Sunday, March 02, 2014

W-2 BP68

This time of year we often talk about how much weaker the bubble is getting, but over the past few days the bubble has gotten significantly stronger. A bunch of teams sitting just inside the Field of 68 (Xavier, Oklahoma State, etc) improved their resumes. The bubble is smaller, with fewer spots up for grabs.

Georgetown had to come out of the bracket, and they did. They were replaced by Providence. That ended up being the only change in the composition of the Field of 68 since my last bracket projection. Oklahoma State would have dropped out if they'd fallen to Kansas, but with the win they slid all the way up to an 11 seed. Minnesota would have been the team to replace them, so for now the Gophers are the first team out.

My 1 seeds will again probably be a bit controversial, though obviously it won't be the Syracuse fans angry at me anymore. Instead, what happened was Kansas being dropped to a 2 seed, with Duke replacing them as a 1 seed (assuming Duke wins the ACC tournament, of course). If Kansas wins out they definitely will have a great shot for a 1 seed, but they might end up losing it to Duke anyway. And with the real risk of Joel Embiid missing time with another back issue, Kansas certainly can lose again. The seven total losses are definitely a concern.

Once again there is a big break in the bracket in the middle of the 4 seeds. Wisconsin can easily be a 3, with a real chance to move up to a 2 seed with a strong finish (and isn't totally out of the 1 seed discussion if they can win out), while at the same time Louisville would probably be more like a 6 seed if the season ended now. But Louisville is better than their resume, and if they win the AAC tournament I think it's reasonable to project them sliding up to a 4 seed.

Three teams were eliminated from at-large contention since the last bracket: Notre Dame, St. Bonaventure, Seton Hall, Wake Forest and Wyoming.  That leaves 33 teams not in my bracket that still have a chance at an at-large bid 

Please remember that the following is a projection of Selection Sunday and not a list of where teams would be seeded if the season ended now. The teams in all-caps are the projected automatic bid winners for their respective conference.

1. FLORIDA (SEC)
1. WICHITA STATE (MVC)
1. ARIZONA (PAC-12)
1. DUKE (ACC)

2. KANSAS (BIG 12)
2. Syracuse
2. SAN DIEGO STATE (MWC)
2. Michigan

3. MICHIGAN STATE (BIG TEN)
3. CREIGHTON (BIG EAST)
3. Virginia
3. Villanova

4. Wisconsin
4. SAINT LOUIS (ATLANTIC TEN)
4. North Carolina
4. LOUISVILLE (AAC)

5. Cincinnati
5. New Mexico
5. Iowa State
5. Oklahoma

6. SMU
6. Texas
6. Ohio State
6. UCLA

7. Iowa
7. Kentucky
7. UConn
7. Arizona State

8. Memphis
8. UMass
8. Pittsburgh
8. VCU

9. Kansas State
9. George Washington
9. Stanford
9. GONZAGA (WCC)

10. Saint Joseph's
10. Xavier
10. HARVARD (IVY)
10. Oregon

11. California
11. Baylor
11. BYU
11. Oklahoma State

12. TOLEDO (MAC)
12. Colorado
12. Tennessee
12. St. John's
12. Providence
12. LOUISIANA TECH (CONFERENCE USA)

13. NORTH DAKOTA STATE (SUMMIT)
13. WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY (HORIZON)
13. STEPHEN F AUSTIN (SOUTHLAND)
13. DELAWARE (COLONIAL)

14. UC SANTA BARBARA (BIG WEST)
14. IONA (MAAC)
14. MERCER (ATLANTIC SUN)
14. NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC)

15. BELMONT (OVC)
15. GEORGIA STATE (SUN BELT)
15. NC CENTRAL (MEAC)
15. BOSTON UNIVERSITY (PATRIOT)

16. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
16. DAVIDSON (SOCON)
16. WEBER STATE (BIG SKY)
16. ROBERT MORRIS (NEC)
16. VMI (BIG SOUTH)
16. ALABAMA STATE (SWAC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Clemson, Florida State, Georgetown, Marquette, Minnesota, Southern Miss, Arkansas

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Dayton, Nebraska, West Virginia, Utah, Missouri

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Maryland, UTEP, Boise State, UNLV, Georgia, LSU, Saint Mary's

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
NC State, Richmond, Illinois, Indiana, Penn State, Purdue, Middle Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana State, Oregon State, Washington, Mississippi, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt

13 comments:

DMoore said...

First, it's kind of cool seeing Michigan at a 2 seed above Michigan State at 3 while you're projecting MSU to win the conference tourney.

However, isn't it time to rethink having MSU as your prediction to win the tourney? At this point, doesn't it make more sense to project, say, Michigan or Wisconsin as the tourney winner?

DMoore said...

A comparison -- which of these should get a higher seed? Rankings used are from KenPom, n means on a neutral court.

Current Resumes-
Team A:
Wins: 14, n15, 2, 90, @69, 35, @16, 51, 11
Losses: n8, n1, @97, @50, @11, @21

Team B:
Wins: n19, 94, @35, @90, 35, 21, @97, @16, 51, @50, 97, 69, 11
Losses: 17, @10, @52, @22, @3


Will this change if these teams add these to their resume? Projections are based on KenPom and confirmed by Gasaway's conference efficiency margins.
Predicted Resumes Additions-
Team A:
Wins: 21, n11
Losses: n2

Team B:
Wins: n21, n3

Jeff said...

It's possible that I'm being fooled by Michigan State. But I still believe that if they can get back to full strength that they're the best team in the Big Ten.

