Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 6

Here is Chris and Craig's latest field:

Last Four In
Florida State, California, Missouri State, George Mason

Last Four Out
Air Force, Creighton, UNC-Wilmington, Colorado

In This Bracket
Seton Hall, Bradley, Florida State, Texas A&M, Iona, Belmont, Davidson

Out This Bracket
Syracuse, Colorado, UNC-Wilmington, Creighton, Manhattan, Lipscomb, Georgia Southern

Conference Breakdown
(Automatic bids in multiple bid conferences are the first teams listed. Teams who have already earned a bid are in bold.)
Big East (8), Big Ten (7), SEC (6), ACC (5), MVC (5), Pac-10 (4), Big 12 (4), C-USA (2), Colonial (2)

America East - Albany

ACC - Duke, North Carolina, Boston College, North Carolina State, Florida State

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

A-10 - George Washington

Big East - UConn, Villanova, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Cincinnati

Big Sky - Northern Arizona

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan

Big 12 - Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M

Big West - Pacific

Colonial - Hofstra, George Mason

C-USA - Memphis, UAB

Horizon - Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ivy - Penn

Metro Atlantic - Iona

MAC - Kent State

MCC - Oral Roberts

MEAC - Delaware State

MVC - Southern Illinois, Wichita State, Northern Iowa, Bradley, Missouri State

MWC - San Diego State

Northeast - Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley - Murray State

Pac-10 - UCLA, Washington, Arizona, California

Patriot - Bucknell

SEC - LSU, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky

Southern - Davidson

Southland - Northwestern State

SWAC - Southern

Sun Belt - Western Kentucky

WAC - Nevada

WCC - Gonzaga

The Seeds
The 1s
UConn, Villanova, Duke, Memphis

The 2s
Ohio State, Texas, Illinois, Gonzaga

The 3s
North Carolina, LSU, George Washington, UCLA

The 4s
Iowa, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington

The 5s
Pittsburgh, Boston College, Kansas, Florida

The 6s
Oklahoma, Michigan State, Nevada, Marquette

The 7s
Georgetown, Wisconsin, Arkansas, North Carolina State

The 8s
Indiana, Wichita State, Bucknell, Alabama

The 9s
Kentucky, Seton Hall, Southern Illinois, Michigan

The 10s
Arizona, Cincinnati, UAB, Northern Iowa

The 11s
Bradley, Texas A&M, Florida State, California

The 12s
Hofstra, Missouri State, George Mason, San Diego State

The 13s
Western Kentucky, Kent State, Iona, Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The 14s
Winthrop, Pacific, Murray State, Northwestern State

The 15s
Northern Arizona, Penn, Albany, Davidson

The 16s
Oral Roberts, Delaware State, Belmont, Fairleigh Dickinson (Play-In Game), Southern (Play-In Game)

The Bracket

Bracket- March 5th

Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves.

Questions? Comments? E-mail Chris and Craig at


Anonymous said...

Surprised to see Missouri State still in. I have a tough time seeing 5 MVC teams making it, even without the upsets to come in conference tourneys.

Anonymous said...

George Mason a 12? Are the 2 losses to Hofstra that bad? I think their portfolio looks as good as any of the 9 seeds in your bracket.

Anonymous said...

Missouri State should be safely in with their great RPI.

Anonymous said...

The RPI would have been enough if they had done anything in the MVC tourney. It's tough to argue 5 bids for that league, and Wich. State and UNI should both be in over them [UNI has marquee wins MSU can only dream about]. Missouri State had the worst heads up record against the other top 6 teams, and that is where Bradley probably gets them, because Missouri State didn't distinguish themselves over BU during the season, and Bradley picked up a couple wins in the MVC tourney.

Has there ever been a team with such a high RPI that really didn't beat anyone besides their conference opponents? They went 4-8 against the other good teams in their conference, and then beat mostly cupcakes in their non-con schedule. The UWM win helps them, but that's about it.

