Archive for March, 2013

1-68 Seed List Analysis

Here’s a breakdown of the full seed list (committee’s and mine).  Light red are teams I over-seeded by 6-10 spots.  Dark red are teams I overseeded by more than 10 spots.  Light green are underseeded by 6-10 spots.  Dark green are underseeded by more than 10 spots. The true seed is not the actual seed in the bracket, but where the teams would have been placed if not for bracket restrictions.

The biggest trend I see is that the teams that were underseeded had high conference RPIs and the teams that were overseeded had lower conference RPIs.  I stopped using conference RPI as a metric a few years ago in favor of using categories to delineate BCS Power conferences, Mid-Majors, and small conferences.  With the breakup of the Big East, it may be a good time to go back to using conference RPI as it’s unclear if the new Big East would be considered a power conference or not.

Although the committee talked about road record, I don’t see a powerful influence in how the teams were seeded.  This is the same as last season, where road record is sometimes used as a justification, even if there is not much of a correlation to seeding.  I still have road/neutral record as a metric in the S-Curve calculation, but de-emphasized it after last season.

Committee True Seed Me (after fixing Polls) Reason
Louisville 1 Louisville  
Kansas 1 Gonzaga  
Indiana 1 Kansas  
Gonzaga 1 Indiana  
Miami (FL) 2 Miami (FL)  
Duke 2 Duke  
Georgetown 2 Ohio St.  
Ohio State 2 Georgetown  
New Mexico 3 New Mexico  
Florida 3 Florida  
Michigan St. 3 Michigan St.  
Marquette 3 Marquette  
Michigan 4 Arizona over
Kansas St. 4 Kansas St.  
Saint Louis 4 UCLA injury
Syracuse 4 Michigan  
Oklahoma St. 5 Saint Louis  
UNLV 5 Wisconsin  
Wisconsin 5 Oklahoma St.  
VCU 5 Syracuse  
Arizona 6 Memphis  
Butler 6 Butler  
Memphis 6 North Carolina over
UCLA 6 VCU  
Creighton 7 UNLV under
San Diego St. 7 Pittsburgh  
Notre Dame 7 Oregon injury
Illinois 7 Minnesota over
North Carolina 8 Missouri  
Colorado St. 8 N.C. St.  
Pittsburgh 8 Temple  
North Carolina St. 8 Belmont over
Missouri 9 Notre Dame under
Temple 9 Illinois under
Wichita St. 9 Creighton under
Colorado 9 Colorado St. under
Cincinnati 10 St. Mary’s over
Villanova 10 California 2nd team out
Iowa St. 10 Middle Tenn. St. over
Oklahoma 10 Wichita St.  
Minnesota 11 Oklahoma  
California 11 Colorado under
Oregon 11 Kentucky first 5 out, injury
Belmont 11 San Diego St. under
Boise St. 12 Iowa St. under
St. Mary’s (CA) 12 Mississippi  
Ole Miss 12 La Salle  
Bucknell 12 Cincinnati under
La Salle 12 Akron  
Middle Tenn. State 12 Boise St.  
Akron 13 Bucknell  
New Mexico St. 13 New Mexico St.  
South Dakota St. 13 Davidson  
Montana 13 Valparaiso  
Davidson 14 Montana  
Valparaiso 14 South Dakota St.  
Northwestern St. 14 Fla Gulf Coast  
Harvard 14 Harvard  
FGCU 15 Northwestern St.  
Pacific 15 Pacific  
Iona 15 Iona  
Albany (NY) 15 Albany  
Western Ky. 16 West. Kentucky  
Southern U. 16 Southern  
LIU Brooklyn 16 James Madison  
James Madison 16 Long Island  
N.C. A&T 16 N.C. A&T  
Liberty 16 Liberty  

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FINAL BRACKET 2013

Midwest   West
1 Louisville 1 Gonzaga
16 James Madison/NC A&T 16 Western Kentucky
Lexington Salt Lake City
8 Temple 8 NC State
9 Belmont 9 Illinois
   
