Friday, March 27, 2015

The tournament television schedule

Without getting too much into what was actually said the past week or so, some coaches complained about the turnaround time in between rounds.  Using one of the complainers as an example:  Wisconsin played late, late Sunday night, then had to play a Thursday Sweet 16 game, while the other 3 teams in their regional played on Thursday/Saturday the previous week.  This means an extra day of rest/prep.

Now, this kind of thing is unavoidable in the current system.  Wisky just happened to be closest to a Friday/Sunday pod in week 1, just like Arizona just happened to be closest to a Thursday/Saturday pod.  We could rig the system to make sure every team in a region plays the same day on week 1, but we'd lose significant, significant ground in terms of travel.  The whole pod system that we have today is contingent on making this sacrifice in days off.  Sure, in an ideal world, everyone in the West region would be playing Thursday/Saturday, but it's not feasible, and we're past the point of no return there.

A bigger issue is the TV times itself.  It's no secret TV execs control what games are shown when, and on which channel.  It's done to maximize eyeballs to TVs.  No surprise.  But even with that, I'd like to see some consideration to common sense.

The smoking gun:  at a game on Friday in Columbus, Ohio, Dayton/Providence tipped off, at a local time of 10:52PM.  That is ridiculous.  Period.

Let's look at the Friday schedule a little deeper.  There were 4 sites in play:  Charlotte, Columbus, Omaha, Seattle.  Logic would say Charlotte and Columbus should tip first, and Seattle and Omaha should tip last, so that they'd have the final game of the day.  And, actually, the tip times in Seattle are reasonable.  It's the tip times in Omaha that went haywire.

Scheduled tip times in Omaha, in local time:  11:15AM, 1:45PM, 5:50PM, 8:20PM.  Seem reasonable on the surface.  However:
Scheduled tip times in Columbus, in local time:  2:10PM, 4:40PM, 7:27PM, 9:57PM.  And the last tip time extended an hour past schedule.  Note the turnaround time in between the 2nd game and 3rd game - most regionals have at least an hour in there, to switch out crowds and things like that.  Columbus was scheduled to have no turnaround time.

This is insane.  Why didn't the times for Columbus and Omaha flip with one another?  Why are they waiting until 2PM local time to tip in Columbus?  Columbus was the LAST of the 4 regions to tip.  The answer seems to be TV.

The Maryland/Valpo game (in Columbus) would get the awkward 4:40PM start time where viewership is minimized.  They wanted Maryland/Valpo in that spot because the other 3 games had Indiana, Louisville, and a highly-ranked Virginia team, who are better TV draws.  Why did the WVU/Buffalo game in Columbus tip last?  Because Kansas tipped first (in Omaha).  And the first game to tip has a national audience for nearly a full half.  Can't have WVU anchor a whole 35 minutes of television.

The real crime, though, were the Saturday/Sunday schedules.  Let me break down how they work.  With 4 regionals, there are 4 "windows".  These windows, let's call:  CBS Early, CBS Late, TNT, TBS.  Each name is self-explanatory.  The CBS Early window is a national window - no other games play at the same time as the CBS Early games.  This is by design, I'm sure.  I imagine it's the type of thing CBS wanted in the TV contracts - if they're giving up games to the Turner sports networks, they want the exclusive window in return.

Well, here's a problem.  CBS obviously wanted the Kentucky game for its Early window on Saturday.  Obviously.  However, because there's 4 sites in play, and the schedule is set in advance, the other game in Louisville was automatically going to get a national audience as well.  That means UAB/UCLA got a national audience while many, many good games got aired opposite each other.  Blargh.

And another problem:  since the networks (correctly) want to straddle the games to make sure none end at the same time...that means one or two sites are going to have very, very late games.  This led to the Wisconsin situation, among others.  Playing late, late into Sunday night is an issue.  If you're wondering, back when it was just CBS showing the games, they had to pack in a quadruple header, in order to get out of the way of 60 Minutes, so there were actually no Sunday night games.

I know CBS doesn't want to hear this, but for the sake of both competitive balance and viewership balance, they need to give up their exclusive Early window.  The schedule for Saturday/Sunday really should be as follows, using these year's sites as example:

Charlotte:  12:00, 2:40
Columbus:  2:00, 4:40
Omaha:  4:00, 6:40 (local time 3:00, 5:40)
Seattle:  5:30, 8:10 (local time 2:30, 5:10)

You still essentially have one national window, early in Charlotte from 12-2.  If you assume on-schedule and 2 hours per game, the 8 games end at:  2:00, 4:00, 4:40, 6:00, 6:40, 7:30, 8:40, 10:10.  Pretty good balance.  Everyone's done playing by 10:10 EST, and no one plays past 8 PM local time.  3 games going on at once in the later games, but the overlap is rather minimal (very end of one game while another starts).  This is much better, frankly.

And note what happens with the late Seattle game, that last game is a de-facto national game.  So CBS, by picking up the Charlotte and Seattle regionals, would still get their 2 national games, only on opposite ends of the day instead of both early.

The only obvious thing is that if a game goes OT, some of this gets wrecked.  The 40 minute gap might not be enough, and it might take some finagling to get right.

I wouldn't change much with the Thursday/Friday schedules, except for which regionals tip at which time.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Some programming notes

Bracketball's work is done for the year, now that Bracketology season is over and all my reaction posts are up.  I still plan to have content up in the next few weeks, as I want to address a few bigger-picture topics:

1) how to fix Strength of Schedule as a metric
2) the TV format and how the networks choose what games air when and on which networks
3) how to better select regional sites

I would check back every couple of weeks as I work on these.  Other than that, we're going mostly silent until October, when it's time to start thinking about the new season.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Strength of schedule thoughts

Ok, time to deal with the criteria the NCAA selection committee has used this year.

