Monday, February 18, 2019

2/18 recap

Virginia 64, @Virginia Tech 58 - UVa is making it really difficult for any other team to wedge into #2 overall on the S-Curve right now.  VT showing they truly belong on a tier behind of the top ACC teams
@Wisconsin 64, Illinois 58
Kansas St 65, @West Virginia 51 - road wins are never trivial
@Oklahoma St 68, TCU 61 - and this is why road wins are never trivial.  Pretty dumb loss to take, but I think TCU has a bit of wiggle room.  Their schedule is pretty tough though, so they can certainly spend that wiggle room very quickly

Sunday, February 17, 2019

2/18 S-CURVE

The 1 line:  Duke, Virginia, Tennessee, Gonzaga
The 2 line:  Kentucky, Michigan St, North Carolina, Michigan
The 3 line:  Marquette, Kansas, Houston, Purdue
The 4 line:  Nevada, Iowa St, LSU, Texas Tech
The 5 line:  Louisville, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Kansas St
The 6 line:  Villanova, Maryland, Florida St, Iowa
The 7 line:  Mississippi St, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Washington
The 8 line:  TCU, Syracuse, St John's, Ole Miss
The 9 line:  Baylor, Wofford, Auburn, Seton Hall
The 10 line:  Ohio St, VCU, Texas, Minnesota
The 11 line:  Central Florida, Arizona St, Oklahoma, North Carolina St, Utah St, Temple
The 12 line:  Davidson, Lipscomb, Belmont, Hofstra
The 13 line:  New Mexico St, Old Dominion, Vermont, Yale
The 14 line:  Bowling Green, Texas St, Northern Kentucky, UC-Irvine
The 15 line:  South Dakota St, Montana, Missouri St, Radford
The 16 line:  Bucknell, Sam Houston St, Canisius, St Francis(PA), Prairie View A&M, Norfolk St

Next 4 in:
Central Florida
Arizona St

Last 4 in:
North Carolina St
Utah St

Last 4 out:

Next 4 out:
St Mary's

Break it down!:
Big 12 8
B1G 8
Big East 4
Pac-12 2
A-10 2

2/17 recap

Houston 85, @Tulane 50
@Cincinnati 72, Wichita St 62

@Michigan St 62, Ohio St 44

@St John's 71, Villanova 65 - hey now, a signature win
Seton Hall 81, @Creighton 75 - and a not half-bad road win.  Big East creeping slowly towards having 4 teams safely in

2/16 recap

@Kentucky 86, Tennessee 69 - well that's one way to erase the LSU loss.  Probably back to the top 2 seed.  Tennessee is safe on the 1 line for now, don't worry
LSU 83, @Georgia 79 - road wins are never trivial
Auburn 64, @Vandy 53 - as I said, road wins are never trivial
Florida 71, @Alabama 53 - seriously Florida, just go away.  But now that we're here, are they back in the field?
@Ole Miss 75, Mizzou 65
Mississippi St 77, @Arkansas 67

@Duke 94, NC St 78
@Virginia 60, Notre Dame 54
UNC 95, @Wake 57
@Louisville 56, Clemson 55 - that's the signature win Clemson needed to have realistic bubble hopes.  Shame
Florida St 69, @Georgia Tech 47
Virginia Tech 70, @Pitt 64

@Michigan 65, Maryland 52 - a sorely needed win to hang onto the 2 line for Michigan
@Purdue 76, Penn St 64
Iowa 71, @Rutgers 69
@Minnesota 84, Indiana 63
@Nebraska 59, Northwestern 50

@Kansas 78, WVU 53
@Texas Tech 86, Baylor 61
Iowa St 78, @Kansas St 64 - it's so unusual seeing the Big 12 leader have the 4th best resume.  This'll hurt K-State a bit given there's a lot of competition on the 4-7 lines.  Iowa St creeping towards the 3
Oklahoma 71, @TCU 62 - biggest win of the day.  Oklahoma needs to just simply avoid losses at this point (by that I mean they really don't need more signature wins).  They need loss avoidance.  This is a big one
@Texas 69, Oklahoma St 57

Xavier 75, @Providence 61
@Butler 91, DePaul 78

Washington 72, @Washington St 70
Arizona St 98, @Utah 87 - hey now:  an honest-to-goodness quality road win!  This does mean we can cross off Utah probably for good, but hey, ASU!  quality road win!
@Oregon St 72, Oregon 57 - the role of hail-mary 3rd Pac-12 team now belongs to OSU

@UCF 79, Memphis 72
Temple 70, @USF 69

Gonzaga 79, @San Diego 67 - conspiracy theory time!  Remember the committee rankings, and their bracket?  Their west regional was soft compared to the other regionals.  Part of that is the weakest 1 seed being Gonzaga.  Well what if Gonzaga was seeded as the best 2nd seed instead?  That would fix the problem.  I'm not saying, but I'm just saying
BYU 70, @Loyola Marymount 62
San Francisco 68, @Portland 63 (OT)
@St Mary's 72, Pepperdine 65
Nevada 82, @Wyoming 49
Utah St 76, @Air Force 62
Fresno St 81, @New Mexico 73
VCU 69, @Dayton 68 - this is just about as good a win as is available in the conference right now
@Furman 96, VMI 62
@Wofford 80, UNC Greensboro 50 - this definitively solves the SoCon bubble situation.  Wofford most definitely in play, everyone else just about done
Lipscomb 83, @Kennesaw St 67
@UNC Wilmington 87, Hofstra 79 - this case is dead
Belmont 93, @Tennessee Tech 65

Friday, February 15, 2019

2/16 S-CURVE

I don't know; you tell me what to do with the bubble.  The good news is that it will naturally constrict over the next month, but that's a motley group of teams in and around the bubble right now.  It's not hard to see why that's the case; the 5-7 lines are very strong IMO.  They're vacuuming up all the wins, leading to a strong middle of the field but a weak back end.

The 1 line:  Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, Gonzaga
The 2 line:  Michigan St, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan
The 3 line:  Marquette, Kansas, Houston, Purdue
The 4 line:  Nevada, LSU, Louisville, Iowa St
The 5 line:  Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Kansas St, Villanova
The 6 line:  Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida St, Iowa
The 7 line:  TCU, Mississippi St, Cincinnati, Buffalo
The 8 line:  Syracuse, Ole Miss, Baylor, St John's
The 9 line:  Washington, Wofford, Ohio St, Auburn
The 10 line:  Seton Hall, VCU, Minnesota, Texas
The 11 line:  Alabama, Arizona St, Lipscomb, North Carolina St
The 12 line:  Central Florida, Utah St, Oklahoma, Indiana, Belmont, Davidson
The 13 line:  Hofstra, New Mexico St, Yale, Old Dominion
The 14 line:  Vermont, UC-Irvine, Loyola(Chi), Texas St
The 15 line:  Northern Kentucky, South Dakota St, Montana, Radford
The 16 line:  Bucknell, Sam Houston St, St Francis(PA), Canisius, Prairie View A&M, Norfolk St

Next 4 in:
Arizona St
North Carolina St

Last 4 in:
Central Florida
Utah St

Last 4 out:

Next 4 out:
St Mary's

Break it down!:
B1G 9
Big 12 8
Big East 4
Pac-12 2
A-10 2

2/15 recap

Buffalo 88, @Toledo 82 - a quality road win, and it helps alleviate any potential disaster scenario where UB misses the tourney entirely
@Davidson 80, St Joe's 72

