Sunday, February 07, 2010

W-5 BP65

Five weeks until Selection Sunday. At this point in the year I start putting brackets out twice weekly. The next bracket will be out at the conclusion of Wednesday night's games.

For the time being, here's how I see things ending up:

1. KANSAS (BIG 12)

2. Syracuse
2. Georgetown

3. Texas
3. West Virginia
3. Michigan State
3. Kansas State

4. Wisconsin
4. Ohio State

5. Tennessee
5. Georgia Tech
5. Missouri
5. Pittsburgh

6. Wake Forest
6. Clemson

7. Baylor
7. BYU
7. Washington

8. Maryland
8. Vanderbilt
8. North Carolina
8. Xavier

9. Mississippi
9. Oklahoma State
9. Texas A&M

10. Louisville
10. Florida
10. Cincinnati
10. UConn

11. Illinois
11. Florida State

12. Minnesota
12. Saint Mary's
12. Dayton





Other teams considered, but that just missed the cut:
Virginia Tech, Richmond, Rhode Island, Notre Dame, Northwestern, UAB, UTEP, Wichita State, San Diego State, Arizona State, Mississippi State

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Miami (Fl), Charlotte, Marquette, South Florida, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, VCU, Tulsa, Arizona, South Carolina, Louisiana Tech

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Boston College, NC State, Virginia, Seton Hall, Iowa State, Northeastern, William & Mary, Marshall, Iona, Missouri State, Washington State, Portland

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
Duquesne, La Salle, George Washington, Saint Louis, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Northern Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Colorado, Nebraska, George Mason, Southern Miss, Wright State, Harvard, Akron, Bradley, Illinois State, Indiana State, Southern Illinois, Colorado State, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Nevada


Anonymous said...

Okay, in all honesty, how can a North Carolina team that is 13-9 be in the tournament but an 18-4 Virginia Tech team just missed the cut?

DMoore said...

Duke = 2 seed
UNC = 8 seed

Dude, I don't think that's possible. For UNC to get an 8 seed means they have to virtually run the table, which means that the other teams have to lose.

Anonymous said...

how do you have Washington so high, they are struggling in a terrible pac 10. they've played well lately, but they are probably going to have to win the pac 10 tournament to even get in

Anonymous said...

Plus, I forgot to say that UW has not won on the road

Anonymous said...

Washington is not going to get a single-digit seed unless they get to 11 conference wins AND win the Pac 10 tournament. Right now they are 0-6 in road/neutral games, and that could easily become 0-8 with games at the Bay Area schools this week. Arizona managed to get in with a similar resume and a 2-9 road/neutral record last year, but they were a 12 seed, nowhere close to a 7.

DMoore said...

Also, Maryland will finish with a higher seed than Clemson, and both Maryland and Wake Forest will finish with a higher seed than Georgia Tech. Clemson will need time to get Demontez Stitt healthy and playing well again, and they struggled when he was out injured.

Georgia Tech is very talented, but they are just not experienced enough and consistent enough. Both Maryland and Wake have strong senior leadership, and do a much better job of closing out tough games.

Anonymous said...

UNC isn't even close to the bubble.

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Jeff said...

Guys, I appreciate constructive criticism. And you're allowed to call me a moron. But there's a line, and when you cross it I will delete your posts.

Jeff said...

Now, we've already beat this North Carolina issue to death, and I've made my points and if people still disagree then fine, you're right, I don't watch college basketball and have no idea and this whole bracket was a joke intended to make people angry.

I'd rather talk about Washington because I haven't talked about them in a little while. I think that last year's Arizona comparison is a good one, because I think this year's Washington team has the better resume, which is why I put them a little bit ahead of last year's Arizona team, which got a 12 seed.

Washington has not won on the road in conference yet, but they still have yet to play the three easiest road games (Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State). I think they'll finish at least 10-8, and 11-7 is much more likely than 9-9. Arizona finished 9-9 last season, which is probably slightly better than a 10-8 record this season when you consider how much better the conference was last season.

But here's a stat for you: Arizona entered Selection Sunday last season with a record of 9-13 against the RPI Top 100. Washington is currently 7-5. Let's also recall that Arizona had a clunker of a Pac-10 tournament, going out in the first round. I think Washington will make it to the Pac-10 finals. The Selection Committee always emphasizes strong finishes.

So assuming Washington gets to 10-8 or 11-7 and then plays well in the Pac-10 tournament, they should get in and they should be a better seed than Arizona was last season. Maybe they won't get a 7, maybe they'll get an 8 or a 9. But I don't think I'm too far out of the ballpark.

