"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

We interupt your scheduled Sports Movie Bracket with this Breaking News

We are shocked to say the least. As reported all over the interwebs on Monday, April 15th, the Hauser brothers have announced their intention to transfer from Marquette. Instead of the general odds and ends plus the first rounds of the Sports Movie Bracket, we get together to talk about this program altering and unexpected news. https://scrambledeggs.podbean.com/mf/play/hrjvu9/scrambledeggs_edit_041519.mp3

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Something a bit different for CrackedSidewalks, we're doing a #ScrambledEggs Sports Movie Bracket

Welcome to the off season where we search for reasons to continue to be entertained. The Scrambled Eggs podcast has created the idea of a 76 "team" bracket to determine the ultimate sports movie to have ever have existed. We are going to debate the bracket match ups as part of our podcast and "determine" winners and losers. We'll also have a voting system through Google Forms you can access by following us on twitter (@mooof23 and/or @joemccann3). This will very likely take longer than a single podcast so we'll spread it across multiple episodes over the next couple of podcasts and we will of course also have updates around #mubb with each podcast. The movie bracket was generated via S-Curve which in turn was generated by 3 key metrics: IMDB ranking, Rotten Tomatoes Fan Ranking, and Domestic Box Office adjusted to 2019. The movies were then slotted into the 76 team bracket with movement so that sequels don't face each other until the 3rd round and with the last 24 movies in participating in a 12 game play-in bracket.

 Without further ado, below is the S-Curve:

 And here is the bracket itself:




 Enjoy the bracket! Podcast to come later.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Big East 2019-20 Non-Conference Schedules (So Far)

I put together a list on MUScoop today of what we know so far for the 2019-20 Big East Non-Conference Schedules. Feel free to tweet any updates I missed to @brewcity77 on Twitter so I can add them in and update this as the next couple months go on. I'll add a few thoughts after each one based on what we know.

Butler (6)

@ Baylor (Big East/Big 12)
@ Mississippi
vs Florida
vs Purdue (N)
Hall of Fame Classic (2 of Missouri, Oklahoma, Stanford)



This is a nice balanced start. The road games will be tough, but there isn't an overwhelming game on here. I'm assuming the Crossroads Classic continues. Butler seems like a good bet to get a Gavitt Game as they've only played in 2 so far, fewest of any Big East team.

Creighton (4)

vs Oklahoma (Big East/Big 12)
vs Nebraska
Las Vegas Invitational (2 of Iowa, Texas Tech, San Diego State)


Still a lot to flesh out, but both home high-majors are winnable & Vegas provides some good opportunities.

DePaul (3)

vs Texas Tech (Big East/Big 12)
vs Northwestern
@ Boston College


The Blue Demons don't have an exempt tournament yet, not sure if that will change. They are likely to play some of the local schools like UIC & NIU but I haven't seen anything concrete yet. Not a terrible start, but needs work.

Georgetown (5)

@ Oklahoma State (Big East/Big 12)
@ SMU
vs Syracuse
Empire Classic (2 of Cal, Duke, Texas)

A nice mix of quality opponents on here. The Big 12 Challenge game adds some quality & Georgetown seems likely to add a Gavitt Game. This looks like the best schedule so far under Ewing.

Marquette (5)

@ Kansas State (Big East/Big 12)
@ Wisconsin-Madison
Orlando Invitational (3 of Davidson, Fairfield, Harvard, Maryland, Temple, Texas A&M, USC)

 History would indicate MU will add a tourney quality buy game & at least one more high-major home game, either in the Gavitt Games or as a new home-and-home, quite possibly both. A home-and-home would help balance the schedule for this year & give a guaranteed away game opposite hosting UW-M in 2020.

Providence (7)

@ Massachusetts
@ Rhode Island
vs Texas (Big East/Big 12)
vs Boston College
Wooden Legacy (3 of Arizona, Charleston, Long Beach State, Penn, Pepperdine, UCF, Wake Forest)

This is a loaded slate & I love it. If Cooley's team takes a step up, they have a solid schedule with all winnable games. They could add a Gavitt Game but even without it have a solid non-con.


