Archive for March, 2010

Final Bracket Notes

At-large Accuracy:
  • 34/34
Biggest Seed Mistakes:
  • -2 – UNLV, Florida St, Vanderbilt, Florida, Marquette, Clemson, California
  • +2 – San Diego St, Gonzaga, Temple, Washington, St Marys
  • +3 – Northern Iowa
  • +4 – UTEP
Overall Seed Accuracy:
  • 30 exact
  • 21 1 seed off
  • 14 more than 2
Matchups called:
  • Kansas/Lehigh
  • Oklahoma St/Georgia Tech
  • Pittsburgh/Oakland (although my seeding was 4/13)
  • Wisconsin/Wofford
  • West Virginia/Morgan St
General Observations:
  • Looking back at the biggest seeding misses, my computer seeding projections overvalued most of the mid-major schools and under-valued some of the mediocre big-conference schools.  And the one big-conference school that I overvalued was from the Pac-10, which played like a mid-major this year.  I’ll spend the next few days reviewing my calculations to determine how best to stop overvaluing these teams.
  • I’m happy to have gotten all 34 at-large teams correct.  I didn’t have much time today to review the bracket, and what little time I had I devoted to that last spot.  After concluding that Minnesota was in no matter what, and Virginia Tech was not going to make it, I spent some time reviewing the profiles of Mississippi State, Florida, and Illinois.  As is often the case with these decisions, it’s a matter of teams not making it because of some disqualifying characteristic rather than a team making it for positive reasons.  A I stated in the Final Bracket post, Mississippi State’s SOS and lack of top 25 RPI wins, and Illinois’ bad RPI and record were the disqualifying factors for those teams.
  • In the run-up to today, I was mystified by seeing Kentucky being sent to Milwaukee in so many mock brackets.  The reason generally given was that Milwaukee was the closest first-weekend site to Lexington.  However, in the NCAA bracketing guidelines, no mention is made of exact distance in determining a team’s playing site.  The only statement in the guidelines refers to placing a team in their general region of interest.  To me, this meant that Kentucky would either play in Jacksonville or New Orleans.  Also, since I had 3 Big Ten teams as top 4 seeds, I figured that 2 of them would be playing in Milwaukee.  Given the lack of other strong SEC or ACC teams besides Duke, I decided to place Kentucky in Jacksonville.  I was wrong, but Kentucky did get sent to New Orleans.
  • In the bracketing guidelines, there is mention made of placing teams from the same conference in the same pod (so as to play in the Sweet 16 if both teams get that far), but only if other bracketing possibilities are exhausted.  I believe this is the first year this was done, and it was done twice for the Big East.  I especially don’t like seeing it done in the lower half of the East regional, as I think there’s a good chance that Marquette and West Virginia will play each other in the Sweet 16.  I’d like to see the committee go away from this practice.  I don’t think it’s too hard to separate conference teams, even if there are 8 from the same conference.
  • Before today, I often heard from the TV experts that the field was wide-open this year, with any number of teams who could win it all.  I was surprised to hear this, because to me Kansas has far and away the best team this year, with veteran leadership, strong inside play, and a versatile offense that can beat you in a number of ways.  Now it appears that many of the TV experts are picking Kansas to win it all.  I think they’ll end up beating Kentucky and would not be surprised to see something similar to the 1992 title game, where a veteran Duke team beat a young Michigan team quite handily in the championship game.
Possible Future Changes:
  • Factor in # Conference Losses for Mid-major teams
  • Less Weight on Conference Tournament victories (Of the 7 teams that were overvalued, 5 won their conference tournaments, and the other 2 made the finals)
  • Factor in a Regular-Season Big Conference Champion Bonus

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FINAL BRACKET

Midwest South East West
1 Kansas Kentucky Duke Syracuse
2 Ohio St Georgetown West Virginia Kansas St
3 Villanova Baylor Temple New Mexico
4 Butler Purdue Pittsburgh Wisconsin
5 Maryland Texas A&M Michigan St Tennessee
6 Vanderbilt Northern Iowa BYU Gonzaga
7 Richmond Xavier Oklahoma St Notre Dame
8 St Marys Marquette UTEP Texas
9 Louisville San Diego St Washington Clemson
10 California UNLV Georgia Tech Wake Forest
11 Missouri Florida St Minnesota Utah St
12 Florida Cornell Siena Old Dominion
13 New Mexico St Murray State Oakland Wofford
14 Sam Houston St Houston Ohio UCSB
15 North Texas Vermont Morgan St Montana
16 Lehigh Arkansas-PB/Winthrop ETSU Robert Morris
Last 5 In In Today Out Today By Conference
Florida State Florida Mississippi St Big East – 8
Utah St Big 12 – 7
Missouri ACC – 6
Minnesota Big 10 – 5
Florida SEC – 4
Mountain West – 4

First 5 Out Atlantic 10 – 3
Illinois Pac 10 – 2
Mississippi St West Coast – 2
Virginia Tech Conference USA – 2
Seton Hall WAC – 2
Mississippi All Others – 1

Next 5 Out
Arizona St
South Florida
UAB
Rhode Island
Wichita St

Bracket Notes

Even with a loss in today’s Big Ten Championship, Minnesota has done enough to earn one of the last at-large spots into the NCAA tournament.

