Feeding LeBron

June 29, 2018

Phones pinged like 3-point attempts in the playoffs. LeBron James informed the Cavs that he would decline his option and, indeed, become a free agent. Where could the King fit in his quest to sit atop the NBA championship? While LeBron can take a team far, we saw this season that the road, while possibly long in the post-season, is one that, to LeBron’s dismay, might ultimately have a Golden…

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College World Series Baseball Rankings 2018

June 12, 2018

The Colley and Massey methods are two mathematical algorithms that use linear algebra to rank sports teams. Both use the network of interconnections formed by the match-ups between teams that occur over the course of a season to produce a full ranking of all the teams, even though each team plays only a subset of the other teams in the nation. In essence, the Colley method uses strength of schedule…

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Injury Impact in the NBA

June 11, 2018

Led by Davidson’s own Stephen Curry and Finals MVP Kevin Durant, the dynastic Golden State Warriors completed the first NBA Finals sweep since 2007 over LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers. The decisive victory showcased both the star power and depth of this juggernaut team over a James- led Cavs squad with minimal other effective role players. The arsenal of weapons the Dubs had at their disposal this series was tremendous, which begs…

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Even wishful thinking leads to plausible FIFA World Cup rankings!

June 9, 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins next week. In an era of sports analytics, legalized gambling, and online bracket challenges (thanks March Madness), it’s time for many of us to sit down and make our own World Cup predictions.Motivated by an off-the-cuff ranking exercise that I assigned in my undergraduate course on soccer analytics earlier this Spring, I describe a ranking method that results from focusing on the country that…

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Super College Baseball Rankings 2018

June 6, 2018

The Colley and Massey methods are two mathematical algorithms that use linear algebra to rank sports teams. Both use the network of interconnections formed by the match-ups between teams that occur over the course of a season to produce a full ranking of all the teams, even though each team plays only a subset of the other teams in the nation. In essence, the Colley method uses strength of schedule…

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Ranking College Baseball 2018

May 22, 2018

The Colley and Massey methods are two mathematical algorithms that use linear algebra to rank sports teams. Both use the network of interconnections formed by the match-ups between teams that occur over the course of a season to produce a full ranking of all the teams, even though each team plays only a subset of the other teams in the nation. In essence, the Colley method uses strength of schedule…

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‘Nova’s Dominant Run through the Bracket

April 4, 2018

In the final edition of the season of Assist Map, we examine the National Championship game between #1 seed and #3 seed Michigan. On Monday, April 2nd, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the Michigan Wolverines 79-62 to win their third championship and second in the last three years.In spite of their unusually quiet overall team performance, especially by National Player of the Year Jalen Brunson (4-13 from the field), the Wildcats…

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Loyola Rambles into the Final Four

March 26, 2018

In this week’s version of Assist Map Monday, we examine 11 seed Loyola University Chicago’s matchup over 9 seed Kansas State in the first ever game between a 9 seed and an 11 seed. On Friday, March 23rd, Loyola defeated Kansas State 78-62, leading them to the Final Four.The Ramblers from Chicago used some terrific passing and shot-making to will themselves past the Wildcats from Manhattan, Kansas. On the season,…

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The Sweetest 16 Seed – UMBC Takes Down #1

March 19, 2018

In this week’s edition of Assist Map Monday, we take a look at University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) stunning upset over top seed Virginia. On Friday, March 16, the UMBC Retrievers defeated the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlotte by a score of 74-54 to mark the first ever win for a 16 seed over a 1 seed in men’s college basketball.The Retrievers used some incredible shot-making to defeat top-ranked Virginia…

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Playing from the Bench: a walk-on’s role

March 15, 2018

March Madness has struck Davidson College – driven by the team’s A10 championship and star players. But it’s important to remember the players that almost never take the court. The team’s walk-ons go to great lengths to prepare the Wildcats for the high-level competition they face all season. A walk-on — or non-scholarship — player is someone may not rack up the most minutes or points but they still have a…

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