HSAC is a student-run organization at Harvard University dedicated to the quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management. This blog features the original contributions of Harvard undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and affiliates. HSAC does research for several sports-related publications and companies. Please contact us at harvardsportsanalysis@gmail.com if you have any questions or want more information.

Should the Celtics Trade the No. 3 Pick for Okafor?

By Kurt Bullard With Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons slated to go with the first two picks of the 2016 NBA draft, a lot of the pre-draft talk—at least in the Boston area—has centered around what the Boston Celtics should do with the No. 3 pick; namely, about whether to trade it or keep the pick. …Read More

Are Final Four Stars Overvalued in the NBA Draft?

By Kurt Bullard One of the lasting images from this year’s rendition of March Madness was Malachi Richardson of No. 10 Syracuse “ going mad” against No. 1 Virginia in the Elite Eight. The freshman put up 21 second-half points while matched up against ACC DPOY Malcolm Brogdon, helping close a 15-point deficit with less …Read More

Hunting White Elephants: Exploring the Idea of Rotating Olympic Venues

By Jason Light, Liam Cleary, Kayley Leonard, Zayne Matulis, Noah Reimers, Davon Robertson, and Jocelyn Skoler The inspiration for this article came from our conversations with the Boston Globe’s Shira Springer following an on-campus event in February. As the conversation had floated toward the upcoming Rio Olympics, it was Shira who had originally stressed the flaws …Read More

No Momentum for Marc-Andre: Why Fleury Should Not Start Game 5 for the Penguins

By Kurt Bullard After Pittsburgh Penguins starting goalie Matt Murray allowed four goals in the first two periods of Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, head coach Mike Sullivan brought in Marc-Andre Fleury to start the third period. Fleury didn’t allow a goal on the seven shots he faced in the last twenty minutes …Read More

NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Preview

By Austin Tymins After this weekend’s exciting round of 16 in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship, I have decided to give a preview of the upcoming quarterfinals while referencing a few new quantitative measures of team ability. In a previous post, I introduced a Pythagorean expectation model for college lacrosse. The first Pythagorean models were …Read More

Quantitative Lacrosse Rankings: Brown is really good

By Austin Tymins In a previous post of mine, I introduced the method of Pythagorean expectation to college lacrosse. While this was a marginal improvement over simple winning percentage, it is possible to go even further into the depths of rankings systems to find more tenable results. Based on the relative shortage of data in …Read More

Presence of Sororities, High SAT Scores increase College Football attendance

By Noah Reimers In 2011, Alex Koenig looked at the factors that affected attendance rates in college football. He concluded that sustained winning and undergraduate enrollment were very important to the capacity of the stadium. I looked to investigate the different factors that affected college football attendance rates at the FBS level from 2010-2014. Specifically, …Read More

Enes Kanter is the Most Overvalued NBA Player by PER

By Kurt Bullard Ever since its inception, John Hollinger’s PER statistic has been a widely-used advanced metric that attempts to quantify a player’s overall performance. While the statistic has some practical use, one of its flaws—which John Hollinger admits to—is its trouble measuring defensive performance. It largely uses blocks and steals to do so, which …Read More

Elo Ratings for The Challenge: Rivals III

By Harrison Chase The opening episode of America’s fifth major sport, the Challenge, premieres on MTV tonight. As a sports analytics blog, it would be almost unethical for us not provide some statistical insight into what promises to be an entertaining season. If you have not watched the Challenge, then you will probably not understand the …Read More

NBA POWER Rankings

By Harrison Chase, Matt Goldberg, and Kurt Bullard Earlier this year, we debuted NFL POWER rankings based on win probability curves. The general idea was that we would used a modified version of the Colley method, where instead of treating all wins equally, we would weigh the win by the ‘dominance’ of the win, as …Read More