Zone vs. Man, the L to Pitt, UVa & Michigan, & More: Seedy K’s 1/16 Hoop dee Doo

I’m among the many who wonder why, with this group of Cardinals, Chris Mack doesn’t eschew his pack line a bit more, and go more often than he has with a 1-3-1 or another zone? Mix it up.

Well, Ken Pomeroy is the guy who has firmly established himself as the college hoops analytics guru with the numbers to establish or debunk any theory. In a recent post at, he undermines any theories that mixing defenses between man and zone in conference matchups is the way to go.

Teams that play all man to man have a .547 winning % in league play. Those, like the ‘Cuse who are all zone, are a little less successful at .501.

And those that mix ’em up win but .463 of conference battles.

My astuteness just took another hit. 

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U of L’s OT L at Pitt is looking not quite as deplorable in the rear view mirror.

The Panthers beat down Top Twenty Florida State rather handily just days after holding on against the Cardinals.

The Pittsburgh veterans should have noticed something familiar about the Seminoles. Florida State plays without a head coach, in the same manner the Panthers were forced to last season.

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So, did you see how UVa dismantled Top Ten Virginia Tech by 22 last night?

(Of course you didn’t see it. If you live in Louisville that is. Couldn’t get it on the computer because it was blacked out. Because it was a Raycom game, which was being aired on Fox Sports South. Except in those geographical locations where the Nashville Predators game bumped it.)

Anyway, that rant aside, here’s my point. The Cavaliers haven’t just been beating teams, they’ve been crushing them. One slow possession after another. One pack line shutdown after another.

The Wahoos have given up as many as 60 points only twice this season. Marshall tallied 64, but gave up a 100 to UVa. Maryland, perhaps the third best team in the Big Ten, scored 71 in the season opener, still not enough to beat unbeaten Virginia.

I don’t think this bunch is going to lose in the opening round this year.

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Speaking of unexpected juggernauts, how about the still undefeated Michigan Wolverines?

Only two of their foes have come within single digits.

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In my ongoing quest to share everything negative I can about Louisville’s former permanent coach, I feel compelled to pass this along.

(Yes, as much as I dislike Rick Pitino, and am glad he longer coaches U of L, I admit I’m obsessed. He’s always such good copy. I can’t help myself. As one of the town’s respected reporters said the other day when we were discussing the Rick to Westwood rumors,  and how sweet it is have him back in the headlines, “It’s like Christmas.”)

Anyway my latest cherished nugget comes from Dan Wetzel, now with Yahoo Sports then with the Basketball Times. He tailed Shane Battier during the future Dookie’s recruitment and senior season at Detroit Country Day.

Battier, very bright and ever organized, pared his list of schools to six — Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas maybe and one other, I forget — and made it clear to all others to leave him alone.

For those six, he set some strict guidelines, and allotted a designated fifteen minutes a week when he’d talk with each on the phone.

The first to violate that set up was — that’s right — then UK mentor Rick Pitino.

Battier immediately removed Kentucky from his list.

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U of L is now ranked #19 in the important NCAA NET rankings.

And #23 in Ken Pomeroy’s respected computer hierarchy.

— Seedy K