Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Choose your ACC Basketball Team!

Are you having trouble deciding which ACC team to root for? Here's a helpful flow chart I made to help you decide. Click to make it bigger! (You might also have to click once to zoom on the new page.)


This is only the beginning of my foray into flow charts, I fear. I've had them in mind for a while now after seeing this masterpiece. I don't know the first thing about New Orleans, but I was totally rapt while reading. So this was kind of a quick one, but there will be more elaborate ones to come.

Tonight, we play FSU. The Noles are coming off two straight road losses, to Auburn and Virginia Tech. Falling to Auburn was particularly bad, but this game strikes me as really dangerous. Here's what worries me about Florida State, with most stats grabbed from Ken Pomeroy's FSU page:

1) They're big. 3rd in the country in average height, and 34th in effective height. Their biggest guy, Xavier Gibson, will be out with a knee injury, but they still have three guys over 6'8" to throw at the Plumlees. If the performance of Reggie Johnson and Jordan Williams is any indication, Chris Singleton in particular could be in for a big night.

Their guards are very big, too. They'll have at least 3 inches on every guard except Dawkins.

2) They defend the 2 very, very well. They're 4th in the country, in fact. They're not going to give up many mid-range jumpers, and the height of their guards and bigs means Nolan and Kyle will have their hands full driving the lane.

Worse, the Noles are first in the country in block percentage. They get a block on 19.6% of their opponent's possessions. They're even ahead of Syracuse in this one. Nolan got swatted quite a bit against Maryland when he went inside, and it's going to be even harder against FSU.

3) They defend the 3 very, very well. 14th in the country. This is down to the height, length, and quickness of their guards. We won't be getting many uncontested, wide-open threes. They'll be playing aggressive man-to-man, and if the Tallahassee crowd shows up with energy, scoring could be a struggle.

Based on this scouting report, it looks like Duke will have trouble inside, outside, and everywhere in between. HOWEVER:

1) They turn the ball over quite a bit. They're 311th out of 345 teams in terms of turnovers per possession. That's bad, and it's even worse against a team like Duke who creates a ton of frontcourt pressure (38th in the country at forcing turnovers).

2) They can't shoot. That goes for threes, twos, and foul shots.

On paper, this is a strange match-up. Florida State's defense seems to be specifically designed to stymie an offense like Duke. But the opposite is also true; other than some skilled big men, Duke could easily stifle FSU's offense. The bookmakers are placing the over/under 143 with Duke as an 8-point favorite, which indicates that they're expecting a 75-67 type game. I think that's extremely high, for both teams, and if you gamble I recommend taking the under.

With both offenses poorly set, home court advantage becomes a big factor. Will the partisans at the Tucker Center propel their team to a big game? Duke is more talented, and all things being equal they should triumph based on skill alone. Strange things happen on the road, though, especially in Tallahassee; Duke is only 4-3 there in the past decade, despite having the superior team on every occasion.

It should be a war. Somehow, I have a feeling this will be an even greater test than Kansas State or Michigan State or Maryland. We need to come out strong and take the crowd out of the equation; letting FSU hang around is a recipe for disaster. It's the first ACC game away from Cameron, and the upset potential is high.

Oops, I forgot Hot Potato! Thanks to Laura for the reminder. The Hot Potato for Duke-Florida State is:


Kyle Singler

Submit your guesses by game time, and read here for more info on Hot Potato if you're new.

34 comments:

  1. is there a hot potato for this game? or just wilted flowers masquerading as bigs?

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  2. Whoa, sorry Laura, forgot it. Post updated.

    -Shane

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  3. Gonna go with 17 for zombie singler.

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  4. Singleton might be the DPOY, and he'll probably be on Kyle all night. 14 for Singler, many of which are late, game-sealing FTs.

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  5. 21 for Kyle

    Jordan

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  6. Gosh, this feels very important now... 20.

