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The Top 7 of Women's Basketball

I don't cover women's basketball here much. It's not that I don't enjoy the game. I was a regular at the home games in Carmichael as a student, and made it to a couple of ACC tournaments in Rock Hill. It's just rather difficult to cover from 3,000 miles away.

I do enjoy the recent trend in women's basketball to pit the top teams against one another. Some of that is a matter of where the talent lies. UNC, Duke and Mayland are undoubtably the top three teams in the country, are all Final Four teams from last year, all were undefeated until Maryland and Duke met this weekend and they'll play five games amongst themselves this season in the regular season alone. But Duke is also playing Tennessee in a week, Connecticut and Tennessee squared off last week and North Carolina has arranged contests with both Tennessee and Connecticut this year. The Heels are the only loss on the Volunteers' schedule, and meet the Huskies on Monday.

It occurs to me now would be a good time to see how the top teams match up statistically. Unfortunately, there isn't a Pomeroyesque compilation of such numbers, or if there is, I couldn't find it with a quick perusal through the Women's Hoops Blog. But I had a free hour and a felicity with a spreadsheet, so I tossed some together.

These are six of the top seven teams in the country, according to last week's AP poll. No. 6 Ohio State has been left out only because I don't have all day. The teams have only lost to one another, save LSU, who fell to No. 9 Baylor. (The Tigers are also the sole loss of Ohio State) The stats are thourgh whatever day the conference website provides - the 12th for the ACC and SEC (hence before the Maryland-Duke game), and the 13th for the Big East.

Team                    PPP    eFG   OReb    TO %   FTP
Maryland (18-0)         1.18  0.591  0.445  0.239  0.279
North Carolina (19-0)   1.11  0.535  0.531  0.247  0.218
Duke (17-0)             1.07  0.499  0.417  0.226  0.286
Tennessee (15-1)        1.07  0.524  0.400  0.232  0.240
Connecticut (14-1)      1.07  0.530  0.426  0.244  0.186
LSU (15-2)              1.00  0.475  0.425  0.201  0.190
The big thing that stands out is UNC's rebounding ability. Elana Larkins hoovers of the boards especially, pulling down almost 20 more on the offensive end than her nearest ACC competitor. This compensates for their turnover weakness and less than stellar free throw shooting.
Team                    OPPP   OeFG  DReb   OTO %  OFTO
North Carolina (19-0)   0.61  0.351  0.787  0.344  0.294
Duke (17-0)             0.63  0.329  0.762  0.317  0.420
LSU (15-2)              0.65  0.339  0.736  0.293  0.443
Connecticut (14-1)      0.66  0.351  0.665  0.259  0.348
Maryland (18-0)         0.74  0.372  0.772  0.212  0.369
Tennessee (15-1)        0.78  0.433  0.721  0.255  0.413
Again, UNC has the rebounding edge over the others, Connecticut in particular. The Heels are also great at generating turnovers - four players average over two steals a game, and LaToya Pringle and Jessica Breland are the 2nd and 3rd leading shot blockers in the ACC, respectively. They manage it without getting may fouls, as well.

Maryland and Tennessee lag behind the others in defensive ability, a fact that might go a long way in explaining this week's Terp loss to Duke. Maryland may score more efficiently than the rest, but if they haven't beeen tested against many good defenses, the Blue Devils may have cauht them unprepared. This bodes well for the Maryland-UNC game, as last year the Terps were the Heels' only loss.

Team                    3FGA/A  3FG %
North Carolina (19-0)   0.287   0.352
Maryland (18-0)         0.256   0.411
Tennessee (15-1)        0.251   0.415
Duke (17-0)             0.218   0.336
Connecticut (14-1)      0.211   0.317
LSU (15-2)              0.177   0.297
UNC makes more use of the three-pointer than the rest of the teams, although Maryland and Tennessee are significantly more accurate. LSU wisely eschews the shot as much as possible.

