Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NCAA Pace: Part II

OK, I made a slight miscue yesterday. The pace numbers were for the first round only.

What I have done today is averaged the pace for all NCAA tourney teams during their regular season games. That number is 66.6 (Mark of the Beast!!! Watch out, Ken Pomeroy!), which is just a smidgen under the 66.7 average for all teams in the regular season. So, in FIRST ROUND games, teams slowed down to average pace of 66.3, which is 0.3 possessions slower than this group of NCAA tourney teams averaged during the season. The games did slow down a bit.

In Round Two, the surviving 32 teams had a average pace of 66.0 in their games this season. So, more slower paced teams survived Round One. In Round Two games, the average pace was 63.0--a full three possessions slower than what these teams averaged in the regular season. Of course, with more "slow-minded" teams playing games against one another, this is not terribly surprising.

So, who is left? Sixteen teams that averaged 66.1 possessions this season, that's who. So, if the trend from Round Two holds up, games will be played at a pace of about 63.

Of course, these numbers are not perfect, but they do show that more teams surviving to this point play a slower brand of basketball. They also show that there is some truth to the "games slow down in the tournament" mantra. North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas, and Tennessee are in the minority in this group. They are the only four teams left that are even in the Top 100 in quickest pace of play.