Schedule Optimization
Success Stories

Alabama

2017-2018

Prior to the 2017-18 season, Alabama began to take a different approach to non-conference scheduling. Fresh off a 19-14 season that landed them on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble, Alabama hired Matt Dover as a scheduling consultant.

Working with Colton Houston, then Alabama’s Director of Operations, the two rejected conventional wisdom in favor of a completely data-driven approach to scheduling.As a result of this approach, Alabama made the NCAA tournament in 2018 despite being 19-15 on Selection Sunday – a worse record than the season before – and being rated as only the 51st best team in the Pomeroy ratings.

Alabama had the nation’s #3 strength of schedule, 11 wins versus Quadrants 1 & 2, and only played one opponent outside the RPI top 200. They validated their selection as a 9 seed (#36 overall) by defeating 8 seed Virginia Tech (#31 overall) in Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament, delivering Alabama its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2006.

#3

Strength of Schedule

11 Wins

vs. Quadrant 1 & 2 Opponents

2018-2019

Taking this same approach to scheduling leading into the 2018-19 season, Colton & Matt crafted a schedule that once again resulted in Alabama being “overseeded” by double-digits in the NCAA Selection Committee official seed list.

The Tide had the nation’s #15 strength of schedule, 10 wins versus Quadrants 1 & 2, and, most importantly, a spot in the NCAA Selection Committee seed list (#49) that far exceeded any of their other ranking metrics. As a result, an 18-15 Alabama team that had no business being near the bubble — they were rated as the 60th best team in the Pomeroy ratings — ended up just two spots away from being one of the 36 teams selected for an at-large spot, one win away from going dancing for the second straight year.

#15

Strength of Schedule

10 Wins

vs. Quadrant 1 & 2 Opponents

LSU

2019-2020

LSU was coming off a very successful 2018-2019 season but knew they would face a more challenging path to the NCAA Tournament in 2019-2020, having lost their two leading scorers and their two leading rebounders from the previous season. Ultimately, despite replacing those key players, LSU was considered a lock to receive an at-large bid to the 2020 NCAA Tournament prior to its cancelation, and their schedule was a big reason why:
• Despite a down-year in the SEC (not a single conference opponent finished in the NET top 20), LSU was able to post top 10 strength of schedule rankings for both their non-conference schedule and their overall schedule.
• The majority of LSU’s non-conference opponents ended up being classified as either Quadrant 1 or Quadrant 2 opponents, giving the Tigers an optimal 20 chances for Quadrant 1 or 2 wins prior to even playing in their conference tournament.
• Although the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled prior to Selection Sunday, LSU was the 31st-best-positioned team for tournament seeding according to the consensus of bracket experts compiled by BracketMatrix, despite being ranked just 37th in the Pomeroy rankings.

#7

Strength of Schedule

11 Wins

vs. Quadrant 1 & 2 Opponents

Cincinnati

2019-2020

In their first season under head coach John Brannen, the Bearcats returned only three contributors and faced an uphill climb to return the program to the NCAA Tournament. Ultimately, despite playing outside of college basketball’s power conferences, Cincinnati’s schedule positioned them well to snag an NCAA Tournament at-large bid prior to the cancellation of the season:
• Cincinnati had the #21 ranked strength of schedule (SOS) in the country—highest among teams outside of  the “Power 6” leagues.
• Cincinnati finished with only two Quadrant 4 opponents on their entire schedule, tied for fewest in the country.
• Although the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled prior to Selection Sunday, Cincinnati was projected to receive an at-large bid to the tournament according to the consensus of bracket experts compiled by BracketMatrix--one of only two non-Power-6 teams from outside the KenPom top 40 expected to do so.

#21

Strength of Schedule

1

Non-Conference Quadrant 4 Opponent

Full-Service Team Analytics
Success Stories

Dayton

2019-2020

In the fall of 2019, Dayton agreed to become HDI’s exclusive team analytics partner within the Atlantic-10 conference for the 2019-2020 season, and HDI provided them with full-service team analytics throughout the year.

Coming off a 2018-19 season in which they amassed a 21-12 overall record, finished 3rd in the A-10, and earned a berth in the NIT, the Flyers were looking to break through in 2019-20 with their first NCAA Tournament appearance in three years.

