Sunday, March 14, 2010

Selection Show Liveblog: Why are we expanding the damn tournament again?

9:43: So, IRL, Bryce got 294, and the Consensus got 297.

7:59: Err.... The consensus got 298.

7:19: Bryce got 285, CJ got 299.

6:51: Consensus got 290 points. 63/65 correct, 29 seeded correctly, 50 within 1.

6:39: The Committee broke the rules. 3 BE teams in one region?


6:24: And... we're done. Florida was in, but Minnesota was out. And we KNEW Xavier would be overseeded, we just didn't give them enough credit.

6:15: This committee is horrible. Underseeding of Tennessee, overseeding of Michigan St. Consensus missed 3 by 2 or more.

6:06 WOW... how is Duke the #3 overall seed, I don't get it... Cuse out west... yikes, tough break for the Cuse early in the show... what does this say about Cal? maybe they are in now, yikes

6:04: Wow. Syracuse the #4? Wow. Committee, you suck.

5:55: Still agonizing.

5:51: Mike Brey - "Well, not only our conference but our League"

5:28: I'm going to feel sick when I see Virginia Tech. I'm going to feel more sick if W&M makes their first tournament.

5:24: CJ and I finish up our respective brackets. All these teams are terrible. Minnesota choked. Florida is our last team in. Neither of us have confidence in this.

Consensus Bracket FINAL

1: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, West Virginia
2: Duke, Kansas St, Ohio St, New Mexico
3: Villanova, Pittsburgh, Baylor, Temple
4: Georgetown, Wisconsin, Purdue, Texas A&M
5: Tennessee, Richmond, Vanderbilt, Butler
6: Gonzaga, Oklahoma St., Maryland, Notre Dame
7: Wake Forest, Michigan St, Texas, BYU
8: Northern Iowa, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Louisville
9: St. Mary’s, Marquette, Clemson, Florida St
10: Utah St, UNLV, San Diego St, Missouri
11: Old Dominion, UTEP, Washington, Mississippi St
12: Cornell, New Mexico St, Illinois, Florida
13: Siena, Murray St, Wofford, Oakland
14: Houston, Ohio, UC-Santa Barbara, Sam Houston St.
15: Montana, E. Tennessee St, Morgan St, North Texas
16: Vermont, Robert Morris, Lehigh, Winthrop, UA-Pine Bluff

Last Four In: UTEP, Mississippi St, Florida, Illinois
First Four Out: Minnesota, Virginia Tech, William and Mary, Memphis
Next Four Out: Dayton, Seton Hall, Rhode Island, Cal

Selection Sunday Liveblog!

(NOTE: CJ's comments will be in bold, Bryce non-bold)

4:30 We are trying to bracket our seed lines but we are running into huge BE problems... we have too many big east teams at the bottom, only way to respond is to move Pitt to 4, ND to 5 etc... or move WVU to the 1... so we are moving WVU to the 1...

3:23: Here's what we have now. This is almost final, but we're going to take 45, then come back and confirm seeding, confirm our bubble.

1: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke
2: West Virginia, Kansas St, Ohio St, New Mexico
3: Villanova, Pittsburgh, Baylor, Temple
4: Georgetown, Wisconsin, Purdue, Texas A&M
5: Tennessee, Richmond, Vanderbilt, Butler
6: Gonzaga, Oklahoma St., Maryland, Wake Forest
7: Michigan St, Texas, Notre Dame, Northern Iowa
8: St. Mary’s, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Louisville
9: Marquette, Clemson, Florida St, BYU
10: Utah St, UNLV, San Diego St, Missouri
11: Old Dominion, UTEP, Washington, Mississippi St
12: Cornell, New Mexico St, Minnesota, Illinois
13: Siena, Murray St, Wofford, Oakland
14: Houston, Ohio, UC-Santa Barbara, Sam Houston St.
15: Montana, E. Tennessee St, Morgan St, North Texas
16: Vermont, Robert Morris, Lehigh, Winthrop, UA-Pine Bluff

3:16: Mississippi St is in. Eye Test. I feel like Illinois is this years Arizona. So we're down to Minnesota/Virginia Tech.

3:10: Bryce is trying to get Miss St. out of the field, idk how he can do that, taking UK to OT 2x, this time by .1 seconds, do u really think the tournament committee would hold a team out because of .1 seconds? They have some mercy.

