Sunday, February 20, 2011

W-3 BP68

We're three weeks from Selection Sunday. Next week will be the last full weekend of the regular season. Conference tournaments will begin on March 1st. My next BP68 will be out after Wednesday night's games.

Remember, this is a projection of where things will end up and not a snapshot of where things are now. If your team is not rated where you think they should be, please tell me what you think I did wrong in the comments and I'll be happy to discuss it with you.

As always, here is how I see things ending up:

1. KANSAS (BIG 12)

2. Texas
2. BYU (MWC)
2. Purdue
2. Georgetown

3. San Diego State
3. Notre Dame
3. Wisconsin
3. Villanova

4. Syracuse
4. Louisville
4. North Carolina

5. UConn
5. Florida
5. Texas A&M
5. Arizona

6. Vanderbilt
6. Missouri
6. West Virginia

7. Tennessee

8. Cincinnati
8. Illinois
8. St. John's
8. Xavier

9. George Mason
9. Michigan State
9. Saint Mary's (WCC)
9. Baylor

10. Richmond
10. Georgia
10. Kansas State

11. Virginia Tech
11. Minnesota
11. Marquette
11. UCLA

12. Maryland
12. Florida State
12. Boston College
12. UAB




16. LIU (NEC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Clemson, Nebraska, VCU, Southern Miss, Cleveland State, Missouri State, Colorado State, Alabama, Gonzaga

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Miami (Fl), Dayton, Duquesne, Michigan, Penn State, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Drexel, UTEP, Valparaiso, New Mexico, Washington State

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Rhode Island, Northwestern, James Madison, Marshall, USC, Mississippi, Portland

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
NC State, Virginia, St. Bonaventure, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Oklahoma, Hofstra, Tulsa, Princeton, Fairfield, Northern Iowa, California, Arkansas, Mississippi State, South Carolina


Chris said...

You can move URI out of any consideration now (unless they make an insanely improbably run in the A-10 tourney & win it). Yesterday's game was the worst shooting performance I have ever seen in my life. They shot 1-19 from 3 (missed first 15 3s). 17-58 shooting overall (29%) & 25-41 from FT(61%), Pathetic isnt strong enough to describe this game

stubhub said...

Old Dominion is a 7 seed while George Mason is a 9 seed? Saint Mary's seeded higher than Utah St after a week of losing to San Diego who was 1-10 in Conference and losing at home to Utah St. You'll have to explain your logic and those.

Jeff said...

George Mason and ODU have nearly identical resumes right now, and I'm projecting ODU to win the Colonial tournament.

As for Utah State, head-to-head doesn't matter in the bracket. They still have only one RPI Top 100 win this season.

I expect Saint Mary's to collect at least three more RPI Top 100 wins the rest of the season, which is why I'm keeping them ahead of Utah State.

Anonymous said...

How is Virginia Tech in, but Michigan is not even considered on the bubble? Michigan’s current RPI is 57, Va. Tech’s is 64. Our wins are better than their wins. Our losses are better than their losses. Why is it that Va. Tech is above the bubble while Michigan is not even mentioned? They have 1 top 50 win (against #50, at home); are only 3-3 against teams ranked 100-200 (the Iowas and Indianas of the world), including a home loss; and their best road win is at #91 N.C. State. Michigan has 2 top-50 wins, has road wins at #42 Michigan State, #61 Penn State, and #73 Clemson, and is 4-1 against teams ranked 100-200.

Tom said...

Does the CAPS indicate the conference tournament champion or the conference regular season champion?

Jeff said...

Well, I agree with you that if the season ended now, Virginia Tech would be out. In fact, as you did, one can make a case for Michigan having the better resume now.

The reason I have Michigan where I have them is because I really don't like their remaining schedule. I think they're going to finish at best 1-2, and their best case scenario for the Big Ten tournament is beating Iowa or Indiana in the first round and then getting destroyed in the second round.

Virginia Tech's schedule, on the other hand, is very manageable. I think 3-1 is their most likely finish, and I see a realistic path to the ACC tournament semifinals.

So that's why I have Va Tech and Michigan where I have them. If Michigan is going to make the Tournament they're going to have to finish 9-9 in the Big Ten or they're going to need a strong Big Ten tournament.

