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Your Official College Basketball March Madnalytics (MMAD) Sample Test

Maddie Meyer. Getty Images.

You just made the best investment in your future by choosing to prep for March Madness with this official March Madnalytics (MMAD) practice test. If there's one standardized test to take seriously and not cram for in one night - this is the one. There will be more to come before the MMADness starts too and I'm even offering an "office hours" hour on Twitter tonight at 5pm Eastern for specific questions you might want to know. So brush off those tourneyometry books and get ready because this is officially March. 

What can you expect from studying for the MMAD? Here's how I'll put it. Understanding the deep analytics of NCAA hoops will prove just as useful as studying for other standardized tests you're forced to take. What I mean by this is that while you're crossing teams off your bracket you can at least hit your buddies with some obscure facts that ultimately have no applicable purpose in your future. That's standardized testing baby! I'm still waiting for the day I have to decide whether train A from El Paso will arrive in Denver going 80 mph before train B from Kansas City going 60 mph. But when that day comes, I'll be ready. Assuming my phone is charged.

But seriously, March Madness is about having fun with your bracket picks and your bets. So the true goal of the MMAD sample tests are to help us guess which teams might be this year's Cinderella or, on the other hand, this year's Minnesota Vikings. With almost 400 D1 teams vying for 68 invitations to the dance, there's a lot to study in little time.

Sharpen those number twos - it's time to get MMAD.

Sample Question #1

Analytics have taken over the NBA and resulted in an insane amount of three point attempts. Which of the following schools tried to mimic the NBA by only making three pointers or free throws in the first half with zero (I repeat ZERO) made two point shots?

  1.     Liberty
  2.     Regent University
  3.     Loyola Marymount (LMU)
  4.     B and C
  5.     All of the above

Response explanations:

A. (incorrect) Liberty leads the top-100 ranked NCAA teams in three point percentage (41.1%) AND was even involved in a game where a team didn't make a two point shot until the second half - but it wasn't them.

B. (incorrect) Well it's sorta correct but not the BEST correct. Don't you just love standardized testing? Anyway, Regent University came out of the gates in their first game of the season waiting to make a two-point basket until 15:12 left in the SECOND HALF vs the aforementioned choice A, Liberty Flames. Let's see how the analytics worked out for the Regent Royals:

C. (Incorrect) Again, correct, but not correct because it's not the BEST correct. I wonder how many kids flat never went to college simply because test makers had a hard on for BEST correct answers. Anyway, Loyola Marymount (LMU) came back to beat Saint Mary's 78-74 on February 9th after starting the game down 0-16. Down 16, the key to victory was clear for Loyola Marymount at that point: "Fuck it, chuck it". And boy did they ever. Going full Steph Curry mode, Loyola's first made two-point shot didn't come until 15:36 left in the second half and they still came back to win. Every NIT better needs to put LMU down as a team to live bet if they trail big.

D. (Correct) BEST correct answer!  

E. (Incorrect) You probably picked this because you had no idea and thought the answer would be the most crazy option. I won't lie, it feels good deceiving you in this way. One question in and I'm already starting to feel high and mighty on the pedestal standardized test makers put themselves on.

Sample Question #2

Going deep in to March Madness is all about weathering storms and keeping composure. Probably a good idea to fade teams that showed signs of choking. Which of the following schools have lost the most games after leading by 10 points?

  1.     All of the above
  2.     Indiana State
  3.     B and C
  4.     Dayton
  5.     Purdue

Response explanations:

A. (Incorrect) Go ahead and put your pencil down and find a coloring book to work on in the corner

B. (Incorrect) A really good guess which means: wrong. While not the worst, here are all the top leads Indiana State held before blowing it and losing:

C. (Incorrect) Since B is not correct, it can't be B and C in which C is also pointing back circularly to itself as being correct. Jesus, If I made real standardized tests I'd be the most hated test maker in the game. 

D. (Correct) Bingo. It was a heated battle with Indiana State, but Dayton is your 2023 choke job team of the regular season. They might be on the bubble of making the dance, but if they do I'm looking to live bet whoever they're playing if Dayton starts up big. 

E. (Incorrect) While not technically correct I'd award half credit to anyone here because anyone that knows college basketball knows Purdue goes into their cocoon right after the Big Ten Tournament and transforms into Purdont usually pretty early in the real tournament. 

Sample Question #3

Which team(s) is/are the saddest "make your free throws" cautionary tale(s)?

  1. California Baptist
  2. Mississippi State / Northeastern
  3. Lincoln / Seton Hall
  4. UTEP
  5. Northern Arizona

Response Explanations:

A. (Incorrect) We're going in order of saddest cautionary tale here so - spoiler alert - the answer is "E". Anyway, no team has a worse free throw percentage in the final two minutes in all of college basketball than California Baptist. Seems John the Baptist must have been more of a la-cross guy.

B. (Incorrect) Both these teams tied for most consecutively missed free throws with 11. Mississippi State lost to Georgia on January 11th and Northeastern was obliterated by Syracuse on November 19th. 

C. (Incorrect) Lincoln got destroyed by Seton Hall on December 7th but these two teams teamed up to miss the most consecutive free throws in a game with 12. 12 beats 11 from response B. But all of this has been child's play…

D. (Incorrect) On December 17th, UTEP missed seven free throws in a row in the final two minutes of their game vs. Louisiana Tech. This ties one other game for the most consecutive missed free throws in the final two minutes in all of men's college basketball. That team was also UTEP on November 22nd vs Alcorn State. Again this is for ALL of men's college basketball.

UTEP also has the second worst free throw percentage in the final two minutes of games in which the score differential is three points or less (min 30 attempts) going 22/43 (51%). Does this really matter though? Is UTEP even going to make the NIT? Who cares but this next school definitely is not.

E. (Correct) Picture this. There's only eight seconds left in the game. Your team is up two and you just got fouled. A leprechaun whispers in your ear that your team is going to have SIX total free throw attempts for the rest of the game that will not go to overtime. Again, that's six free throws in just eight seconds. You're team is wearing blue and your opponent is in white. What could possibly go wrong?

What could go wrong?: Part 1. 

Your team goes scoreless including missing all six free throws they take in the final eight seconds of the game. Again, your team was up by two points.

What could go wrong?: Part 2. 

Again. Your team is in the blue.

Times up. Pencils down. How'd you do? Bad? Don't worry, I'll work on some more sample tests soon. We'll get you ready for the MMADness real soon. See you tonight at office hours. 

- Jeffro