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Giant killers and vulnerable giants with analysis of most vulnerable teams(espn insider)

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Giant killers and vulnerable giants with analysis of most vulnerable teams(espn insider)

There are two sides to every upset, and sometimes certain high seeds are particularly prone to getting knocked off early by a Giant Killer. Our model looks for trends among the teams that have flamed out early in the past, then searches for commonalities among this year's crop of Giants. Once the brackets are posted, we'll be able to generate the percentage chance of a GK victory by factoring in both teams' ratings. For now, if you're a fan of a double-digit seed, hope to see one of these 10 teams staring across from you on Selection Sunday.

GK RATING
Potential Giant Killers
Vulnerable Giants

GK RATING
Vulnerable Giants
Potential Giant Killers

The number listed next to each team represents its chance of being upset by a Giant Killer, with a score ranging from 1 (unlikely) to 100 (extremely likely).
CLOSE TABLE

Giants' Vulnerability
Team Rating
Wake Forest 45.4
Temple 45.2
Michigan State 39.1
Pittsburgh 38.9
Vanderbilt 37.0
Northern Iowa 36.1
California 35.2
Georgetown 33.9
Syracuse 33.0
New Mexico 28.1
Oklahoma State 27.0
Maryland 26.0
Baylor 26.0
Butler 24.9
Xavier 24.4
Louisville 23.5
Gonzaga 22.3
Kentucky 19.9
Tennessee 19.9
Virginia Tech 17.9
Texas 17.8
Ohio State 13.6
Missouri 9.8
Purdue 8.5
Texas A&M 8.3
Marquette 7.0
Kansas State 5.2
Kansas < 2.0
Wisconsin < 2.0
West Virginia < 2.0
BYU < 2.0
Villanova < 2.0
Duke < 2.0

CLOSE TABLE
GK RATING
Vulnerable Giants
Potential Giant Killers

The number listed next to each team represents its chance of becoming a Giant Killer, with a score ranging from 1 (unlikely) to 100 (extremely likely).
CLOSE TABLE

Potential Giant Killers
Team Rating
Murray State 94.9
Cornell 89.0
UNLV 82.6
St. Mary's 80.9
Utah St. 80.9
UTEP 76.0
Old Dominion 66.2
San Diego St. 65.6
Rhode Island 60.8
Sam Houston State 57.4
Siena 54.0
UAB 51.1
Dayton 48.7
Akron 43.9
Wofford 37.3
Weber State 34.0
Morgan State 31.7
Oakland 30.9
Tulsa 28.7
St. Louis 28.0
Pacific 27.4
Ohio 26.4
Montana 24.7
Stephen F. Austin 24.2
Nevada 24.0
Boston U. 22.0
Vermont 18.1
Louisiana Tech 15.4
New Mexico St. 14.4
Robert Morris 14.1
East Tennessee St. 8.2
Western Michigan 7.5
North Texas 5.2
Winthrop 2.4
Lehigh < 2.0
UCSB < 2.0
Delaware St. < 2.0
Cal State Fullerton < 2.0
Miami (OH) < 2.0
Arkansas-Pine Bluff < 2.0
Lafayette < 2.0
Hampton < 2.0
Alabama State < 2.0
Texas Southern < 2.0
Ball State < 2.0
South Carolina State < 2.0
MD-Eastern Shore < 2.0
Grambling < 2.0

CLOSE TABLE

Wake Forest (45.4 rating): The biggest question is whether Wake will even get to play a game as a Giant, seeing as the Demon Deacons now look like a double-digit seed (if they even make the NCAA tournament). But if they should happen to play a mid-major seeded at least five spots lower, they should be scared of a repeat performance of last year's first-round upset against Cleveland State. The Deacons have a host of weaknesses characteristic of slain giants, including poor 3-point shooting (31.3 percent) and a double-whammy on turnovers (forcing TOs on just 19.8 percent of opponent's possessions while giving it up on 21.2 percent of their own).

Temple (45.2): The Owls have been ranked all season and are likely to earn a top-five seed so, yes, they are a giant. And they're also in danger. While their defense is efficient (86.2 points per 100 possessions, sixth in the NCAA), they don't force turnovers (18.7 percent of opponents' possessions, 268th in the country). Add in average offensive rebounding and below-average 3-point shooting, and the Owls have a real problem generating points on demand.

