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Thursday, March 15, 2018

OT - March Madness 2018

I estimate that only STIGGLES is interested in college basketball. This thread will avoid detracting from what BBTF is truly about: the NBA and how many MLB teams are tanking.

Who will earn a soon-to-be vacated Final Four birth this year?

#1 Seeds are Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, and Xavier.

[Link goes to overview of Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings]

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:21 AM | 267 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: amateurs, basketball, college basketball, march madness

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   101. Tom T Posted: March 17, 2018 at 12:29 AM (#5639299)
I think Odom will be happy if all twelve guys (or whatever) show up in uniform. It's going to be almost impossible to get them ready for Sunday.


This. Though maybe he'll sell them on being the team that finally goes one step beyond George Mason....
   102. Howie Menckel Posted: March 17, 2018 at 12:32 AM (#5639301)
I think Odom will be happy if all twelve guys (or whatever) show up in uniform. It's going to be almost impossible to get them ready for Sunday.

I usually would agree, but it's not like they "stole one" tonight. why they believe, whatever. but they believe. and yes, Buffalo may beat Kentucky to step up a 13 vs 16 game.
#MarchMadness
   103. Zach Posted: March 17, 2018 at 12:33 AM (#5639302)
I think it would be funny if they all showed up unshaven and bleary-eyed, still wearing today's uniforms.
   104. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 17, 2018 at 12:35 AM (#5639304)
who's this guy coaching next year? arizona? temple? rutgers? louisville? maryland? penn state? IUPUI?


Virginia I assume
   105. Oriole Tragic: doomed to mysterious ignomy Posted: March 17, 2018 at 12:48 AM (#5639307)
@smileyy: Yeah, exactly my point.

I guess this game is an extreme example of what tship is talking about when he says 3pt shooting results just comes down to variance.
   106. bunyon Posted: March 17, 2018 at 12:52 AM (#5639309)
still wearing today's uniforms.

When you're the 16, you don't need home whites.

Maybe they can't be made ready but I'd pitch it as: You beat a 1, so you can beat a 9. And if you do that, you get another week of being the most celebrated cinderellas in history. Book deals, announcing gigs, coaching positions. And pu$$y, pu$$y galore.

To which they'll respond: we only care about the last bit and, thanks, coach, but we have that covered.

So, you're all probably right.
   107. Chicago Joe Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:00 AM (#5639311)
Any way to short Little Caesars?

The sound of crumpling paper was deafening.
   108. Chicago Joe Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:02 AM (#5639313)
who's this guy coaching next year? arizona? temple? rutgers? louisville? maryland? penn state? IUPUI?


Could be a Groce mistake.
   109. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:03 AM (#5639314)
okay, i'm ready to poop on some parties:

1: UMBC wasn't a true 16-seed. the true 16-seeds played in ohio tuesday and wednesday. UMBC was a 15-seed that got kicked down a line for an NCAA moneygrab.
2: UVA was not battle-tested. they only beat 3 ranked teams this year (dook, clemson, UNC), only 1 of whom was in the top 10 at the time (dook).
3: UVA is also stylistically vulnerable. slow pace + mediocre offense = upset watch
4: UVA lacks both an efficient, high-volume scorer and a high-volume creator.
5: UVA also lacks high-end NBA caliber talent.
(those last 2 are related)
6: UVA is also surprisingly inexperienced. 4 of their top 6 scorers are (were) underclassmen, and the other two were seniors who had never scored 10+ PPG in a season before this year.


now, i'm sure most of that has been true for a lot of 1-seeds in the past, which is why what's more surprising (imo) isn't that this happened tonight, but that it hadn't happened sooner.
   110. smileyy Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:05 AM (#5639316)
Nah...the 17 seeds played in the First 4.
   111. smileyy Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:06 AM (#5639317)
Am I the only one who wants the last 4 automatic qualifiers to play the last 4 at large bids in the First Four?
   112. Chicago Joe Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:07 AM (#5639318)
@Tom T, having watched B1G basketball all year, I'd suggest the only way it hurts you is depth. Haas is a ballstopper supreme, and this gives your excellent perimeter game room to shine.
   113. Chicago Joe Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:11 AM (#5639319)
Stiggles, UMBC was the only team in the tournament with a negative efficiency margin. Marshall was the second worst, with an efficiency margin that was 8 points better than UMBC.

UMBC lost to Army by 11 and Albany by 44.
   114. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:44 AM (#5639321)
UMBC wasn't a true 16-seed. the true 16-seeds played in ohio tuesday and wednesday. UMBC was a 15-seed that got kicked down a line for an NCAA moneygrab.


FWIW, Kenpom had them as by far the worst team in the tournament.
   115. SoSH U at work Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:46 AM (#5639322)
Nah...the 17 seeds played in the First 4.


Two 16s and two 17s. But UMBC was definitely a 16.

And the bottom things on Stiggles' list were also true as UVa was running roughshod over the league that sent the most teams to the NCAA tournament. He can try to fling his poop here, but it ain't sticking (the slow tempo thing would be a bigger concern if UMBC had won 47-46 instead of popping for 74 against the best defense in the country and winning by 20).

Am I the only one who wants the last 4 automatic qualifiers to play the last 4 at large bids in the First Four?


Would the winners become a 16 seed or an 11? I guess you'd have to make it an 11, but that would potentially give the No. 6 a much easier matchup than the 5, 4, 3 and 2.

FWIW, Kenpom had them as by far the worst team in the tournament.


