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Archive for January, 2018

Quick Takes: Road woes for the Razorbacks

January 31, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Arkansas has a tidy RPI (No. 22 this morning), a non-conference win over Oklahoma, and a worthy SOS (23 overall, 58 NC).  So why would Tuesday’s loss at desperate Texas AM be a concern for the Razorbacks?  In and of itself, it wouldn’t be.  This issue is this … Arkansas is now 1-5 in road games.  Ahead, the Razorbacks have four remaining road trips.  If their road woes continue, they could be facing a 9-9 finish in the SEC, which would keep them much closer to the bubble than expected.  Closing home games include Kentucky and Auburn, so the home road isn’t a cakewalk, either.

Other Quick Takes from Tuesday: Read more…

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Bracketology: Virginia pushing for No. 1 overall seed

January 29, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Virginia exorcised a road demon Saturday, winning a rare game at Cameron Indoor Stadium against the Duke Blue Devils.  In the process, the Cavaliers inched past Purdue for No. 2 on the overall seed list (Purdue is now No. 3), and they could end up passing Villanova for the No. 1 overall seed with a strong February.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

The Duke loss, as close as it was, also allows Kansas to narrowly inch past the Blue Devils and claim the final No. 1 seed in today’s bracket update.  Basketball minds can agree to disagree on the oh-so-close resumes of the Jayhawks and Blue Devils, but if today were Selection Sunday (as it were), KU would likely get the nod as Big 12 champion.  The good news for Duke fans is this: it would allow Duke to be moved back into the East Region rather than be placed out West.

Quick Takes: Big weekend for SEC / Big 12 bubble teams

January 26, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015If you’re a fan of an SEC or Big 12 bubble team, it’s a big weekend for you.  More importantly, it’s a big weekend for your team.  That’s what an SEC/Big 12 challenge brings to the table in late January.

While it’s never wise to overreact to a single result, consider this: six SEC teams are currently bunched within 12 at-large seed lines directly along the cutline.  While the separation (and number) is much different for the Big 12, the weekend is no less important to teams like Kansas State, Baylor, and Oklahoma State.

The Saturday slate of SEC/Big 12 matchups includes: Read more…

Bracketology: Purdue, Virginia strengthen No. 1 seed positions

January 26, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015After surviving a game-worthy bunch of Michigan Wolverines on Thursday, the Purdue Boilermakers have only two games remaining against currently-projected NCAA teams: Ohio State at home, Michigan State on the road.  At this point, a split would do nothing to change Purdue’s trajectory as a potential No. 1 seed.  Which means, unless the Boilers trip a couple of times on their way in, a top seed is likely their’s for the taking.

Bracketology    |    Seed List

The same holds true for Virginia, who pulled away from Clemson this week. The Cavaliers, much like Purdue, benefit from an uneven league schedule.  They only play North Carolina and Duke once, and they’ve already beaten the Tar Heels.  Their game with Duke is Saturday.  And while the result matters, of course, UVA is blessed with a two-game lead.  Looking ahead, the ACC is vastly superior to the Big Ten, so it’s not like trips through Florida State, Miami-FL, or Louisville will be easy.  But the Cavaliers’ defense has been dominant enough to think they’ll still have the inside track to an ACC title regardless of Sunday’s outcome.  If Virginia beats Duke, the race could be over.

Bracket Bits: Kansas State’s tricky profile

January 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015With a non-conference strength of schedule (SOS) ranked in the 330-range, Kansas State’s NCAA profile presents an interesting dichotomy for those of us in the bracket business.  On one hand, we have a KSU team with “Quadrant 1” wins over Oklahoma and TCU, a 4-2 road record that includes solid (Quadrant 2) wins at Baylor and Iowa State, and a team that has a one-point loss at Kansas and two-point loss to Arizona State on a neutral floor. The only real hiccup is a loss to Tulsa – which certainly isn’t a game-changer.

Several of the metric models mentioned as “under consideration” by the Selection Committee also trend in K-State’s favor.  Examples as of this morning (Jan. 23):

  • BPI (ESPN): 39
  • SOR (ESPN): 35 / Strength of Record
  • Ken Pom: 32
  • Sagarin: 33

Read more…

Bracketology: Purdue continues to Boiler-Up!

January 22, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015How good has Purdue been?  Let’s take a quick peek … the Boilermakers haven’t lost since returning from Atlantis in November.  They are 5-0 in true road games, own a 6-2 mark against the NCAA’s new “Group 1” category, and have won 19 games by an average margin of 22.6 points.  This morning, Purdue ranks No. 1 on the Sagarin index and No. 2 at Ken Pom.  The Boilers also have a favorable Big Ten schedule; they only play Ohio State (home) and Michigan State (road) once.  In other words, without a slip up, Purdue is well on its way toward a potential No. 1 seed come March.

Bracketology   |    Seed List

The middle and lower-end of the bracket remains a hodgepodge of okay-ness.  Which brings up questions such as … how exactly will the Selection Committee evaluate various advanced metrics tools this season?  They are evaluating options for future use, but how will that impact decisions in March, if at all?  Individual Selection Committee members have had the tools for years, so it’s not new.  How they are weighted or integrated?  Time will tell.  Stay tuned.

Bracket Bits: Metrics and the top two lines

January 20, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015So … the NCAA is considering including a variety of new metrics into its selection and seeding process.  As individual members, a wide range of metrics have been available to selection committee members for years; so this is nothing new.  What will be interesting is exactly how the metrics are used and applied.  We’ll all have a learning curve.

As a brief exercise, the table below shows the various metrics and composite for the top eight (8) teams on our seed list as of the Friday, January 19 bracket.  I’ve included the metrics noted by the NCAA:  RPI, BPI (ESPN), SOR (Strength of Record), KPI (Ken Pom), SAG (Saragin), COMP – Composite average. Read more…