Value Add Predictor: Pac-12 Has Best All-Conference Team

Computers rank the Big Ten as the best basketball conference from top to bottom. However, if each conference had to put their Top 10 players on the court for a game, the Value Add Predictor gives the Pac12 an 83-74 win over the best players in the Big Ten. UCLA's Jordan Adams (pictured) gets the better of his counterpart Ben Brust of Wisconsin in the semifinal and then the Pac12 gets past the American Athletic Conference All-Stars 76-73. The box scores of mock games between all 32 All-Conference teams are contained below and in separate posts.

UCLA appeared to be surging toward a potential title run last season when Jordan Adams broke his foot at the end of the season. He ranked as the 36th best player in the country last year (search all players since 2006 by clicking all seasons at Value Add), and is now ranked as the third best player in the country for 2014.

The point totals by each player actually represent the total offense he could generate for his team based on scoring, offensive rebounds, avoiding turnovers and dishing out assists against the overall defense of his counterpart on the other team (measured in defensive rebounding, steals, blocked shots and the ability of the player's team hold down opponents scoring). The figure is simplified into a single point total, though a player likely to get a lot of assists and offensive rebounds without turning the ball over would show more points than he would actually be expected to score in a particular match-up and vice versa.

The real Final Four will be played in Arlington, Texas, but in the mock tournament the host Big12 was eliminated by the American in the Elite 8 in Memphis. (no home advantage was actually calculated in the model). The American, enjoying their one season before Louisville players depart for the ACC, then beat the SEC 74-71 in the Final Four.

The difference in the championship game may have been the slow starting Russ Smith of Louisville, who is about three points worse than he was last year according to Value Add. That helped him lose the point guard match-up to the red hot transfer Delon Wright of Utah 10-7 to provide the Pac12’s winning margin. 

The Big Ten is the top conference top to bottom based on computer rankings, and the Big 12 and Big East are right in the mix. However, when you compare the star power – the top 10 players in each conference as was done in this mock tournament - it is clear that no one has more talent at the top than the Pac12. You can also see that conferences like the WCC, MAC and MVC have stars that can play with anyone in the country – a good thing to note for March Madness brackets. 

In the mock tournament, all 32 conferences were seeded based on their ratings at www.kenpom.com, and then sent to their likely 2014 tournament sites. The top 10 players to date from each conference were pitted against their counterpart using the Value Add Predictor to determine how many points each player would score against his counterpart, with the winning team advancing. The Value Add of all Division 1 players can be seen at www.valueaddbasketball.com. The following is the Championship box score, followed by the box scores for the two semifinal games that set up the Elite 8 showdown: 

All-Star (1st 5 starters) P12 76 Championship All-Star (1st 5 starters) Amer 73
Delon Wright Utah 10 PG Russ Smith Louisville 7
Jordan Adams UCLA 8 SG Shabazz Napier Connecticut 8
Nick Johnson Arizona 10 SF Sean Kilpatrick Cincinnati 12
Spencer Dinwiddie Colorado 11 PF TaShawn Thomas Houston 10
Joseph Young Oregon 12 C Shaq Goodwin Memphis 11
Johnathan Loyd Oregon 5 PG-bu Joe Jackson Memphis 6
DaVonte Lacy Washington St. 6 SG-bu Chris Jones Louisville 5
Kyle Anderson UCLA 6 SF-bu Dalton Pepper Temple 6
Josh Scott Colorado 6 PF-bu Montrezl Harrell Louisville 6
Jordan Bachynski Arizona St. 2 C-bu Justin Jackson Cincinnati 2

All-Star (1st 5 starters) B10 74 Final 4 All-Star (1st 5 starters) P12 83
Aaron Craft Ohio St. 5 PG Delon Wright Utah 8
Ben Brust Wisconsin 8 SG Jordan Adams UCLA 12
Rayvonte Rice Illinois 11 SF Nick Johnson Arizona 10
Adreian Payne Michigan St. 10 PF Spencer Dinwiddie Colorado 11
Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin 12 C Joseph Young Oregon 8
Roy Devyn Marble Iowa 5 PG-bu Johnathan Loyd Oregon 5
Tim Frazier Penn St. 7 SG-bu DaVonte Lacy Washington St. 8
Lenzelle Smith Ohio St. 5 SF-bu Kyle Anderson UCLA 6
Nik Stauskas Michigan 8 PF-bu Josh Scott Colorado 9
Amir Williams Ohio St. 3 C-bu Jordan Bachynski Arizona St. 6

All-Star (1st 5 starters) Amer 74 Final 4 All-Star (1st 5 starters) SEC 71
Russ Smith Louisville 7 PG Anthony Hickey Louisiana St. 7
Shabazz Napier Connecticut 9 SG Trevor Releford Alabama 6
Sean Kilpatrick Cincinnati 12 SF Jordan McRae Tennessee 9
TaShawn Thomas Houston 11 PF Casey Prather Florida 11
Shaq Goodwin Memphis 8 C Willie Cauley-Stein Kentucky 4
Joe Jackson Memphis 6 PG-bu Chris Denson Auburn 5
Chris Jones Louisville 5 SG-bu Jordan Clarkson Missouri 6
Dalton Pepper Temple 7 SF-bu Michael Frazier Florida 7
Montrezl Harrell Louisville 6 PF-bu Algie Key Alabama 5
Justin Jackson Cincinnati 3 C-bu Aaron Harrison Kentucky 11

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