2:58: The Bubble teams. For the last three spots, we're looking at William and Mary, Florida, Virginia Tech, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi St. Florida gets discarded immediately - there just isn't anything there. We're going to attack this like we're looking for reasons to put these teams in.
Positives of each:
Virginia Tech: 8-5 vs. RPI top 100, wins @ GT, vs. WF and Clemson. 23-8 overall record.
Illinois: 5 RPI top 50 wins, neutral site over Wisconsin, wins vs. Vanderbilt and Michigan St, and @Clemson.
Florida: Wins over Tennessee and Vanderbilt. OUT
William and Mary: Wins @ WF and Maryland, and vs. Richmond.
Minnesota: 5 RPI top 50 wins, neutral site win over Butler, Wisconsin, vs. Michigan State and Ohio St, 27 stomping of Purdue.
Mississippi St: 9-6 vs. RPI top 100, wins vs. Vanderbilt and Old Dominion

2:44: BYU crisis - are they too low on the 9. Heart says yes, but I can't do it. Almost convinced CJ to drop Okie St down a line, but he changed his mind. Clemson and Florida St got put on the nine line at the expense of UNLV and Utah St.

2:36: We're just kind of chilling out, watching the SEC championship. Got done through the nine line. Xavier and Louisville both are 8s - Xavier because of the Committee Rep, Louisville because of the sweep of Syracuse. Here's what we have:

1: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke
2: West Virginia, Kansas St, Ohio St, New Mexico
3: Villanova, Pittsburgh, Baylor, Temple
4: Georgetown, Wisconsin, Purdue, Texas A&M
5: Tennessee, Richmond, Vanderbilt, Butler
6: Gonzaga, Oklahoma St., Maryland, Wake Forest
7: Michigan St, Texas, Notre Dame, Northern Iowa
8: St. Mary’s, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Louisville
9: Marquette, Utah St, UNLV, BYU
10: San Diego St.

2:15: I hate moving the Mountain West teams down, but it has to happen. They just don't have the right stuff to get compete with these other teams, especially not with a committee rep. Reminds me, Wake's AD is on the committee. They get boosted up to the 6 line, and Michigan St falls to the 7. Personally, I think that Michigan St has no unqualified wins besides the razor thin home win over Gonzaga, and thats gonna count against them.

2:03: I feel like we have forgotten the Spartans... this would make my life easier, Drop Wake to the 7 line and then drop UNLV to the 8 line... they have wins at Purdue and at home vs Wisconsin (granted both with injury Q's) but Lucas missed some game time too...

1:52: ND's resume is stronger than Wake's on paper, but how can you have Gonzaga and Maryland on the 6 and then not put Wake who has beaten both of those teams, ND's resume says 7 7 7 7 all over it, if they are a 6 I'll take the point loss. Now who to put up on the 6, I guess I'm going to have to look at the resumes again, I guess I'll relook at UNI and GT, I think we are overrating the #7 RPI Conference in the Mountain West, yet they have 4 tournament teams which shows that the bottom of the conference is very weak and doesn't help the resumes, beating each other up only gets so far. Maybe Michigan State goes here?

1:50: I just handed CJ the Wake and Notre Dame resumes. I'll let him post about that.

1:45: After slotting Gonzaga and Ok St, we put up 7 teams for the last two spots on the 6 line: UNLV, BYU, Northern Iowa, Maryland, Wake Forest, Louisville, Georgia Tech. UNLV and BYU slid, because CJ thinks we're overseeding them - CJ will sum that up. Maryland is an obvious choice because of their win over Duke, Northern Iowa goes on the 7. UNI has a lot of top 100 wins. Wake, by virtue of being the last team with a winning top 50 record, goes on the 6.

1:31: Bryce will get the 3 points for having them in the tournament. Also, Oklahoma St's 5-10 record versus the RPI top 100 will keep them off the 5.

1:27: Bryce will get 0 points for Ok. State

1:24: Finally getting back to the 6 line, where we left off. Arguing about Oklahoma St. Great wins. CJ is convinced that Kansas, Baylor, @ Kansas St. will give them the 5 seed.

1:05 I think that Miss St. is in assuming they don't blow up in this SEC Final..., plus then the committee doesn't need to make 2 brackets ;)

1:01: Friend just noted idiot mistake re: Cal. The loss to UCLA was not at Pauley, but at Cal. That friend still think thats regular season Pac-10 championship counts for something. Not when 6/10 teams are 100+ in RPI.