The last spot is up for grabs between Florida, Illinois, and Mississippi State.  I would not be surprised to see any of these 3 teams make the field.  I believe Florida will be chosen based on a combination of big wins (Michigan State, Florida State, Tennessee), passing the “eye-test”, overall record, and Strength of Schedule.  Mississippi State does not have the big wins, although they came close twice against Kentucky, or the schedule to match Florida.  Illinois does not have the overall record, plus their RPI of 75 would set a record for worst RPI to get into the field as an at-large.

Although Virginia Tech looks like a deserving team, the committee has in the past punished teams who schedule as poorly as they did this year.

Projected Sites

New Orleans – Villanova/Vanderbilt/Missouri/Sam Houston St
New Orleans – Baylor/Northern Iowa/Florida St/Houston
Oklahoma City – Kansas/St Marys/Louisville/Lehigh
Oklahoma City – Kansas St/Notre Dame/Wake Forest/Montana
Providence – Georgetown/Xavier/UNLV/Vermont
Providence – Temple/BYU/Minnesota/Ohio
San Jose – New Mexico/Gonzaga/Utah St/UCSB
San Jose – Butler/Maryland/Florida/New Mexico St
Buffalo – Syracuse/Texas/Clemson/Robert Morris
Buffalo – West Virginia/Oklahoma St/Georgia Tech/Morgan St
Jacksonville – Kentucky/Marquette/San Diego St/Play-in Winner
Jacksonville – Duke/UTEP/Washington/ETSU
Milwaukee – Ohio St/Richmond/California/North Texas
Milwaukee – Wisconsin/Tennessee/Old Dominion/Wofford
Spokane – Pittsburgh/Michigan St/Siena/Oakland
Spokane – Purdue/Texas A&M/Cornell/Murray St

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March 14th Bracket

This is not the Final Bracket!

Midwest South East West
1 Kansas Kentucky West Virginia Syracuse
2 Ohio St Georgetown Duke Kansas St
3 Villanova New Mexico Purdue Butler
4 Pittsburgh Baylor Tennessee Temple
5 Maryland Michigan St Texas A&M Wisconsin
6 Northern Iowa Richmond BYU Vanderbilt
7 Gonzaga Oklahoma St Xavier Notre Dame
8 San Diego St Marquette UTEP Texas
9 Washington Clemson St Marys Wake Forest
10 Georgia Tech California Louisville UNLV
11 Utah St Florida St Missouri Minnesota
12 Mississippi St Cornell Siena Old Dominion
13 Oakland New Mexico St Murray State Wofford
14 North Texas Houston Ohio Sam Houston St
15 UCSB Vermont Morgan St Montana
16 Lehigh Arkansas-PB/Winthrop ETSU Robert Morris
Last 4 In In Today Out Today By Conference
Mississippi St Mississippi St Mississippi Big East – 8
Minnesota Ohio Akron Big 12 – 7
Missouri Houston Seton Hall ACC – 6
Utah St Minnesota Illinois Big 10 – 5
New Mexico St Virginia Tech SEC – 4
Mountain West – 4

Last 4 Out Atlantic 10 – 3
Virginia Tech Pac 10 – 2
Seton Hall West Coast – 2
Mississippi Conference USA – 2
Arizona St WAC – 2
All Others – 1

Bracket Notes

The last 2 teams in are Mississippi State and Minnesota.  Both teams need to win today to secure their bids.  A loss will drop either team below the other teams that are currently outside the bubble according to our S-Curve calculations.

The biggest question tomorrow is what will the committe do if either Minnesota or Mississippi State loses.  Will they select Virginia Tech despite their atrocious non-conference schedule?  Will they do something similar to last year, when they picked an Arizona team that had some big wins, but a mediocre profile? The team that most fits that description this year is Illinois, who showed it can play with the best teams in the country over the last 2 days.  Currently, Illinois is the 11th team out according to our S-Curve calculations, but strong consideration will be given to them should a spot open up tomorrow.

The final bracket will be posted while the Big Ten championship is going on.

