Sunday, February 19, 2012

W-3 BP68

Believe it or not, we're only about a week away from the start of conference tournaments. It's amazing how quick the college basketball season goes. This was Bracketbusters weekend, which once again did nothing really to benefit mid-majors. There wasn't a single mid-major that was narrowly outside the Field of 68 that is suddenly in. In fact, the only teams in the vicinity of the bubble that helped themselves were Creighton and Murray State.

If ESPN really wants to put together a televised event that could help mid-majors, they'd match up the top mid-majors with major conference foes. Let Murray State play Florida State. Let Nevada play Northwestern. Now that would be a great event.

Anyway, I actually kept the Field of 68 the same since last time. I did change the auto bid in the Mountain West, though, switching New Mexico for UNLV. New Mexico has been rated better than UNLV in the computer ratings for a while now, but I needed to see them beat UNLV head-to-head, which they did by routing them on Saturday.

The bubble did shrink a bit the past few days. Eight teams were eliminated from at-large contention since Wednesday: Charlotte, Clemson, Indiana State, Missouri State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Valparaiso and Villanova. That leaves 43 teams not in my bracket that still have a chance at an at-large bid.

My next bracket projection will be out after Wednesday night's games.

The following are my typical disclaimers:

If I projected your favorite team below where you think it deserves to be, it's because I hate your favorite team. If I projected a team above where you think it deserves to be, it's because I secretly love them and have an incredibly blind bias in their favor.

On a more serious note, 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. There's a difference.

Here we go:

1. KANSAS (BIG 12)

2. Missouri
2. Duke
2. Michigan State

3. Marquette
3. Georgetown
3. Florida
3. Baylor

4. Louisville
4. Wisconsin
4. Indiana

5. Michigan
5. Saint Louis

6. Virginia
6. San Diego State

7. Vanderbilt
7. Texas
7. Florida State
7. Purdue

8. Iowa State
8. Gonzaga
8. Creighton

9. Notre Dame
9. Kansas State

10. BYU
10. West Virginia
10. Cincinnati

11. UConn
11. Southern Miss
11. Alabama
11. Illinois

12. Seton Hall
12. Mississippi State
12. Washington
12. Northwestern

13. Arizona
13. Miami (Fl)

14. OHIO (MAC)



Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
NC State, Xavier, Central Florida

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
St. Joseph's, South Florida, Minnesota, Drexel, VCU, Colorado State, Colorado, Oregon, LSU

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Dayton, La Salle, UMass, St. Bonaventure, Pittsburgh, Marshall, Cleveland State, Akron, Wyoming, Stanford, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Dakota State, Nevada

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
Maryland, Virginia Tech, Duquesne, Rutgers, Weber State, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Old Dominion, Buffalo, Kent State, Illinois State, Northern Iowa, TCU, UCLA, Georgia, Denver


Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. Illinois is 5-9 in conference play, 1-8 in their last 9 games, has all but fired their coach, and still has @Ohio State, home against Michigan, and @Wisconsin left. You not only have them in, but fairly safely in?

They have to win 2 of those 3 just to get to 8-10. With how poorly they've been playing, how can you possibly think that's going to happen?

Anonymous said...

Texas a 7 even after the loss to Oklahoma? There just aren't words to describe how ridiculous that is.

Jeff said...

Well, being an 11 seed is not "safely in". That's the bubble. Remember that a whole bunch of bids will be stolen, either by surprise auto-bid winners or by teams going on runs in conference tournaments and building their resumes. I'd say Illinois is 50-50 to make the Tournament, which is why they are where they are. All the at-large teams I have as 12 and 13 seeds are <50% to get in.

And remember, Illinois has "all but fired" Bruce Weber approximately 4 of the past 5 seasons. That teams has always been inconsistent, and they always have wild up and down swings. They have bad losses and big wins. And look at the teams near them. For all the struggles Illinois has had, their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is still 48th.

Jeff said...

By the way, not a single one of the angry Mississippi State fans from early in the season that ripped me as a total idiot who didn't know the first thing about college basketball and "an embarrassment" and "a joke" has come back to admit that I ended up being right about them. Just as I don't expect any of these insecure Missouri fans to come back on Selection Sunday and admit that I was right about Texas. That's just how it is.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Anonymous....Illinois really needs a couple of miracles to happen to get in. I would say they are at best 25 percent right now

Anonymous said...

