Sunday, February 22, 2015

W-3 BP68

It was a relatively slow Saturday for college basketball, mostly due to a scheduling quirk. We had just one game played between ranked teams (West Virginia vs Oklahoma State). It should just get better from here on out.

We continue to not get clarity on the 1 seeds. I would say that Wisconsin, Arizona and Virginia all control their own destiny for a 1 seed if they win out, but none of them are likely to win out. That's where Gonzaga has the edge in the projection here.

There was one change to the bubble since the last bracket. Texas A&M moved into the projected bracket while BYU dropped out. Both of those teams are on a rapidly thinning bubble, though. You can see at the bottom of the teams under consideration list just how few teams really are still in the bubble fight anymore.

Speaking of teams in consideration, seven teams were eliminated from at-large contention over the last three days: Akron, Bowling Green, Colorado, Mississippi State, Penn State, Western Kentucky and Yale. That leaves 41 teams currently out of the bracket that still have a chance for an at-large bid.

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:


2. Duke
2. KANSAS (BIG 12)

3. Utah
3. Oklahoma
3. North Carolina
3. Iowa State

4. Louisville
4. Notre Dame
4. Baylor

5. Ohio State
5. Northern Iowa
5. SMU (AAC)
5. Georgetown

6. Arkansas
6. West Virginia
6. Butler

7. Maryland
7. Xavier
7. Michigan State

8. Providence
8. Oklahoma State
8. Temple
8. Mississippi

9. Texas
9. Cincinnati
9. Indiana
9. Colorado State

10. Dayton
10. Georgia
10. St. John's
10. Davidson

11. Iowa
11. Illinois
11. Stanford
11. LSU
11. Miami-Florida

12. Texas A&M
12. NC State





Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Tulsa, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Boise State, UCLA, BYU

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Rhode Island, Old Dominion, Oregon, Saint Mary's

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Connecticut, Clemson, UMass, Minnesota, UTEP, Valparaiso, Alabama, Florida

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
Memphis, Florida State, George Washington, La Salle, Richmond, Seton Hall, Michigan, Nebraska, Kansas State, TCU, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Evansville, Wyoming, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Sam Houston St


Anonymous said...

How in the world can you still have Iowa, Illinois and Indiana in ahead of Purdue?

Anonymous said...

How is Texas projected to be a 9? They'd be an 11 or 12 and play at West Virginia and Texas this week. How does not Duke not control its own destiny as a 1 if they win out?

Anonymous said...

And why is maryland a 7 seed. Whats the reasoning

Jeff said...

Purdue: Their resume is very reminiscent of Georgia's last season. The 11-7 or 12-6 they're likely going to put up in the Big Ten is very hollow, and they had an atrocious non-conference performance. Unless they get to 13-5 in Big Ten play or make a run in the Big Ten tournament, their RPI will likely end up outside the Top 60.

Texas: They would not be an 11 or 12 seed right now. Probably a 9, maybe a 10. There's a lot of focus on that RPI Top 50 record, but when you dig through their resume it's stronger than you think.

Maryland: They're just not a very good team. They're likely going to fade down the stretch.

Anonymous said...

Maryland might not be that good but they're probably a 3-4 seed right now. At very worst a 5. Besides Wisconsin, which wouldn't hurt them that much, they play Michigan, Rutgers, and Nebraska. I doubt 3-1, even with an early exit in the B10 tournament would drop them to a 7.

Anonymous said...

The analysis of Maryland is so solid. "Maryland is not a very good team." Wow. Based on the 22-5 record? Based on the wins over Iowa State, Oklahoma State, sweep of Michigan State, win AT Purdue?? Clearly they have been squeaking out close games, and that is a cause for concern while also a testament to being able to close out close games. Whether they fade down the stretch or not, being able to definitively give an analysis of a team by simply saying they "are not good" shows how little was given in either watching Maryland play or simply the fact that you do not like Maryland. Either way, it is pretty laughable.

Jeff said...

A good record in close games has basically nothing to do with how well teams do in close games. Maryland is just as likely to lose their next overtime game as Florida is.

Also, assuming a 3-1 record for Maryland as a worst case scenario down the stretch is optimistic. Both Sagarin and Pomeroy project a 2-2 finish.

Anonymous said...