No, it's got the First Four all worse (though Radford just one spot behind). The pink indicates teams still left in the tournament, but you can see small seedings next to the eliminated).
   116. Chicago Joe Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:57 AM (#5639323)
I would note the fewer possessions leads to more variance.
   117. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 17, 2018 at 02:18 AM (#5639326)
I went 7-9 after the first two full days of the tournament. That's bad, right? Yeah.
   118. Meatwad Posted: March 17, 2018 at 02:31 AM (#5639327)
yeah thats bad considering 32 games were played.
   119. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 17, 2018 at 05:45 AM (#5639329)
... 7-9 today, oops, 18-14 for the first two days.
   120. PJ Martinez Posted: March 17, 2018 at 08:46 AM (#5639336)
I would note that fewer possessions leads to more variance.

53 points by a single team in the second half doesn't sound like a small number of possessions to me.

Good write-up at the Ringer about just how surprising this outcome was, both in terms of the two teams and the final score:

Most programs don’t notch nine wins against NCAA tournament teams in a regular season; the Cavaliers had eight double-digit wins against NCAA tournament teams. Virginia went 17–1 in the ACC, losing that one game by one point in overtime. Its largest deficit of the season was 13 points; 1-seeds Kansas and Xavier lost multiple games by more than 13 points... And UMBC was, to be honest, very much a 16-seed. They lost by 44 to Albany; they lost twice in the regular season to the best team in the America East, Vermont, by a combined 43 points; their only game against an NCAA tournament team was a 25-point loss to Arizona. Their America East tournament win was improbable, a big upset that came via a buzzer-beating 3 over Vermont, which had won 23 straight games against UMBC.

...This was not a normal upset. UMBC didn’t just win; it creamed Virginia. It won by 20, the new largest deficit faced by Virginia this season. When I imagined a 16-seed beating a 1-seed, I pictured a slow-paced, messy game ending with a buzzer-beater rattling around the rim for 14 seconds and bouncing off the backboard before dropping. In my head, the 1-seed was a team we all secretly thought was overrated; the 16-seed had a star that the general public didn’t know about, but college basketball Twitter had anointed as a folk hero months ago... Instead, these Retrievers came from nowhere and gleefully whupped the best team in basketball.

This had to happen eventually. But how did it happen like this?
   121. Tom T Posted: March 17, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5639342)
I'd suggest the only way it hurts you is depth. Haas is a ballstopper supreme, and this gives your excellent perimeter game room to shine.


I think the big issue in our minds is whether Painter can actually *adjust* his style of play---e.g,. we never did stop switching on defense, even once exposed, and Michigan eventually mauled us in the BTT title game.

We can't run the same offense with Haarms (as Matt is unlikely to avoid foul trouble) so we are likely stuck running a 5-guard offense for 20 mins per game, unless Jacquil Taylor suddenly overcomes his glassy career (to tie into the David Wright thread) and not only remains healthy for more than 5 minutes, but also abruptly proves to yet be agile enough to play defense. (And Eifert is a non-starter in the discussion for *serious* minutes...unless his dad or brother suddenly inhabit his body.)

Then, once we go to a 5-guard offense, we have to decide where we take the defensive hit, allowing Thompson to get burned by a taller guard on post-ups, or allowing Opioid-Boy to get schooled by anyone who can move laterally faster than a tall building.

Now, given that Carsen probably has one more level to which he can step it up (i.e., actually go in *intending* to score 30), I think the novelty of the 5-guard act plus spates of energetic rim defense from Haarms still gives us a decent-to-good shot to get past Butler, but the opportunity to prepare for a traditionally unimaginitive Painter likely gives Texas Tech/Florida a huge advantage.

(Caveat: I didn't really like Painter much when he was a player, so I may be more negative about him as a coach than is warranted. He was hard-nosed, but an arrogant twit around campus...possibly perceived as such in relation to Linc Darner, who was congenial and well-liked.)
   122. Tom T Posted: March 17, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5639343)
In my head, the 1-seed was a team we all secretly thought was overrated; the 16-seed had a star that the general public didn’t know about, but college basketball Twitter had anointed as a folk hero months ago...


The former was clearly our 1996 team that over-achieved and *just* managed to survive Western Carolina. (Noting that that '96 Purdue team had a TON of *young* talent on it.)

Reading more about Lyles was interesting. I have a hard time seeing how one of the better players out of DeMatha (including playing with Oladipo) could have gone "under the radar" so much. Good for him to have stuck around at UMBC and not left as a grad transfer to play for one of the big boys. And, heck, his name will now be remembered for decades as every segment on the UMBC-UVa game will include some mention of his play. Should also have earned himself a look as an invite to a camp...UVa may have been demoralized, but some of those moves Jairus put on display were nuts.
   123. SoSH U at work Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5639346)
didn't really like Painter much when he was a player, so I may be more negative about him as a coach than is warranted. He was hard-nosed, but an arrogant twit around campus


I covered Purdue when Painter was there. I didn't like him as a player, because I thought he was terrible.
   124. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5639350)
120--That Ringer article was good! Some of the other stuff on the site though.....like the convo between Mark Titus and whoever where the guys are all "Well as we all know the pack line defense gives up the 3--"

C'mon. The rise of UVa is pretty much exactly correlated with an era in which 3-point shooting dominates college basketball to an unprecedented degree, and you're gonna tell me that Tony Bennett's innovation was "Tell you what--let's just give them the 3--odds are they can't make enough to kill us"?
   125. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5639351)
UVA ACC team stats, raw numbers and rankings: 18 games