I know you're making some projections, but I honestly do not see how Ohio State ends up as the #2 one seed. Their ELO Chess is #8, meaning their resume has earned the last two seed. You must think they're going to win out I guess? I have a hard time believing they'll win at Mich St. Mich St has a clearer path to a 1 seed than Ohio State. And you must believe Syracuse is going to lose multiple times?

Jeff said...

I'm assuming that Ohio State wins their rematch against Michigan State, and that they win the Big Ten tournament. Anything less than that and they'll drop.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Pomeroy will have OSU as a dog in the MSU game.

Jeff said...

Yeah, Michigan State will probably end up a 1-2 point favorite. But I do think Ohio State will win. I think they match up really well with Michigan State, and just had a horrific shooting game in Columbus.

And it just seems too unlikely to me that Michigan State can keep up this level of play much longer - everything has been working perfect for them the past two weeks.

Obviously if Michigan State wins the re-match and wins the Big Ten tournament then they'll likely be a 1 seed and Ohio State will likely be a 2 seed.

Phil said...

How in the world did you derive "Missouri fans" from the 18 words in the comment about Texas?!

But since you brought it up - I'll go ahead and remind you that you had Texas as a THREE seed (ahead of Missouri) as recently as four weeks ago ... and as the highest 4 seed just three weeks ago ... I anxiously await your "I was wrong" response. Somehow I expect we'll hear that from you about the same time we hear from Mississippi State fan.

Jeff said...

There has been an idiot who has been going on Missouri message boards and riling up hate against me and then sending people here with links, which is why all of the most immature attacks are Missouri fans. There's easy to pick out because they don't read anything I actually write, so none of their attacks are based on anything I ever said. I don't even need to check the IP addresses.

There is always randomness, and the bad luck that Texas has had in close games is obviously something that couldn't be anticipated. They are a Top 20 team, and by the time the Tournament rolls around I think they'll be a Top 15 team. But they're not going to have a Top 15 resume.

That's what a 1-7 record in games decided by six points or less will do. If Texas was 7-1 in games decided by six points or less, they'd be ranked in the top ten in the polls, and they'd be a 3 seed already.

Anonymous said...

Mediocre teams lose close games. Good teams win close games. Texas is a mediocre team.

Anonymous said...

If you would kindly show me what part of my comment about Texas was "immature" I would gladly apologize. However, I am not this fan you mention to Phil, so it sort of goes both ways.

More importantly, to elaborate on my original point, the only path Texas has to a 7 seed at this point is to go undefeated the remainder of the season. That would mean wins against Baylor (at home), Kansas (at Allen Fieldhouse), and a Big 12 Tournament Championship. Do you believe that will happen? If so, why? Texas hasn't proven the ability to win almost anything to this point.

Jeff said...

Actually, good teams and bad teams will all win approximately 50% of their close games. The idea that good teams win a disproportionate share of close/clutch finishes is a myth that has no statistical evidence backing it.

Ohio State is one of the two best teams in the country and they are 1-3 in games decided by five points or less. Wake Forest is 5-2 in games decided by five points or less. You really think Wake Forest is more "clutch" than Ohio State? Come on.

And no, Texas doesn't need to win out to Selection Sunday to earn a 7 seed. They'd probably be a 10 seed if the season ended now, so they can easily lose at Kansas and then lose in the Big 12 tournament semifinals and be in the 6-7 seed range.

Certainly they should beat Baylor. They're 3 point favorites in Vegas.

Anonymous said...

I'm really having a hard time with Cincinnati in the bracket. I'm not a fan one way or the other so I have nothing against Cincinnati. Cincinnati's RPI is 81 and the highest RPI since 2002 to make the field is 63. The highest RPI to ever make the field was 74.

How do you justify Cincinnati in your bracket.

Jeff said...

I wouldn't get too bogged down with RPI. If you just want to look at an objective measure of team resume that doesn't care about the scores of games, the Sagarin ELO_CHESS is far superior. And in recent years, the final bracket put together on Selection Sunday has always adhered much more closely to the ELO_CHESS than the RPI. A team with a Sagarin ELO_CHESS that is 70th has almost no chance of getting in. That's not true with the RPI.

