Tuesday, March 01, 2011

B101's Bracket Banter - Tuesday

Bracket Banter is our daily open thread to discuss all things bracket. Readers can post comments and questions during the night's games, and we will answer those questions as the night goes on.

Tuesday's Games
Debates about 1 seeds are fun and all, but the first week in March is all about the bubble. Tonight, a half dozen bubble teams get to stake their claim to a spot in the bracket.

The biggest and most anticipated game of the night is Ohio State at Penn State. The Nittany Lions have been one of the most talked about teams on this site over the past couple weeks, and much of that discussion has centered around their ability to win this game. If they do win, and follow up that win with a victory at Minnesota this weekend, they'll be dancing. If they lose tonight, they'll need a win over the Gophers and a trip to the Big Ten semis to be in the at-large mix. If they win tonight and then lose at Minnesota, one Big Ten tourney win would probably be enough, and two would almost certainly get them a bid. Got all that?

The other hotly debated bubble team in action tonight is Alabama, which travels to Gainesville to take on Florida. There is probably no better poster child right now for why the 68-team field is a bad idea than the Crimson Tide. Despite an 89 RPI (89!) and a resume that features more bad losses than good wins, the Tide are very much alive for an at-large bid. If they win this game against the Gators, it's hard to see them getting left out. If they lose, the debate continues. Would a win over Georgia this weekend, and a 12-4 finish, be enough? How many SEC tourney wins would they need at that point to be safe? One? Two?

In Big XII bubble action, Baylor plays at Oklahoma State and Nebraska hosts Missouri. The Huskers are barely clinging to a spot on the bubble right now after their brutal loss at Iowa State over the weekend. A win here won't get them back in the bracket, but it will at least keep them relevant heading into the weekend. They'd have to win at Colorado on Saturday and then make a very deep Big XII tourney run to get in. Baylor, meanwhile, enters the final week of the regular season on the right side of the bubble, but not by much. They're probably going to need a sweep of the Cowboys and Longhorns this week to have a chance at an at-large. Two wins would get them to 9-7 in conference, which should make up for their lack of an OOC resume. A 1-1 week would leave them needing two Big XII tourney wins to stay alive.

The final bubble game of night takes place in the ACC, where Boston College plays at Virginia Tech in what is essentially a "play-out" game for the Eagles. If they lose to the Hokies, we can't see any way that BC gets an at-large. If they're able to pull the upset, and then take care of Wake Forest at home on Sunday, they'll probably be in the bracket heading into the ACC tourney. A loss would definitely put a crack in Virginia Tech's resume, but it wouldn't necessarily knock them out next week. They'd have to win at Clemson this weekend and win a game (maybe two) in the ACC tourney to like their chances.

Finally, in non-bubble action, Vanderbilt plays at Kentucky and Illinois plays at Purdue. The Vandy-Kentucky game is important for both in terms of seeding, but it's more important for the Wildcats considering they already lost to the Commodores once and trail them by a game in conference. There aren't many teams in the country playing better than Purdue over the last three weeks, and they take a six-game win streak into their game against the Illini. A 2-0 finish to their regular season would put them in great shape for a 2 seed heading into the Big Ten tournament. Illinois probably just needs to win at home against Indiana this weekend and then win one Big Ten tourney game to lock down a bid.

Conference Tournaments
The Horizon and the Big South both begin conference tournament action tonight. In the first round of the Horizon, Cleveland State plays Illinois-Chicago, Valparaiso plays Youngstown State, Loyola (IL) takes on Detroit, and Green Bay takes on Wright State. Top-seeded Milwaukee and second-seeded Butler have byes to the semifinals. In the Big South, top-seeded Coastal Carolina opens with Gardner-Webb.

Also keep an eye on: San Diego State at Wyoming

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know that you want to talk mostly about bubble teams, but what needs to happen in order for Duke to move back up to the 1 seed line? If they go 2-0 this week, and win the ACC tourney is that enough, or do they need for teams ahead of them to stumble?

Bracketology 101 said...

Ohio State, Kansas, and Pittsburgh look pretty solid on the 1 line right now, so Duke is going to have to hope BYU stumbles. If the Cougars win the MWC tournament, we think they'll get the last 1 seed. If they don't, it's Duke's for the taking.