Seton Hall (7)

@ Iowa State (Big East/Big 12)
@ St. Louis
@ Rutgers
vs Maryland
Battle 4 Atlantis (3 of Alabama, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Southern Miss)

This is a meat-grinder. Three road games, a tough home game, & one of the toughest exempt tournaments. They don't need any more quality, but SHU has only played 2 Gavitt Games so they could be in line for another & I'm sure a second quality home game to draw fans would be appreciated, though that's a murderer's row away from home.


St. John's (5)

vs West Virginia (Big East/Big 12)
vs 2 of Central Connecticut State, Columbia, Rider, Vermont (Air Force Reserve Campus Games)
Air Force Reserve Tip-Off (2 of Arizona State, UMass, Virginia)

Is any school more afraid of travel than St. John's? Three home games in here & the two neutral site games are 125 miles from campus. Like to see 2-3 road or neutral site games added that aren't within a 2 hour drive of NYC.

Villanova (8)

@ Temple
@ St. Joseph's
vs Penn
vs La Salle
vs Kansas (Big East/Big 12)
Myrtle Beach Invitational (3 of Baylor, Coastal Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Ohio, Tulane, Utah)

I love the Big 5. Such a cool concept & guarantees at least decent mid-major games. Add in Kansas at home & a tournament in which they'll likely be favored & this is a great schedule. Nova is another Gavitt candidate, having played just 3 games so far.

Xavier (6)

@ TCU (Big East/Big 12)
vs Cincinnati
vs Missouri
Charleston Classic (3 of Buffalo, UConn, Florida, Miami, Missouri State, St. Joseph's, Towson)

X is a strong Gavitt candidate, hopefully playing someone other than Wisconsin. This could probably use another home-and-home starting on the road or road Gavitt Game, but it's a solid schedule so far.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

The Next Buffalo

With Marquette's season done, the focus shifts to coaching changes, the transfer portal, & non-conference scheduling. Since Marquette was assigned Belmont as a campus game in the 2015 Legends Classic they have consistently followed that with one NCAA Tournament tested buy game on the schedule.

In 2016, it was Fresno State. The Bulldogs finished #98 at kenpom & 76 in the RPI, just one spot away from qualifying as a Quadrant 2 home game. In 2017 it was Vermont. The Catamounts finished #76 at kenpom & 60 in the RPI, good enough to qualify as a Quadrant 2 win. This past year it was Buffalo. The Bulls finished #22 at kenpom & #15 in the NET, making them just one of two teams that played away buy games & qualified as a Quadrant 1A home win, which made Buffalo one of the best wins you could possibly buy...assuming you won (ask West Virginia & Syracuse about that).

Here's what we know about Marquette's 2019-20 schedule so far:

  • Away vs Wisconsin-Madison
  • Away vs Kansas State
  • Neutral (x3) vs Davidson, Fairfield, Harvard, Maryland, Temple, Texas A&M (please, please, please), & USC
Most likely Marquette will host a Gavitt Game to help balance out the schedule and/or try to start another high major home-and-home series at Fiserv Forum. They will also likely want to get a quality buy game to add some shine to the home non-conference slate for season ticket holder interest. With that in mind, here are five teams (pending coaching changes & transfers) Marquette could line up to be next year's Buffalo.

1. Utah State: Put flashing lights on this one. Utah State earned the Mountain West autobid but would've been an at-large last year without it. They return most of that roster, including MWC Player of the Year Sam Merrill & NBA prospect Neemias Queta. With most of Nevada's roster graduating, the Aggies will be heavy MWC favorites next year. While this might seem like a big target for a buy game, it's no bigger than Buffalo was & comes from the same league as Fresno State.

2. East Tennessee State: When #3bidSoCon was trending, it was Wofford, UNC-Greensboro, & Furman that Twitter was talking about. Next year, it will likely be the Buccaneers. While the three teams above lose their best players, ETSU could return their entire rotation from a squad that went 13-5 in a quality league. Barring transfers or a coaching change, this will be one of the best buy game options in the country next year.

3. New Mexico State: Chris Jans had a top-40 NET team in the WAC this year & will likely have 5 senior starters next year. They lose two rotation players but will still be experienced & deep. The Aggies won 19 straight before falling to future Final Four team Auburn by 1 point in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They should be even better next year.