Of course, Washington could also end the season in a slump. But from how I've seen them play, they're better than their current record. They're a very good team.

Anonymous said...

I won't argue against Washington being in - but a 7 is a bit much. The Arizona comparison isn't really a good one because they beat Gonzaga (4 seed) and Kansas (3 seed) OOC while the Huskies only beat Texas A&M (who will likely be in the 7-8 seed range).

Besides that, you continue to leave URI out and using their bad computer numbers as the argument against them makes no sense when you have UNC as an 8.

It's time to take UConn out as well. 4-6 in conference and they still have five road games left including ones @ Cuse and @ Nova. I can understand being a little against the norm and putting Nova or Kentucky as a 2, but Syracuse? It just doesn't make any sense.

Honestly, there are so many mistakes with this bracket that it's tough to know exactly where to start. It's basically a bracket that is done more so to be purposely bad to stir up discussion, rather than to post anything realistic.


Anonymous said...

ummm…jeff…wat about northwestern??? If this is on how you predict things to pan out, wouldn't northwestern be in?? they are 16-7, 5-6 in the big ten. their remaining schedule is indiana, 2 vs. iowa, 2 vs. Penn State, chicago st, minnesota, and wisconsin. They should win at least 6 of these next 8…so how wouldn't they make it! assuming this all happens, northwestern would be 22-9, 10-8 in the big ten with wins over purdue, notre dame, illinois, iowa state, and nc state!!!!! So...

Anonymous said...

Northwestern? Really? They would have to go 24-7 just to have a top 65 RPI. When you schedule incredibly weak OOC and have one top 50 win, you don't get an at-large.


DMoore said...

I understand we've beaten the UNC issue to death, but I think I was making a different point here. If you're predicting Carolina will end up as an 8 seed, then they will need big wins to pull that off. To get to that point, I think they have to sweep Duke, which I think would pull them down from a 2 seed. A lot of folks have them as a borderline 2 at this point, so they will need to do well for the rest of the season to solidify that.

I think the UConn prediction of an 8 seed is interesting. With a strong finish, they could pull that off. Their schedule strength is great, and they have some big wins, but they also have some ugly losses they need to compensate for. But, they haven't looked that good lately. Is Calhoun back?

I have trouble seeing Gonzaga finishing as a 2 seed. I assume the prediction is based on their winning out, including the conference tourney. That would leave them at 29-4(?), but only 1-2 against a likely top 25 and maybe 4-3 against the top 50. That doesn't look quite strong enough for that seed to me. I would suspect that either Michigan State, Wisconsin or Texas will finish strong and take that seed. I would guess it'll be Wisconsin, as all their toughest games are behind them, with road games at Minnesota and Illinois being the biggest hurdles.

One thing you mentioned is that the selection committee has always emphasized a strong finish. I had thought that this year they said that would not be a factor in their decisions. I'm not 100% certain, but I thought I had heard that. If anyone has confirmation either way, I'd like to know.

Jeff said...

The Selection Committee often says things that we don't see in the results. For example, they claim that they don't care about the names on the uniforms, but we all know that's not true. You'll never see a school like Kentucky or North Carolina be the first team out of the bracket.

Another thing that they always say is that they don't take into account the conference of the teams, or the number of teams from each conference, and that also has been belied by what I've seen in recent years.

Maybe the Selection Committee really will not emphasize late games this season. But until they actually do it, I'm not going to believe it. I'm going into this year's Selection Sunday assuming that they will emphasize late games more than early games.

And besides, this is one thing that I do agree with. You want the best teams in the Tournament. If two teams have equal resumes, but one had their best wins in November, and the other has improved throughout the season, I'd rather see the latter team in the Tournament. I think the Selection Committee agrees with me.

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Jeff said...

By the way, DMoore, I do agree with your point about Gonzaga's problem with a lack of good wins. I talked about that very issue on Saturday, during this post.

Gonzaga is one of those situations where I think there is a lower than 50% chance of them getting a 2 seed, but still give them a better chance than the teams I gave a 3 or a 4.

As you said, if teams like Texas or Wisconsin or Michigan State finish strong then they will probably get the 2 seed over Gonzaga because they have many more Top 25 wins. But they have to do that, and there's no guarantee. We can pretty much pencil Gonzaga in to wins in every remaining game, so we know that they'll have an imposing record and that they'll be in a serious discussion for a 2 seed. That's why I have them in that slot for now.

