Sunday, February 14, 2010

W-4 BP65

Four weeks until Selection Sunday, and the bubble is beginning to shrink dramatically. The next BP65 will be out after Wednesday night's games.

Remember, let's stay civil, and try to keep the discussion positive and intelligent. There's no reason for anybody to get angry at anybody else.

For now, here's how I see things ending up:

1. KANSAS (BIG 12)
1. KENTUCKY (SEC)
1. PURDUE (BIG TEN)
1. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)

2. DUKE (ACC)
2. Syracuse
2. Georgetown
2. GONZAGA (WCC)

3. Kansas State
3. West Virginia
3. Texas
3. Ohio State

4. Wisconsin
4. BUTLER (HORIZON)
4. Michigan State
4. Wake Forest

5. NEW MEXICO (MWC)
5. Pittsburgh
5. Baylor
5. NORTHERN IOWA (MVC)

6. Tennessee
6. BYU
6. Vanderbilt
6. XAVIER (ATLANTIC 10)

7. Missouri
7. Maryland
7. CALIFORNIA (PAC 10)
7. UNLV

8. Illinois
8. Georgia Tech
8. Temple
8. Texas A&M

9. Oklahoma State
9. Clemson
9. Washington
9. Louisville

10. Mississippi
10. Dayton
10. Florida State
10. SIENA (MAAC)

11. Saint Mary's
11. Cincinnati
11. CORNELL (IVY)
11. Florida

12. Minnesota
12. Virginia Tech
12. Richmond
12. MEMPHIS (CONFERENCE USA)

13. OLD DOMINION (COLONIAL)
13. UTAH STATE (WAC)
13. MURRAY STATE (OVC)
13. KENT STATE (MAC)

14. WEBER STATE (BIG SKY)
14. OAKLAND (SUMMIT)
14. PACIFIC (BIG WEST)
14. WOFFORD (SOUTHERN)

15. COASTAL CAROLINA (BIG SOUTH)
15. SAM HOUSTON STATE (SOUTHLAND)
15. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
15. MORGAN STATE (MEAC)

16. WESTERN KENTUCKY (SUN BELT)
16. BELMONT (ATLANTIC SUN)
16. QUINNIPIAC (NORTHEAST)
16. LAFAYETTE (PATRIOT)
16. TEXAS SOUTHERN (SWAC)


Other teams considered, but that just missed the cut:
North Carolina, Charlotte, Rhode Island, UConn, Marquette, UAB, UTEP, San Diego State

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Miami (Fl), Notre Dame, South Florida, Northwestern, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Wichita State, Arizona State, Mississippi State

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Miami (Fl), Virginia, Saint Louis, Seton Hall, Oklahoma, Northeastern, VCU, William & Mary, Marshall, Missouri State, Colorado State, South Carolina, Portland, Louisiana Tech

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
Boston College, NC State, Duquesne, La Salle, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Northern Colorado, Michigan, Colorado, Iowa State, Nebraska, Southern Miss, Wright State, Harvard, Iona, Akron, Illinois State, Indiana State, Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Washington State, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada

68 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Jeff said...

Bad start. Come on, let's behave like adults.

Anonymous said...

I find the seeding difference between Xavier (#6) and Richmond (#12) pretty large. What's the explanation?

Jeff said...

Xavier's resume right now isn't much better than Richmond's, but they are a much better team. They have a far superior PREDICTOR (22nd to 54th) and a far superior Pomeroy rating (20th to 46th). So I think Richmond will not play as well down the stretch as they have so far, and I'm picking Xavier to win the Atlantic Ten tournament. That's why their seeds are so far apart.

Anonymous said...

SDSU is getting in this year...4 years of getting snubbed. Which MWC team you think will have to drop for SDSU to get in? UNLV?

Jeff said...

San Diego State has a great shot of getting in, but the fact that they haven't gotten in during previous years is not a reason why. Besides, they haven't been "snubbed" - they've been very close, but I agreed with the decision to keep them out each time.

And it's unlikely that UNLV misses the Tournament, and it's not that SDSU has to knock out another MWC team anyway. They'd knock somebody else out.

Isabel said...

I love St. Mary's, 2nd favorite team, but I think they're out after losing @ Portland and getting blown out by Gonzaga.