4. Vermont: Next year's Vermont could be...Vermont. John Becker's team has won 20+ games 8 years running (11 if you count Mike Lonergan's last 3 years) & has finished top-100 at kenpom each of the last 3 years. They return 6 of their top 7 in terms of minutes from a NCAA team. More likely to be Quadrant 2 than 1, this will still be an excellent buy opponent.

5. Northeastern: They have to replace Vasa Pusica's scoring, but have 4 of their top-5 scorers back. The Huskies made the NCAA Tournament & should be favorites in the Colonial. They were just outside Quadrant 2 (NET #78) as a buy game last year but have a very good chance to improve on that next year.

Five More to Watch: Missouri State, UC Irvine, UT Arlington, Grand Canyon, Northern Kentucky

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Value Add Basketball Game Showcases Markus' Ability to Create; S. Hauser's Efficiency

After beta testing the (free) Value Add Basketball Game to simulate each player's ability in just about every aspect of the game, we ran player cards for up to 10 players on all 353 teams as well as 32 All-Conference teams. The links to the game and players cards are below in case anyone wants to simulate a match-up (you did need two 6-sided dice and a 20-sided and 8-sided as well.

But first, last year after the season Value Add Projections showed Marquette as a 7-seed with Greg Elliott (projected 3.0), and with his loss Marquette dropped out of the top 32 to project as a first round NCAA loser. I haven't done a full projection yet, but just going with the projected Value Add's of every team's Value Add minus their seniors, Marquette is 10th in the country. That includes Zion Williamson's best ever 14.08 and all others who are really one-and-dones, so it's not an in depth but since the teams losing players early to the NBA are often the same teams who pick up new ones, it seems Marquette minus Elliott calculating as a 9-seed last year, and Marquette projecting as a 3-seed even before adding a projection for Elliott or McEwen for next year and our All-American Markus Howard being able to play shooting guard where opponents cannot badger him all game - I just don't see how fans can; 1) not be satisfied with this year as a whole, 2) not see the program as absolutely on pace under Wojo including making the tournament way ahead of schedule two years ago,par this year, and great expectations last year. Here are the top 10 teams in "non-senior" Value Add this year.

1. Virginia 47.49
2. Duke 47.12
3. Michigan 38.69
4. Kentucky 37.03
5. Gonzaga 36.64
6. Michigan St. 34.13
7. Maryland 33.97
8. Kansas 33.55
9. LSU 30.84
10. Marquette 30.54

The Value Add Basketball Game

To play your own game, click on the first 2 links for instructions and scoresheets, then pick two teams from any of the links below for player cards. You need only two 6-sided dice, a 20-sided die and an 8-sided die.

How to Play Value Add Basketball
Value Add Game Scoresheet
Pick 2 teams, click for Player Cards
All-Conference Player Cards
Abilene Christian to BYU
Cal Baptist to Duquesne
East Carolina to Green Bay
Hampton to LSU
Maine to Notre Dame
Oakland to Syracuse
TCU to Youngstown Player Cards

The Value Add Basketball Game simulates each players' ability to get the ball and get shots off,  rebound, hit from the line and inside and outside the arc, dish out great assists.

The first aspect of the game is the measurement of the ability to create shots and opportunities. While the game is an over simplification, it is accurate, it starts with a roll of an 8-sided dice and Markus Howard is one of the very elite players in the game that creates shots on three numbers, a 1, 6 or 8. Basically most players just get the ball if that die points to their position (1 = point guard creates, 2 = shooting guard creates, etc.), but the offense stalls on a 6, 7 or 8 unless you have a rate truly elite creator like Howard or with players with one extra number (7 for example) that is a very good creator, and one thing that does stand out is that noone else on MU was even the very good creator. Therefore if Markus is off the court, you can see why the offense stalls.

That being said, when he does create Sam Hauser has a virtually identical shooting/drawing foul card on a 1 to 20 roll. Both hit 3-pointers on rolls of 1-4, hit 2-pointers on 5 to 8, and Markus draws a shooting foul on one more number than Sam (9 to 11 vs 9 to 10). When they go to the line, both hit free throws on a roll of 1-18 since both round out to 90% from the line.

