Every Division I tournament. Every team. College Crosse has it all on lockdown. Please send cookies and naptime. Today we're slashing to bits the MAAC Tournament.
The MAAC isn't the strongest league in the country (in fact, it ranks ninth in conference Pythagorean win expectation, about five percentage points below the NEC). That doesn't mean, however, that the league isn't face-meltingly interesting. Based on the relative strength of the league membership, the MAAC is actually the fifth most competitively balanced conference in the country (in terms of deviation from top to bottom). That leads to an important point: The possibilities in the MAAC Tournament are endless. While the quality of the league lags behind others, the MAAC does have some anarchy inherent in its DNA, and there's no better reality in May than the potential of things going sideways in a conference tournament in a hurry between teams that aren't all that competitively imbalanced.
Detroit and Marist start the fun in Canisius this afternoon.
THE COMPUTING MACHINE SAYS
Log5: Detroit (33.60%); Marist (66.40%)
|DETROIT TITANS||MARIST RED FOXES|
|Pace||70.89 (8)||68.99 (18)|
|Opportunities Margin||-2.08 (45)||+3.98 (7)|
|Possession Ratio||48.53% (44)||52.88% (8)|
|Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes||30.33 (37)||34.49 (6)|
|Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio||88.16% (60)||94.55% (7)|
|Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes||33.24 (54)||29.06 (18)|
|Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio||91.12% (20)||89.41% (7)|
|Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes||16.54 (63)||14.00 (52)|
|Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio||54.52% (54)||40.58% (33)|
|Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes||17.20 (1)||13.92 (10)|
|Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio||51.75% (1)||47.89% (7)|
|Lost Functional Opportunities Margin||+0.66 (23)||-0.08 (36)|
|Lost Functional Opportunities Margin Ratio||-2.77% (43)||+7.32% (9)|
|Adjusted Offensive Efficiency||24.79 (57)||30.96 (24)|
|Adjusted Defensive Efficiency||30.75 (30)||30.82 (31)|
|Adjusted Efficiency Margin||-5.96 (49)||+0.14 (33)|
|Shots per Offensive Opportunity||0.89 (62)||1.13 (25)|
|Raw Offensive Shooting Rate||29.08% (24)||29.98% (22)|
|Shots per Defensive Opportunity||0.94 (5)||1.00 (17)|
|Raw Defensive Shooting Rate||30.02% (51)||28.17% (33)|
|Offensive Assist Ratio||66.36% (3)||59.01% (21)|
|Offensive Assist Rate||17.15 (33)||19.92 (15)|
|Defensive Assist Ratio||58.06% (38)||60.00% (46)|
|Defensive Assist Rate||16.40 (30)||16.94 (35)|
|Extra-Man Postures per 100 Offensive Opportunities||12.08 (16)||11.11 (24)|
|Extra-Man Posture Reliance||14.02% (15)||10.56% (44)|
|Extra-Man Posture Conversion Rate||30.00% (47)||32.08% (42)|
|Man-Down Postures per 100 Defensive Opportunities||14.35 (60)||12.24 (49)|
|Man-Down Posture Reliance||15.32% (54)||10.83% (25)|
|Man-Down Posture Conversion Rate||30.16% (17)||25.00% (8)|
|Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Team)||7.74 (60)||5.76 (38)|
|Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Opponent)||6.21 (19)||6.21 (20)|
|Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Team)||26.88 (13)||28.00 (8)|
|Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Opponent)||30.19 (62)||21.80 (30)|
|Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team)||59.90 (61)||43.82 (23)|
|Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent)||56.04 (1)||53.41 (5)|
|Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team)||29.71 (62)||22.01 (25)|
|Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent)||29.16 (2)||25.41 (17)|
|Team "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities)||29.19 (20)||33.48 (3)|
|Opponent "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities)||33.76 (62)||29.93 (48)|
|"Run-of-Play Work Rate" Margin||-4.57 (56)||+3.55 (12)|
|Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities||32.35 (38)||30.35 (47)|
|Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities||28.99 (5)||32.91 (28)|
|Team Save Percentage||53.38% (26)||51.81% (36)|
|Opponent Save Percentage||52.86% (29)||49.37% (16)|
THOUGHTS AND STUFF
Two pieces of incredibly important information about each team from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:
- Tim from Great Lax State follows the MAAC pretty deeply, and there's no reason for me to grope my way through an analysis when Tim has a melon in his skull that has already thought this game through a little bit. To crib from his preview (you should read the whole thing, college boy):
What We Learned Last Time
Don’t get killed in possession, and you’ll stay close enough to win. Marist is a really good possession team, and taking that advantage away from them is the way to even things up. The Titans aren’t going to excel on faceoffs, but mucking things up and preventing Marist from dominating possession will be big.
The Titans also had a terrible day clearing last time out (albeit against a pretty good ride), another area in which you can kill yourself in possession. The Titans need to chop the self-inflicted damage out of their game in order to steal the win.
The UDM offense had a poor performance in the first game without Shayne Adams. Since that time – albeit against poor competition – the Titans have really figured out how to adjust to the loss of Adams, share the wealth, and score the ball. Doing it against a pretty good Marist team is a whole new deal.
- There are no more beauty pageants. For much of the season, my primary focus isn't necessarily on wins and losses but rather on how teams play. While how teams perform still matters, in tournament settings there is one goal tied to an associated concern: Win regardless of form and function. In a tournament setting like what the MAAC provides -- a field of relatively equal teams, none of which are nationally elite -- winning (in the context of worrying only about the "W") often turns on being the team that does the least stupid stuff: Limiting turnovers in the attack box, clearing the ball well, not taking penalties and getting into man-down postures, taking shot attempts that aren't roundly savable, watching off-ball movement on the defensive end, and limiting the hero complex that many players tend to devolve to when pressure arises. This is essentially the story of Detroit-Marist today:
- Will Marist come correct with the appropriate level of focus or will they have a brain fart like they did against Manhattan last week?
- Will Detroit play with poise in the attack box and on its clear or will the Titans turn the ball over -- in unforced and forced varieties -- at a rate that ruins the totality of opportunities that Detroit has to score?
- Will the Titans play undisciplined ball and give the Red Foxes significant man-down opportunities? And will Marist take advantage of these opportunities?
- When the ball is on the ground, which team will get its head down and dominate loose possessions? Which team will bring full-field effort?