Friday, January 19, 2018

1/20 BRACKET

For entertainment purposes only.

EAST 36
@Pittsburgh
1) Villanova vs. 16) FGCU/North Carolina A&T
8) Michigan vs. 9) Florida St
@Boise
4) Cincinnati vs. 13) Louisiana
5) Ohio St vs. 12) Buffalo
@Dallas
3) Clemson vs. 14) Belmont
6) TCU vs. 11) Alabama
@Wichita
2) Oklahoma vs. 15) Bucknell
7) Miami vs. 10) Texas A&M

WEST 33
@Detroit
1) Purdue vs. 16) Robert Morris
8) St Mary's vs. 9) Missouri
@Dallas
4) Texas Tech vs. 13) Hofstra
5) Wichita St vs. 12) Western Kentucky
@San Diego
3) Arizona vs. 14) Cal St-Fullerton
6) Creighton vs. 11) Syracuse
@Nashville
2) North Carolina vs. 15) Penn
7) Nevada vs. 10) Marquette

MIDWEST 33
@Charlotte
1) Duke vs. 16) Radford
8) Florida vs. 9) Butler
@Boise
4) Michigan St vs. 13) South Dakota St
5) Tennessee vs. 12) Missouri St
@Nashville
3) Auburn vs. 14) Wright St
6) Arizona St vs. 11) Providence/UCLA*
@Wichita
2) Kansas vs. 15) Montana
7) Gonzaga vs. 10) SMU

SOUTH 33
@Charlotte
1) Virginia vs. 16) Nicholls St/Jackson St
8) Texas vs. 9) Arkansas
@San Diego
4) Kentucky vs. 13) East Tennessee St
5) Rhode Island vs. 12) New Mexico St
@Pittsburgh
3) West Virginia vs. 14) Vermont
6) Seton Hall vs. 11) Notre Dame/Maryland
@Detroit
2) Xavier vs. 15) Canisius
7) Louisville vs. 10) Boise St

1/20 S-CURVE

First longform S-Curve of the year.  Some things to watch:

1) Pressure point #1:  the last 1 seed.  If I'm betting, I think we'll see 4 conference champs of the 4 best conferences be 1 seeds in March (with Purdue subbing in for the SEC champ as it's unlikely we'll get separation in that conference).  This should mean one of Kansas or Oklahoma get there at the expense of either Virginia or Duke (just too many ACC losses are likely for one or both).
2) Pressure point #2:  the 3 line.  I've promoted Auburn and Clemson, as their seeds start to catch up with their resume.  Plus Auburn has a fighting chance at a SEC title.  I would expect a lot of movement the next few weeks though.
3) Pressure point #3:  URI and Nevada.  Conference champs, maybe even dominant ones.  If they do their job, the committee has shown they'll give a modest bump to such teams.  Also watch St Mary's under this clause.
4) And finally, the 7 line.  Ew.  It feels like the bubble starts around the end of this line.  I don't hvae a good feel for how the teams are seeded in the 8-10 range yet.

Specific team/conference thoughts:
- The committee has never liked the AAC.  Cincy and Wichita fans can direct their seed complaints thataway for now.
- WVU and TTU have significant OOC SoS issues, and it could cost the conference
- Creighton's in that same SoS boat, by the way
- Scheduling up is one big key to getting an at-large bid as a mid-major.  Buffalo and Middle Tennessee aced this part.  But you gotta win one.  I'm not even asking for multiple.  Just one.  Gotta get on the board so you have a bargaining chip.  These two teams will feel the pain of that.

The 1 line:  Villanova, Virginia, Duke, Purdue
The 2 line:  Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Xavier
The 3 line:  West Virginia, Arizona, Auburn, Clemson
The 4 line:  Texas Tech, Michigan St, Kentucky, Cincinnati
The 5 line:  Wichita St, Ohio St, Tennessee, Rhode Island
The 6 line:  TCU, Creighton, Seton Hall, Arizona St
The 7 line:  Miami, Gonzaga, Nevada, Louisville
The 8 line:  Florida, Michigan, Texas, St Mary's
The 9 line:  Butler, Florida St, Arkansas, Missouri
The 10 line:  Marquette, Boise St, Texas A&M, SMU
The 11 line:  Alabama, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Providence, Maryland, UCLA
The 12 line:  Western Kentucky, New Mexico St, Buffalo, Missouri St
The 13 line:  Hofstra, South Dakota St, East Tennessee St, Louisiana
The 14 line:  Wright St, Vermont, Belmont, Cal St-Fullerton
The 15 line:  Canisius, Montana, Penn, Bucknell
The 16 line:  Radford, Robert Morris, FGCU, Nicholls St, North Carolina A&T, Jackson St

Next 4 in:
Texas A&M
SMU
Alabama
Syracuse

Last 4 in:
Notre Dame
Providence
Maryland
Western Kentucky*
UCLA

Last 4 out:
Middle Tennessee
Houston
New Mexico St*
USC
St Bonaventure

Next 4 out:
South Carolina
Georgia
Colorado
Buffalo*
Missouri St*
Kansas St

Bubble inception:  WE NEED TO GO DEEPER
Nebraska
Baylor
Virginia Tech
Minnesota
BYU
Washington
Utah
Central Florida
Loyola(Chi)
Stanford
North Carolina St
BYU
Oregon
LSU
---the NIT bubble traditionally falls around this spot---
San Diego St
Memphis
Oklahoma St
Mississippi St

likely CBI/CIT candidates emerging (many current projected autobids fall into this category as well):
Fresno St
William & Mary
Northeastern
Towson
Toledo
Ball St
South Dakota
Old Dominion
Utah Valley
Wofford
UC Davis
Northern Kentucky

still not incredibly listed because of the most ridiculous non-con resume I've seen in my lifetime:
Georgetown


Break it down!:
ACC 9
SEC 8
Big East 7
Big 12 6
B1G 5
Pac-12 3
AAC 3
MWC 2
WCC 2

1/19 recap

catastrophic loss of the day:
@Davidson 83, St Bonaventure 73 - we're putting the A-10 on DEFCON1; they're a URI collapse from DEFCON 0.  This has turned into the biggest collapse by a top 8 conference in history, and that includes some pretty terrible recent SEC and Pac-12s.