In past years, one key phrase has been "non-conference SoS".  This year, I noticed an absence of talking about that.  Yes, SoS was very important, but the overall SoS was important.  Not just the non-con part of it.  Of course, the non-con part is the one part a team can control.  Those who were born into the royal family of conferences (I'm looking at you, Texas) obviously fares better when you ignore non-conference SoS and go straight to the regular SoS.

I'm not sure this is a good idea by the committee.  Overweighting regular SoS compared to non-con SoS is a mistake.  To illustrate why, let's take a look at the numbers.  Here are the SoS numbers for the last 6 teams in and the first 4 out:

Texas 16
BYU 74
Ole Miss 53
Dayton 93
Boise St 117
Temple 60
Colorado St 112
Old Dominion 146
Richmond 47

So it seems obvious why Texas and UCLA moved on up.  We see why Ole Miss was in, why ODU was out, and why Richmond was closer than anyone thought.

However, let's take a look at just the non-conference SoS of these 10 teams:

Texas 85
BYU 26
Ole Miss 95
Dayton 139
Boise St 164
Temple 41
Colorado St 83
Old Dominion 40
Richmond 33

3 teams with top 50 non-con SoSs were left out, in favor of teams with 95, 139, and 164.  Hmm.  That doesn't sit well.  UCLA with (barely) a top 50 SoS in the non-con...okay, fair.  Texas, however, is a bit further down, trailing all 4 of the "last four out" teams in this metric.  And Dayton and Boise lag way, way behind.

Look at Old Dominion in particular.  Overall SoS of 146, unimpressive.  But non-con of 40.  CUSA dragged them down 100 spots, and then those 100 spots were used to help justify their exclusion compared to other teams.  Dayton's overall SoS of 93 doesn't stand out among the bubble candidates, but when you realize the boost the A-10 gave them, they stand out a bit more as an outlier, in the bad direction.

As for the Boise St/Colorado St comparison...overall SoS of 117 vs. 112.  No real difference.  But CSU has the better non-con SoS, 83 against 164, which is a significant margin.  Hmm.

So, after a couple years of emphasizing non-con SoS as an integral part of the profile, the committee has backed off it, and gone to just overall SoS.  This clearly benefits the big boys, in this case UCLA, Texas, Ole Miss, and Dayton, all who gained significant ground on their SoS in conference play.  Teams in weaker conferences (ODU, Temple to a lesser extent) get killed by this.

I'm not sure I like this new trend from the committee.  Here's to hoping they care more about non-con SoS in the future.

First Four issues

So the NCAA has some issues with the First Four.

Cliff notes:  the current format of the First Four is causing issues with the selection committee.  Why is this?

This year, there were a million logistical nightmares with the First Four. Dayton was the last team in (obviously, they get a home game...let's set that aside for a second).  If UConn had won, with 45 minutes until the selection show, Dayton would've been pushed out of the field, changing the teams going to Dayton (UCLA would then be heading to Dayton).

But that was further complicated in that Dayton played for a AQ bid earlier in the day. So the NCAA had to build 4 contingencies for UConn and Dayton, because if Dayton won, UConn would've pushed out Boise St. And all of this happens just minutes and hours before the selection show.

On top of all this, you throw in BYU's no Sunday rule and being locked into the Tuesday first four game.

As someone who builds a bracket, with this many restrictions on the board, building a proper bracket, and in time, is impossible.  With so many variables in play on Sunday morning, the committee likely had to spend all day Sunday building different brackets to account for all the possibilities.  Don't forget, the committee also had to deal with Wisconsin's seed in the middle of all this.

Why does this matter?  Ideally, the committee should spend Sunday morning scrubbing seeds.  This is the time to look back and adjust any final seeds that look out of place.  Instead, they have to spend all their time building 12 brackets, and under immense time constraints.  That's how we get weird matchups in the tournament.

So, how do we fix the First Four to make the committee's job more reasonable?

Prediction: the First Four format WILL change. The NCAA will request a grace period of 2-3 hours between the last game and the selection show, instead of 30 minutes, in order to build the bracket. Once CBS rejects this request (because money), the NCAA will put the 8 lowest ranked conference champions in the First Four.  These teams can be placed in those spots without the same logistical requirements that it takes to fit at-large teams in there.  Plus, truTV has the TV rights to these games and aren't getting a lot of attention for them.  They can manage the mild ratings hit.

Now, doing this has some advantages and disadvantages for the AQ teams.  The one obvious disadvantage is having to play an extra game.  The advantages, though:
1) every game you play in the tourney is worth money.  If you play 1 game, you get 1 unit.  2 games, 2 units.  This includes the First Four.  So, for example, Hampton is going to get 2 units, while Lafayette, if they lose to 'Nova, only gets 1 unit.  Teams that win in the First Four win extra money for their conference.  For the tiny conferences, the amount of one extra unit is not trivial.  Giving the little guys more money isn't a terrible thing.
2) if the bottom 8 AQ teams play in the First Four games, you would theoretically have what used to be 15 seeds play in these games.  If these quasi-15 seeds win, they play a 1 seed.  Now, obviously, a 16 has never beaten a 1.  But if a 15 seed, masquerading as a 16 seed, plays this game...a chance of a 16 over 1 upset increases slightly.  Anything to toughen up the 1/16 game is a positive in my book.

So there you go.  I think this change is coming.  The NCAA can't have it stay status quo, IMO.  The little guys get screwed in terms of playing an extra game, but...they ARE financially compensated for it.

Do conferences get bids?

First, presented without comment, the percentage of teams in each conference that got in the tournament.  I've put the conference RPI ranking to the left of each conference, not counting the MAC who was 10th.  Syracuse removed from the numbers for the ACC.

