Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bracket for games through 2/23

I still haven't found a format that "works" for me as far as my posts. I had intended to spotlight each conference every day leading up to the tournament and the chances of each team and its prospects for the tournament. Really thought, its all about the bracket. So with most of the games played for today, let's look at where we are with the bracket and my thought processes as I create a new one. I like to start from scratch each time as one result changes many of the match ups because of sending teams to the closest pod for geographical considerations.

Only teams to not lose a game against a team with an RPI currently lower than 50: Michigan State, Indiana, Michigan, Gonzaga, Kansas State, Memphis, Ohio State. I'm not sure if this random stat means anything, but these teams haven't been upset too badly this year.

Belmont, Middle Tennessee State are bubble teams, but also are considered "in" as the automatic bids from their conferences. So, I need 48 teams from the multi-bid conferences to fill the field.

Which teams are in the mix for a top seed?
ACC: Duke, Miami-Fl,
Big East: Georgetown, Louisville, Syracuse
Big Ten: Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan
Big 12: Kansas
Pac-12: Arizona
SEC: Florida
WCC: Gonzaga
I count 12 teams. These are the 1 thru 3 seeds at this point.

So which other teams are locks now? These teams can basically lose out and be in.
A-10: Saint Louis
Big East: Marquette, Pittsburgh
Big 10: Wisconsin, Ohio State
Big 12: Kansas State, Oklahoma State
Mountain West: New Mexico
There are 8 teams here. These are the #4 and #5 seeds.

Which teams should be in?
ACC: North Carolina, NC State
A-10: Butler, VCU
Big East: Notre Dame, Cincinnati
Big Ten: Illinois
Big 12: Iowa State, Oklahoma
C-USA: Memphis
MVC: Wichita State, Creighton
MWC: Colorado State, UNLV, San Diego State
Pac-12: Oregon
This is the next 16. They will be seeded 6-9

Who else is in contention?
ACC: Virginia, Maryland, Florida State
A-10: La Salle, Temple, Xavier, Charlotte, Massachusetts
Big East: Villanova, St. John's
Big Ten: Minnesota, Iowa
Big 12: Baylor
Conference USA: Southern Miss
MVC: Indiana State, Northern Iowa
MWC: Air Force, Boise State, Wyoming
Pac 12: UCLA, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Stanford, Washington
SEC: Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M
West Coast: St. Mary's, BYU
This gives us 35 teams for the final 12 spots, assuming no upset conference tournament winners. Based on looking at the Big Ten carefully earlier this week, I feel pretty safe in predicting Minnesota being in. La Salle and Colorado have multiple big wins this year that I think make them stand out. Saint Mary's had the big bracket buster win over Creighton today. They only have 5 losses on the season. They will probably lose to Gonzaga in the WCC tournament championship game, but that won't cost them a bid.
The Pac12 and SEC are so wide open right now, it is hard to predict results and some in-depth research is needed. I'll go with common knowledge and the games I've seen: Missouri, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona State, California, Alabama will be in.
This brings us down to two remaining teams and most of them have lots of work to do. I know Virginia has a tough remaining schedule. I think Maryland is better set up to move in. Villanova had a good win today at home versus Marquette.

#1 seeds: to me, Indiana is the clear #1 overall seed at this time. Everyone else has question marks. Duke is probably the next most obvious. However, after Ryan Kelly was injured, Duke is 8-3. They've held on their home court, but are 4-3 on the road since his injury. Also, three of the wins are at the bottom 3 in the league. Duke has time to recover, but their performance since his injury really doesn't justify a top seed at this point. However, I just heard that he is off crutches and may be back in time for the tournament. Florida is probably the next team to consider. I have a low opinion of the SEC and the Gators have beat up on them. They will be a #1 seed though. Michigan and Michigan State are both very good. I'm putting Michigan on top for more predictive reasons than the results thus far. Gonzaga deserves consideration as well despite a weaker schedule. 1 Seeds:  Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Duke

#2 seeds: The winner of the Big East will be here, if not on the #1 seed line, but who will it be--Syracuse, Louisville, Georgetown, even Marquette. The remainder of the Big Ten top trio will be here as well. Gonzaga and Kansas get consideration as well. Kansas is 10-3 against the RPI top 50 right now. Does Miami-Fl stay a 2? 2 seeds: Michigan State, Louisville, Kansas, Gonzaga

3 seeds: Georgetown, Syracuse, Miami-Fl, Arizona
4 seeds: New Mexico, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Ohio State
5 seeds: Oklahoma State, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis

6 seeds: Colorado State, Oregon, Cincinnati, North Carolina
7 seeds: Butler, Creighton, Illinois, UNLV
8 seeds: Iowa State, Notre Dame, VCU, San Diego State
9 seeds: Wichita State, NC State, Oklahoma, Memphis

10 seeds: Minnesota, La Salle, Colorado, St. Mary's
11 seeds: Missouri, UCLA, Kentucky, Maryland
12 seeds: California, Villanova, Arizona State, Alabama, Middle Tennessee State, Belmont
13 seeds: Akron, Louisiana Tech, Bucknell, Davidson
14 seeds: Stephen F Austin, Valparaiso, Long Beach State, South Dakota State
15 seeds: Montana, Harvard, Stony Brook, Niagara
16 seeds: Northeastern, Mercer, Norfolk State, High Point, Robert Morris, Southern

