
There have been many various discussions recently on various conference issues.
1) The Big 12 is gaming the NET with Q4's. Is that why they are ranked so highly.
2) The MWC has 5 teams in? What are we missing?
3) Why is the ACC getting hammered? Should they be?

Back in early January I had started compiling some detailed numbers. Knowing that it would become an issue if the ACC was getting hurt by it... and hoping that Syracuse would play well enough that it would be point of the discussion.

I got through 4 conferences in full at the time, but the analysis is incomplete (Note - some of the quad's could have shifted since I analyzed, but I'm assuming things would move in / move out not significantly)
The good thing is the 4 conferences I got through were the ACC, SEC, MWC, and B12. So we can look at those, as those are being discussed in other threads specifically, until I get the BE, BIG, P12 updated.

This post will focus on scheduling


Regarding Schedule Strength of Loading up on Q4's
Q4 Game %

Big 12 = 55%
ACC = 44%
MWC = 43%
SEC = 43%

The conclusion is that yes the Big 12 has certainly had an abnormal level of Q4 games compared to others, even though they are a high proportion of every team's games. Tha being said in the end its only 1 extra game per team - and given that NET is margin based, I'm not convinced this is what is driving the B12 NET.. or that it isn't either.


Q3+Q4 Game % vs Quality Game % (Q1+Q2)
Big 12 = 70% vs 30%
MWC = 69% vs 31%
ACC = 67% vs 33%
SEC = 58% vs 42%

From the above, it does appear that the one conference that is really challenging itself more than the others is the SEC.
The other 3 all got to to about the same number. The B12 plays more patsies (55% Q4, 15% Q3. while the others tend to be more Q3 based). So Big 12's is certainly easier, but

That being said tourney level or bubble teams that play Q3 games at home in OOC are winning almost all those games.

Q1 Game % / Q2 Game %

SEC - 22% and 20% (42% total)
ACC - 22% and 11% (33% total)
Big 12 - 17% and 13% (30% total)
MwC - 13% and 18% (31% total)

SEC has played the most quality games by a decent amount.
For whatever reason the ACC's games have tilted towards Q1 - perhaps playing more on the road.
Big 12 is a bit lower in all categories, but not markedly except for the SEC.

The MWC is interesting in that it only has 13% of its games in Q1. Plays a comparable level of Q2. I think part of it is their inability to get Q1 games at home if I had to guess.
Yes, I don't think MWC teams find a lot of willing major conference teams that want to play them. They should probably have some sort of scheduling alliance with the Big East as I think they too have been dropped by P4 conference matchups.
 
GT and Florida State winning the games they have after being pathetic bad OOC has hurt and none of hte mid level teams us included were great OOC either.

Why does the ACC deserve more than UNC, Duke, UVA and 1 more team maybe two if none of those schools win the ACCT?
 
Results

Q1 Win% / Q2/Q3/Q4 / Overall


Big 12 = .344 / .550 / .960 / .957 (.801)
ACC = .278 / .632 / .757 / .944 (.722)
SEC = .351 / .576 / .840 / .932 (.720)
MwC = .375 / 619 / .727 / ,811 (.704)

Q1+Q2 Win %
Big 12 = .429 (21-28)
ACC = .400 (22-33)
MWC = .513 (20-19)
SEC = .457 (32-38)

Quality Wins vs bad Losses
Big 12 = 21 vs 5 (last year 30 vs 2)
ACC = 22 vs 13 (last year 21 vs 18)
MwC = 20 vs 19 (last year 20 vs 19)
SEC = 32 vs 9 (last year 31 vs 11)

Lots to unravel here.
- First thing to note and its not conference specific, but look on those Q1 win%... they are all bad. It's not a calculation issue -- its just because there are many games where you go on the road where the result for you is a Q1 and the result for the other team is Q2. And road teams tend to lose those games.

- MWC has the best overall win% in Q1+Q2 games. So they actually do well when their top teams play others. Even though a decent % of are the top teams in smaller conferences. The MWC does also by far have the most bad losses. There are some bad teams in that league to gang on. But I think a top team in this conference is a legit mid-level seed in the tournament.

- The Big 12. So they don't dominate in this regard. They are behind the SEC... and while they are ahead of the ACC its not significant. If you look at last year they had 30 quality wins with 10 teams... this year its only 21. Whether they played the "Q4" game or not, it was irrelevant as they did great in quality games. Not so this year.

They get helped by avoiding bad losses.


