Bracketology 101: Anticipating the Upsets in the East Bracket

The upsets make the NCAA tournament, and the winners of bracket office pools are generally made up of fans who can predict those upsets, which aren't always unpredictable. Beating the bracket takes the guts to pick the occasional underdog, but more importantly, takes the knowledge to pick the undervalued, overlooked underdog. The East Region's four games that appear in the bottom half of the bracket show several potential upsets, according to my interpretation of the Value Add Rankings. 

Providence’s Bryce Cotton has improved the Friars from 58th to 40th (www.kenpom.com) in the final month while taking the Big East title. They should upset the more talented UNC team that relies on two future NBA power forwards. While everyone is excited about Iowa State’s performance, NC Central has a real chance to pull off an unlikely 13-seed vs. 4-seed shocker. They are one of the hottest teams (improved from 117th to 78th in last month) and have three of the top 250 Value Add players (as Iowa State does), and two of those NC Central players are senior guards. For all the love for Shabazz Napier as the 2nd best player in the country based on Value Add, Saint Joseph’s can counter with likely future NBA guard Langston Galloway (22nd best player) and they are a hotter team after improving from 81st to 49th in just a month.

Home Advantage: Iowa State is already the better seed and could be helped further by playing the Providence-UNC winner in San Antonio.

The following are the Value Add Rankings for each player in the bottom half of the East Region bracket, their team’s seed, height, year in school, and which players are NBA prospects (all caps). The teams are UConn (7-seed), Iowa St. (3), Milwaukee (15), NC Central (14), UNC (6), Providence (11), St. Joseph’s (10) and Villanova (2). 

The items listed for the top few players on each team should be the biggest considerations along with injured players, the home advantage, and which team enters the tournament hot (which we define as improving the most at www.kenpom.com over the past month of the season). The system is a precise measurement of how many points a player adds to his team's score per game over the player who takes his place. Every score (three-pointer, two-pointer or foul shot), assist, offensive rebound, foul drawn, etc. helps a team score while every turnover and missed shot costs the team points. On defense, every steal, blocked shot, defensive rebound, turnover forced, and opponent's missed shot takes points off the board while every basket or offensive rebound allowed adds to the opponent's score. The player's offensive and defensive combination calculates together with the help of the stats at www.kenpom.com. How many points a player adds to his team’s score appears in the offensive category (shown as "off" in the table below), and his overall impact on points once defense is factored appears as “Total” on the table.

Here are the Bottom East Bracket Players (teams in order they appear on bracket):

