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Quick Takes: Composite rankings and the Seed List

January 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015This past week, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee hinted that it may consider integrating a wider range of metrics into its selection and seeding process.  Although the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) has been the NCAAs primary tool for organizing teams, committee members have been free to utilize other metrics for several years – so this isn’t totally new territory.  Additional metrics include KenPom (Ken Pomeroy), Sagarin, and BPI ratings, among others.  Using various analytics, the ratings are designed to provide an objective overview about how teams perform beyond wins/losses, team records, etc.  You can decide for yourself how well the various ratings work.  We all have our preferences.  And the goal here isn’t to discuss the merits and pitfalls of each.

Interestingly, the Selection Committee also hinted that it could end up integrating a type of composite score (rating) for teams based upon the metrics selected for inclusion.  How that might look (and be calculated) remains to be seen.  But in the interest of college hoops fans (and a certain bracket nerd), I took the liberty of developing a composite for the teams at the very top of our seed list, and for some along the proverbial bubble.  Let’s take a look at how the process worked, along with some interesting side notes.  For this story, the composite rankings include the RPI, NPI (Nolan Power Index – Warren Nolen), ELO Chess, KenPom, and Sagarin.

Here’s the Top 10 on our Seed List – in order for Jan. 16, 2017 – with composite ranking in parenthesis: Read more…

Bracketology: UK, FSU pushing for No. 1 seeds

January 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Although this week’s No. 1 seeds remain intact, Kentucky and Florida State are pushing for slots on the top line of the bracket.  One could make the case for dropping Baylor after the Bears’ loss at West Virginia, but the seed list doesn’t always work the same as a poll.  Baylor’s resume is still quite strong, and a lone loss in Morgantown doesn’t change that – much the same as Villanova’s loss at Butler last week didn’t drop the Wildcats from the overall No. 1 seed position.  That said, resumes are still very much a recurring work in progress.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

It’s no surprise that the cutline is quite fluid.  With another full slate of games tonight, the bottom of the bracket might look different if we updated it again tomorrow.  The process slows in mid-February and resumes become more complete.

As a reminder, conference champions are determined by league standings until Championship Week.  In the event of a tie in the loss column, the automatic bid for the bracket is awarded to the team with the best RPI at the time of publication.  To an extent, this helps simulate some variances that occur in the process.   Read more…

Quick Takes: Can FSU take it on the road?

January 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Florida State keeps piling up quality wins.  After beating Duke in Tallahassee on Tuesday, the Seminoles are 4-0 in the ACC and have seven wins against the Top 50 of the RPI – the most of any team in the nation.  The only remaining question is this: Can FSU take it on the road?  We ask because, to date, the Seminoles only true road game has been their win at UVA.  Next up, a trip to Chapel Hill.  There’s also a three-game road swing at the end of January.  Navigate those and FSU will be in the No. 1 seed discussion as the calendar flips to February.

No real surprise that Baylor lost at West Virginia.  The margin might be a little surprising, but the Mountaineers are a tough matchup, particularly in Morgantown.  We’ll see how the Bears respond. Read more…

Quick Takes: Oregon finding its Mojo

December 31, 2016 Leave a comment

Dave2015In early November, we contemplated when Dillon Brooks would return and how good the Oregon Ducks might be without him.  He returned in Maui, during a loss to Georgetown.  Since then, the Ducks have won 11 straight, including a home sweep of UCLA and USC, both of whom arrived in Eugene without a loss.  It appears that Oregon is finding its Mojo at the perfect time.  If they can navigate a trip through Washington next week, the Ducks could be 7-0 in the Pac-12 heading into road trips to Utah and Colorado.  With Brooks back, Oregon’s position as a protected seed in March looks pretty safe.

Arizona is also hot, winning 10 of 12, with those two losses being to Butler and Gonzaga. And it’s worth noting the Wildcats are doing it without Allonzo Trier, arguably their most talented player.  We still don’t know if, or when, he’ll return.  Final note on the Pac-12 … it’s looking like a four-bid league right now.  The question is whether a team like California or Colorado (or someone else) can join the conversation. Read more…

Bracketology: The race for No. 1 seeds

December 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s New Year’s weekend.  Conference play has started.  The race toward March is upon us, and with it, the race for No. 1 Seeds.  Today, those slots belong to Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA.  Villanova’s survival against DePaul, and UCLA’s last-second loss at Oregon do not change those team’s positions.  Opinions vary, of course, but the next four spots on the Seed List look like this: Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Gonzaga.  If you have a different order, that’s fine.  For me, UCLA’s win at Kentucky still trumps a one-loss Duke team, whose best win is Florida on a neutral court.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Indiana and Texas AM take the biggest slides.  When the Hoosiers are good, they’re really good – as noted by wins over Kansas and Carolina.  But IU has also been inconsistent and played a rather ugly non-conference schedule for a team with its roster and pedigree.  The result?  IU has an RPI of 122 (as of this posting), with the loss at Fort Wayne and then at home to Nebraska.  The Hoosiers are too talented to be concerned, but a protected seed has to be earned.  With that in mind, Louisville awaits on Saturday. Read more…

Preseason Poll: No. 1 Seed Favorites

October 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Dave2015Welcome back!

College hoops is right around the corner.  Teams are practicing.  Tip-off is a mere month away.  Can March be far behind?

Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but here at Bracketville, hoops vacations are relatively short.  So … what better way to kick-off our 2016-17 campaign than a poll where you get to share your opinions about the early front-runners for No. 1 seeds.  Just know this … whether you’re a Duke fan or Blue Devil hater, we’ll be surprised if Coach K’s crew isn’t on a top seed line come Selection Sunday. Read more…

2016 Tourney: Ranking a power-heavy Elite 8

March 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Dave2015Given what we’ve seen this season, we shouldn’t be overly surprised to find a six and ten seed in the Elite 8.  We also shouldn’t be surprised to find six power-heavy teams.  At various points during the 2016 campaign, Kansas, North Carolina, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Villanova all grabbed spots along the No. 1 seed line.  Oregon was among the Top 8 for the better part of February and ended at No. 5 on our list.  They were the final No. 1 seed on the NCAA Board, which fits the theme.

If you believe in destiny (or maybe redemption), then you embrace Notre Dame and Syracuse.  The Irish needed a miraculous tip-in to beat Stephen F. Austin and a pair of late steals/turnovers to upend Wisconsin.  Syracuse was undoubtedly helped by an incredible performance from Middle Tennessee that ousted Michigan State in the opening round.  The Orange deserve all the credit for reaching the Regional Final; they beat the teams they faced.  We can say that and still acknowledge that reaching the Elite 8 required beating a seven seed, 15 seed, and 11 seed.  Good fortune is important in March.

So … heading into the Regional Finals, how would you rank the remaining eight teams?  Based on what I’ve seen the past two weeks, here’s my list: Read more…