Sunday, December 30, 2007

W-11 BP65

1. KANSAS (BIG 12)
1. UCLA (PAC 10)

2. Duke

3. Marquette
3. Texas A&M
3. Texas
3. Indiana

4. Washingon State
4. Louisville
4. Pittsburgh
4. Arizona

5. Villanova
5. USC
5. Ohio State
5. Wisconsin

6. Oregon
6. Florida
6. BYU (MWC)

7. UConn
7. Syracuse
7. Illinois

8. Vanderbilt
8. Stanford
8. Clemson
8. Mississippi

9. California
9. Kansas State
9. West Virginia

10. Oklahoma
10. Dayton
10. Boston College

11. Missouri
11. Miami (Fl)
11. Arkansas
11. Virginia

12. Creighton
12. Florida State

13. MIAMI (OH) (MAC)


15. YALE (IVY)


Other teams considered, but that just missed the cut:
Georgia Tech, Maryland, Duquesne, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Notre Dame, Providence, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, Drake, Northern Iowa, San Diego State, Alabama, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Saint Mary's

Other teams with a decent shot, but that need to improve their resume:
NC State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, St. Louis, Depaul, Seton Hall, Penn State, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, VCU, UAB, Akron, Bradley, Missouri State, UNLV, Arizona State, Washington, Auburn, Georgia

Other teams I'm keeping an eye on, but that need to drastically improve their resume:
George Washington, Temple, Rutgers, St. John's, Iowa, Michigan, Drexel, James Madison, Old Dominion, Tulane, UTEP, Wright State, Valparaiso, Central Michigan, Kent State, Ohio, Illinois State, Indiana State, Wichita State, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon State, Kentucky, LSU, South Alabama, San Diego, Fresno State, New Mexico State


Anonymous said...

it looks like you have five 13 seeds

Jeff said...

Thanks, I fixed it. It makes me feel better to take Rhode Island out anyway. I spent about 10 minutes trying to find a team to put in that last spot and wasn't happy with any of my choices... turns out I didn't need to be stressing myself.

Anonymous said...

Illinois is looking very solid.

Anonymous said...

I know your predictions are based on what you think will happen, but how in the world do you think Illinois will end up a seven seed? Let I remind you that they are coming off a loss to Tennessee State and their RPI is worse than Illinois State's and Illinois-Chicago! They are not even worthy of consideration in my opinion. Even if they go 10-6 in Big 10 play (which probably wont happen) then they still are unlikely of deserving a bid.

Secondly, why do you want to take out Rhode Island? They are an impressive team that will definitely make the tournament with a solid Atlantic 10 season.

Jeff said...

Well, first of all, this BP65 came out BEFORE Illinois had that big upset. If I were re-doing these predictions today, I'd probably drop Illinois to an 8 or 9 seed. I don't think I'm the only person in America who didn't see a loss to Tennessee State coming.

But you can't drop them too far, because I believe they're the 5th best team in the Big 10. And I don't think too many people disagree with me there. So if they go something like 11-7 in the Big 10, the RPI will get up around 35 or so... how do you make them a double-digit seed? I just don't see it. Like you said, this is a prediction, and I'm assuming that Illinois will have a solid season in conference. And remember, 3/4 of the RPI is strength of schedule. So the RPI of all of the middle-to-lower pack BCS conference teams will rise as the season goes on.

As for Rhode Island, I'm simply uncomfortable with putting in three Atlantic 10 teams. Right now, Xavier seems like a legitimate Top 25 team and the favorite to win that conference's regular season crown. And I'm picking, for now, Dayton to finish ahead of Rhode Island. The only way that the third place team will make it out of the A-10 is if they finish with a very high record, within a game or two of first place.

The A-10 is simply a bad conference to be in. You have to play tough games against teams like UMass, Duqeusne and Temple that you can easily lose. But at the same time, you have to play teams like St. Bonnies that kill your computer ranking. And if you actually slip up and lose one of those bottom-feeders, your resume takes a major hit.

So right now I'm predicting that two teams get out of that conference. Rhode Island heads to Dayton next Wednesday. If they win that one, there's no way they won't make my next bracket. I can promise you that.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about, Jeff? You could say the exact same thing about the Big Ten. If Illinois "slips up" and loses to Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan, or Iowa wouldn't your supposed argument apply? With 7, and almost 8, teams in the RPI top 100 from the A-10 I'd have to say Rhode Island has even more of an opportunity to build up solid wins than Illinois does. That's also because they're quite a bit of a better team.

Seriously, Illinois as an 8 or 9? Do you really think a team that loses to Tennessee State at home and doesn't play well against a terrible Maryland team will actually be able to do anything worthwhile against the upper half of the Big 10?

Jeff said...

Anonymous, remember that the RPIs will change as the year goes on. Do you really think that the A-10 will end the year with seven teams in the RPI Top 100?? Certainly nobody is calling this year's A-10 as good as last year's Missouri Valley, and that conference only had four teams in the RPI Top 85.

