Stats & Info: Cincinnati Bearcats

Wichita State: 31-0 is likely, BPI says

February, 28, 2014
Feb 28

Peter G. Aiken/Getty ImagesBPI says Wichita State is a heavy favorite to win Saturday and finish its regular season unbeaten.
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index rates teams using a system that takes into account factors such as the pace of a game, margin of victory, game site and absence of key players.

In addition, BPI can be used to make projections of each team’s chance of winning a specific matchup. The team with the higher chance to win according to BPI has won about 73 percent of the time this season.

Here is a preview of five of this weekend’s matchups, examined using information produced by BPI (through games of Feb. 27):

BPI No. 126 Missouri State at 5 Wichita State (Saturday, 2 ET on ESPN)
BPI Projection:
Wichita State 97 percent likely to win
Missouri State extended Wichita State to overtime in their first meeting, but BPI doesn’t project the Shockers to suffer their first loss in their regular-season finale. Their closest margin of victory at home has been nine points, and that was to a BPI Top 40 team (Tennessee).

BPI No. 7 Syracuse at 12 Virginia (Saturday, 4 ET on ESPN)
BPI Projection:
Virginia 61 percent likely to win
Of Virginia’s four best performances by BPI Game Score this season, two were in the team’s last two games. The importance of game site is evident in this matchup: Syracuse would be projected as 68 percent likely to win if the game were at the Carrier Dome.

BPI No. 3 Kansas at 20 Oklahoma State (Saturday, 9 ET on ESPN)
BPI Projection:
Kansas 58 percent likely to win
Oklahoma State lost to Kansas by two points on Jan. 18 in Lawrence, Kan., earning the third-best Game Score of the season by a losing team. The Cowboys, who broke a seven-game losing streak on Feb. 22, are the third-most inconsistent team in the BPI Top 20, whereas Kansas is the sixth-most consistent team among the Top 20.

BPI No. 25 Saint Louis at No. 21 VCU (Saturday, 6 ET on ESPN2)
BPI Projection:
VCU 67 percent likely to win
This game offers a sharp contrast between BPI and the perception of media members who vote in The Associated Press poll. Saint Louis (which was 19th in BPI before Thursday’s loss to Duquesne) is ranked 10th in the AP rankings, and VCU is not among the 33 teams that received votes this week. Although the Rams have seven losses, all have been away from the Rams’ home court, and two (by a total of seven points) are to BPI Top 30 teams. The Rams’ strength of schedule ranks 20 spots higher than the Billikens’.

BPI No. 22 Cincinnati at No. 24 Connecticut (Saturday, Noon ET on ESPN)
BPI Projection:
Connecticut 63 percent likely to win
Cincinnati won the first meeting of the season, beating the visiting Huskies by five points on Feb. 6. That is among nine games against BPI Top 50 teams the Bearcats have played (5-4). Last Saturday, a close game (decided by five points or fewer) finally went against the Bearcats; their 58-57 loss to Louisville made them 6-1 in such games. Connecticut is 5-5 against Top 50 teams, including a one-point win over No. 2 Florida in early December.

Duke projected to beat Syracuse, BPI says

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21

AP Photo/Nick LisiAccording to BPI, Duke is a 62 percent favorite to beat Syracuse and avenge their Feb. loss.
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index rates teams using a system that takes into account factors such as the pace of a game, margin of victory, game site and absence of key players.

In addition, BPI can be used to make projections of each team’s chance of winning a specific matchup. The team with the higher chance to win according to BPI has won about 73 percent of the time this season.

Here is a preview of five of this weekend’s matchups, examined using information produced by BPI:

BPI No. 4 Syracuse at No. 9 Duke (7 PM Saturday, ESPN)
BPI Projection:
Duke 62 percent likely to win

Duke’s loss Thursday at No. 28 North Carolina resulted in the Blue Devils’ falling from fifth to ninth in the BPI rankings. Syracuse comes off its shocking loss to BPI No. 147 Boston College on Wednesday (which earned the Orange their worst Game Score, 40, of the season).

BPI No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 8 Iowa (12 PM Saturday, ESPN2)
BPI Projection:
Iowa 68 percent likely to win

All six of Iowa’s losses have come to BPI Top 30 teams, two in overtime. The Hawkeyes rank fourth among BPI Top 10 teams in consistency. The less-consistent Badgers have been beaten five times, including by No. 69 Indiana and No. 126 Northwestern. BPI roughly corresponds with The Associated Press poll in evaluating Wisconsin (No. 16 in the poll) but regards Iowa (AP No. 15) more highly.