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  7. 21 for singler and hooray for hot potato/flow charts!

    -Craig J.

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  8. 17 for Singler. Shane, did you make that flow chart yourself? Hilarious.

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  9. That was me Jonny. Thanks. Flow charts are the wave of the new millenium, I think.

    -Shane

    PS to everyone, I'm still deciding about Singler. Tim has a good point about Singleton, but at the same time, he might be the only guy getting any decent looks against the tall FSU guards.

    Carrie - Terrible pick.

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  10. So if I'm from the Midwest I can't have a favorite ACC team?

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  11. Anon, I'm looking at the flow chart, and unfortunately, the short answer to your question is yes. However, there is a loophole. If you can't read or don't know if you're from North Carolina or not, you can root for NC State or Florida State.

    However, judging by your written response and the fact that you identified your location as outside North Carolina, it looks like these loopholes don't apply to you.

    -Shane

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  12. That flow chart is hilarious!! I especially apprecaite the UNC path. UNC fans are like people who eat at Ruth's Chris and call themselves common men because they like meat and potatoes.

    22 points for the Kingler!!!

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  13. Kingler goes for a bloody, bruised 15.

    Any chance we can get a repost of the updated Hot Potato prior to the game, as Dylan had to make fixes due to some kind of time-warp problem.

    Loved the flow chart! The one from US Armed Forces in Iraq is the scariest I've ever seen, but it is depressing - not funny at all.

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  14. I was unaware that people who eat at Ruth's Chris refer to themselves as "common men". Isn't the whole point of ordering a $85 new york strip to say, "boy am i glad i'm not one of those common folks eating at Applebees tonight"?

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  15. "What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls or the crisp October nights. Our loyalty is not to the memories of what William Richardson Davie did 200 years ago . . . No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be The University of the People."

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  16. I've gone from excellent to terrible at this game in fewer moves than it took my 10 year old cousin to beat me at chess. sigh.

    18 for the kid with the new haircut

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  17. Kyle reprises his role in the hit musical, "I'm Just a Singler in a Rock n' Roll Band" with a whopping 24. The Moody Blues reunite under the monkier The Cantankerous Crazies. Duke wins the NCAA Championship again and all the Cameron faithful are invited to a sockhop down at the gym!

    -Dr. K

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  18. I've thought long and hard, and I'm going to go with 17.

    Jo, thank you, I just found a new place for my parents to take me too the next time they come to town. I will write "NC State sucks" in mushrooms on my steak and post a picture.

    Anon, nicely done. I had to look up that quote and see it was from Kuralt. That guy is basically the man.

    Holy shit, Jim, you are a genius. The elite cadre of Cameron Crazies will now be know to me, forever, as The Moody Blues.

    Marion, my brother annoyed me on occasion this vacation by beating me at connect four. And I'm AWESOME at connect four.

    -Shane

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  19. Dan, we'll update the spreadsheet first thing tomorrow.

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  20. Off night: 16. Thought you'd like some populist kuralt! John

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  21. Tom says 20, girlfriend says 23.

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  22. Dont know if i am too late, still at work, have no idea if the game even started, but Singler for 21.

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  23. As a William and Mary alum, I enjoyed the mention in the flow chart (and the ever present reminder that UVA people are pretentious), but it was a sad reminder that I went to a nerd school instead of a sports school--thus the love for Duke and the stack of grad school applications on my table.

    18 for Kyle as he carries the team tonight with clutch plays at the right time.

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  24. Laura, go to Duke for grad school (I did - NCSU alum). Camp out for grad school tix - you only have to do it once for the season (you can thank me, I designed the camp/lottery system for the '92 season and I believe it's still in use). Your consortium will win enough season tix that it'll all work out. And you'll see all the home games and have dibs on post-season tix too (why attend those pesky classes when you can be going to places like Houston and Indy!) instead of prepping for exams?

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  25. Kyle for 17

    - Swetha

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