And, yes, a loss to St. Bonaventure, Lasalle or George Washington is going to look a whole lot worse than a loss to Michigan, Penn State or Iowa. Remember how the RPI works - the difference between playing #150 and #280 is massive. Beating #280 will actually cause a good team's RPI to drop.

The RPIs will go up across the board in the Big Ten (as well as the other five BCS conferences) as the teams play each other. Last year was a down year for the Big Ten, and their single worst team had an RPI of 200 (Penn State). There's a huge difference between losing to Penn State and losing to St. Bonaventure. And, remember, there will only be two teams or so with an RPI higher than 150 in the Big Ten - so there won't be many chances for a bad loss. My point about the A-10 was that there will be a lot MORE opportunities to blow a really bad game. Probably six or seven teams will finish with an RPI above a 150.

As for Illinois playing like they did against Tennessee State every day, that's certainly a wild conclusion to come to. Do we all throw USC under the bus for losing to Mercer and struggling with UC Riverside this past weekend?

Of course if they play that way every day they won't do well in the Big Ten. But I think that they won't. I urge you not to judge teams by box scores. If you watched Illinois play earlier this year against Duke and Missouri, you could see flashes of a very talented team. And Bruce Weber isn't too shabby as a coach. I think he'll have his team prepared for Big Ten play.

Jeff said...

In one final comment - if not Illinois, who do you think is the 5th best team in the Big Ten? Purdue? Minnesota? There is a pretty big drop-off after the top four... I really think Illinois is still the 5th best team.

And even if they have a bad out-of-conference resume, the 5th place team in the Big Ten is usually around a 10-8 or 11-7 (extrapolating out to the new 18 game schedule this year). And that will be good enough to get a high single-digit seed.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a wild conclusion to project that Rhode Island will drop games to terrible A-10 teams?

Also, I think there's a world of difference in losing to Mercer in the first game of the year without Hackett and struggling with UCR for 10 minutes than losing to Tennessee State at home.

Where is this Illinois talent by the way? Pruitt is a baby when things aren't going his way and disappears for large stretches of games, Randle is inconsistent, and Frazier plays quite a bit of minutes for a guy who is a total zero on offense. What was Weber thinking having Frazier in there on offense during the latter part of the TSU game? Meacham is their only reliable offensive player from game to game. By the way, I've seen them play roughly six times so far this year. How about you?

Anonymous said...

In response to your one final comment - I think the Big Ten is pretty porous outside of the big three and a half ( Will Ohio State become a quality team as the year progresses? ).

I don't see your logic. You didn't have Ole Miss projected in the tournament for a large period of time . Hell, you still have Vandy projected out lower than Illinois. If you want to say the Big Ten will get five bids just because they're the Big Ten, don't you have to give the SEC atleast four bids in turn? You currently have three projected. I'm afraid, even as down as the SEC is this year, that there isn't a whole lot of difference between the leagues this year top to bottom.

By the way, if you want to use history as your reasoning, wouldn't you say a 13 - 3 or 12 - 4 SEC team that is perfect OOC usually gets a 3 - 5 seed?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one final thing I forgot to mention about Illinois - they won 9 conference games, two Big Ten tourney games, suffered no bad losses at all, and had four top 50 RPI wins a year ago. What did that get them? It got them barely into the tournament and a 12 seed.

Jeff said...

I have 5 SEC teams and 5 Big Ten teams in right now, if I counted correctly. Considering that the Big Ten has looked better than the SEC so far... I don't see what the problem is here.

Now, as for last year's Illinois team, there are some differences from last year. First of all, their schedule itself. They had a poor strength of schedule, and failed to beat the good teams when they played them. 3-5 on the road and 8-12 vs. the RPI Top 100. The RPI ended up at 44... not very good. Also, the 9-7 record was a product of the way the Big Ten was last year. You had two teams (Ohio State and Wisconsin) who both had extraordinarily good seasons and beat up on everybody else. So, the records of the teams in 3rd, 4th and 5th place were lower than they usually were. Usually 5th place in the Big Ten would be 10-6... or, under the new 18 game schedule, something like 11-7.

If Illinois ends up 10-8 with an RPI in the mid-40s then they will get something like an 11 or 12 seed. But I think the RPI will get upwards of 35, with something like an 11-7 record. And that should be enough.

As for Rhode Island, again, I'm not predicting any specific results. This is all about expectation values. But with all of the opportunities, what are the chances that Rhode Island will drop a game to one of the really bad teams in conference? It's atleast 50%, isn't it? And even if you beat a team like Lasalle, it probably hurts the RPI anyway. The strength of schedule will end up plummeting, which means that Rhode Island will need to run through their schedule to get an at-large. And I just don't see it.

If you think Rhode Island is good enough to get second, then that's fine. If they get second in the A-10, they probably get in the Tournament. Like I said, if they beat Dayton in a week I'll probably put them in the BP65. But that's simply not what I see happening at this point in time.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry that I didn't notice that you inexpicably have Arkansas projected in and Florida somehow projected in at a 6 seed. You seem to totally ignore current results when projecting how the season finishes. Arkansas and Florida have a combined zero good wins to their name with Arkansas having an absolutely terrible home loss to App State.