FG_ FGA FG% 2P_ 2PA 2P% 3P_ 3PA 3P%
429 966 .444 294 618 .476 135 348 .388
12th 13th 8th 11th 9th 9th 12th 13th 1st

Opposition:
FG_ FGA FG% 2P_ 2PA 2P% 3P_ 3PA 3P%
348 900 .387 248 561 .442 100 339 .295
1st 1st 1st 1st 3rd 2nd 1st 3rd 1st


EDIT: #### a bunch of formatting
   126. Chicago Joe Posted: March 17, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5639359)
@PJMartinez: the game was played in 62 possessions. The average game this year was about 70.
   127. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 17, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5639360)
   128. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5639386)
OK, the UConn women beat their assigned #16 seed competition by....140-52.

Two numbers:

1) They put up 55 points in the first quarter. (Yes, ten minutes.)

2) Their opposition, St. Francis (PA) understandably took a bunch of 3s. Unfortunately, they went 10 for 57.

   129. BDC Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5639389)
My annual note on wheelchair basketball: the national championship games are taking place this afternoon in Marshall, Minnesota. The U of Alabama has teams in both the women's and men's finals, playing Texas-Arlington in the women's game and Wisconsin-Whitewater in the men's.
   130. SoSH U at work Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5639391)
My annual note on wheelchair basketball


I played that once in high school, when our varsity team played against a team of traveling wheelchair players. They spotted us a huge number of points, and still killed us. In our defense, their chairs were so much better than ours. And they cheated like hell (they'd throw the brakes on our chairs when they'd roll past us).
   131. PJ Martinez Posted: March 17, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5639395)
@PJMartinez: the game was played in 62 possessions. The average game this year was about 70.

Fair point. But I assume the bulk of those were in the second half? (It was 21-21 at halftime.) Apparently Virginia only averaged 60.6 on the season, for what it's worth.

Seems like the bigger issue, or at least an equally big issue, is that when UMBC grabbed a big lead early in the second half, Virginia simply wasn't prepared to switch to a more up tempo game (or if they were prepared to do so, they failed to execute). They kept playing slow on offense, making a comeback pretty much impossible.

In any case, a twenty-point win is a shellacking.

   132. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 17, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5639423)
Haas practiced today for Purdue apparently.
   133. Tom T Posted: March 17, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5639430)
I covered Purdue when Painter was there. I didn't like him as a player, because I thought he was terrible.


Heh. That too.

Haas practiced today for Purdue apparently.


Just getting all of the Purdue fanbase's hopes up so they can be cruelly quashed in the morning when (a) the NCAA rules Isaac's elbow brace---the same as what JJ Watt uses---to be illegal, or (b) Painter declares Isaac won't play and, by the way, Taylor is *also* out because his knee got too close to Haas's elbow and tore apart when it tried to flee in terror.

Still think Purdue is likely (i.e., prob > 50%...maybe 60%?) get past Butler, regardless, but Tech/Florida will be a nightmare.
   134. Tom T Posted: March 17, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5639432)
I covered Purdue when Painter was there.


Been meaning to ask elsewhere, but may as well do it here --- did you ever get to work with Wash? He was always a fun read and a great personality on the sideline. (I am assuming you saw Doyel's nice article about Jeff's last game before he passed away, but don't know if you pay much attention to the non-Region papers up there!)
   135. SoSH U at work Posted: March 17, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5639436)
Been meaning to ask elsewhere, but may as well do it here --- did you ever get to work with Wash?


Yup. When I started in Monticello, Wash was at the J&C. Super nice guy.
   136. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: March 17, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5639470)
Gonzaga/OSU - SO MANY FOULS
   137. BDC Posted: March 17, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5639473)
And the national wheelchair champions: Alabama (men's) by 69-65 over Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Texas-Arlington (women's) by 64-55 over Alabama.
   138. Howie Menckel Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5639476)
I'd like to thank Loyola of Chicago and Seton Hall for underscoring my post 67.

Loyola, an 11 seed, beats a No 6 and a No 3 at the buzzer and now is a national story.

Seton Hall, an 8, beats a 9 and then is stuck playing a 1 seed. They, too, work their second-round game almost to the buzzer - 3-point game with 10 seconds left - but fall short so no notoriety for them.

It's better for TV ratings to make Seton Hall - which has 1 seeds Xavier and Villanova in its conference, along with 3 other March Madness teams - face Kansas and give less-tested Loyola a shot against a more beatable 3 seed in Tennessee.

But it absolutely sucks for Seton Hall. They were considered safely in a couple of weeks ago. It's a narrow window to slip below the 8-9 line and still make the tournament - but in a conference like theirs, it's a lot easier to read the tea leaves. I'd be fascinated to hear a story about a program that rolled these dice.
:)
   139. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:12 PM (#5639477)

it's much better to be seeded 11 or 12 than 8 or 9, then. 6s and 5s lose nearly half their games to 11s and 12s. when the latter win, they also get more manageable second-round opponents.


This is incorrect. An 11 seed has a 37.1% chance of winning it's first game. A 12 seed has a 35.6% chance.

