Sunday, January 11, 2009

W-9 BP65

1. TEXAS (BIG 12)
1. UCLA (PAC-10)

2. Duke
2. Pittsburgh
2. Oklahoma

3. Wake Forest
3. Georgetown

4. Notre Dame
4. Arizona State
4. Florida
4. Louisville

5. Syracuse
5. Marquette
5. Clemson

6. Baylor
6. BYU (MWC)
6. West Virginia

7. California
7. Wisconsin
7. Maryland
7. Purdue

8. Miami (Fl)
8. Kansas
8. Illinois
8. Villanova

9. Ohio State
9. Dayton

10. Minnesota
10. Oklahoma State
10. Saint Mary's
10. Michigan

11. Texas A&M
11. Florida State

12. LSU
12. USC
12. Kentucky

13. MIAMI (OH) (MAC)




Other teams considered, but that missed the cut:
Boston College, Virginia Tech, Missouri, Illinois State, Arizona, Stanford, Washington, Arkansas, South Carolina

Other teams with a decent shot, but that need to improve their resume:
NC State, Rhode Island, Cincinnati, Providence, Iowa, Penn State, Nebraska, George Mason, Houston, Evansville, San Diego State, Utah, Washington State, Vanderbilt, Boise State

Other teams I'm keeping an eye on, but that need to drastically improve their resume:
Georgia Tech, Virginia, Temple, St. John's, Seton Hall, Northwestern, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Hofstra, UAB, UTEP, Tulsa, Cleveland State, Niagara, Bradley, Drake, Northern Iowa, New Mexico, TCU, Wyoming, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Alabama


Anonymous said...


Still UConn over Pitt in the Big East? Comparing the schedules from this point on, I think Pitt wins the regular season race. I assume you still have UConn as the #1 seed because you think they'll win the Big East tourney.

7 ACC teams make the big dance? 9 Big East teams make it? More than half of both conferences? I don't think there are enough wins to go around for that to happen. Does this imply that the rest of the bubble looks really weak this year? Or is it just too early to see which surprise teams force their way into the dance and knock the big conference bubblers out?

I've been resistant to your picking UCLA as a #1 seed all year, but now I'm starting to see it. I still don't think they're that great, and there haven't been any games lately to get me to revise my opinion. But, excepting the Oregon schools, the whole conference is full of good teams, but not so strong that they can't be beaten. It's the perfect formula for rising in the polls and the RPI rankings -- feast on solid but inferior opposition, and don't play any patsies to bring your RPI down.

Of course, since the ONLY top 100 team UCLA has beaten ALL SEASON is Miami of Ohio (by 5, at home), they could still turn out to be the fraud of the year.

Jeff said...

If you don't mind, I'll take those in reverse order.

You are exactly correct with UCLA. The conference is down (I would rate it fifth overall), but it's still good enough for UCLA to have a good strength of schedule. And at the same time, who is a serious contender? They could easily go 16-2 and win the conference tournament. That's the resume of a 1 seed.

As for giving a ton of bids to the ACC and Big East, I think it's mostly the weak bubble. I figure that the Big Ten is due for something like five or six Tournament bids, but both the Big 12 and Pac-10 are not. Both conferences have a bad combination of elite teams that will beat everybody up (Texas, Oklahoma, UCLA) along with a slew of mediocre teams that will lead to a lot of 9-7 and 10-8 conference records. I could easily see both conferences getting four. And at this point the SEC would be lucky to get four teams. And I don't see a lot of at-larges coming from the mid-majors. Despite how good they have been, the Mountain West will most likely only get one at-large. Give one to the A-10 and the WCC, and what else? The Valley looks like a one-bid league again. If Butler, Davidson and Utah State all win their conference tournaments then there really won't be many mid-major at-large bids.

And finally for the Big East issues, I actually think UConn's schedule is slightly easier than Pitt's the rest of the way. But I also feel like Pitt is a little bit overrated. They have that great win over Georgetown, but it's a mistake to draw too many conclusions from one game. Throw that one game out and what do you see? Their best win is probably a 13 point win over Texas Tech, or maybe those blowouts of St. John's and Miami of Ohio. UConn has five wins that are clearly more impressive than Pitt's second most impressive win (Miami of Florida, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, at West Virginia, at Cincy). They have proven that they're good enough to consistently win games over the Big East elite, while Pitt has yet to prove that.

