Sunday, January 20, 2008

W-8 BP65

This is my first BP65 after January 15th, which means that I am starting to narrow the field. I am including every single team that I think has any kind of possibility of making the Tournament. Each week, from here on out, I will delete the teams who have blown their final chance of making the Tournament. No more teams will get added. This means that I will include a bunch of teams that people will say "come on, they don't have any chance at all", but it's because weird things happen. I want to include any team that could possibly make the Tournament, not just the teams with decent chances.

I am adding a fourth category at the bottom of the BP65, to include these teams that "need a miracle" to make the Tournament as an at-large. Enough talking, so let's get to it:

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

2. Duke

3. Marquette
3. Texas
3. Washington State
3. Pittsburgh

4. Texas A&M
4. Indiana
4. Stanford
4. Wisconsin

5. Mississippi
5. Oregon
5. Vanderbilt

6. Villanova
6. Florida
6. Clemson

7. Arizona
7. Ohio State
7. West Virginia
7. Louisville

8. Creighton (MVC)
8. Notre Dame
8. Syracuse
8. Kansas State

9. USC
9. Drake
9. Oklahoma

10. UConn
10. Florida State
10. Boston College
10. BYU (MWC)

11. California
11. Dayton
11. Arkansas
11. Miami (Fl)

12. Baylor
12. Arizona State



15. YALE (IVY)


Other teams considered, but that just missed the cut:
NC State, Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Providence, Minnesota, Purdue, Missouri, Texas Tech, Illinois State, Southern Illinois, San Diego State, Mississippi State, South Alabama, Saint Mary's

Good resumes, but need a little bit more:
Georgia Tech, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Duquesne, St. Joseph's, Temple, Seton Hall, Illinois, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, VCU, Houston, Cleveland State, Valparaiso, Indiana State, Missouri State, New Mexico, UNLV, Washington, Georgia

Other teams with a decent shot, but that really need to improve their resume:
Charlotte, Cincinnati, Depaul, South Florida, Penn State, Nebraska, Tulane, UAB, UTEP, Miami (OH), Ohio, Bradley, Utah, Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Utah State

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
St. Louis, St. John's, Iowa, Colorado, Pacific, UCSB, Delaware, James Madison, UCF, Wright State, Akron, Northern Iowa, Wichita State, Kentucky, LSU, San Diego, Santa Clara, Boise State


Anonymous said...

So you are saying that even if Davidson wins vs. a possibly ranked team on the road in the bracketbuster and goes undefeated in the SoCon until the tourney final, there is not even a chance of a miracle of getting on the edge of the bubble?

Jeff said...

Of course they do. I have them in my bracket as a #12 seed right now. If they win out and lose in their Tournament finals, they probably still get an at-large bid. But I'm projecting them to take care of business and win their tournament.

Anonymous said...

Dayton a #11 seed? What's that all about?

Evilmonkeycma said...

Better question than the Dayton one above: TAMU as a 4? After losing two straight games to inferior opponents by 20 (which shows that they are not able to win on the road in-conference)? Whats that about?

Also, I would be wary of projecting Butler to win the Horizon at this point (unless the conference tourney is held there, which I don't believe it is). Rather, it seems more likely that Cleveland St. will end up with home-field advantage for the conference tournament, where they have shown they can beat Butler. Even though Butler would still be in as an at-large, Cleveland St. should win the conference (and by beating Butler in that conference title, they would probably be up among the at-larges).

UCLA still as a 1 even with the loss to USC? Why?

It seems like you are still giving too much credit to Southern Illinois. They are still struggling, and would need a pretty major run of wins to make the tournament as an at-large at this point. So why are they still listed as "just missed the cut"?

Jeff said...

Okay, well I'll go at this one at a time:

Dayton: I've gone through this Atlantic Ten stuff a lot... I simply thing these teams are going to keep racking up losses. If the season ended right now, Dayton would be a 7, 8 or 9 seed, most likely. I think that with a couple more losses that seed will drop a bit. I don't think an 11 is too out there.

Texas A&M: Since this is a prediction and not a "where are they now", my BP65 will not react as quickly to a fluke week. And let's be straight, this was a fluke week. I watched a bunch of both of A&M's losses, and it wasn't that they got blown out. They looked good. They just couldn't hit an open shot if their lives depended on it. I think A&M will get their act together and finish with only 2 or 3 more losses in the regular season. Other than the Texas and Kansas games, I doubt they will get upset more than once the rest of the year. That should get them a #4 seed. Remember - even after those two huge losses, A&M is still sitting 16th and 18th in the two polls that came out today. The RPI is bad, but the Sagarin PREDICTOR still has them 23rd, despite the large margins of their losses.

And as for Southern Illinois, you're right that they wouldn't be one of the 5 or 6 first teams out if the season ended now. But I'm ranking the teams left out by where I think they'll end up as well. SIU is starting to play like most people thought they would. They also have a great shot to beat Drake at home, which would do wonders for their resume. I don't think they're out of it yet.

And UCLA, I still think they're one of the four best teams in the country. Everybody is going to have an upset from time to time. UNC went down to Maryland, but I'm not jumping off their bandwagon either. Also remember, two of the four top teams in the new polls are UNC and Duke. But those two teams will have to play each other two, possibly three times the rest of the way. Hard to see them both getting a #1 seed. Remember the Ohio State/Wisconsin situation last year, when I refused to give both those teams a #1 seed. I think UNC is better than Duke, so that will knock Duke back to a #2 seed. So the only team with a real shot to pass up UCLA is Tennessee. And for now, I'm projecting UCLA to finish ahead.

Anonymous said...

I dont mean to be disrespectful, but have you even looked at the WAC lately? Nevada is a non-story this year.
Meanwhile, Utah State is on a 9 game winning streak, and has beaten both New Mexico State and Boise State, the only other two teams in the leauge to pose any legit threat.
In short there is not a chance Nevada wins the WAC this year.

