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Posts Tagged ‘2018 NCAA Tournament’

Quick Takes: Louisville slides onto the bubble

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Louisville and Syracuse now have something in common: The Bubble.  As the Orange exited the KFC Yum! Center on Monday night, they took a nice gift with them – a road win over a fellow bubble team.  That’s right, Louisville – losers of three straight and four of five – is now a bubble team with a month to go until Selection Sunday.

As recently as a week ago, it was easy to look at the Cardinals’ fast ACC start and believe they were on solid ground – even more so when you saw an upcoming three-game home stretch that included Florida State, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech.  Oh, how things can change.  Louisville has now lost the first two of those home games – adding a lot of pressure to the Cards’ date with Georgia Tech on Thursday.  Louisville’s closing stretch is brutal – it includes trips to Duke, Virginia Tech, and NC State, plus home games with North Carolina and Virginia.  A berth in the 2018 NCAA tournament is squarely on the line.

Other Quick Takes from Monday … Read more…

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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…

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…

Quick Takes: Searching for No. 1 seeds

January 17, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015That search for No. 1 seeds?  It’s far from over.  Oklahoma lost at Kansas State on Tuesday, meaning both the Sooners and West Virginia (on Monday) have lost this week – and it’s Wednesday morning.  Ultimately, our search may take a while.  In addition to depth and balance, particularly in the ACC and Big 12, we appear to lack – at least to this point – a handful of truly elite teams, teams you expect to win every night regardless of the opponent or where they play.  Instead, we have collective group of very good teams – fun for game action, but a little cloudy around the edges.

As of this morning, here’s a quick look at a handful of teams in relation to “wins against the field” – i.e. wins against teams currently projected to be at-large teams (based on Monday’s bracket) … Read more…

Quick Takes: Kansas offers a Big 12 reminder

January 16, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015About those 13 straight Big 12 titles: Kansas isn’t conceding No. 14.  Down double-digits at halftime in Morgantown, the Jayhawks rallied to beat West Virginia, and in the process, remind us that the road to a Big 12 title still runs through Lawrence.  There’s this, too: while he played limited minutes, Silvio De Sousa made his Jayhawks’ debut, adding a much-needed body to a thin front line.  As a whole, the Big 12 is as good as its ever been, so one win doesn’t guarantee anything.  But if you had decided, “this was the year,” for Kansas to relinquish its crown, let’s hope you wrote it in pencil.

Other Quick Takes from Monday: Read more…

Quick Takes: Sorting out the SEC

January 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015As a whole, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is having a good season.   When Monday’s bracket was posted, seven SEC teams made the field; another three were among the first eight teams out.  That’s an impressive number.  While conference play should help clarify a few things, sorting out the SEC as a whole may not be easy.  Examples: Florida started hot, faded, and now seems to be playing better again.  Arkansas has that early win over Oklahoma, but its been a bit of a roller-coaster ride since – the Hogs have lopsided defeats to Houston and now LSU.  Kentucky has been steady, but has yet to emerge as an elite unit.  Auburn and Tennessee are the league’s surprises, although aforementioned LSU has emerged as a potential wild card.  In other words, sorting out the SEC may not happen in January, or even February.  The league has a lot of good teams, all capable of beating each other on a given night.  It’s great for competition, not so much for bracket positioning.

Other Quick Takes from Wednesday: Read more…

Bracketology: West Virginia and a wild weekend

January 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Talk about your wild weekends.  In the wake of upsets, uprisings, and some general chaos, here’s a question worth asking … Which teams, if any, will emerge as clear-cut No. 1 seeds?  In most years, we can cite at least one or two of those teams in early January.  This year?  Not so much.  As it stands right now, even the best teams have flaws, which means there’s a legitimate race ahead for those coveted top four spots on the seed list.

Bracketology  |  Seed List

West Virginia held serve Saturday against Oklahoma and, for now, sits atop the South Region.  The Mountaineer are joined by Villanova (East), Oklahoma (Midwest), and Xavier (West) on the one-line.  When a group of bunched teams lose, sometimes a good loss (or an acceptable one) allows for status quo.  Either way, think about the seed list this morning the same as you do the weather.  Don’t like it much?  Give it a day or two; it’s likely to change.