Sunday, February 21, 2010

W-3 BP65

Three weeks until Selection Sunday, with only about a week until conference tournaments begin.Less than two weeks until the start of conference tournaments. The next BP65 will be out after Wednesday night's games are all over.

Again I want to remind people to stay civil and to use facts and statistics. I allow comments because I like discussing college basketball. But the few who just want to angrily tell me that I must hate their team because how could I be stupid enough to rank them so low... don't bother. Also, please read About The BP65, because most of the people who flame make it clear that they don't know what the BP65 is or how teams are ordered.

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

1. KANSAS (BIG 12)

2. Villanova
2. West Virginia
2. Kansas State

3. Ohio State
3. Michigan State
3. Wisconsin

4. Wake Forest
4. Pittsburgh
4. Georgetown

5. Baylor
5. Texas

6. Tennessee
6. BYU
6. Vanderbilt
6. Maryland

7. Missouri
7. Texas A&M
7. Oklahoma State

8. Temple
8. Illinois
8. Louisville

9. Clemson
9. Dayton
9. Georgia Tech
9. Florida State

10. Virginia Tech
10. Richmond
10. UNLV
10. Saint Mary's

11. Florida
11. Washington

12. Cincinnati
12. San Diego State
12. UTEP





Other teams considered, but that just missed the cut:
Charlotte, Rhode Island, UConn, Minnesota, UAB, Mississippi

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Marquette, South Florida, Northwestern, Texas Tech, Wichita State, Arizona State, Mississippi State

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Virginia, Saint Louis, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Oklahoma, Northeastern, VCU, William & Mary, Marshall, Tulsa, South Carolina, Louisiana Tech

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
Boston College, Miami (Fl), North Carolina, Duquesne, Rutgers, St. John's, Northern Colorado, Michigan, Colorado, Iowa State, Southern Miss, Iona, Akron, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Colorado State, Arizona, Washington State, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Portland, Nevada


Anonymous said... finally put UTEP in!!!

Anonymous said...

One thing I've been confused at - not at just your bracket but mostly everyone's is, why does Duke get no love? They're a clear one seed to me, and it's not really that close. 10-2 in arguably the toughest conference...everyone likes to talk up Gonzaga and Duke beat them by 35! Thirty-five! I don't think people realize how good the ACC is from top to bottom. Okay, that's my rant.

Anonymous said...

Assuming they win the WAC like you project, I have a hard time seeing Utah St. getting a 13. That win over BYU is a huge, and they're just rolling through the WAC. Compare them to say Memphis who you have as a 12, and it's not even debatable.

Jeff said...

"One thing I've been confused at - not at just your bracket but mostly everyone's is, why does Duke get no love? They're a clear one seed to me, and it's not really that close. 10-2 in arguably the toughest conference...everyone likes to talk up Gonzaga and Duke beat them by 35! Thirty-five! I don't think people realize how good the ACC is from top to bottom. Okay, that's my rant."

I do agree with you, but this is not how I want things to end up, but how I think the Selection Committee will set things. Duke is one of the four best teams in the country, and they do deserve to get a 1 seed.

And you're right that the ACC doesn't get enough respect. I've talked about this many, many times (feel free to read the "BP Classics" on the side of the main page), but even the analysts on tv tend to rank the conferences by how good the top three or four teams are. They rarely take into account the depth of the conference, and never take into account the bottom of the conference. I'd much rather play DePaul or Rutgers than NC State or Boston College, and while nobody else takes that into account, it certainly should matter when you look at conference strength.

Anonymous said...

Who would 4 loss Duke get a #1 seed over? Not Kansas. Not Kentucky. Not Syracuse (who incidentally just won at Georgetown where Duke got annihilated). Maybe Purdue. Maybe someone could make that argument. I wouldn't, but it's conceivable someone could.

Anonymous said...

Certainly they could get it over Purdue.

Anonymous said...

Illinois an 8? My goodness. They're going to have to win three of their final four just to get in, and considering they'll only be favorites in one of those games, I'm going to project them comfortably out.

Jeff said...

Duke is probably the second best team in the country. It's not that hard to make an argument for giving them a 1 seed.