2/14 recap

Illinois 63, @Ohio St 56 - luckily, given the current state of the bubble, OSU is still a couple dumb losses away from true trouble.  But given how strong the 5-6-7 lines are, their seed ceiling keeps getting lowered

@Utah 83, Arizona 76 - is Utah the 3rd best team in the Pac-12?  Yikes

Houston 71, @UConn 63

Gonzaga 73, @Loyola Marymount 60
BYU 88, @San Diego 82
@San Francisco 89, Pepperdine 77
St Mary's 66, @Santa Clara 55 - so who is the 2nd best team in the WCC?  I'm not sure the answer matters, but based on the computer numbers, both BYU and St Mary's can at least make hail mary-like claims to a spot on the bubble.  I can't imagine either will matter by mid-March, but they're lurking

@Wofford 95, VMI 84
@East Tennessee St 91, Citadel 83
@Furman 57, UNC Greensboro 57 - UNCG needed this one to get into realistic at-large range; a quality road win would've done it.  As is, looks like both these teams are solid NIT teams right now but are running out of time to add quality wins to their resume.  Might be Wofford or bust for the SoCon at-large picture.  I really don't want that to be true, though

Hofstra 99, @Charleston 95 - this should put the CAA on ice.  I don't think they'll get there, but I wouldn't object to some Hofstra bubble talk.  Northeastern also won, and is in legitimate NIT at-large bid talk
Belmont 77, @Tennessee St 66 - Murray St keeps pace with Belmont, beating Austin Peay.  We're headed for another Belmont/Murray St showdown in a conference final, and Belmont has reasonable at-large hopes if they lose that.  Murray St probably doesn't, and is probably on the NIT bubble

Thursday, February 14, 2019

2/13 recap

@Tennessee 85, South Carolina 73
Ole Miss 60, @Auburn 55 - quality road win for Ole Miss, makes me feel a little better about putting them in.  Auburn's attention needs to turn from seeding to just plain making the field at this point
@Florida 66, Vandy 57 - I almost kind of wish Florida would eject from this season and make my job easier.  I guess they've got to stay around the bubble, but I'm not excited about it

@Villanova 85, Providence 67
@Seton Hall 90, Georgetown 75 - starting to feel pretty strongly we'll have a 4 bid Big East.  Combining St John's, SHU, and Butler's at large chances, it should add up to around 200%
@Xavier 64, Creighton 61 (OT)

Texas Tech 78, @Oklahoma St 50

@Florida St 88, Wake Forest 66
@Virginia Tech 76, Georgia Tech 68
@Miami 65, Clemson 64 - well this is a pretty crappy loss to absorb when you're a new bubble team.  Clemson's profile is pretty barren as is
@NC State 73, Syracuse 58 - the most critical of service holds for NCSU at home.  I still don't know what they can do to hide their non-con SoS, though

Rutgers 59, @Northwestern 56
@Nebraska 62, Minnesota 61 - looks like Minny will be resignated to bubble status for the duration of the season

UCLA 75, @Cal 67 (OT)
@Colorado 77, Arizona St 73 - I give up
@Stanford 79, USC 76

@UCF 78, USF 65
@Temple 82, SMU 74 - service holds in the AAC

@VCU 81, Richmond 60

Liberty 74, @Lipscomb 66 - a signature road win!  Liberty isn't really close to the bubble....but Lipscomb was.  Margin of error is pretty close to zero when you're in the A-Fun, and this definitely used all of it up.  Still not ready to discard Lipscomb from at-large discussion
@Utah St 76, Wyoming 59
@Fresno St 65, Boise St 63

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

2/12 recap

Duke 71, @Louisville 69 - probably pushes UL off the 2 line for the rest of this year
@BC 66, Pitt 57 - NIT bubble game!

LSU 73, @Kentucky 71 - well I feel a lot better about seeding LSU high.  Signature road wins usually require a serious bump.  I'm thinking 4 line at the moment.  And if nothing else, LSU has turned the SEC into a 3-team conference, with all 3 in position for a protected seed
@Mississippi St 81, Alabama 62
@Missouri 79, Arkansas 78 - endgame for Arky's chances

@Penn St 75, Michigan 69 - this might push UM's chances at the 1 line too far out.  Pretty stout competition as I don't see how MSU, UT, Duke, or UVa come back to the pack given how they're playing.  And this loss will likely look worse than any single loss on any 1 seed contender's resume
Michigan St 67, @Wisconsin 59 - and with this, I do feel like MSU will be the B1G team with a serious chance at the 1 line now.  Starting to amass too many quality wins to ignore
@Maryland 70, Purdue 56 - I thought the committee was too aggressive with Purdue's seed; I expect an adjustment, even though this isn't a bad loss.  Tough to say what to do with Maryland; if you look at the 4-7 lines, the candidates for those spots are numerous.  Not a lot of spots to move up

Kansas St 71, @Texas 64 - tough ask, but Texas needs to plain old win games at this point

Marquette 92, @DePaul 73 - believe it or not, this is a win with some nutritional value this year
@St John's 77, Butler 73 (OT) - Butler has the same problem Texas has.  At some point, the raw number of wins you have matter, and 14 is low this time of year

Buffalo 76, @Akron 70
Davidson 79, @Fordham 69

2/11 recap

Virginia 69, @North Carolina 61 - Leads me to think the ACC is going to coast to two teams on the 1 line, and UNC distinctly trapped behind UVa and Duke (until they play Duke 2x).

Kansas 82, @TCU 77 (OT) - not really confidence boosting for Kansas, but still a very reasonable shot at the 2 line
@Baylor 59, Oklahoma 53 - we can't put Oklahoma in.....right?  I mean, there's a breaking point with conference record, there just has to be

Sunday, February 10, 2019

2/11 S-CURVE

The 1 line:  Duke, Tennessee, Gonzaga, Virginia
The 2 line:  Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Michigan St
The 3 line:  Purdue, Marquette, Houston, Kansas
The 4 line:  Nevada, Iowa St, Louisville, Wisconsin
The 5 line:  Texas Tech, Villanova, Maryland, LSU
The 6 line:  Kansas St, Florida St, Virginia Tech, Iowa
The 7 line:  TCU, Mississippi St, Cincinnati, Buffalo
The 8 line:  Syracuse, Washington, Ohio St, Auburn
The 9 line:  Ole Miss, Baylor, Wofford, St John's
The 10 line:  Minnesota, Seton Hall, Texas, Alabama
The 11 line:  Oklahoma, VCU, Arizona St, North Carolina St, Butler, Clemson
The 12 line:  Lipscomb, Belmont, Davidson, Hofstra
The 13 line:  New Mexico St, Old Dominion, Yale, Vermont
The 14 line:  Bowling Green, Loyola(Chi), South Dakota St, UC-Irvine
The 15 line:  Northern Kentucky, Bucknell, Montana, Radford
The 16 line:  Sam Houston St, Texas-Arlington, St Francis(PA), Monmouth, Prairie View A&M, Norfolk St

Next 4 in:

Last 4 in:
Arizona St
North Carolina St

Last 4 out:
Central Florida
Utah St
UNC Greensboro

Next 4 out:
San Francisco

Break it down!:
Big 12 8
B1G 8
Big East 5
Pac-12 2
A-10 2

2/10 recap

@Houston 65, Cincinnati 58 - I really don't quite know what to do with Cincy right now
@Iowa 80, Northwestern 79
Ohio St 55, @Indiana 52 - and I really, really don't know what to do with Indiana.  I mean, they're out, but how far out now?
UCF 71, @SMU 65 - mandatory road win to stay in it
@Oregon 69, Stanford 46

