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WCC Will Use KenPom (sort of) for Seeding in Tournament

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Makes sense.

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at St. Mary’s Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The WCC Tournament has enlisted college basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy to help seed their conference tournament for both men’s and women’s basketball.

“The reality of not completing a full conference schedule is in front of us and we have explored alternative models to properly seed our men’s and women’s basketball tournament,” said commissioner Gloria Nevarez in a release. “The Ken Pomeroy adjusted conference winning percentage model that has been developed for the WCC provides the most accurate reflection of the conference games that have been completed. We appreciate the opportunity to lean on Ken’s well-regarded expertise and thoroughly analyzed algorithms to develop this model for seeding our conference tournament.”

This is an actual exciting forward looking way for the conference to deal with what has been a tough problem. The WCC has been hit particularly hard by COVID, with a majority of the conference missing substantial time at some point in the season. The Zags lead the conference with 11 games played, compared to San Diego’s five total games and Saint Mary’s six total games.

For Gonzaga, the rule means nothing. The Zags are the top team in the conference in both men’s and women’s and will be the top seeds.

The model will not use the KenPom famed offensive/defensive efficiency numbers, so it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, benefits from this system.

“The WCC partnered with Ken Pomeroy to develop a model that uses a proprietary algorithm that best reflects conference games completed and yields an adjusted conference winning percentage for each men’s and women’s basketball team. The adjusted conference winning percentage accounts for the strength of the opponent and the location (home/away) of the game played. The offensive and defensive efficiency metric is not utilized in the algorithm to determine a team’s adjusted conference winning percentage.“

The gut says the Saint Mary’s Gaels, if anyone, would probably be the largest benefactor of the new seeding system. The Gaels are just 2-4, currently in eighth place in the conference. Saint Mary’s lost to BYU and Gonzaga by decent margins, but also lost to Santa Clara and Pepperdine by two points a piece. Although the Gaels are definitely not a top three conference team this season, if they played a full allotment of conference games, they might be better than the third-worst.