However, the player first must avoid a turning it over on a roll of 11-66 when the defender is trying to stop them, and while Markus is a slightly better than average with turnovers on just three numbers (51-53), Hauser is truly elite with  a turnover on only one roll, a 51. Keep in mind that the opposing defender can also steal the ball on some of their numbers. What really jumped out was Brandon Bailey, who not only never turns the ball over on his card but actually calculated a NEGATIVE three numbers which means I should really take away almost all the times his opponent steals the ball from him - but the game isn't that advanced.

Marquette's two top 30 players who are not seniors makes them truly elite net year. UVa is more impressive with three in the top 15, Gonzaga has two in the top 35 but likely loses one to the NBA, Duke has No. 1 and No 11 in Zion and RJ, but obviously the are both gone and the next most impressive is Texas Tech with two in the top 50.

While I hate to lose Sacar Anim's defense, being able to rotate in more offense in a year not having Joseph Chartouny as a strong defender was good but on offense not having him able to handle the speed of the competition (he actually has the highest turnover range in the game (44-56 are turnovers) and as much as we all love Matt Heldt but with two returning center all looks good. So the main change is returning players usually improve, and adding two point guards to let Marquette's superstars play the 2 and the 3 (shooting guard and small forward) gives Wojo the first team he has had that should win even a game in March Madness, and it definitely looks like a run is possible for the first time. Yes I'm in the Polyanna mode, but in this case I do not see why anyone is not.

Here are the Marquette playing cards in the game, but they really are easier to read on the google sheet in the game if you can click on that instead:

Hampton to LSU



Markus HowardCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 13: he steals ball1 to 4: 3-pt made
BE,5-1121 to 22: he blocks shot5 to 8: 2-pt made
Value Add: 9.2336 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided9 to 11: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets rebound12 to 16: missed three
55When he has ball check 44-6617 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)51 to 53: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-1/Def Reb: 1-2
S - 1, 6&864 to 66: he dunks (scores at the rim)1 to 18: free throw good
Sacar AnimCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 13: he steals ball1 to 2: 3-pt made
BE,6-521 to 23: he blocks shot3 to 8: 2-pt made
Value Add: 1.6536 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided9 to 10: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets rebound11 to 13: missed three
49When he has ball check 44-6614 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)51 to 52: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-1/Def Reb: 1-2
S - 264 to 66: he dunks1 to 11: free throw good
Sam HauserCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 13: he steals ball1 to 4: 3-pt made
BE,6-821 to 23: he blocks shot5 to 8: 2-pt made
Value Add: 8.7936 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided9 to 10: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets rebound11 to 17: missed three
53When he has ball check 44-6618 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)51 to 51: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-2/Def Reb: 1-4
S - 364 to 66: he dunks 1 to 18: free throw good
Joey HauserCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 13: he steals ball1 to 3: 3-pt made
BE,6-921 to 23: he blocks shot4 to 7: 2-pt made
Value Add: 3.4435 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided8 to 11: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets rebound12 to 15: missed three
48When he has ball check 44-6616 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)51 to 55: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-2/Def Reb: 1-3
S - 4Use this card on 44-66, Otherwise defender card1 to 16: free throw good
Theo JohnCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 16+: he steals ballNone: 3-pt made
BE,6-921 to 26+++: he blocks shot1 to 9: 2-pt made
Value Add: 2.7533 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided10 to 14: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets reboundNo missed 3s
32When he has ball check 44-6615 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)51 to 55: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-6/Def Reb: 1-3
S - 5Use this card on 44-66, Otherwise defender card1 to 10: free throw good