10-12 seeds have a higher chance of reaching the Sweet 16 than 8 seeds (9 seeds get screwed much more by far). But they have a lower chance of reaching the Elite Eight or Final Four. I suppose you could re-seed after each round, but lower seeds don't win enough as it is anymore.
   140. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:14 PM (#5639478)
I’m not really a basketball fan but I always enjoy watching March Madness. The replays are just brutal though, they really detract.
   141. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:15 PM (#5639479)
Gonzaga not handling crunch time well.
   142. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:17 PM (#5639481)
Replay that commentators thought was called wrong, against Gonzaga, was called right, IMHO.
   143. Brian White Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5639482)
These Florida/Texas Tech refs are getting awfully whistle-happy in the second half.
   144. Howie Menckel Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:24 PM (#5639483)
This is incorrect. An 11 seed has a 37.1% chance of winning it's first game. A 12 seed has a 35.6% chance

we're nearing pedant mode. in many recent years, it was right at or about 50 percent. are you talking about all-time? also, you are ignoring my point from post 67 about a non-top 10 team.

for them, getting to the Sweet 16 is immeasurably valuable. it's what puts you on the map nationally, and provides twice the shelf life of memories. that's my point. Loyola not only obviously was handed a better chance to get there - getting a No 3 in the second round instead of a No 1 - but they underscored the point by doing it.

Also, I have no idea how you think a 9 seed gets screwed more than an 8 "by far." or at all. I really don't. they each get a tossup game, and winner faces No 1 always (until last night) in 33 years.

finally, seeds such as 11 or 12 have a lesser chance of reaching the Elite 8 or Final Four not because the scheduled is against them (all kinds of upsets muddy the waters) but because, well, they weren't elite to begin with.
   145. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2018 at 10:36 PM (#5639486)

we're nearing pedant mode. in many recent years, it was right at or about 50 percent. are you talking about all-time?


Yes, we're talking about all-time.

Also, I have no idea how you think a 9 seed gets screwed more than an 8 "by far." or at all. I really don't.


8 seeds get to the Sweet Sixteen 9.8% of the time. For a 9 seed it is 3.8%. 8 seeds get to the Elite Eight 6.1% of the time. For 9 seeds, it's 1.5%.


finally, seeds such as 11 or 12 have a lesser chance of reaching the Elite 8 or Final Four not because the scheduled is against them (all kinds of upsets muddy the waters) but because, well, they weren't elite to begin with.


While true, it's still the case it's easier to beet a 9 seed followed by a 1 seed than a 6 seed followed by a 3 seed, for any team of any talent level.
   146. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: March 17, 2018 at 11:24 PM (#5639487)
in the span of half an hour, ohio state was eliminated from the basketball tournament, lost the big ten title game in hockey, and finished 2nd in the wrestling tournament (despite controlling their own destiny) when their guy at 184 got pinned.
   147. Howie Menckel Posted: March 17, 2018 at 11:36 PM (#5639488)
While true, it's still the case it's easier to beet a 9 seed followed by a 1 seed than a 6 seed followed by a 3 seed, for any team of any talent level.

wait, what?
have I gone down a rabbit hole?
the 8 vs 9 followup is equally bizarre.
   148. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: March 17, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5639490)
the NCAA tournament should be seeded randomly, except for the play in matches, which should exclusively include the lowest rated at large teams, instead of a combination of at large and automatic qualifiers.

   149. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: March 18, 2018 at 12:13 AM (#5639493)
Calling it too tight in HOU-MICH game, too. Two fouls called on rebounds let Houston get free throws.
   150. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 18, 2018 at 12:26 AM (#5639494)
What an incredible shot for Michigan at the end of the game!
   151. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: March 18, 2018 at 12:26 AM (#5639495)
I love March Madness.
   152. . . . . . . Posted: March 18, 2018 at 12:44 AM (#5639502)
What a grungy, ugly, infuriating, glorious win for my wolverines.
   153. Stevey Posted: March 18, 2018 at 01:56 AM (#5639506)
the NCAA tournament should be seeded randomly


Tennis style. 1s and 2s in their normal position. 3s and 4s random among any of those eight spots. 5-8s random among those 16 spots. The rest completely random.

we're nearing pedant mode


Yeah #### those guys who look up the actual odds instead of building narratives from the hip amirite?
   154. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 18, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5639519)
I'd like to thank Loyola of Chicago and Seton Hall for underscoring my post 67.

Loyola, an 11 seed, beats a No 6 and a No 3 at the buzzer and now is a national story.

Seton Hall, an 8, beats a 9 and then is stuck playing a 1 seed. They, too, work their second-round game almost to the buzzer - 3-point game with 10 seconds left - but fall short so no notoriety for them.

It's better for TV ratings to make Seton Hall - which has 1 seeds Xavier and Villanova in its conference, along with 3 other March Madness teams - face Kansas and give less-tested Loyola a shot against a more beatable 3 seed in Tennessee.

But it absolutely sucks for Seton Hall. They were considered safely in a couple of weeks ago. It's a narrow window to slip below the 8-9 line and still make the tournament - but in a conference like theirs, it's a lot easier to read the tea leaves. I'd be fascinated to hear a story about a program that rolled these dice.

This strikes me as an outdated argument, at least as it pertains to the men's game. In the one-and-done era, the differences between #1 and #3 seeds are typically minuscule, and in many cases non-existent. I'd take any #3 seed over #1 Xavier on a neutral court, and Ken Pomeroy's ratings back that up. Michigan St is a #3 that's better and more talented than #1 Kansas in its own region. Tennessee v. Kansas--the schools you've focused on--would be a coin flip. #3 Texas Tech was generally better than Kansas whenever Keenan Evans was healthy. In this of all years, when the #1 overall seed is a system-team with little NBA talent that was blown out by a properly-seeded #16, I'm not buying your argument.

