Monday, November 30, 2015

11/13 S-CURVE

There's some tweaking from the October S-Curve, but it's mostly the same as before.

The 1 line:  North Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky, Kansas
The 2 line:  Arizona, Villanova, Wichita St, Duke
The 3 line:  Indiana, Gonzaga, Oklahoma, California
The 4 line:  Iowa St, Michigan St, Virginia, Georgetown
The 5 line:  Baylor, Louisville, San Diego St, Purdue,
The 6 line:  LSU, Rhode Island, Xavier, Notre Dame
The 7 line:  Wisconsin, Utah, Vanderbilt, UConn
The 8 line:  Cincinnati, Michigan, Dayton, Butler
The 9 line:  Boise St, Texas A&M, Oregon, Providence
The 10 line:  Valparaiso, Texas, North Carolina St, Northern Iowa
The 11 line:  Ohio St, Davidson, Central Michigan, Tulsa
The 12 line:  Oregon St, Florida, Florida St, UCLA, Marquette, Old Dominion
The 13 line:  Iona, Belmont, Columbia, Montana
The 14 line:  Hofstra, UC Irvine, North Florida, Stephen F Austin
The 15 line:  Louisiana-Lafayette, Wofford, South Dakota St, Stony Brook
The 16 line:  New Mexico St, Robert Morris, High Point, Lehigh, North Carolina Central, Texas Southern

Bubble in:
Texas A&M
Valparaiso *in as automatic bid
North Carolina St
Northern Iowa

Next 4 in:
Ohio St
Central Michigan *in as automatic bid
Oregon St

Last 4 in:
Florida St

Last 4 out:
Old Dominion *in as automatic bid
West Virginia

Next 4 out:
Mississippi St

Bubble inception (we have to go deeper):
Illinois St
Utah St
Oklahoma St

edit after the fact:  oops.  First version of this post had Akron up in the bracket, second version has them out, and the Matrix picked up the first version.  No biggie.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Early-season tournament preview, part III: Thanksgiving weekend

You know how we do.

Battle 4 Atlantis
Nov 25-27
8 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Gonzaga vs. Washington
Texas A&M vs. Texas
Syracuse vs. Charlotte
Michigan vs. UConn
The stakes:  This is the one field where it's not completely awful if you're in the losers bracket.  Almost everyone is a quality win chance.  The best team is probably Gonzaga, but as long as they beat Washington, a loss won't harm them too badly.  Charlotte might (and I stress might) be the only weak link here, so the loser of Michigan/UConn won't be too happy.  Just sit back and enjoy.

Great Alaska Shootout
Nov 25-28
8 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
San Jose St vs. Toledo
San Diego vs. Loyola(Chi)
Middle Tennessee vs. Alaska-Anchorage
Drexel vs. UNC-Asheville
The stakes:  Man, what happened to this tournament?  The winner will get 3 neutral site wins over not-terrible teams...yippee.  Meh.

Advocare Invitational
Nov 26, 27, 29
8 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Alabama vs. Xavier
Wichita St vs. USC
Notre Dame vs. Monmouth
Iowa vs. Dayton
The stakes:  Sneaky good field.  And sneaky competent teams.  Even among the lightweights, USC beat New Mexico and Monmouth won at UCLA and Drexel.  Iowa/Dayton is incredibly high stakes - the losers bracket won't be terrible, but there's a lot of resume value in the winners bracket in this tournament.  Both fancy themselves as tournament teams, so winning this first game is critical.  And Notre Dame can't sleep on Monmouth.  And what an opportunity for Alabama, because they need all the at-large help they can get.  Xavier can't afford to lose that either, as a probable bubble team.  And Monmouth with a chance to really leap in the at-large convo.  Remember they're in the MAAC, who has occasionally been good enough to support an at-large bid for their best team.  Meanwhile, Wichita needs some resume help to erase a loss to Tulsa.  This is by far the most impactful tournament this year.

Wooden Legacy
Nov 26, 27, 29
8 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
UC Irvine vs. Boise St
Boston College vs. Michigan St
Evansville vs. Providence
Santa Clara vs. Arizona
The stakes:  Well, there's a clear top 4 and bottom 4, and we know the top 4 teams must hold in the quarters.  That's self-explanatory.  Evansville is maybe the one team who can upset the apple cart.  Once we're past those, Arizona/Michigan St seem on a collision course for a signature win chance at each other...both Boise and Providence will have obvious chances to get that signature win for themselves.