Jeff said...

Tom, the caps is the automatic bid winner. So in all cases but the Ivy League it's the conference tournament winner.

Tom said...

Ok, I figured that. I just saw Washington in caps still and had to make sure :)

Just read your post on that game...atmosphere was electric. Most fun I've had at a game in my time in Tucson (aside from the parts in the second half where UA made a comedy of careless errors and horrible passes...)

Jeff said...

No worries. That's probably something I should be listing at the top of the post to avoid confusion.

Anonymous said...

You have Vandy at a 6 and I think they should be much higher. Curious if you think they are going to fade down the stretch (Ky, Tenn, Fl left) or if you are just unimpressed with wins against Ky, St Mary, and North Carolina?

Jeff said...

How much higher is "much higher"? I can't see a good argument for having them higher than a 5 seed right now, so putting them as the top 6 seed is pretty close to that. You really think they should be ahead of Arizona or UConn? I don't see much of an argument for putting them ahead of Florida either.

Vandy's problems, like they always are, are the lack of wins away from home. The neutral court win over North Carolina is nice, even if that UNC team doesn't remotely resemble the UNC team play now. But their only road RPI Top 100 win was against Georgia.

If Vandy finishes 3-1 down the stretch and wins an SEC tournament game I think they're looking at a 5 or a 6 seed. To get up to a 4 seed they're going to have to either win at Kentucky or make a run to at least the SEC semifinals.

Phil said...

A couple that stick out at me.

16-9, 1-4 against the top 50, 4-6 against the top 100, 3-7 R/N, 3 sub- 100 losses, best OOC win: Lipscomb (RPI #124). Not sure how that computes to a 9 seed, let alone a bid at all.

17-10, 0-8 against the top 50, 4-10 against the top 100, 4-7 R/N, best win: Penn State. Wins against the top 6 in their conference: 1 (Clemson, by 2, at home.) Not sure how that computes to an 11 seed- or anywhere close to the bubble.

Jeff said...

Presuming that you're talking about Baylor and Maryland, I agree that both teams would be out if the season ended now, although they're closer than you say.

I'm projecting Maryland to finish 3-1 and to win two games in the ACC tournament. That should get them in.

As for Baylor, I think they beat Texas and go 3-1 down the stretch as well. That probably gets them at least temporarily into the Field of 68. Assuming a win or two in the Big 12 tournament is why I have them where I do.

BC said...

How can Tennessee be a 7 seed?! Of the ten teams in the SEC with overall winning records none of them have more HOME losses than the Vols. Come Wed. morning they will be 16-12,(6-7 SEC) having lost 5 of the last 6. You're banking WAY too much on those early wins over Pitt and Nova. You claimed UNC wasn't the team they are now when Vandy beat them yet you think Tennessee is the same team that beat Pitt and Nova earlier?
Bama will end up 12-4 at worst in conference and Georgia just went to Knoxville and proved they're a better team. Both are more deserving this season but I guess big wins in November or December are more important than losing 5 of the last 6 in conference. Unless It's Vandy vs. UNC of course.

Jeff said...

I agree, BC: Tennessee is over-seeded. But one of the things to remember with the Selection Committee is that it's not just the objective resume. They favor some things over others. And one thing that they really love is when a team has a lot of big wins - even if it comes with bad losses.

Whatever seed you think Tennessee deserves, you've got to push them up a couple of lines from that. That's why I have them so high, when what they really will probably deserve will be closer to a 10.

I can't recall such a wild resume as Tennessee has - the closest I can recall from recent memory is Boston College in 2008-09. That team had wins over the RPI #1 and #3 teams (the win over #1 North Carolina actually came on the road) and also had an RPI Top 20 win over Florida State. Meanwhile, they had three RPI 100+ losses, including a home loss to Harvard (that Harvard team had an RPI of 242nd). They went 9-7 in the ACC, then beat a horrid Virginia team in the first round of the ACC tournament and lost to Duke in the second round. They were 5-5 in their final ten games before Selection Sunday.

Without considering the specifics of the bubble that year, you'd probably consider that a resume of a team barely into the NCAA Tournament, right? Well, they got a 7 seed.