Michigan State (39.1): Good luck trying to figure out the Spartans. Just like last year, the potential is there for a deep tourney run. But our upset-based model also flags them as a team that will be in early-round peril. Turnovers, at both ends, are the biggest problem. They give up the ball a lot (21.2 percent of possessions) and don't take it away as often (19.3 percent of opponents' possessions). Against an efficient mid-major, that could be a big problem, especially in a fast-paced game.

Pittsburgh (38.9): The Panthers have been a great story, entering the season with low expectations only to produce a record worthy of a top-four seed. But there was a reason to worry about Pitt before the season, and perhaps that's showing up in our model. Their plodding tempo (61.8 possessions per game, ranking 333rd) disguises the fact that they don't steal the ball (8.0 percent of opponent possessions, 307th) and don't generate turnovers (16.8 percent of opponent possessions, 333rd). Free throws make up more than half their scoring margin, which is a bad sign when trying to avoid an upset.

Vanderbilt (37.0): Wow! A whopping 76 percent of the Commodores' scoring margin is due to free throws -- that's exactly the type of stat that looks great over the course of a season, but could doom a team on a one-and-done scenario against a disciplined team or refs who call a loose game. The Commodores also do a poor job of generating extra possessions, both through forcing turnovers (19.6 percent of opponent possessions) and offensive rebounding (32.2 percent of misses, 194th in the nation).

Northern Iowa (36.0): Sure, the Panthers play in a mid-major conference, but having been ranked most of the season and with a high seed looming, they're a giant this year. (Ed. Note: We hear you, Northern Iowa fans. We know you'd rather not carry high expectations into the Big Dance. But you've been nationally ranked all but one week since January, have an RPI of 18 are are 28-4. In short, you're not sneaking up on anyone, and by the standards we've employed for five years, you're a Giant this year. After all, you've played like one.) Their weaker schedule raises some issues, though, as does an extremely poor offensive rebounding rate (31.6 percent). Throw in an offense that relies on free throws for 46 percent of its scoring margin, and there's reason to be wary.

California (35.2): Cal, like Wake, might not end up being seeded high enough to have the chance to lose to a GK. But the Bears' problems start at the defensive end, where they don't force turnovers (19.0 percent of opponent possessions, 252nd in the country) or block shots (6.5 percent of opponent shots, ranking 288th).

Georgetown (33.9): Terrific shooting makes the Hoyas' offense efficient, but they turn it over on a whopping 21.3 percent of possessions. Even worse, a number of those miscues result in live-ball turnovers; opponents get a steal on 11.3 percent of possessions. That's potentially a big problem against a mid-major that can play fast, force more possessions and get some easy baskets.

Syracuse (33.0): It's worth pointing out once again that this is not a referendum on a team's title chances, or even how it will perform against another highly ranked squad. But, for whatever reason, the model shows some similarities between this Syracuse team and previous GK victims. Like Big East rival Georgetown, the biggest problem is turnovers, particularly the live-ball kind: Opponents steal the ball from the Orange on 11.7 percent of possessions, leaving Cuse just 322nd in the country at protecting the ball. Also, there's that pesky weakness of the 2-3 zone -- offensive boards. Opponents rebound 35.2 percent of their own misses, and if Arinze Onuaku is forced out of the lineup due to his knee injury, that problem could get much worse. Does that mean the Orange are ripe to lose to a 16-seed in the first round? Probably not. But they could find themselves in trouble against a mid-major in the second round.

New Mexico (28.1): The Lobos have some defensive deficiencies that the right low seed could exploit. New Mexico allows its opponents to score 32.4 percent of their points from beyond the arc -- the national average is 27.0 -- which is dangerous for the risk/reward strategy that upset-minded teams should employ. They also force turnovers on just 20.8 percent of defensive possessions


gatorheels
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I stopped reading once I saw

I stopped reading once I saw BYU having a much much lower ranking then Kentucky.  Plus Texas, Tennessee, Virginia Tech... all lower rankings then Kentucky??? HAHAHA

Interesting stuff but way off...

another spectacular article from espn insider 

llperez
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true, i thought i would

true, i thought i would share this but after reading it myself, i probably shouldn't have. It's just typical opinion talk with zero basis.

gatorheels
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Nah...thanks for posting.
Nah...thanks for posting. Some of it is fairly accurate I think. I wonder what type of formula they used to come up with these ratings though.?
kanyedabest
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Q=MCB x UX i wud suppose :)

Q=MCB x UX i wud suppose :)

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