4 UCLA 4 Arizona
13 Bucknell 13 New Mexico St
San Jose San Jose
5 Wisconsin 5 Oklahoma St
12 Kentucky 12 San Diego St
   
3 Florida 3 New Mexico
14 Fla Gulf Coast 14 Montana
Lexington Salt Lake City
6 North Carolina 6 Butler
11 Cincinnati/La Salle 11 Oklahoma
   
7 UNLV 7 Pittsburgh
10 Wichita St 10 California
Dayton Detroit
2 Ohio St 2 Michigan St
15 Northwestern St 15 Pacific
       
       
East South
1 Indiana 1 Kansas
16 Liberty/Long Island 16 Southern
Dayton Kansas City
8 Missouri 8 Notre Dame
9 Colorado St 9 Creighton
   
4 Kansas St 4 Michigan
13 Valparaiso 13 Davidson
Austin Detroit
5 Syracuse 5 St Louis
12 Akron 12 Mississippi
   
3 Marquette 3 Georgetown
14 South Dakota St 14 Harvard
Kansas City Dayton
6 VCU 6 Memphis
11 Colorado 11 Iowa St/Boise St
   
7 Minnesota 7 Oregon
10 St Marys 10 Middle Tenn St
Austin Philadelphia
2 Miami (FL) 2 Duke
15 Albany 15 Iona
           
  First 4 Out In Today Out Today   By Conference
  Tennessee Boise St Tennessee   Big East – 7
  Villanova Northwestern St Stephen F Austin   Big Ten – 7
  Southern Miss Albany Vermont   Pac 12 – 5
  Alabama       Big 12 – 5
          Atlantic 10 – 5
  Next 4 Out       MWC – 5
  Virginia       ACC – 4
  Louisiana Tech       SEC – 4
  Massachusetts       MVC – 2
  Arkansas       WCC – 2
          Sun Belt – 2

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March 17th Bracket

Midwest   West
1 Louisville 1 Gonzaga
16 James Madison/NC A&T 16 Western Kentucky
Lexington Salt Lake City
8 Temple 8 NC State
9 Belmont 9 Illinois
   
4 UCLA 4 Arizona
13 Bucknell 13 New Mexico St
San Jose San Jose
5 Wisconsin or Michigan 5 Oklahoma St
12 Kentucky 12 San Diego St
   
3 Florida 3 New Mexico
14 Fla Gulf Coast 14 Montana
Lexington Salt Lake City
6 North Carolina 6 Butler
11 Cincinnati/La Salle 11 Oklahoma
   
7 UNLV 7 Pittsburgh
10 Wichita St 10 California
Dayton Detroit
2 Ohio St 2 Michigan St
15 Northwestern St 15 Pacific
       
       
East South
1 Indiana 1 Kansas
16 Liberty/Long Island 16 Southern
Dayton Kansas City
8 Missouri 8 Notre Dame
9 Colorado St 9 Creighton
   
4 Kansas St 4 Michigan or Wisconsin
13 Valparaiso 13 Davidson
Austin Detroit
5 Syracuse 5 St Louis or VCU
12 Akron 12 Mississippi
   
3 Marquette 3 Georgetown
14 South Dakota St 14 Harvard
Kansas City Dayton
6 VCU or St Louis 6 Memphis
11 Colorado 11 Iowa St/Boise St
   
7 Minnesota 7 Oregon
10 St Marys 10 Middle Tenn St
Austin Philadelphia
2 Miami (FL) 2 Duke
15 Albany 15 Iona
           
  First 4 Out In Today Out Today   By Conference
  Tennessee Boise St Tennessee   Big East – 7
  Villanova Northwestern St Stephen F Austin   Big Ten – 7
  Southern Miss Albany Vermont   Pac 12 – 5
  Alabama       Big 12 – 5
          Atlantic 10 – 5
  Next 4 Out       MWC – 5
  Virginia       ACC – 4
  Louisiana Tech       SEC – 4
  Massachusetts       MVC – 2
  Arkansas       WCC – 2
          Sun Belt – 2

