Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Washington, Again

The Cats pulled off a narrow win in Seattle.  In that game, both teams played very poorly on the offensive end of the floor.  Three point shooting was especially atrocious.  Expect both teams to shoot the ball better from long range.  Because the Cats pulled off a win on the road, you should expect them to be strong favorites at McKale, and that is the case.  Parenthetically, if you have never read any of Ken Pomeroy's work on home/road rematches, it is worth a look.  Also, most estimates for home court advantage in college hoops are around four points, so the general expectation is a seven to eight point swing for paired home and road games.

The statistical comparison between the two teams is similar to the last time around.  Both teams have declined slightly in offensive efficiency, but the Huskie defense has lapsed more.  The Cats are better across the board on the offensive side, with the sole exception of rebounding.  The Huskies are one of those rare teams that have turned the ball over more than we have.  Washington does have a slight height advantage, something I'm sure Mark Lyons will discover if he spends much time driving the ball toward Aziz N'Diaye in the lane.

The simulation looks favorably upon our chances.  It says we are 11 point favorites with a 79.2% chance of heading into the weekend with our 22nd win.  The most likely score is 73-62 (or maybe 61).  I would be remiss if I did not note that last week's simulation returned a bit of credibility to this exercise, missing the final score of the Utah game by only one point.  To get there required Utah to sink a last second uncontested three, but what the heck, I'll take it.  Finally, it was nice to see Terrence Ross win the NBA slam dunk title, even if that competition is only a shadow of its former self.

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