I see you have the pac10 as a two bid league. I think that's right if Cal wins the conference given its high rpi. But do you think UW has done enough on the road (their only win being at Stanford)?

Isabel said...

I thought SDSU got snubbed big time last year. I think they made the Final 4 NIT by beating St. Mary's, another team that got hosed. Funny thing is, St. Mary's was much better last year with Mills healthy and Diamon Simpson than they are this year, very unathletic.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, you are becoming way too sensitive if you find fault with someone noting how ridiculous it is that for the second time you have listed UNC as the first team among those who are not in your bracket. Not only can I not find a single other blogger who lists UNC just on the wrong side of the bubble, I struggle to find another blogger who lists them among the first few out.

RPI: 80
1.5 games over .500
Conference record: 3-7
Record against RPI top 50: 2-8
Away wins against RPI top 100: 0

I know, I know... Your contention is that UNC will do something great to warrant your lofty opinion of them. Riiiiight...

Jeff said...

I'm simply pointing out factual errors. People accusing me of saying that UNC is one of the first teams out of the bracket right now are wrong.


If you ran a blog you would understand how this works. When I differ from conventional wisdom I get people who come on here and tell me I'm an idiot, I'm a joke, etc. Then when I'm proven correct none of those people ever come back and say "Gee, I'm sorry I was an ass, you were right."

I'm still waiting for the Iowa State fans who flamed me to admit I was right about them. Or the Memphis fans who came here by the dozen and told me that anybody who knew anything about college basketball knew they'd be a Top 15 team this year.

Even just the last week or so I've noticed a big drop in the rate of being told I'm an idiot about Rhode Island, or Memphis, or Northeastern, or Miami.

I know that this is how blogs work, that people flame because they're insecure and immature, and not because they actually know anything. But I reserve the right to delete posts that go over the line. It's my show here, and if people don't like it they can go somewhere else.

You can go through this blog and see posts I've left up calling me stupid and all sorts of other names. I think I'm pretty darn tolerant.

Anonymous said...

"I'm simply pointing out factual errors. People accusing me of saying that UNC is one of the first teams out of the bracket right now are wrong."

What am I missing? In your bracke you listed UNC in the group that says just missed the cut. Isn't that what the previous poster stated?

Also, way to go on moving Vandy up, you are moving in the right direction with them. lets get them up to a 5 next week.

Jeff said...

Please read "About the BP65", or else read the intro to this post. This is not where things stand now, but where I think they'll end up.

And it's very unlikely Vandy will move up higher than a 6 - they're not as good as their record. They nearly lost at home to LSU, and are always much better at home than on the road. They'll have at least one more bad loss on the road.

One thing Vandy does really have going for them, however, is that they are likely going to finish 2nd in the SEC East. That means that Kentucky & Tennessee will be on pace to play each other in the SEC tournament semis, and Vandy will have an easy route to the finals.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to respond to Jeff's 2nd to last post. I do a bracketology as well in which I do the same format - predicted end of season bracket instead of the 'as of now' approach. There will be times that people don't agree with some decisions - but they can see the things that go against conventional wisdom happening and the flaming isn't anywhere near what goes on here.

He wants people to admit they were wrong on URI, Memphis, Northeastern, and Miami Fl. Well, the last time I checked - Miami has a projected end of season RPI in the 80s, Northeastern is one of the first 10 teams out on the Dance Card (yet they're # 23 on here, really?), Memphis is the clear #3 in the CUSA, and URI still has a projected RPI in the mid 20s.

The reason you get flamed isn't because you go out on a limb. The reason is because you fall off the tree. UNC has an RPI in the 80s right now (and projected end of season) and the odds of them getting to 7-9 are less than 10%. It's okay to admit a mistake and move on. You look a lot less foolish that way.

Anonymous said...

Old Dominion as a 13 seems like an oversight to me. While the bottom of the CAA drags the league down, I would think the committee will realize there are 6-7 pretty solid teams and reward the league winner with better than a 13. Especially one that has a win @ Georgetown.

Anonymous said...

The still alive, but pretty much need a miracle is a column that you might want to get rid of. Iona...like really dude? They could go on the road, beat Kansas, and still not get an at-large.

Jeff said...