Saturday, February 9, 2019

2/9 recap

VCU 85, @St Bonaventure 55 - Davidson absorbs a pretty stupid loss at UMass, so VCU is back on top in the A-10

Duke 81, @Virginia 71 - If UVa doesn't lose to anyone other than Duke, do they stay on the 1 line?
@North Carolina 88, Miami 85 (OT)
@Clemson 59, Virginia Tech 51 - time to sweat VT's seed a bit.  They quite possibly could be 6th in the ACC
@Florida St 80, Louisville 75 (OT) - not gonna move either team's seed that much, based on this result
@Syracuse 67, BC 56
NC St 79, @Pitt 76 - road wins are never trivial

@Lipscomb 86, Jacksonville 77

@Tulsa 76, Temple 58 - oof

@Kansas 84, Oklahoma St 72
TCU 92, @Iowa St 83 - signature road win, and a good way to jump up a seed line.  Iowa St maybe loses a seed line here, as the competition on the 3-5 lines is pretty close IMO
Texas Tech 66, @Oklahoma 54 - at some point, even if you're a good team, you take on too much water in the boat and it sinks
Kansas St 70, @Baylor 63 - reality check:  Baylor was never truly safely in the field, and it's time to recalibrate accordingly.  K-State's seed is getting interesting too, because they could easily win the Big 12 and have, say, the 4th best resume
Texas 75, @WVU 53

@Marquette 66, Villanova 65
Butler 73, @Georgetown 69 - critical road win
Providence 70, @St John's 56 - a pretty crappy home loss to absorb
@Seton Hall 63, Creighton 58 - I just don't know what to do with the entire conference.  Someone behind MU and Nova is getting an at-large bid (maybe 2 of them), but I'll be damned if I know which ones.  This is getting silly.
DePaul 74, @Xavier 62 - DePaul is t3 in the conference.  Go to hell, Big East.

@Michigan 61, Wisconsin 52
@Michigan St 79, Minnesota 55
@Purdue 81, Nebraska 62

@Buffalo 90, Central Michigan 76 - Bowling Green lost to Toledo, getting UB back to even in the conference race at least

@Nevada 91, New Mexico 62
@San Diego St 68, Utah St 63 - USU got the tougher roadie at Fresno, but not this one.  Go figure

Belmont 96, @Morehead St 86

Washington St 69, @Arizona 55 - Wazzu sweeps their Arizona trip.  lolololololol
@Arizona St 75, Washington 63 - for the love of God, at least finish 2nd in this conference ASU
@Oregon St 79, Cal 71
Utah 93, @UCLA 92

@Tennessee 73, Florida 61
Kentucky 71, @Mississippi St 67 - ok, now we can get serious about UK and the 1 line
@LSU 83, Auburn 78
Ole Miss 80, @Georgia 64 - road wins are never trivial
@South Carolina 77, Arkansas 65 - and this is why
Alabama 77, @Vandy 67

@Wofford 83, Western Carolina 56
UNC Greensboro 78, @Chattanooga - 13-0 Wofford, 11-1 UNCG, Furman beats ETSU and both at 9-4.  Things holding to form in the SoCon

@Gonzaga 94, St Mary's 46 - this conference race is over

Friday, February 8, 2019


One interesting side effect - despite Nevada being the top 4 seed, they get kicked out East.  The B1G and BEast conflicts in the top three lines force Villanova into the West regional in that spot.  You really got to get to the top of the 3 line to control your geographic destiny.

1) Duke vs. 16) Robert Morris/Norfolk St
8) Auburn vs. 9) Baylor
@San Jose
4) Nevada vs. 13) Vermont
5) Maryland vs. 12) Hofstra
3) Marquette vs. 14) Harvard
6) Florida St vs. 11) Temple/VCU
@Des Moines
2) Michigan St vs. 15) Radford
7) Cincinnati vs. 10) Alabama

1) Michigan vs. 16) Sam Houston St
8) Buffalo vs. 9) Ole Miss
@Salt Lake City
4) Villanova vs. 13) New Mexico St
5) Texas Tech vs. 12) Lipscomb
3) Louisville vs. 14) Northern Kentucky
6) LSU vs. 11) Wofford
@Salt Lake City
2) Gonzaga vs. 15) Montana
7) Washington vs. 10) Oklahoma

1) Tennessee vs. 16) Texas-Arlington
8) Syracuse vs. 9) Minnesota
4) Purdue vs. 13) Bowling Green
5) Virginia Tech vs. 12) Belmont
3) Kansas vs. 14) Loyola(Chi)
6) Iowa vs. 11) Butler
2) North Carolina vs. 15) Bucknell
7) Mississippi St vs. 10) Texas

1) Virginia vs. 16) Monmouth/Prairie View A&M
8) St John's vs. 9) Ohio St
@San Jose
4) Wisconsin vs. 13) Old Dominion
5) Iowa St vs. 12) Davidson
3) Houston vs. 14) UC Irvine
6) Kansas St vs. 11) Indiana/North Carolina St
@Des Moines
2) Kentucky vs. 15) South Dakota St
7) TCU vs. 10) Seton Hall


Modest update.

The 1 line:  Duke, Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan
The 2 line:  Kentucky, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Michigan St
The 3 line:  Kansas, Louisville, Houston, Marquette
The 4 line:  Nevada, Purdue, Villanova, Wisconsin
The 5 line:  Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, Maryland, Iowa St
The 6 line:  LSU, Iowa, Kansas St, Florida St
The 7 line:  Mississippi St, Cincinnati, TCU, Washington
The 8 line:  Buffalo, Syracuse, St John's, Auburn
The 9 line:  Ohio St, Baylor, Minnesota, Ole Miss
The 10 line:  Seton Hall, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama
The 11 line:  Wofford, Butler, Indiana, Temple, VCU, North Carolina St
The 12 line:  Belmont, Lipscomb, Davidson, Hofstra
The 13 line:  New Mexico St, Bowling Green, Old Dominion, Vermont
The 14 line:  Harvard, UC Irvine, Northern Kentucky, Loyola(Chi)
The 15 line:  South Dakota St, Bucknell, Montana, Radford
The 16 line:  Sam Houston St, Texas-Arlington, Robert Morris, Monmouth, Prairie View A&M, Norfolk St

Last 4 in:
North Carolina St

Last 4 out:
Arizona St
Utah St
Central Florida

2/8 recap

Not much here. Yale holds home court over Princeton, so the Ivy race is in the balance again.  Long way to go though. 

St Louis loses at St Joe's.  Ye Gods. 

2/7 recap

Iowa 77, @Indiana 72 - whatever
@Ohio St 74, Penn St 70

Washington St 91, @Arizona St 70 - what
Washington 67, @Arizona 60 - please if there is a God let Washington win this conference tourney.  Let's do this.  It feels real for the first time right now.  If they can bury ASU too...
Stanford 83, @Oregon St 60 - just in case you were looking for a new Pac-12 team to bandwagon

@Gonzaga 92, San Francisco 62 - probably time to accept the inevitability of a 1-bid WCC now.  USF just can't make a reasonable case right now
@St Mary's 78, Pacific 66

Houston 77, @UCF 68 - critical blow to the AAC; UCF (and everyone else) might have too far to go to get an at-large bid now.  Quality win chance by the boards
Cincinnati 69, @Memphis 64 - the one bit of good news is that their two teams will be seeded high

@UNC Greensboro 75, Samford 67
Wofford 78, @East Tennessee St 76 (OT) - this will go down as a very quality win, and now we've got something legitimate with Wofford's at-large chances.  They have every key factor in play, including a very strong top of the rest of the conference, meaning a loss in the conference tourney won't be as damaging.  We've also got a bit of separation in the standings as Wofford and UNCG have shaken ETSU and Furman loose

@Hofstra 102, Elon 61
Belmont 83, @Eastern Kentucky 65
@Murray St 86, Eastern Illinois 75 - one minor annoyance:  Austin Peay hanging around in the conference race, tied with the usual two suspects
New Mexico St 71, @Cal St-Bakersfield 70 (OT)

Thursday, February 7, 2019

2/6 recap

@Villanova 66, Creighton 59 (OT)
Georgetown 76, @Providence 67 - is Georgetown relevant?  It's not an impossible road...

