Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ranking the Conferences

Here's how we would rank the multiple bid conferences after the first weekend of the Tourney...

1. Big East (9-4, 4 teams left)
2. ACC (6-2, 2 teams left)
3. SEC (7-4, 2 teams left)
4. Pac-10 (5-2, 2 teams left)
5. MVC (4-2, 2 teams left)
6. Big 12 (3-3, 1 team left)
7. Colonial (2-1, 1 team left)
8. C-USA (2-1, 1 team left)
9. Big Ten (3-6, 0 teams left)
10. A-10 (1-2, 0 teams left)
11. MWC (0-2)
12. WAC (0-2)

It was apparent this weekend that Utah State and Air Force did not deserve bids based upon their own performance and their conference performance. Cincinnati, Hofstra, Missouri State, Creighton, or Florida State all would have been better choices.


azball said...

I disagree with your rankings. At this point in the tournament, you should either be looking at rankings based upon upsets or based upon the teams put into the conference and those left.

Here's two alternative views:

First - let's just look at the conferences based upon how many chances they were given to make it to the Sweet 16 and how many are left.

Here, there looks to be parity with most conferences batting .500 - of course with the SEC and Big 10 looking pretty bad.

Team put in Teams still in-Teams out
Big East 8 4-4
SEC 4 2-2
Pac-10 4 2-2
MVC 4 2-2
ACC 4 2-2
Colonial 2 1-1
C-USA 2 1-1
Big 12 4 1-3
MWC 2 0-2
WAC 2 0-2
Big 10 6 0-6

Now, let's just give credit for doing better or worse than expected - just looking at the upsets. Here you can see there was some bias towards certain conferences in the selections:

Certainly the MVC, ACC and Pac-10 are showing that they were underweighted in the brackets and the Big 12, Big (L)East, WAC, SEC and Big 12 show that they were given way too much credit in the brackets.

Upset Wins/Upset Losses
MVC 3-0 +1.00
Pac-10 1-1 +0.500
ACC 1-1 +0.500
Colonial 0-0 0.000
C-USA 0-0 0.000
Atlantic 10 0-0 0.000
MWC 0-0 0.000
Big 12 1-2 -0.500
Big East 1-3 -0.333
WAC 0-1 -1.000
SEC 0-2 -1.000
Big 10 0-4 -1.000

Patrick said...

What's your thinking behind putting the SEC ahead of the Pac-10? The SEC is 7-4 (.636), with a 4-seed (LSU) ready to lose to Duke and a 3-seed (Florida ) facing Georgetown. The Pac-10 is 5-2 (.714) with a 2-seed (UCLA) facing Gonzaga and a 5-seed (Washington) facing UConn. Assuming seeds only, after the Thursday/Friday games the Pac-10 will be 6-3 (.667) and the SEC will be 8-5 (.615). Assuming the seeds hold again on Sunday, the Pac-10 finishes 6-4 (.600) and the SEC 8-6 (.571). So the Pac-10 looks on track for a better winning percentage against probably lower expectations.

Looking at it another way- the Pac-10 had one first-round loss (Cal to NC State); the SEC had Arkansas lose to Bucknell. Call it a draw there.

In the second round, Arizona lost to Villanova, Washington beat Illinois, and UCLA beat Alabama. For the SEC, LSU beat Texas A&M (12-seed),Florida beat Wisconsin-Milwaulkee (11-seed), Alabama lost to UCLA, Kentucky lost to UConn, and Tennessee lost to Wichita State. Based on those results, especially the 2-seed Tennesee loss and the fact the 2 wins were against much lower-seeded teams, I'd have to say the Pac-10 did better. Even if Tennessee was overseeded at 2, they still would have been the seed favorite over Wichita State.

Patrick said...


correct me if I'm wrong, but under your first system, isn't the SEC 2-4?

GD said...

well, if all games at gone according to form, then the top four seeds would be still standing in each region.

by this methodology, azball, the "big least" is overperforming, as they have 4 sweet sixteen teams instead of the two they "should" have.

by THIS criteria, the big east was underseeded or has overperformed.

pokerplayr said...

