Closest to the Pin Round 18:  Connecticut

Update: Game Results: With the Cat’s 59-61 loss at Connecticut, we congratulate four VU Hoops readers who took medals in this game. Gold Medals: SeanDon (68-61) and Mouph Man (66-63) earning 5 points each; Silver Medal: CJ (67-63), earning 3 points; Bronze Medal: REPRESENT804 (67-65), earning 1 point. Our updated leader board is provided below.

REMINDER: Under the contest rules, winners are determined without regard to whether the contestant correctly picked the winning team (we don’t want to tempt a Nova fan to improve their chances of winning by voting against the Cats) based on the smallest absolute difference between the predicted scores and the actual scores.

VUHoops vs. Vegas: Based on the average predicted scores of the VUHoops Crowd and the posted Vegas line, we would have won $200 by betting Villanova +2.5 and betting the under. The details follow. We’re now +$800 for the season.

VU Hoops Vegas Bet Result
Point Spread 'Nova -2.0 'Nova +2.5 'Nova +2.5 WIN
Total Points 145.0 146.0 Under WIN

Leader Board After 18 Rounds

Reader Points
Hugh Jass 13.5
Joe 13.5
Pat'12 13.5
Joey 10.5
Nervous Nelly 10.5
TC'87 10.5
chuck st.petersburg 10.0
Robertrise 10.0
TK87 9.5
mj 8.0
regred 8.0
Dj pizzle 7.0
mfc4293 7.0
REPRESENT804 7.0
Kittlesfan95 6.5
BarneyRubble 6.0
hit the bid 6.0
Pena Power 6.0
mattymo 5.5
Palsgraf 5.5
Steph 5.5
Beardog 5.0
marty1029 5.0
Mouph Man 5.0
novafan95 5.0
Old School 5.0
SeanDon 5.0
Two in the Pinkston 5.0
Stevie V 4.5
Andy'06 4.0
Ed'08 4.0
Kait'08 4.0
doctor feelgoodes 3.5
Jimmy 3.5
Bill '77 3.0
CJ 3.0
Mark Anderson 3.0
miles'88 3.0
Novachamps22 3.0
Schitzengigles 3.0
Tommyboy 3.0
cdtoffers 2.5
Colt 2.5
super nova 2.5
David '06 2.0
DMC 2.0
Simple'07 2.0
CMM 1.5
DP5 1.5
EG'77 1.5
Esto 1.5
FLM'33 1.5
friartownmayor'13 1.5
Mark A 1.5
mprams 1.5
Pete (Aliti 13) 1.5
Chicken Dinner 1.0
Clarkkell 1.0
Loser Cruiser 1.0
Lou '06 1.0
Matt 1.0
pttam7yanks 1.0
Rich'09 1.0
Vinny'06 1.0
bgunn 0.5
Brendan '10 0.5
Christopher Coggins 0.5
David 0.5
FishersTalent13 0.5

Update: Monday, January 17 (Game Time). A total of 76 VUHoops readers posted predictions, with 15 picking the Huskies to win. As a group, the readers see ‘Nova winning by a score of 75-73 (a margin of 2.0 points and implied over/under of 145). The Vegas odds makers are picking Connecticut to win by 2.5 points and set the over/under at 146 points, implying a final score of 72-74. KenPom.com’s model also is predicting a Nova loss by one point with a score of 72-73.

SCATTER PLOT OF PREDICTED SCORES

Window Opening: Sunday, January 16 (8:00 AM). The window is now open for readers to post their predicted final scores for ‘Nova’s game at. Connecticut on Monday, January 17 at 3:30 PM (Storrs, ESPN) in our Closest to the Pin Contest. After seventeen rounds, we have a three-way time for first place among Hugh Jass, Joe and Pat ’12, each with 13.5 points. Click here to see our full leader board. In our VUHoops vs. Vegas competition, VUHoops is up $600.

The #7 Cats (16-1, 4-0) had an RPI of 11, a SOS of 61 and are scoring an average of 77.6 PPG while giving up an average of 62.0 PPG. The #10 Huskies (14-2, 3-2) have an RPI of 10, a SOS of 30, and score an average of 76.6 PPG while allowing an average of 64.5 PPG. Connecticut’s more notable wins have come against Michigan State (+3), Kentucky (+17), South Florida (+5), Texas (+1) and Rutgers (+14). Their two losses have come against Pitt (-15) and Notre Dame (-3). Villanova and Connecticut have played two common opponents, South Florida, with ‘Nova winning away (+12) and Connecticut winning at home (+5), and Rutgers, with ‘Nova winning at home (+16) and Connecticut winning at home (+14). As of Friday, KenPom.com’s model was picking Nova to lose by a score of 73-72. More statistical information about Connecticut is available at Statsheet.com.

Be sure to check out Brian's game preview.

Special Note: When posting predictions, please be sure to:

  • List your predicted score for Villanova first, followed by the score for the opponent (e.g., Cats 100, Owls 75)
  • All future games (except Rivalry Games), points are awarded to winners as follows: Bulls-eye = 10 points; Gold (non-bulls-eye) =5 pts; Silver = 3pts; Bronze = 1pt.
  • Note the following rule change: given the extraordinary number of readers participating in the contest, we can no longer enforce our rule prohibiting duplicate score predictions.
  • Use a consistent handle / ID so that we can keep an accurate running leader board over the course of the season. Obviously, score predictions posted by guests or anonymous readers cannot be accepted.
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