1/16 WAB: You Can’t Get What You Want

Till you know what you want:

The NCAA Tournament Committee is looking at modifying its selection process. They are having a meeting this weekend in Indianapolis. Let me refresh your memory on the attendees:

Ken Pomeroy: Founded KenPom.com, inspired much of the modern college basketball statistical revolution. Great invite.

Jeff Sagarin: The NCAA Tournament Committee has been referencing his work since as far back as 1984. Still producing solid work. Another great invite.

Ben Alamar: Director of sports analytics at ESPN. His stuff is proprietary (pretty much everything developed for ESPN is), but it’s clear he has a solid grasp of statistical analysis and should be a voice for positive change in the room.

Jerry Palm: CBS’s official bracketologist. Much taller than Joe Lunardi, so he can get a bit exasperated when people constantly confuse the two. I was initially skeptical of his inclusion on the basis that bracketology is used to predict the committee, and is not a tool to inform the committee. However, David Hess raised a good point:

In that sense, Palm provides an outside audit of the committee. He’s an outside observer who understands their process.

That brings me to Kevin Puaga. Kevin is the creator of the KPI. The KPI claims to measure resumes. Kevin notes that the KPI has done a better job of predicting NCAA selection and seeding than other ratings systems.

http://www.kpisports.net/2016/03/15/defining-the-accuracy-of-advanced-metrics-2016-edition/

Of course, Sagarin and KenPom aren’t trying to predict the field, they are trying to provide accurate power ratings. Kevin is trying to predict the field, which is why I note that the KPI is a measure of resumes as he sees the committee weighing them. So, let’s take a look at where the KPI stands right now:

http://www.kpisports.net/d-i_mbb/2016-17-d-mbb-kpi-rankings/

There are a few head scratchers. Minnesota being ahead of UCLA? The composite WAB has UCLA at 4.23, Minnesota at 1.83. That’s not even close. He has Pittsburgh a hair ahead of Wisconsin. Wisconsin stands at 2.79 composite WAB. Pittsburgh is at 0.11. How about TCU and VCU? He has TCU slightly ahead. I have TCU at 1.95 composite WAB, while VCU is 0.00. There are differences between how Sagarin and KenPom view various teams. Sagarin is more impressed with Wisconsin than KenPom is (2.93 to 2.65). KenPom is more impressed with VCU than Sagarin is (0.10 to -0.11). That’s a normal range of disagreement when comparing various resumes. KPI is out in left field. Of course, there is a ratings system that has Pittsburgh just ahead of Wisconsin and Minnesota ahead of UCLA:

http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/basketball-men/d1/ncaa-mens-basketball-rpi

Yes, Kevin Puaga hardwired a system designed to predict RPI-based decisions. That’s impressive. It also means that the KPI is not a measure of resume. It’s a measure of resume as viewed through the lens of the RPI. That’s why its ratings are such utter garbage when compared to an objective reality.

My concern with Kevin’s invite is that the committee wants to move on from the RPI to something that mimics it. That would be an utter disaster, and that’s why Kevin’s invite concerns me.

Oh, there is one more person invited: Andy Glockner. Every great undertaking deserves a great scribe, and the author of Chasing Perfection is a fine choice. He’s fairly knowledgeable about basketball and should be able to provide a helpful perspective to the proceedings.

The question for the committee is this: What does it want? If it wants a composite of power ratings, the KenPoms and Sagarin Ratings are a great place to start. If it wants a composite of resume ratings, a composite of WAB’s of the various respective power ratings seems a solid option. One thing I should note: Comparing and averaging rankings is a bad option when you can instead average the underlying ratings instead. When I computed the composite WAB, I didn’t average the WAB rankings, I averaged the WAB’s themselves. The magnitude of the differences matters.

So, this weekend hopefully we’ll get a better idea of what the committee wants: The 34 best teams, or the 34 most accomplished teams. The former is a better soundbite, but the latter respects the difference between a close win and a close loss.

