Monday, February 15, 2016

2/8 S-CURVE

AQ shenanigans:
SEC:  Welcome LSU to the bracket for the first time this season.  They lead the SEC and take the at-large decision off the board for now
AAC:  Temple continues to hold down this spot provisionally
Summit:  South Dakota St back to front and back in the bracket here
WCC:  Gonzaga leads by a half-game over St Mary's

The 1 line:  Oklahoma (19-3), Villanova (20-3), Xavier (21-2), Iowa (19-4)
The 2 line:  Kansas (18-4), Virginia (19-4), Oregon (19-4), North Carolina (19-4)
The 3 line:  Michigan St (20-4), Maryland (21-3), West Virginia (19-4), Miami (18-4)
The 4 line:  Iowa St (17-6), Dayton (19-3), USC (18-5), Arizona (18-5)
The 5 line:  Texas A&M (18-5), Purdue (19-5), Texas (16-7), Duke (17-6)
The 6 line:  Baylor (16-6), Kentucky (17-6), Providence (18-6), South Carolina (19-3)
The 7 line:  Indiana (19-5), Notre Dame (16-7), Utah (16-7), Pittsburgh (16-5)
The 8 line:  Colorado (16-7), Wichita St (16-6), Syracuse (16-8), Michigan (16-7)
The 9 line:  California (15-8), Florida (15-8), Seton Hall (17-6), Monmouth (18-5)
The 10 line:  Butler (16-7), Washington (15-8), Arkansas-Little Rock (19-2), Gonzaga (18-5)
The 11 line:  Cincinnati (17-7), UConn (17-6), Valparaiso (18-4), George Washington (18-5), St Joseph's (19-4)
The 12 line:  San Diego St (16-6), Florida St (16-7), VCU (17-6), Temple (14-8), Chattanooga (19-3)
The 13 line:  LSU (15-8), South Dakota St (17-5), Akron (18-4), UNC-Wilmington (16-5)
The 14 line:  UC-Irvine (16-6), Yale (14-5), Stony Brook (17-4), UAB (19-4)
The 15 line:  Tennessee Tech (15-7), New Mexico St (15-8), Montana (11-8), North Florida (15-8)
The 16 line:  UNC-Asheville (15-8), Stephen F Austin (12-5), Bucknell (12-10), Fairleigh Dickinson (11-11), Texas Southern (10-12), South Carolina St (11-11)

Bubble in:
Syracuse
Michigan
California
Florida
Seton Hall
Monmouth***

Next 4 in:
Butler
Washington
Arkansas-Little Rock***
Gonzaga***
Cincinnati
UConn
Valparaiso***

Last 4 in:
George Washington
St Joseph's
San Diego St***
Florida St
VCU

Last 4 out:
Clemson (14-9)
St Mary's (18-3)
Wisconsin (14-9)
Temple***
Oregon St (13-8)

Next 4 out:
UCLA (13-10)
Chattanooga***
LSU***
St Bonaventure (15-6)
Vanderbilt (13-10)
Georgetown (13-11)

The consideration board:
Every year, there is always a team that comes out of nowhere for an at-large bid.  It makes no sense to say any of these teams will get an at-large in early February, but surely, one of these teams always rises and rallies.  Here is my list for the 2016 season:
Texas Tech (13-9), Kansas St (14-9), Arizona St (13-11), Stanford (10-10), Virginia Tech (13-11), Creighton (15-9), Georgia (13-8), Alabama (13-9), Ohio St (14-10), Davidson (12-8), Tulsa (15-8), William & Mary (15-6), Boise St (14-8), BYU (16-8)

Break it down!
ACC 8
Pac-12 7
B1G 6
Big 12 6
SEC 5
Big East 5
A-10 4
AAC 3

Monday, February 8, 2016

2/8 recap

@Oklahoma 63, Texas 60 - status quo for both
@Duke 72, Louisville 65 - should help the seed a bit
Chattanooga 72, @Mercer 66 (OT)
@Georgetown 92, St John's 67
Notre Dame 89, @Clemson 83 - a quality win for UND.  A bigger deal of a loss for Clemson, whose valuable home wins are becoming less important with every overall loss they suffer

2/8 Bracket analysis

The time has come to start breaking down the S-Curve in greater detail.

1) It feels like we have 2 borderline 1 seeds (Oklahoma, Nova), and 9 2 seeds this year.  I count 11 teams who have a legitimate claim to the top 2 lines.  Right now, the Big 10 having a bad overall year is costing Michigan St and Maryland.  They have legitimate complaints about not being on the 2 line, but my only retort is:  in place of whom?  I don't think I can take Oregon or UNC out right now.

