Thursday, March 09, 2017

D-3 BP68

As we head into the two most important days of the season for the bubble, it's worth having a little discussion about the final few spots.

For the time being, there are really only four spots up for grabs, but that can change for multiple reasons. Teams on the bubble can win or lose, of course, but we can also have bid stealers, either because a team steals an auto-bid in a major conference, or because a team like Kansas State or Illinois goes on a run in their conference tournament.

And that brings me to Illinois State, which is clinging onto the last projected spot right now. In the end, I expect Illinois State to end up (unfortunately) missing the NCAA Tournament. The power of the RPI is too strong. I just don't know at this point which team is going to jump up and grab that spot. But the odds are that somebody will.

There is a push for Syracuse to earn an at-large bid due to 6 RPI Top 50 wins, but even that RPI metric can't save them, I don't think. There's a bit of a fluke that, for example, their win over Monmouth counts as an RPI Top 50 win (for now). They are just 8-9 vs the RPI Top 100 and 12-13 vs the RPI Top 200, which really would be unprecedented. And, of course, an RPI of 84 would be unprecedented as well. Outside of RPI Top 50 wins, what other metric even suggests that Syracuse should be in the conversation?

With Syracuse dropping out of the bracket, Rhode Island slips back in. Meanwhile, we had three changes in auto bids due to tournament upsets. Northern Kentucky won the Horizon (replacing Green Bay), Iona won the MAAC (replacing Monmouth), and South Dakota State won the Summit (replacing South Dakota).

Just three teams were eliminated from at-large contention since Sunday: Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Ohio State. That leaves 17 teams not in the projected bracket that still have a chance for an at-large bid, but expect at least half a dozen of those to be eliminated over the next three days.

Capitalized teams are projected automatic bid winners. Remember that 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:

1. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)
1. KANSAS (BIG 12)
1. NORTH CAROLINA (ACC)
1. GONZAGA (WCC)

2. KENTUCKY (SEC)
2. Louisville
2. Baylor
2. ARIZONA (PAC-12)

3. Florida
3. Oregon
3. Duke
3. UCLA

4. Florida State
4. PURDUE (BIG TEN)
4. Butler
4. Virginia

5. West Virginia
5. CINCINNATI (AAC)
5. SMU
5. Minnesota

6. Notre Dame
6. South Carolina
6. Iowa State
6. Wisconsin

7. Maryland
7. Oklahoma State
7. DAYTON (ATLANTIC TEN)
7. Creighton

8. VCU
8. Saint Mary's
8. Arkansas
8. Michigan State

9. Miami FL
9. Virginia Tech
9. Michigan
9. Marquette

10. Northwestern
10. WICHITA STATE (MVC)
10. Vanderbilt
10. Providence

11. Wake Forest
11. Seton Hall
11. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (CONFERENCE USA)
11. Xavier
11. USC

12. Rhode Island
12. Illinois State
12. UNC-WILMINGTON (COLONIAL)
12. NEVADA (MOUNTAIN WEST)
12. TEXAS-ARLINGTON (SUN BELT)

13. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
13. PRINCETON (IVY LEAGUE)
13. AKRON (MAC)
13. BUCKNELL (PATRIOT)

14. EAST TENNESSEE ST (SOCON)
14. IONA (MAAC)
14. WINTHROP (BIG SOUTH)
14. CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (WAC)

15. FLORIDA GULF COAST (ATLANTIC SUN)
15. TEXAS SOUTHERN (SWAC)
15. NORTHERN KENTUCKY (HORIZON)
15. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (SUMMIT)

16. JACKSONVILLE STATE (OVC)
16. UC-IRVINE (BIG WEST)
16. EASTERN WASHINGTON (BIG SKY)
16. NEW ORLEANS (SOUTHLAND)
16. MOUNT ST MARY'S (NEC)
16. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (MEAC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Houston, Syracuse, California

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Illinois, Iowa,  Kansas State, Georgia

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Indiana, TCU, Utah, Mississippi

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
UCF, Boise St, Colorado, Alabama, Tennessee, BYU

11 comments:

Chris said...

I am thinking URI needs to win 2 more to make it in. What do you think? Or will a win tomorrow & a loss against Dayton be enough?

Jim said...

Looks like you have one too many teams in the bracket (7 16-seeds)...

David Mann said...

Yep. Illinois St. Would be the victim.

HenryMuto said...

The biggest bubble team this year looks to be Syracuse once again. They have all those top 50 wins but all came at home. The bracket matrix community seems split on Syracuse right now about 55% have them in the bracket right now.

Current RPI as I write this is 87. (New Mexico in 1999 had the worst ever at 74)
2-11 record away from home (No team has ever got an at large bid with that few wins away from home)
12-13 vs RPI top 200 (I think only about 6 other teams have got at large bid with a losing top 200 record)
18-14 overall this would tie for 2nd worst record to get at large bid.

So will the committee take a team that has 6 top 50 wins even though all were at home with all the other negatives ?

HenryMuto said...

Xavier with the win over Butler today looks to have locked up a bid and should likely be out of Dayton and the first 4.

Kansas State with a huge win over Baylor looks to have pushed themselves into the field today.

RPI of 55
4-8 vs top 50
8-7 road/neutral record

They looked done after losing by 30 at Oklahoma but it looks like they are back from the dead now.

HenryMuto said...

Vanderbilt if they lose to Florida is going to be interesting case mainly because they would set history to get at large bid by being the 1st ever to get one with 15 losses and only second team ever to be only 3 games or fewer above .500 at 18-15 (Georgia was 16-14 in 2001)

Current RPI of 43
5-8 vs top 50
Non conf SOS of 1
SOS overall of 2

2 wins vs Florida

I got a feeling they will be in but not sure they will be a 10 seed like you have them if they lose to Florida.

Vandy and Syracuse are the 2 toughest calls this year I think.

Anonymous said...

west Virginia a #5 seed? lol, no way. if they win the Big12 they will move up to a #2 or no worse than a #3.

Jeff said...

If West Virginia wins the Big 12 tournament then they will probably move up to a 3 or 4. I don't see how a 2 seed is at all possible considering their RPI metrics.

HenryMuto said...

West Virginia was a #5 seed going into yesterday so this wasn't crazy. They got lucky so far they got Texas and now get Kansas State instead of Baylor and Kansas is gone so them winning the Big 12 tournament is both good and bad. Good if they win it but bad because they won't be getting a Baylor or Kansas type quality win to move them up as far as you would think.

HenryMuto said...

Vanderbilt just punched their ticket with a 3rd win over Florida no way they can be denied even if they end up with 15 losses. So either they win the SEC tournament or they make history. I thought they would probably get in but now I am sure of it. That horrible loss at Missouri looks like it won't come back to bite them.

Bilai said...



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