Current S-Curve Ranking for all conference champions and RPI top 100 teams

Kansas
Kentucky
West Virginia
Syracuse
Duke
Kansas State
Ohio State
Georgetown
Purdue
Villanova
New Mexico
Butler
Temple
Pittsburgh
Baylor
Tennessee
Wisconsin
Michigan State
Texas A&M
Maryland
Vanderbilt
BYU
Richmond
Northern Iowa
Gonzaga
Notre Dame
Oklahoma State
Xavier
Marquette
Texas
San Diego State
UTEP
Saint Mary’s College
Washington
Clemson
Wake Forest
UNLV
Louisville
Georgia Tech
California
Florida State
Utah State
Missouri
Minnesota
Old Dominion
Mississippi State
Virginia Tech
Seton Hall
Siena
Ole Miss
Arizona State
South Florida
Florida
UAB
Rhode Island
Cornell
Wichita State
Cincinnati
Illinois
Memphis
William & Mary
Connecticut
Kent State
Dayton
New Mexico State
Murray State
Virginia Commonwealth
Marshall
Saint John’s
Charlotte
North Carolina State
Illinois State
Oakland
Saint Louis
Wofford
Tulsa
Northeastern
South Carolina
North Carolina
Portland
Akron
Nevada
Louisiana Tech
Miami
Alabama
Texas Tech
Fairfield
Arizona
Iona
Missouri State
Morehead State
IUPUI
Sam Houston State
Ohio
Weber State
Wright State
Houston
Indiana State
North Texas
UC Santa Barbara
College Of Charleston
Montana
Vermont
Morgan State
Robert Morris
East Tennessee State
Lehigh
Winthrop
Arkansas-Pine Bluff

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March 13th Bracket


Midwest South West East
1 Kansas Kentucky Syracuse Duke
2 Ohio St Kansas St Purdue West Virginia
3 Villanova Georgetown New Mexico Tennessee
4 Butler Temple Baylor Pittsburgh
5 Vanderbilt Michigan St Maryland Wisconsin
6 Texas A&M Northern Iowa UTEP BYU
7 Xavier UNLV Gonzaga Oklahoma St
8 Marquette Notre Dame Richmond Texas
9 Utah St Clemson California St Marys
10 San Diego St Florida St Louisville Wake Forest
11 Georgia Tech Washington Missouri Old Dominion
12 Virginia Tech Seton Hall Siena Mississippi
13 Illinois Cornell Oakland Murray State
14 Montana Akron Sam Houston St Wofford
15 UCSB North Texas Vermont Morgan St
16 Robert Morris Arkansas-PB/Lehigh Winthrop ETSU
In the Mix In Today Out Today By Conference
South Florida Illinois Florida Big East – 9
Arizona St Big 12 – 7
Florida ACC – 7
Rhode Island Big 10 – 5
Minnesota SEC – 4
Mississippi St Mountain West – 4
Atlantic 10 – 3
Pac 10 – 2
West Coast – 2
All Others – 1

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March 12th Bracket

Midwest South West East
1 Kansas Kentucky Syracuse West Virginia
2 New Mexico Kansas St Purdue Duke
3 Ohio St Georgetown Baylor Temple
4 Villanova Michigan St Butler Wisconsin
5 Tennessee Pittsburgh Maryland Vanderbilt
6 Notre Dame Northern Iowa BYU Texas A&M
7 Texas Xavier Richmond Marquette
8 Utah St UTEP Gonzaga Oklahoma St
9 Florida St Missouri California St Marys
10 Wake Forest Clemson Louisville UNLV
11 Florida Washington Virginia Tech Old Dominion
12 San Diego St Georgia Tech Mississippi Seton Hall
13 Siena Cornell Oakland Murray State
14 Montana Akron
Sam Houston St Wofford
15 UCSB North Texas Vermont Morgan St
16 Robert Morris Arkansas-PB/Lehigh Winthrop ETSU
In the Mix In Today Out Today By Conference
South Florida Akron Kent St Big East – 9
Rhode Island Seton Hall UAB Big 12 – 7
UAB Georgia Tech Arizona St ACC – 7
Cincinnati SEC – 5
Dayton Big 10 – 4
Illinois Mountain West – 4
Minnesota Atlantic 10 – 3
Mississippi St Pac 10 – 2
West Coast – 2
All Others – 1

Bracket Notes

The last 4 teams in are Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, San Diego State, and Mississippi

Bracket Adjustments:

  • Down one seed line: Oklahoma State, Louisville, Clemson
  • Up one seed line: Richmond, California, Missouri
  • The Selection Committee is not supposed to use a team’s record in their last 12 games as a selection criteria this year. However, I do believe it will still have some effect on the committee’s decision, and it is incorporated in the S-curve calculation. It will be interesting to see where some teams who finished poorly, like Villanova, Texas, Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech, and teams that finished well, like Butler, UTEP, and St Mary’s, are seeded this year.