Jeff said...

That was disrespectful, although I'll answer your comment anyway. First of all, seeing as how Nevada has the highest RPI in the WAC it's hard to argue that it's patently absurd to project them to win the conference.

I am aware that Nevada is only 2-2 in the conference, but you also have to look at their schedules. They had the bad loss to Boise State, but I think that was something of a fluky game. Boise State played out of their mind and hit something like 60% of their three-pointers. They didn't play nearly that well in their match-up with Utah State and still nearly pulled off the upset in Logan.

Meanwhile, Utah State is rolling over mostly inferior opponents at home. Their best conference opponent was Boise State, who they squeaked by (as I already mentioned).

I want to see Utah State beat Nevada head to head before I'm ready to project them to win the conference. Or at least I want to see Nevada prove that their loss to Boise State wasn't a fluke.

Evilmonkeycma said...

And Butler (see earlier comment)?

james said...

If I showed you a team with an RPI of 28, winners of 11 straight games, record of 11-3, 2 of the three losses by one shot to top 25 teams (one in 2OT), and they play in a one-bid conference, would you give them that auto bid? Well, that team is South Alabama, and I think they deserve to have your auto bid for the Sun Belt. The team you have representing the Sun Belt, WKU, has lost head to head to USA. You said concerning the WAC you want a head to head with Utah and Nevada before you change your mind. Well in the Sun Belt you already have a head to head matchup with the top 2 teams, and USA came out on top.

With the profile they have, I think USA deserves an at large bid even if they don't win the Sun Belt tournament. If they were in any major conference they'd be a shoe in.

Anonymous said...

If the season ended today, Dayton would not be a 7, 8, or 9 seed. They'd be no worse then a 6. But since you don't build your bracket based on where they are now, I guess that doesn't matter. In regards to them and the rest of the Atlantic 10, I just don't see where they're going to be "racking up losses" in conference, outside of the games the top four teams play against each other. If a team like Dayton goes 11-5 in conference (which is a worst case scenario, in my opinion) and then wins a game in the A-10 tournament (also worst-case scenario), that would have them at no worse than 24-8. With that type of a record, and their resume (and an RPI of no worse than 30), they'll be higher than an 11 seed, in my opinion.

Jeff said...

Well, for South Alabama, I do have them in bubble consideration. They're on my list, fairly high up. As for being the best team in the conference, we already discussed this about a week or two ago if you can find the comments. What I said was that my analysis pre-season was that Western Kentucky had the better roster and that nothing that has happened in the games has shown me otherwise. The RPIs are so off because WKU had one bad loss... but one bad loss doesn't mean anything. Anybody can get upset on any given night. And as for the head-to-head, Southern Alabama beat Western Kentucky by about three points at home. That doesn't provide any evidence that they're better. Homecourt adds 3-5 points, so nothing is decided by a three point win.

Now, as for Dayton, I don't know how anyone thinks they'd be getting a 6 seed right now. I understand that they're getting a lot of love from the human polls and the RPI, but those aren't necessarily the most important factors. Top 25 teams have missed the Tournament. And just two years ago a Missouri State squad had an RPI of 21 and missed the Tournament. Teams from smaller conferences tend to get bumped back to lower seeds.

Just look at the Sagarin ratings (which the Selection Committee weighs far more heavily than the RPI, although many people don't realize that). Dayton is 36th with a PREDICTOR rating of 62nd. In other words, they're overrated and all of the close games they've had are going to catch up to them. Throughout the season, the ELO_CHESS tends to catch up to the PREDICTOR. Even if Dayton finishes 11-5 in a mid-major conference it's pretty hard to see them getting a single-digit seed.

Oh, and the Butler thing from before. I'm sorry I forgot about it... I was trying to answer a bunch of questions at once and I forgot about that one. I've actually watched Cleveland State play a little bit this year. And we've all seen this Butler team play a lot over the past couple of years. I know that Cleveland State is on this huge roll right now. And they might well win the regular season title. But when push comes to shove in the Horizon Tournament title game, I don't see Butler losing. And I don't think Cleveland State has enough right now to get in as an at-large, although it's obviously within the realm of possibility (which is why I have them listed as a team with a decent resume).

But what I did point out about a week ago was that Cleveland State's stars are non-seniors. Which means that they should all be back next year, and they might be the pre-season favorites to take the Horizon next year.

james said...

I appreciate your thoughts, Jeff. I guess the big game for the Sun Belt will be the USA/WKU rematch on Feb 21. I did want to mention for your readers that I had a typo for South Alabama's record. It is actually 15-3, not 11-3 and are 13-3 for Div. 1 games.

As for WKU, they are a good team. They were able to hold their own with Tennessee and Gonzaga, but still lack a signature win. Yeah they beat Nebraska, but they are dead last in the Big 12. The bad loss you are referring to was to Northern Arizona, but they almost had a an even more disastrous loss to Alaska Anchorage (Div 2).

I do think they are a good team, I just don't think they are a great team. With that said, I think USA will be lucky to come out of Bowling Green with a victory.

By the way, keep up the work I enjoy your page.

Anonymous said...

Well, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on Dayton, then. I'm shocked that you're shocked about people thinking the Flyers deserve a 6 seed (or even higher). Of all the bracketology predictions I've seen on the internet, yours is the only one that has them that low. In fact, yours is the only one that has them lower then a 7. Most have them floating around at 4 or 5. A couple have them sitting as high as a 3. Maybe you know something that they do not, but I doubt that. I guess I'll just have to take it with a grain of salt considering the other mostly ridiculous things you said (about them being "overrated," and the Atlantic 10 being a "small," "mid-major" conference).