But if one of those teams from a BCS conference currently with a 3 or 4 seed goes on a roll and wins a bunch of straight games, they will easily knock Gonzaga out of that spot and into a 3 seed.

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Jeff said...

To the moron littering this post with angry attacks: if you don't stop I will be forced to turn on comment moderation, which means that I will need to personally approve every post comment. That means comments won't immediately appear after they've been typed.

I don't want to do that, and I've only had to do it twice before with very abusive posters. Don't make me do it because of you.

If you have a criticism then make it with facts, and with the maturity of an adult. Otherwise stop posting.

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Zach said...

I respect your decisions, but to leave Rhode Island out is absolutely ridiculous. They are in every single bracket except for yours and average a 7 seed in the brackets they are in ( only losses this year are @ Xavier, @ VCU, and against Temple

They have wins over Oklahoma St., Northeastern, broke Daytons 32 game home win streak, @ Boston College, vs. PC, @ Akron and so on and so on...

19-3, RPI of 12, 7-2 in the Atlantic 10 and you still don't have them in your bracket? You have Dayton in with a worse RPI, worse A10 record, worse Away/Neutral Record AND URI beat them @ Dayton! How can that make any sense whatsoever?

Please try and explain your Rhode Island ommision


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Anonymous said...

Another quietly ridiculous notion is that he has Memphis in as the representative of the Conference USA when they have the 4th best conference RPI, 4th best conference record, 3rd best Sagarin ranking, 2nd best Pomeroy ranking. They aren't 1st in one of those categories! How in the world can they be the representative? Mind boggling.


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Jeff said...

Zach, the answer is that this is not a "Where things are now" bracket. This is a "Where I think things will end up" bracket. You are correct that if the season ended now Rhode Island would be in. There's no question about it, and nobody who watches college basketball closely disagrees. Not only would they be in, but they'd earn a seed in the 5-8 range.

The reason I'm holding Rhode Island out for the time being is because of a really tough upcoming stretch, and the fact that they're not nearly as good as their record. They are due for some close losses (they're currently 7-2 in games decided by five points or less).

If they can finish the season 12-4 in the A-10 then they'll make the Tournament. If they go 11-5 then it will come down to how they play in the A-10 tournament.

I've seen Rhode Island play live this season, and enjoyed their fans. I am by no means a hater.

goroshnik said...

I think I've figured you out... the longer you keep UNC in and URI out, the longer you'll get hits on your site here, and the more publicity you end up getting.

Whenever you decide to drop UNC, say goodbye to the crowds you've been gathering here.

2-7 against the RPI top 50, a tumbling #79 RPI, another double-digit loss on the road yesterday, just 1-6 in true road games, now sitting in TENTH place in the ACC...

But go ahead and continue your charade. Hey, it's good for your blog, right?

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Jeff said...

I'm going to post this same thing in the comments of two different blog posts:

To the poster who has been launching abusive attacks repeatedly, and had over a dozen of his posts deleted in the last 24 hours, this is your last chance to stop or I turn on comment moderation.

Comment moderation will only be temporary (until you stop littering this blog with your posts), but it hurts everybody while it's active. Don't ruin things for everybody just because you can't control yourself. Stop posting.

This is my last warning.

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Anonymous said...

How can you justify Purdue over Syracuse for #1 seed?

A three loss Purdue team that has lost to Northwestern vs. a one loss Cuse team that is 1st in the Big East.

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Jeff said...

I'm sorry everybody, but comment moderation has been turned on due to the abusive behavior of one individual. This means that anytime you post a comment it will not immediately show up, as I will have to approve it.

There are two silver linings. One is that you should expect your comment to be approved quickly. I have only had to delete comments from one person today, and everybody else has been allowed to keep their comments up. You can criticize me and tell me that I'm a moron, but there are limits that only one person has so far crossed. I will try as hard as I can to check every few minutes this evening to make sure that your comment goes up quickly.

As soon as I'm convinced that the bad behavior has stopped from that one poster, comment moderation will be turned off. I don't like it any more than any of you do. This is just a temporary measure.

Again, I apologize.

Jeff said...

As for the poster asking about Purdue, the answer is that this is a projection of where things will end up. You can tell which teams I project to win the conference tournaments by which teams are in capital letters.

I think Purdue will win the Big Ten conference tournament, and will lose at most one more game between now and Selection Sunday. I expect Syracuse to lose probably two more times in the regular season, and again in the Big East tournament.