2) While the 3 line is strong, the 4 line is weak.  I'm not completely sold on either USC or Arizona on the 4 line, but I'm not a fan of the other options.  I'm assuming a SEC team (A&M or Kentucky) will play their way back in there, or Duke or Providence.  But for now, I'm keeping them out of protected seeding.

3) The 8 line is about where the bubble starts.  Everyone from about the 5 line to the 8 line are somewhat interchangeable and are probably at least 3 losses away from the cutline.  Once you get near the end of the 8 line and to the 9-11 lines...those lines are very very weak right now.  In many years teams on the 10 line would be on the wrong side of the bubble.  I expect the bubble to firm up a bit as teams play their way in, but for the moment, it's very weak.  Monmouth has a 9 seed, I keep waiting for their inevitable slide, but there's just no teams out there that can pass them right now.  Ditto UALR and the 10 line.

4) This might be a record for conference leaders hanging around the bubble.  VCU, Temple, San Diego St, Chattanooga, Monmouth, Valpo, UALR, Gonzaga.  All are in various states of bubble right now, and all might or might not be bid poachers if they need an at-large.  The commitee is going to have an interesting time coming to a consensus with regards to what resume features they enjoy.  If they like road wins?  Monmouth/UALR/Chattanooga bump.  Tough schedules?  VCU/Gonzaga/SDSU.  Best wins?  Monmouth/Temple.  The committee has a lot of directions to go in at the moment.

2/8 BRACKET

SOUTH
@Oklahoma City
1) Oklahoma (19-3) vs. 16) Texas Southern (10-12)/South Carolina St (11-11)
8) Colorado (16-7) vs. 9) Seton Hall (17-6)
@Spokane
4) USC (18-5) vs. 13) Akron (18-4)
5) Purdue (19-5) vs. 12) Chattanooga (19-3)
@Brooklyn
3) Maryland (21-3) vs. 14) Yale (14-5)
6) Providence (18-6) vs. 11) Cincinnati (17-7)
@Raleigh
2) North Carolina (19-4) vs. 15) Tennessee Tech (15-7)
7) Utah (16-7) vs. 10) Arkansas-Little Rock (19-2)

WEST
@Des Moines
1) Iowa (19-4) vs. 16) Stephen F Austin (12-5)
8) Syracuse (16-8) vs. 9) California (15-8)
@Denver
4) Iowa St (17-6) vs. 13) LSU (15-8)
5) Duke (17-6) vs. 12) San Diego St (16-6)
@Oklahoma City
3) Miami (18-4) vs. 14) UC-Irvine (16-6)
6) Baylor (16-6) vs. 11) Valparaiso (18-4)
@Spokane
2) Oregon (19-4) vs. 15) Montana (11-8)
7) Pittsburgh (16-5) vs. 10) Gonzaga (18-5)

MIDWEST
@St Louis
1) Xavier (21-2) vs. 16) UNC-Asheville (15-8)
8) Wichita St (16-6) vs. 9) Florida (15-8)
@Denver
4) Arizona (18-5) vs. 13) South Dakota St (17-5)
5) Texas A&M (18-5) vs. 12) Temple (14-8)
@St Louis
3) Michigan St (20-4) vs. 14) UAB (19-4)
6) Kentucky (17-6) vs. 11) George Washington (18-5)/St Joseph's (19-4)
@Des Moines
2) Kansas (18-4) vs. 15) New Mexico St (15-8)
7) Notre Dame (16-7) vs. 10) Butler (16-7)

EAST
@Brooklyn
1) Villanova (20-3) vs. 16) Bucknell (12-10)/Fairleigh Dickinson (11-11)
8) Michigan (16-7) vs. 9) Monmouth (18-5)
@Providence
4) Dayton (19-3) vs. 13) UNC-Wilmington (16-5)
5) Texas (16-7) vs. 12) Florida St (16-7)/VCU (17-6)
@Providence
3) West Virginia (19-4) vs. 14) Stony Brook (17-4)
6) South Carolina (19-3) vs. 11) UConn (17-6)
@Raleigh
2) Virginia (19-4) vs. 15) North Florida (15-8)
7) Indiana (19-5) vs. 10) Washington (15-8)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

2/7 recap

Iowa 77, @Illinois 65 - God forbid, we're going to be dealing with Iowa on the 1 line for real?
SMU 92, @South Florida 58
@Oregon 76, Utah 66 - everyone should be putting Oregon on the 2 line now
Miami 75, @Georgia Tech 68
@UConn 85, East Carolina 67
@St Bonaventure 65, St Louis 62
@Tulsa 77, Houston 63

