January 6, 2010

Badgers v. Spartans, take 1.

In just 3.5 hours, the Wisconsin Badgers are going to play the Michigan State Spartans. In ~5.5 hours, Tom Izzo will limply shake Bo Ryan's hand, avoid any interaction, and then whine to East Lansing sportswriters about either the officiating, his team's shots "not falling," Hughes/Leuer/Bohannon "catching fire," or some combination of the three.

I rely upon Kenpom to satisfy my college basketball jonesing. Pomeroy consistently provides more intelligent analysis than any of ESPN or SI.com's writers, although Luke Winn will regularly cite his statistics. Besides the great analysis, I got sucked into the site with my old roommate Mike Schroeder because it doesn't overlook the Badgers. Tempo-free statistics look past the "boring, glacial Big Ten pace" and illustrate the true talent level of an offense. Tonight, Pomeroy projects the Badgers to win 67-66 (preview) in 63 possessions, with a 55% confidence level. You won't find many people picking the Badgers to win tonight, but I've learned not to doubt Bo.

Apparently, Kalin Lucas thinks the Badgers are a dirty team. Last year, center Goran Suton said similar things - I'm looking forward to their post-game interviews.

Prediction: Badgers 70, Spartans 64 in 66 possessions.

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