"The reason you get flamed isn't because you go out on a limb. The reason is because you fall off the tree. UNC has an RPI in the 80s right now (and projected end of season) and the odds of them getting to 7-9 are less than 10%. It's okay to admit a mistake and move on. You look a lot less foolish that way."

No, there's no legitimate excuse for anybody to flame. I'm well aware that the only way most people talk on the internet is with dripping arrogance and snark, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate.

And no, I don't go out on a limb, I just actually put thought into this. Any moron can go out and look at the Bracket Matrix, move three or four teams around, and call it their bracket. That takes no skill or knowledge.

I can't see the future, I'm not perfect. But when I'm far off from the Bracket Matrix, I'm right much more often than I'm wrong. And I'm still waiting for the first time somebody comes on and apologizes for flaming, and then admits that I was actually right after all. I think I'll fall out of my chair.

Anonymous said...

Putting UNC as the 1st team out when they have a current and projected RPI in the 80s isn't going out on a limb? My goodness.

Anonymous said...

Vandy can easily get higher than a 6 seed, I don't know why you think its so unlikely. They were missing two of their top 6 against LSU and almost had a letdown game after crushing their big instate rival. Stuff like that happens, and usually the good team wins anyway, which they did. Vandy is still very young and learning every time they take the court. Keep an open mind.

Anonymous said...

It's pointless arguing with him. He'll argue that Vandy deserves to be low because their power numbers aren't great, and then he'll totally contradict himself and put a team with even worse power numbers way ahead of them. That's why people flame you dude - you aren't consistent!!!

Definitely Immoral said...

You're virtually the only bracket in the country that leaves UTEP out. Any particular reason for this?

I know you continue to insist that Memphis will win C-USA -- and that's fine if you want to go out on a limb, as long as you realize that's actually what you're doing. Memphis winning the conference remains a pretty big longshot. They are effectively two games behind UTEP, since UTEP owns all tiebreakers.

Your comment about Memphis being the most talented team in the conference is also way off base. You're looking at the name on the front of their jersey instead of the names on the back. If you ask anyone who's watched a lot of CUSA basketball this year (and by your comment I can only assume that you haven't), you'll find near-absolute unanimity that UTEP is the most talented team in the league. Ask coaches, sportswriters following the league, anybody -- that's what they'll tell you. UTEP has more future pros than Memphis, a more balanced attack, a better record, and a head-to-head victory.

I appreciate that it's hard to get a handle on so many teams and that there is a limit to the number of games one can actually watch. Still, the notion that Memphis has the most talent in CUSA is so laughable as to encourage doubts about your credibility. They had the most talent last year, and they'll have the most talent again next year. But this year? Not even close.

Definitely Immoral said...

You know, Jeff, I misread your statement about Memphis -- you weren't saying they would win the league title, you were saying they would win the tournament. That's a more reasonable statement than thinking they'll win the league -- but the part about them having the most talent still strains credibility.

I still think Memphis is the third-likeliest team to win the CUSA tournament, after the most talented team (UTEP) and the home team (Tulsa).

Justin said...

What run do you see Minnesota making that justifies them being in the bracket? Right now they aren't even close - ugly recent losses, terrible RPI and only a couple good wins. They'll be lucky to get .500 in conference.

Also surprised VT isn't higher than 12 - they're going to be fighting it out for the top of the ACC this week and if they continue being perfect at home will add several more top 50 wins. Pretty much every predictor has them getting 10 or 11 ACC wins, not counting the ACC tournament.

Jeff said...

The Sagarin PREDICTOR is the best objective predictor of future performance, and here's how it ranks Conference USA right now:

41. UTEP
44. Memphis
61. UAB
62. Tulsa
72. Marshall
87. Houston


Keep in mind that Memphis just got Angel Garcia back, and he had his first real impact on a game in his last performance. If he can play like that every game then that gives a big increase in depth to the team, and when you throw in the psychological benefit of having won the conference in recent years... I think Memphis is the favorite.

Obviously UTEP is the heavy favorite to win the regular season title for the reasons you mentioned.


And as for the question about Virginia Tech, they just remind way too many people of the 2008-09 Penn State team right now. If they go 9-7 they probably miss the NCAA Tournament altogether.

