Here’s this week’s Stock Up/Stock Down report, which, as a reminder, you’ll notice is no longer found in the Monday Bracketology post.
Before we get into the stock outlook, let’s talk a little bit about conference tournaments. As we’re sitting here on February 24th, checking out projected brackets from around the web daily, if not hourly, I think we tend to forget the importance of conference tournaments. Not only do we forget the importance of bubble teams picking up big wins in these tournaments, which helps solidify their selection into The Big Dance. But even more importantly, we forget about the bids that get stolen. Bid aren’t just stolen from “mid-major” leagues, but also if a team outside of the bubble looking in picks up a few wins to find their way into the dance, a “power” conference tournament can have a major impact as well.
Take a look at the last three seasons to see bids that were stolen before Selection Sunday.
2013: Oregon and Ole Miss ended up stealing bids by winning their conference tournaments.
2012: St. Bonaventure’s stole a bid and based on where they ended up seeded as an 11-seed, it’s possible/likely that Colorado did as well.
2011: Memphis and Richmond were both given 12-seeds after winning their conference tournaments. It’s very likely these were two bid stealers as well.
That’s only the last three seasons, but just remember those teams when you’re checking out projected brackets in these last few weeks before Selection Sunday. This year, the Missouri Valley and Mountain West conference tournaments are flashing a “POTENTIAL BID STEALER” light in bright red right now. And (more…)
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.