Mike G said...

Winning tonight is obviously in BC's best interest. Say they were to fall, take care of Wake, take care of their first round game and beat V.Tech in a quarterfinal rematch? Would they be back in the discussion?

Also, is George Mason now a lock?

Finally, how is Baylor in after they lost to Texas Tech this late in the season?!? Other bubble teams have lost lately but at least to somewhat formidable teams. A Tex AM sweep really does that much these days?

Anonymous said...

I have a BC question. Let's say they finish 8-8. But they get to the ACC semis. How would their resume look against other bubble teams? I would think that wins over A&M, at S. Carolina and vs. Cal would look good, as would sweeping Maryland and beating Va. Tech. The losses to Yale and Harvard would look bad. But how many other bubble teams have those kind of wins?

Bracketology 101 said...

If they lose tonight, BC has to get to the ACC final to get a bid. They still only have one Top 50 win on their resume, and they won't be able to pick another one up until the semis. Cal, Maryland, and South Carolina aren't tournament teams, so the Eagles won't get much credit at all for beating them. If you're a tournament team, you should win those games.

Michael said...

Michigan fan here. Should I be rooting for OSU to beat Penn St tonight or PSU to win? I understand Michigan is in competition with PSU on the bubble but Michigan beat PSU twice. A PSU win would but them in the top 50 rpi and thus Michigan two more top 50 wins. You opinion?

AG said...

I'm not optimistic for Baylor. They already lost to Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Iowa State so I don't see how they beat Oklahoma State now.

Anonymous said...

Will Alabama be in the bracket on monday if they lose tonight? What if they lose to Georgia also will they need to win thesec tourney if they go 0-2?

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 10:02:

Let me get this straight. You think BC should be considered because of their strong wins vs:
Tex A&M
South Carolina
Cal
Maryland (2x)
Va Tech?

By my count, that's two wins against teams in the tournament.

I can come up with other teams with better wins.

Team A: wins against:
Missouri
Kansas St
Missouri St
Alabama

That could be 4 wins against tournament teams.

What about this team B: wins against:
Lousiville
Old Dominion
VCU

The Louisville win for team B is much better than any win for BC.

Would you think that Team A and Team B have better wins than BC? Around the same?

Team A is Oklahoma St, Team B is Drexel - two teams nowhere near the bubble.

So the quality win argument for BC is, right now, pretty weak.

Bracketology 101 said...

Thats a good question Michael. You should probably cheer for Ohio State tonight, though. There would be some benefit to Penn State jumping into the RPI Top 50, but a 2-0 week for Penn State would likely move them ahead of Michigan in the Big Ten pecking order, regardless of Michigan's two wins over Penn State. You want Penn State to win some games, but not enough games to pass Michigan on the bubble list.

If Alabama losses tonight and then beats Georgia, it will depend on what the rest of the bubble does in determining their fate for next Monday's bracket and it also will depend on how the final SEC standings shake out for their quarterfinal SEC matchup. An 0-2 week for the Tide would mean at least a finals appearance for them to have any shot at a bid.

Michael said...

I tend to agree that the benefit Michigan would get from PSU beating OSU wouldn't equate to the amount of damage it would cause to Michigan's bubble position. Would be interesting if PSU beats OSU but loses on the road to Minn. Wins 1 in the BTT where that gets them. If Michigan beats MSU, they would have sweeps over both MSU and PSU, all simialr records, and both could get in over Michigan, how messed up would that be.

AG said...

B101, I've wondered this before but I really have to ask again: will the selection committee take into consideration that all of PSU's bad losses came before they suspended Taran Buie indefinitely?

SamENole said...

There's no way Alabama could lose before the SEC Championship and have any shot at getting an at-large.

I think your buddy Andy Glockner said it best... "Folks, the Tide went 8-6 vs. the 279th best nonleague sked. Then you (Bama) played in the SEC West."

I just don't see how this resume is any better than Oakland's, Belmont's, Drexel's, Cal's, Dayton's, Oklahoma State's, or other teams that are either barely or not even close to your radar.

