BYU-Gonzaga men's basketball

BYU's Alex Barcello (13) rises up for a jump shot against top-ranked Gonzaga in a men's college basketball game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

SAN MATEO, Calif. – The West Coast Conference and renowned college basketball statistical analyst Ken Pomeroy have collaborated in an innovative partnership to develop a comprehensive model that will be utilized to seed the 2021 University Credit Union West Coast Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The WCC regularly conducts a 16-game unbalanced men’s basketball regular-season schedule and an 18-game double round-robin women’s basketball regular-season schedule, seeding the conference tournament based on conference winning percentage. With interruptions in the 2020-21 college basketball season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WCC will not fully complete these conference schedules, leaving some disparity in the number of conference games completed among member programs. While the goal remains to reschedule postponed contests, those opportunities are limited with the regular-season schedule concluding on Feb. 27.

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.

In this week’s ratings, for example, BYU is the No. 2 seed and Pepperdine is No. 3, despite the two teams owning the same WCC record (6-3). The Cougars win percentage is .789 while the Waves check in at .786.

With a focus on developing an evaluation tool that is the most accurate representation of conference regular season play, the WCC Presidents’ Council voted to adopt the Ken Pomeroy adjusted conference winning percentage model designed for the WCC. The Conference will utilize this model to seed the men’s and women’s basketball tournament.

“We have all experienced unprecedented challenges associated with conducting athletic competition throughout the past year and we continue to work to find the appropriate solutions to the challenges ahead of us,” West Coast Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez said. “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. 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.”

Tuesday’s report is the first of five that will be delivered by the Conference. The WCC will provide an updated report each Friday and Sunday over the final two weeks of the regular season. The final report, which will be the seeds for the 2021 men’s and women’s conference tournaments, will be unveiled on Sunday, Feb. 28.

The University Credit Union West Coast Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 4-9 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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