BPI No. 6 Louisville at No. 24 Cincinnati (12 PM Saturday, CBS)
BPI Projection:
Louisville 52 percent likely to win

The AP poll has Cincinnati seventh and Louisville 11th. Louisville’s four losses have come to BPI Top 40 teams, by an average of 6.3 points. The Bearcats have three losses, by an average of 15.7 points, to BPI Nos. 30, 36 and 42. Cincinnati is 6-0 in games decided by five points or fewer (including a 69-66 win at Louisville on Jan. 30), which is part of the reason the Bearcats’ BPI ranking is lower than their record alone might suggest.

BPI No. 22 San Diego State at No. 36 New Mexico (10 PM Saturday, ESPN2)
BPI Projection:
New Mexico 57 percent likely to win

This is the first meeting of the season between the teams. San Diego State would be 72 percent likely to win if the teams were playing at the Aztecs’ home, which they will in their regular-season finale March 8. San Diego State’s strength of schedule ranks third-easiest among BPI Top 25 teams (ahead of No. 6 Louisville and No. 7 Wichita State). The Aztecs are 8-2 against Top 100 teams, including wins over No. 3 Kansas and No. 10 Creighton. New Mexico is 8-5 against BPI Top 100 teams.

BPI No. 13 Michigan State at No. 26 Michigan (12 PM Sunday, CBS)
BPI Projection:
Michigan 52 percent likely to win

Michigan’s 80-75 victory over Michigan State on Jan. 25 started the Spartans on a 4-4 slide that has helped drop them from No. 4 in the BPI rankings to their current spot. Michigan is the second-most inconsistent team in the BPI Top 30; in their five most recent games, the Wolverines have had two Game Scores of 99 or better and three of less than 50.

The bowl winners will be ...

December, 19, 2013
With bowl season upon us, we can project the winners of the 35 Football Bowl Subdivision bowl games using the Football Power Index.

FPI is a predictive measure of team strength that uses the elements of team offensive, defensive and special-teams performance (adjusted for opponent) that correlate most with future results.

We can use each team’s FPI and the site of the game (all bowl games are treated as neutral) to calculate the expected point differential in a matchup and the percentage chance of each team winning.

In prior years, FPI has done reasonably well in projecting bowl winners (taking the team with the higher chance as the “winner”), getting about 65 percent of games right since 2004.

There have been some lean years in the past, but FPI has been quite good in the three most recent bowl seasons, accurately projecting 70 percent of winners in those games.

FPI takes into account only a team’s on-field performance to date in the given season. It doesn’t explicitly take into account players who are out with injuries or for other reasons, coaching movement before the bowls or differing levels of motivation that are sometimes thought to exist in bowl games.

In the 2013 regular season, starting with games on Sept. 26, FPI accurately projected 74 percent of winners.

FPI believes there to be a very clear favorite (80 percent or more to win) in four of the five BCS matchups, with Ohio State and Clemson as the most evenly matched BCS opponents.

The projections for all 35 bowl games this season are below. A couple of things that stand out:

The two most-lopsided matchups, according to FPI, involve a Pac-12 team facing a Big 12 opponent from Texas. FPI has Oregon as 91 percent likely to defeat Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl and Arizona State as 91 percent likely to beat Texas Tech in the National University Holiday Bowl.

The most-even matchup, according to FPI, is Kansas State versus Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, with the teams separated by a little more than a point in FPI (the Wildcats are 53 percent favorites). The closest “high-profile” bowl game is the AT&T Cotton Bowl between Oklahoma State and Missouri, with the Cowboys 54 percent likely to win, according to FPI.

The Vizio BCS National Championship is the only bowl game with both teams ranked in the top 10 in FPI. Three other games involve two FPI top-20 teams: Wisconsin-South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl; Oklahoma State-Missouri in the Cotton Bowl and Ohio State-Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl.

Sorting out the ever-changing Big East

August, 24, 2012
The Big East Conference enters 2012 season with more questions than answers as conference realignment saw the West Virginia Mountaineers move to the Big 12 and the return of the Temple Owls. (In 2013, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will leave for the ACC. Boise State, Houston, Central Florida, SMU, San Diego State and Memphis will join the conference.)

Only the Louisville Cardinals cracked the preseason AP Top 25 (ranked 25th) as the conference tries to prove its worth to doubters around the nation.

One thing is for certain: the Big East is wide open heading into this season, with no team finishing worse than 5-7 in 2011.

Here are 10 statistics that may help sort out the top of the conference:

1. Temple returns to the Big East after leaving the conference in 2004. In 14 seasons in the Big East from 1991-2004, Temple managed just 30 wins in 156 games.