@Texas 84, Baylor 72 - a desperately needed service hold for Texas.  They have a problem with the raw accumulation of losses, they need to win more than their fair share of swing games
@TCU 70, Oklahoma St 68

Wisconsin 56, @Minnesota 51 - quality road wins matter
Maryland 60, @Nebraska 45 - oy.  What happened to Nebraska

LSU 92, @Mississippi St 88 (OT) - this is a notable result, from a seeding perspective
@Ole Miss 75, Texas A&M 71
@Alabama 89, Georgia 74

Clemson 65, @Georgia Tech 42 - Clemson lurking in the background
@Miami 62, Notre Dame 47

Nevada 98, @Colorado St 82
@Temple 81, UConn 63
@Davidson 68, Rhode Island 53 - all the A-10 can hope for now is for separation at the top, creating a extra quad 1 game for somebody's resume.  Mason and Duquesne lost, so that helps
VCU 60, @George Washington 50
Lipscomb 92, @North Florida 55
Colorado 84, @UCLA 73
@Oregon 73, Cal 62
Utah 77, @USC 70

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

2/5 recap

@Tennessee 72, Missouri 60
@Kentucky 76, South Carolina 48
@Auburn 76, Florida 62
@Arkansas 69, Vandy 66

@Duke 80, BC 55
@UNC 113, NC State 96
Florida St 80, @Syracuse 62 - quality road wins are tough to come by.  They're a tough team to see, partly because of so many upper-end ACC teams in the mix
@Wake 78, Pitt 76 (OT) - I can't believe Pitt was even in the proximity of the bubble a couple weeks ago

Michigan 77, @Rutgers 65
@Illinois 79, Michigan St 74 - what

St John's 70, @Marquette 69 - signature road win!  We have a clear #3 team in the Big East, finally.  I would hope SJU can hold onto the wheel from here

@Kansas St 74, Kansas 67 - well, my Kansas take looks slightly dumber now.  It's still such a weird resume to try and evaluate.  But I may have to put Gonzaga back on the 2 line ahead of them now

@St Louis 73, Dayton 60 - SLU finding form just in time to screw up the resumes of the other contending teams now
Utah St 82, @Fresno St 81 - cannot overstate how important this one is.  Best non-Nevada win available in the conference.  USU is in play on the bubble now

MACwatch:  Bowling Green wins again and will continue to rep the MAC in the bracket.  It does seem like the conference as a whole is good enough to beat Buffalo in the conference tourney, and we'll FINALLY get the at-large bid out of the MAC I've literally been waiting 2 decades for.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2/4 recap

Louisville 72, @Virginia Tech 64 - I can't help but feel that VT might be slightly fraudulent.  Feel like they're a 7 seed masquerading as a 4 seed right now.  ACC has a legit chance at 4 teams in the top 8 now

Iowa St 75, @Oklahoma 74 - remember, conference record is irrelevant, and the overall resume is still in okay shape.  But it's time to start worrying about OU

@Texas Tech 81, WVU 50
Penn St 59, @Northwestern 52 - go to hell, Jim Delany

Sunday, February 3, 2019


The 1 line:  Duke (19-2), Virginia (20-1), Tennessee (19-1), Michigan (20-2)
The 2 line:  Michigan St (18-4), Kansas (17-5), Kentucky (18-3), North Carolina (17-4)
The 3 line:  Gonzaga (21-2), Marquette (19-3), Houston (21-1), Louisville (16-6)
The 4 line:  Nevada (21-1), Virginia Tech (18-3), Purdue (16-6), Villanova (18-4)
The 5 line:  Wisconsin (16-6), Texas Tech (17-5), Maryland (17-6), Iowa St (17-5)
The 6 line:  Iowa (17-5), Mississippi St (16-5), LSU (17-4), Florida St (16-5)
The 7 line:  Syracuse (16-6), Kansas St (16-5), Cincinnati (19-3), TCU (15-6)
The 8 line:  Buffalo (18-3), Washington (18-4), Auburn (14-6), Oklahoma (15-7)
The 9 line:  Ohio St (14-7), Baylor (15-6), Minnesota (16-6), St John's (16-6)
The 10 line:  Ole Miss (14-7), Seton Hall (13-9), Indiana (13-9), Arizona St (15-6)
The 11 line:  Texas (12-10), Alabama (13-8), Butler (13-10), North Carolina St (16-6), Temple (16-6), Wofford (16-4)
The 12 line:  Lipscomb (16-4), Davidson (15-5), Hofstra (18-4), New Mexico St (17-4)
The 13 line:  Georgia St (15-6), Bowling Green (13-6), Old Dominion (18-6), Vermont (16-5)
The 14 line:  Princeton (10-5), UC Irvine (18-5), Northern Kentucky (16-6), Loyola(Chi) (13-9)
The 15 line:  South Dakota St (18-6), Jacksonville St (14-7), Bucknell (14-8), Montana (13-6)
The 16 line:  Radford (13-7), Rider (12-9), Sam Houston St (11-8), Robert Morris (10-11), Prairie View A&M (9-11), Norfolk St (10-10)

Next 4 in:
Seton Hall
Arizona St

Last 4 in:
North Carolina St

Last 4 out:
Central Florida

Next 4 out:
Utah St
UNC Greensboro
San Francisco

Break it down!:
B1G 9
Big 12 8
Big East 5
Pac-12 2

Bubble Watch - everyone else

Gonzaga (21-2) (8-0) NET 2 SoS 59
Vital signs:  8-2 R/N, non-con SoS 57, 4-2 vs. Quad 1, 3-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 161
Signature wins:  N-Duke, Washington, @San Fran?
Bad losses:  none

When your second best win is Washington, you’ve got problems.  A legitimate bubble team.  But wait, it’s Gonzaga?  Just kidding, they’re obviously fine.  Still that does highlight a big problem for them.  Yeah, they beat Washington and Creighton and Arizona and Illinois…and they’ve all let Gonzaga down this year.  Their list of wins aren’t as good as they normally are.  However, all the other metrics are in order so they’re fine.  And of course the win against Duke is the magic elixir.  But if you slapped Buffalo’s name on this resume, I’d be willing to bet everyone would put them on the 5 line.  Interesting dynamic.

San Francisco (16-5) (5-3) NET 49 SoS 164
Vital signs:  5-4 R/N, non-con SoS 276, 0-3 vs. Quad 1, 1-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 216
Signature wins:  St Mary’s…BYU and Stanford?
Bad losses:  @UCSB ain’t great

I’ve seen SFU be a chic pick for an at-large bid.  Their only Quad 1-2 win is home to St Mary’s.  Bad non-con SoS.  Really bad avg win.  Marginal road record (best road win is #160).  Um, what?

