Sunday, December 25, 2011

W-11 BP68

Happy Holidays everybody. We're 11 weeks from Selection Sunday, nearing the New Year, and thankfully done with the fall semester finals. That means most of the big leagues will be starting conference play this coming week. It's certainly exciting to finally get those games underway. The first bunch will be on Tuesday night, when we'll open with Pittsburgh/Notre Dame, Wisconsin/Nebraska, Minnesota/Illinois and Providence/St. John's. Minnesota/Illinois is probably the most interesting of those games because both teams are potential bubble teams.

Despite there not being a ton of action this week, I did make a few changes to the teams in the bracket. I decided to hang onto Northern Iowa as the last team in the field, but dropped Washington out. In their place I moved in Southern Miss. Among the auto bids, I gave in and dropped Ball State as the MAC favorite, putting in Ohio in their place. Kent State is the other top contender in that league. In the Southland, I've finally become convinced that Pat Knight's Lamar team deserves to be in over Stephen F Austin.

Remember, this is a projection of the final bracket on Selection Sunday, and not a listing of how I think teams would be seeded if the season ended now:


2. Duke
2. Florida
2. TEXAS (BIG 12)
2. Louisville

3. Kansas
3. Wisconsin
3. UConn
3. Pittsburgh

4. Marquette
4. Baylor
4. Georgetown

5. Alabama
5. Michigan

6. Missouri
6. Indiana
6. Xavier

7. West Virginia
7. Purdue
7. Vanderbilt

8. BYU
8. Florida State
8. Michigan State
8. New Mexico

9. Saint Louis
9. San Diego State
9. Virginia

10. Illinois
10. California
10. Saint Mary's
10. Northwestern

11. Texas A&M
11. Stanford
11. Virginia Tech

12. Wichita State
12. Kansas State
12. Oklahoma State
12. Southern Miss
12. Northern Iowa


14. OHIO (MAC)



Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Miami (Fl), NC State, St. Joseph's, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Villanova, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Marshall, Missouri State, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Mississippi, Mississippi State

Other teams with a decent shot, but that need to improve their resume:
Clemson, Dayton, Nebraska, Iowa State, VCU, Central Florida, Cleveland State, UW-Milwaukee, Indiana State, UCLA, Oregon, Arkansas, LSU, Denver, New Mexico State

Other teams I'm keeping my eye on, but that need to dramatically improve their resume:
Georgia Tech, Maryland, Duquesne, La Salle, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, South Florida, Iowa, Drexel, James Madison, Old Dominion, Tulane, Tulsa, Kent State, Drake, Illinois State, TCU, Boise State, Wyoming, USC, Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Charleston, Oral Roberts, Middle Tennessee St, Nevada


Anonymous said...

No UMass to keep your eye on? But Iowa and Tennessee? Oof this is a terrible list.

Jeff said...

I totally agree with you that right now UMass has a better resume than Iowa and Tennessee. If we had a 128 team NCAA Tournament that had a field being picked tomorrow, UMass would probably be in, and Tennessee and Iowa would probably be out.

But we're not picking a 128 team Tournament tomorrow - we're picking a 68 team Tournament in March. And I'm not ranking these teams by how good their resumes are now, but how likely they are to make a run at an at-large bid.

Tennessee and Iowa are both teams with talent and with quality coaches that only need to pull a couple of upsets and get to .500 in league play to get into the bubble discussion in March. It's going to be a lot harder to UMass to do that in the Atlantic Ten - they'll need to go 10-6 or better to have a shot.

And keep in mind that UMass, for their decent results, has been lucky - they've beaten two poor teams by five points or less, and have been more or less blown out in all of their losses. And so because of that, Iowa and Tennessee are both actually rated slightly higher in the Pomeroy ratings than UMass.

So that's why despite the superior resume, I'd put UMass's chances of earning an at-large bid lower than Iowa or Tennessee.

That said, in three weeks I'll expand to the "full bubble", which consists of every team with a mathematical chance of earning an at-large bid. I'll add in several dozen new teams that are extreme long shots for an at-large bid, but which could make some noise if they can pull a few upsets and win a bunch of games in a row. Barring a terrible setback in the next few weeks, UMass will be on that list.

Anonymous said...

Unreal..Texas a 2..U defend your Iowa and Tennessee with Pomeroy?...Pomeroy has Kansas#7..Missouri#9..Baylor 10# Texas #23? You obviously dont care for BIG..Pomeroy Wisconsin#1 Ohio St #2 Indiana#6 Mich St #13 Purdue #21 Minnesota#42 Michigan #50 Northwestern# 59....But somehow u come up with Michigan a 5 seed Indiana 6seed Purdue a 7 seed Mich St an 8 seed? Who by the way beat Gonzaga at their place your 6 seed...I guesss this is all based on the EYE test. you should invest in some new specs..done with this site

Jeff said...

I'm often accused of biasing in favor of the Big Ten. Always good to be accused of hating the Big Ten. I know I'm doing a good job if I get it from both sides.