2. Despite finishing 5-7 last season, the South Florida Bulls outgained their opponents by an average of 81.4 yards per game, tops among all current Big East teams.

3. The team with the worst yards per game margin was the Connecticut Huskies (-53.5). After ranking at the top of the Big East in rushing yards per game from 2008-2010 (187.3), the Huskies managed just 118.5 per game in 2011. That ranked seventh in the eight-team conference.

4. After starting the season 4-0, USF lost seven of its last eight games. Four of South Florida’s losses (Cincinnati, Rutgers, Miami and West Virginia) occurred in the final seconds or overtime. According to the number of points that South Florida scored and allowed throughout the season, the Bulls should have won 2.6 more games using the logic based upon Bill James' "Pythagorean Win Percentage" for baseball.

5. Louisville also struggled in close games. All six of the Cardinals’ losses last season came by nine points or fewer, tied for the most losses by single digits last season with Central Florida, Miami (FL) and Ohio State.

6. Since 2007, the Cincinnati Bearcats have had four seasons of at least 10 wins. The rest of the teams in the Big East have combined for three.

7. Over the last three seasons, Cincinnati ranked first in the Big East in points per game, total yards per game, yards per play and touchdowns.

8. Despite Cincinnati’s offensive dominance, the Pittsburgh Panthers are the only current Big East team with a winning conference record in each of the last four seasons.

9. Over the last seven years, the Syracuse Orange are 5-22 in regular-season games played in November and December (0-4 last season). That is the worst win percentage among current Big East teams, and the seventh-worst in FBS.

10. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are the beneficiary of one of the best schedule stretches of any team in college football this season. Following a Sept. 22 game at Arkansas, Rutgers will play on the road just once over the next 55 days. That's nearly two months! And that one road game is at Temple, which is approximately 65 miles from the Rutgers campus.
A recap of Thursday's action in the Men's Basketball Championship.

(4) Louisville 57, (1) Michigan St 44
Rick Pitino improves to 10-0 as a coach in the Sweet 16 -- the best mark of any coach in the history of the tournament -- and Tom Izzo loses to a Big East team in the Men's Basketball Championship for the first time in his career (5-1).

Michigan State's 44 points and 28.6 field goal percentage are both its worst in a Men's Basketball Championship game.

Gorgui Dieng blocked seven shots, tying both his career high and the school record for blocks in a Men's Basketball Championship game (Pervis Ellison, 1989), to help Louisville advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2009 and the 12th time in school history.

Draymond Green leads the Spartans with 13 points and 16 rebounds in his final collegiate game.

(1) Syracuse 64, (4) Wisconsin 63
With their victory over Wisconsin, the Orange return to the Elite Eight for the first time since winning the national championship in 2003.

With his 48th tournament victory, Jim Boeheim passes John Wooden for fifth place all-time in tournament wins.

Wisconsin shot 14-for-27 from behind the arc but just 7-for-22 from inside. The 14 3-pointers are the second-most in a tournament game for the Badgers.

The last time Syracuse won a game by one point in the NCAA tournament was the Sweet 16 in 2003, when the Orange beat Auburn 79-78 and went on to win the national championship.

It’s just the fifth time a 1 seed won by just a single point in the Sweet 16.

Wisconsin tried to impose its will in this game, limiting Syracuse to just 52 possessions. That’s the fewest possessions for Syracuse in any game in the past 15 seasons. The previous low was 54, done twice (1999 versus Princeton and 2006 versus West Virginia, both wins).

(7) Florida 68, (3) Marquette 58
Florida reaches the Elite Eight for the fourth time in seven seasons behind one of the best defensive efforts in the shot-clock era.

The Gators have allowed just 153 points through three games in the tournament; only two teams since 1986 have allowed fewer in their first three tournament wins.

The Golden Eagles made 20 field goals, just one more than their season low, but are the first team to top 50 points against Florida in this year’s tournament.

(2) Ohio State 81, (6) Cincinnati 66
Aaron Craft led the defensive effort with six steals, an Ohio State record in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The loss matches Cincinnati's worst in the Sweet 16.

Deshaun Thomas leads all scorers with 26 points (20 in the first half) and adds seven rebounds as Ohio State beats Cincinnati in the Men's Basketball Championship for the first time in school history.

Thomas joins a great list of players in the past five seasons to average at least 25.0 points per game and reach the Elite Eight. The bad news for the Buckeyes is that none of the other three players reached the Final Four.
The ESPN College Basketball Power Index rates three of the four teams remaining in the East Region in the top 15 -- Syracuse at 2, Ohio State at 3 and Wisconsin at 13. Cincinnati, at 36, is the only team outside the top 15 nationally in BPI.