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Bubble Thoughts on Selection Sunday

Let’s start at the top and the #1 overall seed.  While not all that important, it is fun to try and guess who the committee thinks is deserving of the #1 overall seed.  Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that the committee had decided on 1 #1 seed and had 5 other teams in contention for the other 3 #1 seeds.  Since this was done before Indiana’s loss in the Big 10 tournament, there’s a good chance the one team already selected at that point was IU, who was second in both polls coming into the week and playing some of its best basketball of the season coming down the stretch.  I suppose it’s possible that IU could be selected #1 overall after yesterday’s loss, but the committee has most likely re-seeded after yesterday’s results.  So I think there are really only 2 candidates for #1 overall, Gonzaga and Louisville.  Gonzaga’s main argument for being #1 overall is their 30-2 record and being ranked #1 in both polls.  Louisville has come on strong as of late, winning 10 in a row and capturing the Big East championships.  Historically, the top 2 seed lines correlate well with the top of the AP and ESPN poll rankings.  There certainly seems to be a consensus forming in the media overnight that Louisville should be ranked #1 at this point.  Putting them in that slot in even 1 of the 2 polls boosts them to #1 overall in the S-Curve rankings, so I will have them #1 overall in the final bracket.

As far as the other #1 seeds go, as I said the seedings generally correlate well with the poll rankings.  With Gonzaga and Kansas already having high rankings coming into the week and winning their conference tournaments, I think both of those teams will secure #1 seeds.  And Indiana shouldn’t fall too far after losing to Wisconsin.  So I have Louisville, Gonzaga, Kansas, and Indiana as the #1 seeds.  While I have these teams as my #1 seeds, I would not be surprised to see Miami as a #1 seed if they win the ACC tournament today, although I have no idea which team they would supplant at the top.  The committee is already at work seeding and bracketing the tournament, so they may not have time to put together alternate scenarios for Miami’s seeding depending on today’s results.

Speaking of scenarios, I don’t see too many alternate scenarios for the committee to consider for today.  With Miami looking like a #1 or #2 seed and UNC around a #6 seed, there probably won’t be scenarios attached to the ACC result today.  Similarly, it’s doubtful that the committee will create scenarios for the Big 10 tournament final between Ohio State and Wisconsin.  Ohio State looks to be solid as a #2 seed, and I doubt they would move up to a #1 if they win today.  I currently have Wisconsin as a #5 seed, there may be a chance that the committee will have Wisconsin move up to a #4 seed if they win, and perhaps trade seeds with Michigan, who I have as a #4 currently.  I’ll consider this possibility as the day goes on.

Another possible scenario is for the Atlantic 10 championship.  I currently have Saint Louis as a #5 seed and VCU as a #6 seed.  I think it’s highly probable that the committee will switch those seeds if VCU wins today.

The last scenario to consider is for the SEC championship.  I currently have Ole Miss as my 34th at-large team.  Given that a loss to Florida should not significantly hurt their resume, I’ll have them in the final bracket.  Since conference champions cannot play in the first round games in Dayton, it is an open question whether the committee would consider alternate scenarios given whether Ole Miss wins today.  I’m leaning towards thinking they will not, so I am going to move Ole Miss out of the first four.  It is possible for the committee to create an alternate scenario for Ole Miss based on today’s result, either switching them with another SEC team in the first 4 games, or leaving them out of the tourney altogether if they lose.  I think the Rebels are the most interesting team to watch today.

As I ran the final rankings last night, I noticed several close calls for seed lines between teams, for instance I have Belmont as the last #8 seed while Notre Dame is just behind them as the first #9 seed.  In year’s past, I haven’t tinkered with the seeds but with some of these close calls that go against the consensus I’ll make some small adjustments to the seeds.

