Sunday, February 26, 2017

2/27 S-CURVE

The 1 line:  Kansas (26-3), Villanova (27-3), Gonzaga (29-1), North Carolina (24-5)
The 2 line:  Louisville (23-6), Oregon (25-4), Kentucky (24-5), Baylor (22-6)
The 3 line:  UCLA (26-3), Arizona (26-4), Florida (23-6), Butler (23-6)
The 4 line:  Florida St (23-6), West Virginia (23-6), Duke (22-7), Purdue (23-6)
The 5 line:  Notre Dame (22-7), Minnesota (22-7), Virginia (19-9), Cincinnati (25-4)
The 6 line:  St Mary's (26-3), Creighton (21-7), SMU (25-4), Iowa St (19-9)
The 7 line:  South Carolina (20-8), Oklahoma St (19-9), Maryland (21-7), Wisconsin (22-7)
The 8 line:  Miami (20-8), Michigan St (18-11), Virginia Tech (20-8), Dayton (22-5)
The 9 line:  Northwestern (20-9), Xavier (18-11), Michigan (19-10), Arkansas (22-7)
The 10 line:  VCU (23-6), Middle Tennessee (24-4), Seton Hall (18-10), Wichita St (26-4)
The 11 line:  USC (21-8), Syracuse (17-13), Providence (18-11), Vanderbilt (16-13), California (19-9), Kansas St (17-12)
The 12 line:  Texas-Arlington (20-6), Nevada (23-6), Illinois St (24-5), UNC-Wilmington (24-5)
The 13 line:  Akron (22-6), Monmouth (26-5), East Tennessee St (22-6), Vermont (25-5)
The 14 line:  Princeton (18-6), Belmont (21-5), Bucknell (23-8), Winthrop (21-6)
The 15 line:  Oakland (22-7), South Dakota (19-10), Cal St-Bakersfield (18-7), FGCU (20-7)
The 16 line:  Texas Southern (17-11), North Dakota (15-8), New Orleans (14-10), Mount St Mary's (16-15), North Carolina Central (19-6), UC-Davis (16-11)

Bubble in:
Dayton
Northwestern
Xavier
Michigan
Arkansas
VCU

Next 4 in:
Seton Hall
Wichita St
USC
Syracuse

Last 4 in:
Providence
Vanderbilt
California
Kansas St

Last 4 out:
Marquette (17-11)
Georgia Tech (15-13)
TCU (16-12)
Wake Forest (16-12)

Next 4 out:
Illinois (16-12)
Rhode Island (19-9)
Houston (20-8)
Indiana (16-13)

NIT lines:
The 3 line:  Pittsburgh (15-14), Clemson (14-14), Tennessee (14-14), Boise St (17-9)
The 4 line:  BYU (21-10), Alabama (16-12), Utah (16-10), Georgia (16-12)
The 5 line:  Ole Miss (18-11), Ohio St (16-13), Charleston (22-8), Colorado St (18-9)
---typical bubble cutline---
The 6 line:  Richmond (17-11), Auburn (17-12), Texas Tech (17-12), Iowa (16-13)
The 7 line:  Valparaiso (23-7), New Mexico St (21-5), Central Florida (19-10), St Bonaventure (18-10)
The 8 line:  Texas A&M (15-13), Arkansas St (18-9), Fresno St (15-11), North Carolina St (15-15)

Break it down!
ACC 9
B1G 7
Big 12 6
Big East 6
SEC 5
Pac-12 5
AAC 2
A-10 2
WCC 2
MVC 2

Top 16 report

MIDWEST 33
1) Kansas @Tulsa
2) Louisville @Indianapolis
3) Florida @Orlando
4) Purdue @Milwaukee

SOUTH 34
1) North Carolina @Greenville
2) Kentucky @Indianapolis
3) UCLA @Sacramento
4) West Virginia @Buffalo

WEST 36
1) Gonzaga @Salt Lake City
2) Oregon @Sacramento
3) Butler @Milwaukee
4) Duke @Greenville

EAST 33
1) Villanova @Buffalo
2) Baylor @Tulsa
3) Arizona @Salt Lake City
4) Florida St @Orlando