Here are some stats to get you ready for the East Regional Semifinals, which take place Thursday night.

(4) Wisconsin Badgers vs. (1) Syracuse Orange (Thursday, 7:15 ET)

Orange score off turnovers
Syracuse’s opponents have turned the ball over on 24.9 percent of their possessions this season, the highest for any major conference school and the eighth-highest in the nation.

The Orange score 20.3 points per game off turnovers, which also leads all schools in Power 6 conferences.

Turnovers may be harder to come by in the Sweet 16. Syracuse’s opponent, Wisconsin, turns the ball over on just 15.1 percent of its possessions, the second-lowest percentage in the nation.

Easy baskets fuel the Orange
Syracuse is averaging 34.6 points per game in the paint and is 32-0 when it scores at least 20 paint points. In both of Syracuse's losses this season, it was held below 20 points in the paint, 20 transition points and 20 points off turnovers.

The Orange have had only one other game this season, March 3 against Louisville, in which they failed to reach 20 points in at least one of the three categories.

Orange rotten outside the paint
Syracuse is in the Sweet 16 for the third time in the past four seasons. In their previous two trips, the Orange lost both games, shooting a combine 26.8 percent outside the paint.

In the Round of 32, Wisconsin held Vanderbilt to 29.6 percent shooting outside the paint in its win over the Commodores.

Syracuse was at its best in the Round of 32 with Dion Waiters on the court. The Orange outscored Kansas State 47-30 in the 24 minutes with Waiters on the floor, and scored all 12 of its transition points with Waiters in the game.

Badgers slow it down
Wisconsin averages 59.2 possessions per game this season, the fewest in the nation. In its first two games in the tournament, the Badgers averaged 57.0 possessions per game. Despite its slow pace Wisconsin is averaging 66.5 points per game, scoring 1.17 points per possession, the seventh-most among tournament teams.

Wisconsin is shooting 46.2 percent against zone defenses in its first two games, the fifth-best among tournament teams that have faced at least 10 possessions of zone defense; however, the Badgers were just 2-of-9 against Vanderbilt’s zone in the final six minutes of their third-round game.

(6) Cincinnati Bearcats vs. (2) Ohio State Buckeyes (Thursday 9:45 ET)

Ohio State has allowed 88.9 points per 100 possessions, the third-lowest in the nation.

Deshaun Thomas has scored 30 paint points during the tournament, tied for the most in the field. Thomas has scored 12 of the 30 after an offensive rebound, the most second-chance paint points by any player. Jared Sullinger is a different story. He’s shooting just 27.8 percent (5-18) in the paint.

Aaron Craft scored or assisted on 44 of the Buckeyes' 73 points (60.3 percent) in Ohio State's win against Gonzaga; that’s tied with Kendall Marshall for the most points from assists in a tournament game this season.

Cincinnati can close
The Bearcats have been tied or up by one point with four minutes remaining in its first two games of the 2012 Men’s Basketball Championship. From the four minute mark on, the Bearcats outscored Florida State by six points and Texas by five.

Cincinnati has held 19 straight opponents below 45 percent 3-point shooting and the Buckeyes have shot below 40 percent on 3-pointers in eight straight games.

State of Ohio well represented in Sweet 16

March, 19, 2012

Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesCincinnati is heading to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001, one of four Ohio teams still alive in the NCAA tournament.
Teams from the state of Ohio make up one-fourth of the schools in the Sweet 16 this season after Cincinnati and crosstown rival Xavier won their games. The Bearcats and Musketeers join the Ohio Bobcats and Ohio State Buckeyes in the next round.

It's the first time in NCAA tournament history that four schools from a single state have advanced to the Sweet 16 in the same season.

East Region
(6) Cincinnati 62, (3) Florida State 56
The Bearcats will be making their sixth Sweet 16 appearance and first since 2001. Cincinnati went on a 12-6 run over the final minute and a half of the game, which began with a Dion Dixon steal and dunk.

Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 18 points and Cincinnati recorded 13 steals to just five for Florida State. Florida State fails to reach consecutive Sweet 16s for the first time since 1992-93.

Cincinnati now takes on No. 2 seed Ohio State in the Sweet 16 Thursday. These schools met twice for the National Championship in 1961 and 1962 with the Bearcats winning both times.

