Misix Library

Misix College Basketball Ranking: An Explanation

December 2, 2013

Why this was done:

After reviewing the original ranking model, it was determined that there was a portion of a team’s performance that was being unintentionally excluded from the calculation. The original MCBR was built to rank a team based on the outcome of the game, the quality of the opponent and the location of the game. The component that was missing was the quality of play each team exhibited during the game. We believe that the adjustment we have made corrects this oversight.

How quality of play is estimated:

The reader should know that the ideas used for the quality of play estimation come from Ken Pomeroy and Dean Oliver. In many circles, Mr. Pomeroy is regarded as one of the top college basketball data analysts and his work in advanced statistics has been discussed in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and ESPN. The Misix quality of play estimation takes the ideas discussed by Mr. Pomeroy and tweaks them using regression analysis rather than the Pythagorean calculation for expected winning percentage. We admire Mr. Pomeroy’s work which is why it is the basis for our estimation, and we encourage our readers to follow Mr. Pomeroy and his analyses.

The Overall Formula:

The Misix quality of play estimation is a function of the following model:

  • A model that forecasts a team’s winning percentage based on specific offensive and defensive statistics
    • Basic model structure:
      • WinPctt=f(EffectiveFieldGoalPct,TurnoverPct,OffensiveReboundPct,FreeThrowRate)
  • This model structure comes from Dean Oliver
  • Each team’s results are then put in order and indexed using the team with the highest value as 100.

The Logic Behind the MCBPC:

As discussed by Mr. Oliver and Mr. Pomeroy, the four factors are said to measure how good a team is when they have the ball and how well they defend when they don’t have the ball. The regression model used for our estimation works to estimate a team’s winning percentage based on their performance in each offensive and defensive statistic. Here is a definition of each variable used in the model.

Effective Field Goal Percentage – basically the same as regular field goal percentage, only three pointers get weighted heavier (50%) than two pointers (since three is 50% more than two).

Effg% = (1.5*3FGM + 2FGM)/FGA

Turnover Percentage – measures the amount of turnovers a team has relative to the amount of possessions. This should give a good idea of a team’s offensive ball security or a defenses ability to get turnovers.

TO% = (Turnovers/Possessions)

Offensive Rebounding Percentage – measures the amount of rebounds the offense gets relative to the amount they have the opportunity to get. This gives an idea of how many second chance opportunities on offense can get or defense allows.

OR% = (OR/(OR+DRopponent)

Free Throw Rate – measures the amount of free throws attempted relative to the amount of field goals attempted. This gives an idea of how often an offense can get to the free throw lines for “easier” points and how often a defense puts offenses on the line.


Final Rankings:

The final rankings combine the results of the original MCBR Index values with this new quality of play estimated index. We feel that the combination of these two indices gives a more accurate ranking of team’s quality of play and quality of opponent.

For further clarification and any questions please contact Andy Martinelli at amartinelli@misixinc.com