Enough preamble: Here are the inaugural composite WABs:

Rank School WAB-KenPom WAB-Sagarin Composite WAB
1 Villanova 5.20 5.24 5.22
2 Baylor 5.10 5.14 5.12
3 Kansas 4.47 4.58 4.53
4 Gonzaga 4.46 4.39 4.43
5 UCLA 4.15 4.31 4.23
6 Butler 3.93 3.95 3.94
7 Creighton 3.92 3.90 3.91
8 Notre Dame 3.88 3.82 3.85
9 Louisville 3.77 3.93 3.85
10 North Carolina 3.57 3.52 3.55
11 Florida St. 3.35 3.28 3.32
12 Florida 3.27 3.20 3.24
13 Kentucky 3.14 3.29 3.22
14 Arizona 3.05 3.06 3.06
15 Virginia 2.92 2.86 2.89
16 West Virginia 2.82 2.76 2.79
17 Wisconsin 2.65 2.93 2.79
18 Cincinnati 2.53 2.55 2.54
19 Oregon 2.39 2.51 2.45
20 Maryland 2.38 2.50 2.44
21 TCU 1.88 2.02 1.95
22 Xavier 1.94 1.92 1.93
23 Saint Mary’s 1.89 1.83 1.86
24 Minnesota 1.84 1.81 1.83
25 Duke 1.81 1.73 1.77
26 USC 1.69 1.71 1.70
27 South Carolina 1.58 1.61 1.60
28 Purdue 1.34 1.39 1.37
29 Northwestern 1.34 1.30 1.32
30 UNC Wilmington 1.35 1.22 1.29
31 Nevada 0.70 0.72 0.71
32 SMU 0.63 0.69 0.66
33 Iowa St. 0.66 0.63 0.65
34 Middle Tennessee 0.69 0.57 0.63
35 Virginia Tech 0.52 0.74 0.63
36 Arkansas 0.55 0.52 0.54
37 Clemson 0.54 0.45 0.50
38 Dayton 0.53 0.37 0.45
39 Texas Tech 0.42 0.47 0.45
40 Wichita St. 0.19 0.27 0.23
41 Seton Hall 0.15 0.16 0.16
42 Michigan St. 0.18 0.10 0.14
43 Miami FL 0.04 0.20 0.12
44 Pittsburgh 0.14 0.07 0.11
45 Kansas St. 0.04 0.03 0.04
46 New Mexico St. 0.02 0.04 0.03
47 VCU 0.10 -0.11 -0.00
48 Valparaiso -0.05 0.01 -0.02
49 Marquette -0.12 -0.02 -0.07
50 Akron -0.04 -0.14 -0.09
51 Illinois St. -0.13 -0.09 -0.11
52 Oklahoma St. -0.25 -0.06 -0.16
53 California -0.42 -0.46 -0.44
54 Wake Forest -0.33 -0.59 -0.46
55 Georgia Tech -0.54 -0.55 -0.55
56 UCF -0.58 -0.58 -0.58
57 Georgia -0.55 -0.62 -0.59
58 Chattanooga -0.48 -0.70 -0.59
59 College of Charleston -0.53 -0.66 -0.60
60 Illinois -0.69 -0.58 -0.64
61 Indiana -0.63 -0.70 -0.67
62 Florida Gulf Coast -0.64 -0.92 -0.78
63 Michigan -0.79 -0.84 -0.82
64 Belmont -0.92 -0.94 -0.93
65 Monmouth -0.88 -0.99 -0.94
66 UT Arlington -0.90 -1.05 -0.98
67 Houston -0.99 -1.00 -1.00
68 Utah -1.00 -0.99 -1.00
69 Vermont -0.93 -1.14 -1.04
70 Auburn -1.13 -0.98 -1.06
71 La Salle -1.01 -1.10 -1.06
72 East Tennessee St. -1.02 -1.16 -1.09
73 Mississippi St. -1.17 -1.20 -1.19
74 Winthrop -1.15 -1.31 -1.23
75 Boise St. -1.31 -1.35 -1.33
76 Nebraska -1.34 -1.32 -1.33
77 Providence -1.34 -1.33 -1.34