NIT Season Tip-Off
Nov 26-27
4 teams in your standard format (wait, just 4?  Man have times changed for this tourney)
The matchups:
Arkansas vs. Georgia Tech
Stanford vs. Villanova
The stakes:  Yawn.  Villanova has to roll twice and can't afford anything less.

Las Vegas Invitational
Nov 26-27
4 teams in your standard format:
The matchups:
West Virginia vs. Richmond
California vs. San Diego St
The stakes:  The best two teams ended up on the same side of the draw.  Kind of works out well for resume impact, in that a loss isn't as harmful as normal and you get your guaranteed shot at the best possible win.  We'll see if either WVU or Richmond matter in March.

Emerald Coast Classic
Nov 27-28
4 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Iowa St vs. Virginia Tech
Illinois vs. UAB
The stakes:  Iowa St should feel great shame if they don't win twice.  UAB must beat UI to feel even remotely confident they can make an at-large run.

Corpus Christi
Nov 27-28
4 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Southern Illinois vs. UTEP
Colorado St vs. Portland
The stakes:  No impact, really, unless one of these teams surprises us with an at-large run.

Barclays Center Classic
Nov 27-28
4 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Cincinnati vs. Nebraska
George Washington vs. Tennessee
The stakes:  I think Cincy and GW are the best teams, and I think Nebraska and Tennessee are most likely to slip into the lower division in their conferences.  The stakes should be obvious to infer from that.

11/25 preview

Man, tons of tournament games everywhere:

Maui finals:  Kansas/Vandy (Wake/UCLA is the undercard)
Gulf Coast finals:  Murray St/Weber St
Cancun:  Maryland/Rhode Island

and the new tournaments starting:  Battle 4 Atlantis is the obvious highlight.

Yale at Duke, High Point at Georgia, Georgia St at Ole Miss.  Feels like an upset somewhere is brewing.
Montana at North Dakota St - really good low-major matchup

11/24 recap

Legends Classic:
Marquette 78, Arizona 73 (OT) - that was nearly catastrophic for Marquette
NC State 83, LSU 72 (OT) - just a catastrophic result for LSU.  Their schedule is already down and they take the collar against NCSU and Marquette.  Legitimate at-large bid trouble now

Maui Invitational:
Kansas 92, UCLA 73
Vanderbilt 86, Wake Forest 64 - this is probably the correct title matchup:  Kansas/Vandy
Indiana 83, St John's 73 - but the damage was already done
and obviously UNLV beat Chaminade

Cancun Challenge:
Maryland 77, Illinois St 66
Rhode Island 66, TCU 60 - this tournament goes to form so far

CBE Hall of Fame Classic:
North Carolina 80, Kansas St 70 - UNC handles business it's supposed to
Northwestern 67, Missouri 62 - important hold for NW
in the consy:  Columbia 70, Wofford 59, Wofford officially off the at-large board

Gulf Coast Showcase:
Murray St 59, Pepperdine 55 - bracket didn't break Pepperdine's way, because beating Duquesne and Drake (upcoming) won't help them, and this obviously doesn't either
Weber St 74, Drake 58 - Murray/Weber is the title game here
Western Kentucky 88, Central Michigan 60 - officially hopping off the CMU bandwagon, by the way

Signature win of the day:
Valparaiso 63, @Oregon St 57 - yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Other notable scores:
Radford 86, @Penn St 74
Louisiana Tech 82, @Ohio St 74 - La Tech has 2 quality wins now (including UTA).  Keep an eye out
@Green Bay 66, Akron 63
@St Louis 70, North Florida 57
@Colorado St 108, Abilene Christian 100 (2OT) - remember, CSU has a win over UNI in the hopper

Cupcake winners:  Kentucky, Oklahoma, Cincy, George Washington, Tennessee, Louisville, Nebraska

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

11/24 preview

Tons of tournaments, I can't even name them all:

LSU vs. NC State in the Legends Classic, LSU all of a sudden really need to hold this game.  Marquette/Arizona St is your "title" game here

In Cancun, we have TCU/URI and Maryland/Illinois St.  You know which 2 teams should win.

Gulf Coast semis - CMU and WKU in the losers bracket, interesting.  Pepperdine and Murray St in the semis, very interesting, and the winner should handle the Drake/Weber St winner.  Important 2 game stretch for Pepperdine now.

CBE Hall of Fame Classic - the most interesting game is in the JV bracket with Wofford and Columbia.  Northwestern/Mizzou and K-State/UNC in 2 games you shouldn't care about.

In Maui, Vandy should beat Wake.  Indiana is stuck with St John's.  Kansas/UCLA is probably the game of the day.