The Selection Committee loves resumes like that. That's why I'm over-seeding Tennessee.

BC said...

Very well said. Thanks for the work you put into your projections for people like me to enjoy and get riled up about.

Jeff said...

No problem. The reality is that I learn as much from my readers as they learn from me. I enjoy the give-and-take more than anything else.

As long as people come in with facts and want to debate, I love it.

Phil said...

Based on your projections... I can buy your reasoning on Baylor and Maryland. Can't say I agree on the projections- UMD could definitely go 3-1 down the stretch (loss @ UNC, win others I'm guessing you're projecting), getting them to 9-7, which would probably get them a 5 seed in the ACC tourney, matched up with BC/VT after a walkover against Wake- if that happens, wouldn't that essentially be an elimination game for the loser? Is a win over a Singleton-less FSU as their only "good" win enough? I doubt it.

Baylor will be a significant underdog in two of their games and basically a pickem in the other two. Even if they go 2-2 in those games, that would be 18-11, 8-8 entering the Big XII tournament. Can't see that being good enough unless they made the final, given the rest of their resume is very barren.

I agree with your analysis of Tennessee, for what it's worth.

Jeff said...

From what I've seen, the Selection Committee basically does not consider injuries. So a win over a Chris Singleton-less FSU team isn't going to count any less than a win over FSU when Singleton was healthy. Of course it's preposterous to do it that way, since Singleton is far and away the best player they have, but I can understand the logic. At some point you really just have to credit teams with wins and losses, and teams shouldn't get a pass or get punished because of an injury situation - injuries are part of the game.

As for Baylor, my projection is relying on them knocking off Texas on Senior Night. I know they'll be the underdogs, but for a variety of reasons I think they'll pull that upset. If they fail to do that and go 2-2 then I agree, they'll have a lot of work left to do in the Big 12 tournament.

Ken Miller said...

As someone in Cleveland with tickets to first and second round (or are they called second and third round now?) games, Ohio State and Pitt both as #1 seeds is my personal doomsday scenario. The committee will locate both of them close to home, in Cleveland. Getting two pods of 1-16 and 8-9 matchups is pretty boring to me, since both of those #1 seeds with be such heavy favorites through to the Sweet 16. I'd much rather get a 5-12 and 4-13 pod that has a better chance for some real upsets.

Jeff said...

I understand your concern, but you're right - it's almost inevitable that you're getting Ohio State and Pitt.

I have tickets to the Chicago pod, and that promises to have much better match-ups. Between Notre Dame, Purdue and Wisconsin, it's very unlikely to have a 1 seed pod.

BillyHoyle said...

Lets say Alabama finishes up 3-1 with the one loss being at Florida and they end up winning the SEC regular season by a game over UF or Vandy. Leaving aside what they may end up doing in the SEC tournament is it really possible they would be left out of the big dance? Has this ever happened to a BCS conference regular season champ? Personally I think the committee would find a way to include them, but I would defer to your knowledge of the selection process.

Jeff said...

If Alabama finishes 3-1 and goes 13-3 then they will probably make the Tournament, though it's not a lock. You can never look at these things in a vacuum - it could depend almost as much on things like Utah State winning the WAC tournament as anything else.

Alabama does have a very unique resume. Teams have played as bad (or even worse) than they did out-of-conference and still earned an at-large bid, but the problem is that the SEC West is so bad. As well as Alabama has played, the fact is that they're 8-8 against the RPI Top 200. That's pretty putrid.

If they can pull a road upset at Florida it would go a huge way to prove that their strong SEC record isn't just about being in the SEC West.

Jeff said...

By the way, to answer your other question, I'm 99.9999% certain that no regular season BCS conference champion has missed the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded to 64 teams. On two occasions a conference has only sent two teams (the Pac-10 in 1986 and 2010) but in both cases the regular season champion got in.

But I'm only 99.9999% sure because I haven't seen that proven anywhere.

Still, if it's going to happen, it would make sense that it would happen in the SEC West. You would need to have two divisions where one division is far weaker, and a team can run up a great record without recording a lot of RPI Top 100 wins.

It's actually bad luck for Alabama. They're a very good team, but the fact that the SEC West is so bad is making it so difficult for them to overcome their poor non-conference play.