Sunday, December 09, 2007

W-14 BP65

1. KANSAS (BIG 12)
1. UCLA (PAC 10)

2. Duke

3. Texas
3. Marquette
3. Texas A&M
3. Indiana

4. Washington State
4. Pittsburgh
4. Ohio State
4. Louisville

5. Arizona
5. USC
5. UConn

6. Florida
6. Oregon
6. Villanova

7. Wisconsin
7. Clemson
7. Syracuse
7. BYU (MWC)

8. Missouri
8. Kansas State
8. Illinois

9. Washington
9. Kentucky
9. Vanderbilt

10. Creighton
10. Alabama
10. Arkansas
10. California

11. Virginia
11. Mississippi State

12. Stanford
12. Maryland
12. North Carolina State

13. Miami (Fl)
13. MIAMI (OH) (MAC)


15. YALE (IVY)


Other teams considered, but that missed the cut:
Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, George Washington, Rhode Island, Notre Dame, Providence, West Virginia, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, VCU, Northern Iowa, San Diego State, Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina

Other teams that can believe they have a plausible shot at an at-large bid:
Wake Forest, Fordham, Massachusetts, Cincinnati, Depaul, Seton Hall, St. John's, Penn State, Michigan, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Drexel, Hofstra, Old Dominion, Alabama-Birmingham, Houston, Southern Miss, UTEP, Wright State, Akron, Bradley, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Wichita State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona State, Appalachian State, LSU, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Saint Mary's, Fresno State, Nevada, Utah State


ebl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ebl said...

Still liking North Dakota State in there I see.

I'm not sure how you can have Sam Houston State projected any lower than a 13 or 14 at this point. They'll certainly have more resume building win opportunities in conference than Yale, Austin Peay, and Marist. I realize a very good Texas A&M Corpus Christi was ( and in my opinion got screwed ) slotted as a 15 last year out of the Southland, but the Bobcats already have 3 OOC wins that can top what the Islanders did last season.

Anonymous said...

Moron, Texas beat UCLA on the road and dominated Tennessee.

Jeff said...

ebl, you're right, I forgot about the ND State discussion earlier this week. It's too late to change it now, I just have to remember next weekend.

And, anonymous, we prefer to have constructive criticism here. Please read my post called "How NOT to rank teams" - just because Texas beat UCLA does NOT make them a better team. If you've watched those two teams play several times this year, you'd know that UCLA is the better team. Texas pulled off the upset in a single game, but in the long run I expect UCLA to remain in the top 2 or 3 in the country.

You should be careful about using harsh language for the simple fact that you look stupid when you're wrong. Go look at my posts from December of January of last season, where I get called a moron for not having Pitt a #1 seed, or where I get called a moron for not giving Wichita State a #2 seed. All of those people now look like fools. Have some perspective, and cool the language, please.

Jeff said...

Oh, and for Sam Houston State, I understand that their computer rankings are through the roof right now. But I just don't see that holding up. It's only been four games. They just aren't that good of a team. And as for the Southland being definitely better than the Ivy, OVC and MAAC, I'm not sure that's true. It's probably better than the OVC. But the Ivy is slightly ahead in the RPI rankings, and the MAAC is slightly ahead in the Sagarin Rankings. And even so, the lower seeds aren't ranked in conference power ranks.

There aren't any good losses in the Southland, and I expect Sam Houston State to suffer a few of them. Remember, good seeds and the Southland don't usually go together. I can't remember them ever getting anything better than a #14 seed. Have they ever?

ebl said...

1995 - Nicholls State ( 13 )
1993 - UL Monroe ( 13 )

Those are the only times a Southland team have been higher than a 14 I believe.

I'm not sure why you'd say Sam Houston State isn't good. They have likely conference POY Ryan Bright and have some good OOC wins which are pretty unusual for a Southland team. As for them having "bad losses" in the Southland, that's doubtful if they keep playing like they are. If they were to lose on the road to SFA or UT-A, do you think that'd be more damaging than Yale already losing to Wagner at home and conference favorite Cornell losing to Colgate at home come tournament seeding time?

previous anonymous guy said...

Fair enough about UCLA, flawed as it may be, yet you have Tennessee ahead of Texas. Texas beat them by nearly 20.

And i realize this is all meaningless since conference play hasnt even started but if you aren't taking actual results into account, what are you doing?

Jeff said...

I've explained this before... I am predicting where these teams will be at the end of the year. I think that Tennessee is approximately the same level as Texas, and I think UCLA is better than Texas. Then, I think UCLA and Tennessee will win their conferences while Texas will not. Texas is not going to get a #1 seed unless they win their conference.

This was the same thing I went through last year with Wisconsin. They were ranked in the top 4 for much of the year, even briefly #1, and I never gave them a #1 seed. People like you gave me a lot of grief ("Don't you watch the games!"), but it was because I thought Ohio State was going to win the conference. It's incredibly rare for a conference to get two #1 seeds, so I'm not going to predict it except in very rare situations.