Once again you morons have found the ability to come to a conclusion with hardly any in-depth analysis.

You proclaim the Big East as the top conference after the first two rounds despite the fact that of the four Big East teams that have made the Sweet 16, only one has defeated advanced by defeating a higher seed. In fact, of the nine wins Big East teams have, six of those have come against teams with double digit seeds. Three of the four Big East teams that have been eliminated have lost to teams with a lower seed (all double-digit seeds) and 10th seeded Seton Hall arguably had one of the worst performances of the entire tournament.

Apparently nine wins are all you look at when making this anointment of the "best performance".

Instead, why not commend the Missouri Valley Conference, which had two of their four teams advance by winning three of four games against teams with higher seeds (in Bradley's case, winning two games against teams 8 and 9 seed lines above the Braves). In fact, a Missouri Valley Conference team has yet to lose to a lower seed.

While some credit must always be given for avoiding an upset, how much do you wish to bestow upon Connecticut and Villanova for not losing to 16 seeds Albany and Monmouth ? In addition, how impressive is West Virginia after beating an 11 seed and a 14 seed ? Unless the Mountaineers would have suddenly moved to the Big Ten, wins against Southern Illinois and Northwestern State are not all that impressive.

Once again, you guys do little more than find answers where they are easiest to locate...... next time try putting in a little more thought and time before you post such drivel.

Anonymous said...

The Big East is the best. Take a look at azbell's measure (putting aside the lack of mathematical accumen) -- Big East is 1-3 on upsets? Well, when you get multiple high slots, you will automatically get that result AT THIS POINT IN THE TOURNAMENT because (a) the highly positioned teams have not yet gotten to the rounds where they meet other highly positioned teams and (b) that leaves you really with really the only possibility of upsets. Look at it this way, the Big East is 1-3 on azball's upset formula, accounting for 4 games. Yet they are 9-4 in the tournament. This means that of 11 possible upsets (since only 2 games have so far been against higher placed teams -- 1 win, one loss), the Big East is 8-3. In this tournament with so many upsets, that is pretty good. Run that same analysis for any other league. As for the truth of asball's analysis (which may well prove valid), one will have to wait for the tournament to end and then run the analysis. Same applies for the claim that 6 of 9 wins came against double digit seeds -- well, yeah, that is what happens when a league gets good seedings and the tournament is not yet over. Amazingly, every year 4 seeds play 12 seeds and 2 seeds play 15 seeds and 7 seeds play 10 seeds.

Rather, I think that you should look to what leagues have percentages of remaining teams. The Big East started with 12.5% of the teams (8 of 64). They now have 25% of the Sweet 16 and very well might end up with a higher percentage still of the Elite 8. Most people have the Big East projected for 50% of the Final 4. Seems to me that shows a league that is better measured directly against all others. They are the only multibid league to have a higher percentage of Sweet 16s than they had Field of 64s. Pac-10, MVC, ACC, Colonial and C-USA are all at the same percentage they started the tournament with. The SEC and Big-12 are at a lower, but at least are still in it. The BIG 10, MWC and WAC sleep with the likes of the Big Sky Conference, the Atlantic Sun, MEAC and SWAC.

Anonymous said...

According to Azball's rankings, the PAC-10 and ACC get credit for upset wins with #10 NC State over #7 Cal (a game in which State was favored by 1.5-2) and #5 Washington over #4 Illinois. Huge upsets there, Azball.

Having actually watched the games, I can tell you the ACC is not that good outside of Duke. UNC loses to G Mason, NCSU gets blown out by Texas, and BC is taken to 2 OT's in the first round. Duke, on the other hand, was impressive. Oh, and by the way, I'm an NC State homer, so I'm definitely not biased against the ACC.

