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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‘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…

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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…

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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…

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Assisting Bracketology

March 14, 2018

Editor’s note: Cats Stats has a new analytics tool for analyzing assists. Here, Julia Sultz, a math major at the University of South Carolina in the Honors College, offers her insight from a project completed remotely with Cats Stats. I believe that one of the greatest chances for an upset in the tournament this year could be Loyola-Chicago over Miami (Fla.). At 28-5, Loyola-Chicago averages 15.8 assists and 72.4 points…

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Kansas’ Efficiency Leads to 14th Straight Big 12 Championship

February 26, 2018

This week in Assist Map Monday, we look back at a huge showdown in the Big 12 between #6 Texas Tech and #8 Kansas. On Saturday, February 24th, the Jayhawks travelled to Lubbock and defeated the Red Raiders 74-72 to avenge their loss earlier in the year and clinch their 14th straight league title. On the season, Kansas ranks 26th in the country in points per game at 82.1 and…

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Villanova’s Passing Takes Down Xavier

February 19, 2018

This week, as part of the weekly blog series analyzing assist data from notable college basketball games, we head toward the Big East for a showdown between the top two teams in the conference—#3 Villanova and #4 Xavier. On Saturday, February 17th, the Wildcats went on the road and defeated the fourth-ranked Musketeers in a high-scoring game, 95-79. The Villanova Wildcats rank third in the country in points per game…

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Assisting Tar Heels

February 12, 2018

In the second edition of our weekly blog series covering assist data from noteworthy games throughout the college basketball season, we examine a game from college basketball’s biggest rivalry: Duke-UNC. On Thursday, February 8th, the Tar Heels hosted the Blue Devils at the Dean Dome in their first meeting of the season and defeated their rivals in a thriller, 82-78. Despite scoring about their average in points, the Tar Heels…

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Assisting the Wildcats at GW

February 5, 2018

As part of a new weekly blog series, we will be covering assist data from noteworthy games and throughout the rest of the college basketball season. This data will appear in the form of a graphic showing players who both assisted and received assists in a given game. The graphic is a chord diagram. The width of the chord corresponds to the number of assists, the thicker the chord the…

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Passing Opportunity: Wildcats Lead Nation in Assists

January 26, 2018

Earlier this season, ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas handed out midseason honors and singled out the Davidson Wildcats as the best passing team in the country. (Full article here: http://es.pn/2EcWOed). Bilas cited the team’s exceptional passing, putting them ahead of top-ranked teams like Villanova and Kansas. The numbers back up Bilas’s assessment. Coach Bob McKillop’s motion offense has set the pace for a high-octane Wildcats team this season, with almost…

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