And Illinois is 9-5. It's extraordinarily rare for a team to go four games over .500 in a BCS conference and not make the Tournament. It requires either a very weak conference or a horrid non-conference performance, neither of which applies to Illinois. If they win 2-of-4 they're most likely making the Tournament. To go to the NIT they'd need to lose their first Big Ten tournament game and then get really unlucky with the strength of the bubble.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they're 9-5 now, but they will most likely finish 11-7 or 10-8. To get to 12-6, they would have to win @ Michigan, beat Minnesota and Wisconsin. I just don't see it happening. And their OOC resume is pretty bad: a couple good wins but 8-5 overall with ugly losses to Utah and Bradley.

Yes, they have some good wins, but Penn St. also had four wins over teams that were 5 seeds or better last year and got left out. Illinois isn't getting in with an RPI of 70. That just doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...

I watched the Siena/Butler game, looked like a very good high school game.

You have Butler a 3 seed. Since when is the Horizon a tougher league then the A-10or the MWC.
New Mexico has won all its non conference top 25 games. The A 10 has 5 or more teams set to get into the dance, the MWC has 4 so where do you get off putting Butler ahead of New Mexico, BYU,
Xaivier, Temple, and Richmond?

DMoore said...

"Duke [is] a clear one seed"

Well, yes and no. They are tied for first now in KenPom's rankings (as of Sunday morning), and are first according to Sagarin's Predictor ranking. On a neutral court, they would be favored to beat nearly anybody.

However, seeding is based on resume. Here's are the current records, based on the KenPom rankings. The Predicted Final regular season record is based on the overall prediction, not who's individually favored in each remaining game.:

Top 25 5-3 (6-4)
Top 50 4-0 (4-0)
Top 100 7-1 (10-1)

Kansas (Predicted final):
Top 25 5-0 (6-1)
Top 50 2-1 (3-1)
Top 100 9-0 (10-0)

Top 25 0-0 (0-0)
Top 50 8-0 (9-1)
Top 100 5-1 (7-1)

Top 25 4-2 (5-2)
Top 50 4-0 (4-1)
Top 100 4-1 (5-1)

Top 25 5-1 (6-1)
Top 50 2-1 (2-2)
Top 100 8-0 (10-0)

Top 25 5-1 (6-3)
Top 50 3-2 (3-2)
Top 100 4-0 (6-0)

Kansas is clearly a #1 seed. Syracuse's resume is superior to Villanova's. Duke's resume is superior to Purdue's. Kentucky has a great record, but has surprisingly played ZERO major teams.

I would rank these predicted results as:

I give Villanova a very slight edge against Purdue because of better road wins. Duke's edge over Villanova is also very slight, but they have played more tough teams than anyone else. I have no idea where Kentucky really falls since they haven't played anybody (and have MANY close games), but I'm sure they'll get a 1 seed.

It looks to me like choosing the last 1 seed out of Duke, Villanova & Purdue is almost a tossup at this point. I would eliminate Villanova, under the assumption that Syracuse will win the Big East tourney. Since the Big Ten has 4 top 25 teams and the ACC has 6, the edge for that last seed may go to Purdue if they have an easier road to a conference championship.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that Butler is not a 3. They are a five, but I could maybe understand if you had them as a four.

They just haven't done enough to earn a three. They did beat Ohio St. and Xavier, but both were at home and Turner didn't play in the OSU win. The Horizon hasn't been this bad since probably 2006.

Anonymous said...

Good breakdown. I don't think many realize how much easier Kentucky's schedule has been compared to most, but at 26-1 they are certainly getting a one. I would rule out Villanova as a one after today's loss.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty hard to make the case that Duke is the #2 team in the country. I wouldn't really worry though. They're annually overseeded. They've only lived up to their seed once since 2001.

Based on the eye test, Duke is not a top 4 team. The blowout loss to Georgetown will hurt them a lot. They also lost to Wisconsin. So, they've lost against the Big East's 4th or 5th best team and they've lost to the Big 10's 4th or 5th best team. That right there should give an edge to Purdue, Syracuse, and Nova when compared to Duke. Duke will struggle with any team that has a capable post presence.

Anonymous said...

No, it's really not that difficult to make the case. Sure, they've lost some games. Everyone has. If you're going to fault them for losing @ Wisconsin, @ Georgia Tech, or @ Georgetown, then your standards are set ridiculously too high. They've won @ Clemson, beaten a current top 10 team by 35, and of the 20 games they've played against top 100 opponents, they've won 12 (60%) of them by double digits!

Anonymous said...

Duke has 1 RPI top 25 win: #21 Wake. Period, that's it. And that win is getting worse by the moment. Gonzaga is not a top 10 team and will be a 5-10 seed on selection Sunday depending on how the rest of their season goes. This is not the resume of a #1 seed.