The reason Cincy's RPI is out of whack with their resume is mostly their non-conference schedule. The RPI is 3/4 strength of schedule, and Cincy's non-conference SOS was a joke (Pomeroy rates it 339th in the nation). But teams aren't judged by their non-conference schedule, but by what they did in non-conference play. Cincy had just one bad loss. And that's more than made up for by a quality Big East record (9-5).

That's why Cincy's ELO_CHESS is 49th, which puts them squarely on the bubble. I do think that Cincy needs to get to 11-7 in Big East play, though, otherwise they're going to have a lot of work left to do in the Big East tournament.

Anonymous said...

Games are not played or decided on a computer or a stat sheet. Games are decided on the court in real life. Good teams find ways to win close games. Texas is not a good team.

Jeff said...

And your evidence that "good teams" just "find ways" to win close games is... what?

I'll recommend one piece of reading:

That's just one example of many. The statistical community has studied this to death in every major sport. There is absolute, total agreement on this. A sign of an elite team is blowing opponents out. Once a game comes down to the final minute (or the final inning, in baseball), luck is the dominant factor. Over the long run, the best teams and the worst teams will all win very close to 50% of their very close games.

Jeff said...

I understand that the idea that great teams "will their way to victory" is a staple of mainstream sports analysis. It writes a whole lot of easy articles for columnists, and it provides comfort to fans. And getting to dismissively tell people "Oh, you never played football. What can some nerds in pajamas on computers tell real football players about what it's like to win a close game?" is an argument that makes people feel good. It's a compelling argument in the type of skin-deep debates that typify broadcast television.

But the problem is, history doesn't back it up. There is no correlation from year-to-year, or even from the first half of seasons to the second half of seasons, for a team's success in very close games.

Anonymous said...

So you just completely discount intangibles and heart and say it all comes down to "luck"? Nice. Not surprised. Numbers never tell the whole story. The only number that really matters is your record. Like Bill Parcells said, you are what your record says you are. Texas is not a good team.

Jeff said...

Yes, there are lots of "intangibles" and "luck" and other things that are emotionally satisfying.

The stats are the stats. You don't like the answer, but it's the answer. Read the football outsiders article. Read about Pythagorean Record in baseball. Go look at how a team like Memphis played in close games last year, versus how they're doing in close games this year, despite having everybody back and being more experienced.

Pomeroy has a factor that he calls "Luck", which is a comparison between what a team's record is, and what it's supposed to be based on how high they are rated in his ratings. A team that has a very good "Luck" factor has won a disproportionately high number of close games.

Now open an excel spreadsheet and plot "Luck" vs RPI or the Pomeroy ratings. Are the elite teams any higher, on average, than bad teams? I haven't plotted it yet this year, but I can tell you what you'll find: Zero correlation.

Jeff said...

By the way, here is Ken Pomeroy today calling Texas the most underrated team in the country:

Horns Can Still Hook 'Em

I guess he's an idiot also?

Anonymous said...

No, Pomeroy isn't an idiot. Because he isn't claiming they are going to be a 7 seed. And now they lost to Baylor. How surprising.

Jeff said...

This was a surprising loss. Texas was favored by 3 in Vegas. A horrific string of bad luck for them. They've flipped 8 coins looking for heads and ended up with 7 tails.

By the way, Pomeroy thinks Texas is even better than I think they are. Guess he's another secret Longhorn Network plant, too! Watch out, the black helicopters are coming!

Anonymous said...

Longhorn Network plant??? I'm quite positive I haven't said any such thing.

Thinking Texas is good is fine. In fact, I agree that the numbers say that. However, the committee isn't going to weigh that enough to get anywhere near your prediction. Instead of attacking me for things I don't say, you could instead respond to my ideas. Here's one: instead of defending Texas as a good team, try to explain why, given the lack of quality wins and the likelihood of at least one more regular season loss, the selection committee would consider Texas anything short of one of the last teams in at this point.

Jeff said...

