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Old 03-01-2020, 09:18 PM   #1
UCats329
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Was Mick Cronin REALLY an Underachiever in March?

As it becomes more and more likely that UC is not going to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade, a lot of people have second-guessed the administration's unwillingness to give Mick Cronin a raise and a contract extension before the end of the last season, and his accordingly deciding to head off for greener pastures at UCLA.

The common refrain from the opposite camp is that Mick Cronin was an underachiever in March, specifically that he didn't make enough Sweet 16 appearances--just 1 in 13 years--and that it was time to let him go so that another coach can take a crack at more consistent tournament success.

My intuition (based on watching a lot of college ball) told me that making the Sweet 16 is a tougher exercise than most seem to understand, that very few teams actually do it more than occasionally, and that by and large the same handful of teams are in the Sweet 16 most years, with the rest of the slots going to a few party crashers that got hot at the right time (Lasalle, FGCU, VCU, Loyola Chicago, etc.) and a few teams that occasionally-but-not-regularly make an appearance.

I was curious, so I decided to crunch the numbers a bit, as it were. I compiled a spreadsheet of all of the teams to make multiple Sweet 16s during the 9 years that UC was actually good enough to make the tournament under Mick Cronin (because anybody who actually holds UC not making the tournament during the massive rebuild in the Big East against Cronin is full of shit.)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...kLUTz3/pubhtml

A few things stood out to me:

-- As I suspected, a large number of the available Sweet 16 slots were occupied by just a few schools; 13 teams occupied just over 47% of all Sweet 16 bids during that period (68/144), each making the Sweet 16 at least 4 times. Those schools were more or less exactly who you would expect them to be.

-- Another 10 schools made at least 3 appearances during that span. Among them were three of the lesser "Blue Bloods"--Indiana, UCLA, and Ohio State--that I was surprised to see only made 3 appearances each. Ohio State not making it since 2013 was incredibly surprising to me. Another 13 teams made exactly 2 appearances. I was shocked to see that Villanova only made 2 Sweet 16 appearances during this 9-year span (though, obviously, they certainly made the most of them.) All told, 36 schools made 86% (124/144) of all Sweet 16 appearances. Another 20 schools made a single Sweet 16 appearance, UC obviously being among them.

-- Of the schools to make multiple Sweet 16 appearances, their average seed in years that they made the Sweet 16 was 4.24. Of the 10 schools to make 5 or more appearances, the average seed in years that they made the Sweet 16 was 2.91. Of the 13 schools who made at least 4, the average seed was 3.54. Those that made at least 3 Sweet 16s had an average seed of exactly 4. UC was seeded lower than any of these figures exactly once (2 Seed - 2018) under Cronin.

-- Of the 36 schools to make multiple Sweet 16 appearances, 26 had an average seed lower than 5 in the years that they made the Sweet 16. Another 8 had an average seed between 5 and 8. Only 2--NC State and Norwood Tech--had an average seed greater than 8 in those years that they made a deep tourney run. UC was seeded 5 or lower twice (2014, 2018).

-- This isn't reflected in the table, but of the 144 total teams to make the Sweet 16 over this 9-year period, only 16.7% (28) did so with a seed 8 or higher. Those teams were as follows: Butler (8 Seed - 2011) Florida State (TWICE: 10 Seed - 2011, 9 Seed - 2018), VCU (11 Seed - 2011), Richmond (12 Seed - 2011), Marquette (11 Seed - 2011), Xavier (TWICE: 10 Seed - 2012, 11 Seed - 2017), Ohio (13 Seed - 2012), NC State (TWICE: 12 Seed - 2012, 8 Seed - 2015), Oregon (TWICE: 12 Seed - 2013, 12 Seed - 2019), LaSalle (13 Seed - 2013), Wichita State (9 Seed - 2013), Florida Gulf Coast (15 Seed - 2013), Dayton (11 Seed - 2014), Stanford (10 Seed - 2014), Kentucky (8 Seed - 2014), Tennessee (11 Seed - 2014), UCLA (11 Seed - 2015), Gonzaga (11 Seed - 2016), Syracuse (TWICE: 10 Seed - 2016, 11 Seed - 2018), Wisconsin (8 Seed - 2017), Kansas State (9 Seed - 2018), Loyola Chicago (11 Seed - 2019). UC was seeded as an 8 or higher 3 times during Cronin's tenure (2013, 2015, 2016).

Anyway, all of this remains somewhat subjective depending on how you look at the actual numbers. If you look at Sweet 16s versus total tournament appearances, you're probably inclined to think that Cronin was a total flop (1 for 9). If you look at things like seeding, you're probably more inclined to think that Cronin did about as well as one might expect in a crapshoot single elimination tournament.

If Cronin simply beats Nevada in 2018, this is probably an entirely different conversation.

Discuss.


