View Full Version : Gonzaga unlikely to be a "Slain Giant"?

Pleasant Peninsula
03-12-2009, 03:49 PM
ESPN Insider is running a series on "Giant Killers" and "Slain Giants"; basically it analyzes past tourney results to indicate which Giants, ie higher seeded teams, will be most vulnerable to a first round loss and which "Giant Killers", ie lower seeded teams, are most likely to take down a top seed in the first round. Today's update had Gonzaga as the "Giant of the Day", awarded because Gonzaga is one of the LEAST likely teams to be picked off early, according to the model.

Here's what it said about Gonzaga:

GIANT OF THE DAY: GONZAGA (12.4 percent). The Bulldogs look relatively safe from upset-minded foes as they prepare for the Tourney after capturing the WCC title. They avoid many of the statistical flaws that plague their more vulnerable counterparts: They don't rely too heavily on free throws, they're extremely efficient offensively and they commit relatively few turnovers.

Here's the link (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3965089) .

Incidentally, the three teams the model has pegged for potential slain giants are Florida State, Butler and Xavier, all of whom have, according to the model, a better than 50% chance of losing in the first round. They note that of the eleven teams that have posted a 50% or better chance of being a Slain Giant in the past, eight of them have in fact, lost in the first round.

Also interesting is that the two teams the model thinks has the best chance of being a "Giant Killer" are two teams that will almost certainly have to do their damage in the NIT, Davidson and Niagara.

03-12-2009, 04:17 PM

The percentage listed next to each team represents its chance of becoming a Slain Giant. History: Over the past five tournaments, eight of 11 teams that were given at least a 50 percent likelihood of losing to a GK did, in fact, go down.
*Note: The model generates negative results for some teams, which have been assigned odds of 0 percent.
Team Rating
Florida State 72.9%
Butler 69.7%
Xavier 66.8%
Michigan State 45.7%
Oklahoma 45.7%
Syracuse 42.6%
LSU 41.5%
Kansas 41.1%
Illinois 37.7%
Arizona State 35.4%
Connecticut 33.7%
Villanova 33.2%
Louisville 28.5%
Wake Forest 19.8%
Clemson 19.8%
California 18.3%
Pittsburgh 16.4%
Washington 12.8%
Gonzaga 12.4%
Marquette 12.2%
Tennessee 12.0%
Purdue 10.4%
North Carolina 8.3%
Texas 7.4%
Memphis 5.5%
Missouri 1.4%
West Virginia 0%
Duke 0%

Heres the list of giants...this has me curious. How does any model have this years UCLA team with a 0% chance of losing in the first round?:confused:

03-12-2009, 05:24 PM
Heres the list of giants...this has me curious. How does any model have this years UCLA team with a 0% chance of losing in the first round?

It is referring to the past five year's statistics along with the results of the past five tournaments.

03-12-2009, 05:33 PM
Fair enough...I'd buy it on those terms.