Saturday, March 29, 2014
Top stats to know: Saturday's Elite 8 games
By Ryan Feldman, ESPN Stats & Information
The Elite 8 gets underway this evening with two games. Here are some of the statistical storylines we’ll be following.
11 Dayton vs 1 Florida
If Dayton is going to advance to its second Final Four in school history (1967), the Flyers will have to find a way to score against a stout Florida defense. The Gators rank ninth in the country in defensive efficiency and have held 10 straight opponents below their season average in offensive efficiency.
The Flyers are 18-0 this season when they’re above their average in offensive efficiency compared to 8-10 when they’re below their average in that category.
The Flyers will also need to find a way to shut down the Gators offense. In Florida's five least efficient offensive performances this season, the Gators went 3-2. It was their only two losses of the season (at Wisconsin, at Connecticut).
The Flyers have held their three NCAA Tournament opponents -- Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford -- to an average of 14.1 points per 100 possessions below their average offensive efficiency.
Dayton is shooting 39 percent on 3-pointers in its last eight games, making seven 3-pointers per game during that span. Florida is holding opponents to 20 percent shooting on 3-point attempts over its last six games (since the start of the SEC Tournament). The Gators haven't allowed more than four 3-pointers made in any of their last eight games.
Dayton is averaging 16.7 transition points per game in its three NCAA Tournament games, including 20 against Ohio State and 21 against Stanford. Florida only allows 9.4 transition points per game this season, but allowed 24 against UCLA in the Sweet 16.
2 Wisconsin vs 1 Arizona
Offensive and defensive juggernauts collide when Wisconsin and Arizona meet tonight. Wisconsin ranks 11th in offensive efficiency, averaging 115.9 points per 100 possessions. Arizona is third in the country in defensive efficiency, allowing 89.9 points per 100 possessions.
The Badgers have played four games this season against teams ranked in the top 10 in defensive efficiency, going 3-1 in those games (lost to Ohio State; defeated Florida, Saint Louis and Virginia).
The Wildcats have held opponents below their season average in offensive efficiency in 36 of 37 games this season. In its last six games, Arizona has held its opponents to 18.6 points per 100 possessions below their season average in offensive efficiency.
If there’s one area to focus on, it might be the 3-point line. Wisconsin is shooting 41 percent on 3-pointers in its last six games and Arizona's defense has been susceptible to 3-point shooting, allowing opponents to shoot 39 percent on 3-pointers in its last nine games.
Switching the tables, Wisconsin will be challenged by an Arizona team that has been hot on the offensive end lately. The Wildcats are averaging 19.1 more points per 100 possessions than their opponents' season average over the last six games.
Arizona has lost each of its three least-efficient offensive performances this season. In their eight least-efficient offensive performances, the Wildcats are just 4-4 with each win coming by five or fewer points.