On the way home from the bar tonight, and I happened to catch Trent Tucker drop this little nugget of wisdom about the sweet 16 matchup between Stanford and Texas.
"The key here is Tempo. Texas really wants to get out and run, whereas Stanford wants to slow the game down."
I've actually heard this same thing from some other analyst, but here is a classic example of perception not matching reality.
In terms of tempo, from the basketball stat jesus, Texas ranks 258th out of 341. Not anywhere near a team that wants to speed the game up. Stanford is actually a slow it down kind of team, but their tempo ranks 249th, so they are actually slightly faster than Texas.
The Longhorns score a lot of points, third in the Big 12 at 74.5 per game, but it's not because they play an up tempo style, it's because they're efficient. They rank third in offensive efficiency in the country, behind only Kansas and North Carolina.
So, the point is, people like to make things up based on their perception without bothering to even make a cursory glance at the stats which could either back up or refute their subjective opinion, and that's what's wrong with a lot of columnists and commentators these days. But I still love Trent Tucker anyway.