2/6 recap

Big 12:
@Kansas St 80, Oklahoma 69 - OU is still on the 1 line; them and Xavier and Villanova are a debate.  That head-to-head victory over Nova is the difference for now, but you could almost argue them in any order.  As for Kansas St, they were irrelevant and now?  STILL IRRELEVANT
Kansas 75, @TCU 56
Iowa St 64, @Oklahoma St 59
@West Virginia 80, Baylor 69 - status quo result
@Texas 69, Texas Tech 59 - 18 brackets still project Texas Tech in the field of 68.  WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY

ACC:
@Notre Dame 80, North Carolina 76 - UNC's resume doesn't support the eye test of having them on the 1 line.  Notre Dame now on the verge of the lockbox
@Virginia 64, Pittsburgh 50 - quality road wins matter
@Louisville 79, Boston College 47
Florida St 91, @Wake Forest 71 - road wins are never trivial on the bubble and I can't believe I'm saying it, but FSU is a legitimate player now
@Duke 88, NC State 80
@Virginia Tech 60, Clemson 57 - eh, crap.  Clemson got a couple of the roadies they needed to win, but drop this one.  Can't drop too many more of these

Big East:
Villanova 72, @Providence 60 - quality road wins matter
@Xavier 90, Marquette 82
@Creighton 88, DePaul 66
Butler 89, @St John's 56
@Seton Hall 69, Georgetown 61 - GU can't afford to lose these types of games.  Neither can SHU, for that matter

B1G:
@Maryland 72, Purdue 61 - status quo for both; well Maryland might tick up a seed line
Michigan St 89, @Michigan 73 - status quo for both as well
@Penn St 68, Indiana 63 - just when Indiana was on the brink of the lockbox.  This hurts, but it's certainly not fatal
@Nebraska 87, Rutgers 63

Pac-12
Arizona 77, @Washington 72 - kinda important for Zona to get some quality road wins on the ledger.  This doesn't necessarily hurt UW, but this was a golden chance to get a bit clear of the bubble for the moment
@California 76, Stanford 61 - Stanford's probably reached critical mass
Arizona St 67, @Washington St 55
@Oregon St 60, Colorado 56 - this was the type of game that's mandatory for OSU's chances...this hurts Colorado a bit but they're not on the bubble yet

SEC:
South Carolina 81, @Texas A&M 78 - USC finally solves its signature win issue and is a lot safer today than yesterday.  A&M, meanwhile, doesn't have the type of profile that can absorb too many losses like this and stay as high as they've been
@Kentucky 80, Florida 61
@Alabama 80, Missouri 71
@Georgia 65, Auburn 55
@LSU 88, Mississippi St 77
@Arkansas 85, Tennessee 67
@Ole Miss 85, Vanderbilt 78 - I know road wins are tough but Vandy's margin of error here is small

A-10:
Dayton 98, @George Mason 64
George Washington 72, @VCU 69 - an extremely critical road win for a team that was trending down.  GW back in the field.  VCU?  They kinda need that quality win.  I'm not sure why everyone else is higher on them than me; this is a legit bubble team.  Ignore the name value and look at the resume
Davidson 93, @Duquesne 82
St Joseph's 82, @Fordham 60

AAC:
Temple 62, @Central Florida 60 - no choice for Temple but to win all these types of games
@Memphis 63, Cincinnati 59 - whatever, AAC.  I quit you

MVC:
@Illinois St 58, Wichita St 53 - everyone gets one conference mulligan; here's Wichita's

MWC:
@Air Force 61, Boise St 53 - my goodness, Boise
@San Diego St 78, New Mexico 71 (OT)

WCC:
Pacific 77, @BYU 72 - just a catastrophic loss
St Mary's 60, @San Diego 43
Gonzaga 69, @Pepperdine 63

miscellaneous:
Valparaiso 73, @UIC 55
@Chattanooga 62, Furman 54
@Arkansas-Little Rock 74, South Alabama 43
William & Mary won again...I wonder how many people are going to get fooled by their top 30 RPI here

Friday, February 5, 2016

2/5 recap

IvyWatch:
Yale beats Columbia at home and is on 5-0, 1 game ahead.  Princeton lurks at 3-1

@Monmouth 91, Fairfield 67 - Siena and Iona also won, staying within shouting distance in the conference race

MAC:  Akron won at home, up to 8-2 in conference