12:52: Damn you Jay Bilas, stop making sense. He's making it hard to keep Duke as a 1. He just advocated against his own team. Also, CJ is talking UTEP down to the 10.

12:46: Just gave the USU and UTEP resumes to CJ. He agree's - almost the same, but USU is better. USU on the 8, with St. Mary's; UTEP on the 9.

12:43 Cal is out... they just don't have the wins and according to the Lesson from 2008, the committee doesn't care if you try to schedule and fail... OUT, and Bryce just threw our first resume across the table

12:39 PM: UNLV and BYU are the same resume, except UNLV won at New Mexico, but has worse losses. We slotted BYU on the 6 line, so UNLV goes to the 7 line.

12:33 PM: Thank you Jay Bilas! He just confirmed everything we thought about Cal.

12:24 PM: Lets get this started. Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, in that order. Duke and West Virginia have the exact same resume. We argued this back and forth last night. Finally, we make the decision based on the eye-test.

5:00 AM: So, CJ and I have decided to keep a liveblog detailing our Selection Sunday. We actually started discussing around 12:00 AM, and ran until 3:30 AM, just getting a rough idea of where the bracket stands. I will now regurgitate the lessons we learned the hard way from the past two years.

1) Teams with an RPI over 80 aren't getting in (Arizona St., '08)
2) Bad Losses don't matter (Boston College, '09)
3) Big 6 conference teams with a Committee rep should be bumped up.
4) Road/Neutral Record Doesn't Matter
4) Elite road wins do matter. (Boston College '09)
5) When no one has an elite win, don't compare wins. Compare number of wins. (Gonzaga '09)

Thats all I can think of for now. See you in a few hours.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Team Sheets - Runthrough 1

So, we printed out all the team sheets today in preparation for a marathon argument session tomorrow. I decided to familiarize myself with them, and came up with a seed list. That's what I'm going to put forward as my seed list for right now.

In case you didn't hear, New Mexico St, Washington, Houston, and San Diego St all stole bids. Damn Western teams. As an aside, as detailed in the last post, the team that Washington may have stolen that bid from is Cal.

I'm calling it here first. The Cal Golden Bears will NOT make the tournament, despite being in 80/80 brackets and averaging an 8 seed.

Is Cal in?

While I wait for CJ to return from Florida, I figured I'd post about something that bothers me. Recently, various media and blogger types have been saying that since Cal won the Pac-10 regular season, Cal is in. I don't think it works that way. Let's look at some key numbers on Cal.

RPI: 20
SOS: 13
Well, those look good...

Wins against tournament teams: 3-6
Well, thats not horrible. Wait. Who are those wins, you ask? Washington... who they also lost to twice. Murray St and UC-SB? They're in the tournament? Ohhhhh... AQs. If you take out the two AQ's, Cal is 1-6 vs. tournament teams (notably, also their record vs. the RPI top 50).

Okay, okay... what about their RPI top 100 record? 5-7. Come on... William and Mary is 6-7, and has better wins. Rhode Island is 7-7, and has better wins.

Bad Losses: 3
I know, I hate using bad losses. But some blogger whose writing I normally respect was trying to justify Cal by saying that their profile should be evaluated like a mid-major, and that they had avoided bad losses. Cal had three bad losses: at USC, at Oregon St, and at Pauley against UCLA.

Since I've already used one measure that I despise, lets take a look at another. Road/Neutral Record: 8-9. Not terrible, but certainly not something to hang your hat on.

Its fairly obvious that Washington, who took 2 out of 3 from Cal, actually has a halfway decent win (against A&M), and has a better record against the top 100 (8-5 vs. 5-7) will be seeded higher than Cal. I currently have Washington as a 12. This does not bode well for Cal.

If the Golden Bears get in, it will be a travesty.

EDIT: And my biggest trouble was finding a team to take Cal's spot. Thank you, New Mexico St Aggies, for solving my problem.

Well Played, Aztecs

You know that advertisement for “The Show”, that baseball game for the PS3, which ends with the blonde dude using the line “Well played, Mauer”. Right now, I just want to turn to SDSU and say “Well played, Aztecs.” That and much more, brought to you by this Fantastic Friday.

What happened yesterday?

