2014-15 Season Analytical Writings

Overview of the Sweet 16 Field

In the 2015 Sweet 16, there are only 3 teams that have a better adjusted offensive efficiency than Kentucky's 1.202 ppp. Wisconsin (1.252 ppp), Duke (1.247 ppp), and Notre Dame (1.218 ppp). The average adjusted offensive efficiency of the Sweet 16 field is 1.162 ppp. Three Kentucky opponents have advanced into this year's Sweet 16. North Carolina has an offensive efficiency of 1.178 ppp; UCLA is at 1.120 ppp and Louisville is at 1.082 ppp. West Virginia, Kentucky's Sweet 16 opponent has an adjusted Offensive Efficiency (ppp) of 1.132 ppp, which is on par with UCLA offensively.

Defensively, Kentucky's 0.811 ppp is the best, not only in the Sweet 16 field, but nationwide for this season. This standard is about 0.04 ppp more efficient than the best defenses on record in the Pomeroy Era, which is about 3 points per game better defensively on average than the best of past years for a 70 possession game. The Sweet 16 average adjusted defensive efficiency is 0.925 ppp. North Carolina's defensive efficiency is 0.934 ppp; UCLA's defensive efficiency is 0.994 ppp; and Louisville's defensive efficiency is 0.875 ppp. West Virginia has an adjusted defensive efficiency of 0.931 ppp, which is on par with North Carolina's defense.

When these factors are combined into the adjusted Net Game Efficiency (ppp), Kentucky again leads the Sweet 16 field and the nation. At 0.391 ppp, only one national champion ended the season during the Pomeroy Era with a higher adjusted Net Game Efficiency (ppp), Kansas in 2008. The Sweet 16 field average is 0.237 ppp. UCLA is the lowest in the Sweet 16 at 0.126 ppp while Louisville is middle of the pack at 0.207 ppp. North Carolina's adjusted Net Game Efficiency (ppp) is 0.244 ppp. West Virginia is on par with Louisville at 0.200 ppp.

North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Gonzaga have very similar adjusted Net Game Efficiency (ppp) values in the 0.24 to 0.25 range. Michigan State, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Wichita State have similar values in the 0.20 to 0.21 range. Xavier, NC State and UCLA anchor the bottom of this group while Duke (0.299 ppp), Arizona (0.307 ppp), Wisconsin (0.329 ppp), and Kentucky (0.391 ppp) define the upper echelon of college basketball in 2015. Only 3 of these 4 can advance to the final four this year due to the placement of Wisconsin and Arizona in the same region.

Some very good teams were unable to survive into the Sweet 16. Villanova (0.315 ppp) and Virginia (0.311 ppp) were both worthy of the top tier of teams in 2015. The others who fell in the round of 32 were not particularly distinguished. Kansas (0.246 ppp) has similar performance levels as the North Carolina-Gonzaga group. Ohio State (0.209 ppp) is similar to the Michigan State-Louisville group.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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