Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bracketology 101's Bracket Reaction

"There shall not be more than two teams from a conference in one region unless a ninth team is selected from a conference."

"Conference teams shall not meet prior to the regional final unless a ninth team is selected from a conference. If the committee is unable to reconcile the bracket after exhausting all reasonable options, it has the flexibility to waive this principle to permit two teams from the same conference to meet each other after the first round."

Apparently these rules do not apply to the Big East. The selection committee placed three Big East teams in the South Region and set up two potential Big East Sweet 16 matchups (Villanova-Notre Dame and West Virginia-Marquette). We decided to follow the rules when bracketing, and it led to us missing all three Big East teams by more than one seed line.

That wasn't our only gripe with the selection committee, though. Here are some other seeds that we are still scratching our heads about:

1. Temple should be a 3, and certainly no worse than a 4. We guess the committee didn't think they should be seeded that far ahead of fellow A-10 teams (which doesn't make a whole lot of sense). The Owls also drew a dangerous Cornell team in the first round, which is a real double whammy.

2. Tennessee as a 6 seed is really harsh considering they beat the top two teams in the tournament.

3. SDSU and UNLV should swap seeds. The Aztecs have the biggest complaint of any team in terms of the seed they got. How can they possibly be seeded three lines lower than UNLV when their RPI was 30 spots higher, they finished tied in conference, and they beat UNLV two out of three times they played? The biggest joke, though, has to be the fact that SDSU has to travel all the way to Providence to play their first round game.

4. The two potential Sweet 16 match-ups weren't the questionable moves involving the Big East. Notre Dame and Marquette played well at the end of the year, but neither deserves 6 seeds, and Villanova, who stumbled down the stretch, wasn't deserving of the last 2 seed. (How does Temple not get the 2 over Villanova considering they beat them head-to-head?)

In terms of the teams selected, we can't really complain too much. Florida is seeded too high as a 10, but looking back, their overall body of work is slightly better than Mississippi State. We now regret watching the Mississippi State-Kentucky game on Sunday afternoon. We thought that the committee would be impressed by the Bulldogs' performance and that they would put more emphasis on conference tourney results. We also got too hung up on the fact that Florida had lost four of their last five. We couldn't imagine the SEC only getting three bids; we just picked the wrong team for the fourth bid.

Our biggest regret is leaving Utah State out of our final bracket, even though we are happy to see the committee give some more bids to mid-majors. In our opinion, Utah State is more deserving than Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, or Illinois. We should have done what we usually do and just go with what we think should happen, instead of what we think the committee will do. We finally bailed on the little guy and it cost us. It also appears from the final bracket that committee members were probably paying attention to how many bids each conference was getting. They didn't want to give the ACC seven bids, so they left Virginia Tech out; they wanted the SEC to get four bids so they went with Florida; and they didn't want the Big Ten to get six bids so they left out Illinois.

Stat-wise, we ended up with 31 teams seeded exactly and 54 teams within one seed line. By our math, we once again beat Lunardi. We'll post some more scores when all the math is complete. One thing we do know is that we ended up winning the Selection Sunday Expert's Challenge on over experts from CBS, The Sporting News, and Sports Illustrated, as well as some other bloggers.


Paymon said...

Temple got the rawest of deals. Not only did they not receive a protected seed, but they draw a senior-laden team in the 1st Round. They won a share of their regular season title and won the postseason title, which generally draws a lot of weight.

I thought SDSU and Cal should've swapped seeds.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty upset to see Temple get shafted so hard.

Sarah said...

Someone once said "Never trust a man with a hairpiece."

And Joe Lunardi...

Anonymous said...

I think it was fair that ND got the 6 seed, as it was the hardest of all the 6 seeds. It is more like a 7 seed overall.

Dan Holmes said...

My guess is that the committee considered Temple losing by 30+ points on its home floor to Kansas. Ironically, Cornell, the team it will be facing, put up a much better fight against the Jayhawks, and in Allen Fieldhouse, too.

jp23 said...

The chatter I'm seeing is the whole Big East thing. I thought that was strange. The Temple-Cornell thing really rubbed me the wrong way. It seems that Temple has been been overlooked all here and hopefully that Temple shocks the world and gets to the Elite Eight.

I thought the seeding overall by the Committee was very spotty and inconsistent. The top two #1 seeds seemed to get the rawest deals as well and this doesn't sit well with me either.

I think mostly the Committee got the right teams in. We will always see 3-4 teams every year get shafted, but it proves one major point with me: The Tournament should be expanded at all.

Looking forward to more analysis and your picks said...

I'm glad Mississippi State didn't get in. They embarrassed themselves and the SEC by losing to Rider, a mid-major from the MAAC, AT HOME by 14 in November.

With that said, I’m really excited about the 2010 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. I haven’t filled out a bracket yet, but I’d say my Final Four teams are Michigan State, Syracuse, Kentucky, and Baylor. I’ll put Syracuse and Kentucky in the championship game, with Syracuse winning. It should be an interesting tournament though.

Anonymous said...

There was a 3 way tie in in the Bracket Matrix contest for 1st place, fwiw, not just bracketville

Anonymous said...

I just can't comprehend that Virginia Tech was left out. I have no gripe with Utah State or UTEP - they had great seasons. My gripe is with Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech beat them and finished higher than them in the regular season. What is more important - a copmuter or a an actual game?

mag900 said...

(1) head-to-head is not the be-all-end-all. should south carolina be in because it beat kentucky? what about nc state because it beat duke?
(2) with unbalanced schedules, comparing conference records isn't that relevant. va tech played the easiest acc schedule you could create.

Jeff G said...