Regional Indianapolis Los Angeles Arlington Washington D.C.
1st 2 Rounds Dayton Auburn Hills Lexington Philadelphia
1 Indiana (Big Ten) Michigan Florida (SEC) Duke (ACC)
16 High Point (Big South)-Robert Morris (NEAC) Northeastern (Colonial) Mercer (Atlantic Sun) Norfolk St (MEAC)-Southern (SWAC)
8 Notre Dame VCU Iowa State San Diego State
9 Wichita State NC State Memphis (C-USA) Oklahoma

1st 2 Rounds Kansas City Austin San Jose Salt Lake City
5 Saint Louis (A-10) Oklahoma State Pittsburgh Marquette
12 Arizona State-Alabama Villanova-California Belmont (OVC) Mid. Tenn. St. (Sunbelt)
4 Kansas State New Mexico (MWC) Wisconsin Ohio State
13 Akron (MAC) Louisiana Tech (WAC) Davidson (SoCon) Bucknell (Patriot)

1st 2 Rounds Austin Salt Lake City Philadelphia Dayton
3 Miami-FL Arizona (Pac-12) Georgetown Syracuse
14 Stephen F. Austin (Southland) Long Beach State (Big West) South Dakota State (Summit) Valparaiso (Horizon)
6 Colorado State Cincinnati North Carolina Oregon
11 UCLA Maryland Missouri Kentucky

1st 2 Rounds Lexington San Jose Kansas City Auburn Hills
7 Butler Illinois Creighton UNLV
10 Minnesota La Salle Colorado Saint Mary's
2 Louisville (Big East) Gonzaga (WCC) Kansas (Big 12) Michigan State
15 Stony Brook (Amer East) Montana (Big Sky) Niagara (MAAC) Harvard (Ivy)


  1. Hello-

    Thanks for these excellent brackets and your thoughtful discussion. But right off the bat - we beat Maryland at their court - and they were just crushed by Boston College. I think you have these two teams switched - Maryland deserves consideration - but Virginia is clearly a tournament team - please watch us against Duke tomorrow night, you'll see.

    To to include St. Mary's, Kentucky, Maryland
    Villanova, Arizona State, and Alabama over Virginia is a travesty. :) I hope you'll be updating this fine bracket on Friday when Virginia takes Duke down in Cville. :)

    I am shocked UVa isn't already in your bracket having shown we can go toe to toe at Miami, dispatched the Terps at College Park, took down the Pack and Heels at the JPJ, and paid back the Jackets (who beat us in January in Atlanta) by 28 this past Sunday. We also dispatched the badgers at Kohl early on - pretty much without our point guard jontel evans - and beat Tennessee as well. yes we have some sucky losses - but all due to said PG absence (and other players) and losses at George Mason and Delaware were Nov 9 and 13 respectively (closing in on 4 months ago) with ZERO POINT GUARDS of three we had coming into season (evans, teven jones, malcom brogdon). And yes - these are excuses - when this team that doesn't exist any more - lost to Delaware we then lost out on two high RPI games at the MSG in the preseason NIT and instead got two wins over lowly rated North Texas and Lamaar - yes our fault - but not intentional weak sister scheduling. :)

    The loss to ODU on neutral site in December was a perfect storm of no Jontel Evans, Joe Harris with the flu, a super motivated in-state mid major, a red hot 3 baller, and horrible officiating. yes, excuses all.

    Anyway we are not that team anymore. I wonder if you've watched us recently?

    Since January - the losses at Clem, Wake and GT just cannot be looked at as terrible losses - see Wake over Miami, and Clem 1 possession from beating mia and ncsu. We scored 82 at the Deane Dome but were beaten by a red hot UNC, and came down to final 6 seconds tied at Miami last week. If you will go find that game and watch it - you'll see we are clearly an NCAA team. (without our disastrous rpi bombing Delaware/NIT debacle I'm confident our RPI would be in the 40's or 50's at worst. Do you follow Ken Pomeroy? We're only ranked 17 there - and 27 in the ESPN BPI power ratings.

    anyway, thanks for your work. I look forward to the wahoos inclusion in your esteemed bracket at its next update.


  2. You are right. I'd looked at the teams a while back and liked Maryland better at the time due to Virginia's bad losses. Good wins are more important at this time of year than bad losses and Virginia has good wins. The efficiency rates like Pomeroy and I believe the BPI are good at predicting outcomes of games. However, the selection committee likes to use the RPI, which doesn't take into account margin of victory. if you look at Virginia's results, they were mostly blow out wins and close losses. That's one of the main reasons they fair so much better in those rankings. Virginia is likely in the range of 17th to 27th best team in the country, but their results have them rated much lower than that. When they get in the tournament, they will be a good team to pick to win in an upset for a game or two. I chose to review the ACC in depth tonight based on your comment.

  3. Wow - thanks Kevin. I appreciate you taking a second look - I know there are a lot of teams to look at. Virginia has some problems on paper - but we have really progressed - and you really have to scratch the surface to understand our resume.

    I appreciate your new analysis above. So UVa does good work tonight you'll have them in your next bracket update?

    I'll be down in the JPJ in Cville tonight cheering them on v. duke. 9pm on ESPN - hope you'll be watching.

    Keep up the good work.

    Thanks- DCWahooFan - aka Joseph P. Hoops :)