GMU is an interesting seed. Again, a great RPI, but outside of the bracketbusters game they don't have the resume to justify a decent seed. If the CAA gets 3 at the expense of a major conference [or even the MVC's 5th team, Missouri State], that ought to be criminal, because they ran up a ton of wins against the rest of the conference and weak non-con schedules. Hofstra really put both GMU and the bracket makers in a tough situation.

Bryan said...

Glad to see FSU in the bracket, although kind of surprised with their weak schedule and non-conf rpi. Do you think with the win over Miami today they should be in, or do they still need a win or two in the ACC tourney? Thanks for all comments!

Bracketology 101 said...

Some quick hits...

Missouri State has an interesting profile. They have a great RPI for a variety of reasons. First of all they played in the MVC, all of their losses were to top 50 teams, they played nobody higher then 224 in the RPI, because they didn't play many out of conference games (only 9). Given their high RPI, their 8-2 record in the last 10, and the fact that they have no bad losses they are in as of now.

As for George Mason their profile isn't all that great anymore especially if UNC-Wilmington ends up beating Hofstra tomorrow for the Colonial title. The win at Wichita State in the BracketBuster game might end up saving them though. They have some losses on their profile that don't look very good right now (@Wake, @Mississippi, and the home blowout loss to Creighton may really come back to haunt them with Creighton's bubble status). George Mason fans need to really pull hard for Hofstra tomorrow given the fact that they lost their only two games this year to Hofstra just in the past 2 weeks. Because of Wilmington ends up winning that one then the Colonial might end up being a one bid league.

FSU has to at least beat Wake Forest this week to have a chance to hold on to their bid. A win over NC State would then make them a lock. With just a win over Wake, the Seminoles will definetly be sweating it out Sunday especially if there are some upsets this week.

Robert said...

I am a little suprised at your comments with regards to Florida State. Granted, I am a Nole fan, I would like to hear what you think about FSU getting in on it's current merits. I mean, FSU did lose at Cameron by 1 point this year on a real questionable Technical on Alexander Johnson. We went 9-7 in the ACC, which is a very hard conference, and we really played well this year. Lost by 3 at BC, and lost by 1 to UNC. They are losses, but "good" losses and not by much to ranked teams. What's your opine?

Bracketology 101 said...

FSU's current merits barely got them in the field. They have no good wins out of conference and their RPI isn't that good. The only reason they are in is because of the win over Duke and their 7-3 finish. A lose to Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tourney would kill them. But as long as they win that game they should make it.

Anonymous said...

i'd take three of your 12 seeds (excluding SDSU) over all of the 11 seeds anyday.

Anonymous said...

Bubble Watch: I agree with you on GMU. If Wilmington makes it, they're done.

If FSU can't beat WF, they don't deserve the bid anyway.

Missouri State just got pulled from the tourney on ESPN's bubble watch. They're likely to be number 65 or 66. Never a good place to be for the next 7 days.

Anonymous said...

You guys pay way too much attention to numbers and not enough to common sense.

Do you really believe that Hofstra's 14-4 run through the CAA is more impressive than Air Force or BYU's 12-4 record in a much tougher Mountain West?

The two times Mason bumped up against teams from power conferences, they lost to Wake and Mississippi State, the 12th and 10th best teams from the ACC and SEC.

A team like Air Force beat two ACC teams and played Washington down to the wire in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

i agree with the previous guys and probably the committee now too, put way too much emphasis on this stupid RPI, its just a stupid computer system like the BCS, why are we letting a computer tell us who is better, all this argument about the MVC having good top 50 in rpi records means absolutely nothing, because they're all in conference games except for the 3 wins coming from northern iowa....aside from that, they all come from in conference, its not like these teams are ranked and for good reason....the people who vote for these polls know a lot more about the game than a computer system does....u keep talking about how fsu has no quality ooc wins, yet they only had 1 loss, and it was a close one on the road to a top 10 team, so they did what they needed to do, and then finish with a 9-7 record in the ACC, which historically has always made the tourney, i think everyone forgets the ACC beat the Big Ten, "the number one rated conference" head to head, so how does that not get them in, why aren't you putting in missouri state??...who did they beat ooc???......and now people are saying that md has to win 3 games in the acc tourney!!...what a freakin' joke, if they win 2, then they will get to 20 wins, with an 8-8 record in the ACC, that has always been a lock, why is it different this year??...would the commitee honestly believe that a bradley, missouri st, or creighton team all with 19 or 20 wins is honestly more deserving than a md or fsu team that ended up with 20 wins.....for college bball's sake, i certainly hope not