This isn't how I think things should end up, but where I think they will. And while I would give Va Tech an 8 or 9 seed, the Selection Committee tends to punish teams with really weak schedules.

Even though it might be unfair in individual cases, I respect the result, which is to encourage teams to make tough schedules. We don't want our sport to turn into college football, where teams are rewarded for putting together the easiest possible schedule.

Anonymous said...

Temple being an 8 seed is a joke. Borderline picture perfect resume and you don't reward them at all. Must be a closet Vilecat or St. Blow's fan.

Anonymous said...

So in other words you like Memphis because they have the 2nd best sagarin predictor behind UTEP, plus UTEP is ahead in every other category. Sweet logic dude.

The Penn St./Virginia Tech comparison is not a good one. The reason Penn St. didn't get in was because their RPI was around 70. The cutoff there is 60, and maybe 65 if you have something really good. Va Tech has a projected top 50 RPI. They're in, and they will be in the 8/9 range.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Temple as an 8 is pretty harsh. Top 20 projected RPI, plus they will likely win or share the A10 regular season title. With a win over Villanova, there's really no way they would be that low.

Anonymous said...
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Jeff said...

Guys, RPI doesn't mean anything. Nobody cares about the RPI anymore, and the Selection Committee does not take it into account (other than to look at things like "Record vs RPI Top 50"). A team's projected RPI doesn't mean anything. Teams with RPIs in the 20s miss out of the Tournament almost every single year, and teams with RPIs in the 60s get in almost every single year.

If there's one thing you learn in your time on this blog, I hope it's that.

Anonymous said...

You got drilled for leaving Purdue as a Number 1 seed and winning the Big Ten a few weeks back. Whether it happens or not, I don't know, but you have to be feeling good about that one right now!

Anonymous said...

RPI doesn't matter? Okay, let's do a breakdown of teams that got seeded higher/lower on the bracket matrix average last season.

Syracuse: Avg. 4 Seed, Actual 3 - Had an RPI of 12 (translates to a 3)

Wake Forest: Avg. 3 Seed, Actual 4 - Had an RPI of 16 (translates to a 4)

Purdue: Avg. 4 Seed, Actual 5 - Had an RPI of 20 (translates to a 5)

Utah: Avg. 6 Seed, Actual 5 - Had an RPI of 9 (translates to a 3)

UCLA: Avg. 5 Seed, Actual 6 - Had an RPI of 33 (translates to a 9)

Clemson: Avg. 6 Seed, Actual 7 - Had an RPI of 28 (translates to a 7)

Ohio St.: Avg. 7 Seed, Actual 8 - Had an RPI of 32 (translates to an 8)

LSU: Avg. 7 Seed, Actual 8 - Had an RPI of 37 (translates to a 10)

Siena: Avg. 10 Seed, Actual 9 - Had an RPI of 18 (translates to a 5)

Michigan: Avg. 9 Seed, Actual 10 - Had an RPI of 44 (translates to an 11)

Temple: Avg. 12 Seed, Actual 11 - Had an RPI of 30 (translates to an 8)

Wisconsin: Avg. 10 Seed, Actual 12 - Had an RPI of 45 (translates to a 12)

See a pattern? I sure do - one that says that RPI ABSOLUTELY has a partial factor into a team's seed.

Anonymous said...

We're not arguing about Temple being left out are we? The point is, a team with a current #14 RPI, projected top 21 RPI, who is going to win/share the best non BCS regular season title, who has a win over a likely 1 seed has 0% chance at getting an 8 seed or worse. Wake up!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Purdue is still going to have a tough time getting a one. They would have to win the Big Ten tourney just for a shot. Has anyone with an RPI of 10 or worse ever received a 1 seed?

Jeff said...

And last year Siena had an RPI of 17th and got a 9 seed... RPI does not matter. It just doesn't.

The Atlantic Ten and Mountain West are pretty even. Sagarin has the MWC slightly ahead in one metric, and the A-10 slightly ahead in the other. Pomeroy has the MWC ahead, and the RPI has the A-10 ahead. And let's keep in mind that both Pomeroy & Sagarin put the Pac-10 ahead of both of them. Would you say that there's a zero percent chance of California getting an 8 or worse because of winning a conference that's better than the A-10 or MWC?