Joseph ChartounyCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 15: he steals ball1 to 3: 3-pt made
BE,6-321 to 22: he blocks shot4 to 8: 2-pt made
Value Add: 1.1836 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided9 to 10: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets rebound11 to 16: missed three
27When he has ball check 44-6617 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)44 to 56: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-1/Def Reb: 1-3
B - 164 to 66: he dunks 1 to 14: free throw good
Jamal CainCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 16: he steals ball1 to 3: 3-pt made
BE,6-721 to 25: he blocks shot4 to 9: 2-pt made
Value Add: 0.6435 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided10 to 11: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets rebound12 to 16: missed three
13When he has ball check 44-6617 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)46 to 56: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-4/Def Reb: 1-4
B - 264 to 66: he dunks 1 to 5: free throw good
Brendan BaileyCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 15: he steals ball1 to 2: 3-pt made
BE,6-821 to 26: he blocks shot3 to 6: 2-pt made
Value Add: 1.0936 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided7 to 8: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets rebound9 to 16: missed three
20When he has ball check 44-6617 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)Does not turns ball overOff Reb: 1-3/Def Reb: 1-1
B - 364 to 66: he dunks1 to 14: free throw good
Ed MorrowCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 16: he steals ballNone: 3-pt made
BE,6-721 to 26+: he blocks shot1 to 10: 2-pt made
Value Add: 2.7734 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided11 to 13: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets reboundNo missed 3s
22When he has ball check 44-6614 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)51 to 56: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-6/Def Reb: 1-4
B - 464 to 66: he dunks1 to 14: free throw good
Matt HeldtCheck here when defending; 11-43 Roll20-sided (if 11-66 not in a range)
Marquette11 to 16: he steals ballNone: 3-pt made
BE,6-1021 to 26+: he blocks shot1 to 7: 2-pt made
Value Add: 0.5333 to 36: commits shooting foul, check 20-sided8 to 12: he draws foul, take 2 FT
Playing Time41 = forces miss & gets reboundNo missed 3s
8When he has ball check 44-6617 to 20: missed two
Gets Ball (below)51 to 53: turns ball overOff Reb: 1-4/Def Reb: 1-2
B - 564 to 66: he dunks1 to 15: free throw good



Monday, March 25, 2019

The season ended and we're all trying to figure out whats next

Well, the off season is officially upon us thanks to a spectacular display from Ja Morant and Murray State. So we have to ask ourselves, what the hell happened in that game, where did it all go so wrong? We also have to talk about Wojo, because there are definitely reasons for alarm that he may not be the guy to lead Marquette to anything of consequence. That discussions turns to what the team looks like next year and whether or not they will be better and better enough to do anything of consequence. As we shift into off-season mode we highlight the topics that will put up the pod signal to bring us out of our off season laziness: Markus go or stay, other roster turnover(transfers, reclassification, etc), and the coaching staff. We close out the pod with a highlight of a little project we have going on that we'll pod on in April and start rolling material out for soon: a 68 team Sports Movie bracket!! Enjoy! https://scrambledeggs.podbean.com/mf/play/wa6b75/scrambledeggs_editted_032419.mp3

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Analyzing Murray State's Elite eFG%

The most important of the Four Factors in predicting outcomes is effective field goal percent, or eFG%. That statistic combines a player's two & three point field goal shooting into one number. The calculation is: (FGM + (0.5 x 3PFGM))/FGA. What this does is effectively adds the additional 50% of points scored for a three to a two. To show how it works, here is Markus Howard's current eFG% calculation:

Field Goals Made: 243
Three Point Field Goals Made: 116
Field Goal Attempts: 573

So the calculation is (243 + (0.5 x 116)) / 573 = 52.5 eFG%

The reason I bring this up is because two numbers on Murray State's team page on kenpom really stand out. Those numbers were 55.2 Offensive eFG% & 46.4 Defensive eFG%, both top-25 nationally. While the other three factors can influence outcomes (turnovers have significantly impacted Marquette's results) there is no single factor more important in predicting a winner than eFG%, which immediately gave me concerns about Murray State's chances of pulling off an upset.

I decided to dig in a bit deeper to determine how valid those numbers were. Their respective eFG% are elite for diametrically different reasons. Offensively, they are only average on three-point attempts but rank 5th in the nation at 57.2% on two-point attempts. Defensively, they are elite on three-point attempts, ranked 4th at 28.5%, but only slightly above average on two-point attempts. We'll start with the offense.

