Football season is just around the corner - and we’re all excited about the beginning of the Hazell era; however, basketball headlines have seemed to dominate these summer doldrums on H&R for the past few weeks. Thus, I’ve decided to post - a few months early - my response to the well-intentioned, but incomplete ‘a 30 years of PU Basketball statistical analysis’ from a year ago.
As a more detailed codicil to my original article from last year, I’ve taken your criticisms - in an effort to better explain the conference on the whole - and compiled nearly four decades of season/tourney results. This was done to try to objectively determine the strength of each B1G program in the ‘modern era’. The method remains nearly the same as the original:
Points assigned based on last level of last success: No tourney = 0, 1st round = 1, 2nd round = 2, Sweet 16 = 3, Title = 7 etc, but there are a few differences:
- This time the season begins with the 1975 season. Why? Well, because that’s when the NCAA went to 32 teams in the tourney. It’s what I’m calling the modern era. Now, I realize that determining the actual start of the modern era is a highly subjective, potentially polarizing topic. But instead of arguing about that genesis (and what would constitute modern), let’s try to focus on what’s important: the results. The tourney format remains essentially the same (whether its 64 or 32 teams) and by starting in 1975 we should have enough data to make a compelling case (as opposed to 1986 or some other significant time, etc.).
- Unlike the data from last time, per your complaints, I’ve added a new category – National Runner up, and I’ve removed a category – losing seasons, and just lumped all sub-par seasons; losing, NIT,CIB, etc. as ‘No tourney’. It would have been nice to have all the categories – the old and new, but I’ve got better things to do with my time (maybe).
Like the original post – a lot of data was compiled from less than desirable sources, so it’s possible that an error or two exists. No data was cherry picked and no omissions/additions were intentional. The methodology may be overly simplistic – but should still serve its purpose of showing the better (or best) B1G programs in the last forty or so years. While this study cannot show subjective feelings, e.g. best fans, best coaches, best arenas, best post game watering holes, etc, and it omits other hard data, e.g. % of seasons ranked, B1G regular season championships, tourney seeds, big upsets, etc., it should be sufficient to paint a clear enough picture of the propensity of each school’s achievement in basketball.
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So yes, IU fans - there you go. In at least the last 40 years, you've achieved the most. Congratulations. But it's hardly anything that you didn't really already know - as you're so apt to constantly remind us. In fact, your STDEV # paints quite the telling portrait. That you have the second highest number in the B1G tells us Purdue fans what we already knew: that your program is in serious decline. The dusty banners of the 70s and 80s are a thing of the past and that STDEV number has ballooned as a result. MSU with the highest #, shows the exact opposite: the Izzo years have been quite good to those in Greater Lansing after languishing for the first part of the study. As for us: we're arguably the most solid of the top half performers - which is great - but as we all know, simply not good enough. The fact remains, until we reach a final four+, we're just the best B1G team with no significant (recent) accomplishments. Most surprising: Maryland. Sure, they had a good run a while back, but who knew they were that reliable? I didn't. Also surprising to me were just how bad Minnesota, OMHR and Wisky historically are. I expected O$U to be a little better too. PSU, Rutgers, Nebraska & Northwestern: wow. Just wow. They should seriously be ashamed. Hell, they should seriously be punished. Nobody else could underachieve so much and get away with it - why can they?
Like last year, I wanted to show some of our peers and how they stack up - see below: (clearly having blue as a school color is a major advantage)
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No real big surprises here. The perceived elite are truly elite. They smoke the best of the B1G, and by a wide margin. Even Butler, with a low mean (but highest mean to STDEV ratio) shows just how elite in recent years they've been. Bottom line: IU is not elite. Not even close. Not even a little bit. Not even in the same league (literally).
As an aside, I was going to try and correlate COY awards to performance - but I simply don't care to do the math. Just eyeballing it - I can't see any obvious significant correlation [I know, like you could eyeball a correlation anyway!]. If somebody else cares to do the math and isn't nearly as lazy as I, then have at it. I'm actually kind of curious to see the true numbers...
Finally, the highly respected 'Kunta Coach Index' - metrics for measuring douchebag COY - does show a preposterously high correlation of winners to Sweet 16 appearances.
Douche COY 5 years running, Tom Crean, shows us just
how much talent he has
In summation: nothing particularly new here; and unfortunately, this data doesn't do our Boilers any huge favors. But it does show that we're right on the cusp - we just need to bust that hump to the final four and make a sustained run to be the B1G's best.