The season is finished. Babson College won the championship and is the best among NCAA Division 3 Basketball teams. But there are more winners. Teams that broke records and accumulated remarkable statistics. It’s a pity that most of those achievements were not visible to the public eye. Why? Because it takes advanced statistics, and basketball metrics, to see beyond the regular rankings.
For example, the highest scoring team may not always be the best offensive team. Some teams play up-tempo and run at every opportunity. Others like to milk the clock and “walk it up.” Consequently, this playing style influences the number of possessions and therefore the opportunities to score, rebound, and compile other statistics.
POSSESSION BASED STATISTICS
Assessing teams on a per-possession basis provides even criteria where teams can be compared regardless of their pace factor or number of possessions they have per game. The NBA was the first to use these type of advanced stats. Until today no such data was available for NCAA Division 3 Basketball. Court Side Newspaper is the first source in the world to introduce it. Below are some of the most eye-catching advanced statistics, and key facts, for D3 Basketball teams.
LONGEST WINNING STREAK IN DIVISION 3 BASKETBALL
Whitman College had been undefeated all season and entered the NCAA Division 3 semi-finals with a 31-0 record. There, they met Babson College. In an incredible game, Babson College rallied from a 25-point deficit to defeat Whitman College, 91-85. Whitman College ended the season with a 31-1 record. The best in Division 3 Basketball. Babson College went on to win the NCAA 3 championship. At the other end of the spectrum was Summit University with a 22 game losing streak and a 1-24 season record.
NERVES OF STEEL
Either the Carthage College players have ice in their vanes, or coach Bosko Djurickovic is a brilliant tactician, or maybe both. The Carthage Red Men played five games that went to overtime and won all of them, but that’s not all. Four of the five games that Carthage College played between January 28, and February 15, went to OT! By contrast, Widener University played four overtime games and lost all of them.
RUN AND GUN
Greenville College is officially the fastest team on earth! No other team in the world can keep up with the barn-burning run and gun style of the Greenville College Panthers. They average almost 107 possessions (and 129 points) per game! The slowest team in D3 hoops was McDaniel College with only 58 possessions per game, while Framingham State University was the lowest scoring team with 58 points per game.
MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
While Greenville College played at the highest pace and averaged most points in NCAA Division 3 Basketball, they were not the best offensive team. In fact, they didn’t even rank among the top-20. The best offensive team this season was Benedictine University (IL) with an Offensive Rating of 125 (125 points per 100 possessions).
ROCK SOLID DEFENSE
The toughest team to score against in NCAA Division 3 Basketball was the Christopher Newport University that allowed only 86.9 points per possession. They also ranked best in traditional stats since heir opponents only averaged 57 points when playing against them. University of the Ozark’s had the worst defense in the league, allowing 128.7 points per 100 possessions. The opponents of Rhodes College averaged 101 points per game while playing against them.
ANDERSON UNIVERSITY OWNED THE CHARITY STRIPE
Anderson University (IN) recorded a 36.5 free throw rate. That’s the ratio of foul shots to field goal attempts. No wonder that Anderson also had the best True Shooting Percentage (67.9). True shooting percentage is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.
SWARTHMORE COLLEGE DOMINATED THE BOARDS
Greenville College averaged most rebounds per game, but that is because they also played at the highest pace. The real air force of NCAA Division 3 Basketball was Swarthmore College because that team grabbed 58.4 % of all available rebounds (Rebounding rate). It is also noteworthy that no team crashed the offensive boards like Gordon College (40.8% of all available offensive rebounds) and that they also ranked second overall (58% of all available rebounds), after Swarthmore.