Last edited by UCats329; 03-01-2020 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:42 PM   #2
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One thing is for sure, he wasnít an overachiever in March.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:46 PM   #3
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If youíre a great program or great coach, You do it in the tournament. I get itís a single elimination tournament, but thatís the pinnacle. Thatís what makes coaches and programs.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:41 PM   #4
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1 out of 9 and seeded 8 or less only 3 of the 9 times.... how many times did he lose the first game? Also seeding was his doing by being an inferior coach/recruiter.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bcatfollower View Post
1 out of 9 and seeded 8 or less only 3 of the 9 times.... how many times did he lose the first game? Also seeding was his doing by being an inferior coach/recruiter.
The goal should be to miss the tourney and have nothing to worry about.

You save your fans from having to unrealistically pick you in their brackets then get upset when you donít make the final four like they selected. You save money on travel because the goal should be an extra home game for your fans in the NIT

From what I read not many Brannen apologists care about the tourney. They only want sweet 16ís and final fours baby.. so Brannen was smart to miss the tourney this year, we werenít gonna make the final four, so might as well get your fans an extra home game to witness some beautiful basketball in person.

Something to be said about setting expectations. Brannen lowered the expectations of our program to the floor in 1 year. Next year if we win 22 games we ďimprovedĒ and he raise them a little more. Takes a lot of pressure off now. It will only take two years of irrelevant UC basketball for us to not be talked about nationally.

Cronin screwed up though on the other hand. The dude set some unreal expectations by the way his team has kicked the pac 12 ass. So now his expectations are through the roof after being at their floor when he took the job.

Brannen is playing the long game and I like it



As for tourney, the coach before mick, his last 9 years, thatís what youíd call underachieving in the tourney, mick didnít over achieve nor did he under achieve
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinhub2003 View Post
The goal should be to miss the tourney and have nothing to worry about.

You save your fans from having to unrealistically pick you in their brackets then get upset when you donít make the final four like they selected. You save money on travel because the goal should be an extra home game for your fans in the NIT

From what I read not many Brannen apologists care about the tourney. They only want sweet 16ís and final fours baby.. so Brannen was smart to miss the tourney this year, we werenít gonna make the final four, so might as well get your fans an extra home game to witness some beautiful basketball in person.

Something to be said about setting expectations. Brannen lowered the expectations of our program to the floor in 1 year. Next year if we win 22 games we ďimprovedĒ and he raise them a little more. Takes a lot of pressure off now. It will only take two years of irrelevant UC basketball for us to not be talked about nationally.

Cronin screwed up though on the other hand. The dude set some unreal expectations by the way his team has kicked the pac 12 ass. So now his expectations are through the roof after being at their floor when he took the job.

Brannen is playing the long game and I like it



As for tourney, the coach before mick, his last 9 years, thatís what youíd call underachieving in the tourney, mick didnít over achieve nor did he under achieve
How many times did he lose as the better seed? Legit question as I donít feel like looking it up.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:34 AM   #7
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Mick did underachieve the 2 teams he had teams that were as good as the coach before him.


Mick had a top 20 team twice. Both rounda32.


When his teams were mediocre, they performed mediocre in the tournament.


With the new NET system, some of those teams that easily got in would have been right around the bubble. We are 44 on kenpom. We were 44 in 2015. That team got an 8 seed.


Brannen's first year really is around the quality of Mick's teams right after his sweet 16. 2013-2016 we averaged 35.5 on kenpom. we are 44 right now.


we peaked with Troy's Sr year and Gary's Sr year and were unfortunately reverting back and had a very bleak future outlook.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cincrulz11 View Post
Mick did underachieve the 2 teams he had teams that were as good as the coach before him.


Mick had a top 20 team twice. Both rounda32.


When his teams were mediocre, they performed mediocre in the tournament.


With the new NET system, some of those teams that easily got in would have been right around the bubble. We are 44 on kenpom. We were 44 in 2015. That team got an 8 seed.


Brannen's first year really is around the quality of Mick's teams right after his sweet 16. 2013-2016 we averaged 35.5 on kenpom. we are 44 right now.


we peaked with Troy's Sr year and Gary's Sr year and were unfortunately reverting back and had a very bleak future outlook.
We appeared in quite a few too early top 15's this Spring before Cronin left. The future was only bleak because you guys were seeing it through Cronin hating glasses.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bcatfollower View Post
How many times did he lose as the better seed? Legit question as I donít feel like looking it up.
3 times in 9 years.

Harvard
Iowa last year
Nevada

Everything other than that went as expected
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by skyblade View Post
We appeared in quite a few too early top 15's this Spring before Cronin left. The future was only bleak because you guys were seeing it through Cronin hating glasses.
no it was bleak because he stopped recruiting here. next year was going to be a DUMPSTER no matter who the coach was.


it was strong for Caupain and Gary's Sr years because he had been bringing in 4 year starters (even if he wouldn't start them) 4 straight years.


But we haven't had one of those since Jarron's freshman year.


Thats why the future was bleak.
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