Anonymous said...

So the #3 RPI with eight top 50 wins isn't the resume of a #1 seed? Okay buddy.

Jeff said...

"You have Butler a 3 seed. Since when is the Horizon a tougher league then the A-10or the MWC.
New Mexico has won all its non conference top 25 games. The A 10 has 5 or more teams set to get into the dance, the MWC has 4 so where do you get off putting Butler ahead of New Mexico, BYU,
Xaivier, Temple, and Richmond?"


That isn't the way it works. In the 2007 NCAA Tournament Butler was given a 5 seed, which was well ahead of any team from the Mountain West or Atlantic Ten. Yet the Horizon was not as good as the A-10, and not even remotely in the same class as the Mountain West. And despite the WCC rarely ever being a Top 10 conference, Gonzaga routinely gets very good seeds. It's about each team's individual resume.

Butler is 25-4 with a 3-3 record against the RPI Top 50 and an 8-4 record against the RPI Top 100. Their RPI is 18th and their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is 19th.

Looking at that resume in a vacuum, they look like a 4 or a 5 seed, but when I put together this bracket I just couldn't find that many teams to put ahead of them. I pushed Butler up to a 3 just because I couldn't come up with any better resumes. Maybe Pitt after that win today? Who else? Baylor?? To even need to discuss Richmond vs Butler is a joke - Richmond's resume isn't even in the same ballpark.

Keep in mind that despite being in a relatively weak conference, Butler beefed up their out-of-conference schedule. Sagarin actually gives them a better strength of schedule than Richmond.

Jeff said...

And DMoore, I agree, which is why I still have Duke 5th in my bracket. I'm leaving them at a 2 seed for now. But I'm simply saying that for somebody to say that one can't make the argument for Duke as a 1 seed is over the top.

If Duke gets a 2 seed in a bracket where Kentucky, Syracuse or Villanova gets the 1 seed, I'd be hard pressed to not put Duke as the favorite.

I think this is the best coaching job of Coach K's career. That team doesn't have anywhere near the talent it's had often over the last decade, but they just execute so amazingly well. They never make mistakes. It shouldn't be a surprise that two of their losses came against some of the few teams in the country that can execute nearly as well as Duke can (Georgetown and Wisconsin).

Anonymous said...

Syracuse and Kentucky are head and shoulders above everyone else in the tourney except for Kansas (who is a step even above those 2 teams). Vegas future odds pretty much agree. Odds to win NCAA tourney:

Kansas: 9:5
Kentucky: 3:1
Syracuse: 4:1
Nova: 10:1 (before losing today)
Duke, Purdue, and Ohio State: 15:1

Everyone else is 20:1 or greater.

Jeff said...

Vegas odds have to do with casinos trying to make money. For example, Notre Dame's chances of winning the BCS every year are not nearly as good as their Vegas odds, because everybody likes to bet on Notre Dame so the bookies give them bad odds.

I would expect Kentucky to have the #2 odds in Vegas right now. They're ranked #2 in the polls, and they're getting more hype than anybody else because of the John Wall Traveling Circus.

But Kentucky is not the second best team in the country. Sagarin and Pomeroy both have them 7th, and that's in the ballpark where I'd have them (5th-8th). They won't win the National Championship, so bet on them at your own peril.

But they will very likely get a 1 seed. That's why I have them in the second slot in my bracket right now, and have had them there for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

Vandy gets a win on the road against a desperate Ole Miss and takes the number 2 team to the buzzer...and no change? LOL

Anonymous said...

Teams you could put ahead of Butler: BYU, Texas, Georgetown, Pitt, and Baylor.

Anonymous said...

Vandy's home loss to Kentucky did not help them.

Anonymous said...

The home loss CERTAINLY didn't hurt them. Road wins in the SEC are just as hard to get as in other conferences, ESPECIALLY when those teams are playing for their tournament lives. They should AT LEAST move ahead UT, whom they have swept already.

Anonymous said...

Home losses hurt you, no matter who they're against. I would have Vandy as a five, but it's not unreasonable to have them as a six, and I would certainly have Tennessee ahead of them.

The Vols have something that Vanderbilt doesn't - a win over the best team in the country.

Anonymous said...