78 Ohio St. -1.31 -1.37 -1.34
79 Tennessee -1.28 -1.46 -1.37
80 Oakland -1.38 -1.38 -1.38
81 Rhode Island -1.38 -1.40 -1.39
82 Mississippi -1.37 -1.47 -1.42
83 Memphis -1.43 -1.47 -1.45
84 North Carolina St. -1.39 -1.51 -1.45
85 Fort Wayne -1.57 -1.58 -1.58
86 Alabama -1.60 -1.64 -1.62
87 UNC Greensboro -1.61 -1.86 -1.74
88 Arkansas St. -1.64 -1.90 -1.77
89 Penn St. -1.88 -1.80 -1.84
90 Georgetown -1.93 -1.90 -1.92
91 Iowa -2.01 -1.89 -1.95
92 UNC Asheville -1.88 -2.09 -1.99
93 Stanford -2.01 -2.08 -2.05
94 Bucknell -2.01 -2.18 -2.10
95 Ohio -2.04 -2.17 -2.11
96 Texas A&M -2.15 -2.26 -2.21
97 Louisiana Lafayette -2.13 -2.38 -2.26
98 Yale -2.32 -2.32 -2.32
99 Northeastern -2.27 -2.37 -2.32
100 Tennessee St. -2.41 -2.41 -2.41
101 BYU -2.38 -2.45 -2.42
102 Canisius -2.42 -2.57 -2.50
103 St. Bonaventure -2.41 -2.61 -2.51
104 Richmond -2.47 -2.55 -2.51
105 Eastern Michigan -2.48 -2.54 -2.51
106 Syracuse -2.51 -2.60 -2.56
107 Loyola Chicago -2.58 -2.54 -2.56
108 Harvard -2.59 -2.60 -2.60
109 Tulsa -2.65 -2.58 -2.62
110 Texas Southern -2.45 -2.81 -2.63
111 Princeton -2.60 -2.72 -2.66
112 UMBC -2.60 -2.73 -2.67
113 UAB -2.66 -2.76 -2.71
114 Temple -2.67 -2.75 -2.71
115 Georgia Southern -2.62 -2.90 -2.76
116 Davidson -2.74 -2.82 -2.78
117 North Dakota St. -2.72 -2.85 -2.79
118 Colorado -2.84 -2.73 -2.79
119 George Mason -2.85 -2.79 -2.82
120 Rutgers -2.85 -2.80 -2.83
121 Samford -2.71 -2.97 -2.84
122 LSU -2.92 -2.87 -2.90
123 Massachusetts -2.96 -3.01 -2.99
124 Sam Houston St. -2.93 -3.09 -3.01
125 Green Bay -2.97 -3.08 -3.03
126 New Hampshire -3.01 -3.07 -3.04
127 San Francisco -2.98 -3.17 -3.08
128 Vanderbilt -2.98 -3.24 -3.11
129 Oklahoma -3.10 -3.13 -3.12
130 Wyoming -3.14 -3.12 -3.13
131 San Diego St. -3.17 -3.19 -3.18
132 Old Dominion -3.13 -3.24 -3.19
133 Louisiana Tech -3.12 -3.30 -3.21
134 Arizona St. -3.23 -3.20 -3.22
135 Rice -3.18 -3.30 -3.24
136 Lehigh -3.16 -3.39 -3.28
137 Portland St. -3.29 -3.32 -3.31
138 Grand Canyon -3.33 -3.36 -3.35
139 Eastern Washington -3.38 -3.37 -3.38
140 New Mexico -3.33 -3.44 -3.39
141 William & Mary -3.38 -3.57 -3.48
142 Marshall -3.39 -3.58 -3.49
143 Central Michigan -3.48 -3.57 -3.53
144 Saint Joseph’s -3.55 -3.61 -3.58
145 Fresno St. -3.66 -3.63 -3.65
146 Georgia St. -3.65 -3.72 -3.69
147 Weber St. -3.72 -3.67 -3.70
148 Cal St. Bakersfield -3.73 -3.80 -3.77