Having said that, it's pretty clear the Big East is by far the best conference. I don't care what your make believe rankings tell you. There will be a good comparison for you on the Big East vs ACC: Nova is the #2 team in the Big East, BC is the #2 team in the ACC. We'll see how that one turns out. My guess is that it won't be pretty for BC.

Good riddance Travis Garrison said...

Honestly, I questioned the committee big time at the start of the tourney, but it didn't turn out to be that bad. I guess what we can get the most out of this, is more emphasis should be how teams do the last month or so during the season, rather than just...who did you play ooc. That was proven where teams that had some big wins early got a pass for struggling late, like Wisconsin, Seton Hall, Northern Iowa, and Tennesee. Also, hoepfully this tourney shows that we should throw away conference RPI's.....they mean absolutely nothing and just look how teams do head to head ooc....the Big Ten looked awful in the tourney, yet they were the #1 RPI...i mean the ACC beat the Big Ten in the challenge yet nobody seemed to even bring that up in any discussion, and it proved to be worthy tourney time as the 4 ACC teams were much more competitive than the 6 teams from the Big Ten.....
Also the SEC just benefited for being a mediocre conference therefore teams got free passes for having a good conference record, in hindsight we should have taken away a team from the Big Ten, and the SEC, and given those bids to FSU and Missouri St, and taken away Air Force and put in Cinccy....everyone is saying that the comittee did such a great job now, but in reality FSU or Cinccy could have done the same things that Bradley or George Mason have done...which means that right now, we have such an even playing field, which can be credited so many people making the jump so early to the NBA, leaving the bigger schools with less talent and experience, but now that kids can't go straight to the pros, that could change things a bit, just a thought...........

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting to watch how the league competition plays out even in the NIT. Again, Big 10 has (other than Michigan) not fared well while the Big East will most likely have 2 teams in the NIT Final 4 and very likely would have had an all-Big East final if not for the fact that Louisville and Cincinnati will play each other for the right to advance to the title game. SEC and ACC simply do not have the horses in the lower half of the league to compete. Their top team or two can compete with anyone, but they simply do not have the incredible depth that the Big East has. Heck, the next 3 out of the Big East not to get NCAA bids (Cincinnati, Louisville and Notre Dame) all would have had a very good shot at advancing at least past the first round in NCAA play.

Again, this shows that top to bottom, the Big East is far and away the best conference. Even after taking the top 8 teams for the NCAA, they have 2 more to dominate even the NIT level.

Deepest conference -- best competition. Period.

Good riddance Travis Garrison said...

I honestly don't think that you can bring NIT into this discussion.......because there is not nearly the same type of motivation in these games as there is in the NCAA tourney or even regular season games.......players from teams openly admit that they don't want to play in the NIT because it is such a let down for not making it to the tourney

tough night said...

wow, what a dissapointing night in the tourney last night........as a huge college basketball fan, and an even bigger terps fan, i hate duke just like most of the country, but i was honestly pulling for reddick and company.......you have to appreciate the seniors in this league, as much as i hate reddick, you have to respect what he has been able to do this year, he's clearly not the atlete that everyone else, but was still able to be a great player, he probably won't have a great NBA career but you gotta give it up for him, even as a huge terps fan, i was rooting for the seniors of Duke....................

Then there's West Virginia, you can't help but root for these honky white boys who are clearly inferior to most of the talent in the league, but again, a team full of seniors, how can you not root for a team of players who have dedicated 4 years to a program and have to work harder at most to win, lately its just been all these underclassmen who are stealing the spotlight and winning championships, we haven't had a senior led team winning it since Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter and company took in 2001............

and then there's Gonzaga, how can you not root for them either, Adam Morrison has diabetes, gets insulin shots during timeouts, is ugly as hell, yet goes out there and just dominates with such an old school style, and is one of the biggest competitors i've ever watched, seeing him crying with 2 seconds left was just heartbreaking, you hate to see players like that lose the way Gonzaga did last night......now we get an elite eight with some boring teams except for Memphis, i mean i don't think most of us can even pronounce half of UCLA's roster, how exciting is that??

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