Going 12-4 in a conference when 11 of your games are against Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Arkansas, and Auburn is not an accomplishment. It doesn't even come close to making up for an 88 RPI and 6 non-conference losses with only 1 of them coming against a Tournament team.

Beat UF, UGA, and make a run to the SEC Championship and they could maybe, just maybe sneak into the play-in game.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to see somebody do a study on what degree opportunity plays in getting quality wins. I don't think that most folks would call Indiana a good team, yet they've beaten Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota at home. Those teams are either going to be in the field or are on the bubble.

It shouldn't be that hard to determine what role opportunity plays in quality wins. That role could then be extracted from the equation to see how much a team is outperforming mere opportunity.

Anonymous said...

is Old Dominion a LOCK?

SamENole said...

Anon 11:55. Great post, I'd also like to add the fact that having a lot of top 50 games at home vs. very few on the road should also play a role.

There's a big difference between going 3-5 vs. the top 50 when 2 are at home and 6 are on the road, than going 3-5 with 6 at home and 2 on the road, but nobody seems to care about that.

People say Villanova is safe because of their 6 top 50 wins, but they have played 13 games against top 50 teams, and only 3 of those games have been on the road so far. Out of their 16 top 100 games, 11 of those have been at home, 2 have been on a neutral court, and 3 have been on the road.

Taking all that into consideration, is 6 top 50 wins really that big of an accomplishment? Is 9 top 100 wins really that great? When you add 2 bad losses to that, and a possible 5 game losing streak to end the season I don't see how they're totally safe.

Bracketology 101 said...

George Mason and Old Dominion are locks.

So is Villanova.

Anonymous said...

B101,

Here on the UR campus, we're thinking that the Spiders need three more wins (two regular season and one in the A-10 tourney) to lock up a bid.

Does that sound about right to you?

Michael said...

Anon 1:19. If Richmond wins 3 more games, they are in. If they win 2 more, it'll be close. It'll depend partly on whether they go 2-2 or 2-1 and what all of the other bubble teams do. They lack the volume of quality wins other than Purdue (but that one is very impressive) and the low RPI is somewhat troubling, but they have good Elo ratings in both Sagarin and Massey and have done very well in road/neutral games. I think 2 wins will probably be enough given the poor resumes that they'll be up against.

Michael said...

Anon 11:55 and SamENole, good posts. I do a quality wins calculation which does what you're describing. The top 10 teams (through Sunday) are:

1) OSU 2) Pitt 3) Syracuse 4) Kansas 5) BYU 6) Duke 7) Florida 8) Notre Dame 9) Texas 10) Georgetown.

Some are surprised to see Syracuse in there, but they have road wins over SJU, Nova, Gtown, and UConn, as well as non-home court wins against Michigan and Michigan St. Pretty impressive.

Villanova is 18th. They'll fall a bit after the loss to ND because the formula does factor in # of opportunities as well. Villanova hasn't done fantastically in this category but not many other teams have either. Alabama is 71st. Indiana is 115th. Indiana and Alabama have a similar number of quality wins, but Indiana has had many more opportunities. Penn St. is 39th.

I have another formula which creates an S-curve, and this quality wins ranking described above is about 25% of it. Of course, quality wins are also a factor in the other 75%, so they count for more than just 25% of the formula.

If anyone cares, the main disagreement my formula has with this site (and others) is Baylor. The Bears sure look like an NIT team at this point to me and are not even currently in my 2nd 4 out. They need to either win both of their remaining regular season games, or go 1-1 and win probably 2 games in the Big 12 tourney to have a good chance of making it. If they play .500 ball the rest of the way it may not be enough, but a road win against OSU would be big since they have played poorly on the road and that would help some. Obviously a home win against Texas would also look pretty good. When I watch Baylor play I know that they are an NCAA tourney caliber team, but when you crunch the numbers they currently are not.

Anonymous said...

Michael, great post. Interesting that Indiana is only 115th, showing how deceptive the number of quality wins a team has can be. Basically, it means they have three quality wins and they don't mean squat, which is sort of what I was getting at in my initial question.

Ben said...

