Statistics and Reality


Statistical analysis, long accepted in baseball, is making inroads in other sports, too. This great article in the New York Times magazine goes into some detail about the ways on-court productivity can be measured.

Ken Pomeroy is a pioneer in the field. His website, Kenpom.com, is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the college game.

But numbers don't tell the whole story: note that his latest numbers, updated for this weekend's NCAA tournament games, include four teams among the top 16 that did not qualify for the tournament's upcoming round of 16.

That is to say, even with the results on the floor settled, the numbers still have a 25% miss rate.

Lots of things go into making a successful team, including chemistry, timing, matchups. Numbers can only show so much.