Anonymous said...

if you had to pick between md and missouri state who had identical records if md were to win 2 games in the acc tourney.....just look for common handidly beat arkansas, and missouri state lost to them.....end of discussion, and nobody could complain about an end of the year slide from the terps, cause they would finish the year winning 4 out of 5

Anonymous said...

I think only 4 MVC teams will make it in. This tourney is really all about money so I don't think they will put 5 very small market teams from that conference in since CBS would rather have an extra PAC-10, Big 12 or ACC team in no matter what the RPI says.

Enough bashing of the MVC. The Big 10 and Big 12 schools won't play them home one year away the next. Kansas or K-State doesn't want to play @ Witchita. U of I doesn't want to play in Carbondale or Peoria.

Granted FSU may beat Bradley or SIU in Tallahasee But not in Peoria or Carbondale. MVC teams can only play who they can schedule.

Anonymous said...

i am not talking about home games, i am talking about neutral court games....i would take clemson, gt, or wake forest over the top 3 from the mvc on a neutral court any day of the week

Gabe said...

Mark my words - GW will knock someone out of the dance by losing in the a-10 tourney. A-10 will be a two bid league this year...

andrew said...

George Washington deserves a 6 seed. It would be a huge mistake for the committee to seed them any higher. The Colonials have no good wins.

Anonymous said...

Great site, just stumbled on it. Cal fan here. Is Cal in or do they need to beat SC again in the pac10 tourney? SC and then UW?

Cal has some really bad losses but is 3-3 UCLA, UW and Arizona, went 12-6 in the pac10 and is the only team to beat every other team in the pac10 this year.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Bearlurker said...

Great site, just stumbled on it. Cal fan here. Is Cal in or do they need to beat SC again in the pac10 tourney? SC and then UW?

Cal has some really bad losses but is 3-3 UCLA, UW and Arizona, went 12-6 in the pac10 and is the only team to beat every other team in the pac10 this year.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

The MVC is a joke..

Anyone up for fun with numbers?

The RPI counts each home game as either .6 out of .6 for a win or 0 out of 1.4 for a loss. Conversely a road game is 1.4 out of 1.4 for a win and 0 out of .6 for a loss. Your total RPI comes by adding up the total from each game and then dividing by the total possible. not really complicated at all, so….. since road wins/home losses count more than twice (1.4 vs. 0.6) as much as home wins/road losses, 2-5 on the road is better than 2-1 at home given the same quality of opponents:

2-5 on the road: .483
2-1 at home: .462

basically, you have to win 70% of your games at home to break even (.500), but only 30% of your road games to do so.

So when MD(or any BCS school) plays a bunch of home games(which is what BOTH teams want because it is a bigger sold out arena so BOTH teams make more money) out of conference against teams that are as good or even slightly better than the teams the MVC plays out of conference (again half and half home/road or even more on the road), the MVC team needs to only beat 30+% of the other mid majors out of conference on the road to have a higher rpi going into the conference season than MD(or any other big conference school). Then when this MVC team gets in conference they get further boosted from beating the teams in conference on the road that did the same thing. This year the MVC had a perfect storm of away victories that boosted all of their rpi’s before they got into conference play and then by beating each other kept them up.

The idea of making road games worth more then home games makes sense, they just went too far with it. a .8 and 1.2 metric would work much better.