Thoughts on BC's chances if they lose a close one tonight at VTech, take care of business against Wake, beat Wake/GTech 1st round, beat VTech (making them 2-1 on the season) and lose respectably to a Duke/UNC in the semis?

I would think they'd be squarely on the bubble when the committee looks at them especially with their 46 RPI and 18 SOS...

Disagree?

Michael said...

One team that is interesting is Minnesota. They've fallen on hard times and are basically playing without a PG. But if they get Nolen back, and can win a few games down the stretch, the neutral court wins against UNC and West Virginia are really going to help them.

Michael said...

Ben, I agree that in that case they would be squarely on the bubble. If that happens BC will be rooting for no bid-stealing upsets in the conference tourneys. I have them just out right now. Losing to VT but beating Wake would push them down a bit, but a run to the semis as you described would bring them back to where they were and maybe slightly higher. Tough call.

Anonymous said...

Michael, do you have your data and S-Curve posted anywhere?

Bracketology 101 said...

If they lose tonight, BC probably has to get to the ACC final to get a bid. They still only have one Top 50 win on their resume, and they won't be able to pick another one up until the semis. A close loss in the semis won't do anything to help their profile, either.

Bracketology 101 said...

Three more wins (two regular season and one in the A-10 tourney) would make Richmond a lock.

Michael said...

B101, I think that it depends what measure you're looking at with regard to BC's top 50 record. I assume you're looking at the RPI. Virginia Tech is generally a top 50 team by most measures, and still could end in the top 50 in the RPI in the named scenario since they were 53rd as of Monday. BC could end up with 2 extra RPI top 50 wins in that scenario. Not to mention that being 53rd vs 49th in the RPI is clearly not all that relevant. The committee does more homework than that.

What about Baylor? You currently have them in the bracket despite them only having 2 RPI top 50 wins (both against the same team, Texas A&M). Baylor's next best wins are home wins against Colorado and Nebraska. That is hardly impressive. BC has 5 wins away from home (Maryland, S. Carolina, Cal, Virginia, and A&M) and Baylor only has 3 (A&M, Texas Tech, and San Diego). I would argue that right now BC's top 5 wins are considerably more impressive than Baylor's. That could change if Baylor beats Texas though.

Brian Reinthaler said...

Would an 0-2 finish drop either OSU or Kansas off the top line?

Would your answer change if Duke loses at Carolina?

In the latter scenario, which, if any, teams on the doorstep have a decent shot at surging to a top seed with a finals appearance in their conference tournament?

The teams I have in mind are Purdue, ND, UNC, Cuse, and Florida.

Michael said...

Brian, we'll see what B101 says, but it clearly depends on what the other teams do though. OSU might be able to survive 2 straight losses but Kansas probably can't. Purdue and ND seem the most likely replacment candidates if Duke loses to UNC. UNC, if they run the table and beat Duke 2x in the process, will be at worst a 2 and has a shot at a 1 seed. Syracuse seems like a longshot for a 1 seed unless they win the Big East tourney. At this point, there are too many permutations to go through, but it is fun to try. But I don't think any team is a lock (just yet, though OSU is close) for a 1 seed. Florida will not be a 1 seed no matter what happens. Wisconsin could get into the discussion if they win out, but it's doubtful.

Bracketology 101 said...

Michael - If we did our bracket as if the season ended today, a case could be made that BC should be in over Baylor. Looking ahead, though, Baylor has a better chance to improve their resume this week than BC does.

Overall, we don't like the fact that BC has just one win in conference over a potentially tourney-bound team (Maryland doesn't count). Baylor has two wins over a team that's definitely getting in (A&M). We'd also argue that Baylor's best five wins (at Texas A&M, vs. Texas A&M, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma State) are better than BC's best five wins (A&M neutral, Virginia Tech, at Maryland, Maryland, Cal). It's not better by much, but it's better.

Bracketology 101 said...