Rnk Player Seed Team Ht Yr NBA/g Off Total
27 Marcus Paige 6 North Carolina 6' 1" So g 4.87 5.58
102 Brice Johnson 6 North Carolina 6' 9" So PF 2.11 4.06
206 James Michael McAdoo 6 North Carolina 6' 9" Jr PF 1.50 3.14
316 JP Tokoto 6 North Carolina 6' 5" So   0.69 2.43
374 Kennedy Meeks 6 North Carolina 6' 9" Fr   1.27 2.14
1014 Nate Britt 6 North Carolina 5' 11" Fr g 0.00 0.75
1204 Joel James 6 North Carolina 6' 10" So C 0.00 0.56
1443 Leslie McDonald 6 North Carolina 6' 5" Sr   0.75 0.38
1613 Jackson Simmons 6 North Carolina 6' 7" Jr   0.31 0.28
  Desmond Hubert 6 North Carolina 6' 10" Jr   0.00 0.00
  Isaiah Hicks 6 North Carolina 6' 8" Fr   0.00 0.00
  Luke Davis 6 North Carolina 6' 0 Jr   0.00 0.00
50 Bryce Cotton 11 Providence 6' 1" Sr   6.52 4.91
138 LaDontae Henton 11 Providence 6' 6" Jr   3.38 3.70
524 Carson Desrosiers 11 Providence 7' 0 Jr   0.51 1.62
697 Kadeem Batts 11 Providence 6' 9" Sr   2.06 1.27
878 Tyler Harris 11 Providence 6' 9" So   1.62 0.94
1398 Josh Fortune 11 Providence 6' 5" So   0.80 0.40
2210 Ted Bancroft 11 Providence 6' 6" Sr   0.00 0.04
  Lee Goldsbrough 11 Providence 6' 9" Sr   0.00 0.00
70 DeAndre Kane 3 Iowa St. 6' 4" Sr g 3.50 4.45
96 Melvin Ejim 3 Iowa St. 6' 6" Sr   3.49 4.13
133 Dustin Hogue 3 Iowa St. 6' 6" Jr   3.16 3.74
344 Monte Morris 3 Iowa St. 6' 2" Fr   2.42 2.28
696 Georges Niang 3 Iowa St. 6' 7" So   2.06 1.28
926 Naz Long 3 Iowa St. 6' 4" So   1.73 0.87
1551 Matt Thomas 3 Iowa St. 6' 3" Fr   0.62 0.32
146 Jordan Parks 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 7" Jr   2.59 3.64
177 Jeremy Ingram 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 3" Sr g 2.52 3.26
244 Emanuel Chapman 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 1" Sr g 0.86 2.87
402 Karamo Jawara 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 8" Jr   1.80 2.04
1330 Jay Copeland 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 7" Jr   0.55 0.45
1442 Dante Holmes 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 3" So   0.20 0.38
1752 Alfonzo Houston 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 3" Sr   0.44 0.22
  Ebuka Anyaorah 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 4" Sr   0.00 0.00
  Reggie Groves 14 N. Carolina Central 6' 2" Sr   0.00 0.00
2 Shabazz Napier 7 Connecticut 6' 1" Sr PG 4.93 7.98
152 Niels Giffey 7 Connecticut 6' 7" Sr   3.22 3.58
164 DeAndre Daniels 7 Connecticut 6' 9" Jr SF 1.80 3.42
179 Ryan Boatright 7 Connecticut 6' 0 Jr g 1.63 3.24
433 Amida Brimah 7 Connecticut 7' 0 Fr   0.97 1.93
746 Lasan Kromah 7 Connecticut 6' 6" Sr   0.21 1.19
901 Phillip Nolan 7 Connecticut 6' 10" So   0.91 0.91
982 Tyler Olander 7 Connecticut 6' 10" Sr   0.57 0.78
1777 Terrence Samuel 7 Connecticut 6' 4" Fr   0.00 0.21
  Omar Calhoun 7 Connecticut 6' 6" So   0.00 0.00
22 Langston Galloway 10 Saint Joseph's 6' 2" Sr SG 5.46 5.71
187 Halil Kanacevic 10 Saint Joseph's 6' 8" Sr   2.01 3.21
353 Ronald Roberts 10 Saint Joseph's 6' 8" Sr   2.76 2.24
1505 Chris Wilson 10 Saint Joseph's 6' 3" Jr g 0.67 0.34
1647 Papa Ndao 10 Saint Joseph's 6' 8" Jr   0.53 0.27
1656 DeAndre Bembry 10 Saint Joseph's 6' 6" Fr   0.52 0.26
2126 Isaiah Miles 10 Saint Joseph's 6' 7" So   0.13 0.07
  Daryus Quarles 10 Saint Joseph's 6' 6" Sr   0.00 0.00
941 Austin Arians 15 Milwaukee 6' 6" So   1.69 0.85
992 Kyle Kelm 15 Milwaukee 6' 9" Sr   1.53 0.76
1068 Jordan Aaron 15 Milwaukee 5' 10" Sr g 1.03 0.69
1849 Cody Wichmann 15 Milwaukee 6' 5" Fr   0.35 0.18
1853 Steve McWhorter 15 Milwaukee 6' 2" Jr g 0.10 0.17
1978 Matt Tiby 15 Milwaukee 6' 8" So   0.24 0.12
2292 JeVon Lyle 15 Milwaukee 6' 2" So   0.00 0.01
  JJ Panoske 15 Milwaukee 6' 10" So   0.00 0.00
  Malcolm Moore 15 Milwaukee 6' 7" Sr   0.00 0.00
  Thierno Niang 15 Milwaukee 6' 1" Sr   0.00 0.00
73 James Bell 2 Villanova 6' 6" Sr   3.22 4.43
99 JayVaughn Pinkston 2 Villanova 6' 7" Jr   3.52 4.11
117 Darrun Hilliard 2 Villanova 6' 6" Jr   3.36 3.85
250 Josh Hart 2 Villanova 6' 5" Fr   2.90 2.83
400 Ryan Arcidiacono 2 Villanova 6' 3" So g 2.13 2.05
427 Daniel Ochefu 2 Villanova 6' 11" So   0.40 1.95
771 Tony Chennault 2 Villanova 6' 2" Sr g 0.17 1.15
1137 Kris Jenkins 2 Villanova 6' 6" Fr   0.82 0.63
1206 Dylan Ennis 2 Villanova 6' 2" So   0.94 0.56

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