Wednesday, January 4, 2012

At 0-2, Hofstra’s in a big hole (Or: Hello? China? Little help?)

This may or may not be a self-portrait.

Once again channeling the first week of March here with some quick research and reportage of data (makes me sound important!). With the Flying Dutchmen falling to 0-2 in CAA play with the loss to VCU Monday, I was curious to find out how teams who have opened 0-2 have fared in the long run.

Short answer: Not good.

Over the previous 10 seasons (since the America East Four joined the CAA), 30 teams have lost their first two CAA games. The average number of wins for those teams: 5.3. And the average finish for an 0-2 team is ninth (well, technically, 8.87th), though that is skewed a bit by the fact there were only 10 teams through 2004-05.

Only five of those teams have finished .500 or better in conference play and only one finished as high as fourth—and that was Drexel back in 2004-05, when the top six teams earned first day byes in the 10-team CAA. No team has won the CAA after opening 0-2, though both George Mason (2006-07) and William & Mary (2007-08) made it to the title game after playing on Friday. And James Madison reached the CIT semifinals after opening 0-2 in 2008-09.

So the climb will be steep for the Dutchmen as well as fellow 0-2 squads Drexel, William & Mary and Towson. There is some good news heading into tonight for these four teams: Twelve of the 30 previous squads to open 0-2 won their third game, including Hofstra in 2002-03 and 2007-08. Of course, Drexel faces Towson in another #ECCHoops tilt, so at least one team will be 0-3.

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