Michigan State

Final Bracketology: Selection Sunday Edition – March 12

It’s Selection Sunday, one of the best days in the college basketball season. I’m glad we’re finally here. Below is my final bracket projection of the season, but first, some notes:

  • I kept my 1-seeds as Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga. I understand the discussion with Duke due to their top-5o wins, but I think the number of losses they have, including the bad losses, will keep them on the 2 line. If they do move up to 1, I’ll be curious if the committee puts them their replacing North Carolina or Gonzaga. The media seems to think it will be North Carolina; I think it would be Gonzaga. I would disagree with that decision. Gonzaga deserves to be a 1 seed.
  • I see the following 12 teams battling for the final 8 spots: Xavier, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Marquette, Providence, USC, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Illinois State, Syracuse, Iowa, and Illinois. I ultimately think those first 7 will be in. So it comes down to Kansas State, Illinois State, Syracuse, Iowa, and Illinois. I think Kansas State has the best resume, but would not be surprised if any of the other 4 make it. I would be surprised if Syracuse makes it, and Iowa isn’t also included in the field. Those two teams have very similar resumes, and I would argue Iowa’s is slightly better. But I do think the Syracuse name carries weight with the committee.
  • Speaking of Illinois State, I think where Wichita State is seeded SHOULD have impact on whether or not Illinois State is included, even if I don’t think it necessarily WILL happen. Those two teams have very similar resumes. Both only have top 50 wins against each other. Both have 1 other top 100 win. They have similar RPI and SOS numbers. The biggest difference is Wichita State is ranked much higher in the analytic, predictive tools like KenPom and Sagarin. I think Wichita State’s seeding will show how much the committee is using those predictive measures. But if Wichita is seeded as a 7 or 8 seed, I’m not sure how you can keep Illinois State out of the field based on traditional RPI and SOS measures. They have very similar resumes. However, I think that is exactly what the committee will do. I think they will seed Wichita as a 7 or 8 seed and keep Illinois State out, which means the Redbirds will have a legitimate gripe (unless of course the committee finally commits to seeding using predictive, analytical measures).

Okay, here is the final bracket projection and seed list before Selection Sunday. Enjoy the night, everyone.


The Bracket

FinalBracketMarch12PNG.png


Seed List

  • 1 – Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga
  • 2 – Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, Oregon
  • 3 – Louisville, Baylor, UCLA, Florida State
  • 4 – Butler, Notre Dame, Florida, West Virginia
  • 5 – Purdue, Virginia, Iowa State, Cincinnati
  • 6 – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Creighton, SMU
  • 7 – St. Mary’s, Maryland, Michigan, Wichita State
  • 8 – Virginia Tech, Dayton, Oklahoma State, Arkansas
  • 9 – Miami (FL), VCU, South Carolina, Seton Hall
  • 10 – Middle Tennessee, Northwestern, Xavier, Michigan State
  • 11 – Vanderbilt, Marquette, Rhode Island, Providence, USC
  • 12 – Wake Forest, Kansas State, UNC Wilmington, Nevada, Vermont
  • 13 – Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell, Winthrop
  • 14 – New Mexico State, Iona, Florida Gulf Coast, Northern Kentucky
  • 15 – Kent State, Texas Southern, North Dakota, South Dakota State
  • 16 – Jacksonville State, Mount St. Mary’s, New Orleans, North Carolina Central, UC Davis, Troy
  • Last 4 Byes: Xavier, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Marquette
  • Last 4 IN: Providence, USC, Wake Forest, Kansas State
  • First 4 OUT: Illinois State, Syracuse, Iowa, Illinois

Bids by Conference

  • ACC: 9
  • Big Ten: 7
  • Big East: 7
  • Big 12: 6
  • SEC: 5
  • Pac-12: 4
  • Atlantic 10: 3
  • American: 2
  • West Coast: 2

Always check out the Bracket Matrix to see how The Nickel Dimer compares to the competition.

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Stock Up/Stock Down Report: February 17, 2014

Here’s this week’s Stock Up/Stock Down report, which you’ll notice is no longer found in the Monday Bracketology post. There’s some people who come here for strictly the bracket, and there’s some who come for extra analysis. To satisfy both of those people, we’ll let the Bracket be the main focus of the Bracketology post.

Before we get to the Stock Up/Stock Down, I want to get into one thing that I’ve heard discussed frequently about the tournament selection process for this year. I’ve been hearing three consistent thoughts on the back-end of the bubble. First, like I said in today’s Bracketology post, we keep hearing how the bubble is as weak as it has ever been this year. Is this true? I’m not entirely sure it’s possible to compare bubbles from one year to the next. The fact that it is the “bubble” implies its inherent weakness. If it was strong, the teams listed on it probably wouldn’t be bubble teams. Second, we also keep hearing how the mid-major at-large options are just not there this year. The Valley is down. The Mountain West is down. Conference USA and the CAA are long gone from having a chance at multiple bids. And third, another opinion I’ve heard is that you can’t make the tournament if you’re under .500 in conference play.

Newsflash! If the bubble is as weak as it has ever been, thoughts 2 and 3 can’t both be true. We have to find 68 teams, the tournament can’t just take place with 61 or 62. If there are no strong mid-major options to be one of the final at-large selections, then there’s going to be teams from major conferences that have poor records in conference play that make it. That includes teams like Oregon, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Georgetown, and Florida State. Some of those teams are going to make it, and they very well could be below .500 in conference play. With a weak bubble, those types of things happen. I would not be surprised to see a team make the tourney this year with a conference record of 8-10 or 7-11. We have to find 68, and a team with a 7-11 conference record might just be in that group.

Alright, no more of my mini op-eds, let’s take a look at the Stock Up/Stock Down report for this past week.

Whirling Dervish – Power Rankings January 22nd

Here’s the Whirling Dervish, the Bill Raftery inspired nickname for this site’s Power Rankings. I’ll rank the Top 25 and go a little in-depth on the Top 10, with what I deem interesting information, statistics, and/or trends about each team in that group. Most, if not all of the data, will come from the great site, Kenpom.com. Get a subscription if you don’t have one. Seriously, it’s so worth it.

Without further adieu, let’s serve the Dervish.

1. Arizona – As of writing this, it’s interesting to note that Arizona is the only team in the nation with two players in the Top 10 of Kenpom Player of the Year Standings, with Nick Johnson at 3rd and Aaron Gordon at 9th. Now, this will likely change as Pomeroy has said that the back-end of the Top 10 will constantly be in flux. But, this is one of the many reasons as to why Arizona is #1 in the country and undefeated. Not only do they play absolutely ridiculous defense, have an outstanding coach in Sean Miller, and have great balance among their top seven guys, but two of those guys are really f’in good. Sometimes we forget how important raw talent is, especially when that talent is playing as effectively and efficiently as Johnson and Gordon.

2. Syracuse(more…)