Wait Wait....So now winning 8 games by 6 points or less is frowned upon? (While still not having lost one of those games I might add...)
Have you watched Maryland play? It would be easy to be on board if you said somethings like "well Maryland is struggling right now while still being able to pull out wins against lesser competition." To come out and utterly state they aren't any good is a biased, opinion based statement with no merit other than you not liking the team. That is your right, too. It is just will continue to be irresponsible and irrelevant when judging Maryland at tournament time.

Anonymous said...

Yes, winning a multitude of games by 6 points or less is absolutely an indicator that your team is not as good as its record.

Luckily for you, teams are seeded based on their resumes, not how good they actually are. Maryland has a great resume and a pretty soft last 4 games. They are more likely to be a 4-5 seed than a 7 seed.

Anonymous said...

Another comment to make: will this year finally signal the end of the RPI as major metric for the committee?

The ridiculousness of the RPI is on full display right now with Kansas holding the #1 spot. If this year doesn't make the committee realize how useless a rating the RPI is, then I guess they will never catch on.

Anonymous said...


It's not like Jeff is the one seeding the teams for the tournament. He's merely projecting the seeds based on his opinion of how teams are going to finish the season.

He may be wrong but I'd hardly call his opinion irresponsible.

By the way, if you go look at the Sagarin numbers, you'll note that Maryland has significantly outperformed what would normally be expected based on the numbers. They are pretty much the opposite of Ohio State, who's considerably underperformed based on the numbers.

I think that's all that Jeff is trying to say. Maybe Maryland is due to come back to earth.

Jeff said...

Yes, I feel like my point has been answered here by others on Maryland.

As to the point about the RPI being ridiculous, you are of course preaching to the choir on that one. However, it seems if anything that the trend is that the RPI has become more powerful in the Selection Committee's eyes than 10-15 years ago.

Of course, if Kentucky is still undefeated on Selection Sunday they'll get the #1 overall seed, no matter what the RPI says. But a team like Tulsa is a team that could benefit in a big way by how the RPI is viewed. We've seen several teams in recent years (most notably in the Mountain West Conference) get inflated seeds after manipulating the RPI formula with smart scheduling.

Jesse said...

I think we'll find out a lot about Maryland when they play Wisconsin. The Badgers need a road win against a Top 25 RPI opponent to bolster their case for the #1 seed.

I agree with your other analysis on the B1G teams. Purdue's best wins in conference play are against Indiana, who is only 9-6 in the league. They still have a shot at MSU, which would be huge for them.

Iowa is up and down but has better wins than Purdue and a much easier closing schedule. They won @UNC, swept dOSU and crushed Maryland. If they go 3-1 to get to 11-7, that seems like enough. Might need to avoid a loss on Day 2 of the BTT.

Anonymous said...

Yes, two people on here think Maryland isn't any good. Your point is made.

While ALOT of points on Maryland are very valid, stating they are not good is incorrect. Irresponsible was clearly a wrong word choice, which I was wrong to use. Debating whether Maryland is as good as their record? That is perfectly fine. Like someone said, fortunately this is a SEASON long resume. Discrediting wins that happened in November and December is not what the committee will do and that is why they look at the WHOLE body of work.

Nice work on the site....

Anonymous said...

Nice to see Maryland fading down the stretch after their 4th straight win. If this is fading, I sure hope they keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I will just sip my tea. Maryland will be not be near a 7th seed. They should finish second in the big 10 due to their schedule down the stretch and Michigan+Purdue's more difficult one. Plus, MD has the tiebreaker over both.

Also, Texas will not be a 9 seed. They will lose again this Saturday and who's to say they beat Baylor next week. Not to mention that they wil; probably end with the 7th seed and play Kansas or Iowa St in the quarters of the B12 tournament. Will be 6-10 after this weekend.

Jeff said...

I'm sure that if Maryland had lost last night you'd have come back and said "Damn, I guess I was wrong, Maryland is mediocre."

Oh, you wouldn't?

I guess it's because single game sample sizes are only meaningful when people choose that they want them to be meaningful.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Maryland fan and I actually think their primed for an upset. I understand how lucky they've been this year in close games but that has nothing to do with their seeding. The facts are they have a top 10 RPI, quality wins, and quite frankly the teams around the 6-7 line aren't that great either. This teams floor is now essentially a 5 seed.

Anonymous said...

