Sunday, January 11, 2015

W-9 BP68

I don't think I've talked all season long in a BP68 post about why I do projected brackets rather than "as they stand now" brackets. And there are two reasons:

The first reason is, I don't know what purpose is served by having teams in stupid positions in my bracket. What purpose was served by joining other bracketologists and giving 4/5 seeds to the likes of TCU and Washington when we all knew they would regress once they hit conference play?

Joe Lunardi makes it even more bizarre by automatically taking as his auto bid the team leading the standings (he's not the only person to do this), causing him to put DePaul in his bracket this past week. Lunardi defended that as a demonstration of what happens when teams steal bids, but that makes no sense. Why put all these "bid stealers" in your bracket early on in the season and then take them out late in the season, when reasonable teams will be leading every major conference? Why do we only practice "bid stealing" in early January? And since you are ranking your last four teams in the bracket, we already can all can see who you'd drop out if a bid was stolen anyway. It just serves no purpose.

The second reason I don't do "how things stand now" is because I don't know how one does it objectively. For one, we all have some projection in our brackets early in the season. If a top team loses to a Sun Belt team in November, they don't drop out of every bracketologist's bracket. So when do we stop projecting? Even in early January a lot of bracketologists still include some projections for top teams that have faced soft schedules (like West Virginia this season, for example).

Also, how would we even know how a Selection Committee would deal with the results so far? For example, we know that the games that happen late in the season matter more than the games earlier on Selection Sunday, so... do we apply that thinking to mid-January? Do we count the games that happened last week more than the games that happened a month ago? How do we credit teams for winning their conferences, since we know that teams get a boost in the bracket for winning their conference's tournament? I don't know how any of us can pretend to accurately project such an unrealistic scenario. To me, it makes far more sense to try to project to the end of the season and then use the Selection Committee thinking that we all know so well.

Anyway, to talk about the actual bracket below, there are three changes to the projected Field of 68. Dayton moves in as an at-large team, replacing Washington. Also, two auto bids have new projected winners. Louisiana Tech replaces UTEP as the Conference USA projected champion, while Hofstra replaces Northeastern in the Colonial.

Next week is the first week of the Full Bubble. So starting next week I'll begin eliminating teams from at-large contention. That's always fun, so stay tuned.

Remember, this is a projection of what the bracket will look like on Selection Sunday, and not a measure of where teams would be if the season ended now.

For now, here's how I see things ending up on Selection Sunday:

1. KENTUCKY (SEC)
1. WISCONSIN (BIG TEN)
1. DUKE (ACC)
1. ARIZONA (PAC-12)

2. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)
2. Virginia
2. TEXAS (BIG 12)
2. GONZAGA (WCC)

3. Kansas
3. Louisville
3. North Carolina
3. Oklahoma

4. Utah
4. Iowa State
4. Ohio State
4. WICHITA STATE (MISSOURI VALLEY)

5. VCU (ATLANTIC TEN)
5. Oklahoma State
5. UCONN (AAC)
5. Maryland

6. West Virginia
6. SMU
6. Notre Dame
6. Georgetown

7. Syracuse
7. Arkansas
7. SAN DIEGO STATE (MOUNTAIN WEST)
7. Northern Iowa

8. Butler
8. Florida
8. Stanford
8. Michigan State

9. Iowa
9. Baylor
9. Cincinnati
9. Providence

10. St. John's
10. HARVARD (IVY)
10. Xavier
10. Illinois

11. Seton Hall
11. Colorado State
11. Michigan
11. BYU

12. Miami-Florida
12. Dayton
12. Pittsburgh
12. Minnesota
12. LOUISIANA TECH (CONFERENCE USA)
12. TOLEDO (MAC)

12. GREEN BAY (HORIZON)
13. UC SANTA BARBARA (BIG WEST)
13. IONA (MAAC)
13. GEORGIA STATE (SUN BELT)

14. HOFSTRA (COLONIAL)
14. EASTERN WASHINGTON (BIG SKY)
14. MURRAY STATE (OVC)
14. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (SOUTHLAND)