St Mary’s (14-9) (5-3) NET 47 SoS 48
Vital signs:  3-7 R/N, non-con SoS 95, 1-4 vs. Quad 1, 1-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 181
Signature wins:  @NMSU, San Fran, San Diego
Bad losses:  @Pepperdine, Harvard, UC-I

Since we don’t know exactly how NET will be valued, I’ll do a writeup for a top 50 NET team.  But that’s about all that’s working in favor of this resume at the moment.

Nevada (21-1) (8-1) NET 14 SoS 96
Vital signs:  10-1 R/N, non-con SoS 44, 0-0 vs. Quad 1, 8-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 144
Signature wins:  N-Arizona St, Utah St?  @USC?
Bad losses:  @New Mexico

Sneaky problem – 0 Quad 1 games.  Ouch.  Beat ASU, @Utah, @USC…they’ve been victimized by the Pac-12’s failures.  SoS is good, which is more a product of playing a bunch of good but not great teams (Tulsa, LU-Chicago, South Dakota St, BYU, Grand Canyon, etc).  Smart scheduling, but a bit of bad luck not to have impact wins on the resume.  We’ll see how it affects their seed.  I don’t really know what to do with them, honestly.

Utah St (16-5) (7-2) NET 38 SoS 145
Vital signs:  7-4 R/N, non-con SoS 62, 1-2 vs. Quad 1, 1-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 221
Signature wins:  N-St Mary’s, @UCI, Utah Valley?
Bad losses:  Fresno

Good NET, but not much else.  We’ll give them some credit for decent metrics overall, though.  I don’t think I can make a winning case for them, without them beating Nevada at home later.  Losses to ASU and BYU, even though they were R/N games, is probably the killer.  A split in them could’ve given them an exponentially better argument.

Buffalo (18-3) (7-2) NET 23 SoS 100
Vital signs:  10-3 R/N, non-con SoS 88, 2-1 vs. Quad 1, 2-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 167
Signature wins:  @Syracuse, N-San Fran, Toledo
Bad losses:  I suppose @NIU and @BGU

Not quite as good as you’d think, as their WVU win has evaporated.  8-3 road record, which helps excuse the two road losses in conference play (as long as they don’t pick up too many more).  It’s not impossible that this resume misses the tourney, but the strength of the conference is really helping.  An up year means the BGU and NIU losses aren’t as catastrophic as they would be in most years.

Wofford (16-4) (11-0) NET 28 SoS 135
Vital signs:  7-3 R/N, non-con SoS 107, 1-4 vs. Quad 1, 3-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 205
Signature wins:  @UNCG, ETSU, Furman
Bad losses:  nothing even close to one

Played UNC, @Kansas, @Miss St, and @Oklahoma.  Lost ‘em all.  Man, if they had just gotten one…they did get South Carolina on the road, which isn’t nothing.  And that’s why they’re listed, along with their impossible NET rating.  And remember, the SoCon is strong this year.  Running the table this year would have real, legitimate resume value.  I think this has a chance.  It all depends on how much the committee cares about the signature win category, which is going to remain thin.

UNC Greensboro (18-3) (9-1) NET 52 SoS 183
Vital signs:  9-2 R/N, non-con SoS 168, 1-3 vs. Quad 1, 1-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 228
Signature wins:  @ETSU, Furman, Radford?
Bad losses:  nothing, maybe home to Wofford?

I know I put them in last week…probably not justifiable.  But who cares.  Still though, probably can’t justify this, especially given that they’ve already spent one of their Wofford games.

Lipscomb (16-4) (9-0) NET 32 SoS 209
Vital signs:  8-3 R/N, non-con SoS 51, 2-3 vs. Quad 1, 2-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 229
Signature wins:  @TCU, @Liberty, Vermont
Bad losses:  home to Belmont?

In play!  The SoS is bad, but the non-con SoS isn’t, giving them a reasonable argument.  Played 5 Quad 1 games, all on the road, and went 2-3 in those games (lost to UL, Clemson, Belmont).  Actually got swept by Belmont, which is killer.  I’d love to see what things would look like if that was flipped.  8-3 true road record, the avg win is really bad…I don’t know.  I don’t think this is a dead resume.  Also, thanks to Liberty’s inexplicable NET ranking, they’ve got one more chance at a quad 2 win, probably.  They also avoided bad losses, which counts for something.  I’ll be paying attention to them this next month.

Belmont (16-4) (8-2) NET 62 SoS 142
Vital signs:  6-3 R/N, non-con SoS 63, 2-1 vs. Quad 1, 3-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 199
Signature wins:  swept Lipscomb, @Murray St, @UCLA
Bad losses:  Jax St, @Green Bay

Wait, what?  This is probably aggressive, but I’ll list them for now.  I mean, 5 quad 1-2 wins for an OVC team is nothing to sneeze at.  Problem is, based on the OVC schedule, they’re probably done with those chances this year.  But with the non-con SoS thrown in, it’s not an impossible task for them to be in play.

Off the board (WCC):
I’ll give shoutouts to BYU, Loyola Marymount, and San Diego for doing their part to help the conference during the non-con.  But they just don’t have any nutritional value in their individual resumes to warrant a breakdown.

Off the board (MWC):
Really bad year for the conference as a whole.  If you squint, maybe you can make a case for Fresno, but with just two Quad 1-2 wins, probably not.  Bad SoS too.

Off the board (MAC):
A shoutout for a good year overall for the conference.  Just can’t put any of them on the bubble other than Buffalo.  Toledo didn’t play a Quad 1 or 2 game in the non-con.  Kent St actually has wins over Vandy and Oregon St on the road, which isn’t nothing, but their non-con SoS is 262.  Can’t do it.  Bowling Green doesn’t have much either.

Off the board (SoCon):
I feel bad for Furman.  Villanova will stand as a signature win, but Loyola has faded, and those are two of their three wins outside of quad 4 games.  That’s right.  They have 3 wins in the top 3 quads.  And their non-con SoS is a ghastly 286, which shows how bad it was outside of Nova.  Sigh.  4 SoCon losses already dooms them.  ETSU deserves credit for a good NET and good record, but they lack SoS and impact wins.

Off the board (elsewhere):
Penn won the Big 5.  They also have 4 losses in Quads 3 and 4.  Wins over Nova and Temple are great but they spent all their wiggle room, and then some. 

CUSA has nothing cooking this year.  Old Dominion is actually 2-1 in the top 2 quads, beating @Syracuse and VCU.  They also have 5 quad 3 losses and a non-con SoS in the 300s, despite playing 3 quad 1-2 games in said non-con.  Alas.

WAC is having a good year record-wise, but their resumes are mostly empty calories.  NMSU has a non-con SoS of 217, which is shocking for a team that played Kansas, St Mary’s, and has a series with UNM.  Either way, they didn’t win their signature win chances, so that’s that.

Northeastern really scheduled up (non-con SoS 15), but only cashed in once, beating Alabama while losing to good teams (Syracuse, VT, Vermont, Davidson, et al).  One wasn’t enough, and they’ve lost 3 quad 4 games.  Shame.  Hofstra has a top 60 NET, but no quad 1 or 2 wins with a bad SoS.

Liberty is a top 50 NET team.  Okay.  They did beat UCLA, but with a non-con SoS of 238, they needed more depth in their quality win list (or any depth) to matter.

Until very recently, I was on the Murray St bandwagon.  Non-con SoS north of 200, no quad 1-2 wins, just 6 games outside of quad 4.  Sorry.