There are seven teams right now that have a chance to be on the 1 line:

Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, BYU, Duke, Notre Dame, and Purdue (in that order)

There are way too many permutations and scenarios to consider right now, but we think the most likely scenario is that Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, and BYU/Duke are the final 1 seeds. A lot would have to happen for ND or Purdue to sneak on. We know it's easy to get shortsighted at this point in the season, but keep in mind that a team's entire resume is considered when the field is selected and seeded. The teams that are on the 1 line now have earned their spots because they are the best teams in the best conferences in the country. We like Pitt's chances to win the Big East outright this week (which deserves a 1 seed) and we like Ohio State to do the same in the Big Ten (which also deserves a 1 seed). At worst, Kansas is going to tie for the Big XII regular season title, which should lock down their 1.

Miguel said...

Is Virginia Tech a lock if they go 2-0 this week?

My nightmare scenario is that they win out this week but somehow get Virginia or Wake Forest in the quarters of the ACC tourney. Could something like that kill their chances of an at-large?

Bracketology 101 said...

If Virginia Tech goes 2-0 this week, they're in.

Anonymous said...

If alabama goes 2-0 this week are they a lock?

AG said...

Alabama's not a lock under any circumstances. They might have a lot of conference wins, but you can make a good case that the SEC West is worse than the Summit League and the Atlantic Sun, and nobody's arguing for an at-large for Oakland or Belmont because of their conference records. Heck, Oakland even beat Tennessee on the road just like Bama, and Belmont came close twice.

Bracketology 101 said...

We think Alabama's in with a 2-0 week because, among other reasons, there's no precedent for a 13-3 SEC team getting left out. Their RPI and SOS numbers still wouldn't be pretty, but they would have road wins over Tennessee and Florida and home wins over Kentucky and Georgia. This year, on this bubble, that should get a bid.

RockyBottom said...

If Tennessee goes 1-1 this week, then loses in the SEC Tourney, they would have 14 losses. Do they still get in and tie the record for most losses for an at-large?

SamENole said...

Just because something has never happened doesn't mean it can't happen. Last year, No ACC team had ever been left out at 10-6. How'd that turn out for Virginia Tech? No 12 win Pac-10 team had ever been left out last year, how'd that turn out for Arizona State?

The reason no 13-3 SEC team has ever been left out is because no other 13-3 team has ever had a resume nearly as pathetic as Alabama's.

Bracketology 101 said...

The other factor here is the 68-team field. Virginia Tech would have made it last year if there were 37 at-large spots. Arizona State might have too.

Alabama would be on the outside looking in right now if it was a 65-team field, but instead they're barely in.We find it very hard to believe that a 13-win SEC team would not get one of the 37 available at-large spots.

Anonymous said...

agree with the post above, but if Bama wins both I think their resume would look good enough to be considered in. However if they go 1-1 Bama better make it to the semis or further because their numbers are horrible and when I watch them play they sure don't pass the eye test.

Andrew EC said...

Okay, I think we can stop talking about Alabama now, right?

SamENole said...

lol I was about to post the same thing as Andrew.

The Alabama at-large talk absolutely has to end now.

Bracketology 101 said...

Now THAT'S how you fail an eye test. Yikes.

AG said...

RIP, Bama and Baylor.

Or should I say, NIT.

Anonymous said...

I am guessing Baylor played there way out of the bracket. Although if they beat Texas (who is slumping at the wrong time), I guess they may stay in

AG said...

How does Brandon Davies' suspension for the season for failure to be a good Mormon affect BYU's seeding?

Bracketology 101 said...

It definitely affects their chances to win the MWC tourney. If they don't win the MWC tourney, they're not going to get a 1 seed.

Anonymous said...

So if BYU were somehow find a way to win out, would they still deserve/get a 1 seed?

mattlion said...

PSU is also failing the eye test, although most teams would fail the eye test when they catch Diebler on a good night.

Bracketology 101 said...

If BYU manages to win out, they'll likely get the final 1 seed.

Anonymous said...

It just wouldn't be March without VT firmly planted on the bubble. Based on tonight putrid performance vs BC at home, it looks like VT will stay right there.

Anonymous said...

Haha, leave it to VA tech to beat Duke at home and then get spanked by BC at home. Welcome back to the bubble VA tech

AG said...

Looks like BC punched its ticket to the dance. Now the question is whether VT's loss was bad enough to knock them back onto the bubble.

And for that matter, how the heck did Duke lose that game!?