If you think Texas will be one of the last teams in the Field of 68, I encourage you to try to build your own bracket. Right now I have Washington and Arizona in as at-large teams. Go check out all the "big wins" that those two teams have.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly, last teams in was a poor choice of words. I meant one of the lowest at-large seeds rather than one of the official "last teams in". And while I don't have a bracket I've put together, the bracket project matrix shows me that -- and this is prior to the loss to Baylor -- the vast majority of bracketologists had Texas as an 11, 12, or 13 seed (11.6 average). And just the one with them at a 7.

notanonymous said...

Lunardi had them on his last four in list before today's game.

Jeff said...

Lunardi's one of the worst bracketologists out there, so I wouldn't take his seedings too seriously.

Obviously they're going to drop from a 7 seed after getting upset by Baylor. Probably to an 8 or 9 seed.

Anonymous said...

How bout them 'Horns!!! Tough *cough* luck *cough*.

Anonymous said...

I spent like 20 minutes writing a long, reasonable, and non-argumentative post...and you delete it.

Who's the immature one, again?

Jeff said...

Thank you for writing a mature post. I'll disagree with a few things.

First of all, if Texas wins out and wins the Big 12 tournament they'll be something like a 4 seed. Look at UConn's resume with 2 weeks left in last year's regular season - this year's Texas team has a stronger resume. And this year's Big 12 is stronger than last year's Big East, so winning the conference tournament would mean just as much. And last year's UConn team went all the way up to a 6 seed.

You just have to look at the resumes of other bubble teams. Look at Arizona or St. Joseph's or Central Florida. And remember, Texas is better than any of those teams, and will have more chances to improve on their seed (because they will play in a better conference tournament).

Yes, I underrated Missouri this year, as did everybody else. Go find anybody anywhere that projected Missouri higher than around a 6 seed to start the year. They've had an unbelievable season where everything has worked out.

And no, the "wisdom of crowds" doesn't apply here. Yes, the Bracket Matrix works really well for Selection Sunday. It will end up closer to the final bracket than the majority of bracketologists because of that "wisdom of the crowds", but in early January it's measuring something different from what I'm measuring.

In early January, the Bracket Matrix had Mississippi State as a 4 seed, Wisconsin as a bubble team and New Mexico out of the field. I had Wisconsin as a 5 seed, New Mexico around an 8 seed, and Mississippi State as a 12 seed. Was one of us dreadfully wrong? No, we were looking at different things. At the time, the Bracket Matrix was right. But I was trying to project what things would be like on Selection Sunday, and I knew that Wisconsin and New Mexico were teams that had been awfully unlucky, while Mississippi State has been awfully lucky.

Every year I get a whole bunch of fan bases angry at me in December and January. I end up getting most of them right, and I'll always get some wrong. Nobody is perfect. The fan bases that end up being wrong never come back. The fan bases that end up being right come back and gloat and tell me how I should have listened to them and I was too arrogant and biased. Whatever.

I can assure that at some point in the not-so-distant future, Missouri will be a team that goes something like 1-7 in games decided by five points or less. And nobody on the Internet will defend them as being wildly underrated more than me. I'm sure the Missouri fan base will love me when that comes to pass.

Anonymous said...

ah, apologies for my last post...I was just angry because my work didn't show up.

Jeff said...

I did not delete it. I have no idea how that happened. If it doesn't reappear in a couple of minutes I promise to re-post it myself.

I still have a copy of what you wrote in my e-mail, so I can just copy-paste it.

Jeff said...

Okay, it appears Blogger has consumed the Anonymous post I was responding to. I have no idea how that happened. Here is a copy-paste of the comment I was responding to:

I will admit: I am the "Anonymous" that first started the Missouri vs. Texas debate about a month or so ago, when you had Texas seeded higher than Missouri. I have shared your website among Missouri fans, which a) builds up your site visits and b) gets people reading your site. So, you're welcome. :)

I must take exception to your characterization of me and my fellow Mizzou fans, though. At NO point during our discourse have I been immature or unprofessional. I have not called names, never crossed any lines. If you have taken offense to differing opinions, well, I am sorry. And yes, I do read your site regularly. Your game recaps are always interesting, even if I don't agree with your judgments on every team and every game. As I have mentioned, I can tell that you care about college basketball, which is enough for me to buy you a round if I am ever in your presence in a sports bar during the winter.

