The Darwinian laboratory known as the NCAA Tournament does a hell of a job at making science look like a genius. You start out with a bunch of different things and by the end only have a single survivor, destined to repopulate Earth all by itself.
Or nothing like that at all.
Despite the ejection of major artillery like Will Manny, Marcus Holman, and David DiMaria, there's still a lot of offensive weaponry kicking around the tournament. I've highlighted all the cats that are ranked within the parameters of total offensive value (explained a little more in the last iteration of this piece) and also included each player's ranking in Player Statistical Index (PSI). PSI is a different kind of measure of production, taking into account a few different metrics in its formula. For a complete explanation, check this out. (Note: PSI ranks players according to position, so don't let your eyes cross why you try to figure out why values don't always equate directly to rank.)
Some brief thoughts follow after the jump.
|Loyola||M. Sawyer||10.03||27||3.32||6||Duke||J. Wolf||10.62||20||2.90||22|
|Loyola||E. Lusby||9.18||51||2.77||30||Duke||C. Walsh||7.79||84||2.60||39|
|Loyola||J. Ward||6.63||127||2.55||44||Duke||R. Rotanz||7.08||105||1.89||68|
|Loyola||D. Butts||5.27||187||2.47||31||Duke||J. Dionne||6.73||122||2.93||21|
|Denver||M. Matthews||12.29||8||3.05||16||Colgate||P. Baum||15.61||1||4.41||2|
|Denver||A. Demopoulos||9.27||45||2.42||54||Colgate||R. Walsh||9.27||44||2.82||28|
|Denver||E. Law||8.46||61||3.07||14||Colgate||J. Ledwick||7.48||90||1.75||121|
|Denver||J. Noble||8.46||61||3.79||4||Colgate||B. McCann||5.37||183||2.52||49|
|Hopkins||Z. Palmer||10.10||26||2.42||55||Virginia||C. Bocklet||8.41||65||2.82||27|
|Hopkins||B. Benn||6.80||118||1.99||95||Virginia||C. Briggs||6.81||117||2.00||58|
|Hopkins||W. Stanwick||4.47||199||1.58||141||Virginia||M. White||5.51||174||1.46||156|
|Maryland||O. Blye||8.12||73||2.10||51||Notre Dame||J. Marlatt||6.92||113||1.69||90|
|Maryland||J. Haus||6.54||133||1.53||116||Notre Dame||S. Rogers||6.44||139||2.20||69|
- I don't know which game has me more excited for offensive fireworks: Denver-Loyola or Colgate-Duke. Each game is rolling out tons of explosive things with short fuses that only need a light to make fireworks pop. If you average out all the Total Offensive Values of the players listed -- which is a really stupid thing to do but I need material, boss -- Raiders-Devils comes out barely ahead at 8.74 against 8.47. Regardless, those two games will feature the best collection of individual offensive talent all weekend (or, at least the most evenly-distributed individual offensive talent between combatants).
- The numbers haven't lied all year and seeing more and more of Colgate's games has confirmed it: Peter Baum is the most valuable player in Division I this year. We're treading on criminal prosecution territory ("Fraud") if Baum doesn't win the Tewaaraton this season. Stanwick is a really close second, but ignoring any kind of future performance permutations, this thing should be Baum's to lose.
- Averaging out individual total offensive values -- again, a really stupid idea -- the Philadelphia regional edges out the Annapolis regional in pipe bomb-y behavior: 8.47 to 8.13. As you'll see a little bit later, though, the Annapolis regional actually has a higher "Fun Factor" score than the Philadelphia doubleheader. So, pick your poison people. Or just go to both. I don't care; I'm not your mother or anything.