The Bubble Strengthens:
My “team that is certainly not in” San Diego St has shown me up and dressed me down. Knocking off both Colorado St and New Mexico is enough to put them in today’s bracket, what with a 4-7 record vs. the RPI top 100, and two elite wins. I don’t know if that will be enough to keep them in the field come Sunday, though. Illinois and Minnesota also playing their way into the field, with their 5th RPI top 50 win apiece. Rhode Island moved out of the last four in by pounding St. Louis, also ending SLU’s slight chances, and Georgia Tech also locked themselves in by beating Maryland.

West Virginia’s quest for a one continues:
This is shaping up to be the most interesting one seed race we’ve had in at least a couple of years. Realistically, there are 4 candidates: West Virginia, Duke, Kansas St, and Ohio St. Each of those teams needs to win their conference tournament to have a shot at it. Assuming a conference tournament title, I rank them KSU>WVU>Duke>OSU. However, Kansas State’s chances are minimal at best so we’re back to looking at the team with 6 top 25 wins—WVU.

Whats on tap for tonight?
Bid-Stealers: Houston vs. UTEP; Washington vs. Cal; New Mexico St vs. Utah St – The first team I listed for each of those games is currently out of the tournament, while the latter is solidly in. Wins in these games would steal a bid from my last four in. Look for South Florida and Illinois to see their bids disappear today.

The Most Important Game, Illinois vs. Ohio St.:
Unlike South Florida, however, Illinois still has a game. If the Illini can win this one, they’ll pull themselves off the bubble. If not, I think they’ll find at the mercy of the bid-stealers. But remember, this is an Ohio State team with Evan Turner, still in play for a one seed. I don’t see this ending well.

West Virginia vs. Georgetown, Kansas St vs. Kansas, Duke vs. Miami (FL):
Speaking of Ohio St… as mentioned earlier, these three teams are also in contention for the final one seeds. Quoting my math textbook, I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to pick out who has the easiest route to the one seed.

North Carolina St vs. Georgia Tech:
By the way, you see that last one seed matchup? The 1/12 matchup in the semis of the ACC tournament? The other side of the bracket is just as wacky, with a 6/8 matchup. Anyways, North Carolina St and Miami are looking to play their way into the tournament. North Carolina St has already played itself onto the bubble, and Miami would be on the bubble with a victory over Duke.

One Bids:
Long Beach St vs. UC-Santa Barbara:
Winner is a 14 seed. I don't feel like saying more about this.

Sam Houston St vs. Stephen F. Austin; South Carolina St. vs. Morgan St:
North Texas will be watching these games intently. Sam Houston St and Morgan St are heavy favorites, and would garner 15 seeds if they win. However, if either were to stumble, their opponents are only worthy of a 16 seed, and would push the Mean Green onto that 15 line.

Texas Southern vs. UA-Pine Bluff: The winner of this game is a lock for the play-in game. Both have RPIs beyond 170.

Saturday Morning Seed List

My new seed list is up. William and Mary, and Florida both fell out, with Illinois and Minnesota taking their positions.

EDIT 12:30 PM: After some re-evaluation, I moved (cue menacing music) San Diego St. in instead of South Florida. Yea, ridicule me.

EDIT 1:58 PM: So, I just finished the bracket for this seed list. And then Houston won. Therefore, I'm not going to take the time to put that bracket into bloggable form. However, the seedings today made bracketing far harder than yesterday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Upset Thursday

What were the major headlines of upset Thursday?
West Virginia has a shot at a one? With Syracuse, Villanova, and Pitt all falling in short succession, West Virginia is now projected to win the Big East conference, a feat which would give them 19 top 100 wins. Only Kentucky is projected to have as many as 19. However, I believe that Duke’s 11 top 50 wins (as compared to West Virginia’s 7) will give them the nod. If Duke were to falter, then we may see two Big East one seeds. (As an aside – I started writing this halfway through the West Virginia game. I started rewriting this as Cincinnati came back. Glad I saved it.)

Conference USA goes from potential 3-bid league to 1-bid. A day which began with such promise had only one bit of good news for the 9th-best conference: UTEP is as good as advertised. UAB and Memphis, however, each fell short. Both had to work to do entering the conference tournament; those losses pop the bubbles for each. Moreover, this loss drops Memphis from the ranks of the top 50, weakening the resume of everyone in the tourney.

Bryce’s watch-list: Florida and SDSU escape; Arizona St falls. Florida, who Bryce has been keying on for a while, nearly played their way out of the tournament, before coming back and defeating Auburn. On the “not on the bubble” list from yesterday – Arizona St. fell to Stanford, destroying their hopes of the autobid and leaving Washington as the last hope of the Pac-10 conference for a second bid. San Diego St, however, outlasted the Rams of Colorado St, 76-74. In my eyes, this is a plus – all the other bracketologists will keep them in the bracket, and be shocked when they are out (like they did last year).