What's funny is that BC is entirely capable of losing at home to Wake Forest, they're just that dang inconsistent.

Anonymous said...

Missouri is looking like a team that will be 1 and done in the NCAA tourney. They have just looked pathetic on the road

mike said...

Take everything I ever said about Penn State back. Pathetic showing.

Bama = sad.
VT = really?

Looks like Nebraska/Colorado might be a winner and get in? Assuming they beat Iowa State.

Anonymous said...

lol @ bubble teams tonight. The committee may as well draw teams out of a hat.

Bracketology 101 said...

Writing bubble team names on little slips of paper. Looking for hat...

Bracketology 101 said...

Getting a little bit ahead of yourself AG in saying that BC has punched their ticket, but if we had to do another bracket tonight the Eagles would be in over Baylor, Alabama, and Virginia Tech.

mattlion said...

BC is a weird team. I live in Boston, I get to see them a lot, the new perimeter-oriented system they've installed with Donahue makes them insanely streaky.

They don't defend consistently, they don't rebound all that well, but some nights they can shoot you out of the gym.

In other words, if you remember BC from the Skinner years, it's the exact opposite.

Anonymous said...

rough luck for penn state, nobodys beating osu when they shoot like that. Still I dont think that Penn st. is a tourney team and can join my gophs in the NIT.

Anonymous said...

Too bad there are no additional mid-majors with resumes strong enuf to be part of the bubble discussion other than those already projected in. Looks like we're stuck with a bunch of mediocre teams from the "power" conferences that seem bent on playing their way out.

Bracketology 101 said...

I think we've heard the last of the Nittany Lions.

Anonymous said...

Irrelevant to the bubble:

- One hell of a game in Lexington
- WTF is Stanford doing beating Seattle by only 1 at the half?

mattlion said...

Sadly, you can't spell "Nittany" without NIT.

Anonymous said...

So a 15-point home loss to Boston College for the Hokies. Impressive.

Anonymous said...

Yes Penn state could've played better but what were they supposed to do when a guy makes 10 3's Penn state still shot 50% so win at Minnesota and semis right for Penn st?

Anonymous said...

Does Nebraska enter into the bubble discussion with their win tonight over Mizzou and a win over Colorado on Saturday?

Mike G said...

I have no idea how you guys are going to survive from now until Selection Sunday. Good, convincing road win for BC.

When will you guys have daily brackets? Startin next week?

AG said...

Penn State's going to lose @ Minnesota, they're going to miss the NIT, and DeChelis is *GONE*.

Anonymous said...

To the poster earlier who tried to claim that winning @ UVA and South Carolina is a quality win for Boston College... sorry but you can't claim either are a quality win especially when the worst team in the BIG 12 Iowa St mauled UVA @ UVA...

Bracketology 101 said...

Daily brackets start Monday.

Big win for New Orleans over Pensacola Christian tonight. Maybe we'll throw them on the 12 line next week.

Bracketology 101 said...

The night couldn't have gone much better for Nebraska. If they win at Colorado on Saturday, there's a very good chance they'll be in Monday's bracket.

Andrew EC said...

I think what we saw with the BC-VT game tonight (and the VT-Duke game on Saturday, and others) is that the ACC is just a hell of a lot better than the commentariat thinks. BC is a damn good team -- better than the rest of these also-rans being discussed on the bubble. So is Va Tech. And so are Clemson and even Maryland.

It's what our most objective metrics (kenpom, etc.) tell us -- that ACC teams are 6 of the top 40 and 8 of the top 65, even if the Committee isn't going to think so.

edgeinducedcohesion said...

Too bad the Great West Conference doesn't have an autobid so at least one of these unworthy bubble teams could be dispatched.

Anonymous said...

Is OSU a lock for a #1 seed at this point? In other words, lose at home to Wisconsin and lose in QF of B10 tournament...do they stay at #1?

edgeinducedcohesion said...

@Andrew EC

According to KenPom Maryland is the #16 team in the country, Utah St. is #17, and Belmont(!) is #20. I don't know who his dealer is, but I hope he gets a tip with every delivery.

Bracketology 101 said...

Ohio State would probably still get the 1 seed.

