Friday, March 04, 2011

B101's Questions For The Weekend

Here's what we're wondering heading into this weekend's games:

Friday's Games
Will Harvard (vs. Penn) or Princeton (at Dartmouth) get caught looking ahead to their Saturday showdown?

Saturday's Games
Can Duke sweep North Carolina and win the ACC regular season title? If the Blue Devils win, is there any way they don't end up on the 1 line?

Will Michigan be the latest bubble team to blow their shot an at-large? Are the Wolverines safe if they beat Michigan State and then win the 4/5 game in the Big Ten tourney?

Would a win for Alabama over Georgia be enough for the Tide to hang on to their spot on the 12 line?

Can BYU overcome its recent distractions and take care of Wyoming at home to secure the 1 seed for the MWC tourney?

Is the Virginia Tech at Clemson match-up the biggest bubble battle of the weekend?

Or is Nebraska at Colorado?

Will Kansas win at Missouri to secure their 1 seed? Will Pitt do the same at home against Villanova?

Can Baylor take down a slumping Texas squad and once again climb back onto the bubble?

Will Notre Dame be able to win at UConn and stay in the mix for a 1 seed? How far would UConn fall with an 0-2 week and a .500 Big East finish?

Will an appearance in the Horizon final be enough to get Butler an at-large?

Is there any chance that Colorado State can pull off a shocker at SDSU?

Would Florida climb into the mix for a 2 seed if they can win at Vandy and finish 13-3 in conference?

Can Cincinnati complete a season sweep of Georgetown and climb above the Hoyas on the S-curve?

How high will West Virginia's seed climb if they complete a 2-0 week with a win over Louisville?

Will a bid-stealer come from the Colonial conference tourney?

Who will win the Ohio Valley, Big South, and Atlantic Sun championship games? Will Belmont or Coastal Carolina see their dream seasons end early?

If Richmond takes down Duquesne, is there any way the Spiders get left out at 13-3 in the A-10?

If Kansas State takes care of Iowa State, will they get this week's biggest seed bump?

Could Missouri State lose in the MVC semis and have any chance for an at-large?

Will a win over UCLA be enough for Washington State to climb back into the bracket?

If Seton Hall upsets Marquette, like they did St. John's already this week, would 11 Big East bids be in jeopardy?

Can Princeton win at Harvard and secure this year's first automatic bid?

Sunday's Games
Would a win over Wisconsin at home lock up the No. 1 overall seed for Ohio State?

Can Tennessee beat Kentucky in Knoxville and move into lock status?

Will Florida State survive a trip to N.C. State? If the 'Noles were to lose their next two games, would they get squeezed out of the field?

BC can't lose at home to Wake Forest...right?

Does it even matter who wins the Penn State-Minnesota game?

259 comments:

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Mike said...

Dustin, not sure that I agree. Iona and Rider are both also pretty good and right now Indiana St. is playing as good or better than Missouri St. A lot of NIT spots are being stolen though...

Bracketology 101 said...

We are higher than most people on Richmond, but we still think they need one A-10 tourney win to be totally safe. We think they should make it even with a first round A-10 tourney loss, but we could definitely see them getting left out under that scenario as well.

Missouri State doesn't deserve an at-large with their current resume, but you never know what the committee is going to do with the three extra at-large spots. Will they reward 1-2 conference champs (UAB, Missouri State) with at-larges instead of giving those bids to a 13 or 14-loss power conference team? We'll see. The biggest reason we don't like Missouri State right now is that the Valley is the 12th-rated conference. It's been a top-10 league the last handful of years, and if it was again this year, we think the Bears would have a better case for a bid.

Tony said...

Can Nebraska make it in if they just make the final, but lose there? They would have wins against KU and possibly KSU along the way if that happened. Would that be good enough, or do they basically have to win the final to get the auto-bid?

Anonymous said...

how high seed can ODU get?

Also Michgan has the worst (best 3 wins) of anyone in the tourney/bubble discussion...it is a joke that a team with 0 good wins and 13 losses 4 of them bad losses is even in the discussion..

Anonymous said...

last 4 in:

Michigan
BC
Alabama
Clemson

Michael said...