Bubble Watch - AAC and A-10

Houston (21-1) (8-1) NET 7 SoS 67
Vital signs:  5-1 R/N, non-con SoS 145, 2-1 vs. Quad 1, 8-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 149
Signature wins:  LSU, @USF?  Utah St?  oof
Bad losses:  @Temple, I guess

The problem is evident.  A lack of signature wins.  Now, you can fix that by winning everything, and Houston has.  But it 100% puts a cap on how high they can rise on the seed list.  You can’t get a very high seed with 1 win over a tourney team on the resume.  They do have Cincy twice yet, though.

Cincinnati (19-3) (8-1) NET 25 SoS 112
Vital signs:  6-2 R/N, non-con SoS 171, 2-1 vs. Quad 1, 3-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 162
Signature wins:  N-Ole Miss, @Temple, USF?
Bad losses:  @ECU

A bit unfortunate their SoS is down a bit.  They split with the 2 SEC Mississippi schools in the non-con, and lost to OSU.  Scheduled well, but NKU, UCLA, George Mason, UNLV….down the line, their opponents have hurt their SoS.  As is, they’re in an overall solid position, but can’t afford to slide too much.  The resume can’t afford the cost of a loss to other prospective bubble teams in the conference.

UCF (16-4) (6-2) NET 43 SoS 113
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 138, 0-1 vs. Quad 1, 3-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 163
Signature wins:  Alabama, Temple, @UConn?
Bad losses:  FAU, @Wichita

Their only Quad 1 game was a loss to Memphis.  There’s just nothing in the resume that suggest tournament team, to be honest.  Every aspect just isn’t good enough.  Now, the good news is they have 4 games with Cincy and Houston in the hopper, so this situation will fix itself.  However, it might take more than 1 win in those games to get there.

Temple (16-6) (6-3) NET 54 SoS 42
Vital signs:  8-4 R/N, non-con SoS 161, 1-5 vs. Quad 1, 5-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 165
Signature wins:  Houston, N-Davidson?  Memphis?
Bad losses:  Penn

At least with Temple, they split with Houston, giving them some kind of backbone to the resume.  6 true road wins is good too, but the lack of depth of quality wins will be an issue going forward.  They’ve already spent one of their Cincy games and both Houston games, so they won’t have many chances to enhance the resume going forward.

VCU (15-6) (6-2) NET 48 SoS 17
Vital signs:  4-5 R/N, non-con SoS 2, 1-3 vs. Quad 1, 2-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 151
Signature wins:  @Texas, N-Temple, Hofstra?
Bad losses:  Charleston, @URI, @ODU?

Gets respect for the SoS, and the signature wins feel comparable to other bubble teams.  The A-10 being down has killed their chances to add quality wins though, and it’s going to make the degree of difficulty very high for getting an at-large bid.  But they should be on the board, thanks to that SoS.

Davidson (15-5) (7-1) NET 63 SoS 114
Vital signs:  6-5 R/N, non-con SoS 142, 0-2 vs. Quad 1, 4-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 169
Signature wins:  VCU, @St Louis?  N-Northeastern?
Bad losses:  @St Joe’s, @Wake

Probably not in play on the bubble.  But the losses are bad but not catastrophic, so as A-10 leader we’ll let them hang around until they lose their way off the bubble.  But there’s not much going on here.

St Louis (14-8) (5-4) NET 122 SoS 147
Vital signs:  3-6 R/N, non-con SoS 164, 1-2 vs. Quad 1, 2-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 200
Signature wins:  @Seton Hall, Butler, Oregon St
Bad losses:  Richmond, @SIU, @Duquesne

This is generous.  The non-con results let them stay on the board for now.  I guess.

Off the board (American):
South Florida is 15-6.  With a 332 non-con SoS and 1 Quad 1-2 win (home to Memphis).  You can’t justify them right now, they need multiple wins against legit AAC teams to pretend to have a chance.  Similarly, Memphis and UConn lack Quad 1-2 wins, which really kill their case before they can make an argument.  SMU and Tulsa are losing in conference play which makes their case even easier to dismiss.  I wouldn’t discount the odds of someone in this group making a big run, but don’t give any of these teams a reasonable chance until they’re deep into that run.

Off the board (A-10):
Dayton would seem like a natural at-large candidate, and maybe I’m being harsh listing them down here.  Their only win in the top 2 quads is Butler, though.  And an avg win of 201.  Pass for now.  George Mason and Duquesne are hanging out at the top of the league, but have terrible overall resumes.  I’ll throw URI down here for now.

Bubble Watch - Pac-12 fail tracker

Washington (18-4) (9-0) NET 27 SoS 49
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 18, 2-3 vs. Quad 1, 2-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 152
Signature wins:  @Oregon, @Oregon St?  @Colorado?  Jeez
Bad losses:  N-Minnesota, I suppose

Well, at the least, they’re winning the games they’re supposed to.  No real bad losses…but they lost their 4 quality win chances in the non-con.  Best non-con win is San Diego, and we know conference play won’t be bountiful with more quality win chances.  Still, there’s some value in just plain winning.  Their non-con SoS is a weird number.  When you look at the list of opponents…that ranking is a bit fraudulent.  Don’t give that number too much weight.

Arizona St (15-6) (6-3) NET 60 SoS 65
Vital signs:  5-4 R/N, non-con SoS 46, 3-1 vs. Quad 1, 5-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 130
Signature wins:  Kansas, N-Mississippi St, N-Utah St?
Bad losses:  Utah, Princeton, @Vandy and Stanford?

They’re the one team in here that actually posted non-con results.  The question is how much they mean when you punt away a few games you shouldn’t have.  MSU is a bigger win that people will realize – having a second signature win to buttress the first one is a nice thing to have, especially when quality win chances are not easily found in conference play.  They had a bad break losing their scheduled game with San Francisco, and as it turns out they only get Washington once in the Pac-12.  There’s a path to at-large selection, especially given their metrics, but it’s not easy.

Arizona (14-8) (5-4) NET 65 SoS 71
Vital signs:  4-6 R/N, non-con SoS 60, 1-5 vs. Quad 1, 3-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 164
Signature wins:  N-Iowa St, Oregon St?  @UConn?
Bad losses:  swept by the LA schools

Meh.  A case where they beat the teams they should, but have lost all chances at reasonable signature wins short of ISU.  And they’ll be light on chances to fix that Quad 1 win mark.  This will put immense pressure on their one game in hand with Washington.  An argument can be made, but I’m not feeling particularly motivated to make it.

Oregon St (14-7) (6-3) NET 72 SoS 97
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 215, 1-3 vs. Quad 1, 4-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 165
Signature wins:  @Oregon, N-ODU? N-Penn?  Yikes
Bad losses:  A&M, Kent St

A courtesy listing, as the lack of quality wins and non-con SoS take out their chances pretty quickly.  Already spent a home game against Washington.  Not much hope outside of conference standing, which is really false hope anyways.

Oregon (13-9) (4-5) NET 66 SoS 46
Vital signs:  4-5 R/N, non-con SoS 68, 2-5 vs. Quad 1, 1-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 167
Signature wins:  N-Syracuse, @Arizona, @Utah?
Bad losses:  UCLA, Texas Southern

Another courtesy listing; at least they have a couple decent wins to lean on if they get hot.

Off the board:
USC doesn’t have much; their only two Quad 1-2 wins are homies against the Arizona schools.  Terrible road record.  Can’t do it.  UCLA’s two Quad 1-2 wins are @Oregon and Arizona.  No terrible losses and a really good SoS, but way too many lost chances at quality wins.  Utah’s avg win is 200.  Colorado’s is 209.  You just can’t make a case for any of these teams.  I had to list the Oregon schools just to have something to kinda write about.  This conference is a disaster.  Arizona St’s two non-con wins are propping up the entire conference right now.

