FanPost

The 2012 National Tournament Update: NOW Who is the Favorite?

In my odds last week, I wrote that Massachusetts was the favorite to win the entire tournament and that the three upsets I'd take were Maryland, Denver and Princeton. So, I was right on two of my game predictions and the favorite has already been ousted from the tournament.

I like it.

In the first round, teams I had favored by my rating system won all but three games. Massachusetts had a 61.3 percent chance of moving on, Virginia was given a 34.5 percent chance to beat Princeton and Lehigh was given a 51.4 percent chance to beat Maryland. Not bad. Then again, just going by seeding, there were only three upsets as well. Enough of that. Odds for the remaining teams have been calculated.

Quick note, as always: this data is derived from my own tempo-free statistics which combine two different models. One is based on raw offensive and defensive efficiencies and adjusted for schedule. The second model is the same but uses regressed shooting rates to form regressed offensive and defensive efficiencies. Then, I adjust for schedule using those regressed efficiencies.

Math malarkey out of the way, your odds for the eight remaining teams in the National Lacrosse Tournament are encapsulated in the following graph.

2012nationaltournamentl_medium

You can click the image to enlarge.

Or, if you prefer, here's the data in table form:

Seed Team Semis Finals Championship 1 in …
1 Loyola 0.606 0.337 0.175 6
2 Johns Hopkins 0.447 0.220 0.111 9
3 Duke 0.434 0.192 0.092 11
4 Notre Dame 0.557 0.285 0.139 7
5 Virginia 0.443 0.201 0.086 12
Denver 0.394 0.177 0.073 14
Maryland 0.553 0.301 0.168 6
Colgate 0.566 0.288 0.157 6

The 1 in . . . category is for their odds of winning the championship. It's a very even race between the top-seeded Greyhounds and a couple of un-seeded squads in Maryland and Colgate -- two darlings of my tempo-free ratings system.

Teams in bullet-point form (by seeding)!

  • Loyola Greyhounds - They dispatched Canisiusiusiusiussi 17-5 in an 80-possession game. That's about what I expected. Now, the tournament starts for Loyola. They've got a stiff test with the Denver Pioneers but are the favorites (about 61 percent) to reach the semi-finals. They are the best team remaining in that half of the bracket and, as such, have a one-in-three chance of reaching the title game and a 17.5 percent chance to win it all as of now.
  • Johns Hopkins Blue Jays - Hopkins dismantled Stony Brook (fare thee well, Seawolves!) 19-9 in a highly-efficient offensive display. I know, "highly-efficient offensive display" is very odd to type when talking about the Blue Jays' offense but it happened. What lies ahead, now, is a game with a very underrated Maryland team (anyone pick them as title contenders to start the tournament?) that Hopkins is given just a 44.7 percent chance of winning -- essentially a pick 'em game. Should they get by the Terrapins, they hold a bit better than one-in-five chance of making the finals. Right now, they are given a 11.1 percent chance to take home the trophy.
  • Duke Blue Devils - The B-Devils (I'm going to make this work) took care of the Orange 12-9 in what normally is a semi-final's match-up. They dominated the possession battle (38 to 26) which meant that Syracuse was actually more efficient offensively but when you're wrecked at the X 17-to-7, you're not going to win the possession battle. For Duke, they turn their attention to a tempo-free darling in the Colgate Raiders. Right now, Duke have a 43 percent chance to get to the semi's. Should they get there, they have a date with a team better rated by my system. As such, they have only a 19 percent chance to make the finals and a nine-percent chance to win it all.
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Notre Dame grinded out a 13-7 win in a 64-possession game over Yale. So, they did what they do best: ride incredibly well, don't give up the ball unnecessarily and maximize your offensive possessions. Now, they get the defending champions. I have the Irish as a bit better than 55 percent favorites over the Wahoo's. They are the second-highest rated team in their half of the bracket (behind Loyola) and should they move on they should be rooting for a Denver upset of the Greyhounds. Still, Notre Dame possesses a 28.5 percent chance of making it back to the title contest and, as of now, are just-under 14 percent to win the National Title.
  • Virginia Cavaliers - I had UVa as heavy under dogs last week and called them the most over-seeded team in the country. I still stand by that, even with their 6-5 win. Still, they actually have better odds this week of winning their game, improving from about 35 to 45 percent. Right now, they have a 20.1 percent chance of making the championship game again and a 8.6 percent chance to go back-to-back.
  • Denver Pioneers - The Pio's got the upset on North Carolina (in terms of seeding) in a game that lived up to the hype of "high-scoring affair" that was heaped upon it by the media. They won 16-14 in a 63-possession game meaning both teams posted better than 44% offensive efficiency rates. Yeah, that sounds about right. So, congrats, Denver. Now you get the top-seeded team in the tournament. Currently they are about 40 percent to beat the Greyhounds, 17.7 percent to make the finals, and just 7.3 percent to win the tourney.
  • Maryland Terrapins - The Terps took care of business against Lehigh in what was almost literally a coin-flip game last week, 10-9. It was as close as my odds said it would be. Now, the underrated Terrapins get the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays. Right now, I have Maryland as 55 percent favorites to beat Hopkins and make it to the semi's. Should they get there, they will likely be the favorite. Currently, I have Maryland with the best odds to make the championship game out of any of the teams in their half of the bracket at 30.1 percent. They have a 16.8 percent chance to fly back home with the title they missed out on last year.
  • Colgate Raiders - Like Maryland, Colgate is a very efficient team that I don't feel like got enough pub for their talents before the tournament started. Sure, they talked about Peter Baum but it felt more like "what a nice story with a big-time scorer but you and untested Massachusetts go play on your own over there." Still, they ousted the best team in my ratings system -- not a huge upset, as they had almost a 40 percent chance of happening -- and won the right to face the Duke Blue Devils. Win this game, and people will take major notice. Right now, I have them as 56.6 percent favorites to do just that. My system likes Maryland better, so they are the second-best team in that half of the bracket which gives them a 28.8 percent chance of making the title game and 15.7 percent chance of winning it all.

If pressed to make picks I'll take: Loyola, Virginia, Duke and Maryland. Yes, I'm picking against my own system in 50-percent of the games this weekend. I never said it was perfect.

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