Care to name 4 bad loses? Theres only 1 vs IU

Anonymous said...

do the bubble teams want gonzaga to lose or win tonite.

a win would mean no bid stealer for sure with 2 teams in.

but would a loss potentially put the zags close to out?

mag900 said...

"Seeing top-seeded teams from 1-bid leagues lose in conference tournaments is disappointing. I'd rather the best teams on the season get in and make the Tournament more exciting."

those dinky conferences choose to screw their regular season champions and not give their bids to them. it's tough to feel sorry for these teams because of that. the ivy league still does it the old fashioned -- and fair -- way.

Dustin said...

Another #1, Vermont, is losing at the half by 7 to Stony Brook in the America East semis.

Anonymous said...

2011 the year if no cinderellas. Seriously, Fairfield Missouri State Vermont Coastal Carolina already won't even get their chances. These are the teams that were capable of upsets not Indiana st and unc Asheville or st peters give me a break

Anonymous said...

The year of no cinderellas rather

Dustin said...

You still have UAB, Belmont, Harvard/Princeton to potentially make some noise.

Anonymous said...

The Ivy League does it the right way.

Conference tournaments should be for shits and giggles.

When you think about it, some of the smaller conferences are really screwing themselves over.

Anonymous said...

So assuming Penn state beats indianna if they win in the 3/6 game to make it to the btt semis are they in?

Anonymous said...

What will it take for Alabama to get enough love to make the dance?

Anonymous said...

Switching to reg season champs would make the tourney so much more competitive dont u think b101?

mattlion said...

PSU needs to get to the Big Ten tournament finals to be in the real discussion. That would double our road/neutral win total for the season and prove that we can beat good teams outside of State College. Hindsight's 20/20 - imagine if PSU had actually beaten either OSU or Purdue at their place. Them's the breaks, as they say....

I agree with some of the posters on here - if I was a small conference, I would not have a conference tournament so that I'm guaranteed to have my best representative in the national spotlight.

There will be Cinderellas though.... don't worry about it.

Dustin said...

Most of the regular season champs that dont win their conference tournaments are given automatic bids into the NIT

Anna Conda said...

What if the NCAA tourneys are on a four-year cycle? 2006 and 2010 gave us our craziest years, while 2007 and maybe 2011 give us minimal upsets.

Jake said...

Just to weigh in on the devil's advocate side of the Conference Tourney debate, Conferences want to make sure the hot hand makes it into the tournament. Yeah, you would like for the regular season champ to be that team, that's why they get the no. 1 seed and first round bye and whatever other gimmick no. 1 seeds get in individual conference tournaments. But at the end of the day, if you can't win two straight games against purportedly "lesser" opponents, should you really be in the tournament? Or should it be the team that actually manages to pull of two or three quality nights of basketball in a row. I'll I'm saying is, Conference Tournaments let you see teams in a tournament setting before the Big Dance. It's a bit of a different context playing with the pressure of every game meaning advancement or elimination.

Jake said...

Just to weigh in on the devil's advocate side of the Conference Tourney debate, Conferences want to make sure the hot hand makes it into the tournament. Yeah, you would like for the regular season champ to be that team, that's why they get the no. 1 seed and first round bye and whatever other gimmick no. 1 seeds get in individual conference tournaments. But at the end of the day, if you can't win two straight games against purportedly "lesser" opponents, should you really be in the tournament? Or should it be the team that actually manages to pull of two or three quality nights of basketball in a row. I'll I'm saying is, Conference Tournaments let you see teams in a tournament setting before the Big Dance. It's a bit of a different context playing with the pressure of every game meaning advancement or elimination.

Andrew EC said...

Anon @6:45 pm -- have you *seen* Alabama play? Holy crap, I wouldn't take that team on a neutral court versus La Salle.

Anonymous said...

@ Dustin

Yeah, all regular-season conference champions that don't make the NCAA Tournament get NIT automatic bids. But that's small consolation for rolling through your conference and getting upset once.

Dustin said...

Lafayette knocks off #2 American in the Patriot League semis.

Anonymous said...

Jake


I understand what you're saying. But most of the time, it is an anomaly for both teams. Stony Brook went 13-16 (8-8) in the regular season and now have beaten Albany and Vermont in the American East Tournament to get to the championship game. They already lost to Vermont by 6 and 23, and to Albany by 2 and 15.