@Michigan St 85, Indiana 57
@Wisconsin 75, Illinois 50 - Wisconsin is mid-pack in this conference.  This is a problem

miscellany:
Iona and Canisius with road wins are now at dual 6-1s to co-lead the MAAC.  Too bad they're trapped down at 18th in the CRPI.
Buffalo wins at WMU and looks legitimately good

1/18 recap

ACC:
Virginia 64, @Georgia Tech 48
@NC State 72, Wake Forest 63

Pac-12:
@Colorado 82, Washington St 73 - CU is gonna have a chance to stack some wins and be in the bubble conversation...
USC 75, @Oregon 70 - road wins are never trivial
@Utah 70, Washington 62
@Oregon St 69, UCLA 63 - oof

B1G:
@Nebraska 72, Michigan 52 - Nebraska has been teetering in this weird place between relevant and irrelevant.  Not good enough to be a bubble team, but good enough to get results like these that force me to pay attention to them.  Keep an eye on them the next month or so just in case
@Maryland 77, Minnesota 66 - service hold

WCC:
St Mary's 74, @Gonzaga 71 - a signature win and all of a sudden, St Mary's resume looks a lot better
@BYU 82, Loyola Marymount 67 -

miscellany:
@Belmont 79, Murray St 72 - Belmont grabs early control of the OVC
East Tennessee St 62, @Furman 61 - feels like ETSU is on the way to the SoCon title
@Marshall 73, Middle Tennessee 63 - ooh, that's a slip-up.  That doesn't hurt that badly for the raw resume, but the margin of error has gone way down on future games

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A quick word on selection committee reform

Here, glance at this first:

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/22144913/ncaa-says-year-test-run-new-evaluation-system

Not many new details, but just an acknowledgement that change is being discussed.  Two points of legitimate concern are in the details, though.

1) Should ESPN (or any other prominent media member/partner) have their metric included in this?  Conflict of interest is extraordinary high, even if the formula is known and independent.

2) Some of the metrics are predictive of future results, while others attempt to quantify only results that have already happened.  You just can't blend the two together.  In order to have a useful composite, the data you're including needs to be of the same format (using the same data) and needs to have a common goal.

The NCAA has said in the past they review resumes and try to prevent projecting out what happens in a bracket.  Some of these metrics are designed with the specific goal of projection.  If the NCAA wants to use these, fine, but it must acknowledge the change in the selection process publicly.

Two things to think about as discussion continues.

1/17 recap

Big East:
Villanova 88, @Georgetown 56
@Xavier 88, St John's 82
@Creighton 80, Seton Hall 63

Big 12:
@Texas 67, Texas Tech 58 - regression to the mean coming
@TCU 96, Iowa St 73

SEC:
@Alabama 76, Auburn 71 - Auburn had done well to avoid losses to this point, so this won't hurt.  Bigger news is Alabama is back within hailing distance of the bubble
@Missouri 59, Tennessee 55 - another bubble team with an important service hold at home
@Florida 88, Arkansas 73 - between two bubble-ish teams, status quo for both

B1G:
Ohio St 71, @Northwestern 65 - a very important loss avoidance game for OSU, they're stacking up a resume that can now sustain a bit of damage later on
@Rutgers 80, Iowa 64

Pac-12:
Arizona 79, @California 58 - road wins are never trivial...
@Stanford 86, Arizona St 77 - because of this.  Meanwhile, a marginal Stanford team is 5-1 in the conference and is basically ruining everything for the conference.  Having a team that tanked in the non-con leading the charge is pretty damaging

AAC:
SMU 83, @Wichita St 78 - there's a Group 0 win as I like to say, and an immediate elixir to SMU's bubble problems
@Temple 59, Tulsa 58
@Tulane 81, Houston 72 - ooh, that's going to take some margin of error away from UH in the future

A-10:
@Rhode Island 73, UMass 51

MVC:
@Missouri St 64, Valparaiso 57 - Drake finally lost again, so MSU and Loyola are in a share of the lead.  Still can't imagine either get near the bubble, but who knows

MWC:
@Boise St 71, Utah St 67
New Mexico 85, @UNLV 81 - probably endgame for UNLV's hopes
Nevada 71, @San Jose St 54
Fresno St 77, @San Diego St 73 - and probably endgame for SDSU, too

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

1/16 recap

Big 12:
@Kansas St 87, Oklahoma 69 - that's a really bad loss for a team going for a 1 seed

ACC:
@North Carolina 87, Clemson 79
Louisville 82, @Notre Dame 78 (OT)
@Syracuse 59, Pittsburgh 45

SEC:
@South Carolina 76, Kentucky 68 - not exactly an irrelevant loss for UK; league is pretty stacked with Group 1 win chances on the road though
Georgia 61, @LSU 60 - in fact, this might end up being one right here.  Road wins are how you separate yourself from others in a cluttered league like this
@Mississippi St 80, Vanderbilt 62
@Texas A&M 71, Ole Miss 69 - this might've been the must-win to end all must-wins

B1G:
@Purdue 78, Wisconsin 50

AAC:
Cincinnati 49, @UCF 38 - a critical signature win chance goes by the boards for a fringe bubble team
@Memphis 73, UConn 49

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1/15 recap

Big 12:
Kansas 71, @West Virginia 66 - this is the type of loss WVU had to avoid to have a real shot at the 1 line - especially with their modest SoS numbers.  This is one big win back for Kansas, who needed this to help mask a couple of their bad losses
@Baylor 76, Oklahoma St 60 - bad result for the conference:  Baylor has much more work to do, and this was the kind of must-win that OSU needed to add to the resume to boost it

B1G:
@Michigan 68, Maryland 67 - two bubble teams enter, Michigan leaves as a probably-definitive standing as the 4th B1G team.  Seems like there'll be room for Maryland in the end but there's work to do
Minnesota 85, @Penn St 84 (OT) - Minny doing the bare minimum to stay anywhere near the bubble
@Nebraska 64, Illinois 63 - ditto Nebraska