2/27 BRACKET

MIDWEST
@Tulsa
1) Kansas vs. 16) New Orleans/UC-Davis
8) Miami vs. 9) Northwestern
@Milwaukee
4) Purdue vs. 13) Akron
5) Notre Dame vs. 12) Illinois St
@Orlando
3) Florida vs. 14) Princeton
6) SMU vs. 11) USC
@Indianapolis
2) Louisville vs. 15) FGCU
7) South Carolina vs. 10) Middle Tennessee

SOUTH
@Greenville
1) North Carolina vs. 16) Texas Southern
8) Michigan St vs. 9) Xavier
@Buffalo
4) West Virginia vs. 13) Monmouth
5) Virginia vs. 12) Nevada
@Sacramento
3) UCLA vs. 14) Winthrop
6) St Mary's vs. 11) Providence/Kansas St
@Indianapolis
2) Kentucky vs. 15) Oakland
7) Maryland vs. 10) VCU

WEST
@Salt Lake City
1) Gonzaga vs. 16) North Dakota
8) Dayton vs. 9) Arkansas
@Greenville
4) Duke vs. 13) East Tennessee St
5) Minnesota vs. 12) UNC-Wilmington
@Milwaukee
3) Butler vs. 14) Belmont
6) Iowa St vs. 11) Vanderbilt/California
@Sacramento
2) Oregon vs. 15) Cal St-Bakersfield
7) Oklahoma St vs. 10) Seton Hall

EAST
@Buffalo
1) Villanova vs. 16) Mount St Mary's/North Carolina Central
8) Virginia Tech vs. 9) Michigan
@Orlando
4) Florida St vs. 13) Vermont
5) Cincinnati vs. 12) Texas-Arlington
@Salt Lake City
3) Arizona vs. 14) Bucknell
6) Creighton vs. 11) Syracuse
@Tulsa
2) Baylor vs. 15) South Dakota
7) Wisconsin vs. 10) Wichita St

2/26 recap

@Louisville 88, Syracuse 68 - Syracuse.  NOT SAFE YET.  Only one game left, hosting Ga Tech.  Double bubble game!  Gotta keep the wheels on the road for that one.
@Notre Dame 64, Georgia Tech 60 - speaking of Ga Tech, here we go.  They have home to Pitt before @Syracuse...they better win that.  SU/GT likely then becomes a winner-in-loser-out game

@UCF 53, Cincinnati 49 - Cincy finally blinked.  It's going to be tough to move them to the 4 line, although they won't fall too much

@Michigan St 84, Wisconsin 74 - I wonder how people will react when Wisky and Maryland have terrible seeds in a couple weeks.  These aren't great resumes.  MSU to the lockbox?  @Illinois and @Maryland remain, they probably need 1 to feel good
Illinois 73, @Nebraska 57 - road wins are never trivial

@Arizona St 83, USC 82 - oh noooooooooooooooooooooo.  No no no no no.  This is a problem.  The profile can't absorb these kinds of things

Butler 88, @Xavier 79 - well Butler really wants a 2 seed, doesn't it?  Xavier is become a real problem here

Middle Tennessee 66, @UAB 64

NITWatch:  Houston over Memphis on the road.  Houston looks like a probable NIT team now

Patriot League conference tournament preview

This is part 3 of a 32-part series previewing every conference tournament in the country.  We'll detail what you need to keep track of in each tournament and the various stakes for each team.

Final standings:
Bucknell 15-3
Boston 12-6
Lehigh 12-6
Navy 10-8
Holy Cross 9-9
Colgate 8-10
Loyola(MD) 8-10
Army 6-12
American 5-13
Lafayette 5-13

Tournament format:
First round Tuesday February 28 among the bottom 4, higher seed hosts.  The quarterfinals Thursday March 2, hosted by higher seed.  Semis Sunday March 5, championship Wednesday March 8.  High seed hosts each game, so this tournament is a slow burn.