ACC joins in the fun. Miami beats Wake Forest, North Carolina State beats Clemson, Virginia beats Boston College. Only the 7-11 matchup (Georgia Tech/North Carolina) did not partake, but at least the Tarheels put up a fight to end their disappointing season. Incidentally, despite these upsets, not much should change by way of seeding.

What’s on tap for tomorrow?
Patriot League Championship: Lehigh vs. Lafayette. With Jackson St. losing in the SWAC tournament, the SWAC tournament champion is now a lock for the play-in game. The only question: will its opponent be Winthrop, the upset champion out of the Big South, or Lafayette, whose 11 100+ losses and 1 GAME PLAYED against the RPI top 100 (a 97-64 rout by Georgetown) will similarly condemn it to Dayton.

Dayton vs. Xavier – Speaking of Dayton… as of now, Dayton is in my last four out. Obviously, I project them to lose this game. Moreover, the teams above them can’t lose enough to put them in – they have to play themselves in. The dichotomy for the Flyers is simple: Win and you’re in, lose and you’re out.

Michigan St. vs. Minnesota – The Gophers also have the ability to play their way into the tournament tomorrow. Right now, they have 5 RPI top 100 wins, and 12 total losses. While a win here would have Minnesota right on the edge, it would also enable them to get a game against Hummel-less Purdue tomorrow with a chance to win their win in.

Wisconsin vs. Illinois – Illinois is quite similar to Minnesota, with 5 top 100 wins and 13 total losses. However, unlike Minnesota, their 5 wins come as 4 top 50 wins. With a win here, they’d have 5 – one short of the 6 top 50 wins that got Arizona in last year. With a loss, however, their arguments will fall on deaf ears.

Florida vs. Mississippi St – You may have noticed that Florida is IN as of now, despite what CJ thinks. However, his predictions relegating Florida to the NIT may (Read: Probably will) come true if Florida is unable to win here.

UTEP vs. Tulsa – At this point, it seems all but certain that UTEP will be the lone C-USA team in the tournament. However, they could still lose, as they have to face Tulsa here on their home court. Last time they played here, the Miners took it 78-70. Tulsa, however, is playing for their tournament lives. Bubble teams everywhere will be watching this game.

Tennessee vs. Mississippi – Mississippi is probably in at 6-9 against the RPI top 100. But, without a win here, they will be palpitating on Sunday. No I’m not trying to be pretentious; it just that I’m as tired as you are of hearing about teams “sweating it out”. Thought I’d use a different word.

Georgia vs. Vanderbilt – I think this Georgia team has a finals run in them. So does CJ. Obviously, this means that you should immediately go bet on the Commodores.

Rhode Island vs. St. Louis – Returning to the A-10: I think Rhode Island is in regardless of what happens here. However, if Georgia and Tulsa were to win their respective conference tournaments, and URI does not win here, then their spot will be gone. Meanwhile, some still think SLU could sneak in with a finals run. I disagree, but not vehemently. Besides, the Billikens have the Majerus-power necessary to pull off a conference tourney run.

West Virginia vs. Notre Dame – As mentioned above, a win here will keep the Mountaineers in the hunt for a 1 seed. It should also be said that an Irish win here (their 7th straight) would put them in good shape to earn a 6 seed. Seriously – a 6-3 record over the RPI top 50 (and 13 RPI top 100 wins) compares pretty favorably with Richmond. Is this the fastest rise from Bottom Half of the NIT to Top Half of the NCAA?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not on the Bubble

Let me repeat that: the following teams are teams that everyone is enamored with, but are nowhere near the bubble:

Arizona State - CBS's Bubble Watch lists the following pros: RPI in the 50's, 7-6 Road/Neutral Record, "Notable" wins over SDSU and Washington. The top 40-45 slots go to at-large worthy candidates, so even if RPI was a good indicator, an RPI in the 50s still would be indicative of an NIT team. When your biggest selling point is that you have two wins over teams barely on the bubble... you aren't getting in.

San Diego St - The Aztecs have too few big wins (2, both at home), too many losses (9), and two bad losses (at Pacific and at Wyoming). Really, their only redeeming feature is that home win over New Mexico. Sorry guys, looks like a Not Invited resume to me.

