T Shoe Index Final Four Projections

It feels like just yesterday I was transitioning from football projections into college basketball, and now here we are months later and the final weekend of the season is upon us. Admittedly, I do not watch much regular season college basketball, but for me, the community we’ve built around my projections and bets is truly a fun experience. Now, with just two games left, I’m here to give you what you came for: the T Shoe Index game projections for the semifinal games between NC State/Purdue and Connecticut/Alabama.

Compare my odds to the college basketball odds (Vegas odds) and also take a look at the college basketball betting splits for additional info.


As a refresher, the T Shoe Index (TSI) is my proprietary rating system that I use for college football, NFL, men’s and women’s college basketball, and WNBA. It is a tempo and opponent-adjusted rating that allows us to answer the question, “How many points would team A be expected to score and allow vs Team B”, based on a myriad of statistical factors. 

Here are my TSI projections for the Men’s Final Four:

Purdue vs. NC State

TSI Projection: Purdue -12, O/U 149

The Boilermakers have been taking care of business all season, only losing four games, and they’re dominance has continued in the tournament behind star center Zach Edey. Purdue sits as a comfortable 9.5 point favorite against NC State with an O/U of 146. This game will be a clash of physicality between Edey (7’4”) and NC State March Madness hero, DJ Burns, who is 6’9” and 275 lbs.

TSI projects that the underdog run for the Wolfpack ends here, with Purdue being projected to win by 12, with a total of 149. I posted on X this week that 75% of Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games had gone under the total, so this 146 O/U on this game tells me oddsmakers are shading the line to account for this trend, based on my projection. These teams do play at slower tempos than the other two semifinalists, but the efficiency is there to push this total over a low number like 146.

Lean: Over 146

UConn vs. Alabama

TSI Projection: Connecticut -13.5, O/U 163.5

Speaking of dominance, how about what UConn has been doing to teams in the last two NCAA tournaments? They’ve been an absolute buzzsaw, and doing so on both ends of the court. Alabama, meanwhile, is no slouch themselves but relies heavily on out-shooting opponents rather than getting a ton of stops. I’m not sure that formula is going to hold up against this Huskies team. Connecticut is currently an 11.5-point favorite with an O/U of 160.5. TSI projects UConn -13.5 and 163.5.

I’m not a big trends bettor, but there just happened to be some really eye-popping trends worth mentioning in these semifinals; Alabama has gone over the total in 75% of its games this season, including four of its last five games. On the season, the Crimson Tide has allowed opponents to score 105% of their averages; however, Alabama has scored 126% of what its opponents have allowed on average. UConn has by far the best defensive rating in this Final Four, allowing just 87% of opponents’ averages, while scoring 111% more than opponents have allowed.

Lean: Over 160.5