I'm not totally a believer in Michigan, honestly. If I pick another team to win the Big Ten tourney, it might be Wisconsin. Though over the next week we'll have to start breaking down the likely draws to see which team has an easier path.

DMoore said...

Sorry, team B's expected added wins should be:
Wins: @51, n21, n3

Daniel Tappa said...

Jeff,

You are the only 1 of the 68 different projections at bracketmatrix.com that has Wisconsin below a 3 seed. Congrats.

So, I presume you expect them to lose home vs Purdue now? Because if they don't do that, and they lose @ Nebraska (4th place team in Big 10), there's about a 1 percent chance they get lower than a 3 seed.

Come on dude, your projection is ridiculous and you know it. Top 4 RPI, top 2 SOS, 10th in Ken Pom, 11-2 away from Madison, and beat the SEC, ACC, and likely A10 regular season champions in the non-conference. If they lose their next 2 conference games and then 1st round conference tournament game, then they will probably be a 4 seed. Any other outcome results in a 3 seed or higher.

Jeff said...

I'm the only projection in the Bracket Matrix, period.

Two weeks ago I was also the only dude in the Bracket Matrix with Syracuse as a 2 seed. It wasn't that everybody else was wrong, it was that they were rating "where teams are now" and I'm rating "where teams will be on Selection Sunday".

Daniel Tappa said...

Yeah, you've made this quite clear. Can you expand on how you project Wisconsin to get a 4 seed? I just can't see it happening unless they lose out. If that's what you think, which is bold, then stand by it. I understand your methods, I would just like to hear more regarding how Wisconsin ends up as a 4 seed.

DMoore said...

Daniel-
I think the reverse question holds -- which of the teams above Wisconsin in these listings would you project below them in the tourney seeding?

I think the projection of Wisconsin is based on the idea that they lose in the tourney semis to Michigan State. Michigan is likely to be the 1 seed, Wisconsin the 2, MSU the 3.

Personally, I would not project MSU to win the Big Ten tourney, and wouldn't project them to beat Wisconsin. But if Michigan and MSU make it to the Big Ten tourney finals, I don't see which of the teams listed above them here Wisconsin would edge out.

Creighton and Villanova will likely face off in the Big East Tourney finals, and will likely be above Wisc. Duke and Virginia will likely face off in the ACC tourney finals, and should be above Wisc. If Kansas wins the Big 12 tourney, then I would project them above Wisc. Florida, Wichita State and Arizona should be projected above Wisc at this point.

That leaves the only alternatives where Wisc gets a 3 seed to be where Syracuse or SDSU gets a 4. I wouldn't project that.

Jeff said...

Indeed. There's just a huge log jam for those 2, 3 and 4 seeds, and the 2 seeds are inevitably going to go to whichever among those teams plays best over the next two weeks. The conference tournaments are going to have a lot of weight.

If Wisconsin wins the Big Ten tourney, I'll project them no lower than 2 seed, and if they get enough help I might even project them as a 1. So all they have to do is win games.

Anonymous said...

How do you 'project' Wisconsin to be a 4 seed? They have beaten more good teams than anyone except Kansas, many on the road, and have only 5 losses. Even if they lose one of their final 2, and in the first round of the big10, they'll probably be a 3seed.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, please paint a scenario where Wisconsin gets a 4-seed.

Thank you.

(This should be good)

Daniel Tappa said...

DMoore & Jeff,

I think you guys are putting too much weight into the conference tournaments. I'll repeat this one last time, Wisconsin is 11-2 in road & neutral games, the only team with a better record in road & neutral games is Villanova (12-2) but Nova's best true road win was against St. Joe's. Which doesn't come close to road wins @ Michigan, @ Virginia, @ Iowa.

Why would Creighton and Duke deserve a higher seed than Wisconsin?

Record:
Wisconsin: 24-5
Creighton: 23-5
Duke: 23-6

RPI:
Wisconsin: 4
Creighton: 9
Duke: 8


SOS:
Wisconsin: 2
Creighton: 20
Duke: 8

NCSOS:
Wisconsin: 6
Creighton: 42
Duke: 18

Road&Neutral:
Wisconsin: 11-2
Creighton: 8-5
Duke: 7-6

Vs RPI top 50:
Wisconsin: 8-3
Creighton: 5-3
Duke: 5-4

So, of the major criteria the committee uses, Wisconsin is clearly superior and it really isn't all that close. For Wisconsin's #'s to significantly change, they will have to lose their final 2 regular season games and then get bounced first round of conference tournament.

Lastly, record vs currently ranked top 25 AP teams:

Wisconsin: 6-1
Duke: 3-3
Creighton: 2-0

This isn't that hard. Wisconsin has a ridiculous resume, and I would argue it is the most impressive in the country (better than Kansas) due to their SOS and road/neutral win loss record against quality opponents. The only way they will end up lower than a 3 seed is if they lose out.

Daniel Tappa said...

I really hope you still have Wisconsin as a 4 seed in your next projection, so you can continue to be on your island of insanity. You act as if there's a lot of season left to change things, Wisconsin is a 2 seed UNLESS they lose @ Nebraska and first round of conference tournament (then they will likely be a 3, but will still have a better chance of being a 2 than a 4).

The only way things can change much is if tournament teams lose to terrible teams (see Syracuse, see Duke). That's why I was saying Wisconsin had to lose to Purdue at home to get a 4 seed, which you must have been projecting, otherwise there was no reason to project Wisconsin as a 4.