"1. Temple should be a 3, and certainly no worse than a 4. We guess the committee didn't think they should be seeded that far ahead of fellow A-10 teams (which doesn't make a whole lot of sense). The Owls also drew a dangerous Cornell team in the first round, which is a real double whammy."

We got straight up shafted. I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but I have to say, it's pretty obvious they wanted the student/teacher matchup in Temple (Dunphy) v Cornell (Donahue). They had us playing Cornell no matter what. The NCAA should be embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

I think Wake Forest matched Virginia Tech for easy in-conference schedule, but they also beat both Gonzaga and Xavier OOC. And the game Wake and Virginia Tech played against each other was a home game for VA tech won by 4 points.

Georgia Tech had the hardest schedule you could muster up inside ACC play. So there is no direct comparison between the 7-9 and 10-6 conference records.

Anonymous said...

Wake also beat Richmond. They were more deserving than VT. Horrible scheduling by Seth Greenberg!!

Anonymous said...

I still don't get Cal. They beat nobody and gamed the RPI by simply playing teams that are bad, but not really bad.

Who cares if you beat the #200 RPI school versus the #300 RPI school? They're both awful, the only difference is that one doesn't tank a team's RPI.

mag900 said...

"I still don't get Cal. They beat nobody and gamed the RPI by simply playing teams that are bad, but not really bad.

Who cares if you beat the #200 RPI school versus the #300 RPI school? They're both awful, the only difference is that one doesn't tank a team's RPI."

what don't you get? they played 2 1s, 1 2 and 1 3 and lost to all 4 of them. they went 13-5 in the bad pac10 and also beat murray st and ucsb OOC. is that a great resume? no, but not too many teams had even good ones this year. btw, only 1 of its wins was against a >153 team so i don't know why you think they were beating teams ranked in the 200s and 300s.

Anonymous said...

19th in RPI.
Won the Pac-10 regular season. Despite being a bad conference compared to normal, it is still rated higher than either the WAC or CUSA, two other conferences whose regular season champs got at-large bids.
Also ranked well within safe tournament distances by other rankings sytems (e.g. Sagarin and Pomeroy).
I never understood people saying that they were close to the bubble.

The Giss said...

One of the worst jobs of bracketing ever. NCAA should be embarrassed.

boknowscornell said...

Gary Parrish said he picked all 65 teams correctly.

Anonymous said...

Let's compare the records against teams that actually made the tournament:

NCAA Field 6-4
NCAA Field Top 20 1-2

NCAA Field 5-7
NCAA Field Top 20 1-2

NCAA Field 3-4
NCAA Field Top 20 0-2

NCAA Field 6-10
NCAA Field Top 20 4-7

NCAA Field 4-9
NCAA Field Top 20 2-7

NCAA Field 4-7
NCAA Field Top 20 2-5

Half of the games Illinois played were against teams that made the NCAA tournament. One third of the games they played were against the top 20 according to the NCAA seedings. I can't see anybody having a more difficult schedule than that. Marquette is a 6 and Illinois is out!

Anonymous said...

Just to add to the my first message:

NCAA Field 3-8
NCAA Field Top 20 0-4

mag900 said...

um, georgetown's schedule was much harder.

illinois might have played some hard teams but they didn't win too many. they were 19-14. give me a break!

Anonymous said...

I don't think the point of the last comment was that Illinois should be in over GT. The Illini were 19-14, but 10 of their losses were to tournament teams, and they have some quality wins. No other team beat Wisconsin at WI, not even mighty Duke. Upon closer inspection I give them the nod over Fla. for sure, and possibly some of the other teams. Records can be deceiving.

mag900 said...

and 2 of their losses were to 100+ bradley and utah. 6 of their losses were in their last 8 games.

records can be deceiving but when there are so many losses (14), 2 horrific ones and 6 in the past 4 weeks, you don't deserve a bid. welcome to the NIT where you belong.

mag900 said...

btw, i was responding to this nonsensical comment "I can't see anybody having a more difficult schedule than that. ."

Anonymous said...


Let's stick to the facts. Illinois won 6 games against NCAA tournament teams (4 against the teams seeded 5 or better). That's better than all the teams I listed previously. Yes, I agree that Georgetown had a tougher schedule. My count has them playing 17 games against the field with 8 losses. Who else is even close to that other than Illinois?

Regarding Utah, that team beat Utah State and UNLV (TWICE). The Bradley loss was bad.

mag900 said...

excuse me? which facts are you referring to that i am missing?

if you want to define "hardest schedule" narrowly as most games against ncaat teams, then georgetown also played 17 of those games. i tend to view things a little more dynamically than that, particularly when 2 of those 17 games were wins against 1 seeds (illinois has 0 such wins).

the loss to 14-17 utah WASN'T bad??? please. again, enjoy the NIT where illinois belongs.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous - I'm with you brother. How a team fares against NCAA tourney teams holds more weight than the RPI or SOS which seem almost arbitrary. I looked at Cal, and they played 5 or 6 games against tourney teams and only won one! And it was against Washington, who wouldn't even be in if Cal hadn't lost to them in the Pac 10 tournament.

Anonymous said...

Temple deserves a 5 seed. The owls will be lucky to hang with Cornell. I smell an upset, or is it really an upset??

Anonymous said...

Can't believe how the NCAA screwed Temple. Their RPI: 8, Tied for most Road Wins in Div. 1, conference and tournament champs. 10 game winning streak.

5 losses: Kansas, Georgetown(by 1), Richmond, Charlotte, (3 teams in the tournament)

Non-conf. schedule: Kansas, 'Nova, Georgetown, Siena, St. Johns, etc. What else were they supposed to do?

Anonymous said...

Temple got a raw deal??? Can't even beat a 12 seed ivy league school!!! HAHAHAHAHA.. OVER RATED!