Big East efficiency margins, 2-15-11: a look at the end of the Big East season

Captain of the Dread Ship Panther, Jamie Dixon

This is almost getting rote, formulaic. Pittsburgh is clearly the class of the league in tempo-neutral stats and in the SB Nation Big East power rankings, hosted by the U Conn Blog (check them out). The difference in efficiency margins between the Panthers and the next-best pair, Notre Dame and Villanova, is also about the difference between Marquette and Seton Hall's efficiency margins.

Which is the say the middle of the Big East is mutable. There are 12 teams jockeying for NCAA consideration; Blogging the Bracket has 11 Big East teams in the NCAA Tourney, as do other bracketology sources. The last three weeks of the season will be very dramatic, and teams that are down can be up; Providence is a difficult team, and Rutgers plays hard enough to knock a good team off balance.

This is sweet parity! Something the Big East has lacked since the poaching of Conference USA schools.

Is the parity because these are all great teams that will go far in the NCAA Tournament? Or are these all good teams that will struggle to get to the second weekend of the Tourney?

There's a lot of good offense in the league, but is Pittsburgh's defense elite enough to get them to the Final Four? Are they only dominant in this schoolyard? The Panthers do a lot well, but they're not spectacular at much besides offensive rebounding, which can be neutralized by a big front line. Is being solid across the board enough to get them close to a national championship?

Food for thought.

Below is the weekly chart of efficiency margins (data borrowed from Statsheet, and I promise to give it back). I've added the median Pomeroy rankings of each team's upcoming schedule - averages skewed too much in favor of teams that play South Florida or DePaul - to help inform the team-by-team look at the last weeks of each program's season.

 

Team
W
L
Pos/G
Offensive Efficiency
Defensive Efficiency
Efficiency Margin
Median Pom Rk, upcoming schedule
Pittsburgh
11
1
63.6
113.4
97.8
15.6
34.5
Villanova
7
5
64.8
112.1
104.2
7.9
29.5
Notre Dame
10
3
63.2
111.3
103.6
7.7
27
Marquette
6
6
65.3
112.9
108.3
4.6
51
Georgetown
9
4
64.0
107.3
102.9
4.4
34
Syracuse
8
6
64.9
105.4
101.1
4.3
45
West Virginia
7
6
62.3
105.2
101
4.2
21
Louisville
8
4
68.0
106
102.1
3.9
30.5
Connecticut
7
5
67.3
102.6
99.5
3.1
25
Cincinnati
6
6
62.5
101.1
100.7
0.4
22
Seton Hall
5
8
68.0
94.6
98
-3.4
28
St. John's
7
5
65.5
98.3
102.2
-3.9
44
Rutgers
4
9
64.1
102.5
108.6
-6.1
27
Providence
3
9
71.4
100
107.9
-7.9
28
South Florida
2
11
64.4
97.1
108.6
-11.5
14
DePaul
0
12
65.3
96.6
118.8
-22.2
56.5

Pittsburgh Panthers (6 games): They have another game against Villanova - their toughest challenge - and TWO games against South Florida, a team that currently looks completely incapable of winning basketball games. Lucky them. It will skew their efficiency margins even higher. But are the Panthers that dominant?

Villanova Wildcats (6 games): The Wildcats have Pitt and Syracuse, a team that hopes their ship is a little more righted after last night's win. They also face Notre Dame in South Bend, which could be a loss; St. John's at home; and DePaul, Seton Hall on the road.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5 games); The Irish's five games include a road game at West Virginia, a road game at Providence, Villanova at home, Seton hall at home, and Connecticut away.

Marquette Golden Eagles (6 games): Buzz Williams' group has road games against Connecticut and Seton Hall, which could be tough - especially with how the Pirates are playing defense. But they get Seton Hall at home as well, and have a number of chances to improve against that middle of the league, with home games against St. John's, Cincinnati.

Georgetown Hoyas (5 games): The Hoyas have a second game against the Syracuse Orange, at home. They also have a home-and-away against Cincinnati, and road trips to Connecticut and South Florida.

Syracuse Orange (4 games): Syracuse have a chance to turn their record around - they only have 4 more games on their schedule. And two of them are Rutgers and DePaul at home. With Villanova and Georgetown away, the Orange also have a chance for an attention-grabbing road win.

West Virginia Mountaineers (5 games): The 'Eers have one of the league's toughest stretches tough stretch - Notre Dame, Connecticut, and Louisville at home, Rutgers and Pittsburgh away. They won't be heavily favored in any of those games, even against pesky Rutgers.

Louisville Cardinals (6 games): The Cards face three opponents in six day stretch, but it's Cincinnati and Rutgers on the road and Connecticut at home - tough, but winnable. Pitt and West Virginia are also on the docket, along with Providence. I don't think they WILL win out, but they could.

Connecticut Huskies (6 games): Connecticut have a number of chances for wins against winning teams... because they're only playing good teams. The Walking Kembas have Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame at home; Louisville, Cincinnati, and West Virginia away.

Cincinnati Bearcats (6 games): With home-and-away matches against Georgetown, home games against Connecticut and Louisville, and road games against Providence and Marquette, the Bearcats can get to 9-9 in the league. But with their weak early schedule, Cincy might want to get to 10 or 11 wins for NCAA consideration, which would mean beating four or five of those teams, at least. The Bearcats could realistically win only 2 of the 6 and enjoy a nice trip to the NIT with 21 wins.

Seton Hall Pirates (5 games): It's really too bad that Seton Hall had so many out of conference losses, because they've been much more competitive in conference play with time and Jeremy Hazell. But at 11-14 with five games to play, Seton Hall won't have the winning record needed to get to the NIT, barring a serious Big East Tournament run. They also have home-and-away against Marquette, Notre Dame away, and St. John's and Villanova at home; they may only be favored against St. John's. The Pirates will be interesting to watch - they could be a real spoiler.

St. John's Red Storm (6 games): St. John's has one of the easiest schedules of any of the Big East teams, with what should be wins against DePaul and South Florida. But they would have more confidence - and the media and fans would have more confidence - if the Johnnies could at least stay close to Pittsburgh and/ or Villanova, and maybe beat some Big East team by 10 or more points. It would be a let down to come out of the next six with only two wins.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5 games): Rutgers has three road games against Depaul, providence, and Syracuse. along with two home games against Louisville and West Virginia. Two wins gets them to .500 in the conference, and they have been tough; here's hoping they get those, and a win in the Big East Tournament, and get some NIT play for their seniors who have worked so hard.

Providence Friars (6 games): Providence could be a team to watch out for in the last three weeks of the season. The Marshon Brooks-powered squad has games against the beatable DePaul and Rutgers at home, Louisville and Marquette on the road, along with Cincinnati and Notre Dame at home. They could get 3 more Big East wins and slip into the NIT.

South Florida Bulls (5 games): The Bulls face DePaul for a chance at their only true road win this season. Here's hoping the Blue Demons - who are doing many things right - turn over South Florida repeatedly and win that one at home. It's a bleak season.

DePaul Blue Demons (6 games): The Blue Demons' best chance for a victory is Saturday, February 26th when they host South Florida. They're having the bleakest season, but their freshmen deserve to see a win.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Rumble In The Garden

You must be a member of Rumble In The Garden to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rumble In The Garden. You should read them.

Join Rumble In The Garden

You must be a member of Rumble In The Garden to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rumble In The Garden. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker