3 surprising college football teams by adjusted yards per play

You need an accurate assessment of college football teams. In particular, you need to know which teams have improved or declined in 2017 and adjust their rating appropriately.

Team rankings is a good start. The Power Rank’s college football team rankings take the margin of victory in games and adjust for strength of schedule through an algorithm I developed.

However, points based rankings can be misleading. Turnovers can leave their imprint on the final score, as we will see in discussing Wisconsin below. As much as you might think teams control turnovers, analytics suggests randomness plays a big role in these pivotal plays.

To get an alternative assessment of college football teams, we’ll look at a different efficiency metric.

College football rankings by adjusted yards per play

Below, I show my team rankings based on yards per play adjusted for strength of schedule. To calculate these rankings, I first rank each offense and defense based on yards per play, a powerful efficiency upon which turnovers have little impact. The ranking algorithm makes the adjustments for schedule.

The offense and defense rankings get combined into one team rank in the list below. Unless otherwise noted, all rankings referred to in this article are offense, defense or team rankings by these adjusted yards per play.

The rankings below reflect data from only the 2017 season. As teams only have played at most 7 games, this reflects a small sample size. In addition, yards per play is not immune from randomness. That 50 yard pass play that went through the hands of the defender counts.

However, these rankings do provide insight into the rise and fall of teams. Here are the top 25 teams. The number gives an expected net yards per play difference against an average FBS opponent.

1. Oklahoma, 3.26
2. Oklahoma State, 2.95
3. Alabama, 2.93
4. Ohio State, 2.90
5. Georgia, 2.27
6. Washington, 2.11
7. Wisconsin, 2.09
8. Auburn, 2.01
9. Florida State, 1.98
10. Stanford, 1.84
11. Michigan, 1.84
12. Miami (FL), 1.79
13. Texas Tech, 1.78
14. Clemson, 1.73
15. UCF, 1.72
16. Notre Dame, 1.45
17. Wake Forest, 1.38
18. Oregon, 1.36
19. Penn State, 1.34
20. Louisville, 1.32
21. USC, 1.28
22. Washington State, 1.28
23. Michigan State, 1.22
24. North Carolina State, 1.16
25. LSU, 1.14

While this top 25 list has many stories, two teams stand out to me.


The Badgers seemed to struggle this past weekend against Purdue. They won 17-9, but needed a last second defensive stand to a win a game in which they were favored by 17.

However, the final score doesn’t reflect what happened in the game. Wisconsin gained 494 yards on 6.96 yards per play. In contrast, Purdue had 221 yards on 4.02 yards per play.

Turnovers played a big role on the scoreboard, as the Badgers gave away the ball 3 times. Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor fumbled at the Purdue 4 yard line late in the game.

Wisconsin started the season 8th in my preseason rankings based on points. They have dropped 18th after 7 weeks of the season.

However, Wisconsin ranks 7th as a team by adjusted yards per play. The defense has been excellent as usual, but the gains come from the offense.

Wisconsin ranked 54th on offense in 2016 but have jumped to 9th over the first 7 weeks of 2017. Taylor has led a resurgent rush attack by gaining 7.8 yards per carry.


I laughed when I read Bill Connelly’s preview of UCF this preseason. He argued that everything head coach Scott Frost touches turns to gold based on his track record.

Dude, did you look at UCF’s offensive numbers last season? They ranked 115th in my adjusted yards per play. They ranked 117th in your own S&P+ numbers!

Then the season started, and UCF ended up first in my points based rankings after 4 weeks. I explained why this was a fluke, and why they would fall in the coming weeks.

UCF has fallen in my points based rankings, but only to 7th. They continue to plow through soft AAC competition.

The team rankings by adjusted yards per play suggests their improvement is real, as they rank 15th through 7 weeks of 2017. The offense has gone from the bottom of FBS to 6th this season, all with the same quarterback in McKenzie Milton.

The defense has slipped a bit. They ranked 19th last season in leading UCF to an unexpected bowl berth but has slipped to 49th this season.

Still, Bill is having the last laugh about Scott Frost.

Members of The Power Rank have access to these yards per play rankings broken down into offense and defense. You also get predictions for spreads and totals in college football and the NFL.

To learn more, click on the image or here.