149 Colorado St. -3.79 -3.76 -3.78
150 North Carolina Central -3.79 -3.78 -3.79
151 New Orleans -3.81 -3.85 -3.83
152 Northern Kentucky -3.91 -3.93 -3.92
153 Northern Illinois -3.95 -3.91 -3.93
154 Wright St. -3.93 -3.95 -3.94
155 San Jose St. -3.94 -4.00 -3.97
156 Missouri St. -3.96 -4.00 -3.98
157 Washington St. -4.00 -3.97 -3.99
158 Boston University -3.97 -4.02 -4.00
159 Southern Illinois -3.97 -4.06 -4.02
160 Ball St. -4.07 -4.07 -4.07
161 George Washington -4.09 -4.16 -4.13
162 Texas -4.16 -4.09 -4.13
163 Tennessee Martin -4.08 -4.21 -4.15
164 Texas A&M Corpus Chris -4.22 -4.35 -4.29
165 Nebraska Omaha -4.24 -4.34 -4.29
166 Jacksonville St. -4.24 -4.46 -4.35
167 Loyola Marymount -4.32 -4.39 -4.36
168 South Dakota -4.36 -4.46 -4.41
169 Iona -4.37 -4.47 -4.42
170 Denver -4.39 -4.47 -4.43
171 Washington -4.44 -4.45 -4.45
172 UC Irvine -4.46 -4.53 -4.50
173 Furman -4.44 -4.70 -4.57
174 Columbia -4.55 -4.62 -4.59
175 UNLV -4.64 -4.53 -4.59
176 Rider -4.56 -4.61 -4.59
177 Penn -4.54 -4.64 -4.59
178 Boston College -4.64 -4.54 -4.59
179 Little Rock -4.55 -4.68 -4.62
180 LIU Brooklyn -4.57 -4.74 -4.66
181 Fairfield -4.75 -4.84 -4.80
182 St. John’s -4.84 -4.79 -4.82
183 Toledo -4.72 -4.93 -4.83
184 Connecticut -4.95 -4.74 -4.85
185 North Dakota -4.84 -4.92 -4.88
186 Loyola MD -4.85 -4.92 -4.89
187 Portland -4.86 -4.94 -4.90
188 Brown -4.90 -4.96 -4.93
189 Houston Baptist -5.06 -5.07 -5.07
190 Gardner Webb -4.96 -5.21 -5.09
191 Saint Peter’s -5.13 -5.26 -5.20
192 Nicholls St. -5.16 -5.32 -5.24
193 Troy -5.21 -5.32 -5.27
194 Evansville -5.19 -5.36 -5.28
195 USC Upstate -5.22 -5.35 -5.29
196 Jacksonville -5.25 -5.35 -5.30
197 Utah St. -5.36 -5.28 -5.32
198 Elon -5.34 -5.41 -5.38
199 Montana -5.39 -5.37 -5.38
200 Charlotte -5.33 -5.45 -5.39
201 UC Davis -5.37 -5.41 -5.39
202 South Carolina St. -5.36 -5.51 -5.44
203 Coastal Carolina -5.35 -5.58 -5.47
204 Duquesne -5.44 -5.52 -5.48
205 Albany -5.41 -5.56 -5.49
206 Towson -5.37 -5.63 -5.50
207 Stony Brook -5.42 -5.60 -5.51
208 Kent St. -5.53 -5.55 -5.54
209 San Diego -5.53 -5.56 -5.55
210 Lamar -5.54 -5.56 -5.55
211 East Carolina -5.50 -5.65 -5.58
212 Utah Valley -5.60 -5.59 -5.60
213 Southeastern Louisiana -5.57 -5.64 -5.61
214 Santa Clara -5.64 -5.62 -5.63
215 DePaul -5.65 -5.64 -5.65
216 Texas St. -5.62 -5.71 -5.67
217 Radford -5.58 -5.78 -5.68
218 Western Michigan -5.78 -5.74 -5.76