Vandy has something that the Vols do not have: 2 wins over the other. So you mean to tell me that when UT loses to UK on Saturday, they will be moved below Vandy? Or will you still be riding the Kansas win? You have about zero other quality RPI Top 50 wins (1-4), whereas Vandy has 4 (4-2). UT also has a record of 9-6 against the RPI Top 100 and Vandy has a record of 9-5. So, almost identical RPI Top 100 scores, a better RPI Top 50 score and a season sweep against you. UT will not be ranked above Vandy come Selection Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I think Tennessee will be higher, although it will likely be only one seed line apart. Yeah, I'm going to ride the Kansas win since they're the best team in the country and the Vols are the only team to beat them.

I'm not sure why you're scoffing at the idea of Tennessee beating Kentucky. It's likely going to be a pick'em or one point spread.

Jeff said...

If we use the Sagarin PREDICTOR, it projects a 0.94 point victory for Tennessee at home against Kentucky. I'd say a "pick-em" is the best way to call that game.

DMoore said...

"Duke has 1 RPI top 25 win: #21 Wake...This is not the resume of a #1 seed."

The RPI is a horrible measure of how strong teams are. That's why I used the KenPom numbers rather than RPI numbers. According to KenPom's numbers, here the opponents Duke has played that are top 25 teams:
Wisconsin (10) 0-1
Maryland (12) 1-0
Florida State (16) 1-0
Clemson (18) 2-0
Georgetown (19) 0-1
Georgia Tech (21) 1-1

They're 5-3 against those teams. Wake Forest is 36th by this measure. Duke is 23-4 against the 2nd toughest schedule in the country (or 8th per the RPI). That should put them in the discussion.

Even using the RPI numbers, Kentucky only has 3 RPI Top 25 wins -- Twice over Vandy and once over Tennessee. And yet, I think there's pretty universal agreement they're close to a lock for a 1 seed.

The point is that this year, there are three teams that seem like clear 1 seeds, and three teams that are neck and neck for the final one. I don't see anything to clearly distinguish one from the other yet.

Chris said...

With regards to the A-10, one would have to assume that Dayton will drop off the board w/the loss to Duquense yesterday & probably winning 2 of their last 4 games.

If URI wins out & beats Charlotte, I think URI gets in. Charlotte will probably split their last 4 games...not giving them enough to make it.

When it is all said & done, I think Temple, Richmond, Xavier, & Rhode Island make it.

Charlotte & Dayton may need win a game or two in the A-10 tourny to make it. Then you have St Louis who is playing great at home (has the next 3 games at home), so they may cause some damage.

All & all, the A-10 this has been phenomenal to watch.

Anonymous said...


You said the following:

"Butler is 25-4 with a 3-3 record against the RPI Top 50 and an 8-4 record against the RPI Top 100. Their RPI is 18th and their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is 19th."

Using the same language you used:

"New Mexico is 25-3 with a 7-2 record against the RPI Top 50 and a 10-2 record against the RPI Top 100. Their RPI is 9th and their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is 12th."

So how can you look at your own statement compared to the New Mexico statement and justify Butler being ahead of them?

Anonymous said...

BTW, just in case you want to say New Mexico beats up on the lower half of the Top 50 RPI, here's the UNM-Butler comparison by Top 50 RPI wins:

Xavier - 19
Siena - 36
Ohio St. - 41

Texas A&M - 13
BYU - 22
California - 24
Dayton - 37
San Diego St. - 38
UNLV - 43
Texas Tech - 46

Again, UNM wins this head-to-head comparison

Jeff said...

"So how can you look at your own statement compared to the New Mexico statement and justify Butler being ahead of them?"

Because I expect New Mexico to lose at least one more time, and I expect Butler to win out. If New Mexico wins every game between now and Selection Sunday then they'll be seeded ahead of Butler, no question.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, Jeff. Thanks for that at least. I hope the Lobos prove you wrong. :-)

Anonymous said...

Is Wake really still a four? They've dropped their last two and are now only 18-7 overall. RPI is no longer in the 20s, one top 25 win, .500 against RPI top 50. I just don't see it.

OAG said...

Jeff, first off, thanks a lot for your hard work and putting this together. Secondly, I really hope you're right about Butler being a three seed. With the selection committee's recent placements of Butler though, I think they're not going to put them nearly that high. I think they value high profile wins a lot more, which is something that Butler doesn't get as much of a shot at since they're a Horizon league team. But yeah, a 3 seed would make me ecstatic, and I hope they make you look like a very smart man on selection Sunday.

Jeff said...