ACC:
Duke 83, @Miami 75 - a key road win for top seed prospects
@Boston College 81, Florida St 75 - that's not one of the games you want to lose, FSU

Big East:
@Providence 70, Butler 60 - key hold for a true bubble team.  Butler doesn't want to lose too many of these swing games, but they should be fine for now
@Marquette 70, DePaul 52

elsewhere:
- everyone's favorite SWAC team, Texas Southern, lost at Grambling (what?).  Jackson St is up 2 in the loss column
- Wright St pushes to 6-0 and Northern Kentucky to 5-1 in the Horizon.  Too bad the rest of the league has tanked
- Vermont is already starting to separate in A-East

Monday, January 15, 2018

1/15 BRACKET

It seems like every year this happens, but the west regions provide a problem.
- The last 4 regional spots to fill in this bracket were San Diego, San Diego, Boise, and Boise.  This means Clemson and Michigan St lose out in this bracket
- When I did version 1, the west score added up to 39.  Um, not good.  This ultimately meant that someone on the 3 line had to bite the bullet and go west.  This means UNC, despite being ranked higher than Clemson, goes west while Clemson gets the east regional
- This highlights one thing to watch in the ACC (and to a lesser extent, the Big 12).  Really, only the top 2 teams in each league will be protected during site placement.  3rd might not be good enough, because if the wrong imbalance happens to appear, that third team will be the one shifted to the west regional to balance things out.  One thing that helps the Big 12 is that west isn't too bad, and WVU is there to take the east regional.  But one ACC team is going to get shipped west
- All that said, I expect Arizona to win a bunch and ascend to the 3 or 2 line and make some of this moot.  But still, something to watch



EAST 36
@Pittsburgh
1) Villanova vs. 16) FGCU/Bethune-Cookman
8) Louisville vs. 9) Arkansas
@Boise
4) Clemson vs. 13) South Dakota St
5) Seton Hall vs. 12) William & Mary
@Detroit
3) Kentucky vs. 14) Wright St
6) Ohio St vs. 11) St Bonaventure/Providence
@Pittsburgh
2) West Virginia vs. 15) Penn
7) Rhode Island vs. 10) Marquette

WEST 35
@Detroit
1) Purdue vs. 16) New Orleans/Jackson St
8) Florida St vs. 9) Missouri
@San Diego
4) Arizona vs. 13) Vermont
5) Tennessee vs. 12) Middle Tennessee
@Nashville
3) North Carolina vs. 14) East Tennessee St
6) TCU vs. 11) Maryland/Houston
@Dallas
2) Texas Tech vs. 15) Cal St-Fullerton
7) Nevada vs. 10) St Mary's

MIDWEST 33
@Charlotte
1) Duke vs. 16) Gardner-Webb
8) Butler vs. 9) Notre Dame
@Boise
4) Michigan St vs. 13) Drake
5) Cincinnati vs. 12) Buffalo
@Dallas
3) Wichita St vs. 14) Canisius
6) Gonzaga vs. 11) Syracuse
@Wichita
2) Oklahoma vs. 15) Montana
7) Creighton vs. 10) Texas A&M

SOUTH 32
@Charlotte
1) Virginia vs. 16) Robert Morris
8) Michigan vs. 9) Texas
@San Diego
4) Arizona St vs. 13) Louisiana
5) Auburn vs. 12) New Mexico St
@Dallas
3) Kansas vs. 14) Belmont
6) Miami vs. 11) UCLA
@Nashville
2) Xavier vs. 15) Boston U
7) Florida vs. 10) Boise St

1/15 S-CURVE

Some modest updated.  Quick hits:
- As you can tell, the 3 line has a theme - brand names who I think will be slightly overseeded by the committee
- I'm not quite as down on MSU as others, but a trip to the 4 line is warranted for now
- 3 Big 12 teams on the 2 line.  I feel like 3 teams from there are going to be among the top 8 seeds at this point
- Once you get to about the 7 line, things get ugly quick.  The bubble is very thin

The 1 line:  Villanova, Virginia, Duke, Purdue
The 2 line:  Oklahoma, Xavier, Texas Tech, West Virginia
The 3 line:  Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Wichita St
The 4 line:  Michigan St, Arizona, Arizona St, Clemson
The 5 line:  Auburn, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Tennessee
The 6 line:  Gonzaga, Ohio St, TCU, Miami
The 7 line:  Rhode Island, Creighton, Nevada, Florida
The 8 line:  Louisville, Florida St, Butler, Michigan
The 9 line:  Texas, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Missouri
The 10 line:  St Mary's, Marquette, Texas A&M, Boise St
The 11 line:  UCLA, Syracuse, Maryland, Houston, St Bonaventure, Providence
The 12 line:  New Mexico St, Middle Tennessee, Buffalo, William & Mary
The 13 line:  South Dakota St, Vermont, Louisiana, Drake
The 14 line:  Wright St, East Tennessee St, Canisius, Belmont
The 15 line:  Cal St-Fullerton, Montana, Penn, Boston U
The 16 line:  Gardner-Webb, Robert Morris, FGCU, New Orleans, Bethune-Cookman, Jackson St

Next 4 in:
Texas A&M
Boise St
UCLA
Syracuse

Last 4 in:
Maryland
Houston
St Bonaventure
Providence

Last 4 out:
USC
Washington
Western Kentucky
LSU

Next 4 out:
Georgia
Virginia Tech
Alabama
SMU

Break it down!:
ACC 9
SEC 7
Big East 7
Big 12 6
B1G 5
Pac-12 3
AAC 3
A-10 2
WCC 2
MWC 2

1/14 recap

ACC:
@Virginia 68, NC State 51

B1G:
@Indiana 66, Northwestern 46
Ohio St 68, @Rutgers 46

Pac-12:
@USC 84, Utah 67

AAC:
Houston 65, @East Carolina 49

MVC:
@Missouri St 76, Indiana St 73

Sunday, January 14, 2018

1/13 recap

Big East:
Villanova 78, @St John's 71
@Xavier 92, Creighton 70
@Seton Hall 74, Georgetown 61