In the women's game, on the other hand, I agree that it's totally in a team's best interest to try to game the system to be #11/12 rather than #8/9. There the gap between a #1 seed and a #3 or #4 is massive, and any matchup with a #1 is a near-certain loss. I'm sure #9 Quinnipiac would've gladly traded places with any #11 seed when the brackets were announced.
   155. Tom T Posted: March 18, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5639523)
What an incredible shot for Michigan at the end of the game!


Turned off my phone when I saw on the gamecast that Davis (9 of 10 FTs to that point) was going back to the line for 2 FTs with ~4s left. D'oh!

If Purdue can not faceplant in a couple of hours and use the Butler game to figure out how to play sans Haas, the B1G would seem to have a decent shot to get 3 teams into the Elite Eight. (Noting, however, that Tech looks *exactly* like the kind of team Purdue does NOT want to face without Haas.)
   156. Tom T Posted: March 18, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5639526)
In the women's game, on the other hand


Wait...they still do a women's tournament? What's the point?

Until they reduce the scholarships to spread talent around, I (and many fans of women basketball with whom I regularly interact here at Purdue) have little interest in following the post-season tournament for the women's game. Noting this is *very* different from the men's game, where we follow even when we have down years and aren't in a tournament.

This complete lack of balance/parity seems like it is a not-unexpected consequence of counting football---in the absence of a "mass team" sport for the women---against the men's scholarships in the balancing count.

When they cut the number of men's basketball scholarships a few decades (at least...) ago, there was a ready acknowledgment that this would help a lot of schools as the big guys could stockpile less talent. Now, the one-and-dones have somewhat changed that "stockpile" calculus a bit (you can still recruit a couple awesome 2-3 year players if you know you also have a few guys who are gone after a single season), but I do think the ability of many conferences to meaningfully run 6+ teams deep cannot be replicated with so many scholarship players in the women's game. In theory, you'd think #15 at UConn might eventually tire of waiting for her senior year to play much, but I suspect that is overridden by knowledge that (a) she won't have a chance to win it all if she leaves, and (b) she will STILL have a shot at a pro career if she wants it, just by having been at UConn.

I am somewhat interested, however, in how there did seem to be more parity in the mid-to-late-'90s through the early 2000s, but that has completely faded away. I guess that was just a transition period between Tennessee winning every year and UConn winning every year? Cynically, I'd think it was just a meta-state that had to exist while ESPN began to develop and over-expose UConn as their darling --- the young ladies went where they wanted until the media focus AND the success had converged on UConn, at which point one's best future options came from joining the UConn/ESPN partnership.
   157. SoSH U at work Posted: March 18, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5639551)
Was having some serious Little Rock flashbacks for Purdue right there.
   158. . . . . . . Posted: March 18, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5639573)
I loathe Boeheim, I loathe the 2-3 zone, and I loathe low-possession games. But #######, can that man coach.
   159. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 18, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5639574)
But how pitiful is Michigan State's shooting?
   160. . . . . . . Posted: March 18, 2018 at 05:14 PM (#5639575)
Not a lot of open looks for good shooters, though. Which is how a well-executed 2-3 should work. Cuse basically turned a game against an infinitely better team into a toss-up through tactics. Just great, great coaching.
   161. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 18, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5639578)
I share all your views on Boeheim, but he couldn't coach their way past Carolina or Duke. Maybe Michigan State just wasn't that good. They were missing open shots as well as the contested ones.
   162. . . . . . . Posted: March 18, 2018 at 05:32 PM (#5639582)
Sure. 8 for 37 (!) from 3. But a lot of those shots were shitty ones.
   163. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: March 18, 2018 at 05:56 PM (#5639588)
I loathe Boeheim, I loathe the 2-3 zone, and I loathe low-possession games. But #######, can that man coach.

attacking a 2-3 zone is pretty simple. put a big playmaker in the middle of the floor, have cutters dart to the rim when he gets the ball, have shooters spot up where the shape of the defense gets deformed by the reaction to the cutters.

bridges skillset is almost tailor made for that role. jackson should have been cutting from corner to corner, alternately spotting up for 3s, or positioning himself for a lob if bridges can draw the rim protector out of position.


there's a reason why NBA teams don't play zone defense. when you know how to break them, they're basically useless. if you do it right, you can get a layup, a lob or a corner 3 on nearly every possession.

michigan state's inability to do anything productive is a poor reflection on izzo, and also a likely result of michigan state's youth and inexperience.
   164. . . . . . . Posted: March 18, 2018 at 06:11 PM (#5639591)
Having Bridges shoot 12 3’s is insanity. Exactly the opposite of how you use skilled big men against the zone.
   165. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 18, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5639632)
Meanwhile UMBC has a ton of heart, but that's got to be the tiniest college team since the 1940's. I can't recall a single offensive rebound they've had all night. That point guard who probably had his hands on the ball for about 60% of their possession time is 5'4" and weighs all of 140. But it was fun while it lasted.
   166. smileyy Posted: March 18, 2018 at 11:14 PM (#5639642)
I had a bad feeling about Xavier going into the tournament and I was right.
   167. Thok Posted: March 19, 2018 at 12:23 AM (#5639650)
My sense of symmetry wishes that Auburn had beaten Clemson; if that had happened there would be 2 teams in the Sweet 16 seeded each of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 11. Instead, there are three 5 seeds and one 4 seed (Hi Gonzaga!)
   168. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: March 19, 2018 at 07:00 AM (#5639657)
I had a bad feeling about Xavier going into the tournament and I was right.
By Pomeroy's ratings, they were the fourth best team in the West at the start of the tournament, and rated only two spots better than the West's #5 and three spots better than the #6. They were one of the weakest #1 seeds in memory, and it showed.