Take Missouri State as an example.
All of their out of conference road wins are against crap teams, then they play out of conference road games against good teams(and lose) to boost the strength of schedule side of their rpi(they also get paid out to play those road games).
Wichita State, same deal. 20St.
play san francisco and missouri kansas city(this a d1 school i guess) on the road, get your road wins booster, play some big ten schools on the road, get your sos up, and then head into conference play vastly overrated...

The MVC should not have more bids(or even close to the same amount)as the ACC plain and simple.

James G said...

Back to the 11:36 PM post-

Other teams that have had high RPIs only winning in their conference:

2005: St. Mary's (29), Vermont (26)
2004: S. Illinois (25)
2002: Tulsa (30)
2001: Butler (29)

All of the above got bids, although Vermont and Butler were auto-bids. It would be interesting to see the RPI re-calculated on the old formula given the 0.6 vs. 1.4 differential. Last year, it apparently only moved teams up and down a few spots once people correctly re-calibrated it.

I think a 21 RPI gets you in, no matter the rest of your profile. Just look at St. Mary's from last year. The only thing that got them in was their straight RPI and single home win over Gonzaga. The rest of their profile was awful, including a blowout loss to Memphis and losses to Hawaii and Rutgers.

Pradamaster said...

For those of you complaining about this blog's use of RPI and lack of "common sense," here's the problem. Despite what you may think, common sense means different things to different people. Multiple people have come away from the Missouri Valley tournament saying different things. I've heard people say that it's common sense that the Missouri Valley teams have everything they need to compete with the top programs except for height. I've heard others grumble at the slow games and used their "common sense" to come to the conclusion that the MVC is overrated. They saw the same game, but came away with different opinions.

The selection committee understands this, which is why they have computerized tools such as the RPI. If we put the fate of the NCAA Tournament solely in the hands of people, we would see personal biases shine through. Suppose Person A believes the Mountain West is not as good as the CAA this year, but Person B disagrees. How do you determine which is better without some sort of unbiased system like conference RPI? There's simply no way you can.

However, what makes the selection process special is that it is not like the BCS in college football. College football created the BCS as an end-all solution, plugging every possible variable into a formula to determine the national champion. It doesn't even matter how good a team is playing, because the BCS is the only thing that determines one's position in the BCS bowl games. In college basketball however, the RPI is not the end-all. The selection committee uses human tools such as Last 10 games and the injured players factor. They also all watch college basketball, so they get to see how good these teams play on a regular basis. The result is you get a selection process that relys on computers and humans. So please, no more comparisons to the BCS, they're simply ridiculous.

Finally, it's ridiculous to say that all the RPI top 50 wins of Missouri Valley teams "mean absolutely nothing because they're all in conference games" and then glorify Florida State's profile.
If I remember correctly, Florida State's only big win this season came against Duke, a conference opponent. You can say that they beat everyone they should have, but the fact is that scheduling is a key factor for getting into the Big Dance, and Florida State screwed it up. The fact is, for you, "common sense" dictates that any ACC team is better than any Missouri Valley team, when in reality, the only reason you think so is because of the names of the conferences.

Oh, and one more thing (actually three more things)
1. Teams, not conferences, win at-large bids
2. Teams, not conferences, win at-large bids
3. Teams, not conferences, win at-large bids
(need I say any more)

Anonymous said...