It's probably healthier for the conferences, NCAA Tournament, and also puts extra emphasis on the regular season. It'd benefit the NIT too, as they have to have incredibly disappointed teams in their tournament, bringing down the level of play. The conference tournaments just seem flukey.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I think its clear that taking regular season champs is the better option for the conferences and particulalry the competition level in the tournament. Just think of some of the horrible teams we are going to have in the tournament this year instead of decent squads like Fairfield and Missouri St.

mattlion said...

You could make an argument that conference tournaments, from the top down, exist mostly to help the "big boys" of college hoops:

- Major conference tournaments give bubble teams a "second chance" to improve their resume with another quality win or more, while also usually increasing everyone in said conference's SOS.

- Mid-major and small conference tournaments can produce an unexpected winner, that will turn out to be easy cannon fodder for a power team. If the "best team" won every conference, you'd likely see more tight games in the 3/14 and 4/13 level of games.

Of course, is the "best team" the one that had a nice season, or the one that just won 3 or 4 games in a row against the other desperate teams in their league? That's the eternal question...

Perhaps a small conference should consider a hybrid solution, sort of what the Big East had a few years ago - only the top X teams make the conference tournament. That would be cool.

Anonymous said...

^

Good post, matt. I don't doubt the 4/13, 3/14, 2/15, and maybe even 1/16 games would be more competitive if the low-major regular-season champs got in.

Dustin said...

I always thought that only allowing the top 4 teams in each conference to compete in the tournament was the best of both worlds.

mag900 said...

"Just to weigh in on the devil's advocate side of the Conference Tourney debate, Conferences want to make sure the hot hand makes it into the tournament."

i don't agree with this. it's all about greed and the conferences trying to make more money. the ivies don't operate like that so they don't have a conference tournament.

Anonymous said...

GMU could easily be a 10. Their at-large profile is not that great. Two RPI top 50 wins (ODU and Harvard) and two bad losses to Wofford and NC State.

Not saying they won't be a 9, but not a slam dunk.

Dan said...

Mag, you're certainly right that a lot of the conference tourneys are done for money. I also think there's a bit of "make all the games count" in there, too. When a team loses it's 4th regular season game and is eliminated from winning the reg season, there's not much there to keep playing for, without a conference tournament (or with a conf tournament that doesn't reward a bid). On top of that, the desire to make money isn't all done in greed, especially at the lower levels. Most of these teams from small conferences need to make all the money they can so that they can fund the program/conference going forward.

In any given year there are usually 2-3 really bad winners of conference tournaments, and multiple more of the middle of the conference pack teams (3rd/4th/5th place) that get in. If you figure those use up all 5 16 seeds in years past and most of the 15s, it's no shock we haven't had any 1-16 upsets, and a rare 15-2, but 3-14's are significantly more common.

Anonymous said...

I don' t see why the mid-majors and small conference have a tournament. It cheapens the regular season if the best team does not win it. I can't see how the tourneys are money makers... Gyms are small and/or half empty. It 's very rare that one of these conferences can produce multiple bids unless you are the CAA or MVC (some years but not every year).

Timothy said...

Well FSU just removed all doubt about making it. It is funny as an FSU fan to not be sweating it out.

In other ACC thoughts:

-pecking order for bubble teams: BC, Clem, VT

-VT surely has to make it to the ACC Semis to feel like they have a shot.

-BC will probably be in with a win against WF, but the Clem match up in the quarters could be a single game play-off.

-UNC is going to be an impactful 3 seed.

Chase said...

Fairfield or Missouri State probably weren't winning NCAA games - especially Fairfield. They were a 14/15. Only played 3 big 6 conference teams and got smoked at Penn State, lost at home to a terrible St Joes team and lost at Rutgers.

Missouri State was likely a 13. One of the worst MVC seasons the past decade.

Dustin said...

Another #1, this time Charleston from the Southern Conference, is losing by 5 to Furman in the 2nd half of the semis.

Anonymous said...

I am a bit surprised that VCU is getting no mention as a possible at-large team.

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't think St. Peter's or Indiana State will win a Tournament game.

Apissedant said...

I agree with Jake.

I'd much rather have the teams that do better at the end of the year get rewarded over teams that crashed and burned at the end.