4 ACC teams left, and 3 of them are in the Midwest bracket.
   169. Tom T Posted: March 19, 2018 at 07:23 AM (#5639659)
Was having some serious Little Rock flashbacks for Purdue right there.


That's Friday...Beard was UALR's coach.

Folks are working on a brace for Haas. No plan for him to play, regardless, but sounds like the hope is to make it so he can do a shoot around (with his teammates) without pain. Dakota and Vince are notably superstitious about routine....
   170. Tom T Posted: March 19, 2018 at 07:25 AM (#5639660)
And speaking of Pomeroy's ratings, the East has 4 of the top 8 teams remaining (and all in the top 13). Just our usual tournament luck....
   171. stanmvp48 Posted: March 19, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5639690)
Syracuse scored 31 points on field goals yesterday
   172. . . . . . . Posted: March 19, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5639695)
Folks are working on a brace for Haas. No plan for him to play, regardless, but sounds like the hope is to make it so he can do a shoot around (with his teammates) without pain. Dakota and Vince are notably superstitious about routine....


Purdue without Haas isn't even interesting, let alone good.
   173. Tom T Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5639724)
Purdue without Haas isn't even interesting, let alone good.


Oh, c'mon....Haarms is extremely interesting!

But, yeah, the *team* isn't terribly interesting without Isaac. They are "good" enough in the sense that if they shoot well, they don't need a super-effective big down low, but that conditional is doing a lot of heavy lifting. Beating a Villanova would be well-nigh impossible without Haas. Texas Tech will be a reach for them. I think 538 has it currently something like 62% for Purdue to win, but I assume that doesn't account for the absence of Haas. Probably more like 35-40% chance to get past Tech.

Still trying to figure out how the NCAA didn't brand the GoFundMe for the service dog for Isaac's sister as an "inappropriate benefit"....
   174. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5639739)
But, yeah, the *team* isn't terribly interesting without Isaac. They are "good" enough in the sense that if they shoot well, they don't need a super-effective big down low, but that conditional is doing a lot of heavy lifting. Beating a Villanova would be well-nigh impossible without Haas. Texas Tech will be a reach for them. I think 538 has it currently something like 62% for Purdue to win, but I assume that doesn't account for the absence of Haas. Probably more like 35-40% chance to get past Tech.


I dunno. Against a team like Villanova, a traditional big like Haas is probably more of a detriment than an asset. He'd come in handy against Texas Tech though. The East is brutal, especially compared to the dumpster fires in the South and West.
   175. . . . . . . Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5639744)
Against a team like Villanova, a traditional big like Haas is probably more of a detriment than an asset.


Perhaps Villanova is a special case b/c Wright is averse to playing zone. But Haas is the sort of good big that's useful against nearly any college team.
   176. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5639758)
Perhaps Villanova is a special case b/c Wright is averse to playing zone.


I also don't know who he defends against Villanova. They play 5 shooters most of the game. Haas isn't switchy, and if he's getting dragged out to the perimeter, well, that ain't great for Purdue. But if you don't defend everybody on Villanova at the perimeter, you're giving up an open 3 to them, and that's a good way to get blown out.

But Haas is the sort of good big that's useful against nearly any college team.


Oh yeah, he's a good college player. Villanova is just a bad matchup for him, although Purdue has the shooters to make it a game.
   177. Tom T Posted: March 19, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5639792)
They play 5 shooters most of the game. Haas isn't switchy, and if he's getting dragged out to the perimeter, well, that ain't great for Purdue.


I think this gets us to the heart of the question --- if Purdue's shooters start hitting early allowing it to work outside-in such that a healthy Haas becomes a beast down low, Villanova has to go away from 5 shooters. When Purdue played them tough last season (Nov 2016), I believe that was largely the scenario (only with Swanigan rather than Haas). There was generally a sense of optimism here that Purdue had a puncher's chance against them, given that history and the development of the players since last year. Without Isaac...uh...no, not gonna happen. (But we'd all be darn happy if the guys can GET to a game against them!)

FYI, we found out that Isaac's almost as good a FT shooter lefty as he is righty. (Shaq should be ashamed!)
   178. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: March 19, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5639804)
villanova's 6'9 freshman center shot 44% from beyond the arc on 3.6 3PA/G in 28 MPG.

they can play 5-out without going small.
   179. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5639820)
It's hard to see who that's left can beat Nova.

Which means they'll lose by 38 in their next game.
   180. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5639827)
villanova's 6'9 freshman center shot 44% from beyond the arc on 3.6 3PA/G in 28 MPG.

they can play 5-out without going small.


This. Villanova almost always plays 5-out because 7 of their 8 rotation players are dangerous shooters from 3, and the 8th is a true freshman big that plays like 10 minutes a game. It's exhausting and demoralizing to defend because the slightest defensive lapse anywhere on the floor and a good shooter is taking an open 3.
   181. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5639833)
It's hard to see who that's left can beat Nova.