Big 12:
@Texas Tech 72, West Virginia 71 - WVU doesn't have the strongest non-con resume.  They'll have to pick off most of these roadies to maintain a 1 seed.  And Tech is annoying me, because the conference resume is masking non-con errors
@Oklahoma 102, TCU 97 (OT) - status quo for both teams' resume going forward
@Kansas 73, Kansas St 72
@Iowa St 75, Baylor 65 - yeah, remember when I wrote earlier about there being too many bubble teams in the Big 12, and that one would invariably fall off the pace early?  I said it'd be Tech (oops), but it turned out to be Baylor instead
@Oklahoma St 65, Texas 64 - I've kind of written off OSU, but maybe there's room for a 7th Big 12 team after all

ACC:
@Duke 89, Wake Forest 71
@Clemson 72, Miami 63 - status quo for both teams' resume going forward, I think
North Carolina 69, @Notre Dame 68 - this should stand as a quality win for UNC.  UND seems destined for bubble talk
@Florida St 101, Syracuse 90 (2OT)
Georgia Tech 69, @Pittsburgh 54
@Louisville 94, Virginia Tech 86

SEC:
Kentucky 74, @Vanderbilt 67
Auburn 76, @Mississippi St 68 - road wins are never trivial
@Tennessee 75, Texas A&M 62 - man, what the hell, A&M
@Ole Miss 78, Florida 72 - this is why road wins are never trivial
South Carolina 64, @Georgia 57 - bad look for a Georgia team kind of hovering on the back end of the bubble
@Arkansas 65, Missouri 63
Alabama 74, @LSU 66

B1G:
Michigan 82, @Michigan St 72 - wat
Purdue 81, @Minnesota 47 - Minny doesn't look anything close to a bubble team now

Pac-12:
@Arizona St 77, Oregon St 75 - near disaster for ASU, they're going to be tough to seed at this rate
@Arizona 90, Oregon 83 - OU got the split on the Zona trip they needed already
@Washington St 78, California 53
Stanford 73, @Washington 64
Colorado 68, @UCLA 59 - I don't know what to do with this conference anymore

AAC:
Wichita St 72, @Tulsa 69
Cincinnati 78, @South Florida 55 - AAC quickly turning into a 2 team race, with a bubble mess behind them
Memphis 75, @Temple 72 (OT)

WCC:
Gonzaga 75, @San Francisco 65
St Mary's 91, @Pepperdine 67
BYU 84, @Santa Clara 50

A-10:
@Rhode Island 87, St Bonaventure 73 - this was the one game that Bonaventure needed.  Only true signature win chance left on the schedule goes by the boards.  Good news for URI, they're building up some cushion for their resume

MWC:
@Nevada 83, Utah St 57
@Boise St 83, San Diego St 80 - a very big game that defines the bubble status of the conference going forward.  SDSU is in big bubble trouble, and Boise's in pretty good shape

conference roundup:
CUSA:  Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky both win and go to dual 5-0 to lead.  Some interesting at-large profiles for these two teams, if we get to that point down the road.  Keep an eye on this
CAA:  William & Mary chunked a home game to Towson....they still lead but the top half of the conference is pretty tightly bunched.  Unfortunately their solid CRPI rank will go to waste though as no one really has even an NIT at-large profile
MAC:  Buffalo wins again and is the clear best team, as Ball St loses at Western Michigan
MVC:  Drake continues to lead the conference, which is doing untold amount of damage to its situation.  Easily the worst leader of a top 8 conference in college basketball history

1/12 recap

@Penn St 76, Nebraska 74 (OT) - Friday night Big 10 NIT bubble action!
@Dayton 106, VCU 79 - more NIT bubble action....and even that seems generous.
@Butler 94, Marquette 83 - status quo for both teams
Providence 71, @DePaul 64 - road wins are never trivial

Friday, January 12, 2018

1/13 S-CURVE

It feels like we have about thirteen 2 seeds right now.  There's just a bit logjam at the top and I don't have a great feel right now for how to separate these teams.  Right now, Duke (SoS kings) and Purdue (6 group 1 wins) get the nod on the 1 line, and some true blue bloods are relegated to the 3 line, but that'll change 27 times by the end of the year.

Right now, I'd wager Big East champ, ACC champ, and Big 12 champ have 3 spots on lock, and the SEC has left the door open for Arizona, Michigan St, or Purdue to come on in.  Going to be tough for any conference to get two spots on the 1 line without some help from the other conferences.

The 1 line:  Villanova (15-1), Virginia (15-1), Duke (14-2), Purdue (16-2)
The 2 line:  West Virginia (15-1), Oklahoma (13-2), Xavier (15-3), Michigan St (16-2)
The 3 line:  Kentucky (13-3), Kansas (13-3), North Carolina (13-4), Wichita St (14-2)
The 4 line:  Arizona (13-4), Texas Tech (14-2), Arizona St (13-3), Clemson (14-2)
The 5 line:  Auburn (15-1), Seton Hall (14-3), Cincinnati (14-2), Tennessee (11-4)
The 6 line:  TCU (13-3), Miami (13-2), Creighton (14-3), Florida (12-4)
The 7 line:  Gonzaga (15-3), Rhode Island (12-3), Nevada (15-3), Ohio St (14-4)
The 8 line:  Texas (11-5), Louisville (12-4), Texas A&M (11-5), Notre Dame (12-4)
The 9 line:  UCLA (13-4), Butler (13-6), Marquette (12-6), Missouri (11-4)
The 10 line:  Arkansas (11-5), Florida St (12-4), St Mary's (16-2), Michigan (13-4)
The 11 line:  Boise St (13-3), Syracuse (12-5), Mayrland (13-5), Houston (13-3), St Bonaventure (12-4), Washington (13-4)
The 12 line:  New Mexico St (12-3), Middle Tennessee (11-4), Buffalo (12-5), William & Mary (10-4)
The 13 line:  South Dakota St (11-5), Vermont (11-5), Louisiana (12-3), Drake (9-8)
The 14 line:  Wright St (11-5), East Tennessee St (11-4), Rider (11-6), Belmont (12-6)
The 15 line:  Cal St-Fullerton (8-5), Montana (10-5), Penn (10-5), Bucknell (10-8)
The 16 line:  Radford (9-7), St Francis(PA) (8-6), FGCU (8-8), SE Louisiana (7-7), Morgan St (5-9), Jackson St (5-10)

Next 4 in:
Florida St
Michigan
Boise St
Syracuse

Last 4 in:
Maryland
Houston
St Bonaventure
Washington

Last 4 out:
LSU (11-4)
Providence (12-6)
Georgia (11-4)
Utah (10-6)

Next 4 out:
USC (12-6)
Virginia Tech (13-4)
Minnesota (13-5)
Alabama (10-6)

Bubble inception - WE NEED TO GO DEEPER:
Baylor (10-5)
Oregon (12-5)
SMU (12-6)
San Diego St (10-4)
Western Kentucky (11-5)
Missouri St (12-5)
Mississippi St (12-3)
Colorado (10-7)

If you don't make the list, the road is long...but still plenty open and wide.  There's time.