I'm not here to rehash a dead argument on the two teams; time and results have shown that you originally undervalued Missouri and well overvalued Texas. Your bracket has mirrored that. It's not about Mizzou any more for us Mizzou fans, though. Having us as 6th on the S-curve is more than fair based on how you derive your bracket.

As basketball fans, many of us (Mizzou and non-Mizzou fans alike) find it funny that a (now) 11 loss team, with three games to go in the regular season, has done enough to be an 8 or 9 seed in your book. Luck is luck; you have it or you don't. I agree with you regarding close games, by the way. Texas has been a horrifically unlucky team this season, and its results are not reflective of its team quality.

But you cannot sugarcoat the fact that they are 7-8 in conference and their best wins of the season are home wins vs. Temple, Iowa State, and Kansas State.

The committee does not seed on potential--it seeds on results. And with increasingly less time left for Texas to shore up their resume, it's crazy to think that they could do enough to even get to the 8/9 game at this moment. It would basically take winning out in the regular season and making it to the Big 12 tourney championship to do that (and they'd still be 22-12 in that scenario).

Final thought/question for this post: Do you believe in "wisdom of the masses"? One person's thoughts and ideas can have biases, different processes in which they reach conclusions, etc. Just as one game played by a team may not be emblematic of a team's quality, one person's bracket is going to have mistakes. When I (and other commenters) have referenced the Bracket Project's matrix, you just throw that comment to the side. I believe that 60 different bracket projections, each reached through different methods from different smart minds, will be more reflective of where teams will be seeded in the end than one person's authoritative opinion. Of course some bracketologists will do better than others, but wisdom of the masses is a real thing. That's why we reference what an outlier you are in the case of Texas.

Jeff said...

I will add that while most people in fan bases that feel I've aggrieved them disappear, some stay. Rhode Island was a fan base that hated me a few years ago when I had them out of the Tournament and everybody else had them around a 7-8 seed. I ended up being right that year. But now, a couple of my most diehard readers (who respond to me via twitter & e-mail fairly regularly) are Rhode Island fans who showed up that year.

Once people realize that I'm not singling out their team, and that I'm consistent, they tend to realize I'm not hating on their team. I'm just trying to consistently, objectively project the most likely future outcomes.

Anonymous said...

My original thoughts a month ago were than you were undervaluing Mizzou because not only were other bracketologists putting them higher than you were, but you were putting them well below their Pomeroy rating said that they should be. That's not the case any more.

I haven't had any major disagreements on ANY other seeding you've made. Yes, you called New Mexico, SDSU's "demise", you've been hot on SLU (which I dig), and you sold on Mississippi State, which made sense. You do a very good job overall.

But I'll continue to disagree on Texas. I made a 2011 UConn vs. 2012 Texas post a couple of weeks ago, so you know how I feel on that subject (i.e., I disagree completely). UConn was a 9 loss team entering the Big East tourney last year, spent much of the year in the Top 10 (up until February, in fact), and had wins over teams like Texas and Kentucky in the non-con and Marquette, Georgetown, Nova, and Cincy in conference before their crazy run at the Garden.

Can't say any of that about Texas' resume this year. Again, their best non-con win is vs. Temple, and the only (likely) tourney teams they've beaten thus far are ISU and KSU.

In the "KenPom Era" (since 2003), the most losses that a 4 seed has had entering the tournament is 11 (Maryland, 2004). In fact, that team might be your best comparison for what you think Texas can become; it was 7-9 in the ACC, which boasted But even so, that Maryland team beat 5 KenPom top 10 teams, and played in a conference that was so far ahead of all others that season it was incredible.

The average number of losses a 4 seed has over the last nine tournaments is just over 7.

What I'm saying is that if Texas wins the Big 12 tourney and doesn't lose another game until the NCAAs...they'll be a 6 or 7 at best. If that's what you're predicting, that's fair...but they're likely to finish 9-9 in conference without a marquee victory, and will enter the tournament with 13 losses.

Jeff said...

Don't pay too much attention to the polls. UConn was preposterously over-seeded all of last season.

And even if you don't believe that, I can give you plenty of other examples. The 2005-06 Syracuse team went 7-9 in Big East play and lost 11 regular season games. They were considered an NIT team heading into the Big East tournament. They won the Big East tournament and earned a 5 seed.