Minnesota - Hey, I don't hate the West Coast... I can live with hating on the Midwest. Seriously Joe? Let me enumerate this teams top 100 wins: 1) neutral site over Butler, good but not great; 2) Leuer-less Wisconsin; 3) Turner-less Ohio St; 4) Road win over Illinois; 5) Morgan St, the conference champ of the 3rd-worst conference in the land. Its not like they haven't had chances, either; they are 3-6 vs. the RPI top 50. I mean, I guess if they manage to upset Michigan St, I could see them in. Okay, fine Mr. Lunardi, you may have your Gophers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Can't we just have the bubble shrink by four teams?

I don't remember this being this hard last year. Most of my struggles involved getting people to believe that Arizona was in.

Anyhow, the bracket is up.

EDIT: So, apparently I forgot to update the date on my page. This is fixed now. Also, I knew there was a reason I didn't want to put UConn in. And St. John's is last eight only if they manage to beat Marquette. Also, I've got this feeling about William and Mary - they may get switched in sometime later this week.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday New Bracket

Hey all,

I just posted my latest bracket. I actually simmed through the conference finals this time, with some surprising findings. This time, Florida, Illinois, and UConn fell out, replaced by Wichita St, Memphis, and Dayton.

My next bracket won't come until next Friday night.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Some musings over data

I was playing around with some data from last year’s tournament. I wanted to see if models containing Top 50 Plus/Minus were better or worse at predicting whether a team would be in the tournament than Top 100 Plus/Minus. I ran two logistic regressions. In both cases, I included SOS and Conference Win Loss. In both cases, the model incorrectly projected 5 teams: Utah St, Maryland, San Diego St, Creighton, and New Mexico.

What surprised me the most was that the selection model gave Utah St. only a 4% chance of being selected. This indicated that Utah St, despite earning an 11 seed was an auto-bid that would not have made it as an at-large. Thus, it must have earned a true seed of 12, and then been swapped to avoid conflicts. What conflict? Well, three of the four 4/5/12/13 pods were located in Boise or Portland, and so Utah St couldn’t go to any of those by the protection requirement. The final 4/5/12/13 slot was taken by Utah, who Utah St couldn’t play. Since teams cannot be swapped into the top 4 or bottom 4 lines, Utah St had to go up. So, I switched the dummy variable tag on Utah St to “Out”. On the next run, both Creighton and Utah St. were predicted correctly. San Diego St was now correctly predicted, but Siena was not. Maryland was hovering around 50%. New Mexico seemed to be the only outlier in the group, but I don’t remember them being talked about overly much last year.

Another critical nugget of data – in every regression I ran involving a variable for road/neutral games*, that variable turned up as not statistically significant. Moreover, of the teams that I was looking at, Arizona had the fewest Road/Neutral wins. Therefore, when choosing your last few teams in, you should avoid making arguments from Road/Neutral. It does appear, however, that the seed a team is given is correlated with road/neutral winning percentage. Since the committee selects and seeds at different times, it is possible that some committee members weigh road/neutral more heavily when seeding than when selecting.

(Oh, right. The initial question. Top 100 Plus Minus is better than Top 50 wins, which is better than top 50 plus minus.)

*Road/neutral wins, road/neutral plus minus, non-conference road/neutral wins

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bryce's Bubble Teams in Action

2 teams Bryce have in the field I do not are in action tonight, with chances to get themselves into the field

Florida AT HOME vs Vandy (7PM ESPN2): This is simply a must win for the Gators, who need another good win to feel good about have a shot of getting in

Illinois @ Ohio State (9PM ESPN)- A steal here and they are in for good... if not the L12 record and lack of elite wins start creeping more in the conversation.

For the Record, I have both UF and U of I losing tonight and my projected bracket is based off that.

Five Impact Games: March 2 - March 4

Here are the five games that I see having the biggest impact over the next three days:

1) Charlotte @ URI (03/03, 7:00)– This is kind of a bubble elimination game. The winner won’t be in, but will be in better shape than the loser. The loser of this game will likely need a run to the finals in the A-10 tourney.
2) Connecticut @ Notre Dame (03/03, 7:00, ESPN)– This game is essentially a play-in game for the NCAA tournament. The winner of this game locks up a bid, even if they lose the next two. The loser has some work to do.
3) Duke @ Maryland (03/03, 9:00, ESPN)– If Duke wins, they get the 1 seed, and Maryland drops back into the ACC pack. If Maryland wins, they get protected, and Duke remains a two seed.
4) Dayton @ Richmond (03/04, 7:00, CBS College Sports)– The Flyers are in desperate need of a road win. If they can win here, they will put themselves on the correct side of the bubble.
5) Vanderbilt @ Florida (03/02, 7:00, ESPN)– This game has some huge implications, including who buys the snacks for the Selection Sunday party. More importantly, after blowing the game at Georgia, Florida’s tournament hopes rest upon this game.