The next 25 college football teams

Let’s look at the next 25 teams in my team rankings by adjusted yards per play.

26. TCU, 1.07
27. North Texas, 1.02
28. Mississippi State, 0.90
29. Utah, 0.79
30. Boise State, 0.69
31. Georgia Tech, 0.68
32. Mississippi, 0.68
33. Fresno State, 0.67
34. San Diego State, 0.66
35. Appalachian State, 0.65
36. Iowa State, 0.64
37. Arizona, 0.62
38. Purdue, 0.60
39. Texas, 0.47
40. Nebraska, 0.43
41. Indiana, 0.43
42. Kansas State, 0.41
43. UTSA, 0.41
44. Virginia Tech, 0.38
45. California, 0.37
46. UCLA, 0.37
47. Northern Illinois, 0.32
48. Southern Miss, 0.31
49. Minnesota, 0.31
50. UNLV, 0.31

This leads us to one of the best stories in college football this season.

Fresno State

How the hell is Fresno State 33rd?

The Bulldogs struggled through an awful 1-11 season in 2016, as coach Tim DeRuyter got fired during the season. They brought in former Cal coach Jeff Tedford to save the program.

Tedford had some brilliant offenses at Cal. However, it didn’t look he could do too much with a unit that ranked dead last in the FBS in 2016.

Fresno State started the season 1-2, with two losses to playoff contenders Alabama and Washington. Then Tedford turned to QB Marcus McMaryion, a player who transferred from Oregon State in August.

The offense has been stellar in winning 3 games since the change. Fresno State has gained 7.1 and 8.9 yards per play against Nevada and New Mexico respectively. The offense ranks 23rd based on data in 2017.

The offensive coordinator also plays a role in this story. Tedford brought in Kalen DeBoer, who had worked miracles in getting Eastern Michigan’s offense to rank 67th in 2016.

Eastern Michigan’s offense has fallen off a cliff in 2017 (120th), while Fresno State has surged.

Can Fresno State keep it up? Remember, these rankings are based on a small sample size, and Fresno State thumped some bad defenses in Nevada and New Mexico. You have reason to doubt whether a QB that couldn’t win the job at Oregon State can keep Fresno State as a top 25 offense.

These are the rest of the team rankings by adjusted yards per play.

51. West Virginia, 0.30
52. Florida, 0.26
53. Memphis, 0.22
54. South Carolina, 0.19
55. New Mexico State, 0.18
56. Maryland, 0.15
57. Colorado State, 0.14
58. Northwestern, 0.14
59. Buffalo, 0.14
60. Iowa, 0.12
61. Missouri, 0.10
62. Middle Tennessee State, 0.10
63. Houston, 0.09
64. Arizona State, 0.08
65. Texas A&M, 0.04
66. Florida Atlantic, 0.04
67. SMU, 0.03
68. Syracuse, 0.02
69. Virginia, 0.01
70. Troy, -0.08
71. New Mexico, -0.11
72. Idaho, -0.14
73. Ohio, -0.19
74. Duke, -0.21
75. South Florida, -0.22
76. Colorado, -0.24
77. Navy, -0.31
78. Marshall, -0.35
79. North Carolina, -0.36
80. Arkansas, -0.37
81. Tennessee, -0.38
82. Vanderbilt, -0.42
83. Boston College, -0.53
84. Baylor, -0.55
85. Oregon State, -0.57
86. Eastern Michigan, -0.58
87. Toledo, -0.61
88. Kentucky, -0.65
89. UAB, -0.69
90. Utah State, -0.72
91. Florida International, -0.81
92. Rutgers, -0.82
93. Louisiana Tech, -0.82
94. Air Force, -0.85
95. Arkansas State, -0.85
96. Brigham Young, -0.89
97. South Alabama, -0.90
98. Western Michigan, -0.94
99. Pittsburgh, -0.97
100. Connecticut, -0.97
101. Wyoming, -0.99
102. Hawaii, -1.02
103. Miami (OH), -1.04
104. Nevada, -1.06
105. Cincinnati, -1.11
106. Massachusetts, -1.14
107. Kansas, -1.15
108. Tulane, -1.16
109. Coastal Carolina, -1.17
110. Central Michigan, -1.19
111. Temple, -1.22
112. San Jose State, -1.25
113. Tulsa, -1.33
114. Illinois, -1.37
115. Bowling Green, -1.40
116. Army, -1.46
117. Louisiana Monroe, -1.51
118. Akron, -1.56
119. Georgia State, -1.67
120. Old Dominion, -1.68
121. Georgia Southern, -1.69
122. Louisiana Lafayette, -1.70
123. Charlotte, -1.83
124. Western Kentucky, -1.93
125. Kent State, -1.99
126. Texas State, -2.08
127. Rice, -2.09
128. East Carolina, -2.14
129. Ball State, -2.27
130. UTEP, -2.40

