Most college basketball fans intuitively understand win shares. Football guys freak out when their team loses, whereas basketball guys understand that teams lose. Indiana, for example, is projected to be favored in every remaining game, but that doesn't mean they'll go undefeated. In fact, the odds are overwhelmingly against them going undefeated in the regular season.
A 15-point favorite is going to win roughly 90% of the time. So if a team played 10 straight games in which they were 15-point favorites, the odds are that they would go 9-1. It's just math.
Those are win shares. Teams lose.
Heading into Saturday there were 18 teams which had yet to drop a game. Four lost, leaving us with 14 undefeateds. Using Ken Pomeroy's projected point spreads for all 14 teams' remaining games, I was able to generate a rough look at the odds facing them if they want to be the first team since Indiana in 1976 to go undefeated. This obviously only considers the regular season, as post-season matchups won't be determined for months.
The list is ordered from the strongest team in the nation (according to Pomeroy) and working down from there. Does Indiana, since they're the best team, have the best chance of going undefeated?
The 'Underdog?' column shows how many games Pomeroy projects for each team where they won't be the favorite. The other columns are self explanatory.
|Team||Remaining Games||Underdog?||% Perfect||Win Share Record|
(*2 games to be determined in December tourney)
It turns out that Florida and Duke have the highest probability of an undefeated regular season. And the reason is that the Big Ten is just too strong top to bottom, whereas the ACC is weaker, and the SEC is weaker still. Also, note that the undefeated LSU Tigers, using win shares, project to a 16-13 record.