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Posts Tagged ‘Bracket Bits’

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…

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Bracket Bits: Western KY and mid-major at-large hopefuls

January 13, 2018 Leave a comment

Dave2015If you’re looking for an early mid-major team that could potentially steal an at-large bid on Selection Sunday, look no further than Bowling Green, Kentucky.  That’s the home of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.  Think back to the Bahamas: WKU left Atlantis with victories over Purdue and SMU, and a respectable loss to Villanova.  Since, SMU has dropped a bit, but it remains a viable non-conference win, nonetheless.  Here’s a quick peek at WKU’s current situation:

Resume Builders: 

  • Wins over Purdue and SMU (as noted) on a neutral court;
  • Top 25 NC SOS
  • Road wins at Old Dominion and Marshall (solid league W’s)
  • One-point loss at Wisconsin in a somewhat controversial finish

Read more…

Bracket Bits: Top 5 matchups of New Year’s weekend

December 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015New Year’s weekend is a cornucopia for college sports fans – bowl games on the turf and bracket games on the hardwood.  Whether because of rivalry or projected importance, here are my Top 5 matchups of New Year’s weekend …

Arizona State at Arizona (Saturday, Dec. 30) – The Pac-12 title could end up being decided by these in-state rivals.  ASU has been this season’s biggest surprise. Arizona stumbled out of the gate, but has since righted the ship, winning seven straight against teams that include UNLV, Texas AM, and Alabama.  Thus, the winner gets an early leg-up in what could be a two-horse Pac-12 race.  The return game in Tempe is February 15.  Circle that one, too. Read more…

Bracket Bits: 12 surprising teams of Christmas

December 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015As there are traditionally 12 days of Christmas, let’s plug into that theme and launch Bracket Bits.  Our first endeavor?  How about the 12 surprising teams of Christmas? Teams which have brought college hoops a little extra joy this season …

Arizona State – The Sun Devils are a perfect 12-0, own a road win at Kansas, a neutral-court victory over Xavier, a dominate win over San Diego State, and other notable Ws against St. John’s and Kansas State.  Even those of us that thought ASU might contend as a bubble team (they began at No. 80 on the seed list), we never saw this coming.  Extra presents in Tempe!

Oklahoma – The Sooners began preseason play at No. 42 on the seed list.  Behind the incredible Trae Young, those same Sooners are 10-1, a record that features a road win at Wichita State, to go along with victories over USC (when highly ranked), Northwestern, and Oregon.  Young, a freshman, currently leads the NCAA in scoring and assists – a gift that keeps on giving. Read more…

Bracket Bits: Badgers climb back into Field

February 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Dave2015You have to give Wisconsin credit.  Left on the curb after early losses to Western Illinois and Milwaukee, and the departure of longtime coach Bo Ryan, the Badgers have found a way to navigate some additional bumps and bruises on their way to seven straight wins and an 8-4 mark in Big Ten play.  In the past three weeks, Wisconsin has toppled Michigan State, Indiana, and now Maryland, the last of those Saturday in impressive fashion on the road.  Given the current landscape, it was enough to boost the Badgers back in the Field of 68.  We’ll see if they have enough left in the tank to stay.

Seed List update

On the flip side, Gonzaga and Wichita State have seen their respective at-large profiles fall into further question.  With Fred VanVleet back, the Shockers were rolling through the Missouri Valley and distancing themselves from early losses without him.  That was before losing at Illinois State and then at home to Northern Iowa.  And while neither of those is a horrible miscue, the Shockers profile now has a couple of dings it didn’t need.  Will a home win over Utah be enough to carry the Shockers if they lose in the MVC tourney?  As for Gonzaga, the Bulldogs missed a golden opportunity to beat SMU and add a nice non-conference victory to an otherwise iffy resume.  The Zags best wins are Connecticut (November) and bubbly Washington.  A 2-6 mark vs. Top 100 teams could be problematic. Of Gonzaga’s 19 DI wins, 14 are against teams currently ranked 150 or below in the RPI.

This morning, there are questions – to varying degrees – about teams seeded 23 and below on the seed list.  A new bracket is coming tomorrow.  Enjoy your Valentine’s Day.

Bracket Bits: Resume games this week

December 7, 2015 Leave a comment

Dave2015After another busy weekend of college hoops, here’s a quick peek at the upcoming week’s (Monday – Thursday) notable “resume” games …

Oklahoma vs. Villanova  – Pearl Harbor, Honolulu |  Both teams are in line for a high seed come March.  The winner will have an extra notch on its seed line belt.

West Virginia vs. Virginia – Jimmy V Classic, New York  |  This is the type of non-conference victory that pays dividends.  As for Virginia, the Cavaliers would love to ease an early loss at Geo Washington by stamping a marquee win on its pre-ACC resume.

Maryland vs. Connecticut – Jimmy V Classic, New York  |  After dropping close games to Syracuse and Gonzaga at the Battle 4 Atlantis, a win here would put some beef on the Huskies’ non-league slate. Read more…

Bracket Bits: 5 opening weekend games with March in mind

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Dave2015All games matter, but not all results are equal.

If you’re a team that plays in a power conference you can survive an average (or even below average) non-conference slate and still earn an at-large bid.  Last year’s Purdue team is a good example. The Boilermakers dropped non-conference decisions to Kansas State, North Florida, Vanderbilt, and Gardner-Webb.  What Purdue was able to do, however, was win 8 of 9 Big Ten games during a mid-season stretch and finish 12-6 in league play en-route to a 9-seed in the Midwest Region.

If you’re a team from outside the power conferences, non-conference results become much more critical.  Opportunities for resume-changing wins are more limited. With that thought in mind, here are five opening weekend games with March in mind … Read more…