Sunday, December 24, 2006

W-11 BP65

Sorry for the late posting everyone, but there's no rush today. There aren't any games on tap for a few days. More updates on yesterday's late games (including Florida's remarkable game against OSU) coming soon:

1. NORTH CAROLINA (ACC)
1. UCLA (PAC 10)
1. FLORIDA (SEC)
1. OHIO ST. (BIG 10)

2. LSU
2. KANSAS (BIG 12)
2. Arizona
2. Wisconsin

3. Alabama
3. PITTSBURGH (BIG EAST)
3. Duke
3. UConn

4. Texas A&M
4. Marquette
4. Oklahoma State
4. MEMPHIS (CONFERENCE USA)

5. Washington
5. Kentucky
5. Texas
5. Tennessee

6. Maryland
6. Michigan State
6. California
6. WICHITA ST (MVC)

7. Boston College
7. Missouri State
7. Gonzaga
7. AIR FORCE (MWC)

8. Illinois
8. Oregon
8. NEVADA (WAC)
8. West Virginia

9. Purdue
9. Georgetown
9. Virginia
9. Notre Dame

10. Syracuse
10. Clemson
10. Missouri
10. Villanova

11. XAVIER (ATLANTIC 10)
11. Texas Tech
11. BUTLER (HORIZON)
11. San Diego State

12. Georgia Tech
12. Northern Iowa
12. OLD DOMINION (COLONIAL)
12. Louisville

13. WINTHROP (BIG SOUTH)
13. WESTERN KENTUCKY (SUN BELT)
13. MARIST (MAAC)
13. AKRON (MAC)

14. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
14. PENN (IVY)
14. BUCKNELL (PATRIOT)
14. NORTHERN ARIZONA (BIG SKY)

15. ORAL ROBERTS (MID-CON)
15. DAVIDSON (SOUTHERN)
15. BELMONT (ATLANTIC SUN)
15. DELAWARE ST (MEAC)

16. UC-SANTA BARBARA (BIG WEST)
16. EASTERN KENTUCKY (OHIO VALLEY)
16. SACRED HEART (NORTHEAST)
16. SAM HOUSTON ST (SOUTHLAND)
16. JACKSON ST (SWAC)

4 comments:

D. Moore said...

Louisville, the last at large in the field? Hmmmm. To be fair, I haven't seen them play. So, what about a 6-4 team with an early season RPI of 99 (kenpom) says NCAAs instead of NIT? And at 6-4, they'll need to have a record at or above .500, in a strong conference, to make any tourney at all.

I assume there's a reason for this. Can you enlighten us?

Jeff said...

You make a good point that if the season ended now they'd be out of the Tournament. But that's true for several of the times in my bracket. Now I can give you a one sentence reason, and then I'll give you a more in-depth one. The one-sentence reason: They've been through a pretty tough schedule. They had the hiccup early on against Dayton, but they aren't the only quality team to lose to a bad team in November. If they had Michigan's schedule they'd probably be 11-2 also.

Louisville does have a ton of talent, with several electric scorers and a ton of size - they outrebound almost everyone. They also have one of the best college coaches of the past 25 years. Also, the Big East is down (atleast when you compare it to last year), and even as far as the Big East goes they have a very inviting schedule. They have two games against South Florida and home games against Seton Hall, Providence and St. John's. That should be 5 wins right there. If they even go 5-6 in their other games that makes them 10-6. Only one year in the history of the 64/65 team bracket has a 10-6 Big East team not made the tournament (if I remember correctly, two teams missed the same year. Seton Hall was one, I forget the other).


Even if Louisville only manages a 9-7 in conference play, they have several opportunities for winnable "quality wins". They get Marquette and UConn at home, in addition to Georgetown and Syracuse. They have a good home-court advantage, so you have to imagine they'll win 1-to-3 of those four. Let's say they get 2 of those, plus the 5 easy ones already mentioned, plus a win at DePaul and then either at Cincy or Villanova. Then all they have to do is one of the following road games: Notre Dame, UConn, Marquette, Pitt. That would make them 10-6 in the Big East, 20-10 overall, with atleast three quality wins. That would also put their RPI well inside the top 50. I'd say that's going to get in unless they really blow up at the end of the year and bow out in the first round of the Big East Tourney. Do you think I'm being too optimistic about what they can win?

D. Moore said...

Jeff-
Thanks for the detailed response.

Your info about the schedule makes a lot of sense; it is fairly favorable for them. I agree about the Big East -- the top teams don't seem as dominant as in past years, and the bottom feeders are downright ugly. But even so, I have difficulty seeing them go 10-6.

Louisville has played only 3 decent teams this year, and lost to all of them -- Arizona, Kentucky, and Massachusetts. I've seen Miami play, and they definitely don't count. They should be 10-4 before the conference season starts. I could see them losing the home game against Providence -- Providence has better wins than Louisville does (BC, George Washington).

If they don't beat UConn or Marquette at home, then I think their potential quality wins are slim. Syracuse and Georgetown are likely to move up from RPI 51-100 teams to top 50 teams due to their schedule, but they won't be signature wins to sway the selection committee when they get down to the last picks (like, say, a Florida State).

So, I see them winning 2 of the home games you mention (but not against the best teams), 4 of the 5 you mention, the two road games you mention, but none of the 4 road games against the big opponents. That leaves them at 8-8, with no signature wins. It might go the way you predict, but I think this outcome is just as likely.

Another way to look at is is that they lost to Dayton and Massachusetts, and beat St Josephs. So, you'd project Louisville around 4th in the A10. Would you take the 4th place team from that conference?

On the flip side, when I look for who is left out of your bracket, it's horribly slim pickings. This year looks kind of like last year, with not quite enough worthy teams. It probably bodes well for mid-majors who do well in the regular season but get knocked out of their conference tourney.

p.s. I hear Derrick Caracter has been suspended from the team, again. I don't know if that's a plus or minus for them.

Jeff said...

I agree, they could easily go 8-8 in conference. And the way they've played, they are probably more likely to go 8-8 than 10-6. Like I said, I'm just betting on potential here - in the talent and the coach. Besides, like you said, it's slim pickings. Who really deserves to be in that I didn't have?

What is bound to happen is that a few teams from BCS conferences with weak out-of-conference resumes will go 10-6 in conference, with a marquee home win or two, and they'll move in. A team like Louisville or North Carolina State. We'll find out - I can't wait for real conference play to begin.