Preseason Big Ten college basketball rankings for 2015-16

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 9.28.53 AMLast month, I had the honor of being a guest on Assembly Call, the Indiana Hoosiers basketball podcast. Show runner Jerod Morris, Andy Bottoms and I discussed the upcoming college basketball season.

To prep for the show, I developed some preseason Big Ten rankings that combine calculations with subjective factors. It’s similar to what elite gamblers do in preparation for the season.

I wrote an article for Assembly Call that describes the methods and summarizes my thoughts on all 14 Big Ten teams.

My apologies in advance to Maryland fans.

And Bo Ryan’s announcement that he will retire after this season doesn’t change my mind on Wisconsin’s preseason rank, which you might find surprising.

To read the article on preseason Big Ten college basketball rankings for 2015-16, click here.

The top 10 college basketball teams in 2015 by Sweet 16 appearances

tom_izzoWhich school has the best college basketball program?

It’s an easy question to answer with only analytics. We could take an average rating from computer rankings over the past 10 years to find the best programs.

However, college basketball is a sport that almost entirely relies on the postseason for its popularity. Any legitimate ranking must consider success in the NCAA tournament.

To balance analytics with post season success, I propose ranking programs by Sweet 16 appearances over the past 10 years. With such a long time period, it’s difficult for a non-elite team by the numbers to have enough tournament success to make this list. The top 10 below includes all the traditional college basketball powers.

In addition, the Sweet 16 seems like an appropriate balance between making the tournament and winning the entire contest. It’s not enough to just make the field every year, but there’s too much randomness in winning the tourney. In the past 10 years, only two programs have won more than one tournament (Florida and Connecticut), and neither made the tournament in 2015.

To break ties among programs with the same number of Sweet 16 appearances over the last 10 years, I looked at appearances in the past 9 seasons. If this didn’t break the tie, I looked at successively shorter time periods until one program came out ahead.

The rankings below show the top 10 college basketball programs by Sweet 16 appearances. Only one program had 7 appearances over 10 years, which shows the parity in college basketball. Even the best programs have years in which they lose before the second weekend of the tournament.

Teams that missed the cut

Gonzaga has made the tournament each of the past 10 years but did not make this list. While they have become a brand name program in college basketball, Gonzaga has struggled in the tournament with only 3 Sweet 16 appearances.

Ohio State and UCLA have 5 Sweet 16 appearances each but lost out to the teams below based on the tie breaker method. Ohio State hasn’t make the second weekend of the tournament the last two years, while UCLA had 3 straight appearances early in the 10 year window.

10. Xavier

5 Sweet 16’s: 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008

Xavier is the only program in the top 10 not from a power conference. Sean Miller led the Musketeers to the first two Sweet 16 appearances, while Chris Mack has reached the Sweet 16 in half of his 6 seasons.

9. Wisconsin

5 Sweet 16’s: 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2008

Bo Ryan has made the NCAA tournament in each of his 14 years as Wisconsin’s coach. They have made the Sweet 16 in half of the past 10 years, and the 2015 team led by Frank Kaminsky might be the best of all these teams.

8. Arizona

5 Sweet 16’s: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2009

Sean Miller coached Arizona for the last 4 Sweet 16 appearances. However, Arizona only had 1 appearance between 2006 and 2010 as the program transitioned from long time coach Lute Olsen to Miller.

Arizona has a great team in 2015, and I think they have the best chance of beating Kentucky should they play in the Final Four.

7. Kentucky

5 Sweet 16’s: 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010

With their undefeated season so far in 2014-2015, one might expect Kentucky to be higher on this list. However, the Wildcats struggled in the early years of this 10 year period as they transitioned from Tubby Smith to Billy Gillispie (whoa, remember him?) to John Calipari.