By any measure, 2019-20 was the best season in Dayton Basketball history, and one of the great college basketball regular seasons of all time:
• A 29-2 overall record, the best record in school history.
• Ranked #3 in the country the final AP poll, Coaches poll, and NET rankings.
• Ended the season on an active 20 game winning streak, the longest win streak in the country.
• Won the A-10 regular season title with a perfect 18-0 league record--the first team to do so in 14 years.
• Projected as a likely #1 seed for the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
• Obi Toppin named National Player of the Year.
• Anthony Grant named National Coach of the Year.
• 2nd-best offense in the country according to KenPom, the best offensive rating ever for Dayton.
• Led the country in effective field goal percentage.

29-2

Best Record in School History

#3

Final AP Poll Ranking

Cincinnati

2019-2020

In the summer of 2019, Cincinnati agreed to become HDI’s exclusive team analytics partner within the American Athletic Conference for the 2019-2020 season, and HDI provided them with full-service team analytics throughout the year.

New head coach John Brannen inherited a program rich in tradition and expectations, but the new coaching staff faced an uphill battle -- only three contributors were returning from the previous season, and the staff was installing an entirely new system on each end of the floor.

The Bearcats played better and better as the season progressed, culminating in a successful season that earned them yet another banner:
• Cincinnati won the AAC regular season championship, only the 2nd team in league history to do so with a first-year head coach.
• Playing the #21 strength of schedule--tougher than any other non-Power-6 team in the country--the Bearcats compiled 20 wins before even playing in their conference tournament.
• Although the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled prior to Selection Sunday, Cincinnati was projected to receive an at-large bid to the tournament according to the consensus of bracket experts compiled by BracketMatrix.

AAC

Regular Season Champions

20

Regular Season Wins

Alabama

2019-2020

In the summer of 2019, Alabama agreed to become HDI’s exclusive team analytics partner within the SEC for the 2019-2020 season, and HDI provided them with full-service team analytics throughout the year.

New head coach Nate Oats was looking to completely transform Alabama’s offensive identity into an analytics-driven attack that stressed tempo, spacing, and 3-point shooting. Powered by HDI’s data and analysis, Alabama’s offense proved to be one of the most potent in the country:
• Alabama’s adjusted offensive efficiency was among the top 10% in the country, and the highest-rated offense at Alabama in 13 years.
• The Tide played with the fastest pace of any power-conference team in the country. Their adjusted tempo ranked 4th among all Division I teams.
• Alabama made more 3-point shots per game than any other power-conference team in the country. They ranked 3rd in 3-point shots made per game among all Division I teams.
• The Tide had the highest 3-point attempt rate and the lowest midrange jumper attempt rate of any power-conference team in the country. They were among the top 10 teams in all of Division I in 3-point attempt rate, and among the top 5 teams in all of Division I in avoiding midrange jump shots.
• Alabama led the SEC in total scoring, 3-pointers made, and 3-point shooting efficiency. They were 2nd in the SEC in overall shooting efficiency.

1st

in SEC in Points Per Game

1st

in SEC in 3-pointers made and 3FG%

Essential Team Analytics
Success Stories

Incarnate Word

2019-2020

In the summer of 2019, Incarnate Word signed on to take advantage of HDI’s essential team analytics package, and HDI provided them with game-by-game data, reports, and analysis, as well as ongoing lineup optimization analysis during the 2019-2020 season.

The coaching staff, led by head coach Carson Cunningham, was entering its second season of a full-scale rebuilding job. The Cardinals had not won more than two conference games in either of the previous two seasons and were looking to take a step forward in 2019-2020. With HDI’s team analytics support, the Cardinals did just that:
• Incarnate Word won six league games in 2019-2020, after winning just one league game the previous year and only two the year before that.
• The Cardinals’ win over Sam Houston State on February 5th was the 3rd-best conference win in program history according to KenPom rankings.
• Incarnate Word’s defensive efficiency rating in league play was its 3rd-best in program history.

#3

Defensive Rating in School History

600%

Improvement in League Wins in One Year