That is why I give Purdue the edge right now. But as I've said in several other posts, if Syracuse can win at least a share of the Big East regular season and then wins the Big East tournament title then they will more than likely get a 1 seed.

I do agree that at the moment Syracuse has the better resume than Purdue, and would be seeded higher if the season ended now.

Anonymous said...

How do you justify Memphis in as the representative of the Conference USA?

Jeff said...

I've talked about Memphis a few times. If you click here then you can read my most recent posts about them.

My argument boils down to a few things:

First of all, Memphis is arguably just the best team in the conference. Sagarin and Pomeroy keep moving the numbers around, and right now have UTEP slightly ahead of Memphis, but it's been close the whole way. In terms of pure physical talent, I think you have to give Memphis the edge.

And second, I think Memphis has the huge psychological edge from their domination in recent years, and the fact that they probably have the best player.

I do agree that UTEP and UAB both have clearly better at-large resumes right now, and are likely to finish the season with better at-large resumes. But I still give Memphis the edge in the conference tournament itself.

Anonymous said...

So you like Memphis because they have good Sag/Pom numbers, because of their physical talent, because of what they've done in prior years, and because Elliot Williams is the best player? Let's break that down:

First off, what does it matter how good Memphis has been in the past? This is a new year with a new coach, and last time I checked, this team doesn't have Evans, Rose, or Douglas-Roberts.

As far as Sag/Pom numbers go, UTEP is better in both.

As far as Williams goes, he's a beast no doubt, but there is no I in team, and if there was, I'd probably be picking Houston because of Coleman. And this team doesn't play defense like they did under Calipari.

As far as pure physical talent goes, you have to like UTEP with Caracter, Moultrie, Williams, etc.

It looks to me like if you break it down, Memphis would probably be the 3rd choice at best. Are you going against the norm to be different? Sometimes it's okay to go with the grain.

Jeff said...

As I said, Sagarin and Pomeroy have been going back and forth on UTEP and Memphis. At the moment they both have UTEP slightly ahead, but they both had Memphis ahead a couple of days ago and things could easily switch again over the next few days. And I also said that I think Memphis has the most total talent. They have a coach who is very raw and is still really learning how to manage a game, and I do think that they've shown improvement throughout the season as he's learned better how to manage his guys.

And the domination of Memphis in recent years does matter. Most of their players have experienced winning at that level, and none of the players on other C-USA contenders have.

I don't know how you can say that they are "at best" the third option. They may have the third best resume right now, but there's more to winning conference tournaments than having the best at-large resume coming in.

Anonymous said...

Consideration OOC the best they beat was IUPUI and they lost to UMass, it's pretty easy to see why they would be the 3rd option at best.

Best talent doesn't necessarily win you games. If that was the case, Wisconsin would win 10 games every year.

And if you're going to rely so much on Sag/Pom, maybe as their rankings change, you should change too. Memphis dropped because they lost by eight as a five point favorite.

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot. Syracuse is a number 1 seed. We are ahead of Villanova, we've got the best record in the country, and the #2 RPI. We have the most top 100 RPI wins. We are undefeated on the road, and have the best road win against West Virginia.

Jeff said...

As to the Memphis poster, I do not just regurgitate the Sagarin/Pomeroy ratings. Just using them as part of my argument.

And I never buy that "Wisconsin has no talent and would only win ten games a year if talent was all that mattered" argument. Yes, they have a great coach and system, but they also have really talented players. Jordan Taylor would start for most Big Ten teams, yet when the team is entirely healthy he has to come off the bench. Just two or three years ago they had a player who finished second in the nation in Player of the Year voting. And they have had multiple quality NBA players in recent years (Michael Finley, Devin Harris, etc). They have talent.

Jeff said...

And to the Syracuse poster, it doesn't make me a moron to think that Villanova is going to win the Big East tournament over Syracuse.

Are you watching Villanova handing it to West Virginia on the road right now? I don't think I'm that far out on a limb to project them to beat Syracuse on a neutral floor.

Anonymous said...

I think you're focus is WAY to much on who you think is going to win the conference tournaments. Basically you're saying with a lot of your rankings that, 'I think team X is going to win their tourney so I'm going to rank them a few spots higher than anyone else.' When in all reality, even the best teams are probably 30-40% to win their conference tournament.

That's a very dangerous way to do these brackets. The conference tournaments can turn out to be a guessing game - a 9-9 team won the Pac 10 last year, UNC got beat in their 2nd game, Michigan St. lost in the 2nd round, etc.