Finally, for the last teams in, there are 2 selections where I am going against the consensus.  For one, I have Kentucky pretty solidly in the field.  I know there has been a consensus forming against them, but one of the reasons I have them in is their strong conference record.  Now, I’ve heard many media commentators say that conference record plays no part in the selection process.  That’s not quite true.  While the committee will not compare conference records between 2 teams in different conferences, they have said in the past (though not recently) that they need a good reason to jump one team ahead of another and take the team that placed lower in the conference standings.  Two reasons can be non-conference performance and unbalanced conference scheduling.  With regards to the SEC, Missouri finished 6th in the conference, but due to their strong non-conference play, especially beating VCU and Illinois, they can be taken over the teams above them in the standings, like Alabama.  However, I think it’s going to be hard to take a team like Tennessee over Kentucky, given that their resumes aren’t all that different.  Another factor why Kentucky seems to be disfavored among the media is the loss of Nerlens Noel, however, the Wildcats got their biggest win of the season, against Florida, without him.  I see the Wildcats getting in today.

Villanova is another team where I disagree with the consensus.  The Wildcats seemingly became a lock after beating St. John’s in the Big East tournament.  However, that one game should not have moved them from bubble to lock.  Similarly, losing to Louisville doesn’t do great damage to their resume.  I think they were on the bubble coming into the week and remain so now.  I’ll have them out, but just barely behind Boise State for the last berth.  I can certainly see them getting a berth, however.

Also there’s Middle Tennessee State.  I’ve had them solidly in the field all week, now sitting as a #10 seed.  The problem when dealing with unusual resumes like the Blue Raiders’, is that a math model for ranking the teams doesn’t work well when processing something it hasn’t seen before.  And MTSU’s resume, with a non-conference SOS of 5th, while only playing 4 teams ranked in the top 100 of the RPI, is very unusual.  It’s an open question what the committee will do with them.  Will the committee favor their NC SOS and their 28-5 record?  Or will they leave them out based on their 1-3 record against RPI top 100 teams?  Based on last year’s selection of Iona to the big dance, my model has MTSU in the field.

We’re only about 4 hours away from the selections, I’ll have my final bracket posted by the end of the Big 10 championship.

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March 16th 6:30 Bracket Update

West   East
1 Gonzaga 1 Louisville
16 Western Kentucky 16 James Madison/NC A&T
Salt Lake City Lexington
8 Belmont 8 Temple
9 California 9 Illinois
   
4 Syracuse 4 Arizona
13 New Mexico St 13 Bucknell
San Jose San Jose
5 Michigan 5 Oklahoma St
12 Mississippi 12 Kentucky
   
3 New Mexico 3 Florida
14 South Dakota St 14 Fla Gulf Coast
Austin Austin
6 North Carolina 6 Butler
11 Iowa St/Villanova 11 Colorado
   
7 Oregon 7 Pittsburgh
10 Middle Tenn St 10 San Diego St
Detroit Philadelphia
2 Michigan St 2 Miami (FL)
15 Pacific 15 Harvard
       
       
Midwest South
1 Indiana 1 Kansas
16 Liberty/Long Island 16 Southern
Dayton Kansas City
8 Missouri 8 NC State
9 Notre Dame 9 Creighton
   
4 Kansas St 4 UCLA
13 Davidson 13 Stephen F Austin
Salt Lake City Detroit
5 St Louis 5 Wisconsin
12 Akron 12 Cincinnati/La Salle
   
3 Marquette 3 Georgetown
14 Montana 14 Valparaiso
Kansas City Dayton
6 UNLV 6 Memphis
11 Wichita St 11 St Marys
   
7 Minnesota 7 VCU
10 Oklahoma 10 Colorado St
Philadelphia Dayton
2 Duke 2 Ohio St
15 Albany 15 Iona
           
  First 4 Out In Today Out Today   By Conference
  Tennessee Villanova Tennessee   Big East – 8
  Boise St Albany Vermont   Big Ten – 7
  Southern Miss       Pac 12 – 5
  Alabama       Big 12 – 5
          Atlantic 10 – 5
  Next 4 Out       SEC – 4
  Virginia       ACC – 4
  Louisiana Tech       MWC – 4
  Massachusetts       MVC – 2
  Arkansas       WCC – 2
          Sun Belt – 2