- The ACC - in terms of the comparable to last year, they reduced their bad losses by a fair bit, where last year many teams beyond the drek screwed up this year its largely limited to Louisville, Notre Dame and FSU They do get hurt by a bad Q3 win% (relatively).

- The SEC has been one of the best conferences for at least 3 years. Hate them or not from a football perspective, they do schedule harder than the other conferences in basketball. And they are performing the best amongst the 3 P6 I looked at.
 
So as to the overriding questions

Is MwC legit in terms of getting 4-5 teams? Probably. I think so, I think the big difference vs the ACC is in part because they have avoid cannibalization within conference and avoided teams getting bad losses. Because there is some really bad teams in MWC.

In terms of the Big 12 and SEC getting 9 teams in as of now The SEC getting 9 teams seems much more deserved. Unlike last year the Big 12, is not dominating against other quality opponents OOC. So there is another factor in play in the NET. As a conference they did much better than the ACC against bad teams, but not enough for his seed variance.

So something is going on.

That being said is it NET gaming -- on average each B12 only plays 1.2 more Q4 game than ACC teams. Is merely winning that additional game going to swing things - knowing enough of the NET I highly, highly doubt that.

Also the NET is somewhat schedule independent. My guess is that yes the B12 NET is driven by how the B12 did in Q3 and Q4 games, but not by merely winning them which some are erroneously speculating. But its not a function of winning them, but more dominating in Q4 games more than others. There is a way to calculate if that is the case... but do I feel like gathering data points on about 120 games. Maybe, probably not.

But even if the NET is driven by the B12 dominating Q3 and Q4 opponents more margin wise than others, should that really be a basis for them doing so well in this
.

Last year was easily explainable, this year not so easy.

I'd love to find an online repository of such information to find details, but this is largely data I compiled this year.
 
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Yes, I don't think MWC teams find a lot of willing major conference teams that want to play them. They should probably have some sort of scheduling alliance with the Big East as I think they too have been dropped by P4 conference matchups.

Part of it is geographical I think (SEC, ACC, BE). Although their tends to be a lack of games between MWC and BIG for whatever reason, when those conferences have some teams that are somewhat closer to each other.
 
Part of it is geographical I think (SEC, ACC, BE). Although their tends to be a lack of games between MWC and BIG for whatever reason, when those conferences have some teams that are somewhat closer to each other.
Winning games against the PAC didn't help Net very much.
 
I have calculated the NET vs RPI for the Big 12.

Big 12 Aveage NET = 46
Big 12 Average RPI = 67

That difference of 21 spots is MASSIVE - some might not immediately think that, but spending a bunch of time in the numbers that is huge. Warren Nolan will show Q1 + Q2 games for all schools under all approaches, but the swing by year could be very significant, so we will be able to see impact then.. I'm sure it's already made a difference.

Now there could be a few reasons for this. Note that I have already found that its not Q1+Q2 play where the B12 is on par with the ACC and SEC in win%.
1) RPI is only W-L. It also punishes bad schedules really bad ... in particular games in the bottom 25% of the RPI. (280-360)
2) NET rewards margin, And I suspect I will find that its not merely the beating of Q4 teams, but how the B12 are "better" at it. We can never know if its "pushed down mandate" or just luck but it is happening and driving things.

Here are a few teams I already found
Iowa St wons its 8 Q4 games by 347 points! An average of 43 per game over 8 games. Its NET is #10... its RPI is #36.

BYU won its 8 Q4 games by 308 points! An average of 38 per game. Its NET is #6, its RPI is #45.

The solution as I proposed before, is really staring us in the face.

Neither the RPI or the NET are great and have limitations. But they are natural hedges of each other. If you game the NET by trying to play a high % of pummel games, the RPI will catch you because it really punishes Q4 games due to the basic SOS calculation. If you want to game the RPI, you focus on playing Q3 games and trying to avoid Q4 games OOC. But that won't help your NET. Both systems actually hedge off each other to a fair agree. Call it NET if you want, but the secret sauce should be 50% of whatever NET is now, and 50% of the old school RPI.
 
Regarding the MWC and the NET. It does have one advantage.
It chooses to play more road games than the other power conferences... and I'm sure this choice is financially driven by the P6.

But NET gives you a "bonus" for road wins. which might make sense under RPI but not under a margin system. A margin system will already give you a 7 or 8 point cushion for playing on the road, and count that in your performance. So in a margin system it should end there. It shouldn't give you an additional bonus for winning. I know NET is doing this because everytime I look at the big weekly moves its the road victories that typically pop up.
 

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