Even within the last 5 years, Kentucky had a down year in 2013 when they lost to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT. Even the best programs can’t escape the vagaries of luck in this era of one and done players.

6. Florida

6 Sweet 16’s: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2007, 2006

Billy Donovan has had tremendous success at Florida, winning back to back championships in 2006 and 2007. However, it doesn’t always run smoothly in Gainesville. Florida didn’t make the tournament in 2008 and 2009 when the stars from the championship teams left. They also didn’t make the tournament this year.

5. Duke

6 Sweet 16’s: 2015, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006

Back in the Christian Laettner years, Duke made four straight Final Four appearances and won two championships. Even Mike Krzyzewski can’t duplicate that success in this era of parity and one and done players.

Duke has fallen victim to two of the biggest Round of 64 upsets recently, as they lost to 15 seed Lehigh in 2012 and 14 seed Mercer in 2014.

4. Kansas

6 Sweet 16’s: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007

Bill Self has an incredible streak of 11 straight Big 12 regular season championships. He also hasn’t made the Sweet 16 the past two seasons. In 2015, Kansas lost Wichita State, a program in their own state they refuse to schedule during the regular season.

3. North Carolina

6 Sweet 16’s: 2015, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007

I thought North Carolina would be lower on this list, as Roy Williams has had some subpar teams in recent memory. North Carolina didn’t make the tournament in 2010, and they didn’t make the Sweet 16 in 2013 and 2014. However, they still have 6 appearances over the last 10 years and squeak ahead of Kansas with their Sweet 16 appearance in 2015.

2. Louisville

6 Sweet 16’s: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008

Rick Pitino has the Louisville program in great shape, as they almost always feature a top 10 defense by adjusted points per possession. However, their offense has been the problem in 2015. If they can find enough offense in the soft East Region this year, they could make another Final Four appearance.

1. Michigan State

7 Sweet 16’s: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008

Tom Izzo’s teams continue to perform well in March. In 2015, Michigan State beat Virginia to make the Sweet 16 for the 7th time over the last 10 years, tops in the country. I doubt Michigan State would have the highest rating averaged over the past 10 seasons, but they continue to have success in the tournament.

The top 26 college football teams of 2015 by recruiting rankings

Nick_Saban_StatueHow talented is your college football team? If only recruiting hype mattered, which teams would contend for next season’s college football playoff?

Here, we use recruiting rankings to rank college football teams for 2015. Sure, recruiting rankings don’t always accurately access the talent of teenagers. Five star recruits fail while a three star recruit like Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman in his freshman year.

However, recruiting rankings look pretty good in the big picture. Matt Hinton showed that five star recruits have the highest chance to become an All-American, with diminishing chances for four and then three star recruits.

I developed a regression model that uses four years of team recruiting rankings from Rivals to predict on field performance. This on field performance is defined by the team rankings at The Power Rank. The regression model simply assigns a weight to each of the past four years.

Will these rankings accurately predict next season?

We’ll count down the top 26 teams of 2015 below. But don’t go telling people “ED FENG THINKS USC IS BY FAR THE BEST TEAM IN THE PAC-12.” Not true.

The regression model is a poor predictor of team performance by The Power Rank. It’s much better to just look at the year end rating from the previous season. (For you math types, the recruiting model explains 25% of the variance in team ratings, while the year end rating from the previous season explains 57%.)

This model will never describe teams like Wisconsin, a program that never has a top 25 recruiting class but contends for a conference title every year. It will also overrate programs (cough, cough, Notre Dame) that never live up to their talent level.

But hell, it’s fun to look at which teams have the most talent according to recruiting rankings. It will help pass the long 7 month off season.

Honorable mention

Wisconsin ranks 44th. Former coach Gary Andersen, who left for Oregon State this winter, lamented the tough academic standards that prevented him from recruiting some players to Wisconsin.

TCU and Baylor rank 37th and 40th respectively. Guess coaching matters, as these should be top 10 teams next preseason.

Missouri checks in at 32nd. Low recruiting rankings haven’t stopped Gary Pinkel’s team from winning the SEC East the past two seasons.