219 Buffalo -5.73 -5.81 -5.77
220 Holy Cross -5.76 -5.94 -5.85
221 Illinois Chicago -5.95 -5.93 -5.94
222 Liberty -5.88 -6.02 -5.95
223 South Alabama -5.87 -6.03 -5.95
224 Northern Iowa -6.04 -5.92 -5.98
225 Murray St. -5.92 -6.05 -5.99
226 Stephen F. Austin -5.95 -6.02 -5.99
227 Northern Colorado -6.12 -6.23 -6.18
228 Campbell -6.12 -6.24 -6.18
229 Hawaii -6.30 -6.35 -6.33
230 Seattle -6.34 -6.31 -6.33
231 Western Kentucky -6.34 -6.35 -6.35
232 Mount St. Mary’s -6.31 -6.42 -6.37
233 Hofstra -6.28 -6.49 -6.39
234 Fairleigh Dickinson -6.43 -6.47 -6.45
235 Appalachian St. -6.46 -6.55 -6.51
236 IUPUI -6.47 -6.57 -6.52
237 Northwestern St. -6.60 -6.55 -6.58
238 Indiana St. -6.63 -6.55 -6.59
239 NJIT -6.58 -6.65 -6.62
240 UTSA -6.62 -6.62 -6.62
241 Air Force -6.62 -6.64 -6.63
242 Mercer -6.52 -6.76 -6.64
243 UMKC -6.71 -6.72 -6.72
244 Cal St. Northridge -6.77 -6.69 -6.73
245 Pacific -6.77 -6.74 -6.76
246 Lipscomb -6.79 -6.84 -6.82
247 Wagner -6.88 -6.91 -6.90
248 South Florida -6.86 -6.94 -6.90
249 Miami OH -6.91 -6.90 -6.91
250 Bowling Green -6.92 -7.03 -6.98
251 Bradley -7.03 -6.99 -7.01
252 Wofford -6.88 -7.17 -7.03
253 Army -6.97 -7.08 -7.03
254 Idaho -7.01 -7.04 -7.03
255 Siena -6.92 -7.20 -7.06
256 Abilene Christian -7.03 -7.12 -7.08
257 Eastern Illinois -7.10 -7.11 -7.11
258 The Citadel -6.98 -7.33 -7.16
259 High Point -7.09 -7.27 -7.18
260 Long Beach St. -7.27 -7.13 -7.20
261 Cal St. Fullerton -7.27 -7.23 -7.25
262 Missouri -7.24 -7.27 -7.26
263 Incarnate Word -7.32 -7.38 -7.35
264 Binghamton -7.32 -7.52 -7.42
265 Morehead St. -7.41 -7.45 -7.43
266 Manhattan -7.52 -7.63 -7.58
267 UMass Lowell -7.58 -7.59 -7.59
268 Hampton -7.53 -7.70 -7.62
269 Fordham -7.58 -7.65 -7.62
270 Navy -7.56 -7.81 -7.69
271 McNeese St. -7.64 -7.73 -7.69
272 Morgan St. -7.69 -7.68 -7.69
273 Louisiana Monroe -7.64 -7.81 -7.73
274 Western Illinois -7.78 -7.85 -7.82
275 Quinnipiac -7.74 -7.96 -7.85
276 Longwood -7.88 -7.99 -7.94
277 Savannah St. -7.96 -7.91 -7.94
278 Western Carolina -7.79 -8.09 -7.94
279 Alcorn St. -7.95 -8.03 -7.99
280 Jackson St. -7.96 -8.07 -8.02
281 Youngstown St. -8.02 -8.03 -8.03
282 Saint Louis -8.05 -8.09 -8.07
283 Southern -8.02 -8.18 -8.10
284 UC Riverside -8.11 -8.10 -8.11
285 Drexel -8.11 -8.27 -8.19
286 St. Francis PA -8.22 -8.26 -8.24
287 North Texas -8.19 -8.39 -8.29