I will also admit that I am an FSU fan, and I will also admit that I don't think that the Nole's are a definite lock in the tourney. However, I do not think that they HAVE to win against Wake Forest in order to make it into the tournament. I DO feel, however, that it needs to be a close loss if FSU wants to hold on to a chance. As for people who say that Noles' schedule was weak, I do not contend. However, I do feel that when a team plays in on of the best conferences in the nation, their nonconference schedules need not be the best, as long as they beat the teams they need to. I would also like to clarify the fact that FSU beat two, not one, teams in the top 50 in the RPI (Maryland and Duke). In addition, they had several wins over teams that will likely be playing in the NIT this year, including: Bowling Green, Nebraska, Clemson, and Virginia. And as mentioned before, losses to Duke, UNC, and BC by a combined score of 6 points (2 of those games being road games), and a close road loss to Florida. Not to mention the UF game had the largest attendence in school history. I am not glorifying this schedule, I agree that outside the conference it is pretty weak. However, I think that FSU not only has a strong enough conference record in a great conference, but also the history to go with it. People often forget that when FSU was still in the Metro Conference, they went to the NCAA's regularly, including in the 1970's when they lost in Los Angeles to #1 UCLA in the championship game by six points. I think that a competitive Wake game will be key, but I disagree that it is as close as everyone says it is.
On a final note, I take the compromise to say that the MVC will get 3 teams in the NCAA: SIU, Wichita State, and Missori State. I like the MVC, and I think that it is an upcoming conference, in fact I don't think that it will be too long until it is considered a major conference and gets 4 bids or so, regularly every year. But I just don't think their at that level yet. In a few years, but not now.

James G said...

If you're going to go on the level where Florida State beat Bowling Green and Nebraska, the MVC teams beat lots of teams on that level including Nebraksa, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Western Kentucky, Murray State, Northwestern State, George Mason, Kent State, Xavier, and Butler, some of them on the road. In fact, beating those teams, most of them with around 20 wins or more, is where the conference's high RPI comes from. And just FYI, Bowling Green is 7-20 and not going to get an NIT bid.

I'm not an RPI fan, but it's what the committee uses. And I just can't see only 3 in. Northern Iowa with its wins over LSU, iowa, and Bucknell, is in. Last year, they took Northern Iowa and its non-conf profile was worse: beating Iowa State and taking Cincinnati to OT. They even blew it against SMS in the first round of the MVC tournament and still got taken.

And although I am not an RPI fan, I am a fan of some of the other ratings systems. Sagarin has Missouri State 25th, Wichita State 33rd, Northern Iowa 34th, and Bradley 37th. I will note that he ranks Florida State 24th, while Texas A&M is only 47th.

Pikachu732001 said...

Thank you Pradamaster for injecting some common sense into this discussion. I'm hoping that Florida-State-is-better-than-any-MVC-bubble-team man is able to digest what you had to say with a bit of dignity. Having said that, it's important that Florida State is being compared not only to the MVC bubble teams, but also to other bubble teams as well, and quite frankly, the Seminoles still have a very spotty resume to present.

Currently, Florida State is my last team out at the moment, but would be in the field with a Hofstra loss.
However, they might need to win twice in the ACC tournament to feel absolutely safe.

Anonymous said...

I would have everyone note that all of the CBS analysts project FSU as being in the tournament. In addition, among their annotations to the subject, they state that they are seeded even without a win in the ACC tournament. I am not downplaying the MVC at all, personally I like the conference and I have a great respect for their teams. But let's cut straight to the ultimate issue at discussion here: which conference is better, the ACC or the MVC? If you can tell me that Northern Iowa, Wichita State, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, and Creighton are better than Duke, UNC, NC State, Boston College, Florida State, and Maryland, then I'll laugh.

James G said...

The ACC is clearly a better conference than the MVC, but that's not really the issue here, is it? Nobody expects any of the MVC teams to have seeds up in the area of Duke or North Carolina. But just because the ACC is better than the MVC doesn't make Florida State better than the MVC bubble teams. The RPI says that the ACC is the 3rd best conference and that the MVC is the 6th best conference, while simultaneoulsy holding that six MVC teams are better than Florida State. Both can be true at once.

Pikachu732001 said...

Uh James G, has the ACC as the 4th best conference in D-I according to the RPI. Just thought I let you know.

Bracketology 101 said...

Quick hits...

If Cal beats USC then they should be safe for a bid. They will definetly be sweating it out on Sunday though, especially if Gonzaga, GW, Nevada, etc. lose. A win over Washington will lock up a bid.

No matter what you say about Missouri State it's hard to get past the fact that their RPI is 21 and they finished 8-2.

FSU must beat Wake Forest to get a bid.

