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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Something's Fishy at the DFP

On Saturday, January 20, I wrote in a blog post called "Lady Luck":
[...] Turns out Ken's got an interesting theory on why BU keeps losing these tight overtime games: they're just unlucky.

Pomeroy has calculated a statistic that estimates "luck" - or something close to it. Do NOT ask me how it's calculated, but it has something to do with the difference between the number of wins a team has, and the number that are expected to win by another of Pomeroy's extremely complicated formulas (which he gets from offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, turnover percentages, etc.).

Bottom line: Pomeroy's formula says that BU is the 328th luckiest team in the nation, or the 9th unluckiest. And that makes sense, considering the string of overtime defeats. According to the numbers, BU's lack of luck means they have lost 2.3 games that they SHOULD have won. [...]

On Wednesday, January 25, Nick Cammarota of the Daily Free Press wrote in an article called "Luck Certainly Not On BU's Side":
[...] At some point it might be safe to say that the Terriers have just had some really bad luck.

Turns out, Ken Pomeory of ESPN.com actually keeps a statistical category that measures just that. Out of 336 college basketball teams in the country, BU ranks 325th

(-0.108) in terms of worst luck. And that was before last night's game. Stony Brook University is the next closest America East team to BU and it's still over 100 times luckier than the Terriers, ranking at 176 (+0.002).

The technical formula for calculating a team's luck involves taking the deviation in winning percentage between a team's actual record and their expected record and plugs it into an even more complicated formula called the Correlated Gaussian Method.

Is it a coincidence? I don't know, maybe. Pretty obscure stat to come up with 3 days apart though.


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Matt said...

That Nick Cammarota. Devious, he.

Speaking of luck, how about losing Brittain and Peterkin for yesterday's Catamounts game. That won't show up in Pomeroy's formula, either, as it doesn't account for injuries/suspensions and their timing.

At 4:19 PM, Blogger the High Roller said...

Yeah. Looks to me like a case of "journalist was too busy/lazy/unorigional to come up with his own idea so he took someone elses." I tried looking for that particular stat on KenPom and couldn't find it anywhere. And what are the odds that this kid finds it three days after Tall-boy does and decides to write about it? Sup wit dat? Shame on that kid.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Tall-boy said...

He is otherwise a pretty good writer and I like reading his stuff, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in this case. Just thought it warranted pointing out.


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