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March 16th 4:00 PM Bracket Update

West   East
1 Gonzaga 1 Louisville
16 Western Kentucky 16 James Madison/NC A&T
Salt Lake City Lexington
8 Notre Dame 8 Minnesota
9 Belmont 9 Creighton
   
4 UCLA 4 Arizona
13 New Mexico St 13 Bucknell
San Jose San Jose
5 Michigan 5 Oklahoma St
12 Iowa St 12 Kentucky
   
3 New Mexico 3 Ohio St
14 South Dakota St 14 Montana
Salt Lake City Dayton
6 North Carolina 6 Butler
11 Wichita St 11 Cincinnati/Mississippi
   
7 VCU 7 Pittsburgh
10 Colorado 10 San Diego St
Philadelphia Austin
2 Georgetown 2 Miami (FL)
15 Fla Gulf Coast 15 Pacific
       
       
Midwest South
1 Indiana 1 Kansas
16 Liberty/Long Island 16 Southern
Dayton Kansas City
8 Missouri 8 NC State
9 California 9 Illinois
   
4 Kansas St 4 Syracuse
13 Davidson 13 Stephen F Austin
Austin Detroit
5 St Louis 5 Wisconsin
12 Akron 12 Tennessee/La Salle
   
3 Marquette 3 Florida
14 Valparaiso 14 Harvard
Kansas City Lexington
6 UNLV 6 Memphis
11 Middle Tenn St 11 St Marys
   
7 Oregon 7 Temple
10 Oklahoma 10 Colorado St
Philadelphia Detroit
2 Duke 2 Michigan St
15 Albany 15 Iona
           
  In the Mix In Today Out Today   By Conference
  Villanova Albany Vermont   Big East – 7
  Boise St       Big Ten – 7
  Southern Miss       Pac 12 – 5
  Massachusetts       Big 12 – 5
  Maryland       Atlantic 10 – 5
          SEC – 5
          ACC – 4
          MWC – 4
          MVC – 2
          WCC – 2
          Sun Belt – 2

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March 16th 3:00 PM Bracket Update

West   Midwest
1 Gonzaga 1 Indiana
16 Western Kentucky 16 James Madison/NC A&T
Salt Lake City Dayton
8 Belmont 8 Missouri
9 Illinois 9 Notre Dame
   
4 UCLA 4 Arizona
13 New Mexico St 13 Bucknell
Detroit San Jose
5 Michigan 5 St Louis
12 Tennessee/La Salle 12 Iowa St
   
3 New Mexico 3 Marquette
14 South Dakota St 14 Montana
Salt Lake City Kansas City
6 Wisconsin 6 North Carolina
11 Wichita St 11 St Marys
   
7 VCU 7 Minnesota
10 Colorado 10 San Diego St
Philadelphia Kansas City
2 Georgetown 2 Kansas
15 Fla Gulf Coast 15 Pacific
       
       
East South
1 Duke 1 Louisville
16 Southern 16 Liberty/Long Island
Philadelphia Lexington
8 Temple 8 NC State
9 Creighton 9 California
   
4 Syracuse 4 Kansas St
13 Davidson 13 Stephen F Austin
Austin San Jose
5 Oklahoma St 5 Butler
12 Kentucky 12 Akron
   
3 Florida 3 Ohio St
14 Valparaiso 14 Harvard
Lexington Dayton
6 UNLV 6 Memphis
11 Middle Tenn St 11 Cincinnati/Mississippi
   
7 Oregon 7 Pittsburgh
10 Oklahoma 10 Colorado St
Detroit Austin
2 Michigan St 2 Miami (FL)
15 Albany 15 Iona
           
  In the Mix In Today Out Today   By Conference
  Villanova Albany Vermont   Big East – 7
  Boise St       Big Ten – 7
  Southern Miss       Pac 12 – 5
  Massachusetts       Big 12 – 5
  Maryland       Atlantic 10 – 5
          SEC – 5
          ACC – 4
          MWC – 4
          MVC – 2
          WCC – 2
          Sun Belt – 2

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