It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so naturally, the so-called “lucky team in the country” will play the NCAA Championship Opening Game.
That would be Providence, seeded No. 4 in the Midwest, winning against 13th seed South Dakota State at 12:40 p.m. ET on truTV. The brothers are a popular pick for a surprise first-round loss in part because they are ranked #1 in the lucky scale Developed by stat expert Ken Pomeroy (a 27-point loss to Creighton in the Big East Championship also contributed to their representative).
Pomeroy Says The team’s luck rating is derived from “the deviation in the percentage of wins between the team’s actual record and their predicted record using Connected Gaussian method. In other words, a team is lucky when its win ratio is much better than what its basic stats say.
The brothers (25-5) have a win ratio of 0.833, but their stats say the team should be about 194 worse, or about 19-11, according to Pomeroy’s calculations. Providence is only ranked 32nd nationally in Pomeroy’s offensive proficiency scale and 80th in defensive efficiency, and they’ve gone 15-2 in single-digit matches and 11-2 in a game that has been decided by five points or less.
In other words, they have won more than a few matches that could easily have been losses, had a few bounces happened against them.
Providence coach Ed Cooley says the team is using all this talk of luck as motivation.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in America who has given us a chance at this game we’re about to play – not one person,” Tell Correspondents this week. “Some of you are in this audience, and I can tell you – thank you.”
For what it’s worth, South Dakota State ranks 14 out of 68 NCAA teams in luck. The Jackrabbits are 30-4 (.882), but their stats point to a team that looks a lot like 28-6 (.824).
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