Saturday, February 9, 2013

The University of California, Berkeley

Remember the days of the big three?  Those would be Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, and Nic Wise.  That phrase suggested that the Wildcats were dependent on those three guys, as if the rest of the team was just background noise.  Similarly, the California Golden Bears have the "big two" in Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe.   The graph below shows the percentage of points that have been scored by the top two players for every team in the Pac, and Cal is easily leading the way, or in the caboose, depending on you see such things.

I prefer to see this as a disadvantage, as it allows you to key on a couple of guys defensively.  This is no secret, and every team trys to do so when facing the Bears.  The Cats are on the other side of the distribution, ranking ninth.  The Oregon Ducks easily have the most evenly distributed scoring of any team in the league.

Compared to Cal, the Cats have been better in nearly every category.  We are better in shooting, offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, rebounding, and depth.  The Bears have turned the ball over slightly less and are taller by a smidgeon.   Played at McKale, Arizona would be predicted to be strong favorites, and the simulation says as much.

It gives us an 83.6% chance of victory as 13 point favorites with a 1.7% chance of overtime.  The most likely score is 73 to 60.  If we can shut down any Cal  Bear players with one C and two B's in their last names, I think we could win by more.  If not, I would still expect a win, probably in the double digits.  Parenthetically, I think I'll be in Boulder next Thursday for the second game against the Buffs.  Given what happened in Tucson the last time we played Colorado, it should be interesting.  No doubt the crowd is going to be fired up.

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