Let's not get into extremes, okay guys? There's not even a zero percent chance of Temple missing the NCAA Tournament altogether. The A-10 will likely get 3 or 4 teams in, but not ONE team from that conference has completely locked up a bid yet. Any of them could go into a tailspin and find themselves in the NIT.

A lot of weird stuff might happen, so let's keep that in mind before calling each other idiots, okay?

Jeff said...

Yes, obviously winning the Big Ten tournament will be difficult. But Purdue is the favorite in my mind... doesn't mean they couldn't easily lose to Michigan State, Ohio State or Wisconsin.

And while I can't recall a team with an RPI outside of 10th getting a 1 seed, Purdue's RPI is already up to 10th. Assuming they finish where I think they'll finish (with at least a share of the Big Ten title) and then win the Big Ten tournament, there's no chance their RPI won't be in the Top Ten.

Besides, Purdue's ELO_CHESS, the superior metric to the RPI, already has them up to 6th.

Anonymous said...

They are projected #10 even at 25-5 (13-5).

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point. Yes, Siena had an RPI of 18, but the bracket matrix average had them as a 10 seed and they got a 9. That means they were underseeded, and people mistakenly ignored their RPI which got them higher than most expected.

Anonymous said...

So in other words, if you're projecting Temple as an 8 seed you have them finishing the regular season at 23-8 (11-5) and only winning one game (if that) in the A10 tourney? That's what would have to happen for them to get an 8 or worse. NIT? lolol

Jeff said...

"You're missing the point. Yes, Siena had an RPI of 18, but the bracket matrix average had them as a 10 seed and they got a 9. That means they were underseeded, and people mistakenly ignored their RPI which got them higher than most expected."

Not only is this false, but this is a bizarre argument. I can find teams where the BracketMatrix had them overranked, and they had RPIs that were higher than their final seed, or vice versa. The fact that one team was underranked by one seed and also had a high RPI doesn't a priori infer that the RPI was the reason they were rated one line higher.

And besides, as a rule of thumb, you should understand that one line up or down in the final bracket doesn't mean anything. The Selection Committee first ranks the field from 1 to 65, but then moves teams around for geographic reasons, to keep teams from the same conference from playing each other before the Elite 8, etc. They are allowed to move a team up or down one full seed during this process. Several teams each year are indeed moved up or down one seed because of this. So you can never make judgments about a team based on one line here or there, because of that. For all we know, Siena was rated 40th by the Selection Committee, but moved up to a 9 seed to keep two teams from the same conference from playing each other in the 2nd round.

Anonymous said...

Not only is it true, but it's a great argument. Sure, you will find some that go against it. But you won't find as many as the 12 examples I pointed out. RPI definitely factors in, and if you disagree, you're kidding yourself.

goroshnik said...

So there's an NCAA team out there who's 14-10 with an RPI of 82, losers of 6 of their last 8 games, just 3-8 vs. the RPI top 100, just 2-6 in true road games, they're in 7th place in their conference...

... and they're currently in your bracket.

Unless you've got a magic crystal ball that can see if Minnesota wins 5 out of 6 to close out the regular season, there's simply no way that the Gophers belong on anyone's bracket right now. Sure, they've got 4 of 6 at home to close it out, but considering they just lost at home to Michigan, I don't see how they'd be able to knock off both Wisconsin and Purdue at home in the coming weeks.

Should Minnesota somehow go on a three-game win streak at home soon, only then can you even try with a straight face to put the Gophers into the field.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were talking about UNC at first! lol

Yeah, having Minnesota in is pretty ridiculous, which I of course covered earlier.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to post a comment from what I've my friends because I thought he put it well. This is in response to you having Northeastern as the 23rd team out, and UTEP as the 7th team out behind (gulp) UNC and UConn.

If you don't think winning the regular season title of a league with 5 top 100 RPI teams outright (they are certainly headed there) is a good profile and basically a guarantee of an at-large bid, then you are focusing on the raw metrics too much.

Ìts not only the metrics, but the other key quantitative things the committee has relied upon OVER and OVER. Understanding what the committee has historically done is the other key basis for selecting teams beyond the basic metrics, and that is what most of you do not get here.