So what does this mean for the UNC-Connecticut game? It's tough to draw many conclusions when I haven't seen the teams play and the levels of competition on each team's schedule vary wildly, but things look good for the Heels. They should get quite a few turnovers from the Huskies, and be able to muscle out most of the rebounds. If they can get by a very tough UConn defense, things look to go their way. But we'll see what the actual game brings.

Below the cut I'll put the stats for all three conferences in a whole, if you're interested.

Team                    PPP    eFG   OReb    TO %   FTP
Maryland (18-0)         1.18  0.591  0.445  0.239  0.279
North Carolina (19-0)   1.11  0.535  0.531  0.247  0.218
Duke (17-0)             1.07  0.499  0.417  0.226  0.286
Florida State (13-3)    1.01  0.480  0.480  0.238  0.207
Virginia Tech (11-5)    0.99  0.468  0.422  0.226  0.262
Georgia Tech (10-6)     0.99  0.464  0.453  0.248  0.209
Boston College (10-6)   0.92  0.486  0.327  0.279  0.185
Clemson (9-9)           0.91  0.446  0.451  0.231  0.165
Miami (9-9)             0.91  0.450  0.432  0.248  0.203
NC State (12-5)         0.90  0.428  0.422  0.230  0.183
Virginia (11-7)         0.88  0.449  0.400  0.265  0.196
Wake Forest (8-8)       0.85  0.419  0.482  0.275  0.178

Team                    OPPP   OeFG  DReb   OTO %  OFTO
North Carolina          0.61  0.351  0.787  0.344  0.294
Duke                    0.63  0.329  0.762  0.317  0.420
Maryland                0.74  0.372  0.772  0.212  0.369
NC State                0.77  0.399  0.705  0.269  0.358
Boston College          0.81  0.402  0.706  0.212  0.393
Florida State           0.82  0.418  0.728  0.252  0.352
Georgia Tech            0.82  0.428  0.701  0.295  0.379
Virginia                0.87  0.438  0.767  0.234  0.275
Wake Forest             0.87  0.421  0.721  0.241  0.321
Virginia Tech           0.90  0.442  0.736  0.240  0.351
Miami                   0.92  0.444  0.730  0.249  0.357
Clemson                 0.94  0.470  0.642  0.271  0.289

Team                    3FGA/A  3FG %
Miami                   0.309   0.294
North Carolina          0.287   0.352
Maryland                0.256   0.411
Virginia Tech           0.247   0.316
Wake Forest             0.246   0.332
Georgia Tech            0.225   0.376
Duke                    0.218   0.336
Boston College          0.215   0.341
Clemson                 0.202   0.339
NC State                0.201   0.319
Virginia                0.178   0.243
Florida State           0.163   0.314

Team                    PPP    eFG   OReb    TO %   FTP
Vanderbilt (15-2)       1.11  0.558  0.430  0.221  0.242
Georgia (14-3)          1.07  0.534  0.388  0.220  0.241
Tennessee (15-1)        1.07  0.524  0.400  0.232  0.240
Ole Miss (14-4)         1.03  0.448  0.529  0.191  0.230
Kentucky (13-4)         1.01  0.459  0.474  0.200  0.222
Auburn (14-4)           1.00  0.485  0.418  0.234  0.241
LSU (15-2)              1.00  0.475  0.425  0.201  0.190
Arkansas (15-3)         0.97  0.452  0.463  0.219  0.231
South Carolina (10-7)   0.95  0.435  0.461  0.233  0.197
Florida (6-11)          0.92  0.427  0.460  0.225  0.255
Alabama (10-8)          0.90  0.481  0.392  0.293  0.190
Mississippi St (10-6)   0.87  0.418  0.450  0.260  0.180

