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Bracketology: Baylor leads, Big Ten reigns

January 17, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015One bracket decision was easy today: Baylor as the No. 1 overall seed.  The Bears are 5-1 against Quadrant 1 teams, have a win at Kansas, and haven’t lost since dropping a close game to Washington in early November.

Bracketology

Elsewhere, the Big Ten reigns, filling up the field with a dozen teams.  Much of that has to do with the strength and depth of the conference, with quality wins available almost every night and home teams rarely losing.  Another contributing factor is fewer contenders in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12, and even the Southeastern Conference (SEC).  Whether those trends continue remains to be seen.  Ultimately, the Big Ten is more likely to end up with nine or ten bids.

In a close call, Butler remains the final No. 1 seed, but loses its Midwest route to Kansas.  The Bulldogs depth of wins against teams in the Field was the difference.  But one could make an equally compelling and accurate case for San Diego State.

Bracket Bits: Evaluating No. 1 seed options beyond Baylor

January 16, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Baylor will be the No. 1 overall seed when Friday’s bracket update arrives tomorrow at Bracketville.  That shouldn’t be a surprise.  The Bears held the pole position on Tuesday and beat Iowa State at home.

Beyond that, it gets a little more interesting. Because two of Tuesday’s No. 1 seeds have since lost: Duke at Clemson and Butler to Seton Hall.

Does that mean Duke and Butler automatically drop?  If the Seed List were a traditional poll, the most likely answer would be yes.  But before making a decision, let’s go beyond the names and single-game results and dive into the resumes of six other contenders. Read more…

Bracketology: Butler reaches top line

January 14, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015If you’re joining us following the end of college football, welcome back!  If you’re simply checking in, here’s the latest …

It’s been a monumental two-month journey for Butler.  Picked to finish near the bottom of the Big East standings, the Bulldogs have instead vaulted to an impressive 15-1 record, including nine wins against Quadrants 1 and 2 of the NCAA’s NET ratings.  If you’re into other analytical metrics, KenPom ranks Butler fourth, BPI fifth and SOR (Strength of Record) second as of this posting.

Bracketology

Of course, challenges never end.  Butler next hosts Seton Hall at Hinkle Fieldhouse before embarking on a road swing through DePaul and Villanova.

As for the other No. 1 seeds, the Baylor Bandwagon is filling up quickly.  The Bears swept a pair of road games at Texas Tech and Kansas last week, vaulting them to the No. 1 overall seed in today’s bracket.  Gonzaga remains top Dawg in the West with Duke holding as the Beast of the East.

 

Bracket Bits: The value of road wins

January 8, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015When the Selection Committee gathers in two months to select and seed teams for the 2020 NCAA tournament, road wins (and overall road performance) often serve as a separating factor when comparing Team Sheets.  Who did you beat?  And where did you beat them?

That’s not to suggest that home wins aren’t important or that the Committee ignores losses (home or road – or in high numbers), rather, it’s a reminder that true road wins are a bit like gold: hard to find but of great value.

With that caveat in place – and conference play now in full swing – we note a few of Tuesday’s victorious road warriors: Baylor (at Texas Tech), Kentucky (at Georgia), Villanova (at Creighton), Houston (at Temple), Providence (at Marquette) and Florida (at South Carolina).  If we ranked those, it might look like this: Villanova, Baylor, Kentucky, Providence, Houston, and Florida. Read more…

Quick Takes: Baylor strengthens profile

February 20, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Baylor exited Ames Tuesday night with a victory over Iowa State – giving the Bears a regular-season sweep of the Cyclones.  Paired with a victory over Texas Tech, a solid road record (5-4), and a combination of 11 Quad 1/2 wins. the Bears profile looks that much stronger this morning – even with those two early-season Q4 losses.

In other words, Baylor is playing its way into the Field of 68, and it would take a notable course reversal for that to change with just under four weeks until Selection Sunday.

We can’t say the same for Alabama or Nebraska this morning. Read more…

Bracket Bits: Weekend’s top UTR matchups

December 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015The headliners are easy to find.  This weekend we get Villanova at Kansas and Gonzaga at North Carolina, among others.  Exciting stuff, for sure.  But we’re also blessed with a variety of less-neon-heavy matchups that could, come March, be equally important as teams compile resumes.  So, without further ado, here we go with this weekend’s picks for best UTR (Under-The-Radar) matchups ….

Tennessee at Memphis – Coming off an exciting, last-second victory over Gonzaga, the Volunteers head West on I-40 to take on what should be an energized group of Tigers.  Having dropped all of its “up” games to date, Memphis needs a major resume boost heading into AAC play in January.  Rivalry games are always good, but there could be a little extra juice in this one thanks to the current high in Knoxville. Read more…

Quick Takes: Saturday’s wild W’s and L’s

February 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015Well, that was a wild Saturday!  We had some impressive victories – none more than Virginia Tech win at Virginia.  We also had some head-scratching losses – Providence dropping a home game to DePaul by double-digits?

One could spend hours trudging through the full, madness-filled day that was Saturday.  But this is Quick Takes, so here are a few of the most notable takeaways through the prism of winners and losers …

Saturday’s winners:

  • Virginia Tech’s win at Virginia tops the list.
  • Texas AM – watch out for the Aggies who appear to have righted their previously wayward ship.  They’ve won four straight after beating Kentucky on Saturday, which came after a win at Auburn.
  • North Carolina – took care of NC State on the road after beating Duke; thus, avoiding a let-down.
  • Michigan State – by beating Purdue, the Spartans are back in the Big Ten race.  They’ve also positioned themselves to be in the conversation for a top-two seed on Selection Sunday if they close with a flurry.
  • Oklahoma State and Baylor – the Cowboys won at West Virginia; Baylor beat Kansas. Both are back into the bubble picture again.
  • Gonzaga – exacted revenge by going on the road to beat Saint Mary’s.

Read more…