Why do you think teams like UTEP and Northeastern are nearly in the NCAA tournament per RPIForecast`s dance card approach? It is due to the fact that the committee always rewards the regular season champion of a leauge with a handful of top 100 teams, and that has been built into the dance card.

Jeff said...

I've repeated many, many times. Please read "About The BP65" before you attack me. I do not have UTEP 7th out or Northeastern 23rd out. Nor am I saying that Northeastern has a better resume than North Carolina.

It's wise to know what you're talking about before you attack people. It keeps you from looking silly.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, can you please explain how Minnesota is in your bracket, even after their loss against northwestern?

Anonymous said...

Keeps me from looking silly? I'm not the one with Minnesota in my bracket, buddy.

Jeff said...

Please look at the time stamp on this bracket. Minnesota's collapse against Northwestern came almost 24 hours later.

Anonymous said...

There chances were pretty small regardless of a win over Northwestern.

Ken Miller said...

Jeff, I see that you are sticking with Purdue getting a top seed, based on the assumption that they end up winning their conference tournament. With how murky things have gotten in the Big 10, and knowing how these major-conference tournaments can go, it's pretty easy to picture OSU or MSU walking away with both the regular season title and conference tourney title. In that case, could OSU or MSU stumble into in a 1 seed, or more likely will all three teams then land in the 2-5 seed range?

Jeff said...

It's unlikely that Michigan State or Ohio State will get a 1 seed even if they win the Big Ten tournament. Both teams would probably have to win out and then get some help from the other top teams.

One bad loss each this week by Nova and 'Cuse helps, but they need more than that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

In reading your blog, I see that you emphasize Sagarin's predictor. With that emphasis, shouldn't Cal be a little bit higher than a 7 seed, especially considering the injuries they had earlier in the year?

Also, shouldn't St. Mary's be out now given their poor predictor?

Thanks.

Jeff said...

"Hi Jeff,

In reading your blog, I see that you emphasize Sagarin's predictor. With that emphasis, shouldn't Cal be a little bit higher than a 7 seed, especially considering the injuries they had earlier in the year?

Also, shouldn't St. Mary's be out now given their poor predictor?

Thanks."


It's important to remember what the PREDICTOR is. It's a predictor of future performance. It tells you how good a team is. But the Selection Committee doesn't judge how good teams are, it judges how good their resumes are. Often times we see teams that just aren't very good ending up with good resumes because of a lot of close victories.

So what I try to do is balance the two. In the end it's the Sagarin ELO_CHESS that is the best objective predictor of seed... on Selection Sunday. So I try to use metrics like the PREDICTOR, Pomeroy and my own experiences watching the team to guesstimate where each team's ELO_CHESS will end up.

Cal and St. Mary's happen to be teams where the ELO_CHESS and PREDICTOR are out of whack, and on average those two metrics will close on each other as the season goes along. I have Cal rated higher than most brackets in the Bracket Matrix (and have gotten criticism for that) for that reason: I recognize that they're better than their current record, and will likely improve their resume down the stretch. But on Selection Sunday their PREDICTOR could be 10th, but if their ELO_CHESS is still 40th then they're not getting a good seed.

After Selection Sunday I'll talk about that with respect to which teams you should pick in your brackets. Teams with PREDICTORs out of whack with their ELO_CHESS ratings are the best teams to bet on/against. You can go through my analysis of this from the past few years to see how successful that analysis has been in picking first & second round games.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff. Also, I wonder how much the "eyeball" test comes into play. I watched both St. Mary's games last weekend, and they just don't look like a tourney team. Against Gonzaga, they're obviously overmatched at every position except center (Samhan). Against Portland, once Samhan fouled out, they were toast. I also watched both UW games, and I think UW would thump Gonzaga.

Jeff said...

I think you're right, and if St. Mary's gets in then I'm probably going to recommend betting against them in round 1 (obviously that could depend on their opponent).

But the thing to keep in mind is that the remaining St. Mary's remaining schedule is really, really easy. Their next tough game will probably be against Portland in the WCC semifinals. If they win that game also and then lose to Gonzaga in the finals then that means they end up 26-6. I'm fairly certain that no team out of an RPI Top 15 conference has ever won 26 games and not made the Tournament.

