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|