Which means they'll lose by 38 in their next game.


Probably. On paper West Virginia is a good matchup from Nova's perspective. Nova doesn't turn the ball over much, has an outstanding point guard, and is an excellent passing team, which all work to mitigate WV's press. But anything can happen. The only really scary team on paper for Villanova is Duke.

   182. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5639835)
The only really scary team on paper for Villanova is Duke.

Yes, my statement was an overreach. Duke can beat Villanova. I'd say it's 60/40 in favor of Nova. Maybe 70/30. But they'll only play once (unless, of course, one or both lose first).
   183. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: March 19, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5639853)
It's hard to see who that's left can beat Nova.

jay wright could win the next 10 national championships, and 80% of the compiments he'd get would still be about his hair and his damn suits.
   184. Tom T Posted: March 19, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5639854)
they can play 5-out without going small.


Eh...when it comes to 7'2" and 7'3" vs. 6'9" that latter number is "small".

I was simply noting that IF there were still such a thing as a healthy Purdue (there isn't), and IF Purdue started out hitting its 3s (which at least HAS happened), Haas/Haarms would become quite effective and likely force said small center into foul trouble OR require that they bring in a bigger body who is likely not as great a 3-point threat. If a healthy Purdue were NOT to start hitting their 3s, they'd be extra crispy toast as said small center would be unstoppable by a Painter-coached team, given that Matt has never quite figured out that man-to-man is not optimal in every possible situation.

Should Purdue somehow get past Tech, Haarms could be an interesting defender on the 6'9" guy...but Painter would be more likely to go with 6'8" Vincent Edwards at the 5 and bring in Cline/Eastern/Eifert to defend the 4.
   185. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: March 19, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5639855)
Yes, my statement was an overreach. Duke can beat Villanova. I'd say it's 60/40 in favor of Nova. Maybe 70/30. But they'll only play once (unless, of course, one or both lose first).

nova can lose to anyone if their shooting goes cold, if their opponents shooting gets hot, or if the refs bend them over a barrel.

in the 4 games they lost this year:
FTAs: 92 v. 58
3P%: 45% v. 28%
   186. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5639858)
jay wright could win the next 10 national championships, and 80% of the compliments he'd get would still be about his hair and his damn suits.

Well, they are nice suits.

nova can lose to anyone if their shooting goes cold, if their opponents shooting gets hot, or if the refs bend them over a barrel.

Sure, but that's true of anyone. Virginia lost mostly because they were ice cold and UMBC couldn't miss. If UMBC shot on Friday the way they did Sunday, UVa would have won by 15 points, even as cold as they were, and no one would have even thought it close. I think that is what makes the NCAA tournament so "mad". Young players have more bad nights and, in a single elimination tournament, that's all it takes. If these were even 3 game series instead of one game, chalk would hold at least to the Sweet 16 and probably beyond. Any team can lose. But if I were going to bet real money on one team with this current bracket, Nova is the easy pick.

   187. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5639863)
Should Purdue somehow get past Tech, Haarms could be an interesting defender on the 6'9" guy...but Painter would be more likely to go with 6'8" Vincent Edwards at the 5 and bring in Cline/Eastern/Eifert to defend the 4.


I'd be surprised if Purdue sent a lumbering 7'3 guy to chase Omari Spellman all around the perimeter. And gods help him if he had to switch. Much more likely to see Edwards, especially since Spellman would rather shoot 3s (which, to be fair, he's really good at) than post up.

80% of the compiments he'd get would still be about his hair and his damn suits.


I don't understand the media love. Half of those suits look like he stole them from the costume department of a Guys and Dolls production. I guess at this point they're his trademark and he couldn't change things even if he wanted to, but man, dem suits...
   188. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5639867)
OK, the UConn women beat their assigned #16 seed competition by....140-52.

I was a student at Louisiana Tech in 1989 back when they were a national power in the middle of Final Four runs for several consecutive years (and a national championship my Sophomore year). When they joined the American South Conference, they were matched up against Texas-Pan American, who had gone 0-27 the previous season.

Tech won 111-28 at UTPA then won 126-25 at home in a game I just learned set the record (since broken in 2016) for largest Div I women's margin of victory.

I was in the basketball band so there for the game. Tech's starters played the first half only. 6'4" All-American center Venus Lacy scored 35 points, grabbed 16 boards, and played on the perimeter for a bit hitting the only 3-pointers of her college career in the game.

Allegedly, their athletic director sent Tech's AD a letter after the series thanking the Tech coaches and players for good sportsmanship and not running up the score against them.
   189. Tom T Posted: March 19, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5639878)
lumbering 7'3 guy


While Matt Haarms is not graceful, he's not Isaac Haas. He can't hang with a 6'4" guard, but he's been decent switching off to handle forwards in the 6'8" range. (Dang, we have a lot of double vowel 'a's at the 5....)

That said, VEdwards (6'8") would be assigned to Spellman and Painter would mostly run a small lineup.

Not going to matter, though...that Tech game will be a killer, sans Haas.
   190. smileyy Posted: March 19, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5639902)
By Pomeroy's ratings, they were the fourth best team in the West at the start of the tournament, and rated only two spots better than the West's #5 and three spots better than the #6. They were one of the weakest #1 seeds in memory, and it showed.