288 UC Santa Barbara -8.27 -8.32 -8.30
289 Grambling St. -8.35 -8.40 -8.38
290 Eastern Kentucky -8.38 -8.47 -8.43
291 South Dakota St. -8.48 -8.45 -8.47
292 Lafayette -8.43 -8.53 -8.48
293 VMI -8.38 -8.59 -8.49
294 Sacred Heart -8.50 -8.57 -8.54
295 Cornell -8.52 -8.55 -8.54
296 Howard -8.60 -8.53 -8.57
297 Delaware -8.51 -8.70 -8.61
298 Sacramento St. -8.67 -8.71 -8.69
299 Dartmouth -8.64 -8.76 -8.70
300 Florida Atlantic -8.72 -8.73 -8.73
301 North Florida -8.72 -8.73 -8.73
302 Charleston Southern -8.66 -8.82 -8.74
303 Cleveland St. -8.75 -8.80 -8.78
304 Cal Poly -8.87 -8.79 -8.83
305 Oral Roberts -8.83 -8.84 -8.84
306 Kennesaw St. -8.79 -8.93 -8.86
307 Tulane -8.87 -8.86 -8.87
308 Prairie View A&M -8.86 -9.00 -8.93
309 Robert Morris -8.86 -9.04 -8.95
310 Delaware St. -8.94 -9.06 -9.00
311 Austin Peay -9.07 -9.04 -9.06
312 Central Arkansas -9.04 -9.14 -9.09
313 Mississippi Valley St. -9.17 -9.08 -9.13
314 Norfolk St. -9.12 -9.18 -9.15
315 Bryant -9.10 -9.25 -9.18
316 UT Rio Grande Valley -9.16 -9.19 -9.18
317 Southern Miss -9.26 -9.28 -9.27
318 American -9.24 -9.42 -9.33
319 Stetson -9.32 -9.37 -9.35
320 Marist -9.34 -9.45 -9.40
321 Pepperdine -9.36 -9.47 -9.42
322 Maryland Eastern Shore -9.54 -9.48 -9.51
323 Southeast Missouri St. -9.65 -9.66 -9.66
324 Montana St. -9.59 -9.75 -9.67
325 Milwaukee -9.72 -9.76 -9.74
326 Detroit -9.74 -9.87 -9.81
327 Oregon St. -10.00 -9.89 -9.95
328 Idaho St. -10.05 -9.99 -10.02
329 Tennessee Tech -9.96 -10.10 -10.03
330 Drake -10.11 -9.99 -10.05
331 Chicago St. -10.05 -10.08 -10.07
332 James Madison -10.01 -10.30 -10.16
333 Alabama St. -10.13 -10.27 -10.20
334 Hartford -10.27 -10.39 -10.33
335 Maine -10.25 -10.44 -10.35
336 Presbyterian -10.35 -10.58 -10.47
337 UTEP -10.44 -10.50 -10.47
338 Niagara -10.57 -10.70 -10.64
339 Coppin St. -10.78 -10.75 -10.77
340 Florida A&M -10.84 -10.94 -10.89
341 SIU Edwardsville -10.95 -10.87 -10.91
342 Arkansas Pine Bluff -11.02 -11.03 -11.03
343 FIU -11.57 -11.77 -11.67
344 Southern Utah -11.71 -11.76 -11.74
345 Colgate -11.72 -11.75 -11.74
346 Bethune Cookman -11.73 -11.84 -11.79
347 St. Francis NY -11.85 -11.95 -11.90
348 Northern Arizona -11.97 -11.96 -11.97
349 Central Connecticut -12.65 -12.70 -12.68
350 Alabama A&M -12.90 -12.90 -12.90
351 North Carolina A&T -13.40 -13.49 -13.45

 

 

 

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