The Non-Conference Opponents/RPI Update Thread

Anything and everything that is UMass Minutemen Basketball.
The Truth
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Post by The Truth » Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:57 pm

MassMan06 wrote:After today's game we play only two teams with an RPI under 138. Granted that is subject to change but still pretty favorable considering we stand at #49.
You are making a big mistake if you are looking to the RPI to tell you anything about the actual power of any team or the probable results of any future games. The only significance of the RPI is on selection Sunday because that is when the moronic NCAA uses it to seed teams in the tournament. Other than that, it is useless.

If you want to find some power ratings that will actually tell you something about how good a team has played to date or what the probable outcome of future games will be, check out Sagarin or Massey or Greenfield at http://www.teamrankings.com/ncb/.

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MassMan06
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Post by MassMan06 » Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:36 pm

Tonight

#3 Wake Forest (15-1)
Florida State (9-8)

Update:

Wake Forest - 83
Florida State - 91

Incredible game. FSU led by 14 at the half but Wake Forest kept fighting until the end. With Wake down 76-73, Taron Downy hit a three and was fouled with 4 seconds left. Up until that point Wake Forest had hit 50 consecutive free throws (an NCAA record) but Downey's FT went in and out. FSU took control in overtime and had three guys w/ 20+ pts.
Last edited by MassMan06 on Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeUMA
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Post by MikeUMA » Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:25 pm

Florida State looked very impressive tonight, in the overtime win, 91-83. It was 76 all to start the extra frame.

Their kid Thornton reminded me a lot of Kit Rhymer, but with more of a mid-range shot.

There's another game to look forward to on our schedule.

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Post by DS Bruce Robertson » Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:44 pm

The Truth wrote:
MassMan06 wrote:After today's game we play only two teams with an RPI under 138. Granted that is subject to change but still pretty favorable considering we stand at #49.
The only significance of the RPI is on selection Sunday because that is when the moronic NCAA uses it to seed teams in the tournament. Other than that, it is useless.
Yeah, it's much more important to do well in rankings that are completely irrelevant unless you pathologically need to try to win arguments about the unprovable on the internet than to impress the NCAA selection committee.
You know, say what you will about America, 13 bucks still gets you a hell of a lot of mice.

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Post by DS Bruce Robertson » Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:46 pm

RPI: #52 SOS: #6
You know, say what you will about America, 13 bucks still gets you a hell of a lot of mice.

The Truth
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Post by The Truth » Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:55 pm

DS Bruce Robertson wrote:
The Truth wrote:
MassMan06 wrote:After today's game we play only two teams with an RPI under 138. Granted that is subject to change but still pretty favorable considering we stand at #49.
The only significance of the RPI is on selection Sunday because that is when the moronic NCAA uses it to seed teams in the tournament. Other than that, it is useless.
Yeah, it's much more important to do well in rankings that are completely irrelevant unless you pathologically need to try to win arguments about the unprovable on the internet than to impress the NCAA selection committee.
Couldn't let it go, could you? :twisted:

First of all, the NCAA now uses other ratings in addition to the RPI so you are clearly ignorant on this subject. Second, if a team is good enough they don't need to impress the NCAA selection committee. They will get in easily and then all they need to do is win. Third, someone here was trying to use the RPI as an potential predictor of future games and not as an indicator of whether or not UMass will make the tourney. In that capacity it is quite easy to convince anyone that isn't dense or insecure that the RPI is a joke and that other rating systems are much better at measuring a team's power and ability to win future games.

Maybe you like the RPI because of the third grade math it employs. For anyone else that is looking for a real gauge on how their team is doing, people tend to turn to other sources. This might hurt but check out what a real power rating system looks like:

http://www.colleyrankings.com/matrate.pdf

or

http://teamrankings.com/description.php3

or

http://www.mratings.com/theory/sauceda.htm

Only if their team is on the bubble in March do fans of relevant power ratings turn back to the RPI.

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Post by nale » Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:30 am

The Truth wrote: Only if their team is on the bubble in March do fans of relevant power ratings turn back to the RPI.
You are correct Truth. That is exactly why some UMASS fans are interested in the RPI. Because if UMASS doesn't win the A10 tourney but has a good year like 20-10 or 19-11 chances are UMASS will be on the bubble. Basically if UMASS gets any consideration for an NCAA they will be a bubble team.
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Post by 78 » Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:03 am

http://collegerpi.com/

This guy has UMass at #51
Bamford has erased McCutcheon

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Post by MassMan06 » Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:11 pm

ESPN Insider RPI has us at 56 with SOS of 5.