1) Big 12 70%
2) Big East 60%
3) ACC 43%
4) Big 10 50%
5) SEC 36%
6) Pac-12 33%
7) A-10 21%
8) AAC 18%
9) WCC 20%
11) Mountain West 27%
12) MVC 20%
(number 10 MAC with no at-large bids)

Now, keep in mind the Mountain West had a bid poacher in Wyoming.  If they had lost, they'd be out and Temple would be in, making the percentages AAC 27% and Mountain West 18%.

Now I don't know about you, but it sure looks like the at-large bids are well-aligned by conference:

- The Big 12 and Big East were the clear #1 and #2 conference, respectively, and got their fair share of bids.
- The ACC and Big 10 were a clear 2nd tier of conferences, and they are grouped together in the percentages.
- The SEC and Pac-12 were the clear 5th/6th conferences this year, trailing the top 4 heavily in the RPI, but clearly ahead of the other conferences.  Their percentages are in the 30s.
- The next 6 conferences were the next tier.  Each got between 18 and 27 percent, not counting the MAC.  There was a large, large gap between the MVC and the next conference (Big West), and no conference below the MVC got an at-large bid.

If you're a conspiracy theorist, this is the year where you can trot our your conference bias theory.

Now, the committee says they don't consider conference affiliation.  I believe that.  If the casual fan were to go through the selection committee process, they'd lose track of which conferences got which teams in.  There would be too much information to track to be able to know that type of thing.

However, this selection committee was dealing with brackets for the whole season.  Their job is to pay attention to the sport all year long, and they're meeting over several days to create this bracket.  While they don't explicitly mention conference affiliation during discussions, I bet every individual in that room, in the back of their mind, is aware of the situation for every conference at the time.  For example, every time I built an S-Curve, I knew ahead of time that the SEC had 2 locks and 4 bubble teams (Ole Miss, Georgia, LSU, A&M).  While I don't let that knowledge impact who I select for my field of 68, I am aware of how many the conference has in, because I'm immersed in the bracket.  Same for the selection committee.  They can individually all be able to track, mentally, the situation for each conference.

So, this brings me to UCLA.  If they had missed, for example...the Pac-12 would be down to 25%, equaling them with the other 2nd-tier conferences.  The committee said they compared Boise St to Colorado St late in the process.  But Dayton was the last team in, not Boise St.  So did they have a quota on the Mountain West, because having them at 36% would be an outlier among those group of conferences?  Did they keep in Dayton to have the A-10 not fall behind the other conferences?

These are fair questions.  The problem is since the committee is so immersed in the bracket, they can all individually track the status of each conference without actually discussing it in the room.  Food for thought.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Grading the bracket

Ok, some for self-analysis.

Overall score on the Bracket Matrix:  335
Tied for 35th (35th through 40th), among 136 brackets.  So just inside the top quarter percentile.  I'm ok with this.

Teams correct:  67 of 68
Part of the cynic in me thinks if I could see ahead, I could say there's no way 4 Mountain West teams would get in.  Oh well.  I'm not too mad at missing Colorado St, and I was hotter on UCLA than most, so I can't complain.  I was closer than most here.  1 of 136 brackets got all 68 correct, and I was one of 12 that got 67 of 68.

Teams correctly seeded:  35 of 68
Ow.  This was a large ding.  Not good.  I think I outthought myself on 2 simple decisions.  I made the late swap of Iowa St and Kansas on the 2/3 lines, and moving UNC to the 3 line, dropping a Big 12 team down to the 4 line (likely Oklahoma).  Not doing those two things brings me to 39 of 68, which would be above average.  35 is around average, I think.  Not good.

Teams within 1 seed line:  64 of 68
Here's where I whopped all y'all, as only 1 of 136 brackets had more (65), and 1 other had 64 as well.

So the lessons I offer:

1) I need to stop over-adjusting the top 4 lines during the final couple of days.
2) I need to adjust more often from the 5-12 lines during the final couple of days.

The committee showed that they won't be reactionary for the top 16 teams based on the last couple of days of the season.  However, as shown by Xavier in particular, they do like to adjust a lot in the middle part of the bracket.

Not making the Kansas/Iowa St switch and the UNC/Oklahoma switch would have left me 4th.  I may or may not have thrown a chair upon realizing this.

Building the bracket

I always like to look back at the NCAA's released S-Curve, and see how they built the bracket.  What I mean is how they chose which regionals each team was assigned to, and how big a role geography played.  I like to see if the committee did manipulate the bracket, or if there's logical explanations for their controversial moves.

We'll analyze this one seed line at a time:

The 1 line:  Kentucky (Louisville, Midwest region), Villanova (Pittsburgh, East region), Duke (Charlotte, South region), Wisconsin (Omaha, West region)
Omaha is slightly closer to Wisconsin than Columbus.  However, I thought there'd be a chance Wisky would get sent to Columbus, because they could then use Omaha to host a 2nd Big 12 school, and they had Columbus, Louisville, and Pittsburgh all in a tight area they could use.  In my opinion, this is bad forward thinking by the committee to use up a spot in Omaha on Wisky.

The 2 line:
Virginia (Charlotte, East region) - the #5 overall seed goes in with #2 Nova.  Tough.
Arizona (Portland, West region) - goes in with #4 Wisky, makes sense
Gonzaga (Seattle, South region) - goes in with #3 Duke
Kansas (Omaha, Midwest region) - interesting decision here.  Gonzaga was going to have to travel to either Cleveland or Houston.  Houston is preferred for them, but you can make the argument that they have to travel a lot either way.  Kansas prefers Houston over Cleveland as well.  You could make the argument that instead of mildly dis-serving two teams, you could massively dis-service one team (Gonzaga) in order to help the other team more (Kansas).  I'm glad the committee didn't do this.  What likely happened was that Kansas was clearly #8, way behind the top 7, and decided it would be unfair to make the 7th team in a 7-team breakaway at the top of the S-Curve play the #1 overall team.  Balance actually took hold here.

