Some notes from the middle of Championship Week

–My biggest pet peeve of this week:  There is nothing in the bracketing guidelines about sending a team to the closest region/pod by mileage.  The wording is this:

Teams will remain in or as close to their
areas of natural interest as possible. A team
moved out of its natural area will be placed in the
next closest region to the extent possible. If two
teams from the same natural region are in
contention for the same bracket position, the
team ranked higher in the seed list shall remain
in its natural region.

In 2010, the 2 closest locations for #1 seeded Kentucky to play in were Milwaukee and New Orleans, with Milwaukee actually being closer to Lexington.  The NCAA put Kentucky in New Orleans, because that is their “area of natural interest”.  So it doesn’t actually matter how far away Charlotte and Pittsburgh are from Charlottesville, UVA could end up in either place since both locations are in UVA’s “area of interest”, though it’s more likely Charlotte would be given druthers since it’s been ACC country for a longer period of time.

–Tulsa lost to a Division 2 team earlier this season. My formula only takes into account games against Division 1 opponents. While their game doesn’t factor into their RPI or computer rankings, it does appear on the team sheets provided to members of the selection committee. I may have to tweak my formula this week to account for this. As of now, I have Tulsa in the field, if they are on the bubble come Selection Sunday, it will be interesting to hear how much of an effect this loss did or did not have on the committee’s selection.

–It’s been several years since I had to change my formula mid-season. While I techincally did not change the formula this season, I did have to make a workaround for an unusual situation. San Diego St, Colorado St, and Boise St were all being held down by the fact that I use Conference RPI in my S-Curve calculation, and the fact that San Jose St is a historically terrible mid/high-major team this season. Since this was affecting these teams so much, I have actually moved San Jose St into the WAC for my calculations, which has brought the Conference RPI of the MWC up quite a bit. I’m not happy with having to do this, but it’s difficult to model for such extreme situations. It may have been better to just take San Jose out of the calculation entirely, I’ll be looking into this later in the week.

–The bubble seems unusally thin this season. There are very few teams that look like they could make a late run through the conference tournament and grab an at-large bid. UCLA and Illinois are the only 2 teams I can think of that have a chance to go from “definitely out” to “probably in” with a strong conference tournament run. That’s a good thing for teams like Miami and BYU that are squarely on the bubble.

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