South Region
(10) Xavier 70, (15) Lehigh 58
Another team from Cincinnati, Xavier, will be making its sixth Sweet 16 appearance as well. Kenny Frease scored a career-high 25 points shooting 84.6 percent (11-13) from the floor and also grabbed 12 rebounds. He's the first player to record those numbers in a NCAA tournament game since Blake Griffin in 2009.

Lehigh which scored 19 points in transition versus Duke on Friday scored just seven against Xavier. The Mountain Hawks entered the tournament averaging nearly 16 points per game in transition, which ranked in the top 25. Lehigh's loss brings No. 15 seeds to 0-6 all-time in the Round of 32.

Xavier next takes on No. 3 seed Baylor on Friday.

(2) Kansas 63, (10) Purdue 60
After a late scare, Kansas is headed to its 19th Sweet 16 and fifth in its past six seasons. Thomas Robinson scored 11 points and 13 rebounds for his 25th double-double of the season, which ties Drew Gooden's school record in 2002. The Jayhawks scored 17 points in transition including their final six points.

Robbie Hummel ends his Boilermakers career scoring a team-high 26 points as Purdue loses in the Round of 32 for the second straight year.

Kansas faces No. 11 seed North Carolina State on Friday hoping to advance to the Elite Eight for the second straight season. The Wolfpack have not been to the Regional Finals since 1986.

Through the Round of 32, no games in this year's Men's Basketball Championship have gone to overtime. It's the first time since seeding began in 1979 that there hasn't been a single overtime game in the Round of 64 and Round of 32.
Entering Friday, the last dozen teams to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, make at least 10 three-pointers, and commit fewer than 10 turnovers in an NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game all won.

But that history was not on Missouri’s side, as the No. 2 seeded Tigers fell to 15th-seeded Norfolk State, 86-84 in the tournament's biggest upset so far.

The state of Virginia is the home of the 15-versus-2 upset. Of the five to take place in tournament history, three of the winners (Hampton, Richmond, and Norfolk State) have come from Virginia.

Norfolk State scored 86 points on 64 possessions, its second highest efficiency (1.34 points per possession) in a game in the last 15 seasons.

One of the keys to the win was that the Spartans were 5-for-5 from the field on second-chance opportunities in the second half, including the go-ahead tip-in by Kyle O'Quinn with 34 seconds remaining.

Norfolk State's 86 points are the third-most scored by a 15 seed in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The most is 90 by Eastern Michigan vs Pittsburgh in 1988.

O'Quinn paced the Spartans with 26 points and 14 rebounds. He had had games of this nature before, just not in this sort of setting. O’Quinn entered the day with 48 career double-doubles, tied for third-most among active players

Missouri has now lost as a No. 2 seed, a No. 3 seed (1990 vs Northern Iowa) and a No. 4 seed (1987 vs Xavier) in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers join Arizona as the only teams to lose in the Round of 64 as a No. 2, 3 and 4 seed.

In other early action:

East Region
(3) Florida State 66, (14) St. Bonaventure 63
The Seminoles have won their last three games by exactly three points each. In addition, four of their last six games have been three-point wins.

Overall, Florida State is 6-0 this season in games decided by exactly three points. Michael Snaer, who leads the team in scoring, did not score a point (0-for-7 from the field). This was the first time in 100 career games with the Seminoles that Snaer was held scoreless.

(6) Cincinnati 65, (11) Texas 59
Cincinnati has now advanced to the Round of 32 in 12 of its last 13 Men's Basketball Championship appearances.

Texas shot just 16.0 percent from the field in the 1st half (4-for-25), its second-lowest percentage in any half of a game since 1965-66.

Midwest Region
(1) North Carolina 77, (16) Vermont 58
The Tar Heels improve to 30-1 all-time in Men's Basketball Championship games played in the state of North Carolina.

(3) Georgetown 74, (14) Belmont 59
Georgetown snaps a three-game losing streak in the Men's Basketball Championship, with all three losses to double-digit seeds, to advance to the Round of 32 for the first time since 2008.

(11) NC State 79, (6) San Diego State 65
The Wolfpack shot 58.5 percent from the field, their fourth-highest field goal percentage in a Men's Basketball Championship game and highest since 1989 (63.2 percent vs Iowa).

(8) Creighton 58, (9) Alabama 57
Creighton overcomes an 11-point second half deficit and reaches the Round of 32 for the first time since 2002. The Bluejays have won eight straight and improve to 8-1 this season in games decided by five points or fewer.

West Region
(7) Florida 71, (10) Virginia 45
Florida's 26-point win is tied for its fourth-largest in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The 45 points allowed by Florida are its fewest allowed in a Men's Basketball Championship game.