Break it down!:
ACC 9
SEC 7
Big 12 6
Big East 6
B1G 5
Pac-12 4
AAC 3
A-10 2
WCC 2
MWC 2

1/11 recap

Bracket for 1/13 should be coming pretty soon.


ACC:
@NC State 78, Clemson 77 - and there is it, finally a slipup by Clemson.  It's a freebie for them; no harm no foul given the good work they did till now

B1G:
@Ohio St 91, Maryland 69 - not a good look for Maryland.  Meanwhile, looks like we at least have one Big 10 team acting like they want on the good side of the bubble
Iowa 104, @Illinois 97 (OT)

Pac-12:
Oregon 76, @Arizona St 72 - OU comes back from the dead to be relevant again with a Group 0 win; and what in the world do we do with ASU now?
@Arizona 62, Oregon St 53
Stanford 79, @Washington St 70
@Washington 66, California 56
@UCLA 84, Utah 64

AAC:
Wichita St 95, @East Carolina 60
@Houston 104, Tulsa 71

WCC:
@Gonzaga 103, Portland 57
@BYU 83, Pepperdine 83
St Mary's 81, @Santa Clara 57

interesting results:
Wright St 84, @Northern Kentucky 81 - battle of presumptive Horizon faves, and WSU wins on the road
@Little Rock 77, UT Arlington 65 - the hell, Arlington?
Western Kentucky 75, @Old Dominion 68 - presumptive CUSA favorites, and WKU wins on the road
New Mexico St 70, @Grand Canyon 59 - and a game between WAC favorites go to the road team as well.  NMSU in legit bubble play for the moment

Pretty soon we'll hone in on some conference races.  Still just a bit too early to highlight individual games though.

1/10 recap

Big East:
@Villanova 89, Xavier 65 - no change in status for either team, really, but every Group 1 win does matter when you're battling for the 1 line

B1G:
@Michigan St 76, Rutgers 72 (OT) - I feel like this game should be referenced every time anyone tries to take this conference seriously.  What is going on here?
@Northwestern 83, Minnesota 60 - and here's another one, a team in the tank blowing out a legit bubble team

ACC:
Duke 87, @Pittsburgh 52
Louisville 73, @Florida St 69 - UL's been under the radar a bit.  A signature win like this solves a lot of bubble anxiety.  Meanwhile, FSU is 1-3 in the ACC.  This is not a conference where you want to be trapped in the middle of the standings
@Georgia Tech 60, Notre Dame 53 - road wins are always a big ask, but you can't do much losing to non-tourney teams in this conference and get away with it
Virginia Tech 83, @Wake Forest 75 - and here's an example of a win that's more important than you think

Big 12:
@Texas 99, TCU 98 (2OT) - TCU nearly bagged a critical Group 1 win that could've made a difference in battling for a protected seed.  As is, Texas gets some bubble cushion instead
@Kansas St 86, Oklahoma St 82 - starting to feel like both teams are going to fall off the bubble pace soon, though

SEC:
@Florida 71, Mississippi St 54
@Missouri 68, Georgia 56
LSU 75, @Arkansas 54 - c'mon Arkansas, what are you doing?

Pac-12:
@USC 70, Colorado 58

AAC:
@UConn 62, UCF 53 - tough to see a path to the good side of the bubble for UCF at this point
Temple 66, @SMU 64 - what the hell?  Temple tanks their own bubble chances to start AAC play, then recover just in time to ruin SMU's resume

A-10:
@St Bonaventure 77, Fordham 61

MWC:
UNLV 81, @Air Force 76

MVC:
Loyola(Chi) 68, @Illinois St 61
@Evansville 64, Missouri St 55 - unfortunately, this conference is probably just playing to get on the 11 line at this point, as everyone is absorbing body blows

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

1/9 recap

Big 12:
@West Virginia 57, Baylor 54 - it looks like it'll be Baylor being the one quality win absorbing all the extra losses in the tough conference this year
@Oklahoma 75, Texas Tech 65
@Kansas 83, Iowa St 78

ACC:
@Virginia 68, Syracuse 61
@North Carolina 96, Boston College 66

B1G:
Purdue 70, @Michigan 69 - more important to Michigan than you think.  Signature win chances are very few in this league this year, and that was one of them going by the boards
@Indiana 74, Penn St 70
@Nebraska 63, Wisconsin 59 - there's room in the mid-pack of this conference for a new team to randomly appear...NU appears to be taking on that role this year

Big East:
@Marquette 84, Seton Hall 64 - somewhat of a surprise, but we're finally going to really have to take Marquette seriously, for real
@Creighton 85, Butler 74 - doesn't really change either team's outlook
Georgetown 69, @St John's 66 - boy, St John's went from viable bubble team to irrelevant real quick this year.  GU at home is a fatal flaw to the resume

SEC:
@Kentucky 74, Texas A&M 73 - A&M is really entering a danger zone where the mass accumulation of losses are going to be a problem.  This probably will hold up as a quality win for UK, for a team that kind of really needs it
@Auburn 85, Ole Miss 70
Tennessee 92, @Vanderbilt 84 - road wins are never trivial
@Alabama 76, South Carolina 62

AAC:
@Memphis 96, Tulane 89 - it's that time of year to start paying attention to the NIT bubble

A-10:
Rhode Island 72, @St Louis 65 - 4 bullets down, 14 to dodge for URI
@VCU 78, Duquesne 67

MWC:
Boise St 70, @Fresno St 64 - road wins are never trivial
@San Diego St 85, San Jose St 49

elsewhere:
Buffalo 87, @Akron 65 - if you're curious, Akron is way down this year...Buffalo headed for the 11 line?