AG said...

@edgeinducedcohesion:

If the Great West ever gets an automatic bid, you know the committee is going to expand the field again.

edgeinducedcohesion said...

@AG

Why not? We can't let deserving mid-majors like Presbyterian or major teams like Northwestern go without their NCAA bids.

Brian Reinthaler said...

Andrew EC, looks like you picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. edge summed it up pretty nicely, above, but I just could not let this line go:

"I think what we saw with the BC-VT game tonight (and the VT-Duke game on Saturday, and others) is that the ACC is just a hell of a lot better than the commentariat thinks."

What I learned is that Duke has fattened itself on an awful ACC this year (what happened when Duke ventured away from home and faced middling Big East teams? 2-pt neutral court win over the Big East's 11th rated team and a spanking at the hands of the BE's 4th rated team.

BC is a putrid team by any reasonable bubble standards:

1 Top 50 RPI win (1-6 overall)
7-4 vs. the #26-50
Home losses to Harvard, Miami (FL) and Yale.
Beat the 14th best Big East team by 2, at home.
Beat UMass by 5 on "neutral" court (READ: in Boston).

But since they beat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (you know, like UVA did), they must be somethin' special. After all, the Cavs win @VaTech really showed the commenariat what the ACC grind is all about. They of the 43-point loss to Washington, 12-point loss to Wichita St., 21-point loss to Stanford, 13-point home loss to Iowa State, 16-point home loss to #270 Seattle.

Brian Reinthaler said...

Edit to my 2nd BC stat:

7-4 vs. RPI 51-100; only 1-2 vs. RPI 26-50.

Nick said...

There's at least a 78% chance Brian went to Notre Dame. Big East love, random, cherry-picking vitriol for Boston College, contrived use of big words...78 might be underselling it, actually.

Anonymous said...

Will the committee take into account or even notice that Penn state played the hardest big ten schedule if they got to play indianna and Iowa twice they could easily be 10-7 instead of 8-9

edgeinducedcohesion said...

@ Anonymous 1:46

Unless the people doing the selection are interested in the vagaries of counterfactual history, they will judge Penn State on their actual schedule, not one they possibly could have had. After all, if they would have had an "easier" schedule they might have lost @Iowa or @Indiana (like Illinois and other schools). You only get credit for the games you actually play, not the ones you *could* have won.

Chris said...

Anonymous: regarding Penn State, playing Iowa and Indiana once is already factored into their RPI and SOS.

For a team with Penn State's OOC performance, 9-9 in league would be nowhere near acceptable unless it was a better-than-average 9-9. If they had an extra win over Iowa and Indiana (and only one loss to say, Ohio State and Purdue), they might be 11-7 but would have a weaker RPI and SOS.

The point: when people talk about a 15-13 team even being under consideration for an at-large, they've already accounted for the tough schedule.

To be honest, I know the bubble is weak, but I'm not impressed with a team with no good road wins (and only 2 road wins total), no good OOC wins, 4 OOC losses (including Maine at home by 10!), and 13 total losses. Penn State will have a chance to make some noise in the NIT again.

Chris said...

Not to mention losing by 13 at Ole Miss and by 23 at home to Maryland, two non-tournament teams.

The NIT is made for teams like Penn State: pretty good, competitive with good teams on a good night, but just not tournament-caliber.

Anonymous said...

@Bracketology 101

Nebraska fan here - In response to your comment "The night couldn't have gone much better for Nebraska. If they win at Colorado on Saturday, there's a very good chance they'll be in Monday's bracket"

Let's say that our team wins against Colorado and gets into your bracket, wins the first round game in the conference tourney, but loses in the next game? Would they still be in the bracket?

I realize that a lot can happen by then with upsets in those smaller leagues changing things. Just wanted an impression.

Chase said...

Hope not.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Nebraska were to beat Colorado this weekend then 2 Big 12 tourney wins would probably make them a lock. Only one Big 12 tourney win and a lot will depend on how other teams around the bubble do.

Anonymous said...

