2/27/2009 02:14:00 AM
The results, provided in awesome-chart-form by Greycat, look a little bit like the stock market over the past few years. As in, not good.
Below, I have modified GreyCat's chart in a highly unscientific and inartistic way by marking my approximation of the trend line in a bright-blue paint trail via Seashore.
The trend is certainly not encouraging. Click on the chart for a larger version.
Villanova's performance vs. expectations seems to have peaked sometime near the Marquette game, and has been falling ever since. Though Villanova has won eight of its last nine games, this is definitely not the momentum you'd want heading into post-season play.
As GreyCat remarks:
The blowout of Marquette marked a high point in expectations. If the team had "settled" on a performance plateau, I believe succeeding games would have "declined" toward the X axis. Instead the margins have gyrated widely but largely, below the X axis. Hopefully the Wildcats will refocus for the stretch run in the regular season.
This makes perfect sense, even if you're not mathematically inclined. After the Marquette win, expectations were highest. So if performance had remained level following that peak in expectation, the chart would have settled gently toward the axis. Instead, as Greycat points out, the data points have jumped mostly below the axis, a clear indication of under-perfomance.
GreyCat also notes the correlation between under-performance and being on the road in his excellent analysis. This is a bit troubling, but it is a good thing Villanova has the inside track on playing the first two NCAA rounds in Philadelphia.
Go read his post in full, as it is very interesting work.
What do you think of this decline versus expectations? Please remember, the "expectations" here were not created by a human, but by KenPom's cold and calculating statistical model, so don't just assume expectations were arbitrarily too high.