By the way, I think I would bet my life savings and take 1-to-10 odds on "no" on "Will Baylor, Kansas and Missouri all get a 3 seed or better". I'll be surprised if more than one does.

Jeff said...

In all seriousness, you have to understand that even Ken Pomeroy doesn't take the Pomeroy ratings as gospel this early in the season. Nobody has played more than a handful of games against quality opponents, so it's important to understand if certain teams have ratings that are out of whack because of one game or another.

Look at my recent post on Baylor, for example, where I broke down how their three-point shooting versus quality opponents is out of whack and is over-inflating their resume.

Anonymous said...

Very funny....still doesn't explain 1 damn thing

Jeff said...

Feel free to read some of my posts, where I explain my thinking. People who think I'm an idiot are always folks who only look at the brackets and don't read anything else.

Anonymous said...

well maybe you should also try reading Sagarin... Baylor #7 Missouri#10 Kansas# 14 TEXAS #48...Ohio St #3 Wisconsin #4 Indiana #5 Mich St #13 or maybe you should try ESPN power Rankings or Possibly Luke Winn's not sure I'm the one that needs to read up

Anonymous said...

Oh Ya sagarin's MICHIGAN #49

Jeff said...

Once again, you're not understanding how the computer ratings work. And I do read Luke Winn every week, by the way.

Let me give you an example. Let's say Team A plays Team B. Team A ends up with ten more offensive rebounds, commits five fewer turnovers, and finishes with a similar number of blocks, steals and fouls. But Team B hits 60% on threes and Team A hit 20% on threes and has a 35 eFG%. Which team played better? Sagarin & Pomeroy will say, over that tiny sample size, that Team B played better. But Team A played better, and as the sample sizes increase (if those playing performances continue) the computers will eventually reflect.

If you think I'm robbing any particular team, or over-rating any particular team, click on the tags on the left side of the page. Click on whichever team you think I've got wrong. Read my reasoning, and if you think I'm still an idiot then tell me what I got wrong. Just calling me names is not an argument.

Anonymous said... i don't understand the computers..geez...your saying now the computers are not correct for this or that but if you read the break down on games you use them in every article you write. Everyone...looks like they are only good when you need them to be. Anyway If you said this is what you think will happen that's a whole different story.. I respect your using the computers to explain your game breakdowns than acting as if they mean nothing on your bracket predictions is going to no doubt cause problems for your readers. I am shocked you responded today tho. Merry Xmas to You and your Family

Anonymous said...

One more thing i read everthing i wrote in and tho I do disagree on several of your seeds because of one thing or another....I never called you any names..never

TheLifeandTimesofRJT said...

Jeff, I have a lot of issues with how you're seeding Murray State. I'm a VCU fan, so it's not as if I'm a fan of the Racers. They've beaten everyone on their schedule, including some quality non-conference teams: @Memphis, Southern Miss on neutral court, and crushed Dayton. Yes, they've played some cupcakes, but they've played quality opponents as well and beaten everyone. Since you're projecting out, lets say they lose three games in conference the rest of the year (which is a lot considering how terrible their schedule is). Would you really give a 28-3 team with three non-conference wins vs RPI top 50ish teams (two away from home) and 0 losses a 13? Why? Last year Utah State had no good OOC wins, went 30-3, and got a 12. By that metric, they are at worst an 8 or 9. There's a good chance the Racers may not lose again this season. If that's the case, they'll get at least a 5 or 6.

Jeff said...

Murray State's easy schedule is a huge problem. I don't see why you think Utah State's resume was worse than a three-loss Murray State team would be this season. Utah State's best win last season (St. Mary's) was as good at Murray State's best win this season is (Memphis). Murray State doesn't have another win over a likely RPI Top 50 team.

And Utah State played in a much better conference last season than Murray State is playing in this season. Every loss is a bad loss.

Trust me, I think Murray State is a very good team and if I had my druthers I'd give them a 7, 8 or 9 seed (although even I would hesitate to give them something like a 5, which is really out there). But I'm projecting what the Selection Committee does. And historically, they treat poorly teams with soft schedules from bad conferences. They'd much rather see a team get some big wins and some bad losses than be a team that gets neither.

TheLifeandTimesofRJT said...

Dayton and Southern Miss are widely projected as current tournament teams and have solid OOC wins themselves. I would not call their schedule easy. Saint Mary's didn't even make the tournament last year. The committee likely won't punish them for being in a bad conference, especially since they made a clear effort to play some quality teams. Had it not been for the Great Alaskan Shootout, I may agree with you.

Jeff said...

I'm not sure Dayton and Southern Miss are "widely projected as current Tournament teams". I did just move Southern Miss into my bracket this week, but only barely. And I don't think anybody has Dayton in the Tournament - they're 83rd in Pomeroy right now.

I want you to know I'm on your side - I think Murray State is a good team and don't like the fact that they're probably going to end up with a 12 or 13 seed. But go through the history of teams from conferences as small as the Atlantic Sun. The Selection Committee punishes them for their weak schedules.