The 3 line:
#9 overall, Iowa St (Louisville, South region) - here's where the Wisconsin/Omaha thing I mentioned earlier comes into play - ISU has to travel more.  With the midwest locked out for ISU, the South is the natural designation.
#10 overall, Baylor (Jacksonville, West region) - Baylor is closer to the West than the East (the only 2 options for them).
#11 overall, Oklahoma (Columbus, East region) - first off, because they're the 4th Big 12 teams, they're forced to be in the East region.  As for Columbus...there's no good option left for OU.  They have to travel no matter what.
#12 overall, Notre Dame (Pittsburgh, Midwest region) - UND is trapped in the Midwest because this line includes 3 Big 12 teams.  Since it does, UND automatically was destined for this region.  It's just bad luck and nothing more.  What's curious is a slot in Columbus is still open.  Why is ND going to Pittsburgh instead?

At this point, we should add the seeds for each regional, to see if there's bias:
Midwest 21, East 18, South 19, West 20.  Ok, we're good for now.

The 4 line:
#13 overall, North Carolina (Jacksonville, West region) - UNC is the 4th ACC team, and with 3 other ACC teams in 3 different regionals, the West is the last one available.  UNC is forced here no matter what.
#14 overall, Maryland (Columbus, Midwest region) - finally, a team where we have flexibility to work with.  Right now, either the East or Midwest fits as geographical fits.  Let's put a pin in Maryland and come back to it.
#15 overall, Louisville (Seattle, East region) - the 5th ACC team, so they have to share a regional with a ACC team.  Ideally, you want them on the opposite side of the region of the ACC team.  This means either the East or Midwest regions.  So, basically, them and Maryland are interchangable right now.  Let's put a pin in Louisville and come back to it.
#16 overall, Georgetown (Portland, South region) - obviously, these last 2 teams have to go northwest in the first 2 rounds.  As for region...Georgetown can either go West or South (locked out of the West by UNC and the East by Villanova).  As the worst 4 seed, Georgetown should be shipped the farthest, and with the preferences of UL and Maryland, G'town should head to the South.

Now we return to Louisville and Maryland, who are interchangable.  Two things at this point help us decide who goes where:
1) Louisville/Kentucky would be a tourney rematch and should be avoided if it can be easily helped, and
2) Based on overall seeds, the Midwest region should preferably add the better seed/team
Both these things point to Maryland in the Midwest and Louisville in the East.

The top 16 teams are set.  Now, let's revisit the Wisconsin/Omaha thing.  Let's make the switch and send Wisconsin to Columbus.  What would happen?
1) Iowa St would go to Omaha instead of Louisville, a much better fit for them.
2) Notre Dame, instead of going to Pittsburgh, gets a slightly better trip to Louisville
3) Maryland would be in Pittsburgh instead of Columbus.
2 and 3 are minor changes.  But 1 is a somewhat significant change, and Iowa St loses a bit because the committee is short-sighted.

I'm not going to recap every other team, but I am going to point out fun facts:
1) SMU at 21 overall was the top 6 seed.  Therefore, they have top choice of region, and they get placed in the South, where Houston hosts.  If SMU were 20 overall, they would've been in the East region, having a Seattle/Syracuse path.  Holy moley.
2) Xavier is the last 6 seed, and has a Jacksonville/Los Angeles path.  If they were one spot lower, as the top 7 seed, they'd get to play in Cleveland in the second weekend if they got there.
3) Wichita St is exactly one spot in front of Iowa in the S-Curve.  Wichita St gets to go to Omaha and Iowa goes to Seattle.  Ha.
4) VCU was the last 7 seed, therefore they get stuck with a horrible awful Portland/Los Angeles path.  If they were the highest 8, they'd have Pittsburgh/Syracuse as their path.  Amazing.
5) 7 seeds funnel to sites in Portland and Seattle (and 2 others).  The 8 line includes Oregon and San Diego St.  Alas, Oregon has to go to Omaha and San Diego St has to go to Charlotte.  Meanwhile, Iowa and VCU get sent to the northeast.  I know true seed line matters, but doesn't a swap of these 4 teams seem insanely obvious?
6) On the 10 line, Davidson is the second team.  There's actually a spot in Charlotte wide open for them...and they got shipped to Seattle instead.  I'm guessing the committee just simply thought it'd be too big a homecourt advantage.  Which is highly curious, because in the past, they've gone the other way when power conference teams were involved.  NCAA, why is Davidson not in the Charlotte sub-regional?
7) Dayton playing in Dayton is just one of those things that happen.  But how about going to Columbus after that?  Here's the thing:  BYU has to play on Tuesday in the First Four, for Sunday-related reasons.  The BYU/Ole Miss game feeds into a Jacksonville site.  Why not let BYU play Dayton?  Dayton doesn't have to travel like Ole Miss so you save a day of travel for Ole Miss by doing this.  Then, Dayton doesn't have extreme home court advantage in the rounds of 64 and 32.  After all, since you didn't put Davidson in Charlotte, you don't want to put Dayton in Columbus, right?  Therefore, you should've paired Dayton and BYU in the First Four.  The NCAA just contradicted itself between the placement of Davidson and Dayton in the bracket.
8) Wyoming was the top 12 seed.  They had an option of a Seattle/Syracuse or a Portland/Houston path...and chose Seattle/Syracuse.  Huh?  It looks like the reason is this:  Stephen F Austin lurked behind them on the 12 line, and they saved the Houston site for SFA.  Hmmmm.