15. FLORIDA GULF COAST (ATLANTIC SUN)
15. DENVER (SUMMIT)
15. NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC)
15. WOFFORD (SOCON)

16. STONY BROOK (AMERICA EAST)
16. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (MEAC)
16. COASTAL CAROLINA (BIG SOUTH)
16. AMERICAN UNIVERSITY (PATRIOT)
16. TEXAS SOUTHERN (SWAC)
16. ST. FRANCIS-PA (NEC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Temple, NC State, Davidson, George Washington, Indiana, Wyoming, UCLA, Washington, South Carolina,

Other teams with a decent shot, but that need to improve their resume:
Tulsa, Rhode Island, Purdue, TCU, Old Dominion, UTEP, California, Colorado, Oregon, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi, Vanderbilt

Other teams I'm keeping my eye on, but that need to dramatically improve their resume:
Memphis, Tulane, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, La Salle, Richmond, Creighton, Marquette, Nebraska, Penn State, Kansas State, Western Kentucky, Valparaiso, Evansville, Illinois State, Loyola-Chicago, UNLV, New Mexico, Arizona State, Oregon State, Auburn, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Saint Mary's

10 comments:

Matthew Schutt said...

thoughts on IU? Resume looks solid as of now, does that mean you're projections have them regressing a little as conference play continue?

Jeff said...

Yes, I talked about that in today's Morning News post. I don't think their defense is good enough to get to the 10-8 B1G record they probably need to get in.

Anonymous said...

Why so high on UCONN? In your morning post, you said UCONN must go at least 12-6 in conf play to be safe (with 13-5 not being a lock). But you have them as high as a 5th seed. You think they're going to be somewhere around 15-3 or 16-2 in the AAC?

Jeff said...

I'm bumping UConn up 2-3 seed lines for winning their conference tournament. San Diego State similarly has been bumped up 1-2 seed lines for winning their conference tournament.

Anonymous said...

Ok. That makes sense. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Still no odu? This is a joke. The Monarchs will likely win cusa this year and be in the tourny. I think cusa can get two teams in the tourny and make some noise. You'll doubt us now but I wouldn't be shocked if odu was in the sweet 16 this March.

Jeff said...

What did Old Dominion do this week to suggest they should move up?

The Conference USA is lower rated than the Ivy League and Horizon League in both Sagarin and Pomeroy. The odds are against them earning an at-large bid.

Obviously at-large bids are handed out to teams and not conferences, and it's possible for a team to put up a great resume in a horrible conference, but there's a reason it so rarely happens. And I've explained this before: Old Dominion has zero remaining chances for "quality" wins, but every loss would be a "bad" loss. It's hard to build a resume in that paradigm.

Anonymous said...

26th right now in rpi and espn's Bpi, old dominion should be included in the bracket. I think the difference in your brackets and others is that yours is trying to forecast what it will look like in March while others are posting brackets based on things right now today. Odu rpi wise today would get into the tourny. It may fall depending on what happens in conference play but as long as old dominion wins 24-26 games total, they'll be a shoe in for a pretty good seed. Old dominions defense can likely get them into the second weekend of the tournament, it's that good.

Jeff said...

If Old Dominion wins 24 games they'll be a shoo-in for the NIT. I think they need to win 26 to feel somewhat confident on Selection Sunday. At 25 it'll be iffy.

As for "likely to the second weekend", I think there are maybe 5 or 6 teams I would say that about right now, and they're teams like Kentucky, Duke, Virginia and Wisconsin. I certainly wouldn't say it about any potentialy bubble team like Old Dominion.

Jeff said...

By the way, I'll give you some context for that latter number. If you go by Ken Pomeroy's numbers after the bracket was released on Selection Sunday 2014 (here), he had 12 teams with a 50% or greater chance of making the second weekend.

And of course, that's on Selection Sunday, when we have far more certainty about the makeup of the bracket and how good teams are than we do right now.