A Jam C, as I said, viewed in a vacuum the Butler resume seems like a 4/5 resume, but I have them at a 3 right now because the other teams fighting for 3/4 seeds have all had bad weeks (or had bad weeks when this post was written... obviously Pitt had a nice win yesterday).

The problem for Butler is that they have no more good opponents on their schedule. The odds are that some of the teams that I currently have below Butler, like Wisconsin, Pitt, Wake, Michigan State, New Mexico, etc, will get hot down the stretch and leap over Butler.

But if the other contenders for 3 seeds keep falling apart, then certainly Butler still has a great shot.

Anonymous said...

You could've had Pitt over Butler before yesterday. After all, this is a projected end of season bracket right? Aren't you supposed to see things like Pitt beating Nova?

If not, then you might as well do as of now.

Anonymous said...

To to drop WVU. 2 seed? Not really.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I really don't see Michigan St. attaining a 3 seed.They'll most likely end the regular season 23-8. Their only quality wins are Gonzaga and Wisconsin, both at home. They have no quality road victories. Their RPI and KenPom numbers will hover in the mid 20's. Unless they win the Big 10 tourney they're a 4 at best. Right now they're closer to a 6.

DMoore said...

After the recent results I have to assume that UConn is in and Cincinnati is out. Especially with each team's remaining games. UConn is predicted to end up 19-12, and I see Cincinnati ending up 16-14.

I also think UConn will be one of many teams given extra consideration because of a key injury in the season (Calhoun). I suspect there will be some surprises in the seeding this year, if the committee "forgives" some losses if a team turns things around once they get the player back. Clemson is a good example, and Wisconsin could be if they play well after the return of Leuer.

Jeff said...

If the season ended now UConn would be in and Cincy would be out, yes. As for how they're going to end... I haven't looked at either team's remaining schedule since their last result, so I can't say for sure. I'll look either tonight or tomorrow so that I'll be ready for tomorrow's new bracket.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Michigan St...I think I've said it before too that they aren't a 6. People think they're really good because they went to the national championship last year, but most didn't think they would miss Suton and Walton as much as they have. Their bench is awful, and they don't have Lucas' injury as an excuse anymore. Plus, they still have to play @ Purdue. I doubt they'll end up even getting a four.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be consistently under-seeding Richmond. Based on your seed for them, it seems like you think Richmond is only going to win only one game before selection time. They are playing really well now and should gather at least 2 wins before selection time.

Anonymous said...

I think he might be a little bit, but I don't think Richmond is a seven like most think. It's not hard to see them finishing their final three games 1-2.

Anonymous said...

It is also not too hard to see the Spiders finishing 2-1 with wins over sliding Dayton and Charlotte. That would leave them with a 24-7 (13-3) record, with at worst the 3rd seed in the A-10 tournament. Say they go 1-1 in the tourney and finish up 25-8. I think that would likely leave them with an RPI in the range of 24. I would guess they would likely check in at an 8 or 9 seed at worst.

Anonymous said...

Time to move UNI down a few seed lines. Losing to Evansville is TERRIBLE. Their resume "looks" solid as well, but wins against Siena, ODU and Wichita St don't mean much when you lose to Evansville, Depaul and Bradley.

They are an 8-10 seed right now and if they don't win out and win their tournament, they will be sweating on Selection Sunday.

Jeff said...

UNI will drop a little bit for that bad loss, but you're overdoing it by saying that they'll actually be on the bubble if they lose in the MVC tournament. They will have to lose at least two more times to potentially end up on the bubble.

Anonymous said...

Northern Iowa will be fine. They didn't have Eglseder last night, and getting to 15-3 in the MVC in a year where so many bubble teams are shooting themselves in the foot - they will be in even if they don't win the tourney.

It does seem kind of funny to me that everywhere you go you hear how bad this loss is. Yet when Gonzaga loses to San Francisco (who is just as bad as Evansville) and Loyola Marymount, it seems like nobody says a word.

Anonymous said...


Does WVU move down to a 3 seed after losing to UCONN? Also, where does Tennessee land after losing to Florida? Florida's 11 seed feels about right to me.

Jeff said...

I'll put more thought into the new seeds tonight when I'm putting together my next bracket, but right now I'm leaning towards keeping West Virginia as the last two seed. If the season ended now it would be between them and Ohio State for that last 2 seed. I don't see Butler or Wisconsin as anything higher than a 3 right now, and Michigan State will actually move down from a 3 seed to a 4 or 5.

And I don't think Tennessee moves much at all. They're a 6 or 7 seed right now.