The one qualm I have is that Pitt has been so utterly dominant in Big East tournaments. The fact that they have so many New York City kids is probably an overrated factor, and it's probably more so the simple confidence a team has knowing how much success they've had in the past. Either way, while I think UConn is the favorite to win the regular season title, I view the tournament as a toss-up. For now, at least, I'm leaving UConn ahead because of the regular season factor.

Anonymous said...

What's up with the Orange at a 5. You've had them there awhile. What do they have to do to move up? It seems like they have a lot of nice wins.

Jeff said...

Syracuse is just treading water, in my opinion. Seton Hall, South Florida, DePaul and Rutgers have been their four opponents. Those are arguably the four worst teams in the conference. Their next four games are at Georgetown, vs Notre Dame, at Pittsburgh and vs Louisville. If you want to know what it will take for Syracuse to move up, I'd like to see how they play against the big boys of the Big East. With a Sagarin PREDICTOR of 31st in the nation and a Pomeroy of 33rd, I think I'm pretty much spot on with them as a 5 seed or so.

People need to forget about the Top 25 rankings at this point in the season. According to the Coaches Poll, there are 9 Big East teams among the Top 22 in the nation. Is there a shred of a chance of the Big East having nine teams with a 6 seed or better? Of course not. Even if those teams weren't overrated (which they are), they will still be beating up on each other. I think I have as many Big East teams near the top of my bracket as can realistically be expected, and do you have a good reason why I should rank Syracuse higher than sixth in the Big East?

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. LSU is 12-2, Arkansas is 12-2. LSU's best win (by far) is Washington State. Arkansas' best wins are Oklahoma and Texas. It gets even worse when you look at the computer numbers. Arkansas' SOS is 204, LSU's is 310. Arkansas' RPI is 65, LSU's is 134!

Not only is LSU behind Arkansas right now, they're also behind South Carolina and Alabama. I highly doubt anything less than 11-5 in SEC play is going to get LSU a bid over all 3 of these teams. Do you honestly think LSU is good enough to do that?

Jeff said...

These are predictions for how the season will end, not where things stand right now. Please see "About the BP65" on the front page for more details.

Anonymous said...

that's fair. It's hard to argue that the Orange are better than a Georgetown or UConn at this point.

Anonymous said...

Actually, on closer examination, you should swap us up to a #4 and ND down to a #5.

They have a bad loss (St Johns, 117.) and only 2 top 100 wins. Sure, they were two great road wins, but we also won @ Memphis and we have 5 top 100 wins. Kansas and Florida are very solid squads that we've defeated.

Just ND's sheer losses are a problem. They have 4 and we only have 1. Their RPI is what, 60, and ours is top 20, plus their SOS is in the 110's and we're 45. I don't see any particular reason other than their two amazing wins to rank them over us.

Jeff said...

Again, I'm really waiting for Syracuse to play somebody in the Big East. Do you not think that Notre Dame would be 4-0 against those four teams also?

Although if you're going to push Syracuse up to fifth, I'd argue that Louisville is fifth right now. I watched that game today where they beat Notre Dame in overtime, but I still think Notre Dame is better. Terrence Williams played out of his mind, and Notre Dame really suffered when Kyle McAlarney went out with that twisted ankle (I think he might be starting to break down from all of the minutes he's playing against bigger and stronger opponents). And all that, with the best home court advantage I've seen out of a Louisville crowd in some time... and Notre Dame still had 30 seconds to set up a last shot to win the game in regulation. I would put them fourth right now, Louisville fifth and Syracuse sixth, with Marquette nipping on their heels for seventh.

To get back on topic, what I'm basically saying is that the onus is on Syracuse right now to prove to me that they're really a top team. I'm not saying that you're wrong, simply that the way I do things here is that I don't jump to conclusions about teams that get off to hot starts. They have to prove to me that they deserve the hype. A team has to be able to beat Top 25 teams consistently to contend in the Big East, and Syracuse doesn't have a win over a current Top 25 team yet.