What OSU doesn’t want to see in the NCAA Tournament

Written by Kyle Porter
Photo Attribution: Emily Nielsen

Photo Attribution: Emily Nielsen

OKC Dave did such a great job with his NCAA Tournament preview last week (Part I | Part II | Part III). You should definitely read all of it.

I wanted to piggyback off some of his work here and look at an aggregate profile of teams OSU has lost to this season. This is a very simplified look at things but, well, I’m not OKC Dave.

Oklahoma State’s basketball team has lost six games this year. Those losses were at the hands of the following squads:

Virginia Tech
Kansas State

I wanted to take a look at what these teams have in common and what kind of team OSU should be on the lookout for in March.

As OKC Dave pointed out last week, OSU is not a terrific offensive team. Elite defensively, average (very average) offensively.

And here are the KenPom offensive and defensive efficiency rankings (nationally) of the six teams we’ve lost to:

[table id=102 /]

We actually struggle against teams that are better on offense than defense (but still pretty good on defense). This surprises me a little bit as I thought we would struggle with other elite defenses since it doesn’t take a ton to bury our offense.

It should be noted that this profile will hold true even if OSU loses tomorrow in Ames as Iowa State has the 10th best offense and 136th best defense.

Teams OSU has lost to

Average Adj. O rank: 35
Average Adj. D rank: 78


Adj. O rank: 56
Adj. D rank: 7

So it’s not elite defenses we should be wary of over the next few weeks but rather elite offenses.

[stares at Florida’s #4 Adj. O and #2 Adj. D rank, quivers, shuts computer]

Tomorrow we’ll look at a list of teams OSU might face in the tournament that fit this profile.

  • Jeff in Tulsa

    I’d set aside Virginia Tech, as it was just a clear case of an upset. Kansas and Gonzaga both have elite overall profiles that will give any team trouble. Focusing in the analysis on OU, K-State and Baylor, I think you see the kind of team that will give us trouble…. teams that are good to very good on offense, but perhaps somewhat vulnerable on defense. With that kind of profile, they can somewhat offset our biggest strength (defense), while our offensive inconsistency would make it harder for us to take advantage of their vulnerability, which is inconsistent defense.

    • Exactly — and offense is generally more volatile in March anyway. The 2012 Lehigh-Duke game would like a word…

      • ChivalricOutlaw

        Let’s also not forget two other things about that VT game. First, going into it, VT was 6-0 and fired up. Second, it was the first true road game of the year for a very young OSU team, and the first true college road game EVER for several freshman including of course, Smart and Forte.

  • BostonPoke

    I’d like to avoid shot blocking teams and teams that can light up 3s.

  • Doug

    “So it’s not elite defenses we should be wary of over the next few weeks but rather elite offenses.”

    So in other words: Iowa State.