1/8 recap

The Patriot, SWAC, and MEAC played league games.  That's it.  I'm not even dignifying this schedule with a single listed result.

Monday, January 8, 2018

1/7 recap

ACC:
@Miami 80, Florida St 74 - both teams more or less hold their position in my bracket

B1G:
@Ohio St 80, Michigan St 64 - ok, now OSU might be off the bubble to the good side.  Signature wins tend to do that
@Maryland 91, Iowa 73

Pac-12:
Arizona St 80, @Utah 77 - road wins always matter
@Stanford 77, USC 76 - and this is why road wins matter, this is not a good loss to ad to the resume

AAC:
@Wichita St 95, South Florida 57
@Cincinnati 76, SMU 56 - not a bad loss, but quality win chances continue to slide right on by
@UCF 60, Temple 39

MVC:
@Illinois St 72, Missouri St 68 meh
Loyola(Chi) 56, @Northern Iowa 50

CAAWatch:  Charleston loses at Towson, and the league feels wide-openish.  Bill & Mary now leads at 4-0

Saturday, January 6, 2018

1/6 recap

Big 12:
@West Virginia 89, Oklahoma 76 - was always going to be a big ask for OU to get it, but they kinda needed this type of win to bolster their argument for the 1 seed.  Instead, WVU gets that signature win to their ledger instead
Kansas 88, @TCU 84 - a Group 0 win as I like to call it.  It really feels like TCU is going to be one step behind WVU/KU/OU this year, which could lead to some unfriendly geographical assignments.  KU kinda needed this to stabilize their seed
@Texas Tech 74, Kansas St 58
@Baylor 69, Texas 60 - don't read too much into a home hold, but Baylor desperately needs every swing game to go their way right now
@Oklahoma St 96, Iowa St 87 (OT)

ACC:
@NC State 96, Duke 85 - you don't need me to know that Duke is starting to pile up marginal losses.  Very cumbersome towards getting a 1 seed.  Stay tuned
@Virginia 61, North Carolina 49 - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  This showed in my bracket yesterday...UNC better be careful because they're losing their grip on the Charlotte sub-regional and the East and South regionals in general
@Clemson 74, Louisville 69 (OT) - honestly impressed that Clemson has kept this thing going and are winning their swing games.  Louisville is bringing the bubble into play, meanwhile
@Virginia Tech 81, Pittsburgh 67
Notre Dame 51, @Syracuse 49 - road wins are never trivial.  The kind of loss that hurts bubble teams, though.  I think this just confirms UND is closer to the 4 line than the bubble
@Boston College 77, Wake Forest 71

Big East:
@Villanova 100, Marquette 90
@Providence 81, Xavier 72 - Provi was mostly dead from a bubble perspective....this will help, but they'll need to back it up with much more to get there.  Bigger news is Xavier, every loss like this hurts when you're this close to the 1 line
Seton Hall 90, @Butler 87 - that's a quality road win for SHU, which is sneaking up on us I think.  Is there enough room at the top for a 3rd protected seed for the Big East?  It'll be SHU if there is
Creighton 90, @Georgetown 66
DePaul 91, @St John's 74 - just as fast as St John's became relevant....they became irrelevant.  Bye

SEC:
LSU 69, @Texas A&M 68 - not really sure what's going on with A&M here, and now they're kinda really tough to seed properly.  This loss is 1 step beyond the line of acceptability.  LSU will spend some time hanging around the bubble discussion as a result
@Tennessee 76, Kentucky 65 - a win that should stabilize UT's seed....and one that doesn't help UK.  The good news for UK?  The SEC is better, and Group 1 wins should be bountiful later on
@Auburn 88, Arkansas 77 - no sin for Arky to lose this game...bigger news is Auburn adding another solid win to the ledger and looking more and more like a tourney team
@Georgia 65, Alabama 46 - seems like Bama is going to be the one team to drop out of this SEC bubble logjam early
Florida 77, @Missouri 75 - UF playing their way back up the seed list, and Mizzou is just another bubble team
@Ole Miss 64, Mississippi St 58
@South Carolina 71, Vanderbilt 60

B1G:
@Purdue 74, Nebraska 62
@Michigan 79, Illinois 69 - at this point, any team behind the top 2 winning any game and holding serve is news.  These all matter
Indiana 75, @Minnesota 71 - well, this was dumb to lose by Minnesota

Pac-12:
@Colorado 80, Arizona 77 - wait, Colorado just swept the Arizona schools?  This league just keeps getting weirder.  These are two very big chips, but they need to back this up with not adding bad losses.  As for Zona...well as for everyone in this conference, I just don't know anymore.  What a mess
Washington 70, @Washington St 65
UCLA 107, @California 84 - given the mess in this conference, any road win is significant for bubble teams

AAC:
@Memphis 76, Tulsa 67 - alas, Tulsa's conference lead was fledgling

WCC:
Gonzaga 85, @Loyola Marymount 66
@Pacific 67, BYU 66
@St Mary's 70, San Diego 63

A-10:
VCU 80, @LaSalle 74
Rhode Island 81, @George Washington 60
@St Joseph's 85, St Bonaventure 78 - uh oh, A-10

MWC:
Nevada 86, @Air Force 75
@Wyoming 79, Boise St 78 (OT) - and the first slip up in the race for this title.  Nevada 1-up on Boise
Utah St 85, @UNLV - and speaking of slip ups, this is a pretty dumb one for a fringe bubble team

elsewhere:
North Dakota St 84, @South Dakota 79 - presumptive Summit favorite loses at home
Drake 75, @Indiana St 72 - Drake leads the #8 conference in America.  What a world we live in
Buffalo 83, @Ball St 63 - might've been the toughest game on paper for Buffalo in the MAC, and they get through it.  Now a definitive MAC fave
Jacksonville St 64, @Belmont 60 - Belmont chunks one at home, in case you were mentally penciling in Belmont for the OVC

1/5 recap

@Rutgers 64, Wisconsin 60 - just in case anyone thought Wisky was still viable
@Penn St 78, Northwestern 63
@Oregon St 76, Oregon 64 - this isn't helping, Pac-12

CAAWatch: Charleston loses at Drexel, Bill & Mary wins at Delaware....W&M is the last undefeated already in conference play with Elon also losing.  Looks like another year where the conference is solid top-to-bottom but no one will separate and be a player on the bubble

HorizonWatch:  One of everyone's favorite middies, Oakland, lost at home to NKU.  Time to jump ship on this conference as a whole, they've been bad this year

Friday, January 5, 2018

1/6 BRACKET

For entainment purposes only.