If Texas doesn't win the Big 12, the best seed they're going to get is a #2. Right now I have them as the 2nd ranked non-conference winner, behind Duke. That's not exactly showing disrespect towards their results.

Anonymous said...

OK. I agree with you that Texas won't get a 1 seed, but at this point few teams have a stronger resume.

But with your prediction methodology the ranking makes more sense.

And you should probably take a look at including St. Mary's, they're losing as I type this but they are ranked in the Top 25 and are actually RPI number 1 (not for long).

Anonymous said...

Are you that surprised that he doesn't have St. Mary's in his projection when he has the following projected:

Ohio State as a 4
UConn as a 5
SIU as a 6
Florida as a 6
Syracuse as a 7
Xavier as an 8
Butler as a 9
Washington as a 9
Vanderbilt as a 9
Alabama as a 10
New Mexico State as a 12

I mean, are you serious? Also, look at his teams that "just missed the cut". Georgia? Auburn? George Washington? Northern Iowa? Iowa? Wow is all I can say.

Jeff said...

If you would like to have a reasoned debate, I would be happy to debate any of those with you. Make your case for why you think a team is misranked and I would be happy to discuss it. If you're just going to insult me, I see no need to respond.

As for the poster asking about St. Mary's, I do like that team. If you go back to that upset of Oregon, you'll notice that I pointed out that I didn't see it as nearly the upset that the media made it out to be. St. Mary's has been a very tough team to beat at home over the past few years.

I'm simply queasy about the idea of two teams getting out of the WCC. The conference has gotten off to a mediocre start, and will likely end up with low numbers. It's possible that they can get a second bid, if St. Mary's really blows them away with the resume. If they only lose 5 or 6 games all year.

But I think they are a team that really struggles on the road. Well, maybe not so much that they struggle on the road as much as they really play well at home. They've gotten off to a great start this year because they've been able to play at home. They haven't looked like a Tournament team in their two road games so far. I see something like a 19-8 regular season record as most likely. And that's not going to get them into the Tournament.

Anonymous said...

Ohio State as a 4 - Well, I guess we can start with them not being very competitive against the three quality teams they've faced so far. They have one decent win over an average Syracuse team in New York. This is not to mention they almost lost to Coppin State at home a couple of days ago. The Buckeyes also don't have another opportunity for a premier win OOC unless you think they can beat the Vols in TN. With as inexperienced as they are, I'm sure they'll get better and possibly make the tournament. I just don't see how in the world it's possible for them to get a high seed.

UConn as a 5 - Terribly inconsistent offensively. Thabeet is still as soft as ever, they have no good wins thus far, and can't play against a zone. They can certainly make the tournament, but a 5?

SIU as a 6 - Another team that wilts against the zone. No offensive punch. Their win over Miss State on a neutral court is looking less and less impressive. If they don't finish nicely in the MVC and pick up a win against Butler, I'm not sure they will even make the tournament much less get a 6 seed.

Florida as a 6 - Who the hell knows? They're young and could be dangerous in a fairly weak SEC this year, but they also have a terrible OOC schedule and got blown out at home against a pretty average Florida State team. Once again, I can see you having them in the tournament at the end of the year but this high?

Syracuse as a 7 - One would think the win at Virginia was really impressive until you realize Seton Hall did it as well. No defense and no more chances to pick up a quality out of conference win. I doubt they make the tournament much less get a 7 seed.

Xavier as an 8 - So now that I've railed you for overvaluing too many teams, how can you have Xavier this low? Neutral court wins over Indiana and Kent State coupled with a home win over Creighton is pretty damned impressive to me. How in the world can you project them lower than the above teams? Explain it please.

Butler as a 9 - Blew out Ohio State. Barely lost to a pretty good Wright State team on the road without Campbell. Since you are projecting this out as you see it at the end of the year, how can you see Butler this low? When they get Campbell back from injury and Jukes eligible later this month, you've got to think they will start rolling again. Remember them getting a 5 seed last year? That was with a total of 4 conference losses as well.

Washington as a 9 - What? Will they even get in the NIT?

Vanderbilt as a 9 - A 10-0 team with plenty of solid wins over good mid-majors and tons of talent. I mean, seriously. Florida gets a 6 and Vandy gets a 9?

Alabama as a 10 - No PG has stepped up as of today and they possess one consistent scoring threat in Hendrix - except they can't get him the ball. They don't have one single guard that can penetrate and dish well. It'd be a blessing to get a high seed in the NIT for them this year in all honesty. Atleast they're playing much harder this year on defense than in year's past.

New Mexico State as a 12 - They don't have Herb Pope yet. They also don't have one good win. Out of the WAC, I'd rate Nevada, Boise State, and Utah State ahead of them for tourney purposes, but for the purpose of arguing let's say they win the WAC tourney. There is almost no possible way they can get a seed higher than a solid MAC team, Holy Cross, or someone like South Alabama/Western Kentucky.

