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Big East Efficiency Margins, 2-1-11

In conjunction with the U Conn Blog's weekly power rankings, here is the updated efficiency margins for Big East teams in conference play, unweighted.

Team
W
L
O Eff
D Eff
Eff Margin
Pittsburgh
8
1
116.0
98.8
17.2
West Virginia
5
3
107.1
98.6
8.5
Marquette
5
4
117.6
109.3
8.3
Villanova
5
3
111.1
103.0
8.1
Connecticut
5
3
104.8
99.3
5.5
Louisville
6
3
104.0
98.6
5.4
Georgetown
6
4
106.6
103.8
2.8
Cincinnati
5
4
100.9
98.4
2.5
Syracuse
5
4
105.9
104.4
1.5
Notre Dame
6
3
105.7
106.1
-0.4
Seton Hall
4
6
96.4
99.4
-3.0
Rutgers
3
6
101.6
108.1
-6.5
South Florida
2
7
101.4
109
-7.6
Providence
2
7
99.5
107.6
-8.1
St. John's
4
5
95.3
103.9
-8.6
DePaul
0
8
92.6
116.8
-24.2

Some teams are coming back to the pack, in the aftermath of the Rankocalypse that happened over the weekend. But the West Virginia Mountaineers continue to hang near the top of the league in efficiency margin. Of course, they still have a home-and-away against the Pittsburgh Panthers, another game against Louisville, and both Villanova and Syracuse away from Morgantown's friendly mountain confines to show how good they really are. But the 'Eers are showing a stingy defense, and maybe a little comeback ability in the league standings. They might make the NCAA Tournament after all!

Also of interest is Notre Dame's winning conference record despite a slightly negative efficiency margin. Which means they can win close (or demolish Georgetown + St. John's), but when things go wrong, the whole Irish system falls apart. The Irish have had a week off, and return to action on Thursday at DePaul. A nice long break for the Fighting Irish.

The Seton Hall Pirates with now-healed guard Jeremy Hazell is a bit of a worry to their upcoming teams - they can explode on anyone, and their defensive efficiency in conference improved from 101.9 points per 100 possessions to 99.4; their last 3 opponents (Rutgers, Syracuse, Providence) haven't been able to cross the 1 point per possession threshold. Defense in Newark/ South Orange? Who's heard of such a thing?!

Speaking of oranges, the Syracuse Orange defense has really fallen off. In a week. Last week's in-conference defensive efficiency was 99.6. This week = 104.4. their issue wasn't this past weekend... it's been the last 2 weeks, a fortnight of falling apart.

St. John's blasting of Duke will hopefully be followed by a better offensive effort; they will need scoring to fight into the middle of the standings. The Johnnies, by efficiency margin, are the second-worst team in the Big East. They aren't really that poor of a team. The early schedule has been difficult, and when they're not in control of a game, the Red Storm are REALLY not in control - kind of like the Fighting Irish - and the final score gets a little lopsided.

Either the defenses are getting better, or the offenses are struggling with midterms. Four teams were holding opponents under 1 point per possession (or 100 points per 100 possessions) last week. This week, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Cincinnati are joined by West Virginia, Louisville and Seton Hall in the stingy defense club.