Once again, the pressure point is the northwest regional.  A couple 4 seeds are probably getting shipped to Boise.  Also a pressure point in the ACC.  Gotta get to a top 2 position - the 3rd and 4th teams in those conferences risk getting shipped out in the west or midwest regional.

Conference blocking will be more prevalent than usual.  With 4 Big 12 teams and 4 ACC teams in the top 16, many block the path of others.  West Virginia is quite lucky their geography makes them a natural fit for the east and keep them from blocking TCU from the midwest in this example bracket.

SOUTH 33
@Charlotte
1) Duke vs. 16) New Orleans/Texas Southern
8) Auburn vs. 9) Minnesota
@Boise
4) Seton Hall vs. 13) South Dakota
5) Cincinnati vs. 12) Middle Tennessee
@Nashville
3) Kentucky vs. 14) East Tennessee St
6) Miami vs. 11) Ohio St/SMU
@Pittsburgh
2) West Virginia vs. 15) Princeton
7) Creighton vs. 10) Syracuse

WEST 35
@Wichita
1) Oklahoma vs. 16) Robert Morris
8) Florida vs. 9) Louisville
@Boise
4) Florida St vs. 13) Belmont
5) Texas Tech vs. 12) William & Mary
@Nashville
3) Purdue vs. 14) Vermont
6) Clemson vs. 11) Boise St/Utah
@San Diego
2) Arizona St vs. 15) Montana St
7) Gonzaga vs. 10) Maryland

EAST 36
@Pittsburgh
1) Villanova vs. 16) Bucknell/Morgan St
8) Rhode Island vs. 9) Michigan
@Dallas
4) Kansas vs. 13) Buffalo
5) Wichita St vs. 12) Missouri St
@San Diego
3) Arizona vs. 14) UC-Davis
6) Butler vs. 11) St Mary's
@Charlotte
2) Virginia vs. 15) Radford
7) Tennessee vs. 10) UCLA

MIDWEST 32
@Detroit
1) Michigan St vs. 16) Canisius
8) Notre Dame vs. 9) Texas
@Dallas
4) TCU vs. 13) Lipscomb
5) Texas A&M vs. 12) Tulsa
@Wichita
3) North Carolina vs. 14) Louisiana
6) Arkansas vs. 11) New Mexico St
@Detroit
2) Xavier vs. 15) Northern Kentucky
7) Nevada vs. 10) Missouri

1/6 S-CURVE

There's still a whiff of projection in these brackets but the smell will subside over time.  Here's a refresher on our autobid rules:  conference leader is projected in no matter what.  In case of ties, we'll employ head-to-head if available, and use RPI if not available.  It leads to some funky entries early.

- St Mary's gets the early nod for WCC autobid, they're right on the bubble
- Tulsa backdoors into the bracket this week as the AAC leader...this won't last

The 1 line:  Duke (13-1), Michigan St (15-1), Villanova (13-1), Oklahoma (12-1)
The 2 line:  Arizona St (12-2), Xavier (15-1), Virginia (13-1), West Virginia (13-1)
The 3 line:  Kentucky (12-2), Purdue (14-2), North Carolina (12-3), Arizona (12-3)
The 4 line:  TCU (13-1), Kansas (11-3), Seton Hall (13-2), Florida St (12-2)
The 5 line:  Wichita St (12-2), Texas A&M (11-3), Texas Tech (13-1), Cincinnati (13-2)
The 6 line:  Clemson (13-1), Arkansas (11-3), Miami (12-2), Butler (12-4)
The 7 line:  Tennessee (9-4), Gonzaga (13-3), Creighton (12-3), Nevada (14-3)
The 8 line:  Notre Dame (11-3), Auburn (13-1), Rhode Island (10-3), Florida (10-4)
The 9 line:  Michigan (12-3), Minnesota (13-3), Texas (10-4), Louisville (11-3)
The 10 line:  UCLA (11-4), Missouri (10-3), Syracuse (12-3), Maryland (12-4)
The 11 line:  St Mary's (14-2), Boise St (12-2), Ohio St (12-4), SMU (12-4), Utah (10-4), New Mexico St (10-3)
The 12 line:  Missouri St (12-3), Middle Tennessee (9-4), Tulsa (10-5), William & Mary (8-4)
The 13 line:  Buffalo (8-5), South Dakota (11-4), Lipscomb (7-5), Belmont (11-5)
The 14 line:  Vermont (9-5), UC-Davis (8-5), East Tennessee St (9-4), Louisiana (11-3)
The 15 line:  Northern Kentucky (8-5), Princeton (7-7), Radford (7-6), Montana St (8-6)
The 16 line:  Canisius (9-7), Robert Morris (9-7), Bucknell (8-8), New Orleans (3-8), Morgan St (3-9), Texas Southern (2-13)

Next 4 in:
UCLA
Missouri
Syracuse
Maryland

Last 4 in:
St Mary's*
Boise St
Ohio St
SMU
Utah

Last 4 out:
New Mexico St*
Baylor (9-4)
USC (11-5)
St Bonaventure (11-3)
Missouri St*
St John's (9-5)

Next 4 out:
Marquette (11-4)
Mississippi St (12-1)
Houston (12-3)
San Diego St (9-4)


