During college basketball's March Madness, nothing's better than a Cinderella, an out-of-nowhere team rising up to knock over the big name squads. But the rise of hugely-expensive advanced statistics is threatening to make the gap between the haves and have-nots even bigger.
College basketball's money-backed teams are flocking to purchase SportVU, a video system that tracks every movement of the players and the ball on the court, The New York Times reports. SportVU relies on cameras positioned across the ceiling of an arena, and spits out a huge amount of data, tracking every player, ball, dribble, and shot every 1/30th of a second. That mass of information, combined with some smart analysis, can be used to figure out the best players, lineups, or strategies that might otherwise have gone underused.
Understanding of that SportVU data is still in its infancy, but there is a huge room to get an edge on the opposition. The cameras were installed in all NBA arenas last year, but are only just reaching college teams.
All that for a tidy sum of $100,000. Though The Times notes that the cost will be lower for universities, only Duke and Louisville, two of the most profitable programs in the country, have installed the systems so far. (Marquette uses the system, too, because it plays in the same arena as the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.)