They also have our non-conference RPI at 14 and on the Nitty Gritty Report they have us as the second to last team on the bubble for the NCAAs.

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Post by The Truth » Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:22 pm

nale wrote:
The Truth wrote: Only if their team is on the bubble in March do fans of relevant power ratings turn back to the RPI.
You are correct Truth. That is exactly why some UMASS fans are interested in the RPI. Because if UMASS doesn't win the A10 tourney but has a good year like 20-10 or 19-11 chances are UMASS will be on the bubble. Basically if UMASS gets any consideration for an NCAA they will be a bubble team.
Understood but the RPI is useless as an indicator of true power or as a predictor of future game results. If your only interest is whether or not you will make it into the NCAAs then the RPI is for you. If you want to get a measure on how good your team has played to date and what their chances are of beating the next team and/or by how much then the RPI is useless and irrelevant. MassMan06 seemed to be looking for the latter. As such, Greenfield, Sagarin, Massey and some others are far more relevant.

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Post by R&G » Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:53 pm

Greenfield has UMass winning 9 of the final 13 games.

http://teamrankings.com/ncb/umapower.php3

Which is the same as Pomeroy:

http://kenpom.com/sked.php?team=Massachusetts&t=p

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Post by UMass87 » Wed Jan 19, 2005 2:44 pm

Actually, Ken Pomeroy has UMass winning 8 of the final 13. He has not been a very good predictor of UMass this year. In fact, his predictions have been so bad that his predictions are probably negatively correlated with UMass' results.

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Post by The Truth » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:14 pm

UMass87 wrote:Actually, Ken Pomeroy has UMass winning 8 of the final 13. He has not been a very good predictor of UMass this year. In fact, his predictions have been so bad that his predictions are probably negatively correlated with UMass' results.
Pomeroy is not one of the better raters. Sagarin and Greenfield are very good. Massey is pretty good. Some others like Self and Colley are also pretty good.

Greenfield and Sagarin provide both predictive and "wins" ratings which turns out to be very informative. Some also provide measurements of standard deviation or stability which I would guess would be pretty high or low, depending on how you look at it, for UMass. For example, Pomeroy's rating of UMass' average performance might be fairly accurate. The average, however, does not give a good picture of a team that is winning games they should lose and losing games they should win. They fluctuate from playing great to poor but the final power rating only gives a measure of average performance. One number can't possibly give a complete picture for something like sports where there is some randomness to the results. For that you need at least two numbers reflecting both the mean and the standard deviation (instability/uncertainty). From that point predictions are statistical which is to say that Team A will beat Team B within some confidence interval. At this point, the margin of error for predicting the result of any UMass game is probably pretty high.

On the difference between "wins" ratings and "predictive" ratings, the former is good at measuring how well a team will do in a close game against similarly rated opponents and the latter is good at measuring a team's overall power and can be affected by how much a team plays up or down to much higher or lower rated teams. BC is an interesting case at this point. Their "wins" rating (See Sagarin's Elo-Chess) is quite high while their predictive rating is not that great. What this says is that BC tends to play down to lesser opponents and would be at risk for an upset in the early rounds of the NCAAs, for example. However, if they survive these potential scares, they might just be good enough to go all the way to the final four. In other words, if they survive week #1 they will likely survive week #2 as well.

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Post by R&G » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:50 pm

Truth - It's frightening that you find this stuff interesting. You must be a lot of fun to hang out with. If Pomeroy is not as Good as Greenfield, then why do they predict the exact same future wins for UMass with virtually the same margin in each case?

87 - Take a closer look. Pomeroy has UMass winning 9 of 13. The total at the bottom of the column does not reflect a sum of the predicted wins (the * explains it).

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Post by econalum » Wed Jan 19, 2005 4:05 pm

If I read the Greenfield ratings right, he rates UMASS as a much better road than home team - anyone believe that? Or is the real UMASS dynamic more about overperforming after bad losses, and underperforming after good wins?

If that is the case, we need to employ mood rings and deploy valium to the fans.
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