It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so naturally, the so-called “luckiest team in the country” will play the game in the opening NCAA tournament.
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 its predicted record using Connected Gaussian method. In other words, a team is considered lucky when its winning percentage 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, Pomeroy calculates. 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 that lucky talk 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 14th out of the 68 NCAA Championship 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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