Bubble Watch - Big East


Marquette (19-3) (8-1) NET 18 SoS 60
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 101, 6-3 vs. Quad 1, 3-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 134
Signature wins:  Wisky, N-Louisville, Buffalo
Bad losses:  @Indiana might not age well

Everything is in order here.  SoS is a touch too high, signature wins aren’t quite signature enough, to make a run at a 1 seed, but that is probably of little concern.  Safely in the protected seed category for now.

Villanova (18-4) (9-0) NET 20 SoS 20
Vital signs:  9-2 R/N, non-con SoS 19, 3-2 vs. Quad 1, 7-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 119
Signature wins:  N-FSU, @Butler, @Creighton?
Bad losses:  @Penn, Furman?

The good news first – both “bad losses” are quad 2 losses, so no real reason to panic.  Quality SoS numbers, legitimately great road/neutral numbers (4 neutral site win in there), which mitigate any concern of the actual road losses.  They’re forgivable given the quantity of wins in there.  The bad news though is the signature win category.  That’s not a lot of left, and you can argue home wins over St Johns and Seton Hall represent their only wins over tourney competition to date.  Their seed line will need some help.


St John’s (16-6) (4-5) NET 45 SoS 66
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 192, 3-4 vs. Quad 1, 4-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 171
Signature wins:  Marquette, N-VCU, @Creighton?
Bad losses:  Georgetown and DePaul at home

Non-con SoS is middling, and the avg win is downright troublesome.  This is your prototypical bubble resume.  One signature win as the pillar, just good enough on the road to show competency, no real depth of wins.  Problem is that the conference doesn’t offer too many wins over lock tournament teams, so every game over .500 they get in conference is very valuable for them.

Seton Hall (13-9) (4-6) NET 68 SoS 27
Vital signs:  6-6 R/N, non-con SoS 54, 2-5 vs. Quad 1, 4-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 124
Signature wins:  N-Kentucky, @Maryland, St John’s
Bad losses:  St Louis?  DePaul?

They’re 4-0 on neutral sites, so just 2 road wins.  They’ve played sufficient games against top-tier competition, and won the bare minimum of them to feel like contenders right now.  That signature win over UK is carrying everything right now.  2 of the losses at @Marq and @Nova, so home chances against them are looming.  They can still make the tourney losing both, but it feels more and more like they need one more signature win to feel safe.

Butler (13-10) (4-6) NET 55 SoS 23
Vital signs:  3-7 R/N, non-con SoS 50, 1-6 vs. Quad 1, 5-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 120
Signature wins:  N-Florida, St John’s?  Seton Hall?
Bad losses:  G’town, N-Dayton?

Nothing is too flagrant on its own, but the sum of their resume is a problem.  What I mean:  the raw number of losses do matter, and 1-6 against Quad 1 matters.  You have to cash in a minimum of those opportunities, and Butler hasn’t done it enough yet.  One more problem is that they’ve already spent their home games against Marquette and Nova.  Also, their only true road win is DePaul right now.

Creighton (12-9) (4-5) NET 64 SoS 9
Vital signs:  5-4 R/N, non-con SoS 16, 0-7 vs. Quad 1, 5-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 128
Signature wins:  Butler, @Provi?  N-Clemson?
Bad losses:  St John’s is the worst

The extreme example of the good bad team – beat everyone you’re supposed to, lose to everyone you’re supposed to.  The SoS is there, which means this bubble resume comes down to the simple task of getting quality wins (duh!).  Beat somebody, beat anybody, Creighton.  There’s room for you at the inn if you do.

Providence (13-9) (3-6) NET 79 SoS 76
Vital signs:  4-6 R/N, non-con SoS 172, 1-4 vs. Quad 1, 3-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 164
Signature wins:  @Texas, SHU, @Xavier?
Bad losses:  UMass, N-Wichita

A courtesy listing, barely made the list.

Georgetown (14-8) (4-5) NET 82 SoS 87
Vital signs:  4-4 R/N, non-con SoS 234, 2-3 vs. Quad 1, 3-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 166
Signature wins:  @St John’s, @Butler, Liberty?
Bad losses:  SMU, N-LMU

Almost didn’t list them either, but hey:  two road Quad 1 wins are on the board, so it’s not an impossible road for them to the tourney.  Obvious non-con SoS is hurting them.

Off the board:
You can make an argument to list all 10 teams on the bubble, but nah.  Xavier is under .500, and DePaul has a non-con SoS of 348.  They’ll have to play spoiler for now.

Bubble Watch - $EC


Tennessee (19-1) (8-0) NET 4 SoS 84
Vital signs:  8-1 R/N, non-con SoS 82, 4-1 vs. Quad 1, 6-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 121
Signature wins:  N-Gonzaga, N-Louisville, @Florida
Bad losses:  none

Only real criticism is the win list – no real wins over probable tourney teams beyond those 3.  SEC conference play will fix that problem though.  So I guess you have to rank those ACC teams ahead of UT if you must.

Kentucky (18-3) (7-1) NET 6 SoS 44
Vital signs:  6-3 R/N, non-con SoS 44, 6-2 vs. Quad 1, 3-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 124
Signature wins:  N-UNC, @Louisville, Kansas
Bad losses:  N-Seton Hall, I suppose

No major flaws, good high-end wins, maybe two marginal losses.  Conference play will give them a legitimate chance at a 1 seed.  Not much for me to add on this one.

Mississippi St (16-5) (4-4) NET 26 SoS 26
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 40, 5-2 vs. Quad 1, 4-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 120
Signature wins:  Cincy, @Ole Miss, Auburn
Bad losses:  @S Carolina, N-Arizona St?

Maybe the lockbox is a bit high for MSU, but every metric is in good shape at the moment and I have no real reason to fear their situation.


LSU (17-4) (7-1) NET 19 SoS 30
Vital signs:  6-3 R/N, non-con SoS 13, 3-2 vs. Quad 1, 6-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 125
Signature wins:  @Ole Miss, @Arky?  N-St Mary’s?  oof
Bad losses:  N-Okla St, Arky

With that SoS and road/neutral record, that list of quality wins is surprisingly bad.  The SoCon is actually propping them up, representing 2 Quad 2 wins for them.  They’re getting screwed by the schedule – they only get Kentucky, MSU, and Tennessee once, when the one thing their resume lacks is high-end wins.  They can afford to lose them all and make the field.  But making the field is one thing; getting a good seed is another.

Auburn (14-6) (4-4) NET 21 SoS 32
Vital signs:  4-5 R/N, non-con SoS 36, 1-5 vs. Quad 1, 5-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 141
Signature wins:  Washington, N-Arizona?  Alabama?
Bad losses:  @S Carolina

The resume issue is as clear as day – get some signature wins.  Only one road win too.  Despite the overall good shape they’re in with their metrics, sooner or later they’ll need to add some wins over probable tourney teams to feel truly safe.  These opportunities are plentiful for them though.  Does have a Murray St win hiding in Quad 2.

Ole Miss (14-7) (4-4) NET 39 SoS 57
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 161, 3-7 vs. Quad 1, 2-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 169
Signature wins:  Auburn, @Mississippi St, N-Baylor
Bad losses:  none

I wish that avg win mark was a bit higher, and that it was 4-6 instead of 3-7 in Quad 1.  They would be a lot more safer with that.  As is, without a game against a truly elite team on the resume yet, they’re a bit light on actual resume heft to feel too safe right now.  2 of those neutral site wins are Quad 4 wins, so they’re not in as good shape as you’d think on that metric.