Uh, Illinois finished at 29 with a great SOS and BARELY made the tournament. You obviously looked at the wrong information, compounded your error by predicting they even have a worse season than last, and have them getting a 7 seed. Brilliant. Also, to use your logic, isn't the Big Ten much the same way this year with Michigan State and Indiana looking fantastic and the rest looking pretty average?

Also, Rhode Island can go to Dayton, lose, and still easily make the tournament. I will bet you anything in my life they get in. Perhaps you can put your blog at stake?

Jeff said...

Please, anonymous, you are really pushing my posting standards here. No personal attacks.

As for RPI, I was using the Warren Nolan site. I didn't realize that he includes Tournament results in his RPI, in which case Illinois does drop to 44.

Again, remember two things: The Big Ten was worse last year than this year. And because there were two teams who dominated the conference, the final conference standings were askew. If Illinois finishes 10-8 this season in the Big Ten, they will get something like a 10 or 11 seed. But I think that 5th place will be good enough for 11-7. And do you really think that an 11-7 Big Ten team is not getting a single-digit seed??

As for Rhode Island, of COURSE they can lose at Dayton and still make the Tournament. What I'm simply saying is that I think that only two teams from the A-10 will make the Tournament. And right now I'm projecting Xavier and Dayton as those two teams. A Rhode Island victory over Dayton on the road would push Rhode Island to second place, and would cause me to move them into the bracket and Dayton out. Obviously Rhode Island can lose to Dayton on January 9th and still finish 2nd in the conference. And if they do, they'll probably make the Tournament in the end. I'm simply telling you what I'm projecting at this point in time.

Look, I'm not new to this. I got called all sorts of nasty names last year, people saying I was an absolute moron for not giving Wichita State a #2 seed, or for not giving Wisconsin a #1 seed, or for a bunch of other stuff that didn't happen.

If you want to start your own blog so people can attack you, you're welcome to it. At least have the courage to give yourself a name other than "anonymous".

I will leave up your comments for now, because you are making some legitimate arguments between personal attacks. But I won't respond to you again until your posting maturity improves.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see how I fared last season, you can check it out:

Strangely enough, I never got much negative feedback.

Oh, and I guess I could go back to the 04 tourney and tell you a 9 - 7 Iowa team with an OOC win over a really good Louisville club was left out of the tournament with a resume that's likely to be better than Illinois.

Once again, nice straw man argument. The people who argued for Wichita State getting a #1 seed were idiots, but ( I'm guessing ) that you left them out of your projections even when they were 8 - 0. Even though you ended up being right, it was still questionable because I doubt you could tell anyone why they would actually miss the tournament. I'm really not arguing whether or not Illinois WILL get into the tournament, I'm trying to figure out why you think they will. I fail to see any coherent and consistent logic in your arguments and projections. I've also seen other commenters say roughly the same thing, but you failed to respond. If you think this is a "personal attack" then I feel sorry for you. Try to stop getting your panties in a wad and being so defensive. It's the internet.

Anonymous said...

There's the link you can actually access by the way.

Anonymous said...

Since I can't edit previous comments, I'll just add another. I was thinking of starting my blog back up anyway so how about we lay our blogs on the line? Whoever gets outpicked gives their blog up? I mean, you would have to feel pretty confident considering "you aren't new to this."

Jeff said...

Well, if you want the full reasoning, here it is: You have to remember that this Illinois team is built for the Big Ten. Their two best players (Randle and Pruitt) are both gigantic. They are built to rebound with the Wisconsins and Michigan States of the world. They lack depth and experience at the guard position, which is why they struggle against teams that press and run.

Tennessee State is a team that runs really well. Up until the Illinois game, they had scored under 71 points only once in 11 games. They put up 85 points on Georgia Tech, 74 on Vanderbilt and 72 on Indiana. Illinois managed to grind them down a bit, but every once in a while gave up little spurts. They are always going to struggle with teams that run.

Once Big Ten play starts, Illinois will be able to play grind-it-out basketball. They will be a much more effective team in games where their size is not neutralized.

Jeff said...

And in response to your final comment: No, I'm not getting into a pissing match.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Illinois is more suited for Big Ten play, but you can't ignore how terrible they've been OOC. Just because they beat up on some terrible conference teams and upset a Wisconsin at home doesn't mean they're getting into the tournament.

By the way, if you watched the TSU - Illinois game you'd know that it was played at Illinois' pace. They totally dominated TSU on the boards, slowed the game down, and still lost.

Anonymous said...

Are you finally willing to admit that Alabama is just not a good team? Sure, they lost to a good Clemson team, but getting blown out at home is just embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

He has Auburn and Georgia down with a "decent shot" at the tournament so I doubt he's going to be admitting Alabama isn't good any time soon.