Break it down!:
ACC 9
SEC 7
Big 12 6
B1G 6
Big East 5
Pac-12 4
AAC 4
MWC 2
WCC 2

Quick analysis of the conference breakdowns:
- AAC, thanks to Tulsa, gets to 4 bids.  I think this might be their max for the season, it's going to be tough to hold onto 4 bids by March
- Pac-12 with only 4.  They're weak, but there's enough wins to go around to get a 4th team, and maybe a 5th team in
- Big 12 only with 6 in this time.  Baylor has computer number issues in particular.  6 seems about right, and I'd bet on 7 before 5.  Tech fixed a lot of problems with their win, which is a key component of the Big 12 maxing out at 7 bids
- SEC, Big East, and ACC with 7, 5, and 9.  These are good over/unders, for the betting type
- Big 10 have 6.  This feels like their max.  The bottom half of the conference is garbage, and 4 bids is more likely than 7 for them
- I'd be pretty surprised if the Mountain West couldn't get 2 teams in this year.  By that same token, same for the A-10, but boy I'd like a 3rd contender to emerge just in case to make it easier on them

1/4 recap

B1G:
@Michigan St 91, Maryland 61
Ohio St 92, @Iowa 81 - road wins are never trivial.  OSU creeping in and around the bubble discussion

Pac-12:
@Colorado 90, Arizona St 81 (OT) - that's your first mistake, ASU.  I expect some regressing to the mean shortly
Arizona 94, @Utah 82 - see, this is what elite teams do with their road games
@Stanford 107, UCLA 99 (OT) - not a good road loss
USC 80, @California 62

AAC:
@Wichita St 81, Houston 63
Cincinnati 55, @Temple 53 - road wins are never trivial
@Tulane 73, SMU 70 - ooh, that's a sloppy game to drop now...unless Tulane is secretly good.  Which I doubt very much

WCC:
Gonzaga 89, @Pepperdine 59
@St Mary's 74, Pacific 56
BYU 69, @San Francisco 59

MVC:
@Missouri St 62, Northern Iowa 55

elsewhere:
Middle Tennessee 71, @Florida International 66

Thursday, January 4, 2018

1/3 recap

Big 12:
@Oklahoma 109, Oklahoma St 89 - every home hold now matters when you're contending for the 1 line

Big East:
Marquette 95, @Providence 90 (OT) - still not very sure how good either of these teams are
@Creighton 78, St John's 71

ACC:
Virginia 78, @Virginia Tech 52 - not a good look for a team that fancies themselves a bubble team
@Florida St 81, North Carolina 80
@Georgia Tech 64, Miami 54 - ouch.  I look at road losses this way:  you're going to absorb a few.  You just have to be careful where you "spend" them.  This is a nice way of saying:  Don't lose road games at bad teams, you're going to have a tough enough time winning against the decent ones
Clemson 74, @Boston College 70 - here's a good example of not using up any bubble equity against a worse team
@Wake Forest 73, Syracuse 67 - and this goes in the same bucket as the Miami loss
@Notre Dame 88, NC State 58

B1G:
@Purdue 82, Rutgers 51
@Minnesota 77, Illinois 67

SEC:
Kentucky 74, @LSU 71
@Georgia 71, Ole Miss 60
Missouri 79, @South Carolina 68

AAC:
@UCF 65, Memphis 56

A-10:
@Rhode Island 74, LaSalle 62 - poor A-10, reduced to commoners status this year.  Plenty of A-10 games that just don't matter were played.  VCU was a longshot anyways but lost at St Joe's
@Dayton 82, St Bonaventure 72 - and that's a stumble.  Can't afford many of those, yo

MVC:
Drake is 3-0 in this conference.  Loyola(Chi) punted a home game to Indiana St.  This is the worst bubble situation you'll ever see for an 8th ranked conference.

MWC:
@Boise St 90, New Mexico 62
@Nevada 92, Wyoming 83
UNLV 82, @San Jose St 76 (OT) - holds for all the relevant teams on this night

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

1/2 recap

We're getting close to Bracketology season where brackets will go up every 3-4 days.  Am going to wait a day or so more to let a few more conference results trickle in so I can put some leaders in the bracket.

Big East:
@Xavier 86, Butler 79
Georgetown won a road game!  Wow!  After such a terrible non-con SoS, to add a Big East roa-oh wait, it was DePaul.  Never mind

Big 12:
Texas Tech 85, @Kansas 73 - okay, now I'll pay attention to Tech a bit
TCU 81, @Baylor 78 - we may need to revisit things:  with a loaded Big 12, is Baylor the odd team out?

SEC:
Florida 83, @Texas A&M 66 - now here's a Group 0 win as I like to call it.  At least, it should be, but this is a concerning start for A&M in the SEC.  Starting to wonder if they'll all beat each other up and keep each other from the top 3 lines
@Mississippi St 78, Arkansas 75 - I'm still not sure how good MSU is.  It's a paper-thin resume for a 13-1 team.  Still, this is a service hold you need if you're gonna make the tourney
Auburn 94, @Tennessee 84 - meanwhile, here's a Group 1 win for Auburn, as both teams feel like tourney teams.  The middle of this SEC could be fun
@Vanderbilt 76, Alabama 75 - if you're an SEC bubble team, you'll lose a couple roadies...but you don't want to spend one of them against Vandy

ACC:
@Louisville 77, Pittsburgh 51

B1G:
@Wisconsin 71, Indiana 61
Michigan 75, @Iowa 68 - road wins are never trivial
@Maryland 75, Penn St 69 - service hold
Nebraska 70, @Northwestern 55 - this is a loss that will remove NU from bubble discussion for awhile

MWC:
San Diego St 77, @Colorado St 68

elsewhere:

It was matchday 1 in the MAC.....highly ranked league for them (10th) but no legitimate at-large candidates.  Buffalo is the best team, probably, and holds over Toledo for win 1

CAA:  Charleston beats Delaware to go 2-0, and Towson...loses at Elon.  Maybe Elon is a contender, not Towson.  There's a pretty decent top half of the conference, and if one team can separate...

Vermont picks up a token road win at Harvard

Bucknell loses at home to Boston U in the Patriot...uh oh

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

1/1 recap

Quiet night, as is to be expected.

West Virginia 77, @Kansas St 69
Texas 74, @Iowa St 70 - repeat after me....road wins are never trivial