Edge - ignore Pomeroy at your own peril. I would never use it to select the tournament teams, but I do use it to help pick the winners of the games. Belmont may seem to have an absurdly high ranking, but three years ago, Davidson had a seemingly similar absurdly high ranking in the Pomeroy rankings, and then went to the elite 8. I do suggest looking at other predictive rankings as well, and not just Pomeroy. He likely does have Maryland's rating inflated due to their pummeling of really terrible teams. Check out Sokol's LRMC ratings. In that case, Maryland is 30th. But you really won't like Belmont's rating in that one.

Anonymous said...

"The committee may as well draw teams out of a hat."

Post of the day.

I know that Belmont isn't going to get an at-large should they need one but I'm beginning to wonder why the hell not.

mag900 said...

"Edge - ignore Pomeroy at your own peril. I would never use it to select the tournament teams, but I do use it to help pick the winners of the games. Belmont may seem to have an absurdly high ranking, but three years ago, Davidson had a seemingly similar absurdly high ranking in the Pomeroy rankings, and then went to the elite 8."

and last year kansas was 2, syracuse was 4 and wisconsin 9. since you claim to use kenpom for picking games, how did your bracket turnout last year?

Anonymous said...

"but three years ago, Davidson had a seemingly similar absurdly high ranking in the Pomeroy rankings, and then went to the elite 8."

Good point, that team might not have gotten an at-large had they needed one and came within a heartbeat of getting to the Final Four. They didn't have a single top 100 RPI win and yet were THAT good.

Anonymous said...

Mag900 -

Here is a contest in which I entered several predictive ratings:

http://www.mepstein.org/NCAA2010/scorepicksall4.cgi

My name is JGibson, and SP2 is from the Bayesian LRMC rankings from Sokol, UP is from the Sagarin predictive rankings from USA Today, MP is from the predictive component of Massey's rankings, and PP is from Pomeroy's rankings. SP1 is from the now-rejected old Sokol rankings. DP is Dolphin predictive, which finished on the bottom of the predictive computer rankings. As you can see, all of these rankings finished in the upper half of this contest, no matter what scoring system was used.

Anonymous said...

Also, notice that just picking the top seeds all the way through was entered and finished way toward the bottom.

Anonymous said...

And here's the 2008 contest with Pomeroy winning it all, ahead of Sagarin predictive:

http://www.mepstein.org/NCAA2008/scorepicksall4.cgi

Anonymous said...

Belmont currently has a Pomeroy ranking of 20. That's incredibly high for a team that's played their schedule. Given their good RPI and Sagarin rating, it makes me wonder if they shouldn't be getting more attention as an at-large candidate.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind Belmont not getting more at-large attention. They have only played 3 good teams and they lost all the games. If the NCAA committee wants to force teams to play tougher non-conference schedules, not giving at-large bids to marginally good teams who didn't play anybody non-conference is a good way of doing it. I do think Belmont is a good team, though. However, that's based on the fact that they can crush Kennesaw State, Campbell, Lipscomb, and Troy by nearly 40 points a game. Beating those teams by that many makes them good, but there is some question to how well that translates when they play really good teams. They have only played 3 games against the Pomeroy top 100, and lost to Vanderbilt by 9, to Tennessee by 9, and to Tennesse by 1.

Anonymous said...

Just know this mr. bracketology 101.

No way is So. Miss or any other CUSA team gonna beat UTEP at home during the CUSA tourney!

might as well pencil in UTEP as the automatic bid from CUSA.

We have only lost one conference game at home, and that was to UCF on a make up game at 11 am on a monday morning where we had to play 4 games in 8 days.

Anonymous said...

With how awful this bubble is (Memphis, Dayton, Maryland, Colorado, Marquette all lose so far tonight to mostly god awful teams and its still early) and Cincys big road victory over Marquette - is it safe to say they are now a LOCK even if they lose to Georgetown and their first tourny game? Such a scenario would leave them 23-9 and 10-8 in the Big East.

Anonymous said...

I understand that WOW Goldyou would like to talk primarily with regards to percolate teams, although what exactly should occur in purchase with regard to Fight it out to go look out onto the One seedling collection?RS Gold As long as they head out 2-0 now, and gain the ACC tournament is plenty of, or even would they desire for teams before these to land?