Everything that's worth knowing about Maryland-Notre Dame in the semifinal round of the NCAA Tournament.
From 10,000 Feet
Date and Time: Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 3:30 ET
Location: Baltimore, M.D. (M&T Bank Stadium)
Winner Advances To Play?: The winner of Denver-Duke
Television/Internet: ESPN2 and WatchESPN have the broadcast
Game "Fun Factor": 4.26 (2/2 Semifinals)
log5 Victory Probabilities:
|HIGHER SEED||LOWER SEED||FAVORITE||UNDERDOG|
|(6) Notre Dame||(7) Maryland||(7) Maryland // 56.23%||(6) Notre Dame // 43.77%|
This is just on the edge of a toss-up game, but the Terps are the favorite going into their virtual home date against the Irish in the national semifinals. The teams split their meetings this season -- Maryland won the first after surging late against Notre Dame while the Irish capitalized on a flat tire from Mike Chanenchuk to win the meeting in the ACC Tournament -- and there is evidence kicking around that the script for Saturday may not follow what occurred at Arlotta Stadium or at PPL Park. In an all-things-are-neutral environment (equal possessions, etc.), the Irish may serve as the favorite, but the Terps' approach to 60 minutes of lacrosse may ultimately dictate the outcome of the game.
What's Your Deal?
NCAA Tournament First Round: Beat Cornell 8-7
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals: Beat Bryant, 16-8
Chances to Win the Whole Shebang: 26.10%
Stylistic Profile: Increasing doses of arsenic -- slow death
NCAA Tournament First Round: Beat Harvard, 13-5
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals: Beat Albany, 14-13 (OT)
Chances to Win the Whole Shebang: 17.64%
Stylistic Profile: A pony car -- lots of things to like, but not considered a supercar
Truncated Tempo-Free Profiles
|Adjusted Offensive Efficiency||35.38 (16)||38.24 (8)|
|Adjusted Defensive Efficiency||26.32 (9)||26.83 (11)|
|Possession Margin per 60 Minutes of Play||+8.19 (1)||+1.25 (22)|
|Adjusted Pythagorean Win Expectation||80.62% (5)||76.41% (6)|
|Downloadable Tempo-Free Profile (.pdf)||Maryland||Notre Dame|
It's hard to avoid: Maryland's hyper-elite possession margin value is a crushing force of emotionless hydraulic power. While the Terps get a huge chunk of their offensive possessions from faceoff wins -- the team draws at 64.20 percent (third nationally) and gets almost 43 percent of their offensive opportunities from faceoff wins (ninth nationally) -- Charlie Raffa's work at the dot isn't the sole reason for Maryland's possession dominance: The team clears at over 91 percent (fifth nationally) and are ninth nationally in riding rate at over 18 percent. The Terrapins excel at not only creating opportunities but also at maximizing them; Maryland is a possession-generating machine that dominates how their games unfold. To simply characterize Raffa as Maryland's primary possession factor misses the totality of the Terrapins' possession-generating activity: The team has generated 32 more clearing opportunities than faceoff wins and has 46 offensive opportunities attributable to opponent failed clears in 2014. Raffa obviously matters, but he's not the only piston in the engine. Maryland, in short, does everything that it needs to do to create an eight-possession advantage per 60 minutes of play.
- Both Maryland and Notre Dame have done an exceptional job at forcing their opponents to commit turnovers (but in different ways). Turnover rate influenced both team's efforts against each other earlier this season and the rate of giveaways -- either forced or unforced -- could impact the outcome of Saturday's meeting between the two programs. The profile of each team's defensive turnover profile is interesting, but the major takeaway is twofold: (1) Opponents commit a high rate of giveaways against Maryland and Notre Dame; and (2) Both Maryland and Notre Dame have dominated turnover margin. ENGAGE ILLUSTRATIVE TABLE:
OPPONENT TURNOVER PROFILE (AS OF MAY 19, 2014) METRIC MARYLAND NOTRE DAME Opponent Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities 50.63 (9) 50.49 (10) Opponent Unforced Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities 20.80 (57) 29.47 (2) Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities 29.82 (2) 19.47 (20) Turnover Margin +10.25 (2) +7.96 (5)
- The quality of shots a defense yields is often more important that the mere volume of shots that a defense permits. This fact shouldn't cause brains to leak from ears, but it's often forgotten in the context of how defenses perform. Maryland-Notre Dame may provide an interesting case study in that concept: Notre Dame has been a strong shooting team and are willing to share the ball but the Irish are facing one of the nation's better goaltenders; the Terrapins are a weaker shooting team compared to the Irish and don't share the ball a ton to create assisted goals, but Maryland is facing a keeper on an upward trend that has been uneven in spots this year. Accordingly, whether a team shoots well turns heavily on a prerequisite issue: What kind of shots is that team getting and taking?
DEFENSIVE SHOOTING PROFILE (AS OF MAY 19, 2014) METRIC MARYLAND NOTRE DAME Shots per Defensive Opportunity 1.17 (50) 1.02 (13) Shots on Goal per Defensive Opportunity 0.67 (39) 0.59 (14) Ratio of Shots on Goal to Total Shots per Defensive Opportunity 56.84% (20) 57.83% (27) Raw Defensive Shooting Rate 23.93% (5) 29.98% (51) Raw Defensive Shots on Goal Shooting Rate 42.11% (5) 51.84% (57) Defensive Assist Rate 15.79 (20) 16.31 (26)