Posts Tagged ‘Bracket Bits’

Bracket Bits: Minnesota’s road woes continue

February 18, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015With its loss at Indiana on Wednesday, Minnesota is now 0-8 away from home; the Gophers have not played a neutral-court game and will not play one until the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.  How might the Selection Committee view a resume with four Quadrant 1 wins, no losses outside the NET Top 50 (as of this posting), and yet nothing of note outside Williams Arena?  We might have had a test case when Rutgers was in a similar situation a year ago, but the Committee never got a chance to release its Field of 68.  The Gophers still have a trip to Penn State on the docket and close with three of four at home.  Heading into the B10 tourney, it’s possible this team could be 16-10 with five or six Q1 wins and still have zilch on its away/neutral team sheet. Read more…

Bracket Bits: Making sense of Pac-12 resumes

February 14, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s a difficult question to answer: What to make of Pac-12 resumes?

The Selection Committee’s NET ratings like at least two teams – USC (15) and Colorado (19) – although neither was mentioned during Saturday’s initial Top 16 seed list reveal on CBS.  Let’s take a quick peek at why that might be the case:

USC – The Trojans are 17-3 after Saturday’s win at Washington State, with a 3-1 mark vs. Quadrant 1 teams and a 6-3 record against Q’s 1-2 combined.  But if you look inside those columns, USC’s best NET win is against BYU on December 1. Of its other Quad 1-2 wins, only Stanford (a likely bubble team) and UCLA are currently NCAA tournament contenders.  That’s not to say the Trojans are not a quality team that could advance in March, rather, it showcases that as a whole, the Pac 12 doesn’t carry the same weight in the Committee room. Case in point: the Pac-12 ranks 6th as a conference in the NET ratings, just behind the Big East and just ahead of the American. Read more…

Bracket Bits: Kansas building another strong resume

December 24, 2020 Leave a comment


Despite some slim margins, the Kansas Jayhawks are once again building a strong resume. Heading into Christmas, KU already has victories over West Virginia, Creighton and Texas Tech (the Red Raiders on the road). All three of those teams could end up as Top 4 seeds. The Jayhawks also own a win over Kentucky, but the Wildcats have stumbled out of the gate – so we’ll think of that as a wait-and-see type result. KU’s only loss is to Gonzaga.

Villanova is on its way too, after an early loss to Virginia Tech – and the Hokies appear stronger than we thought. The Wildcats have won 6 straight, including road wins at Texas and Marquette.

More Bracket Bits:

  • Team resumes remain scattered; schedules have been interrupted and changed due to the pandemic.  Beyond fewer data points, non-conference evaluation is going to be tough for the committee.  Some teams will have played multiple out-of-league games; others may have only one or two data points (or none).  
  • Then there are teams like Marquette, which stands at 5-5 as of this posting, with wins over Wisconsin and Creighton (on the road).  The Golden Eagles often look the part, but results are obviously mixed.
  • The Top of the Big 12 is incredibly strong – Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia and Texas Tech could all be second weekend teams (depending on how the bracket looks), with Baylor and Kansas shaping up as serious title contenders.
  • The Big Ten remains the deeper league and will likely to get the most at-large bids.  Is there a Final Four team in the group?  That’s tougher to answer.  Iowa is explosive, but questions remain about the Hawkeyes’ defense.  We also have some early questions about Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan State.  Maybe those will change, but there are a handful of other really good teams that could impact the B10 title chase and eventual seeding.
  • Other than Notre Dame, Duke’s best win is Coppin State.  Kentucky’s best (and only win) is Morehead State.  Anyone predict those scenarios a month into the season?

Best wishes for a healthy and safe Christmas.  More frequent updates will begin as we head into 2021.

Bracket Bits: Gonzaga wraps up the West; Wednesday’s Bubble games

March 11, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015With its win over Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference final, Gonzaga should be expecting another No. 1 Seed in the West Region on Sunday.  The Zags enter the 2020 NCAA tournament at 31-2.  While the Bulldogs’ non-conference schedule wasn’t as robust as usual (overall), metrics love the Zags and the Committee had them as a projected top seed during their reveal in February.  Between then and now, the Zags only loss was at BYU.

Five additional teams joined The Field: Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Yale (Ivy), North Dakota State (Summit), Robert Morris (NEC), Hofstra (Colonial). Read more…

Bracket Bits: Six teams that could still use opening round wins

March 9, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015With Utah State securing its Dance Ticket by upsetting San Diego State in the Mountain West championship game, we already have one less at-large spot available.  The Aggies might have made it regardless, but all doubts have been erased.

With that as a backdrop, here is a corresponding disclaimer:  The Bubble extends deeper into the bracket than it appears.

As we sit today, the 11-seed line contains all four play-in participants.  That means teams along the 10-seed line are hovering perilously close to the cutline.  Which also means that the nine-seeds are close enough to the edge of the Field that a poor week could leave them vulnerable to being passed.

Below is a quick peak at six teams above the immediate fray who could still benefit from at least one victory at conference tournaments this week … Read more…