    Projected Sites

    New Orleans – Baylor/BYU/Virginia Tech/Sam Houston St
    New Orleans – Villanova/Tennessee/San Diego St/Siena
    Oklahoma City – Kansas/Utah St/Florida St/Robert Morris
    Oklahoma City – Kansas St/Xavier/Clemson/North Texas
    Providence – Georgetown/Northern Iowa/Washington/Akron
    Providence – Temple/Texas A&M/Old Dominion/Wofford
    San Jose – New Mexico/Texas/Wake Forest/UCSB
    San Jose – Butler/Maryland/Mississippi/Oakland
    Buffalo – Syracuse/Gonzaga/California/Winthrop
    Buffalo – West Virginia/Oklahoma St/St Marys/ETSU
    Jacksonville – Kentucky/UTEP/Missouri/Play-in Winner
    Jacksonville – Duke/Marquette/UNLV/Morgan St
    Milwaukee – Purdue/Richmond/Louisville/Vermont
    Milwaukee – Ohio St/Notre Dame/Florida/Montana
    Spokane – Wisconsin/Vanderbilt/Seton Hall/Murray St
    Spokane – Michigan St/Pittsburgh/Georgia Tech/Cornell

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    March 11th Bracket

    Midwest South East West
    1 Kansas Syracuse Kentucky Duke
    2 Ohio St Kansas St Purdue West Virginia
    3 Villanova New Mexico Pittsburgh Michigan St
    4 Temple Wisconsin Georgetown Baylor
    5 Butler Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt
    6 Texas Northern Iowa Maryland BYU
    7 UTEP Xavier Richmond Oklahoma St
    8 Notre Dame Clemson Utah St Gonzaga
    9 Wake Forest St Marys Florida St Marquette
    10 UNLV Louisville Missouri California
    11 Virginia Tech Washington Florida Old Dominion
    12 Mississippi UAB Arizona St San Diego St
    13 Siena Kent St Cornell Murray State
    14 North Texas Sam Houston St Oakland Wofford
    15 Montana UCSB Vermont Morgan St
    16 Robert Morris Arkansas-PB/Lehigh ETSU Winthrop
    In the Mix In Today Out Today By Conference
    Seton Hall Montana Weber St Big East – 8
    South Florida Robert Morris Quinnipiac Big 12 – 7
    Memphis San Diego St Seton Hall ACC – 6
    Rhode Island Arizona St South Florida SEC – 5
    Georgia Tech Big 10 – 4
    Cincinnati Mountain West – 4
    Mississippi St Pac 10 – 3
    Dayton Atlantic 10 – 3
    Illinois Conference USA – 2
    West Coast – 2
    All Others – 1

    Bracket Notes

    The last 4 teams in are Mississippi, Arizona State, UAB, and San Diego State.

    Seton Hall and South Florida are only in the mix in case the other bubble teams horribly fail in the next few days.

    Maryland and Texas A&M have flipped seeds in order to conform with bracket rules.

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    March 9th Bracket


    Midwest South East West
    1 Kansas Syracuse Kentucky Duke
    2 Ohio St Kansas St Purdue West Virginia
    3 Villanova New Mexico Pittsburgh Michigan St
    4 Temple Wisconsin Georgetown Baylor
    5 Butler Tennessee Maryland Vanderbilt
    6 Texas Northern Iowa BYU Texas A&M
    7 UTEP Xavier Oklahoma St Richmond
    8 Florida St Clemson Gonzaga Louisville
    9 Marquette Missouri Utah St St Marys
    10 California Notre Dame Wake Forest UNLV
    11 Virginia Tech Washington Florida Old Dominion
    12 Mississippi Seton Hall UAB South Florida
    13 Siena Kent St Cornell Murray State
    14 Sam Houston St Weber St Oakland Wofford
    15 Quinnipiac UCSB North Texas Morgan St
    16 Vermont Arkansas-PB/Lehigh ETSU Winthrop
    In the Mix In Today Out Today By Conference
    San Diego St Big East – 10
    Arizona St Big 12 – 7
    Memphis ACC – 6
    Georgia Tech SEC – 5
    Rhode Island Big 10 – 4
    Connecticut Atlantic 10 – 3
    Mississippi St Mountain West – 3
    Illinois West Coast – 2
    Dayton Conference USA – 2
    Pac 10 – 2
    All Others – 1

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