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And So It Goes....

Overall: 7-1-0 (0.875)
Basis Function: Daubechies4

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Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27th, 2009 Picks

Ach, another 2-2-0 day. It started out rough as I woke up to Charles Howell III being down two strokes to Pat Perez. He had chances to make up ground but missed a number of three foot putts. Fittingly he had a chance to win the back 9 but missed a 3 foot putt by over 9 feet. It was a downhill putt, presumably. My next pick was Tiger Woods scoring 68 or under in the first round. It started out nicely with him chipping in from 33 yards out for birdie. He then hit par until #6 where he hit into the water and ended up with a double bogey. He finished the front nine 1 over. On the back nine he found his stroke as he birdied four consecutive holes to go 3 under overall. He bogeyed the 17th but safely hit par on the final hole to finish with a score of 68 exactly.

I then moved on to Connecticut winning margin. UCONN looked to be the superior team through most of the game, despite the Purdue defense limiting them to 30 first half points. The Huskies showed they have great defense as well with Purdue scoring 25. Purdue made small runs, keyed by Robbie Hummel and JaJuan Johnson, but Connecticut always had an answer. In the end UCONN won by 12, 72-60. Pittsburgh was down by 8 at the half to Xavier and only managed to take the lead for good in the final minute. Final score Pittsburgh 60, Xavier 55. My final pick was Edmonton over Phoenix. It looked bad from the start as Phoenix scored on their first shot of the game and had 3 goals on 15 shots through two periods. Edmonton made a run with two goals within a minute during the third but could not find the net to send the game into overtime. Phoenix denied the Oilers two points, winning 3-2. So on to the dang picks.

1) Mike Weir vs. Zach Johnson – Weir cards a lower front 9 score
2) Stewart Cink vs. Adam Scott – Scott cards a lower 2nd round score
3) Arizona vs. Louisville – 140 points or more
4) Syracuse vs. Oklahoma – Syracuse
5) New Jersey Devils @ Chicago Blackhawks – Chicago
6) Kansas vs. Michigan State – Kansas
7) Gonzaga vs. North Carolina – 163 points or more
8) Memphis Grizzlies @ Sacramento Kings – Sacramento

At this point adjusted points rating and rebounding margin are the only two statistical categories predicting over 60% of the winners in games. Overall, in close games, adjusted points rating is a better predictor than rebounding margin. Adjusted points predicts 29 of 43 winners, and rebounding margin 26 of 43.

1) In tournaments this year Mike Weir has tended to hit the same score on the front 9 in the first and second rounds. Johnson has either hit the same score or hit a few strokes better in the second round. They have nearly identical scoring averages, but Johnson tends to hit more greens in regulation. Weir makes up for that with a greater scrambling percentage and a lower number of putts per round than Johnson. That happens when one golfer hits onto the green with a 30’ birdie putt and the other scrambles to get a short chip shot, leaving themselves with a 10’ putt for par. Weir does have a better overall putting average, however, indicating he makes long putts more often than Johnson does. Johnson and Weir have alternated with each other in terms of monetary winnings, and this year it’s Johnson’s turn to win big. So flip a coin, Johnson is a good pick, I’m going with Weir, and have fun!
Confidence: W1 streak or less

2) Cink is a good golfer and hit two strokes better than Adam Scott in the first round, despite hitting a double bogey on that wicked double dog-leg on #6. Statistically the two are very similar in nearly every category. Adam Scott does have a better putting average. Over the past four years Adam Scott has won 3 tournaments and placed in the top 3 eleven times, whereas Cink has done this eight times. This year Cink has scored better than Scott in the second round in all three tournaments they’ve both participated in. I like Scott’s lower putting average and think he’ll do better on the back 9 this time around.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

3) Arizona has had 14 of 34 games go over 139 points in regulation. Louisville has had 12 of 35 games go over 139 points. In the vast majority of the games that went under it was their opponents who failed to score. Both teams have played UAB this season and both of those games went over. Louisville’s defense is formidable but the quickness of Nic Wise, Jordan Hill, and Chase Budinger should allow Arizona to get easy points around the basket. If the referees allow defenders to make contact beneath the rim, however, it will force the teams to score from the perimeter. Fortunately they each shoot over 45% from the field and over 36% from three point range. Of course, if one or both teams have poor shooting nights the game could go under. Each team has scored over 70 points in their tournament games so far and I think they’ll each score over 70 again tonight.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

6) Michigan State defeated Kansas by 12 points in the regular season. It was a home game for Michigan State. Sherron Collins had 8 turnovers. The Spartans lead the nation in rebounding margin and I expect them to have a sizable advantage on the boards this time around as well. Kansas has a higher adjusted points rating and plays at a faster pace than Michigan state in general. Kansas is a better three point shooting team though Michigan State limits it’s opponents to 31.6% shooting. Kansas averages more blocks and steals than Michigan State. Kansas shoots a higher percentage from the field and from the free throw line. Michigan State averages one more empty possession per game than Kansas. I like Cole Aldrich in the middle and think Sherron Collins will do a better job not turning the ball over. I also think Kansas will limit Kalin Lucas to under 20 points this time around.
Confidence: W5 streak or less

8) Sacramento is 10-24 at home while Memphis is 5-29 on the road. Sacramento has 10 home wins this season mainly due to playing teams like Memphis. Sacramento is 1-4 at home recently with a victory over Denver, but that was with Andres Nocioni in the lineup. Memphis is 1-4 on the road recently with a victory over Detroit, but that was with Rasheed Wallace out of the lineup. Andres Nocioni will be out for tonight’s game. Sacramento is a 2 to 3 point favorite.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

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