Honorable mentions:
Villanova @ Cincinnati (03/02, 7:00, ESPN2)
Minnesota @ Michigan (03/02, 7:00, BTN)
UTEP @ Marshall (03/02, 7:00)
Baylor @ Texas Tech (03/02, 8:00)
Illinois @ Ohio St (03/02, 9:00, ESPN)

Kansas St. @ Kansas (03/03, 8:00, B12 Network)
Kentucky @ Georgia (03/03, 8:00, SEC TV)
Temple @ SLU (03/03, 8:00)
Memphis @ UAB (03/03, 9:00, CSS)

Five High Impact Games of the Last Week

The five games between 02/23 and 03/01 that really impacted the brackets:

1)@ Oklahoma St 85, Kansas 77: This was a key win for the Cowboys. Instead of sitting at 3-7 vs. the RPI top 50, 8-8 in conference, with one great win and two decent wins, they now add a second elite win, and are projected 4-6 against the RPI top 50. That pushes them off the bubble and into the 6-8 seed range.

2) @ Notre Dame 68, Pitt 53; Notre Dame78, @ Georgetown 64: Two games pushed Notre Dame from “solidly out” to “near the top of the bubble”. These two games give the Irish two additional wins over top 25 teams, and are now projected to go .500 against RPI top 50 teams, and 9-8 against the top 100. More important is the fact that they won on the road against a decent team. The win in DC helped eliminate the major flaw in the Irish resume – the lack of a big road win.

3) Michigan St 53, @Purdue 44: This win shores up the drooping Michigan St resume with a road win, but opens up two new questions. First, how good is Michigan St, really? This team lost at home by 12 to a healthy Purdue team, lost by 11 to Texas on the road, lost by 7 to North Carolina on the road, lost by 3 on a neutral court to Florida, and lost by 5 on the road to Illinois. Even their wins (4 points at home over Gonzaga, 7 points at home over Wisconsin) seem to indicate that this team should be somewhere between a 6 and 8 seed, with a 5 as the ceiling. But that begs the question “How good is Purdue without Robbie Hummel”? With what we saw Saturday, I’d say that this Purdue team is about on par with Illinois. They’ll still garner a high seed in the tournament, but look for them to be upset early.

4) New Mexico 83, @BYU 81: One of the big knocks on New Mexico was that despite their gaudy 27-3 record, the only road wins they had were against UNLV and New Mexico St. Moreover, a loss here would have assured them of finishing second in their conference. By completing the sweep, New Mexico answered both of those knocks. They will finish the season 28-3, 7-2 against the RPI top 50, with one loss outside the RPI top 50. They are very comparable to the 2s and the 3s, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see them in the final four.

5) Minnesota 62, @Illinois 60: This loss puts Illinois in a precarious position – while 4 RPI top 50 scalps is nice, their overall projected profile (18-13, 4-8 vs. RPI top 50, 1-2 vs. RPI 50-100) seems to suggest that most nights, this team can’t play with the big boys. Imagine how different this would look with a 2-1 instead of a 1-2. That little switch puts Illinois right on the cut line.

Quick Hit Honorable Mentions:
Clemson 53, @Florida St 50: Florida St and Clemson essentially switch places on the bubble.
Maryland 104, @Virginia Tech 100: Maryland creates separation at the top of the ACC.
@Tennessee 74, Kentucky 65: I have to admit, CJ was right: I wasn’t giving Tennessee the full weight of their projected win over Kentucky.
@St. Bonaventure 81, Rhode Island 74; @George Washington 75, Charlotte 70: When your resume is based around the fact that you haven’t taken any bad losses, taking a bad loss is devastating.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Consensus Bracket Postponed

Hey loyal readers (all two of you):

It looks like our consensus bracket this week is going to be delayed until Thursday. CJ and I don't have a time that we can both block off two hours to get this done until then. But I will be making a post or two over the next couple of days, so be sure to come and read those.