Monday, February 1, 2016

Bubble watch part 1: Big 12/SEC

Big 12


Oklahoma (18-2) (6-2) RPI 1 SoS 8
Vital signs:  8-2 R/N, non-con SoS 70, 6-2 vs. Top 50, 8-2 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  N-Villanova, Iowa St, WVU
Bad losses:  none
No real issues with this resume, and plenty of signature win chances are still coming.  If anything, the margin of error for getting the #1 overall seed might be small.

Kansas (16-4) (5-3) RPI 5 SoS 3
Vital signs:  4-4 R/N, non-con SoS 32, 6-3 vs. Top 50, 7-3 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Oklahoma, Kentucky, N-UCLA
Bad losses:  @Oklahoma St
Of possible issue is the R/N record, even though the wins include UCLA, Vandy, and SDSU.  But we’re nitpicking here.

Iowa St (16-5) (5-3) RPI 11 SoS 4
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 47, 7-4 vs. Top 50, 9-4 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa
Bad losses:  N-UNI
They’re in better shape than you think, with their quality wins.  You wish they didn’t lose to Baylor and @Texas, but wins of N-Colorado, Chattanooga, @Cincy help neutralize that.  They’ll be a protected seed, easily.

Should be in:

West Virginia (17-4) (6-2) RPI 14 SoS 40
Vital signs:  8-3 R/N, non-con SoS 130, 5-4 vs. Top 50, 6-4 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Kansas, N-SDSU, swept K-State?
Bad losses:  none
Having no bad losses means they’re safe, but it’s not the greatest resume overall.  No depth in the quality win column (3 of the top 50 wins are K-State 2x and TTU), and the non-con SoS is merely okay.  A massive slide could knock them out, and the Big 12 is capable of sending a team on one.

Baylor (16-4) (6-2) RPI 17 SoS 45
Vital signs:  3-3 R/N, non-con SoS 155, 3-4 vs. Top 50, 5-4 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  @Iowa St, Vandy and @TTU?
Bad losses:  none
Kind of a mirror situation to WVU, without the bulk road wins.  Need more depth in the quality win column, while a string of losses could be trouble down the road.

Texas (14-7) (5-3) RPI 22 SoS 6
Vital signs:  3-6 R/N, non-con SoS 4, 5-5 vs. Top 50, 7-6 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Iowa St, @WVU, UNC
Bad losses:  @TCU
Strong non-con SoS with some results of note (N-Washington, UNC, @Stanford) means the only real threat is aggregating a lot of losses down the stretch in conference play.  The road/neutral record is slightly discouraging especially since they’ve already lost on the road at TCU and TTU.  They need to get to 5 or 6 road wins to feel good.


Texas Tech (12-8) (2-6) RPI 40 SoS 7
Vital signs:  3-5 R/N, non-con SoS 46, 2-7 vs. Top 50, 3-8 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Texas, UALR, South Dakota St
Bad losses:  @Arkansas?
Well, you morons keep putting them in your bracket, so I have to address them here.  Strong SoS until you realize they gamed the system pretty well to have a good non-con SoS.  No real signature win to lean on.  Lean profile except for the RPI.  So…get them out of your bracket.  Of course, this conference does provide plenty of signature win chances, so we’ll see.

NIT watch:
Kansas St (13-8) (2-6) RPI 50 SoS 22 – I can’t even make the case for the bubble for this team, and I imagine they’ll slip below .500 eventually, but for now, they’re listed here.

No postseason:

Oklahoma St (11-10, 2-6) and TCU (10-11, 1-7) will be nowhere near the NIT/Vegas given how many losses they’re going to absorb.



Texas A&M (18-3) (7-1) RPI 12 SoS 42
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 33, 5-1 vs. Top 50, 9-3 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Iowa St, N-Texas and Gonzaga at Atlantis
Bad losses:  @Arkansas
They’re mostly rolling the SEC like they should, and are moving up mostly as a product of not losing.  There’s enough in the non-con to support a really high seed, although I wonder if the 1 line is truly attainable.  All and all, smells like a 2 seed.

Kentucky (16-5) (6-2) RPI 18 SoS 41
Vital signs:  4-5 R/N, non-con SoS 19, 2-1 vs. Top 50, 7-4 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  N-Duke, Louisville, um…
Bad losses:  @Auburn
I could be talked into dropping them a tier, and there’s some warning signs here, but probably safe for now.  Getting signature wins is going to be tough, which means there’s a ceiling for their seed at about 3 or 4.

Should be in:

South Carolina (18-2) (6-2) RPI 28 SoS 163
Vital signs:  7-2 R/N, non-con SoS 257, 0-0 vs. Top 50, 6-1 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  N-Tulsa, @Clemson
Bad losses:  @Tennessee
I’m being generous putting them here, but I’ll at least respect the overall record.  But we’ll know more once they actually play a top 50 team.


Florida (14-7) (5-3) RPI 21 SoS 11
Vital signs:  4-6 R/N, non-con SoS 3, 2-5 vs. Top 50, 5-6 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  N-St Joe’s, WVU, LSU I guess
Bad losses:  @Tennessee, FSU at home probably
The WVU win finally gave them a signature win to lean on.  The non-con SoS is great, and losses at Miami and Michigan St are forgivable.  They have your typical bubble-in resume at this moment, and the computer profile is saving them for now.  Plenty of time for them to swing either way.

LSU (13-8) (6-2) RPI 83 SoS 60
Vital signs:  2-6 R/N, non-con SoS 153, 1-3 vs. Top 50, 6-6 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Kentucky, @Vandy and Alabama?
Bad losses:  N-Marquette, Wake at home, @Charleston, blah blah blah
They are actually rallying for a reason unrelated to them:  the non-con SoS was around 250 a month ago, and their opponents are rallying in their conference play to make LSU’s number more tenable.  There’s still several marginal losses and only 1 win over a tournament team, though.  Much work to do.

Vanderbilt (12-9) (4-4) RPI 57 SoS 19
Vital signs:  3-7 R/N, non-con SoS 26, 1-7 vs. Top 50, 4-9 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Florida, N-Wake?
Bad losses:  @Arkansas probably
The only reason they get to be listed here?  Losses are acceptable.  N-Kansas, @Baylor, Dayton, @Purdue, on and on…they needed to beat 2 more of them to turn that 1-7 into a 3-5, but they’re not dead if they get on a big run.

NIT watch:
Georgia (11-8) (4-4) RPI 75 SoS 21 – No signature win to work with, so no dice.

EIEIO/Vegas watch:
Arkansas (11-10) (4-4) RPI 87 SoS 14 – The A&M win gives them a pulse, but no more thanks to the sheer quantity of losses
Ole Miss (13-8) (3-5) RPI 100 SoS 122
Alabama (11-9) (2-6) RPI 55 SoS 12 – Actually has wins over Wichita and UND and @Clemson…way too many body blows in the SEC though.

No postseason:
Auburn (9-11, 3-5), Mississippi St (9-11, 2-6), and Missouri (8-13, 1-7) are the fodder in this conference.  Tennessee (10-11, 3-5) might yet be able to fight back to .500, but I have to predict someone to fall back.

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