Maryland as a 12 - They'll be lucky to get into the NIT - and that was before the Ohio loss.

Also, don't get me started on how you have Holy Cross seeded below Vermont and Winthrop.

I just don't understand how someone can spend this much time on a blog and be so oblivious.

Jeff said...

Anonymous, you were off to a good start. The insult at the end was unnecessary, but other than that, I'm glad you were able to make a substantive post this time.

Now the key thing that I think you don't understand is that teams will change as the season goes on. Teams will improve and teams will get worse. Teams without resume wins yet will get big wins, and teams with big wins will have bad losses.

In every example here, you are putting heavy weight on what they've done so far (i.e. the fact that SIU doesn't have a good win yet, or the fact that Washington's resume stinks right now). But we know, as with every year, that the final Tournament will look nothing like what the Bracket Matrix average says right now.

So which teams will play better the rest of the year than early in the year? Two types of teams - one being teams that are very young with elite talent. Ohio State, Florida and UConn qualify here. All three of those teams are going to get better as the season goes on.

Ohio State could still contend in the Big Ten, and at the very worst will be the 4th team in the conference. This says to me that the WORST seed they're going to get is something like a 7. Maybe a 4 is too high, but I think it will be close.

Florida, meanwhile, should contend in the SEC. They are already 9-1, so it's not like they stink. UConn, as well, shows real flashes of excellence. Their two losses were against elite teams, so they don't have a single bad loss yet (unlike all of the bad losses they had last year).

The other type of team that will improve is a team with a decent mix of experience and youth, but that is finding itself without a key player. Washington and Alabama qualify here. Both of those teams show flashes of elite teams, and I expect to see a couple of really big wins out of those two. That will build a resume that will get them in the Tournament, assuming they can finish in the top half of their conference.

Vanderbilt is a perfect example, however, of a team that is way overrated. Their start seems to exactly mirror the Clemson start last year - a mediocre team that just keeps winning close game after close game. Eventually, that becomes exhausting, and the team starts losing a few. Confidence gets lost, and the team collapses. I mean, this team hasn't had a real impressive moment yet, just look at all of the close wins - 7 points over Toledo? 3 points over South Alabama? 9 points over Valaparaiso? You just watch - this team is coming back to Earth. I wouldn't be remotely surprised if they miss the entire Tournament.

Now, as for these conference winners, you are incorrectly valuing the conferences. The winner of the WAC is not going to get worse than a 12 seed, they're just not. The only reason I have NM State as a 12 is because they've played so poorly so far. I like that team, and I picked them preseason, so I'm sticking with them for now.

Similarly, I don't see the winner of the Horizon getting a 4 or a 5 seed. Butler got one last year, but that was because they had a fluke of a season. They had a great set of out of conference wins (better than this season, obviously). And they ran through the conference, without any real bad losses. This season they will lose one or two extra games in conference, and end up with something like an 8 or 9 seed.

As for Xavier, they would have a greater shot at a high seed because they're in a better conference. But the A-10 is still a bit overrated. There are a lot of bad losses. And because there are 4 or 5 other good teams, there will be a lot of other conference losses. I would be shocked if Xavier doesn't drop atleast 4 games in conferences. Hard to see that team staying so high in everyone's brackets with that happening.

Remember, teams from non-BCS conferences (discounting the MVC) only get high seeds if they have very, very special seasons.

That final issue, of course, is why SIU will get a high seed. They are the best team in the MVC, and they will get some good wins before the season is out. I'm not sure what you're watching if you think SIU might miss the Tournament altogether... they're obviously getting in, it's just whether they win the conference and get a 4 or 5 seed, or if they get a few bad losses and drop to an 8 or 9.

sammy said...

You contradict yourself constantly, first admonishing people for too heavily emphasizing the season's results to date, but then rattling off things like "Florida is 9-1, so they don't stink" and "Vanderbilt is mediocre because they only beat Toledo by 7 etc. etc."

Have you even watched Vanderbilt play? They have four freshmen in their regular rotation, and like any freshman-laden team, they're going to have some bumps in the road early on (yet they win anyway). The Commodores have two legitimate SEC POY candidates in Foster and Ogilvy, and in fact both look like All-Americans right now. You arbitrarily toss out last year's Clemson team as a benchmark, but who did those Tigers have that was experienced as seniors Foster, Neltner, and Gordon, or as talented as Ogilvy? You seem to forget that Vandy has made 2 of the last 4 Sweet 16's... when was the last time Clemson made that round?

I could go on (no impressive moment? How about absolutely dominating GA Tech, or dispatching of a good Valpo team that won at Wright State and Austin Peay?), but I think I've given you enough to respond to. Vanderbilt may not win the SEC, but they've certainly proven to be much better than "mediocre."