2PFG% Offensive Breakdown


As their shooting inside the arc is the primary factor propping up their lofty offensive eFG%, I was interested in looking at the quality of 2PFG% defenses the Racers were facing. I divided their opponents into three categories: those that finished top-100, bottom-100, & anywhere in between in 2PFG% defense. Over the course of the season, they played 6 games against teams in the top-100, 10 games against teams from 101-250, & 13 games against teams that were sub-250. Here is the breakdown:


Rank Games 2PFGM 2PFGA 2PFG%
Top-100 6 117 221 52.9
101-250 10 197 372 53.0
Sub-250 13 319 513 62.2
Total 29 633 1,106 57.2

Against the top-250, the Racers were consistent. Their overall 2PFG% in the top two categories combined was 52.95%. That number would rank 66th in the nation, but playing 44.8% of their games against sub-250 2PFG% defenses allowed them reach that top-5 ranking. The Racers dominanted weak opposition to inflate their offensive 2PFG% & thus their overall eFG%.

What does that mean against Marquette? First of all, Marquette is ranked 19th in 2PFG% defense, which is far better than the best ranked team in that category the Racers have faced all year. Theo John is also a more prolific rim protector than any player they have faced this year. At a glance, Murray State's greatest offensive strength will be tested in a fashion unlike any game they have played this season.

Further, Murray State lost just 4 games all season. 2 were against teams in the top-100 category & 2 were against teams in the 101-250 category. Against the 7 best 2PFG% defenses they played, Murray State was just 4-3. This certainly doesn't guarantee victory, but that record is certainly less daunting than their 25-4 overall mark in D1 games.

3PFG% Defense

As I think about how Murray State hasn't faced a defensive team like Marquette, I wondered if they have faced a lineup of shooters as prolific as Marquette has. My initial thought was no. Not only is Marquette ranked 9th in the nation, but they boast four three-point shooters that connect on over 40% of their attempts beyond the arc. Comparably, the Ohio Valley Conference also has four three-point shooters that connect on over 40% beyond the arc. That's four on all 12 teams.

Naturally, it's not as simple as that. The league may not have shooters as prolific as Marquette's quartet of Markus Howard, Joey Hauser, Sacar Anim, & Sam Hauser, but they do have teams that have multiple high-level three-point shooters. Austin Peay has three players that shoot 38.6% or better. Belmont has 5 players that shoot over 35.6% from deep. In non-conference play, they played Auburn & Southern Illinois, both of whom have four shooters hitting on 37% or better beyond the arc. So let's take a look at the numbers:


Rank Games 3PFGM 3PFGA 3PFG%
Top-100 10 82 243 33.7
101-250 9 49 193 25.4
Sub-250 10 46 184 25.0
Totals 29 177 620 28.5

The consistency was more evident in the lower two quadrants for defensive 3PFG%. Murray State definitely allowed the top teams they played to shoot the three better. That said, they did have two losses in the first category & one in each of the lower categories, so these numbers feel less significant as half their losses came to lesser three-point shooting teams.

In the Racers' four losses, the only team that did not qualify in the top-100 of either category was Alabama, who beat Murray State by outscoring them by 14 at the free throw line on 18 more attempts. The other three teams to beat them was top-100 in at least one of the other categories, & in Belmont's case, both.

Now admittedly, every team in the country plays teams that have deficiencies. Just like Murray State, Marquette is able to pad some stats against teams that simply aren't as good. This isn't meant to be indictment of the OVC. If you only look at how Murray State's offense did against top-100 2PFG% defenses, their 52.9% 2PFG% would still be 68th in the country, in the 81st percentile. If you only look at how Murray State's defense did against top-100 3PFG% offenses, their 33.7% would be 135th, in the 62nd percentile. So even when only Murray State's play against the best of their opposition is factored in & compared to how the rest of the country played against full schedules, the Racers are still well above average at both 2PFG% offense & 3PFG% defense. There is no disputing that Murray State is good at scoring inside the arc, good at defending the three, & their eFG% numbers have a basis in reality.

That said, Marquette will be the first team to play Murray State who is top-20 in both categories & is the only team below a 2-seed that can claim that. This doesn't guarantee a result, but Murray State has yet to play any team that has shown the ability to match them strength for strength as decisively as Marquette has this season. If you're looking for a 5/12 upset pick, the West may not be the best region to pick. Murray State's offense & defense are both built on eFG% numbers that have been benefited greatly from how effectively the Racers have handled the bottom of their schedule. It will be interesting to see how they handle a team that can challenge their greatest attributes from a position of strength.