Let's get analysis from a man who basically had average performances this year. I'm pretty much on the mean for all brackets, in just about every possible way to judge. It's too bad I can't retroactively put the last 6 years on this blog; I think this was my worst year in awhile. Where did it go all wrong?
1) The 1 line. I'm surprised I'm the only one that leaned out and took Wisconsin. Clearly, the committee was full of crap when it said conference record doesn't matter. They say conference affiliation is inconsequential, yet they used arbitrary conference championships to justify Virginia, along with Michigan and Villanova as contenders, on the 1 line.
Michigan vs. Wisconsin - UM won the Big 10 by 3 games, on an imbalanced schedule. They split their 2 games this season. Wisconsin had the better SoS (#2 overall, #10 non-con; Michigan had a #83 non-con), better average win (95 vs. 109), and more top 100 wins. Michigan had more top 50 wins in its favor. Michigan had the worst loss (N-Charlotte). It's very close, but Wisconsin has the merit.
Virginia vs. Wisconsin - Wisky has the SoS checkmark, although UVA (#28 overall, #35 non-con is close). 130 average win is substantially worse, though. Only 4-4 against the top 50, 6 wins over tourney teams against Wisky's 8. Virginia can toe the line with Wisky in some categories, but the only thing Virginia has that Wisconsin doesn't is dual ACC titles against a badly imbalanced ACC schedule and a Pitt-aided conference tourney run. Wisky should get the checkmark here. AND WISCONSIN BEAT VIRGINIA ON THE ROAD.
Villanova vs. Wisconsin - Nova does get the checkmark with bad loss avoidance, but again, an average win of 137 against Wisky's 95 looks pale. SoS 34, non-con SoS 56 are solid but don't compare to Wisky. Villanova has one win (N-Kansas) over a single digit seed. Remember, the N-Iowa win evaporated. I can't make a case here.
Iowa St vs. Wisconsin - ISU's SoS is 11, average win of 107, 9 top 50 wins, 15 top 100 wins. All compare well. This might be the one team with the best case to overtake Wisky.
So there. That's my logic. If you don't like it, deal with it.
2) The selection committee hates the American. I was too high on Louisville by 1 line, Cincy by 1 line, UConn by 2 lines. I thought they would apply the eye test a bit harder in each case. Mostly, I'm ok with seeding them down, but I give credit to the committee for following through.
3) The A-10 got overvalued a bit. They got carried away with the computers, in the same vein that the Mountain West did last year. St Louis was clearly a case where they let the computer numbers guide them. If you look, they dominated head-to-head results against the top 6 of the A-10. That boosted them significantly. They probably should have looked harder at the decent but not great non-con SoS and results. They let the A-10 cannibalize itself, and rewarded them for it. This is kind of true across the board. However, if you're going to over-reward everyone, at least UMass and their 7 top 50 wins and 13 top 100 wins got a 6 seed. That's fair. And 13 road wins too!
4) North Carolina St is an awful selection. The signature win is Syracuse on a neutral, and there's @Pitt and @Tennessee. Ok, fair. Road/neutral wins. They're also 3-9 against the top 50, 6-11 against the top 100, and had a marginal non-con SoS (109). Come on. Other bubble teams had equal signature wins than N-Syracuse (Green Bay had Virginia, Cal had Arizona, SMU had Cincy, Nebraska had Wisky, etc etc), and were stronger in other aspects.
5) Green Bay probably deserved another look from me, although I wouldn't have put them in over BYU. Did you realize they had the #52 non-con, putting Wisky, Virginia, and the Great Alaska Shootout on there? At least they efforted.
6) SMU, schedule better.
7) The committee has a geography fetish. I'll save that for the next post.
8) The committee just seems to randomly put together the bottom fourth of the bracket. SFA on the 12 line? Western Michigan on the 14 line? WMU has 8 top 100 wins, you know. SFA played 1 top 100 team. At some point you have to punish EVERY team that plays a non-con in the 300s. Next year, I have to remind myself to seed those lines based on RPI, because trying to analyze them actually took me further from the committee's results and killed my score.