26. Michigan State

Mark D’Antonio has produced a mighty fine team the last two seasons despite mediocre recruiting. With the probably return of QB Connor Cook, the Spartans should still be a very good team in 2015.

25. Penn State

Coach James Franklin came to State College with a reputation for recruiting, and he seems to be delivering. But can he fix QB Christian Hackenberg, the supposed NFL prospect whose completion percentage slipped from 59% to 56% from his freshman to sophomore year?

24. Arizona State

Coach Todd Graham has elevated the level of recruiting in Tempe. Arizona State was outside the top 25 from 2009 through 2013 but has drawn the 20th best class the last two seasons.

23. Mississippi State

The Bulldogs had an amazing 10-3 year (well, they could have done better with a bowl win over Georgia Tech) and translated their success into the 16th best class this season. That’s their best rank since 2003.

22. Virginia Tech

Frank Beamer is still getting good recruits to come to Blacksburg? Virginia Tech was a perennial top 25 team in The Power Rank but have fallen off since the 2011 season.

21. Michigan

Michigan has had two successive small recruiting classes, which has reduced their team rank the past two seasons. When recalculating these rankings using average stars per recruit, Michigan ranks 17th.

20. Miami (FL)

The Hurricanes had a rough season. They ranked 17th in my ensemble rankings but finished with a losing 6-7 record. Al Golden recruited the 26th best class but 16th by average stars.

19. Oregon

Oregon always plays above their rank by recruiting numbers. However, 2015 will be a tough test for Mark Helfrich, as he loses QB Marcus Mariota and has many leaks to plug on the defense.

18. Mississippi

Two years ago, Hugh Freeze made a big splash on recruiting day by signing multiple five star recruits on his way to the 7th best class. However, he hasn’t been able to replicate that success the last two years. It remains to be seen whether their successful 2014 season was a fluke or not.

17. South Carolina

Steve Spurrier really had issues on defense this season, as South Carolina finished 37th in my team rankings in 2014. They didn’t finish outside the top 20 the previous four seasons.

16. Stanford

At least once during every Stanford game, I scream at coach David Shaw for some unthinkably bad decision. However, he wins games, and the 2014 Stanford team was much better than their 8-5 record suggests.

15. Oklahoma

In 2014, the Sooners won a huge bowl game over Alabama and entered the next season overrated. In 2015, they blew their bowl game against Clemson and will probably be underrated heading into next season. Bob Stoops continues to recruit at the same level, so expect them to challenge TCU and Baylor for the Big 12.

14. UCLA

The Bruins had a tremendous signing day, finishing with the 4th best class by average stars per recruit. Let’s see if this makes them into the top 10 team that people expect each preseason.

13. Texas

Charlie Strong recruited the 12th best class to Texas. This is a fine haul anywhere except Texas, a program that had one class outside the top 5 from 2006 through 2012 under Mack Brown.

12. Florida

It seemed like new coach Jim McElwain had a good National Signing Day when five star CeCe Jefferson committed. However, Jefferson still hasn’t sent his letter of intent, and Florida has the 23rd best class, their worst rank in any year since 2002.

11. Tennessee

Butch Jones recruited his second straight 5th ranked class. Perhaps Tennessee can finally overcome the curse of Phil Fulmer, the Hall of Fame, national championship winning coach they fired in 2008.

10. Georgia

Mark Richt always recruits well. That’s why he can find a freshman (Nick Chubb) to replace the best running back in the country (Todd Gurley) when he gets hurt.

9. Clemson

Dabo Swinney recruited the best class of his tenure as Clemson head coach (4th by team, 7th by average stars). With a healthy DeShaun Watson at QB for the next two seasons, the future looks bright for the Tigers.

8. Texas A&M

The numbers back up Kevin Sumlin’s reputation as a top recruiter. Texas A&M had its third straight top 10 class in 2015, a feat they didn’t achieve the previous 7 years. Now, they need to fix that defense that has stunk for two straight seasons.

7. Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish recruit well no matter the coach. However, their play hasn’t lived up to their top 10 recruiting rankings, even under Brian Kelly. Since he arrived in 2010, they have finished 32nd, 21st, 11th (reached title game against Alabama), 23rd and 39th in my team rankings.

6. Auburn

It should scare the rest of the college football world that Auburn landed Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator. He was an excellent DC at Texas, and his reputation helped Auburn land top recruit Byron Cowart.

