Does the Slipper Fit? 2016 Version of Potential 1st Round Upsets

NOTE:  This is last year’s blog, which has been updated with 2015 numbers and 2016 projections.

When looking for possible upsets to pencil in the bracket, there are multiple sets of metrics to sort through.  I prefer the KenPom offensive and defensive efficiency rankings when making the decision on what upsets are most likely.  Of course, this tournament is so unpredictable and that’s what makes it fantastic.  I have compiled data on the 12-15 seed upsets for the last 5 years to give the few of you who actually read this a little more information to find Cinderella.

(Note: O-EF is offensive efficiency, D-EF is defensive efficiency, DOG is the underdog’s added rankings, and FAV is the favorite’s added rankings).

2014 O-EF D-EF O-EF D-EF DOG FAV
12 Harvard 47 34 5 Cincinnati 110 8 81 118
12 SF Austin 38 102 5 VCU 107 6 140 113
12 NDSU 29 131 5 Oklahoma 16 91 160 107
14 Mercer 76 119 3 Duke 2 116 195 118
2013 O-EF D-EF O-EF D-EF DOG FAV
12 Oregon 94 10 5 Ok State 68 15 104 83
12 Ole Miss 31 63 5 Wisconsin 108 1 94 109
14 Harvard 73 145 3 New Mexico 53 18 218 71
15 FGCU 104 109 2 G’Town 78 2 213 80
12 Cal 100 38 5 UNLV 135 11 138 146
13 LaSalle 36 99 4 Kansas St 15 56 135 71
2012 O-EF D-EF O-EF D-EF DOG FAV
12 VCU 102 19 5 Wichita St 14 31 121 45
15 Lehigh 71 102 2 Duke 10 81 173 91
15 Norfolk St 181 177 2 Missouri 1 146 358 147
12 S. Florida 169 4 5 Temple 27 104 173 130
13 Ohio 88 40 4 Michigan 19 61 128 80
2011 O-EF D-EF O-EF D-EF DOG FAV
12 Richmond 36 59 5 Vandy 12 129 95 141
13 Morehead St 117 73 4 Louisville 55 3 190 58
2015 O-EF D-EF O-EF D-EF DOG FAV
14 Georgia St 56 102 3 Baylor 13 32 158 45
14 UAB 129 128 3 Iowa State 7 82 257 89

Some notes:

*There have been 19 such upsets in the last five years.

*Of the 19 upsets, 17 of the higher-seeded teams had either an offensive or defensive efficiency outside of the Top 50.  Wichita St. in 2012 and Baylor last year were the only 1-5 seeded teams to lose in the last five years with both a Top 50 offense and defense.

*Of the 19 upsets, 17 of the teams had a combined ranking of 225 or less.  The only outliers:  Norfolk State in 2012 with a combined ranking of 358, and UAB last year with a combined ranking of 257.

*Only two of the upsets featured lower-seeded teams with an offensive or defensive efficiency ranking outside the Top 150. (Norfolk St. in 2012, and S. Florida in 2012).

*Looking at the higher seeds that have lost in the last five years, the majority of them were not balanced.  All but one team (Temple in 2012) had either a Top 20 ranked offense or defense.

*No 12 or 13 seeds won last year…look for that to change this year.

2015 Efficiency Ratings

2015 O-EF D-EF O-EF D-EF DOG FAV
12 UT-Chatt 149 77 5 Indiana 7 66 226 73
12 S. Dakota St 79 108 5 Maryland 26 37 187 63
12 Yale 92 21 5 Baylor 13 72 113 85
12 UALR 85 35 5 Purdue 21 18 120 39
13 Stony Brook 131 61 4 Kentucky 1 70 192 71
13 Iona 60 119 4 Iowa State 3 100 179 103
13 Hawaii 105 41 4 California 47 15 146 62
13 UNC-Wilm 74 105 4 Duke 6 111 179 117
14 SF Austin 65 29 3 WVU 23 6 94 29
14 Buffalo 148 148 3 Miami 12 44 296 56
14 Fresno St 124 101 3 Utah 27 51 225 78
14 Green Bay 96 168 3 Texas A&M 36 12 264 48
15 CS Bakersfield 198 25 2 Oklahoma 20 11 223 31
15 MTSU 197 71 2 Michigan St 2 19 268 21
15 Weber St 184 92 2 Xavier 18 36 276 54
15 UNC-Ash 190 60 2 Villanova 11 7 250 18

Higher-Seeded Teams at Risk

Five matchups feature higher seeds with at least one sub Top 50 efficiency rating and lower seeds with a combined ranking of 225 or less.

12 Yale vs 5 Baylor
13 Stony Brook vs 4 Kentucky
13 UNC-Wilmington vs 4 Duke
13 Iona vs 4 Iowa State
14 Fresno State vs 3 Utah

The strongest overall teams in the 12-15 seed range (according to combined efficiency ranking) include: 1) SF Austin, 2) Yale, 3) UALR, and 4) Hawaii.

Most Likely Upsets

12 Yale over 5 Baylor – Baylor only has a +27 combined rating over Yale, who is going to try to slow this down to a snail’s pace with their Top 25 defensive efficiency.

13 Iona over 4 Iowa State – ISU’s defensive efficiency of 100 puts them in jeopardy, especially if Iona gets hot.  First team to 100 wins.

walkup

14 SF Austin over 3 WVU – Well, these numbers prove that Stone Cold was dramatically underseeded.  They have the best combined efficiency numbers of the 12-15 seeds.  Remember, they have won their last 9 games by 20+ points.

13 UNC Wilmington over 4 Duke – Duke doesn’t play defense and doesn’t have depth.  The Colonial is an underrated conference, and Wilmington has the motivation of playing an in-state opponent.

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One response to “Does the Slipper Fit? 2016 Version of Potential 1st Round Upsets

  1. Pingback: The Elite 8 (Best Games of the First Round) | HEAD VS GUT·

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