That same year, Iowa lost 8 regular season games against a fairly soft schedule, and was considered something like a 9-10 seed heading into the Big Ten tournament. They won the Big Ten tournament and earned a 3 seed.

Historically, the Selection Committee has put a ton of weight on conference tournaments. Each win in conference tournaments is worth a whole lot more than wins in the regular season.

Anonymous said...

Syracuse is a fair comparison, but that team had better victories than UT does this year and played in the toughest conference that season.

In the end, it comes down to the conference tourney. You are absolutely right that the committee gives a huge resume boost for tourney winners. I don't know how big that boost would be for UT, but it will be something.

(All this said, I don't think UT will sniff the Big 12 tourney title. You've mentioned that the #1 StL seed is on the line between Mizzou and Kansas, and if they play in the championship, it could be for ultimate, final bragging rights. The tourney is in KC. Kansas State could sure use the boost for its tourney resume. The four schools nearest KC are all in the top 6 of the conference, mobilizing their fanbases. I'd be shocked, in fact, if UT won the Big 12 tourney.)

Jeff said...

The number of people from each school that show up doesn't matter. Referee bias is not impacted by the number of people that show up. Homecourt advantage is as strong in Division III as it is at Duke and Kentucky. That same thing has been shown in soccer, where extensive studies have shown that referee bias is no stronger at Manchester United or Chelsea than it is in fourth division games.

When the tournaments are about to get going, I expect both Pomeroy and the Basketball Prospectus guys to put out their probabilities of a tournament victory. You'll be amazed how close the probabilities are for Texas as they are for Baylor or Kansas State or Iowa State.

Obviously no team is going to have a >50% chance of winning the conference tournament. That's going to be true of every major conference. But I wouldn't be any more shocked if Texas won than if Baylor won.

Denali said...

Your rankings put too much emphasis on which teams you think are "the best," rather than predicting how teams will be seeded in the NCAA tournament, which your blog purports to do.

There is no way Ohio State will be the #2 overall seed. The seeding committee doesn't care that they are #1 in the Sagarin PREDICTOR and #2 in the Pomeroy rankings. They will however care that they have (at least) 5 losses and didn't even win their conference's regular season title (which appears likely).

Jeff said...

I'm actually not saying that I think Ohio State will be the #2 overall seed - I'm saying that Ohio State is 2nd most likely to earn a 1 seed. I think Ohio State is the clear favorite to win the Big Ten tournament. And even if the Buckeyes lose to Michigan State at the Breslin Center (which is only a 50-50 possibility), a Big Ten tournament title should earn them a 1 seed.

The Immature One said...

I'm the immature Mizzou fan that Jeff is referring to. Jeff is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Denali expressed perfectly what I've felt for a while. You're not trying to predict committee behavior, but how you would seed the field.

I do have a question. How is Ohio State more likely than Syracuse to earn a 1 seed? Syracuse is going to win the #2 RPI (insert comment about RPI flaws) conference by multiple games. They play at home against South Florida and Louisville, and have a road game at UConn. If they win those 3 games, they will be a 1 seed even if they lose their first Big East tourney game.

Ohio State has Wisconsin and Illinois at home while having to go to Northwestern and Mich St!! They have to win all 4 games in order to get a 1 seed plus at least make the conference tourney final. How is that more likely than Syracuse's path??

Jeff said...

Well, you can choose to believe I'm doing other than what I'm doing. But all the time I talk about how I'm seeding teams differently than I would do it because of a known bias of the Selection Committee.

And if you honestly think I'm ranking these teams by how good they are rather than how they're likely to be seeded, you must be new here. I'd have Murray State as a 12 seed and St. Louis as a 3 seed if I was seeding things that way.

Anonymous said...

You didn't answer the question on Syracuse. There is no way the probability of Syracuse getting a 1 seed is lower than Ohio State's if you believe Pomeroy, Sagarin, or Vegas.

Jeff said...

There is most certainly a way. If Syracuse loses their first Big East tournament game they probably will not be a 1 seed. Alternatively if they lose another regular season game and then lose in the Big East tournament semis then they probably will not be a 1 seed.

The Big East just isn't very good this year. The fact that South Florida is 10-4 reflects that fact. Big East fans are used to getting very biased help from the Selection Committee, and that's not going to happen this year.