I don't necessarily think St. Mary's deserves to get in, but unless they blow an easy game, or fall to Portland in the WCC tournament, I think they'll end up in.

Anonymous said...

I've never criticized you for having Cal high. I have them as a seven, also.

As far as St. Mary's goes, I can assure you that if you they do get in the tourney, they are going to be a 5/6 seed's nightmare. Samhan is playing as well as anyone in the country, and their other four starters are all shooting at least 36% from deep. If they make it in, that's a team you want to bet ON, not against.

Anonymous said...

St. Mary's does not play good D at all. Their best defender is out for the year. On offense, they will struggle with any team who has decently athletic perimeter players--see SC and Gonzaga. Samhan's great but the guards get stuffed after they cross half court.

Old Prospector said...

So, using your rationale, since Kentucky lost at South Carolina, a place where Vanderbilt won easily, and Kentucky only beat UT by 11 at home, where Vandy beat them by 19, shouldn't Kentucky be "not as good as their record indicates"?

Jeff said...

Anonymous: You are correct about the St. Mary's defense. Pomeroy rates their defensive efficiency 107th in the nation, which would be one of the worst in the NCAA Tournament. Pomeroy also says that Samhan ends 30.6% of his team's possessions when on the floor, which is the 34th most of any player in the nation, so it's clear that it's a totally different team if you can force the ball out of his hands.

And Old Prospector, the transitive properties of "Team A beat Team B, and then Team B beat Team C" never mean anything. But despite that, you are correct that Kentucky is not as good as people think they are. Both Sagarin and Pomeroy rate them as only the 9th best team in the country. They have played a weak schedule, and also won an inordinate percentage of their close games (they are 5-0 in games decided by five points or less or in overtime). Their Pomeroy Luck rating of 38th is the highest of any team in the Pomeroy Top 25.

When you also throw in the fact that Kentucky will not be as battle-hardened because their players have played a weak schedule and have had a lot of blowouts, and (other than Patrick Paterson) do not have years of experience to fall back on, I'm very down on Kentucky's Final Four chances. They'll need an easy draw to get there.

Anonymous said...

Just because they don't play good D doesn't mean that they wouldn't be a scary matchup for a 5 or a 6 seed in the first round. Let's not overlook that they're the only team to go into Utah St. (20-6, 10-2 WAC) and win this season. I'm not saying they're going to make the Elite 8 or anything, but if they get to play someone like A&M or Temple right away, that's a pretty easy upset pick.

Anonymous said...

Tendencies of high seeds to go to Sweet 16:

Be efficient on one side of the ball. St. Mary's check - offense

Be able to score efficiently inside. St. Mary's check - Samhan

Relies on shooting most of their shots from either inside or outside. St. Mary's check - Lots of threes.

Writing them off is just silly. First, they need to make it in. Funny enough - a lot of people would peg Cornell for this tag, yet their defense is just as bad and they can't score inside.

Anonymous said...

UNC now 3-8 in ACC play...1st team out? lolol...they aren't even going to make the NIT!

Jeff said...

It's bad enough when people flame. It's even worse when they clearly haven't even bothered to learn what the BP65 is and how teams are listed...

Anonymous said...

Ummm...the point is, they should be in that pointless column you have of: still alive, but pretty much need a miracle.

Anonymous said...

The Spiders as a 12 seed??? Are you saying they will be the last team in? Seems with their likely record and RPI, they will be more like a 9-10 seed at worse.

Anonymous said...

St. Mary's is not "efficient" on offense when they play a team with good defense. Their guards are physically overmatched, which is why Gonzaga thumps them with regularity.

Anonymous said...

St. Mary's is not "efficient" on offense when they play a team with good defense. Their guards are physically overmatched, which is why Gonzaga thumps them with regularity.

Anonymous said...

If you have five starters, four of which are shooting 36% or better from deep, with the other being a 6-11 center averaging 22 and 11, how are you not efficient on offense? Their first meeting with Gonzaga, they shot 48% from the field and were 8-20 from deep. If you think the Zags won that game because St. Mary's wasn't efficient offensively, I'd recommend taking up another sport.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with the Richmond comment. They are more like a 9 seed than a 12. You have them behind Cincinnati...seriously?