Anonymous said...

Syracuse is absolutely a #1 seed. You don't have to win your conference tournament to get a #1 seed.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that Syracuse has been there, done that. We beat West Virginia already in West Virginia. Villanova hasn't won the Big East tournament in 15 years and that was their only 'ship. Syracuse still has players that were part of the 2006 tournament win, Onuaku and Rautins. Heck, we were in the finals last year.

And if you know anything about the Big East, you know that Syracuse never plays a neutral game against anyone in Madison Square Garden.

Not to mention that 25 days before we play Villanova in Syracuse, we sold out that game and shattered the on campus record for attendance at 34,616.

Jeff said...

To the argument about the conference tournaments, the fact is that these are projections, and I've got to project somebody to win each conference tournament. And we know from seasons past that the Selection Committee weighs conference tournament performances heavily. We've seen teams come out of nowhere to grab 1 seeds by winning their tournaments, or go from obvious #1 teams in the country to 2 seeds in the NCAA Tournament by losing early in their conference tournaments.

It's very unlikely that the Big East will get two 1 seeds, so the Big East team you're giving a 1 seed to has to be the team you expect to win the Big East tournament. I'm picking Villanova. Certainly other people can pick Syracuse. I don't think either choice makes somebody stupid.

Jeff said...

Syracuse has played well in the Big East tournament, but I wouldn't say that you'd call them the "home" team in Madison Square Garden. No team has been better in the Big East tournament relative to their regular season performances than Pittsburgh. If I'm going to give historical benefit of the doubt to a team in this year's Big East tournament, I'd give it to Pitt.

And you're right that a team doesn't have to win their conference tournament to get a 1 seed, but Syracuse would basically have to win out to get a 1 seed without winning the Big East tournament. It's possible, but I certainly wouldn't bet on it.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying a 28-3 Syracuse team that makes at least the semi's but doesn't win it, is not getting a 1 seed? Riiight.

Jeff said...

They might, they might not. It depends on what happens with teams like Purdue, Wisconsin, Villanova and Kentucky. What happens if Purdue or Wisconsin and Kentucky both win out and win their conference tournaments, and then Villanova wins the Big East regular season and tournament titles? Those teams would get 1 seeds over a Syracuse team that goes 28-3 and then loses in the Big East semis.

If you don't mind, I'll post a comment by another Syracuse fan on the Syracuse message board that you came from: "Anyone who thinks we can't fall to a 2 seed (or worse) is seriously demented."

Chris said...

Still shaking my head in disbelief that URI isn't on your board.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say they couldn't fall to a two seed. I just said I wouldn't predict for it to happen. Basically you're saying like five different things need to happen for Syracuse to be a 2. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

If UTEP goes 13-3 and wins the CUSA regular season, do they get an at-large?

Questionable Picks said...

You've been underrating Syracuse and overrating UNC since the season started.

Purdue as a #1 seed over Syracuse is ridiculous. And justifying it by predicting that Villanova will beat Syracuse in the Big East tournament is lame - like that loss would cause them to lose #1 seed status while the Big East is obviously the best conference in the country.

I have a problem with your predictions being part of the bracket matrix. Your prediction system seems to be the only website that makes picks based on what you think will happen in future games, and some of your picks can skew the bracket matrix -like leaving Rhode Island out completely. Your blog seems more appropriate if there were a different bracket matrix that was dedicated to predicting the future outcomes of games.

You obviously spend a lot of time keeping the blog updated and it provides good entertainment value. But your picks are awful.

Jeff said...

Anonymous asks: "If UTEP goes 13-3 and wins the CUSA regular season, do they get an at-large?"

My answer is: Probably not. They would need to do well in the C-USA tournament, or else they'd probably go to the NIT. They lack big wins, with a win over UAB being the only RPI Top 50 win.

Right now they are 5-4 against the RPI Top 100, with another RPI 100+ loss, and three games left against the RPI Top 100. Losing two more games means either losing two of their three remaining quality games, or collecting another bad loss.

If the season ended now UTEP would be right on the bubble, as one of the first one or two teams in or out. That means that to me they either have to finish 6-1, or else finish 5-2 and play well in the C-USA tournament. They unfortunately have a relatively weak schedule to end the season, so they have less room to spare than they would if they had a schedule like what Tulsa has.

Jeff said...