So losing to number 5 Wisconsin would prove your theory that Maryland is mediocre???

It is so laughable. It is not a one game sample size. It is the 9, I repeat, 9-0 in games decided by 6 or less. I'd be back no matter what happened because your analysis of Maryland, while making some good points, is so flawed it is ridiculous.

Primed for an upset? I could name a dozen teams primed for an upset. You cannot even give a little credit for the gameplan last night vs the most efficient team in the country, who also happens to turn the ball over the least in the entire country. But hey, don't let that get in the way of your curious "analysis" of Maryland.

Anonymous said...

One final thing:

Teams with 5 wins vs. KenPom Top 30 teams:
Kentucky, Duke, Virginia, Wisconsin, and, wait one second....
That's right. Maryland.

If that constitutes "not any good", those other 4 teams must be pretty bad.

Jeff said...

I once played roulette and the wheel hit red on nine spins a row. Clearly, the color red was just on fire, and I should throw tons of cash on red on the next roll.

Jeff said...

If you're convinced Maryland is really a top ten quality team then their next Vegas line will be around 6 or 7 points off from how good they truly are.

For example, last night Maryland was a 6 point underdog against Wisconsin. A team right around being 10th best in the nation (say, Oklahoma) would have been approximately a pick'em.

On Saturday, I'd guess that Maryland will be something like an 8 or 9 point favorite against Michigan, when a team like Oklahoma would be around 15 points. That would present a massive gambling opportunity if you are correct.

Anonymous said...

Quality reply yet again. Thank goodness other "bracketologists" go by actual analysis and game watching, which hopefully most people can get an informed look at where teams may be seeded....

Anonymous said...

Not one time did I say Maryland was a top ten team. Not one time. I simply have been trying to dispell your theory that they are mediocre. A top 15, top 20, top 25 team is far from mediocre, whether you say so or not. Beating Wisconsin at home certainly does not make Maryland a top 10 team, but it absolutely does make them ALOT better than mediocre.

Jeff said...

Even if Maryland is just the 25th best team in the nation, that would still provide you a significant gambling opportunity.

The difference between where Maryland's Vegas lines are and where they'd be if they were the 25th best team in the nation is 2-3 points.

That's a significant gambling edge if you are correct. Go throw your money on it.

Anonymous said...

This is so hilarious.....

Who the hell is talking about betting?? If you are laying money down on Maryland, or have a gambling obsession, I feel sorry for you.

You have come back twice with gambling replies. Once again, the analysis of this game or others is non existent.

I'm sure nothing is going to convince you, which I said, is totally your perragotive. It will just continue to baffle I suppose.

Jeff said...

You missed my point about the gambling lines. You have posted at least half a dozen times here lampooning how terrible and laughable my opinion is. Yet it's an opinion which also happens to be shared by Vegas casinos that can lose millions of dollars by being wrong.

Now, the fact that the casinos agree with me doesn't a priori make my position accurate. I could still be wrong. But it also means that I'm not some deranged, ignorant Maryland-hater. My position is based on years of experience. History says that Maryland's mediocre +0.01 PPP in Big Ten play is far more meaningful than their (mostly luck-derived) 9-0 record in games decided by six points or fewer.

Anonymous said...

I hate Maryland. Jeff turned out to be wrong about them. They made Wisconsin look very average. He can't just eat crow. You've got to have thick skin to post this stuff, because the truth is no matter how much people hold themselves up to be experts the experts are much better at picking this stuff than the average Joe.

He responds with childish stuff like, a one game sample doesn't prove anything unless you want it to, but he was going to use it to dis Maryland. Also, with Maryland we have a 26 game sample right now.

The point is this. There ain't no way in hell Maryland ends up on the 7 line and there hasn't been for a very long time. If you run a web page like this you just have to say, "I guess I was wrong about that one," and move on. Why? Because you were wrong. Maryland will be far better than a 7 seed no matter if you think they're overrated.

Jeff said...

I will probably hit the exact seed on around.... 20 of the 68 teams currently in my bracket. We're still 3 weeks out. Some will be too high and some will be too low.

But the one constant is that anytime fans get angry at me, there's a 100% chance they will come back to gloat and crow anytime I was wrong about their team, and a 100% chance they'll never show up to admit I was right if I was.

To paraphrase my twitter profile, it's important to remember that I always hate your favorite team.