Best RPIs out of tournament/NIT

An annual tradition.  Every year, I shall present, without comment, the highest RPIs left out of the NCAA and NIT tournaments.  And the lowest RPIs that made such tournaments.

Highest RPIs left out of NCAAs:
Colorado St 29
Temple 34
Tulsa 45
Old Dominion 46
Iona 51
Louisiana Tech 54
Green Bay 55
Richmond 57
Stanford 59
Illinois St 62

Lowest RPIs in NCAAs:
Indiana 61
Ole Miss 60
LSU 58
Purdue 56
Oklahoma St 49

If selecting just based on pure RPI, Indiana/Ole Miss/LSU/Purdue would be out and Colorado St/Temple/Tulsa/ODU would be in.

Highest RPIs left out of NIT:
Yale 64
Florida 72 (under .500)
Toledo 79
Michigan 80 (under .500)
UMass 81
Sam Houston St 82
Memphis 83
UC Santa Barbara 87
High Point 89
South Carolina 91

Lowest RPIs in NIT:
Vanderbilt 104
Arizona St 102
Alabama 85
George Washington 84

If selecting just based on pure RPI, Yale/Toledo/UMass/Sam Houston St would be in, and Vandy/Arizona St/Alabama/George Washington would be out.

NCAA 1-68 rankings

This is more me putting it in this blog so I can find this than anything else.  This is what the selection committee released on Sunday.

1. Kentucky
2. Villanova
3. Duke
4. Wisconsin
5. Virginia
6. Arizona
7. Gonzaga
8. Kansas
9. Iowa State
10. Baylor
11. Oklahoma
12. Notre Dame
13. North Carolina
14. Maryland
15. Louisville
16. Georgetown
17. Utah
18. Arkansas
19. West Virginia
20. Northern Iowa
21. SMU
22. Providence
23. Butler
24. Xavier
25. Michigan State
26. Wichita State
27. Iowa
28. VCU
29. Cincinnati
30. Oregon
31. NC State
32. San Diego State
33. St. John's
34. Oklahoma State
35. LSU
36. Purdue
37. Indiana
38. Davidson
39. Ohio State
40. Georgia
41. Texas
42. UCLA
43. Ole Miss
44. BYU
45. Boise State
46. Dayton
47. Wyoming
48. Buffalo
49. Wofford
50. Stephen F. Austin
51. Valpariaso
52. Harvard
53. Eastern Washington
54. UC Irvine
55. Georgia State
56. Northeastern
57. UAB
58. Albany
59. New Mexico State
60. Belmont
61. Texas Southern
62. North Dakota State
63. Lafayette
64. Coastal Carolina
65. North Florida
66. Robert Morris
67. Manhattan
68. Hampton

Monday, March 16, 2015

CBI/CIT snubs

Best teams not to make the postseason are as follows.  I'm excluding teams who were known to reject CBI/CIT bids outright, and also excluding teams from top conferences (including the A-10).

Georgia Southern
These are the 5 teams who appear to have been truly snubbed from the CBI/CIT perspective.  I'm not sure how many of them did turn down bids, just not publicly.  But these 5 in general are postseason worthy teams.

Teams who have an argument, solely because a lesser conference mate did get in a postseason tournament:  Bryant, Mount St Mary's, Morehead St.

So the lessons?
1) Playing late in the week, even on Selection Sunday, hurts your chances.  I'm looking at the possible miss of Georgia Southern and Yale in particular.
2) Conference mates can be leapfrogged if you're willing to host a game.
3) The CIT and CBI might be jumping the gun on invites.  It's clear they didn't plan out their bids quite right and accidentally left a couple good teams on the table.  There are 3 glaring, GLARING mistakes: Yale, Chattanooga, and Ga Southern.  Monmouth and Hawaii, okay, things happen.  But the other 3 shouldn't have been left out.

Returning to an earlier post:
Teams who didn't earn a bid but got one:  St Francis(PA), Eastern Illinois, Colorado, Delaware St, Seattle
Borderline teams that I don't mind getting a bid...that much:  UMES, Dartmouth, Canisius, IPFW, Portland, UT-Martin

If you replace my five teams there with my first five teams listed've got the field nailed.  For the most part, they nailed it anyways.  I give the CBI/CIT a B this year for their efforts.

Conference-by-conference postseason recap

Yes, let's look at all 32 conferences, really quickly:

1 NCAA (Albany), 3 EIEIO (New Hampshire, Vermont, Stony Brook)
These were the only teams above .500 overall, and above .500 in conference, and all 4 deserved their bids.

2 NCAA (SMU, Cincy), 3 NIT (Tulsa, UConn, Temple)
Memphis turned down the CBI.  No one else below them deserved any postseason, and none of them got it.

3 NCAA (VCU, Davidson, Dayton), 3 NIT (Richmond, George Washington, Rhode Island)
I'm not sure what the A-10 policy on the CBI/CIT are, but UMass, St Bonaventure, and LaSalle all had profiles worthy of the CBI and I'm guessing all 3 turned them down.  Couldn't find confirmation though.

6 NCAA (Duke, UNC, UND, UVa, NC State, Louisville), 2 NIT (Miami, Pitt)
No surprise Clemson and FSU aren't in the CBI, they turned them down.

1 NCAA (UNF), 2 EIEIO (FGCU, USC-Upstate)
3 teams in the A-Sun had 20 wins, 3 teams above .500 in conference...3 postseason teams.  Perfect.