In non-tournaments:
Valparaiso at Oregon St - still a bit of a house money chance for Valpo.  One loss at Oregon, one road win at URI.  I'd like to see them add some cushion to their at-large resume, though.

11/23 recap

Legends Classic:
Marquette 81, LSU 80 - horrible loss for LSU because their schedule doesn't have many of these chances left
Arizona St 79, NC State 76 - and not a good look for NCSU either

Kansas 123, Chaminade 72
Wake Forest 82, Indiana 78 - and there's your catastrophic loss.  Wrong side of the bracket, and Indiana will leave Maui with zero quality opponents added to the sked
Vanderbilt 92, St John's 55
UCLA 77, UNLV 75

CBE HoF Classic:
North Carolina 80, Northwestern 69
Kansas St 66, Missouri 42

Paradise Jam:
Florida St 90, Ohio 81
Indiana St 67, Hofstra 66 - probably fatal to their fledgling at-large hopes
South Carolina 83, Tulsa 75 - and USC wins the tourney and leaves with a useful win.  Tulsa had wiggle room thanks to Wichita, but you'd rather not spend some of it on a team like this

Gulf Coast:
Murray St 66, Milwaukee 63
Drake 81, Western Kentucky 79 (OT)
Weber St 63, Central Michigan 60 - a catastrophic loss for the MAC.  CMU needed the SoS help of being in the winners' side of the bracket, if nothing else
Pepperdine 84, Duquesne 70

Men who speak up:
UMass 82, Clemson 65
Creighton 85, Rutgers 75

@Iowa St 83, Chattanooga 63
@Providence 83, NJIT 76
@Davidson 77, Mercer 71
UT-Arlington 68, @Memphis 64 - notable:  UTA has won at Ohio St and Memphis back-to-back

Cupcake winners:  Michigan St, Cal, Xavier, West Virginia, Illinois, Baylor, Boise St, SDSU

Monday, November 23, 2015

Early-season tournament preview, part II: Thanksgiving week

This will cover everything starting Monday and Tuesday.

Gulf Coast Showcase
Nov 23-25
8 teams in your standard format
Milwaukee vs. Murray St
Duquesne vs. Pepperdine
Drake vs. Western Kentucky
Weber St vs. Central Michigan
The stakes:  Fairly low, although a couple good mid-majors are lurking in here.  Pepperdine is everyone's favorite darkhorse, and with this field, they'd need to win this to make those people feel good.  Weber and Murray are competent teams, but there's no golden goose in here that will qualify as a signature win for any of these teams.  So the stakes are simple - the winner gets 3 neutral-site wins which the committee will like but not fawn over.

Maui Invitational
Nov 23-25
8 teams in your standard format
St John's vs. Vanderbilt
Wake Forest vs. Indiana
Kansas vs. Chaminade
The stakes:  Well, there's a clear top 4 and bottom 4 in this field.  So first things first: Vandy/Indiana and Kansas/UCLA need to handle their business.  After's both high stakes and no stakes.  All are in power conferences; all will have many signature win chances, so this isn't a make or break trip for any of the 4.  This is more about bad loss avoidance than anything else.  Low stress tournament, surprisingly.

Legends Classic
Nov 23-24
4 teams in your standard format
LSU vs. Marquette
NC State vs. Arizona St
The stakes:  Frankly, LSU is a tier above everyone else and needs to handle their business.  LSU's non-con SoS is frankly terrible, so these are two very very very important games for them.  Must handle.  Marquette and NC State definitely could use a boost, and this represents a solid chance to get a jump on the process.  ASU is a lost cause.  Also, Belmont/IUPUI is possible in the JV bracket.

Men Who Speak Up Main Event
Nov 23, 25
4 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Clemson vs. UMass
Creighton vs. Rutgers
The stakes:  The names are shiny.  The caliber isn't.  I don't think 2 wins helps anyone here.

CBE Hall of Fame Classic
Nov 23-24
4 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Kansas St vs. Missouri
North Carolina vs. Northwestern
The stakes:  Actually a poor setup for UNC.  They're getting nothing of value here.  Northwestern, assuming they lose, which would be fine, then needs to win that second game, no matter what.  Also note we've got Wofford at Columbia in the JV bracket, which is infinitely more interesting than the main bracket.

Cancun Challenge
Nov 24-25
4 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
TCU vs. Rhode Island
Maryland vs. Illinois St
The stakes:  Assuming URI and Maryland wins the games they're supposed to, it'll be a chance at a solid win for Maryland and a signature win for URI.  Standard stuff.  I don't see the other two teams as at-large threats for the time being, so we'll see if they change my mind.