The matchups:
1) Bucknell vs. 8/9) Army/American
4) Navy vs. 5) Holy Cross
3) Lehigh vs. 6) Colgate
2) Boston vs. 7/10) Loyola(MD)/Lafayette

The stakes:
Patriot League is RPI 22, translates to a borderline 14/15 seed.  Kind of an average year for the league.  Bucknell has RPI 74 and a win at Vandy in its pocket, so they're likely a 14 seed (probably too many candidates for the 13 line to have a chance to sneak up).  Still, that win, plus one against Richmond, is going to be better than any team on the 15 line will be able to show.

Lehigh is RPI 114 and can probably miss Dayton if they win; everyone else is in the direct path of it though.

As far as the CBI/CIT go, Lehigh seems like a lock, and probably Boston U too.  Navy is currently .500, and will need to beat Holy Cross to be postseason-eligible in the CIT.  (Holy Cross and Loyola could theoretically get there with 2 wins, but nah).

Big South conference tournament preview

This is part 2 of a 32-part series previewing every conference tournament in the country.  We'll detail what you need to keep track of in each tournament and the various stakes for each team.

Final standings:
Winthrop 15-3
UNC-Asheville 15-3
Liberty 14-4
Gardner-Webb 11-7
High Point 9-9
Radford 8-10
Campbell 7-11
Charleston Southern 7-11
Longwood 3-15
Presbyterian 1-17

Tournament format:
First round is Tuesday February 28 for the bottom 4 seeds (higher seed hosts).  Then the quarters and semis are Thu-Fri March 2-3, hosted by the 1 seed Winthrop.  Championship Sunday March 5, hosted by the higher seed.

The matchups:
1) Winthrop vs. 8/9) Charleston Southern/Longwood
4) Gardner-Webb vs. 5) High Point
3) Liberty vs. 6) Radford
2) UNC-Asheville vs. 7/10) Campbell/Presbyterian

The stakes:
The Big South is RPI 25.  The little secret they've held this year is that their top two teams have actually good RPIs!  Winthrop sits at 21-6, RPI 78.  Asheville at 21-8 RPI 66.  Between them, they have 3 other Top 100 wins this year, although two are Furman.  So the resume isn't exactly teeming with quality wins.  Therefore, they're probably either a 14 or 15 seed (probably 14 once upsets happen in other conferences).  Still, getting to the 14 line would be a modest victory for the conference.

What might be an interesting call is Asheville and the NIT.  Winthrop has the autobid there.  Asheville would probably not make the NIT, just based on resume, but they would likely be the highest RPI team to be left out of that tournament.  But the NIT has steered away from low-majors with shiny RPIs as of late, so I think Asheville is doomed there.

If anyone else wins the conference tourney, Dayton is a likely destination.  Liberty might, might have the RPI that allows it to avoid Dayton; everyone else would be doomed.

As far as the CBI/CIT, Liberty and Gardner-Webb are over .500 and seem likely.  High Point will need one win to ensure eligibility.  Based on merit, I'd have Liberty easily in one of these, and G-W as a bubble team.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2/25 recap

A-10:
@Rhode Island 69, VCU 59 - URI was dead going in...and is still probably dead, but we'll put a pin in them and see how much bubble traffic cleared out today.  The bigger news is that VCU is NOT home free
elsewhere, in NITWatch, Richmond and Bonaventure won and maintain their bubble status

ACC:
North Carolina 85, @Pittsburgh 67
@Miami 55, Duke 50 - Miami to the lockbox, I can't see them missing from this position.  And Duke is starting to give up seed lines again, back the 4, at least
Virginia 70, @NC State 55 - more important than you think, to stabilize Virginia's seed
Florida St 76, @Clemson 74 - a useful win for bracketologists, to finally be able to bury Clemson for good
Virginia Tech 91, @Boston College 75 - I'm having a tough time seeing how VaTech will miss from this position.  We're likely up to 8 teams in the ACC Lockbox, and GT and Syracuse as the only 2 wildcards

AAC:
SMU 69, @UConn 61

Big 12:
Kansas 77, @Texas 67
@Iowa St 72, Baylor 69 - ISU to the lockbox.  Baylor to the 3....2 line.  2 line.  But things are starting to get crowded on those 2 lines
West Virginia 61, @TCU 60 - TCU only has KSU and @OU left...how are they going to get the quality wins they need?  This is a fatal blow
@Oklahoma St 80, Texas Tech 63 - OSU to the lockbox
@Oklahoma 81, Kansas St 51 - wat