Big 12:
7 NCAA (Texas, OSU, Oklahoma, Iowa St, Baylor, Kansas, WVU)
Kansas St left out of the NIT, which I'm okay with.  Surprised TCU, even at 4-14 in conference, didn't wind up in the CBI.  I'm guessing the Big 12 in general has a CBI boycott.

Big East:
6 NCAA (Nova, Geurgetown, Butler, Provi, Xavier, St John's)
No NIT for Seton Hall, who did finish above .500 but careened to 6-12 in conference.  No confirmation they turned down CBI, but I'm assuming that happened.

Big Sky:
1 NCAA (EWU), 1 NIT (Montana), 2 EIEIO (Sac State, Northern Arizona)
I'm glad the other 2 teams in the 4-way race for the Big Sky title made the CBI/CIT.  Perfect.  The conference did have a Northern Colorado team at 15-15, 10-8 and Portland St team at 15-14, 9-9, but neither made it.  I think that's right too, neither should've been a postseason team.  Checkmark.

Big South:
1 NCAA (CCU), 1 NIT (Charleston Southern), 3 EIEIO (High Point, Gardner-Webb, Radford)
Did Winthrop turn down a bid?  At 12-6 in conference, 19-13 overall, might be the first questionable miss.  UNC-Asheville was the 7th team here in contention for the title in midseason, but they finished under .500 overall, so I'm ok with them missing out.

Big 10:
7 NCAA (Wisky, Maryland, MSU, Iowa, Purdue, OSU, Indiana), 1 NIT (Illinois)
Michigan and Minnesota miss the NIT.  I'm guessing all turned down the CBI, even Penn St who limped home above .500 overall.

Big West:
1 NCAA (Irvine), 1 NIT (Davis), 1 EIEIO (UCSB)
After the top 3, LBSU was 10-6 in conference, but under .500 overall.  Hawaii was .500 in conference, but had 22 wins.  I understand neither being in either EIEIO tournament.

1 NCAA (Northeastern), 1 NIT (W&M), 3 EIEIO (JMU, UNCW, Hofstra)
All 5 teams were way above .500 overall, and were the only 5 conference members above .500.  Fair and just postseason bids here.

Only one issue here, is Western Kentucky.  20-12, 12-6, and clearly deserving of a EIEIO bid.  Of course, since they turned down the bid, they can't complain.


1 NCAA (Valpo), 1 NIT (Green Bay), 2 EIEIO (Cleveland St, Oakland)
The 4 teams that separated from the rest of the league all get into the postseason.  Well done.

1 NCAA (Harvard), 1 EIEIO (Dartmouth)
The real surprise here is Yale turning down a CBI/CIT bid.  Obviously there's no way the CBI or CIT wouldn't invite them, that would be insane.  Princeton was 9-5, 16-14, and might have a postseason argument as well, but I'm guessing they turned down a bid as well, as lower Dartmouth got in.

1 NCAA (Manhattan), 1 NIT (Iona), 2 EIEIO (Rider, Canisius)
One interesting note:  Canisius (16-14, 11-9) jumps Monmouth (18-15, 13-7) for a postseason invite.  From all appearances, Monmouth wanted that CIT bid, so hmm.

1 NCAA (Buffalo), 1 NIT (CMU), 4 EIEIO (Kent St, Bowling Green, EMU, WMU)
All 4 EIEIOs are reasonable selections.  The 2 teams missing postseason are Akron (21 wins overall, .500 in conference) and Toledo (20 wins, 11-7 in conference).  Toledo definitely rejected invites; while I can't find definitive word on first glace, I'm willing to bet Akron did the same.

1 NCAA (Hampton), 1 NIT (NCCU), 3 EIEIO (Norfolk, UMES, Delaware St)
I think the MEAC got one too many in DSU.  Heck, even Howard had a better conference record and was .500 overall and didn't get a postseason invite.

2 NCAA (Wichita, UNI), 1 NIT (Illinois St), 2 EIEIO (Loyola, Evansville)
Indiana St at 15-16 overall, but 11-7 in conference, have no CBI invite.  I figured that'd be the type of team to go to the CBI at under .500 overall.

Mountain West:
3 NCAA (Wyoming, SDSU, Boise), 1 NIT (Colorado St)
While I can't find definitive word, Utah St and UNLV are sitting out the EIEIOs, and I'm not surprised.

1 NCAA (RMU), 1 NIT (St Francis(NY)), 1 EIEIO (St Francis(PA))
So the PA version of St Francis is in the postseason, at .500 in conference, but Bryant at 12-6 and Mount St Mary's at 11-7 are not.  I cannot find word on if either turned down a bid.  If not, here's a questionable decision made by the CIT right here.

1 NCAA (Belmont), 1 NIT (Murray St), 3 EIEIO (EIU, UT-Martin, EKU)
Mostly okay here.  Morehead St at 10-6 in conference didn't get a postseason bid, and them vs. EIU is an interesting debate.

4 NCAA (Arizona, Utah, Oregon, UCLA), 2 NIT (Stanford, ASU), 1 EIEIO (Colorado)
Cal and Oregon St (and probably Washington) turned down CBI bids.  Why Colorado is playing, I have no idea.

1 NCAA (Lafayette), 1 NIT (Bucknell)
2nd place in this conference was Colgate, but they were under .500 overall.  Lehigh was 3rd, but just 10-8.  It would seem like a conference would deserve a 3rd postseason team under almost any circumstance, but it's tough to actually find a deserving one here.

5 NCAA (Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU), 3 NIT (A&M, Bama, Vandy)
Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina...all probably turned down CBI bids.

1 NCAA (Wofford), 1 EIEIO (Mercer)
2nd place Chattanooga isn't anywhere.  It sounds like they turned it down based on coach chatter.  There's really no one behind Mercer who deserved a bid.