Also, "1 upset" wouldn't knock a team out of the tournament. Not one team that isn't going to make the tournament only has one conference loss, or only has one loss to a team considered worse than them. Bucknell, Utah Valley, and Oakland all have one in conference loss, and they're the closest. They all have out of conference losses to several non-tournament bound teams as well. If they didn't have those and lost their conference tournaments, then they would get an at large bid anyways.

In any case, suspension and injuries make teams worse as the season goes on. Growing together and maturing makes teams better as the season goes on. The end result is that how a team plays at the end of a season is a better bellwether for how they'll perform in the tournament than games at the beginning of the season. A conference tournament helps determine the best tournament team.

God knows you wouldn't want to seed UNC and MSU based on their performances in November and December.

Apissedant said...

My previous post is not to imply those teams aren't going to make the tournament, only that if they lost their conference tournament it would not be their first bad losses.

AG said...

I can't believe everybody here is talking about the weaker teams in the low-majors as if they don't have a chance. Last time I checked, Ohio University was the 8 seed in the MAC Tournament when they ABSOLUTELY SMOKED Georgetown in the 3/14 game last year.

Apissedant said...

VCU's best OOC win is UCLA, and they have 5 losses to teams that won't be dancing. They're 4th in the 10th best conference. They have home court advantage for the conference tournament. There is no reason to discuss them for an at large.

Anonymous said...

The problem with VCU is...
1) three RPI sub-150 losses
2) lost last 4 conference games in regular season.

They'd be best advised to win the CAA tournament.

I suspect a lot of mediocre "power" conference bubble teams will be big ODU fans tomorrow night.

For B101... How high of a seed can ODU get if they take care of business tomorrow night?

Apissedant said...

Interesting side note... Sagarin has Belmont ranked 33rd, a whole 43 spots above Memphis. I hate RPI. (Not that I care about Belmont, I just think Memphis sucks this year and like Sagarin)

Dustin said...

Charleston came back and won, setting up their Finals match with Wofford. Good thing too, I think Charleston is a team good enough to get a tournament win.

Anonymous said...

Florida Atlantic went down - now we are going to have a BAD sun belt team in the tourny...great. no cinderallas this year guys.

Dustin said...

With the only major game of the day left being Gonzaga, here's my bracket assuming they win.

1's: Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame
2's: Duke, Purdue, Texas, North Carolina
3's: BYU, Florida, Syracuse, Wisconsin
4's: San Diego State, Louisville, Connecticut, Cincinnati
5's: Georgetown, St John's, Kansas State, Kentucky
6's: UNLV, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, West Virginia
7's: Arizona, Xavier, Missouri, Temple
8's: Villanova, Old Dominion, UCLA, Utah State
9's: Illinois, Marquette, Florida State, George Mason
10's: Tennessee, Gonzaga, Michigan, St. Mary's
11's: Clemson, Richmond, Georgia, Michigan State
12's: (Washington vs Colorado), (Alabama vs Boston College), Butler, UAB
13's: Belmont, Harvard, Oakland, Charleston
14's: Bucknell, Long Beach State, Kent State, Morehead State
15's: Long Island, Boston, Iona, Indiana State
16's: Northern Colorado, McNeese State , (UNC-Asheville vs Texas Southern) (Bethune-Cookman vs North Texas)

LAST FOUR IN: Washington, Colorado, Alabama, Boston College
FIRST FOUR OUT: USC, Virginia Tech, Colorado State, (Butler)
NEXT FOUR OUT: Baylor, (UAB), Nebraska, New Mexico

UAB and Butler are in parenthesis because they are projected into the tournament with auto-bids, so they do not need the at-large berths.

Tom said...

GMU and ODU are getting so much love as a lock as an at-large. Why?

ODU I get: average RPI of teams beaten of 130 and a 62 for teams that beat them. That's not terrible, in line with UAB and better than Colorado State/VT/Clemson/Gonzaga/etc.

GMU has a similar winning RPI average (132) to ODU but lost to teams with an average RPI of 92. It's great when you only have 6 losses but when those losses came to teams nearly outside the top 100 you're not looking so competitive.

I'm using weighted RPI data. The neutral site losses to Wofford and NC State look bad. Losing at Hofstra isn't exactly great, either.

