Buckeye’s Bracket 3/3 With Some Analysis

1. Arizona, Florida, Wichita State, Villanova

2. Duke, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Kansas

3. Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa State, Creighton

4. Virginia, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, San Diego State

5. Texas, Louisville, North Carolina, Kentucky

6. Oklahoma, Connecticut, UCLA, Kansas State

7. Ohio State, Massachusetts, Iowa, Memphis

8. Colorado, George Washington, Pittsburgh, New Mexico

9. VCU, Arizona State, Stanford, Gonzaga

10. Oklahoma State, Baylor, SMU, Oregon

11. Xavier, California, Saint Josephs, Minnesota, Arkansas

12. Missouri, BYU, Southern Miss, Harvard, Toledo

13. Green Bay, North Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin, Belmont

14. Iona, Delaware, Mercer, Georgia State

15. Boston, UCSB, Vermont, NC Central

16. Davidson, Utah Valley, Robert Morris, Weber State, High Point, Alabama State

First Four Out: Tennessee, Dayton, Providence, Saint Johns

Next Four Out: LSU, Georgetown, Nebraska, Florida State

Third Four Out: Indiana, Richmond, Louisiana Tech, Illinois

Fourth Four Out: Saint Mary’s, Utah, Ole Miss, Marquette

Fifth Four Out: Middle Tennessee, Clemson, West Virginia, Boise State

Also Considered: UTEP, UNLV, Georgia, NC State

43 Teams for 19 Spots

So, I think it’s time I provide a little reasoning behind some of my picks. So here is some analysis:

The One Line: Currently, there are three teams that are no brainers. Wichita State going undefeated, Arizona with a 10-1 record vs. the RPI top 50 and a 16-2 record vs. the top 100, and Florida, undefeated in conference play and a 14-2 record against the RPI top 100 including a win over Kansas. The fourth team however, is much more difficult. I want it to be Syracuse, but I don’t see how you can keep a team that has lost 4 out of 5 on the one line. I think the best team not in that group of three is Kansas, but they just suffered their worst loss of the season, to a bubble team in Oklahoma State, so I don’t feel right moving them up. So that leaves us with a dilemma. In the end, I decided to go with Villanova. I understand only having 4 top 50 wins may hurt them in the eyes of the committee. But when you are 13 and 3 vs. the RPI top 100, and you haven’t lost to a team outside the RPI top 10, you’re doing something right. Do I think Villanova will be a one seed when the season ends? Probably not. But for now, they get the nod.

What’s the obsession with Virginia?: A few weeks ago, I got a comment discussing how Virginia could be an 8-seed when they were getting four seeds from everyone else. I never addressed it (honestly I didn’t see it until a few days ago). Consider this my address of it. Now, I understand according to the eye test they have what may be the best defense in college basketball in a decade. But if you look at their resume, it’s really not as impressive as you think, and it wasn’t at all until they beat Syracuse. They have four losses against the RPI top 50, and a loss at Green Bay (who I understand is good, but still, it’s Green Bay). They only have four wins against current tournament teams, and two of those are against teams I consider overrated (SMU and Pittsburgh). Yes they won the ACC, but they did so on the easiest schedule an ACC team could have. (When you are in arguably the best conference, your Conference SOS should not be over 100, Virginia’s is at 104). They may be good, but they haven’t proven much yet. I’ve moved them up because my job is to predict what the committee will do, but come tournament time, don’t be surprised to see Virginia fault in the first or second round.

The Bubble: I like to keep my bubble big. Once I take a team off of it, I don’t put them back on. So although it may seem crazy to have 43 teams on my bubble right now, fighting for 19 spots, there is a method to my madness. My 8 seeds (Colorado, George Washington, Pittsburgh, and New Mexico) are all close to getting off the bubble. You can probably throw VCU in there as well. One more win from each and I’d say their book is closed. The bottom of my bubble, the teams barely on it, basically need to win out other than their conference championship game, to still be in consideration. Maybe Georgia and NC State can deal with a loss in the semi-finals IF they get a good draw and upset the big dogs in their conference early (Georgia over Florida AND Kentucky and NC State over two of UNC, Syracuse, Virginia, and Duke). The middle of the bubble, the teams truly fretting it right now, is tough to figure out. My last four in are Minnesota, Arkansas, Missouri, and BYU. My First Four Out are Tennessee, Dayton, Providence, and Saint Johns. All have work to do to make the tournament. BYU is the most intriguing to me, with more losses to teams with an RPI above 125 than wins over tournament teams. I guess only time will tell.

Stay tuned for what I hope to be daily updates from here on out. As always, feel free to comment


2 thoughts on “Buckeye’s Bracket 3/3 With Some Analysis

  1. I was hoping Virginia’s SOS argument would go away after the Syracuse game, but I guess not. The fact of the matter is they beat who they played, with the exception of Duke, at Cameron in a game decided by a late three. They dismantled the rest of that conference, including blowouts against Syracuse and UNC. They didn’t lose at Notre Dame or at Clemson or at home to BC.

    Rightfully so, you can’t discount Virginia’s non-conference play just because of their current streak. You have to look at the body of work. For comparison, Michigan has 5 losses against the top 50… and they also have a loss at Indiana (who understand is Indiana, but they’ve been down all year). Michigan also has a loss to Charlotte on a neutral court. Both teams are 9-4 out of conference. Virgnia’s SOS: 24, Michigan: 92. Michigan is going to win a good Big Ten conference, but by your anti-Virginia logic, I don’t see how you put them ahead of Virginia.

    Michigan State also has played a strong schedule and, when healthy, could probably be a top 10 team. But they’ve also gone 6-6 in the last 12 games and have three home losses to teams in the 50-100 range. I don’t want to call Big Ten bias, but they shouldn’t be a three seed. Maybe you’re using that eye test to give Sparty the benefit of the doubt, but if so, you should see that Virginia has done serious damage in the ACC.

    1. Thank you for your comment. You’re right that I may have a little bit of Big Ten Bias, as you can see by my name, I’m a Big 10 fan. But in this case, my decision was made not out of bias, but out of statistics. Specifically one statistic in particular:

      Top 50 Wins:
      Michigan 8
      Michigan State 6
      Virginia: 3 (was 4 until Pittsburgh lost yesterday, sorry)

      Also your numbers for Non-Conference SOS are either outdated or incorrect, Michigan is 85 and Virginia is 30. Still a bit lopsided but like I said, my decision was made out of Top 50 wins.

      Trust me, as a Buckeye fan, I understand the whole “they beat who they played” argument. But in this case, Michigan has dominated a strong Big 10 and Michigan State will have their assets come tournament time, both deserve the spot ahead of Virginia.

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