1 NCAA (SFA), 4 EIEIO (Sam Houston, NW State, TAMU-CC, Incarnate Word)
4 seems high, butt IWU is in transition and the other 3 were at least 13-5 in conference.  I'm okay with it.

1 NCAA (Texas Southern)

1 NCAA (N Dakota St), 1 NIT (S Dakota St), 2 EIEIO (ORU, IPFW)
IPFW might be one too many for this conference.

Sun Belt:
1 NCAA (Ga State), 2 EIEIO (UL-Monroe, UL-Lafayette)
Developing situation here.  Remember, this was a 4-team race, and Georgia Southern was the 4th (and lost on Selection Sunday to Ga State).  No invite for them, and all indications are that they wanted to play.  They clearly deserved a bid somewhere, so this begs the question:  did playing on Sunday cost them?  Since the CBI and CIT didn't want to wait to see if they were available?  If that's the case, this is a gross violation by these two tournaments.

2 NCAA (Gonzaga, BYU), 1 NIT (St Mary's), 2 EIEIO (Portland, Pepperdine)

1 NCAA (NMSU), 2 EIEIO (Grand Canyon, Seattle)
Seattle is really stretching it as far as deserving the postseason goes.

Actual CBI/CIT brackets (and analysis)

Just a quick look at the selections here, and if they make sense.

New Hampshire at NJIT - Good for independent NJIT getting a bid.  UNH was 11-5 in A-East, 4th place, reasonable selection.
Eastern Illinois at Oakland - Oakland was part of the 4-way battle for the Horizon title.  EIU faded to 9-7 in the down OVC, questionable selection perhaps.
James Madison at USC Upstate - Upstate had 23 wins on the year, but only 8-6 in the A-Sun...I'd select them.  JMU was part of the 4-way tie for the CAA crown and an obvious selection.
Bowling Green at St Francis(PA) - BGU was in contention for the MAC title until the end.  St Francis was a .500 team in the NEC and 1 game above .500 overall.  Meh.
Norfolk St at Eastern Kentucky - Norfolk was 2nd to NCCU in the MEAC.  EKU tied for the East division in the OVC, with Belmont.  Both solid selections.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Incarnate Word - ULL was in 4th in the Sun Belt, just 2 games back of the title.  IWU was 10-8 in the Southland, but this is their first postseason as a D1.  I'm ok with that.
Maryland-Eastern Shore at High Point - UMES finished 3rd in the MEAC...borderline selection but at 3rd place, I'm fine with it.  High Point was part of that 7-way race in the Big South.
Dartmouth at Canisius - Dartmouth was a .500 Ivy team.  Canisius was 11-9, 5th in the MAAC.  Both feel on the edge of being reasonable selections.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at FGCU - FGCU lost the A-Sun title on the final week.  TAMU-CC was T3 in the Southland.  I approve.
Cleveland St at Western Michigan - Both were contenders for the league title in the final week in the Horizon and MAC, respectively.
Kent St at Middle Tennessee - Kent St was another one of those 6 MAC teams in contention late for that title.  MTSU was 6th in CUSA, at .500 in conference.  Given the top of CUSA was pretty good, .500 is deserving of a postseason, IMO.
UNC-Wilmington at Sam Houston St - UNCW was part of the 4-way CAA tie, and Sam Houston St was a bubble NIT team.  Very solid matchup.
Northern Arizona at Grand Canyon - NAU was part of the 4-way race for the Big Sky title; GCU finished tied for 2nd in the WAC, so I guess they earned their spot.  But 2nd in that conference was 8-6.  Ew.
IPFW at Evansville - IPFW was 9-7 in the Summit, and might be borderline.  Evansville was .500 in the MVC, which isn't borderline.
Sacramento St at Portland - Sac State was another part of the 4-way race in the Big Sky.  Portland was above .500 overall, but just 7-11 in the WCC.  Borderline.
Tennessee-Martin at Northwestern St - NW State was T3 in the Southland, UT-M was 10-6 in the OVC, T4.  Both kind of on the edge, but okay.

By my non-expert eye:
Teams who didn't earn a bid that got it:  St Francis(PA), Eastern Illinois
Borderline teams that I don't mind getting a bid, but I hope they didn't get in ahead of more deserving teams:  UMES, Dartmouth, Canisius, IPFW, Portland, Tennessee-Martin

Gardner-Webb at Colorado - Colorado, 7-11 and 15-17, in the CBI.  Yuck.  Awful.  G-Dub was one of the 7 Big South teams.
Pepperdine at Seattle - Pepperdine was 4th behind the big 3 in the WCC.  Seattle was .500 in the awful WAC.
Vermont at Hofstra - Hofstra was 5th in the 4-team CAA race, but did deserve a postseason.  Vermont was 2nd in A-East.
Radford at Delaware St - Radford, another team part of the Big South zaniness.  DSU, 9-7 in MEAC play, seems aggressively in.  4th MEAC postseason team!
Stony Brook at Mercer - 2nd in A-East for Stony Brook.  Mercer was 3rd in the SoCon, at 12-6, so it is a good bid for them despite their RPI.
Eastern Michigan at Louisiana-Monroe - ULM was part of the 4-way race in the Sun Belt.  EMU had 21 wins on the year but just 8-10 in the MAC.  I guess they have to be in the postseason with 21 wins, to be fair.
Rider at Loyola(Chi) - Loyola was a sub .500 team, but in the MVC.  Rider was 2nd in the MAAC.  2 checkmarks from me.
UC Santa Barbara at Oral Roberts - UCSB was T2 in the Big West.  Oral Bob was 3rd solo in the Summit.  Ok.