Thoughts on this? Are a lack of losses really enough to automatically include a team in the tourney over teams with more losses but to far better teams?

Ima Tardy said...

Dustin good job with your bracket but I think your off with your Big East seeds. You have West Virginia as your last 6 seed they beat UCONN, won at Cincy. UCONN was 8-8 in conference and they get a 4 seed.

Jake said...

Dustin:

Even as a UC fan, Cinci isn't a four seed. They lost at home to WVU and St. Johns. Even now, I'm not confident that they'll win against Villanova in the second round of the BET. I see them as a 6 right now. A 7 if they lose to Villanova. I love my Bearcats, but their quality wins have come against 1.5 (since he was out in the 2nd half of the first game) Wright-less Georgetown teams, a depleted Xavier squad, Louisville and at bubble Marquette. I'm not sold on them being that high without at 2-win performance in the BET. They're a solid 6 or possible 5 with one win, a possible 4 with two, a top 4 if they win the whole BET.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Seeing top-seeded teams from 1-bid leagues lose in conference tournaments is disappointing. I'd rather the best teams on the season get in and make the Tournament more exciting.
__________________________

...and where's the guarantee that they won't sh*t the bed in their first round game of the NCAA tourney?

Bad stuff like Fairfield, George Mason, and Mizzou State happens all the time, and if the rules were unfair, then the committee would change them, but they don't.

I think it's what makes college b-ball so damn fun to watch.

If you even have ONE letdown if you're in a smaller conference then yeah, you're gonna get nailed. When you're on the bottom of the ladder, you gotta work your a** off to get to the top.g

Good life lesson for the smaller conference teams, I feel.

Mid Majors, same thing...you KNOW that it's a one bid conference, so you better have your stuff together for the conference tourney. You're only as good as your last game...and some of these upsets keep that adage true. :)

GO DAWGS!

Anonymous said...

I don't get why so many of you guys are freaking out about these smaller conference 1 seeds losing. Frankly, Missouri State is the only team that has been knocked out that even had a decent chance to win a game and needed the auto-bid. The other ones that have a decent chance to pull an upset and need the auto-bid (Charleston, Bucknell, Belmont, Oakland, Harvard, possibly Butler) are all still alive. No need to give up just yet.

Anonymous said...

(Charleston, Bucknell, Belmont, Oakland, Harvard, possibly Butler)
________________________

Other than Butler...it's not an impressive looking bunch to pull off upsets in ANY year.

John said...

Few questions before heading into Monday:

WCC - 2-bid conference regardless of final tomorrow? (assuming Gonzaga wins vs San Francisco)

How far would Penn State have to go in B10 Tourney to be considered for an at-large?

Florida State - Lock? How about Boston College?

Is George Mason 8 seed still? Its RPI is high but its best OOC win came from Harvard and Duquesne, and has bad loss against Wofford.

Chase said...

This San Fran-Gonzaga game is tough to watch.

Chase said...

WCC - 2-bid conference regardless of final tomorrow? (assuming Gonzaga wins vs San Francisco)

Probably a 2 bid conference. Especially if St Mary's wins tomorrow.

How far would Penn State have to go in B10 Tourney to be considered for an at-large?

Penn State is a hated team on this blog. If they beat Indiana + Wisconsin, I honestly don't see how they don't get in, considering this bubble.

Florida State - Lock? How about Boston College?

FSU is in great shape.. unless they lose to Georgia Tech. Should be fine. Boston College nowhere near a lock. That potential Clemson/BC ACC Quarterfinal game might be a 'you're in/you're eliminated type game'.

Is George Mason 8 seed still? Its RPI is high but its best OOC win came from Harvard and Duquesne, and has bad loss against Wofford.

George Mason is anywhere from a 9 to an 11 seed. I have them tonight as a 9.

Anonymous said...

How about the sun belt with 3 of top 4 seeds out (two #1's and a #2) on day two after a bye for day one.

Anonymous said...

It isn't up to the committee. The conferences themselves decide how the auto-bid is determined (ex: Ivy League).

It's nice to see a team get hot and make a run to the NCAA Tournament, but IMO body of work > three/four game run. It renders a lot of the regular season worthless and allows for teams to not get up and give their best every night.

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