Alabama (13-8) (4-4) NET 46 SoS 16
Vital signs:  5-6 R/N, non-con SoS 72, 3-5 vs. Quad 1, 4-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 115
Signature wins:  Kentucky, Mississippi St, Ole Miss?
Bad losses:  N-Northeastern, A&M, Georgia St

They need to thank their lucky stars they got Kentucky, because this is a very troubling resume without.  Avg win of 115 is actually very solid, they did a good job avoiding non-con deadweight (their non-con SoS is a result of a lot of decent opponents but no truly great opponents).  One of those Quad 1 wins is N-Liberty, so make what you will of that.  This is your typical bubble resume, really.

Florida (12-9) (4-4) NET 40 SoS 53
Vital signs:  5-5 R/N, non-con SoS 140, 1-7 vs. Quad 1, 4-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 140
Signature wins:  @Arky, Ole Miss, Butler?
Bad losses:  South Carolina, N-Butler?

They lost their top 7 games on the schedule, and already have spent their chances against Tennessee and Kentucky at home.  They have enough signature win chances left on the board, but they need multiples of them now, and fast.

Arkansas (13-8) (4-4) NET 57 SoS 37
Vital signs:  4-4 R/N, non-con SoS 109, 1-5 vs. Quad 1, 2-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 142
Signature wins:  @LSU, Indiana?  @A&M?
Bad losses:  WKU, Ga Tech

Very close to not listing them.  Borderline to even be borderline.

Off the board:
Special shoutout to South Carolina, 6-2 in league but 10-10 overall.  They actually have wins of Auburn, MSU, and @Florida on the board, and no real disqualifying metric outside of a Quad 4 loss, so they’re not completely dead.  Keep an eye out just in case.  I have a feeling they’ll be closer to 2018 Nebraska than anything else, though.  Missouri might have the same record as Florida, but an avg win of 170 pretty much described their current situation.

Bubble Watch - Big 10

Fuck you Jim Delany for scheduling Friday games.


Michigan (20-2) (9-2) NET 5 SoS 64
Vital signs:  6-2 R/N, non-con SoS 183, 5-2 vs. Quad 1, 6-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 125
Signature wins:  UNC, Purdue, @Nova
Bad losses:  none

Middling non-con SoS is about the only real flaw.  As much as people like to rail on about metrics, the raw number of losses do matter, and just two road losses in league play is solid.  Legitimate 1 seed contender.

Michigan St (18-4) (9-2) NET 8 SoS 28
Vital signs:  8-3 R/N, non-con SoS 127, 8-3 vs. Quad 1, 4-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 104
Signature wins:  Purdue, swept Iowa, Maryland
Bad losses:  I suppose Indiana at home

8 Quad 1 wins is sexy.  You can make the argument that home against Purdue and @Iowa being he best win is a problem – they lack the truly high end wins that the other contenders for the 1 line have.  However, 6 true road wins and an average win approaching 100 is really good too.  There is also time to fix the signature win thing, against Michigan.

Purdue (16-6) (9-2) NET 12 SoS 2
Vital signs:  5-6 R/N, non-con SoS 34, 5-5 vs. Quad 1, 5-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 96
Signature wins:  MSU, @Wisky, Iowa
Bad losses:  N-Notre Dame

There is one potential criticism in that, despite the SoS, the non-con was light on tangible results, having lost to VT, Texas, and UND.  They’ve gotten enough quality wins in conference play to mitigate that, though.  Every metric is between acceptable and great right now.

Wisconsin (16-6) (8-3) NET 11 SoS 25
Vital signs:  7-4 R/N, non-con SoS 84, 5-4 vs. Quad 1, 5-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 125
Signature wins:  Michigan, @Iowa, Maryland
Bad losses:  @WKU, Minny at home?

A good lesson:  If you win a majority, but not a super-majority, of your games against prospective tourney teams, you’ll be fine.  Wisconsin is fine.  Decent amount of road wins.  Good SoS.  No red flags.  One signature win buttressing the resume.  Just fine.


Maryland (17-6) (8-4) NET 24 SoS 29
Vital signs:  5-4 R/N, non-con SoS 58, 3-4 vs. Quad 1, 5-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 135
Signature wins:  Wisky, @OSU, Nebraska?
Bad losses:  N-Illinois

Without a win over a signature opponent, Maryland falls short of the lockbox for now.  Another resume in overall fine shape, as they’ve won enough games against similar competition to be okay.  Whiffed on wins in their 4 toughest games, which will limit their seed upside for now. 

Iowa (17-5) (6-5) NET 22 SoS 68
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 260, 3-5 vs. Quad 1, 5-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 142
Signature wins:  Michigan, Iowa St, Ohio St?
Bad losses:  @Minny is the worst

Here the non-con SoS is a definite counterweight to the resume, so no lockbox yet.  Only two road wins (NW, PSU); they’ll need to pick up 1 road win of significance at some point just to be safe.  They’ll have reasonable chances to do so, though.  Their depth of wins isn’t that great (you can blame UConn and Oregon for underperforming and not helping Iowa’s resume more).  This feels like a team destined to be in the middle of the bracket somewhere.

Minnesota (16-6) (6-5) NET 51 SoS 88
Vital signs:  5-5 R/N, non-con SoS 212, 3-4 vs. Quad 1, 2-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 134
Signature wins:  @Wisky, Iowa, N-Washington
Bad losses:  @BC, @Illinois?

Marginal SoS, only 1 true road win (strangely enough, Wisconsin).  4 neutral site wins, although 3 of them have little caloric value.  So their issue is more transparent than most.  Win road games of any kind.  They’ll need a few more Quad 1-2 wins as well to be sure, but the road thing seems to be a bigger issue in my mind.

Ohio St (14-7) (4-6) NET 35 SoS 34
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 136, 3-5 vs. Quad 1, 3-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 152
Signature wins:  @Cincy, @Nebraska, @Creighton
Bad losses:  @Rutgers

OSU has lost to basically all the good B1G teams, and beaten all the fair and bad ones (minus Rutgers).  Did really important work in the non-con, with road wins that will carry weight with the committee.  They might need a high-end win by the end of the year, but they’ll have their chances to get it.  No red flags in the way that, say, Iowa or Minnesota have, so they’re in ok shape for now.

Indiana (13-9) (4-7) NET 44 SoS 50
Vital signs:  3-7 R/N, non-con SoS 156, 3-7 vs. Quad 1, 3-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 153
Signature wins:  @MSU, Louisville, Marquette
Bad losses:  @Rutgers

Some great, some not-so-great.  3 signature wins that will trump just about all other bubble contenders.  Marginal 2-7 road record, which includes losing to Rutgers, Arky, and Northwestern.  Depth of wins is not great, as evidenced by the avg win north of 150.  Their issue will be consistency going forward – they need quantity of good wins, not quality of good wins, if that makes sense.  More road wins, more Quad 1-2 wins, and it’s ok if they miss all the rest of their truly signature win chances.

Nebraska (12-9) (3-8) NET 33 SoS 107
Vital signs:  4-6 R/N, non-con SoS 236, 2-6 vs. Quad 1, 3-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 148
Signature wins:  @Indiana, Seton Hall?  @Clemson?
Bad losses:  @Illinois, @Rutgers

A courtesy listing at this point.  No metric screams quality team right now.  No legitimate argument can be made anymore.  They’ve lost all their quality win chances.  Just can’t justify them anymore.

Off the board:
If you’re wondering, Northwestern is even worse off than Nebraska, with just a home win over Indiana to lean on.  And if you think Rutgers matters, their non-con SoS of 317 is a non-starter.