And "Questionable Picks", you may think it's "ridiculous" to give Purdue a 1 seed over Syracuse, but you'd be wrong. The Big East isn't "definitely the best conference" in the country - the arrogance of Big East basketball fans is at least as bad as the arrogance of SEC football fans. Sagarin and Pomeroy rate the Big East the third best conference, and the RPI rates it second. By no measure is it the best conference, so it's preposterous to say that it's "obvious" that it's the best conference.

And the best conference doesn't always get two top seeds anyway. The Selection Committee doesn't think that way. They weight conference tournaments heavily, which is part of the reason why we often see the four 1 seeds coming from four different conferences.

As I've said repeatedly, it's POSSIBLE for the Big East to get two 1 seeds, I'm just not projecting that right now.

And by the way, several of the brackets in the Bracket Matrix project the future rather than just posting what happens right now, and my blog is one of the oldest and one of the highest rated in the Bracket Matrix. You are calling for me to be removed, but not for some random people who don't even write a word of commentary and just start throwing together weekly brackets in February, all because I have your favorite team one seed below where you think they should be.

If you think you can project the champion of the Summit League tournament right now better than me then please go ahead, I wish you the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem with your argument about being one of the highest rated on the bracket matrix: You predict an end of season bracket, the bracket matrix is graded on your final bracket. I bet if you compared your bracket today to someone else's on the bracket matrix that predicts future outcomes, you would not come out ahead. So basically, your end of season bracket might be rated highly, but that doesn't mean your current bracket would rate well.

Anonymous said...

In the response to UTEP, that is where I think you are dead wrong.

The sole regular season winner of a top 10 conference is not going to be left out. Look at the history. Often times, they end up getting seeded a spot or two higher than the average.

Jeff said...

To the question about rating relative to the Bracket Matrix, that's why my brackets are probably the MOST accurate at this stage in the season and earlier. For example, when Purdue lost their three straight games a little while ago everybody in the Bracket Matrix jumped off the ledge with them and pushed them down to a 5, 6 or 7 seed. I never dropped them below a 2. Then again when Virginia got off to a hot start and was leading the ACC most of the Bracket Matrix put them in their bracket, and I did not.

I don't believe it's a moral judgment about which way to do things is better. My system means that teams move more slowly up and down the bracket than somebody who is trying to capture the pulse of the moment. This causes people to constantly accuse me hating their team when they got hot for a few games, and accusing me having a bias in favor of a team that goes cold for a few games. But I'm a big boy, I can take it. That's what I get for running a blog, and I know that going into a season.

Jeff said...

Another anonymous says: "The sole regular season winner of a top 10 conference is not going to be left out. Look at the history. Often times, they end up getting seeded a spot or two higher than the average."

This isn't true. Now to be fair, it's rare for a team that wins a Top Ten conference to get left out, but it's not unheard of. The last time a team was sole regular season champion of an RPI top ten conference that didn't make the Tournament was in 2005 when Miami of Ohio was left out. But just last year Creighton tied with one other team for the Valley crown, and was then left out.

And more importantly, the Selection Committee does NOT ever use the logic of "Team A won Conference B, and Conference B is a top ten conference, therefore Team A must get in."

Conference USA is in a unique situation because it has four teams that has resumes that are so close to each other. As I've said all season long, if one or two teams really grab a clear lead then they will get at-large bids. If UTEP were to win the conference by two games, for example, then they'd get an at-large. But if everybody is jumbled up then you almost either have to let all of them in or keep all of them out - it gets hard to tell them apart.

If UTEP goes 6-1 the rest of the way then they will probably win the regular season title outright, and I think they will make the NCAA Tournament. But at 5-2 that means their resume has gone downhill, unless they have a strong C-USA tournament.

As I've said repeatedly, the best objective metric is the Sagarin ELO_CHESS. If their ELO_CHESS is not in the Top 50 then they're almost definitely out. If it's 40-50 then there's about a 50% chance that they get in. If it's inside the Top 40 then they're almost definitely in. Right now they're 46th. So they need to improve their resume slightly to have a good shot of getting in.

Anonymous said...

I project an end of season bracket as well, and I think it's silly to do it any other way. I'm not arguing against that. Of course, if you go back last year, you'll see I had Wisconsin in when they were 3-6 in conference and also had Oklahoma St. in before anyone else.

The problem is, what you do is that you put a team like Washington in when very few else do and you put them as a 7. Other people that project end of season brackets, would only put them as a 12.

Anonymous said...

How come you only post on a blog and not on a forum?

Anonymous said...

MAC was #11 in 2005.