The Gators were 24-for-30 (80 percent) from two-point range, their highest field-goal percentage inside the arc in a Men's Basketball Championship game.

Wednesday recap: Seniors shine in victory

March, 1, 2012
Player of the Night – Jared Sullinger
In a heartbreaking result for Northwestern, Sullinger’s turnaround with 3 seconds to go gave Ohio State a 75-73 victory. The sophomore finished with 22 points and a season-high 18 rebounds. Sullinger is the first Big Ten player with those totals in a conference game since Penn State’s Jarrett Stephens in 2000. He equaled Northwestern’s rebounding total, as the Buckeyes held a 44-18 advantage on the glass.

Senior of the Night – Tyler Zeller
Zeller made his final home game a memorable one, as North Carolina beat Maryland 88-64. Zeller went 20-for-23 at the line, breaking Tyler Hansbrough’s Smith Center record for free throws made. He fell one make shy of York Larese’s school record set in 1959. Zeller finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Stat Sheet Stuffer – Andrew Nicholson
St. Bonaventure locked up a bye in the A-10 Tournament with a 98-93 double-overtime win over Saint Joseph's. It’s the Bonnies’ second win in their last 19 meetings with the Hawks. Nicholson helped solidify his A-10 Player of the Year candidacy with 32 points and 14 rebounds. He’s averaging 30 points and 12 rebounds over the Bonnies’ past four games, all wins. Nicholson is now just six points shy of 2,000 for his career.

Breakout Performance – Jaquon Parker
Cincinnati can feel a whole lot safer about the bubble after a 72-61 win over Marquette. The Bearcats have their signature win, and can now claim six wins over the RPI Top 50. The story of the game was the emergence of Parker, who finished with a career-high 28 points. He’d averaged just 6 points over his previous 14 games.

Ugly Stat Line – Russ Smith
Louisville put up an ugly performance at home, shooting just 34 percent in a 58-51 loss to South Florida. Primarily coming off the bench, Smith is Louisville’s second-leading scorer at 12 points per game. But Wednesday, he went 0-for-8 from the field in 17 minutes of action. Over their past three home games, the Cardinals are averaging 53 points and shooting 36 percent from the field.
Player of the Weekend – Ricardo Ratliffe
Ratliffe scored a career-high 27 points to go with eight rebounds, as Missouri came away with an 89-88 win at Baylor. He went 11-for-14 from the field, and now has a 77.2 field goal percentage on the season. That’s on track to break Steve Johnson’s Division I record of 74.6 percent in 1980-81. How efficient has Ratliffe been? Consider that he’d need to miss his next 18 shots just to fall into second place in the nation.

Filling Up the Stat Sheet – Jesse Sanders
Liberty’s Jesse Sanders came into Saturday averaging 12.6 PPG, 7.9 APG and 7.9 RPG this season, yet somehow a triple-double had escaped him. That changed in an 84-78 win at High Point, as Sanders finished with 14 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. The senior has now had a triple-double in all four years on campus. Sanders is now averaging 8.0 RPG and 8.1 APG. No one has done that in at least the past 15 seasons.

Losing Legends – Boeheim, Calhoun, Krzyzewski
Syracuse, Duke and Connecticut all lost Saturday, meaning the three winningest active coaches all fell on the same day. Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun and Mike Krzyzewski hadn’t lost on the same day since January 18, 2003. That’s a span of 3,291 days. The fourth-winningest active coach (Bob Huggins) did manage a win on Saturday, as West Virginia topped Cincinnati in overtime.

Lofty Historical Comparison – Tony Mitchell = Michael Beasley
On Saturday, Missouri picked up its biggest win of the season down in Waco. Meanwhile, just two hours to the north, a former Tiger recruit had a huge game. Tony Mitchell had 30 points and 17 rebounds in North Texas’ overtime win over Denver. In just 11 career games, he's hit 30 points and 15 boards twice. The last freshman with multiple such games? Michael Beasley, who did it five times in 2007-08.

Ugly Stat Line of the Weekend - Brandon Young
Shadowed by Hugh Robertson for most of the game, DePaul’s Brandon Young went 0-for-13 from the field in Sunday’s 75-59 loss to South Florida. It’s the most attempts without a make by a Division I player this season. The last Big East player to go 0-for-13 or worse was South Florida’s Collin Dennis in 2006.

Chris Chambers/Getty ImagesDion Waiters' presence off the bench has helped Syracuse to a 20-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the country.
Let’s get you warmed up for the College GameDay road show (live Saturday from Pittsburgh at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN) by taking a look at some notes and nuggets from our college hoops advanced stats research team (a group we call the "Stats in the Paint" team).