It's ugly truth. They didn't really blow teams out the way they should have, for what their national ranking was. By all rights they ought to have lost to East Tennessee St., Georgetown and Creighton, in addition to their other losses, which would have dropped them to a seed line closer to 3 or 4 as the Ken Pomeroy prediction algorithm had them at.

Sigh.
   191. Voodoo Posted: March 19, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5639941)
So a team seeded #3 or lower will be playing for the national championship, with the most likely teams to emerge being #3 Michigan, #4 Gonzaga and #5 Kentucky. One of them will probably play Villanova/Duke for the title. Apologies, to Kansas and Purdue. And Loyola.
   192. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5639962)
It'll be something like Duke/Kentucky. A deluge of upsets ending in two traditional powers.

Kentucky must just be giddy. What looked like a hellish draw has turned into a potential romp to the finals.
   193. . . . . . . Posted: March 19, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5639969)
One of them will probably play Villanova/Duke for the title. Apologies, to Kansas and Purdue. And Loyola.


I'd think the field is pretty close to 50/50 with VillanoDuke on that side of the bracket.

Kentucky must just be giddy. What looked like a hellish draw has turned into a potential romp to the finals.


Same issue here - I doubt UK's chances of reaching the final are better than 1 in 4. Why do people forget that upsets keep happening after the first weekend, and team quality actually becomes tighter in the second weekend (i.e., upsets are more, not less, likely to happen).
   194. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2018 at 05:38 PM (#5639980)
Same issue here - I doubt UK's chances of reaching the final are better than 1 in 4. Why do people forget that upsets keep happening after the first weekend, and team quality actually becomes tighter in the second weekend (i.e., upsets are more, not less, likely to happen).

Sure. But upsets are still less likely than chalk. Otherwise, they aren't upsets. If you're UK, you were going to have to pull off the upsets in order to reach the final four. Now, you don't. I mean, nothing is guaranteed, you're right. But if before the tournament started you told Calipari that he could choose these paths:

Buffalo, Kansas State, Nevada

or

Arizona, Virginia, Cincinnati

to reach the final four, which would he have chosen? How many nanoseconds would it have taken to decide?

I do think both KState and Nevada could beat Kentucky but they certainly aren't anything close to even, which would put them at 1 in 4, better than you give them. I'd say Kentucky is close to 50% to reach the final four at this point. Which is tremendous odds for a 5 seed. They shouldn't even be playing by chalk.
   195. bunyon Posted: March 19, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5639982)
I'd think the field is pretty close to 50/50 with VillanoDuke on that side of the bracket.

I'll counter my previous post by saying this is probably an overestimate of the chances Nova meets Duke in the semis. KU, Clemson, Purdue (well they were), Texas Tech and West Virginia are good teams. KU and Clemson especially, compared to the other side of the bracket. I'd guess neither Duke nor Nova are 50% to reach the final four so much less than 50/50 to meet. But they're clearly the best two teams left.
   196. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: March 19, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5639985)
i think ESPN projects villanova as the favorite to win the title, with around a 30% chance.
   197. Voodoo Posted: March 20, 2018 at 12:36 AM (#5640066)
KENPOM

Elite8 Final4 Final Champ
1E Villanova 72.5 48.5 31.1 23.3
2MW Duke 81.1 54.0 28.8 20.4
4W Gonzaga 68.9 40.0 25.9 10.7
2E Purdue 61.1 26.3 13.7 8.7
3W Michigan 62.3 32.7 20.0 7.8
5S Kentucky 63.6 37.7 17.8 5.8
1MW Kansas 53.9 22.2 8.5 4.8
7S Nevada 56.9 27.6 11.4 3.2
5MW Clemson 46.1 17.5 6.1 3.2
5E West Virginia 27.5 12.4 5.1 2.8
3E Texas Tech 38.9 12.8 5.2 2.8
7W Texas A&M 37.7 15.1 7.3 1.9
11S Loyola Chicago 43.1 18.2 6.4 1.5
9W Florida St. 31.1 12.2 5.6 1.3
9S Kansas St. 36.4 16.4 5.6 1.3
11MW Syracuse 18.9 6.3 1.4 0.5
   198. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 20, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5640350)
So you're telling me Michigan has a 1/3 shot at a FF and a 1/5 shot at the final? I'll take those odds.
   199. Voodoo Posted: March 20, 2018 at 08:22 PM (#5640668)
Yep, that's what I'm (or KenPom is)telling you. I'm also telling you (mostly me but with the modest backing of KenPom), that you aren't beating Gonzaga, if it comes to it. They are stacked, again, and their best players are mostly not even key contributors to last year's team that lost in the 'ship.

20 straight years in the tournament, 10 straight years with at least one win, four straight Sweet Sixteen (9 of the 20,too).

Gonzaga is one of the ten best basketball programs in the country.

   200. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 20, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5640683)
20 straight years in the tournament, 10 straight years with at least one win, four straight Sweet Sixteen (9 of the 20,too).


They are a great program and UM isn't that talented this year despite their success. But, UM and fans are playing with house money at this point as most, including myself, thought this was a bubble team that would do well to win a first weekend game and maybe make a B1G Tourney run. Well, with the B1G Tourney victory (back to back, nice), another (4 in 6 years) Sweet 16 and a very good chance to make another Elite 8 (would be 3 in 6 years) and a loaded recruiting class coming in it's all sunshine and rainbows now.

A loss to A&M (or Gonzaga) would be a disappointing end to a great run, but it's been another fun season for Beilein's boys.
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