Anonymous said...

I think the Big East and ACC are the two best conferences this year. Acc is usually top. This is why I think they will get 5 teams in. CBS and money.

MVC @4,5 or 6 or CAA @ 3 isn't going to happen even though the ACC benefitted in the past from the present formula. This year they seem like Big Ten Football back in the day. 2 (Duke and NC) monsters then the rest.

Duke has weak defensive guard play and its beginning to show. I saw them vs Temple and if Temple had a second guard with skill it would have been a different result. Note: Temple is on the bubble for the NIT.

Villanova vs Ct final looks like a real possibility. SEC, Big 12 and Pac-10 are weak this year. Zags looked human last night.

Pradamaster said...

And to clarify, I'm an ACC fan (a huge Maryland Terrapins fans) and I have Florida State in my current bracket, but I'm just tired of stupid people posting on this site saying how incredible Florida State is because they play in the heavenly ACC. What exactly does that point really prove? Despite what some may think, the committee is not sitting there like watching old videos of David Thompson, Michael Jordan, and Grant Hill while they say to themselves "Missouri State? Since when has there ever been a Missouri State?" or "Hofstra Pride...what a lame nickname." The committee knows these mid-majors and anybody who thinks they do not deserve an equal look is flat out insane. Similarly, anyone who compares the RPI to the BCS is making a stupid ignorant comparison (and I already said why). These MVC (and CAA) teams have a high RPI because they deserve to and have taken advantage of the parameters of the RPI, yet so many people on this board continue to dismiss the numbers as a flaw in the RPI instead of giving credit to the MVC and CAA schools for understanding the system and scheduling accordingly.

And it's not only people on this board. Every time I listen to Digger Phelps, I wonder whether he's been cryogenically frozen the last 6years and is living in the pre-Gonzaga era. Today, I was truely baffled by his claim that Kentucky should be the favorite in the SEC Tournament because "they've done it before." Nevermind that Kentucky has looked shaky all season, but because it's the SEC tournament, Rajon Rondo will turn into Tony Delk and Joe Crawford will suddenly shoot like Jeff Sheppard. If Kentucky changed their name to Western Kentucky State, you'd hear Digger talk about how they've struggled against the RPI Top 50 and how they have no chance to win the tournament. I really hope people don't take NCAA bubble advice from Digger Phelps, because he has no idea what he's talking about.

The NCAA Selection process is designed to be the ultimate equalizer, where computers meet humans and teams are judged on their profile and not on their name. It pains me to see people make stupid arguments for the power conferences as if they're living with Digger Phelps in the pre-Gonzaga era. Look at Northern Iowa beating out Maryland, DePaul, and Notre Dame for an at-large bid last year. The committee knows these "mid-majors" exists and judges them fairly, as should everyone on this board.

Pradamaster said...

Also, please, no more discussion about how CBS plays a role in the selection process. They play no role whatsoever. This is not a world where conspiracy theories hold any weight They can't tell the committee who they want in the tournament. College basketball just doesn't work that way.

Anonymous said...

The MVC is sticking it to "The Man".

The NCAA came up with the RPI and the MVC is just taking advantage of it. Since the bigger conference don't want to play the MVC on their turf (outside of IU and Iowa..and..well we know what happened there), the MVC is forced to play more road games and they've been good enough to win a lot of them, including a game over the SEC Champs, which really helps the the RPI.

All I got to say to the bigger conferences is PLAY SOME ROAD GAMES NON-CONFERENCE and know what it's like to EARN a win out of conference. Syacuse is a joke. They don't even leave the state until January. These days of playing almost all your non-conference games at home and then going 8-8 in conference and expecting to go dancing is over. Get out on the road and quit your crying.

James G said...

Pikachu - That depends whether you use overall RPI or non-conference RPI. I was using overall RPI from the site. That seems to be what the NCAA uses, based on some committee member's interview a few years ago.

Anonymous said...


Fantastic post. I could agree more with your thoughts. Well done.