Team                    OPPP   OeFG  DReb   OTO %  OFTO
LSU                     0.65  0.339  0.736  0.293  0.443
South Carolina          0.73  0.397  0.757  0.264  0.342
Kentucky                0.75  0.388  0.723  0.317  0.448
Tennessee               0.78  0.433  0.721  0.255  0.413
Auburn                  0.81  0.402  0.769  0.262  0.358
Mississippi St          0.81  0.403  0.689  0.275  0.347
Ole Miss                0.81  0.437  0.754  0.227  0.316
Arkansas                0.82  0.426  0.668  0.271  0.293
Alabama                 0.84  0.427  0.719  0.326  0.362
Georgia                 0.84  0.424  0.723  0.278  0.332
Vanderbilt              0.89  0.449  0.716  0.293  0.305
Florida                 0.94  0.466  0.733  0.298  0.303

Team                    3FGA/A  3FG %
Georgia                 0.314   0.393
Mississippi St          0.291   0.272
Alabama                 0.277   0.344
Arkansas                0.260   0.320
Kentucky                0.260   0.299
Florida                 0.253   0.309
Vanderbilt              0.252   0.416
Tennessee               0.251   0.415
Auburn                  0.197   0.366
South Carolina          0.191   0.241
LSU                     0.177   0.297
Ole Miss                0.177   0.260

Team                    PPP    eFG   OReb    TO %   FTP
Connecticut (14-1)      1.07  0.530  0.426  0.244  0.186
DePaul (11-5)           1.05  0.480  0.413  0.192  0.180
Cincinnati (10-5)       1.03  0.491  0.397  0.224  0.191
Marquette (16-2)        1.02  0.482  0.454  0.228  0.288
Louisville (17-1)       1.01  0.491  0.494  0.242  0.193
Providence (12-5)       1.00  0.486  0.379  0.193  0.197
USF (13-4)              0.98  0.446  0.512  0.214  0.255
Notre Dame (11-5)       0.97  0.460  0.389  0.228  0.267
Rutgers (9-5)           0.93  0.496  0.323  0.279  0.213
Seton Hall (9-7)        0.93  0.434  0.406  0.210  0.195
Villanova (7-10)        0.93  0.450  0.383  0.194  0.168
Georgetown (11-6)       0.92  0.456  0.389  0.234  0.254
Pittsburgh (13-3)       0.92  0.443  0.402  0.252  0.252
West Virginia (10-7)    0.90  0.471  0.441  0.287  0.225
Syracuse (8-10)         0.88  0.430  0.425  0.223  0.209
St. John's (5-10)       0.83  0.417  0.425  0.279  0.237

Team                    OPPP   OeFG  DReb   OTO %  OFTO
Connecticut             0.66  0.351  0.665  0.259  0.348
Louisville              0.79  0.393  0.772  0.248  0.286
USF                     0.79  0.408  0.747  0.210  0.285
West Virginia           0.82  0.424  0.726  0.282  0.334
Marquette               0.83  0.413  0.739  0.220  0.397
Pittsburgh              0.84  0.420  0.672  0.291  0.379
Rutgers                 0.86  0.441  0.691  0.309  0.396
Georgetown              0.89  0.435  0.727  0.237  0.356
St. John's              0.91  0.446  0.716  0.266  0.325
Notre Dame              0.91  0.464  0.699  0.255  0.442
Cincinnati              0.91  0.473  0.674  0.318  0.426
Providence              0.92  0.430  0.744  0.222  0.330
Syracuse                0.94  0.441  0.743  0.177  0.276
Villanova               0.94  0.425  0.736  0.168  0.308
Seton Hall              0.94  0.425  0.741  0.230  0.382
DePaul                  0.97  0.461  0.740  0.233  0.389

Team                    3FGA/A  3FG %
Villanova               0.419   0.344
DePaul                  0.357   0.352
Syracuse                0.313   0.268
West Virginia           0.293   0.307
Cincinnati              0.286   0.330
Providence              0.285   0.348
St. John's              0.282   0.322
Louisville              0.275   0.318
Georgetown              0.263   0.329
Marquette               0.260   0.337
Rutgers                 0.244   0.359
USF                     0.223   0.335
Connecticut             0.211   0.317
Notre Dame              0.178   0.287
Pittsburgh              0.143   0.243
Seton Hall              0.130   0.197