Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Few Parting Thoughts on FGCU

Florida Gulf Coast University captivated the nation en route to being the first ever 15 seed to go to the Sweet 16.  A conversation I had a while back with Iona College assistant coach Zak Boisvert, piqued my interest in wanting to look into the numbers about tempo and its effect on win percentage.  In other words, if the game tempo is closer to your pace than your opponents do you have a better chance to win?  I thought Florida Gulf Coast would be a great case study.

In games where the tempo was played closer to Florida Gulf Coast's style than their opponents, they went 9-1 on the year.  In games where the pace was closer to their opponents than their own, they went 8-4.  When the opponent had a pace very similar to FGCU, they went 7-6.  As the chart indicates FGCU sped teams up to a faster pace than they averaged in both wins and losses.  This shows no evidence for the basketball cliche that controlling tempo wins games.

I was just perusing through their numbers, and also found their turnover discrepancy interesting.  It likely is this way for most teams, but FGCU had an 19.0 turnover percentage in wins, and a 25.2 turnover percentage in losses.  They went 1-5 this year in games where they had a turnover percentage of 25 or higher.

Regardless, it was an awesome run and one that I will most definitely be telling my kids about.  With three 15 seeds winning first round games the past two years and one getting to the Sweet 16, maybe next year is the year we see a 16 seed beat a 1 seed.

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