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Is depth a big deal in March Madness for Xavier?

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Xavier currently consists of about seven players, with the ghost of Kyky Tandy and occasional cameos from Cesare Edwards or Kam Craft. The first five of him, Souley Boum, Adam Kunkel, Colby Jones, Zach Freemantle and Jack Nunge are etched in stone. Desmond Claude spells the guards and Jerome Hunter provides relief to the big guys. that’s it. Xavier’s bench appearance time is 309th in the nation.

it’s working. In the last nine games, Xavier is on his 9-0 record, which is his best of nine games in a row. Despite playing at a tempo that basically amounts to dead sprinting, Xavier’s seven Iron Men combine to form a formidable unit.final four candidate U Conn When big east bugaboo Villanova Here are the two most recent teams that have fallen under the onslaught of the Muskie’s all-action first unit.

Those two wins were great, but college basketball fans don’t buy their team’s gear in hopes of a good January. Legends are made in March.

As a preface, could a team built with such a short rotation be successful in a tournament?

I decided to dig a little deeper into the numbers. In the last four non-Covid tournaments in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022, 37 major major teams have both qualified for the tournament and finished the year with less than 300 minutes on the bench. On average, they take his 6th seed and have 2 wins. So the Sweet 16 team. If you had suggested a second weekend of tournaments before the start of this season, you would have been on board.

wait a minute! There are more! Taking into account the seeding expectations, the teams in question actually beat their expected tournament wins by about 0.4 per team. They have progressed as best they can by beating teams seeded worse than them. Then I had a chance to win the coin toss when I was faced with a team with the same or a better seed than myself.

One potential spanner at work is Tempo. The average tempo for these teams ranks him 200th in the country. Xavier is currently ranked 18th. It is very rare for a team to play fast and shallow while achieving success. The problem is that out of 37 high majors, he’s only made the top 100 in tempo nine of them. But they were very consistent with the larger dataset, and on average he got 5 seeds, beating expectations by just half a win.

team depth tempo seed win Win +/-
UCLA 2017 334 20 3 2 0
2022 Arkansas 324 28 Four 3 1
2022 North Carolina 348 39 8 Five Four
2018 Arizona 304 43 11 0 -0.5
2019 St. John’s 347 46 11 0 0
2019 Gonzaga 314 62 1 3 -1
2022 Kansas 301 65 1 6 2
2017 Kansas 327 72 1 3 -1
2018 duke 341 93 2 3 0
average 327 52 4.7 2.8 0.5

That 2017 UCLA The team is actually a pretty decent comp for Xavier right now. Xavier is currently 7th in AdjO and 77th in AdjD. 2017 UCLA was him 2nd and he was 85th. On both teams, he is in the top 5 in 3p%, top 10 in assist percentage, and top 20 in tempo. Basically they played fast and hit threes but didn’t depend on them and shared the ball well. UCLA entered the Sweet 16 that year and his 13-20 shot from De’Aaron Fox saw him lose to the British team led by 39/3/4.

There are two big differences between that UCLA team and this Xavier team. The first is Lonzo Ball. Xavier doesn’t have a single focus like UCLA teams averaging 15/6/8 did with the ball. Another is Steve Alford. What if you don’t know the difference between Alford and Sean Miller and why it matters?

So what have we learned? Maybe there’s nothing we didn’t know yet. Deep and shallow teams can win. Both fast and slow teams can win. It’s a bad team that doesn’t win. Xavier clearly wants to have more reliable players with more time. Without that, the most important factor is being good at basketball. Muskies are now: Depth doesn’t matter if they are intact.

The following data:

team depth tempo seed win Win +/-
2022 Kansas 301 65 1 6 2
2022 Providence 302 276 Four 2 0
2022 Clayton 312 178 9 1 1
2022 Duke 314 172 2 Four 1
2022 Wisconsin 315 215 3 1 -1
2022 Michigan 316 203 11 2 2
2022 Notre Dame 319 258 11 2 1.5
2022 Villanova 320 347 2 Four 1
2022 Arkansas 324 28 Four 3 1
2022 Virginia Tech 331 340 11 0 0
2022 rutgers 342 295 11 0 -0.5
2022 North Carolina 348 39 8 Five Four
2022 Miami (FL) 354 134 Ten 3 3
2019 Minnesota 301 186 Ten 1 1
2019 Villanova 302 335 6 1 1
2019 Seton Hall 309 100 Ten 0 0
2019 Virginia 317 353 1 6 2
2019 Gonzaga 314 62 1 3 -1
2019 Virginia Tech 320 334 Four 2 0
2019 Iowa 328 171 6 0 -1
2019 St. John’s 347 46 11 0 0
2019 Michigan 350 317 2 2 -1
2018 Villanova 302 150 1 6 2
2018 Arizona 304 43 11 0 -0.5
2018 duke 341 93 2 3 0
2018 Kansas 345 144 1 Four 0
2018 Syracuse 351 345 11 3 2.5
2017 Virginia Tech 309 167 9 0 0
2017 duke 314 175 2 1 -2
2017 Seton Hall 315 214 9 0 0
2017 Kansas 317 268 11 1 0.5
2017 Miami (FL) 318 339 8 0 -1
2017 Villanova 320 324 1 1 -3
2017 Kansas 327 72 1 3 -1
UCLA 2017 334 20 3 2 0
2017 Michigan 335 338 7 2 1
2017 Notre Dame 341 236 Five 1 0
average 323 200 5.9 2.03 0.39

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