5. LSU

Les Miles had only the 13th ranked class by average stars. This is only the second time since 2007 that his recruiting class by average stars finished outside the top 10.

4. Florida State

The Seminoles had the top ranked class in 2015 by average stars. Jimbo Fisher needs some of these guys to step in on a defense that struggled this season.

3. USC

Did these recruits see USC get gashed by Boston College this season? And they still decided to play for Steve Sarkisian and his 9-4 record this past season? USC had the top ranked recruiting class in 2015.

2. Ohio State

For a team that won the first college football playoff, a 9th ranked recruiting class (10th by average stars) seems like a poor haul. However, Ohio State didn’t have one five star recruit on their offensive line that powered their running game this season.

1. Alabama

Duh? What did you expect? Nick Saban must be torturing himself because USC had a better ranked class (the first time since 2010 that Saban didn’t have the top ranked class by Rivals). However, Alabama still ends up at the top of these rankings that look at a four year window.

The predictive power of the preseason AP poll

preseason_AP_cbb_2013Kentucky started the season #1 in the preseason AP poll in 2013.

Then John Calipari’s young Wildcats struggled during the season, losing 10 games along the way. They dropped out of the AP poll entirely by the end of the season.

However, Kentucky found their stride in the tournament. As an 8 seed, they beat Louisville and Michigan in the regional final to advance to the Final Four.

Could we have learned something from the preseason AP poll? Can the opinion of sports writers months ago tell us something about post season play?

Quite surprisingly, the answer is yes. Research shows that the higher ranked team in the preseason AP college basketball poll wins 72% of tournament winners, the same win percentage as the team with the higher seed in the bracket.

The aggregate opinion of sports writers does a good job evaluating the potential of each team. Kentucky is a prime example, as Calipari brought in one of the most highly touted recruiting classes ever.

What about college football?

My own research shows the same predictive power for the preseason AP football poll.

From 2005 through 2012, I looked at how often a higher ranked team in the preseason poll beat a lower ranked team in a bowl game. I assumed a ranked team would beat an unranked team, but didn’t make a prediction between two ranked teams.

The preseason AP college football predicted 59.8% of bowl game winners (125 of 209). The poll made a prediction in 79% of these games. Remember, this poll comes out before any college football games have been played.

To put this accuracy in perspective, let’s compare it with the Colley Matrix, one of the computer polls in the old BCS system. Given the game results of all college football games before bowl season, the Colley Matrix predicts the winner of 55.1% of bowl games (146 of 265).

During the season, the AP poll loses its predictive power because it reacts to strongly to wins and losses. The higher ranked team in the poll just before bowl season wins 57% of bowl games (106 of 186). This poll makes a prediction in 70.1% of bowl games (186 of 265).

I presume the AP college basketball poll also loses its predictive power as the season progresses.

With only hundreds of games, the uncertainty in these win percentages is about 3%. This implies a 2 in 3 chance the actual accuracy of the Colley Matrix is between 52% and 58%. So while we can’t say with certainty that the preseason AP college football poll is more accurate than the Colley Matrix, it does seem likely.

Will Kentucky beat Wisconsin in the Final Four?

Kentucky excels in two areas: offensive rebounding and getting to the line. Julius Randle, the best college basketball player not named Jabari Parker, leads this attack. He is a physical presence with soft hands to finish around the basketball.

However, Kentucky does not shoot the ball well. They shoot 33% from 3 point range, worse than the Division I average. However, Kentucky has found a hot streak in the tourney, going 8-18 against Wichita State and 7-11 against Michigan. Can this continue?

Wisconsin has the 4th best offense by my points per possession adjusted for strength of schedule. Seven foot center Frank Kaminsky has been a beast the entire tourney. He has hit 3 point shots as well as scored around the basket. As a team, Wisconsin shoots 38% from 3.

However, I’m concerned about their point guard play. Traevon Jackson wanted to be the hero against Arizona. On 3 possessions down the stretch, he ran a pick and roll with Kaminsky and then ignored his dominant center in the post against a guard. Sheer stupidity.

My teams rankings, which do not consider the preseason AP poll, predict a Wisconsin win by 1.8 points. This implies a 55% win probability over Kentucky.