Saturday’s Matchups
(1) Syracuse at Notre Dame, 6 ET on ESPN and ESPN3
Key stat: Syracuse is averaging 37.1 bench points per game this season, which is the most by any Big Six Conference team during the last 15 seasons. The bench has been led by C.J. Fair (+287) and Dion Waiters (+266), who rank 1-2 in the Big East in plus/minus. Waiters has scored 117 transition points this season, which is the third most in the nation.

(5) Missouri at (3) Baylor, 2 ET on ESPN and ESPN3
Key stat: Baylor is getting 26.4 percent of its offense off of turnovers this season, averaging a Big 12-best 20.5 points per game off turnovers. But Missouri only turns the ball over on 15.0 percent of its possessions, the second-best in the nation, and gives up just 10 points off turnovers per game, which leads the Big 12.

Alabama at (2) Kentucky, Noon ET
Key stat: Kentucky is blocking 15.6 percent of its opponents’ shots at 9.3 per game this season, both the best marks in the country. The Wildcats are also holding opponents to 0.68 points per play and 33.8 percent shooting in the half court, which are also both best in the nation.

Non-ranked teams that can make noise
Cincinnati is 8-4 in Big East road games over the last two seasons and has won its last seven conference games on the road. Part of the reason is avoiding turnovers. The Bearcats average 10.5 turnovers per game this season, the second-fewest in the Big East and eighth-fewest in the nation.

Purdue averages 9.6 turnovers per game this season, the second fewest in the nation. The Boilermakers turn the ball over on 14.6 percent of their possessions, which is the lowest percentage in the nation.

Stanford has been getting it done on the boards, grabbing 54.8 percent of available rebounds this season, the best percentage in the Pac-12. The Cardinal also allow 9.6 offensive rebounds per game this season, which is the fewest in the Pac-12.

Vanderbilt's efficient offense has paced them this year. The Commodores score an SEC-best 1.15 points per possession in conference play this season. Vanderbilt also leads the SEC by assisting on 61.6 percent of its field goals in conference play.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
Among the topics Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis plan to tackle:

Where should Murray State be seeded?

According to Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology, 18-0 Murray State would be a No. 7 seed if the tournament started today. Comparing Murray State to the other projected No. 7 seeds, the Racers appear to be seeded correctly based on kenpom’s adjusted efficiency.

Murray St is undefeated, but the Racers have played some close games this season. Eight of their 18 games have been decided by single digits, including a nine-point double-overtime win against Southern Miss.
Player of the Weekend – Deividas Dulkys
Dulkys poured in a career-high 32 points in Florida State’s 90-57 blowout of North Carolina on Saturday, the Tar Heels' worst loss of the Roy Williams era. Just how unexpected was Dulkys’s performance? His previous season-high was just 16 points, and he’d scored 32 points in his previous nine games combined. Dulkys went 12-14 from the field, including 8-10 from 3-point range.

Filling Up the Stat Sheet – Maalik Wayns
Cincinnati outlasted Villanova despite a memorable game from Wayns. The junior guard finished with a career-high 39 points to go with 13 rebounds and six assists. It’s the first 39-13 game by a Big East player since Marquette’s Steve Novak in 2006. The only other major conference player with a 39-13-5 game in the past 15 seasons was Luke Jackson in 2004.

Bench Hero – Pierre Jackson
Baylor walked all over Oklahoma State with a 106-65 win to improve to 17-0 entering tonight’s matchup with Kansas. Once again, Jackson provided a huge boost off the bench, finishing with 18 points and eight assists. Jackson is one of only eight major-conference players averaging 12 PPG, five APG and three RPG. And he hasn’t started a game all season. In fact, his 12.3 PPG ranks second among power six conference players who haven’t started a game. Only Syracuse’s Dion Waiters (12.9 PPG) ranks higher.

Block Party – Alec Brown
Brown blocked more shots on Saturday than 276 teams. The Green Bay sophomore blocked 11 shots in a 57-56 comeback win over Wright State. It’s the most blocks in a game this season. The Phoenix went on a 20-3 run in the second half during which Brown had four of his blocks. The 11 blocks set a school record, as well as a Horizon League record.

Ugly Stat Line of the Weekend – John Henson
Henson went 0-for-7 from the free throw line in North Carolina’s loss to Florida State. That’s the most free throw attempts without a make this season. He’s the only ACC player in at least the past 15 seasons to attempt that many free throws without connecting on one. The last major conference player with a worse game at the line? Tennessee’s Ramar Smith, who went 0-12 in a game in 2007.

