2018 NCAA Tournament Round of 32 matchup preview: Villanova vs. Alabama

After Villanova’s first round opponent, the 16th-seeded Radford Highlanders, nailed a quick three-pointer and then forced a Wildcat turnover on the very first two possessions of the game, fans of the small Virginia school might have momentarily allowed themselves to wonder if maybe the impossible could be accomplished. About 90 seconds of game time later, however, those same fans quickly realized those thoughts were nothing more than delusions of grandeur.

The Wildcats completely manhandled the Highlanders at both ends of the court, eventually defeating the by a more than comfortable 26 points, 87-61. Aside from those first two possessions, Radford was never really in the game at any point.

Villanova’s second round opponent, however, will more than likely put up a more spirited fight than the Highlanders could muster. The 9th-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide, coming off their first round victory over 8th-seeded Virginia Tech, boast a top-20 ranked defense according to kenpom. They also roster the extremely talented Collin Sexton, a freshman phenom guard that appears to be headed to the NBA as a potential lottery pick after this tournament is over.

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Updated KenPom Rankings (2/27/2017)

*For explanation of rankings, refer to the following – kenpom ratings

  1. Gonzaga (29-1) | AdjEM: +32.56
  2. Villanova (27-3) | AdjEM: +29.28
  3. North Carolina (25-5) | AdjEM: +28.41
  4. West Virginia (23-6) | AdjEM: +28.16
  5. Louisville (23-6) | AdjEM: +27.71
  6. Kentucky (24-5) | AdjEM: +27.61
  7. Florida (23-6) | AdjEM: +27.59
  8. Kansas (26-3) | AdjEM: +26.72
  9. Virginia (19-9) | AdjEM: +26.68
  10. Wichita St. (27-4) | AdjEM: +25.53
  11. Baylor (23-6) | AdjEM: +25.03
  12. Purdue (23-6) | AdjEM: +24.36
  13. UCLA (26-3) | AdjEM: +24.10
  14. St. Mary’s (26-3) | AdjEM: +24.05
  15. Duke (22-7) | AdjEM: +23.95
  16. SMU (25-4) | AdjEM: +23.87
  17. Oregon (26-4) | AdjEM: +23.35
  18. Florida St. (23-6) | AdjEM: +23.02
  19. Oklahoma St. (20-9) | AdjEM: +22.91
  20. Butler (23-6) | +22.18
  21. Wisconsin (22-7) | +21.81
  22. Arizona (26-4) | +21.45
  23. Iowa St. (19-9) | +21.18
  24. Cincinnati (25-4) | +21.00
  25. Notre Dame (22-7) | +19.93

Ken Pomeroy’s Top 25 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Rankings (2/14/2017)…

The rankings below are the current top 25 teams in NCAA Division-I college basketball according to Ken Pomeroy. Who exactly is Ken Pomeroy and what does he do? Read on below to find out as I explain exactly what makes his website one of the most essential tools for evaluating college basketball programs.

  1. Gonzaga (26-0) | AdjEM: +34.43
  2. Virginia (18-6) | AdjEM: +30.50
  3. Villanova (25-2) | AdjEM: +29.43
  4. West Virginia (20-6) | AdjEM: +28.88
  5. Louisville (21-5) |AdjEM: +28.56
  6. Florida (20-5) | AdjEM: +27.54
  7. Kentucky (20-5) | AdjEM: +26.73
  8. Baylor (22-4) | AdjEM: +26.29
  9. Kansas (23-3) | AdjEM: +25.99
  10. North Carolina (21-5) | AdjEM: +25.36
  11. Purdue (20-5) | AdjEM: +25.28
  12. SMU (22-4) | AdjEM: +24.34
  13. Florida St. (21-5) | AdjEM: +23.88
  14. Duke (20-5) | AdjEM: +23.73
  15. Wisconsin (21-4) | AdjEM: +23.72
  16. Wichita St. (23-4) | AdjEM: +23.59
  17. Oregon (22-4) | AdjEM: +22.86
  18. UCLA (23-3) | AdjEM: +22.51
  19. St. Mary’s (22-3) | AdjEM: +22.34
  20. Oklahoma St. (16-9) | AdjEM: +21.85
  21. Creighton (21-4) | AdjEM: +21.54
  22. Cincinnati (22-3) | AdjEM: +21.6
  23. Arizona (23-3) | AdjEM: +21.41
  24. Notre Dame (19-7) | AdjEM: +20.52
  25. Butler (19-6) | AdjEM: +20.23

These rankings are determined using Pomeroy’s Adjusted Efficiency Margin (AdjEM), which calculates the number of points a team would be expected to outscore the average Division-I team over 100 possessions without adjusting for location of the game. It is widely considered to be the most accurate way of determining just how good a particular team is.

The architect of this metric, Ken Pomeroy, is the creator of a popular college basketball website and statistical archive known as kenpom.com. His website includes his patented College Basketball Ratings, tempo-free statistics for every NCAA men’s Division-I basketball team (with archives dating back to the 2002 season), as well as a blog about the current college game. Pomeroy has written articles for The New York Times, ESPN.com, and Sports Illustrated.

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