Anonymous said...

Creighton was not the sole winner - they were tied.

Jeff said...

I'll respond to the last few comments all at once. First, I said Creighton tied with one other team, please read.

Second, I was invited to post on by the guy that runs it a couple of years ago, and did do some long posts on issues that interested me for a little while (no brackets), but in the end I didn't see the point. Why should I post somewhere else for free when I can at least make some money by posting it here? If I'm going to post somewhere else I'd want at least something in return. Besides, I probably get a bigger audience here. And I like the fact that I know who is visiting me here, as opposed to a public forum where I cannot control abusive individuals.

Third, the MAC was the 9th rated RPI conference in 2004-05. Not 11th:

Anonymous said...

Clearly the CUSA is a top 10 conference and that the CUSA and WCC were better than the MAC in '05.

Anonymous said...

You get paid for putting UNC as a 7? Man, I need to start up one of these!

Anonymous said...

If you said Creighton tied with another team, then you're proving my point.

Jeff said...

Actually, according to Jeff Sagarin's ratings, the 2004-05 MAC was better than the 2009-10 CUSA has been so far. It's easy to forget now how good the MAC was in the early part of the last decade. It has really fallen off over the last few years.

And the point I'm trying to stress is that there is no metric that says "If a team wins a regular season title outright and that conference is in the top ten in average RPI then that team must get in."

The fact that something is rare doesn't mean it can't happen this year. And as I said, the C-USA is in the unique position of having four teams very, very close. If a team dominates a Top Ten conference then they will pretty much definitely get in. But so far that is not the case for UTEP, they are in a close battle with 3 other teams.

One game is the difference between first place and fourth place for UTEP. And I think we can all agree that Conference USA will not get four Tournament teams. So that one game does not the difference make between a team that definitely will get in and a team that probably won't get in. It's not that simple.

Anonymous said...

Maybe so, but there's only one team projected to be 13-3. That's UTEP ;)

Anonymous said...

I also don't understand how you have a column of: just misses, decent but not good enough, and then long shots and have Northeastern in the final group. This is a team with a projected top 50 RPI who has swept VCU, beaten Old Dominion and Utah St. and you have them in the same group as Missouri St.? They should be in the 1st group, or the 2nd at the very least. I don't even know how you can possibly explain that.

Jeff said...

Those groupings have to do with likelihood of making the Tournament. Northeastern has a better resume than some of the teams in higher groups, but not a higher probability of making the Tournament. The reason is that a team off the bubble in a major conference has chances for big wins. The problem for Northeastern is that they have almost no chance for big wins.

Their RPI is 54th, but their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is 72nd. And the ELO_CHESS rating is much more important. Teams with RPIs in the 30s miss the Tournament every year, or get in with RPIs well into the 50s. But it is rare for a team outside the ELO_CHESS Top 50 to get in (last year there were zero at-large bids given to teams with an ELO_CHESS outside of 50th).

How does Northeastern get their ELO_CHESS from 72nd to 50th? They pretty much have to win out. I don't think they can lose another regular season game while still earning an at-large bid.

Anonymous said...

I'm not arguing that they're going to make it in, I just think it's ridiculous to say that Miami Fl. and Louisiana Tech have a better chance than them.

Jeff said...

Well I might be re-evaluating Louisiana Tech after that loss last night. But Miami can easily get back in the bubble hunt by winning two or three straight games in the ACC. Northeastern doesn't have the luxury of opponents like that.

Northeastern has arguably a better resume than Miami right now. But Miami has a more realistic path to an at-large bid. That's what I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

Miami is 2-7 in conference for crying out loud! They would basically have to win out to make it in.

It's okay to admit you're wrong. :)

Jeff said...

Miami has a better Sagarin ELO_CHESS than Northeastern, and also a better PREDICTOR for that matter. I would argue that they already have the better resume than Northeastern. If Miami has to win out to make the Tournament, how could Northeastern possibly have a chance with a much weaker schedule?

Now, I'd argue that Miami actually only needs to go 5-2 the rest of the regular season to have a shot at an at-large if they can play well in the ACC tournament. I wouldn't bet on it, of course, but that's why I don't have them among my first group of teams out.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you focus way too much on computer numbers. Teams that are 2-7 in conference don't suddenly go on a run and make it in.

Miami would have to go 21-8 to have a top 65 RPI (obv the border line for an at-large) which means they'd have to finish 6-1. I'll take my chances with Northeastern every day.

Jeff said...