UConn's Andre Drummond stands out

January, 10, 2012
Andre Drummond's big night
Andre Drummond lived up the hype of being the second-ranked incoming freshman in the nation. In Connecticut’s 64-57 win over West Virginia, Drummond went off for 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting, and added 11 rebounds.

It’s the first 20-10 game of his career. That’s something even Emeka Okafor never pulled off as a freshman. Drummond is the first UConn freshman with a 20-10 game since Caron Butler in 2000-01.

Dellavedova leads hot-shooting Gaels
In an 87-72 win over San Francisco, St. Mary’s shot 67.3 percent from the field. That was the Gaels’ highest field goal percentage in the past 15 years. They fell just short of the school-record 68.4 field goal percentage set in 1983 against San Diego. Matthew Dellavedova netted a career-high 27 points, while Stephen Holt fell one rebound shy of a triple-double.

Hoyas hardly miss, but lose
Sean Kilpatrick went off for a career-high 27 points, as Cincinnati came away from Washington, DC with a 68-64 win over Georgetown. The Hoyas lost despite a 59.1 field goal percentage. That’s Georgetown’s best shooting game in a loss since a 63.4 mark in a 2008 NCAA Tournament loss to Stephen Curry and Davidson. Meanwhile, it’s the highest opponent field goal percentage in a Cincinnati win in at least the past 15 years.

Nash stepping up in Big 12 play
Le’Bryan Nash stepped up his game for the Bedlam Series, matching a career-high with 21 points, as Oklahoma State came away with a 72-65 win over Oklahoma.

After averaging 11.7 points per game in non-conference play, Nash is putting up 18.0 in three Big 12 games. That places him third in the Big 12 in scoring during conference play, behind only Travis Releford and Marcus Denmon.

Grambling State wins another
For awhile it didn’t seem as through Grambling State would win a game this season. Now, the Tigers have two victories. Quincy Roberts, a transfer from St. John’s, netted 26 points in a 72-71 win over Alcorn State. Grambling State won despite recording only four assists. That tied the second-fewest assists in a win this season in Division I.

Stats to see: Racers shoot for the top

December, 22, 2011
Racers continue to roll
The Murray State Racers shot 68.3 percent from the field in a 78-54 win over Tennessee-Martin.

It matched the Racers’ best field goal percentage in a game in the last 15 seasons (1/30/01 vs Tennessee State) and was among the best shooting performances by a team against a Division I opponent this season, as noted in the chart on the right.

In the second half, Murray State was even better than it was in the first half, at least in one regard. The Racers were 10-for-11 from two-point range in the final 20 minutes.

With the win, Murray State improved to 13-0, the second best start in school history behind a 16-0 start in 1935-36.

Cincinnati reaches century mark again
The Cincinnati Bearcats made easy work out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Thursday in a 101-53 win. The 48-point win was the largest margin of the Mick Cronin era, and largest since beating Jackson State by 52 in 2004.

The Bearcats have scored 100 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1976-77. There's a good chance for them to make it three in a row on Friday when they host Chicago State, which ranks 338th out of 339 in scoring defense.

Scott powers Virginia
The Virginia Cavaliers did not have an easy time with Seattle, but still came away with an 83-77 win thanks to its star senior. Mike Scott led the way with 33 points and 14 rebounds, hitting 12 of 14 shots.

He is the first ACC player with at least 33 points and 14 rebounds since Florida State’s Al Thornton in February 2006. The last major conference player with 33 points, 14 rebounds, and a field goal percentage of 80 percent or better is Blake Griffin in 2009.

Longhorns starters don’t show up
Only two of Texas’ five starters managed to hit a field goal on Wednesday. The Longhorns fell to North Carolina 82-63. Alexis Wangmene, Julien Lewis and Myck Kabongo combined for one point on 0-for-10 shooting from the field.

Coming into the game second among freshmen in assists, Kabongo managed just one in 15 minutes of action. Texas shot 25.0 percent in the first half and 34.8 percent for the game. It marked Roy Williams first win over Texas as UNC head coach after losing the first three meetings.

Sycamores’ defense shines
It’s not often that you can score 50 points and still come away with a double-digit win. That’s what happened Thursday as the Indiana State Sycamores defeated Louisiana-Monroe 50-35.

It’s the fewest points allowed by the Sycamores since the shot clock was introduced in 1985-86. Indiana State improves to 9-2, its best 11-game start since 1979-80, the year after Larry Bird graced the campus.