Anonymous said...

English not a strong suit? Nobody said "there's no way" Syracuse will not be a 1 seed. However, there's no way their probability for a 1 seed is lower than Ohio State's.

Anonymous said...

The Big East is the third best conference this year via Sagarin. I'd bet by Pomeroy too but I refuse to pay the subscription. They are #2 in the RPI. Now, I realize they're usually the best conference, so this is a down year by their standards, but #3 does not equal "just not very good this year".

Jeff said...

I get to choose if I answer questions or not, and I choose not to answer more than three questions from people who are rude. Try being more polite next time.

Anonymous said...

You're dead wrong on Syracuse. If they win their last three games, and lose in the first round of the Big East tournament they will be a No. 1 seed. How can I say this? Because there is precedent.

In 2009, Pittsburgh gained a No. 1 seed while losing in the first round of the Big East Tournament. And granted while the Big East was stronger that year, this year's Big East is still a strong conference and Syracuse has had an incredibly dominant year, which will be enough to get a 1 seed. This is based on what the committee has done in the pst, not on what where YOU think teams should be seeded.

Jeff said...

Using the 2009 Big East as precedent for the 2012 Big East is just apples to oranges. That was the year that the media created that "The Big East is the greatest collection of teams in the history of mankind" monster and the conference got three 1 seeds. Every single Big East team was over-seeded in the Tournament. Some of them were laughably over-seeded.

The better comparison would be the 2006-07 UCLA team which entered the Pac-12 tournament considered the most likely #1 overall seed. They lost their first Pac-12 tournament game and ended up with a 2 seed.

In fact, that Pittsburgh '07 case is the only example I can ever remember where a team lost their first conference tournament game and still got a 1 seed. And that combination of self-reinforcing hype for one single conference is unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

The difference that I see is that UCLA had five losses after losing in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament. Syracuse would only have two even if the lost in the first round of the Big East tournament. Has there ever been a team from a power conference with only two losses that hasn't been given a No. 1 seed?

Also, if the Big East is so bad this year how do you still have Seton Hall in the tournament?

Jeff said...

Teams don't get put in or out because of their conference. Your overall resume is your overall resume.

Seeing as how I've had Syracuse as a 1 seed in every single bracket I've done this season, going back to last April, it really is ridiculous that you're arguing that I'm somehow underrating Syracuse's seed.

We agree to disagree. Enough.

Anonymous said...

Also, that '07 UCLA team lost its last REGULAR season game and then lost in the first round of the Pac-10 tourney. They lost two in a row heading in to seeding, that's why they got a 2 seed.

Anonymous said...

Last year's Pitt team lost its first conference tourney game, won the Big East regular season, and got a 1 seed.

Anonymous said...

"First of all, if Texas wins out and wins the Big 12 tournament they'll be something like a 4 seed. Look at UConn's resume with 2 weeks left in last year's regular season - this year's Texas team has a stronger resume. And this year's Big 12 is stronger than last year's Big East, so winning the conference tournament would mean just as much. And last year's UConn team went all the way up to a 6 seed."

I'm a little late to the party, but, what???

UConn wasn't a six seed last year.

Secondly, at this time last year, UConn's rough resume looked like this (I say "rough" because I can't find a weekly Sagarin archive, only and end of season rating):

Top 25 Sagarin wins over Kentucky, Texas, Georgetown, and Marquette, and Top 50 Sagarin wins over Villanova and Michigan State. No losses outside the Sagarin top 50, and 20-6 overall.

UConn was 6-6 vs Sagarin top 50 at this point last year.
Texas is 3-8 this year.

I see no way anyone can claim that Texas' current resume is better than UConn's resume at the same point last year.

Anonymous said...

That UCLA team went 5-3 in their last eight games before the NCAA Tournament. If Syracuse wins their final two regular season games, I think a better comparison would be the 2003-2004 St. Joe's Hawks. They were undefeated during the regular season (almost like a 30-1 Syracuse team) and proceeded to lose their first conference tournament game. This is yet another example of a team losing it's first tournament game and still getting a 1 seed.
The only difference would be Syracuse did it in a #3 rated conference, while St. Joe's did it in the Sagarin #10 conference.