Everything that's worth knowing about Richmond-Air Force in the play-in round of the NCAA Tournament.
Update: May 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm. Changed a method on the probabilities. Updated probabilities table, associated tables, and downloadable profile .pdf's.
From 10,000 Feet
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 6, 2014 at 9:00 ET
Location: Colorado Springs, C.O.
Winner Advances To Play?: Duke on May 11, 2014 at 5:15 ET
Television/Internet: Air Force will provide a stream for the game. No television.
Game "Fun Factor": 2.70 (first of two play-in games)
log5 Victory Probabilities:
|Air Force||Richmond||Air Force // 77.64%||Richmond // 22.36%|
Richmond-Air Force is the more lopsided of the two play-in games. It may or may not be important to note the following facts, though: The Spiders -- way back at the beginning of the season -- put a scare into Virginia, walking away with a 12-13 loss (the Cavaliers were the best team that Richmond faced this season); the Falcons, back in early March, dropped a 4-6 decision against a significantly inferior VMI team. Air Force is about a six-goal favorite against Richmond, but anything can happen (whether it does is a different issue).
What's Your Deal?
NCAA Tournament Appearances: One (First)
NCAA Tournament Bid Type: Automatic Qualifier (Atlantic Sun)
Record: 6-10 (2-3, Atlantic Sun)
Combustibles: Mitchell Goldberg (A) (31G, 9A); Brad Burnam (A) (14G, 23A); Benny Pugh (G) (53.8 SV%); Jackson Cabot (LSM) (51G, 25CT)
NCAA Tournament Appearances: Three (Last: 1988)
NCAA Tournament Bid Type: Automatic Qualifier (ECAC)
Record: 10-5 (3-1, ECAC)
Combustibles: Mike Crampton (A) (41G, 16A); Keith Dreyer (A) (17G, 28A); Erik Smith (M) (22G, 14A); Kyle O'Brien (LSM) (49GB, 14 CT)
Truncated Tempo-Free Profiles
|Adjusted Offensive Efficiency||27.72 (53)||36.45 (12)|
|Adjusted Defensive Efficiency||29.97 (29)||29.60 (28)|
|Possession Margin per 60 Minutes of Play||-5.10 (61)||+0.67 (31)|
|Adjusted Pythagorean Win Expectation||36.41% (51)||66.53% (16)|
|Downloadable Tempo-Free Profile (.pdf)||Richmond||Air Force|
Here's the good news for Richmond: If the Spiders get pounded in possession margin, it'll be Richmond's defense -- the team's relative strength -- that will dictate the team's fortunes against a solid Air Force team. Here's the bad news for Richmond: If the Spiders get pounded in possession margin, Richmond's defense will need to deal with Air Force's offense -- the team's relative strength -- while trying to hold the line.
- This is a different class of competition for the Spiders. Richmond has played three teams this season -- Virginia, St. Joseph's, and Bryant -- holding a Pythagorean win expectation value of at least 55 percent. The Spiders have fought well in those games -- Richmond fell by one at home against the Cavaliers; Richmond hung around with the Bulldogs until Bryant pushed late in regulation; and the Spiders jumped on the Hawks early but faded in the second half -- but were ultimately unable to bag a big kill. This isn't the Atlantic Sun, a conference that ranked dead last nationally in overall conference strength. This is the NCAA Tournament, where the competition is strong and focus remains even. That means doing the little things better than Air Force in a pressurized spot:
THE LITTLE THINGS (AS OF MAY 5, 2014) METRIC RICHMOND AIR FORCE Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities 55.69 (62) 38.38 (7) Turnover Margin -5.69 (55) +8.75 (6) Run-of-Play Groundballs per 100 Possessions 32.08 (7) 27.07 (33) Run-of-Play Groundballs Margin +2.44 (17) -0.33 (34) Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 51.98% (64) 33.26% (8)
- Air Force's offensive shooting profile -- the grease that keeps the 12th-ranked offense in the nation moving -- is interesting:
AIR FORCE'S SHOOTING PROFILE (AS OF MAY 5, 2014) METRIC AIR FORCE RANK Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.34 1 Shots on Goal per Offensive Opportunity 0.72 8 Ratio of Shots on Goal to Total Shots per Offensive Opportunity 53.60% 62 Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 28.32% 33 Raw Shots on Goal Shooting Rate 52.84% 12 Assists per 100 Offensive Opportunities 21.94 8 Opponent Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 28.79 60 Opponent Save Percentage 47.16% 12 MARYLAND'S SHOOTING PROFILE (AS OF MAY 5, 2014) METRIC MARYLAND RANK Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.23 4 Shots on Goal per Offensive Opportunity 0.73 6 Ratio of Shots on Goal to Total Shots per Offensive Opportunity 58.61% 35 Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 28.95% 22 Raw Shots on Goal Shooting Rate 49.39% 28 Assists per 100 Offensive Opportunities 17.36 34 Opponent Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 36.70 55 Opponent Save Percentage 50.61% 28