Big East:
@Villanova 79, Creighton 63
@Providence 73, Marquette 69 - okay, so this Providence thing is happening
Seton Hall 82, @DePaul 79 - we kind of have a mini-mess of Big East bubble teams right now.  I'm not convinced on what the order of SHU/MU/PU should be right now...but are all 3 in?
meanwhile, Georgetown lost to St John's and has gone full clownshoes down the stretch

B1G:
@Michigan 82, Purdue 70 - there's a couple holes in the resume, but it'll be really tough for Michigan to miss at this point
Iowa 83, @Maryland 69 - Maryland is doing a lot of damage to its seed, likely down to the 8/9 range.  The good news is there's enough room between them and the bubble
@Minnesota 81, Penn St 71
@Indiana 63, Northwestern 62 - NU is NOT home free, folks.  Michigan and Purdue left, if they don't get one things get dicey

CAA:
UNC-Wilmington wins and is in the regular season clubhouse at 26-5.  I've seen crazier at-large ideas

MVC:
Wichita St 86, @Missouri St 67
Illinois St 63, @Northern Iowa 42 - sometimes, there's value in just keeping the wheels on the road

MWC:
Nevada 94, @UNLV 58 - again, like UNCW, I've seen crazier ideas.  Downballot, Boise and Colorado St won and appear set for the NIT, at least

Pac-12:
UCLA 77, @Arizona 72 - this will require some reconfiguring of the top 3 lines.  Arizona and UCLA can both occupy the 3 line now
Oregon 75, @Stanford 73

SEC:
@Kentucky 76, Florida 66 - between this and Arizona/UCLA, this is going to require a lot of fine tuning and analysis to figure out who's ahead of who
@South Carolina 82, Tennessee 55 - USC to the lockbox, and Tennessee can just get right the heck out of here with that kind of performance
@Ole Miss 80, Missouri 77 - okay, okay.  We'll let Ole Miss hang out on the bubble for awhile
@Vanderbilt 77, Mississippi St 48 - this Vandy thing is happening, folks
Arkansas 79, @Auburn 68 - road wins are never trivial
@Texas A&M 56, Alabama 53 - other people thought Alabama was a thing?
@Georgia 82, LSU 80 - Georgia has the RPI but no other profile characteristic working in its favor

Fun Belt:
UT-Arlington won, and we're going to have to continue to pay attention to this

WCC:
BYU 79, @Gonzaga 71 - the plot thickens
@St Mary's 70, Santa Clara 56

Atlantic Sun conference tournament preview

This is part 1 of a 32-part series previewing every conference tournament in the country.  We'll detail what you need to keep track of in each tournament and the various stakes for each team.

Final standings:
FGCU 12-2
Lipscomb 11-3
North Florida 8-6
USC Upstate 7-7
Kennesaw St 7-7
Jacksonville 5-9
NJIT 3-11
Stetson 3-11

Tournament format:
Quarterfinals on Monday February 27, semis on Thursday March 2, final on Sunday March 5.  The better seed hosts each game, so home court advantage is in play.

The matchups:
8) Stetson at 1) FGCU
5) Kennesaw St at 4) USC Upstate
6) Jacksonville at 3) North Florida
7) NJIT at 2) Lipscomb

The stakes:
A-Sun is the 26th ranked conference out of 32, by RPI.  That translates into a 15 seed.  FGCU has the overall RPI and profile to avoid a 16 seed, easily, and might even get to the 14 line with some help elsewhere.  FGCU actually has a Top 50 win against Texas-Arlington in its pocket which will help.  Lipscomb would be borderline with an RPI around 150 and a very pedestrian profile even for an A-Sun team.  Everyone else would be Dayton fodder.

As for the CBI/CIT tournaments, Lipscomb being 2nd in this conference and 19-12 overall, they will most likely have the option to play.  USC Upstate and Jacksonville are both 17-14 overall thanks to 4 non-D1 games; they really don't deserve the CIT by any measure but you never know these days.  Everyone else is out.