I don't think either team is getting in. Miami was nowhere near getting into my bracket of 65 this week, and hasn't for a few weeks now. I am not trying to argue that they are a realistic Tournament team.

But here are stats for you:

Miami is 4-7 against the RPI Top 100 with no bad losses and a big win over Wake Forest. Their ELO_CHESS is 67th.

Northeastern is 8-8 against the RPI Top 200 with no very good wins (their two best wins are over Old Dominion and Utah State) and with a couple of bad losses (Western Michigan, Boston University). Their ELO_CHESS is 72nd.

If the season ended now neither team would be seriously considered for an at-large bid, but Miami would have the slight lead.

You may not like hearing about the ELO_CHESS, but it's a matter of fact that there has been no more accurate objective projection of NCAA seed than the ELO_CHESS. It's not even close. Teams with RPIs in the 60s make the NCAA Tournament, but never with ELO_CHESS ratings in the 60s. And teams miss the Tournament with RPIs in the 20s, but never with ELO_CHESS ratings in the 20s.

Anonymous said...

You said, 'If the season ended now neither team would be seriously considered for an at-large bid, but Miami would have the slight lead.'

No way, no how. You think the committee would give an edge to a 2-7 ACC team over an 11-2 conference team in a competitive Colonial who has four top 50 wins? I don't see that at all.

Jeff said...

Northeastern has played very well in conference play, but their out-of-conference resume was atrocious. They went 5-6 with one quality win (Utah State) and two bad losses (Boston University and Western Michigan). Miami went 14-0. It was against a weaker schedule, of course, but 14-0 nonetheless.

So I would argue that Miami's overall resume is slightly better than Northeastern's, and you think Northeastern's is slightly better. Fine. Doesn't matter.

First of all, it's unlikely that either team will get in. And second of all, I do not rank the teams left out by how good their resumes are now, but how likely it is that they will make the Tournament. Miami's next game is a home game against Georgia Tech, which is a great chance for a better win than anything Northeastern has had all season (and Pomeroy gives them a 48% chance of winning). They have more opportunities to get big wins to build a resume. Northeastern is in a very difficult position to make a run because there will be no chances for Top 25 wins, and almost all losses are bad losses.

I'm not saying that Northeastern can't make a run at an at-large bid (I have them listed here, after all), I'm just saying it's a long shot.

Anonymous said...

It's pointless arguing with him. You can provide fact upon fact and he just comes up with crap about how, well by the end of the season that's what I think is going to happen. lolol...that's why he has UNC as an 8 - and everyone with a brain has them out.

Anonymous said...

Northeastern's chances may not be that good - but saying Miami's are better is just utterly atrocious.

That's why you post this on a blog where you can moderate it, and not on a forum where you would get flamed.

Anonymous said...

One has a projected end of season top 50 RPI, the other's is outside the top 90. Give me #50 please!

Anonymous said...

I am a HUGE Kentucky fan and have watched alot of college basketball this season.

And to put Purdue as a 1 over Cuse is absurd. I think as of right now Kentucky and Cuse look to have the most upside and will be the best teams when the tournament comes around.

I think Cuse is going to win at all because of the zone that they play, when you look at Kentucky there half court offense dosent look great and they do not have the shooters to force Cuse out of the zone.

In the open court Kentucky is unstoppable, but i got Cuse winning it all. Jeff who you got winning it all?

Jeff said...

Kansas is the best team, it's not really that close. Syracuse is not a complete team because their half court offense is fairly mediocre. Kansas is good at every aspect of the game.

Syracuse puts up good offensive numbers because they get a ton of transition offense, and because they get a lot of offensive rebounds. But they turn the ball over a lot, are only decent shooters from the field and are a horrid free throwing shooting team. When they face teams that can box out and don't turn the ball over, Syracuse really struggles to score.

And it's not "absurd" to have Syracuse in over Purdue unless you either think it's "absurd" to think that Syracuse won't win the Big East tournament, or you think it's "absurd" that Syracuse won't get a 1 seed even if they lose the Big East tournament. I don't see how either is particularly likely.

Even if you think Syracuse is the favorite to win the Big East tournament, their chances would still be well below 50%. And the odds of the Big East getting two 1 seeds are low. It's possible that some team like Louisville wins the Big East tournament and Syracuse ends up being the top seed out of the Big East even without the tournament title, but that's probably even more unlikely.

If Syracuse doesn't win the Big East tournament title then a lot of things need to line up right for them to get a 1 seed.