By my non-expert eye:
Teams who didn't earn a bid that got it:  Colorado, Seattle, Delaware St
Borderline teams that I don't mind getting a bid, but I hope they didn't get in ahead of more deserving teams:  none, the other 13 I'm okay with

So with that out of the way, I've got 5 very questionable selections and 6 marginally questionable selections.  In another post I'll look at who's sitting out of the postseason, to see if these selections really are questionable.

Actual NIT bracket (and thoughts)

Let's see how the NIT screwed this thing up.

1) Temple vs. 8) Bucknell
4) Pittsburgh vs. 5) George Washington
3) Louisiana Tech vs. 6) Central Michigan
2) Texas A&M vs. 7 Montana
I'm a bit surprised at Louisiana Tech's seed.  That suggests a clear at-large bid to the NIT, and them being within 10 or so of the NCAA bubble.  I'm wondering if that was a procedural bump or geographical bump to help mitigate travel.  Everyone else is seeded appropriately.

1) Richmond vs. 8) St Francis(NY)
4) UConn vs. 5) Arizona St
3) Illinois vs. 6) Alabama
2) Miami vs. 7) North Carolina Central
Arizona St and Alabama are both marginal selections, IMO.  Below-average power conference teams, I would prefer to see mid-major teams in their place.  I had both out, but not far out at least.  Meanwhile, UConn as a 4 seed is criminal.  No, they're not a NCAA tournament team, but they do have a reasonable resume.

1) Colorado St vs. 8) South Dakota St
4) St Mary's vs. 5) Vanderbilt
3) Rhode Island vs. 6) Iona
2) Stanford vs. 7) UC-Davis
Vanderbilt is the one I don't get.  At the least, I had Alabama over them, and the committee went Vandy.  Did they just see the win-loss record and go with it?  At least they're making them travel a bit.  Although I'd swap Arizona St and Vandy in the brackets.  Who cares if conference mates meet in the quarterfinals of this tournament?

1) Old Dominion vs. 8) Charleston Southern
4) Illinois St vs. 5) Green Bay
3) Murray St vs. 6) UTEP
2) Tulsa vs. 7) William & Mary
Holy mid-major batman.

NIT's last teams in:
Green Bay
Arizona St
George Washington

I missed Vandy/Arizona St/Alabama.  I had in:  Yale, Memphis, South Carolina.

South Carolina is a curious omission, if only because they have better wins than their other SEC teams.  I actually give them credit for leaving blueblood Memphis out; I thought they'd go the other way.  Yale is the omission that really, really bothers me.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Actual NCAA bracket (and analysis)

You're not gonna believe this, but I've got some thoughts.

I'm going to save performance analysis of how I did until Bracket Matrix is done running the numbers.

1) Kentucky vs. 16) Hampton/Manhattan
8) Cincinnati vs. 9) Purdue
The committee places a couple also-rans in the 8/9 game in Kentucky's way.  Convenient.
4) Maryland vs. 13) Valparaiso
5) West Virginia vs. 12) Buffalo
I had Maryland on the 3 line, and they clearly got shuffled back in favor of Big 12 teams.  No major issue with that, but I disagree
3) Notre Dame vs. 14) Northeastern
6) Butler vs. 11) Texas
Texas above the last 4 in?  There's some SoS bias in here
2) Kansas vs. 15) New Mexico St
7) Wichita St vs. 10) Indiana
Pleasantly surprised the committee seeded Indiana to the 10 line, I thought they'd be more harsh.  Also, Wichita has a horrible seed but they don't mind.  And they get to play in Omaha

1) Wisconsin vs. 16) Coastal Carolina
8) Oregon vs. 9) Oklahoma St
I guess the committee did have the stones to send Wisky to Omaha.  I still think Columbus would've been better
4) North Carolina vs. 13) Harvard
5) Arkansas vs. 12) Wofford
If you're going to reward teams for great schedules, why not reward UNC?  They're the one team that can punch on the same level with the Big 12 teams from a SoS standpoint.  Bit surprised they went Baylor and Iowa St over UNC on the S-Curve.  Moderate whiff from the committee
3) Baylor vs. 14) Georgia St
6) Xavier vs. 11) BYU/Ole Miss
My Big 12 thoughts are littered else, but Baylor is the one team I'm surprised that beat out UND and UNC on the S-Curve, among others.  #10 overall is highly aggressive
2) Arizona vs. 15) Texas Southern
7) VCU vs. 10) Ohio St
15 seed!  There you go, selection committee!  They deservedly took the SWAC of the 16 line.  I was very worried they wouldn't.  Good job

1) Villanova vs. 16) Lafayette
8) North Carolina St vs. 9) LSU
LSU's seed is a surprise.  This was a bubble team, and I don't see their resume being any better than most of the 10 line.  In particular, they are well ahead of Georgia and Ole Miss and I don't see it
4) Louisville vs. 13) UC Irvine
5) Northern Iowa vs. 12) Wyoming
A reasonable pod
3) Oklahoma vs. 14) Albany
6) Providence vs. 11) Boise St/Dayton
Dayton has an insane seed.  There's flaws in the resume but the reasonable SoS, the raw numbers...there should be enough here.  I'm not comfortable with this seed by the committee
2) Virginia vs. 15) Belmont
7) Michigan St vs. 10) Georgia
Another reasonable pod.  Virginia getting the #2 overall seed isn't the greatest draw for them, by the way.  It's a less extreme example of the Kentucky/Wisconsin narrative we've had the past few days, but this is just as unfair to both Nova and UVa

1) Duke vs. 16) North Florida/Robert Morris
8) San Diego St vs. 9) St John's
Nothing to complain about here
4) Georgetown vs. 13) Eastern Washington
5) Utah vs. 12) Stephen F Austin
I'm surprised Georgetown got all the way to the 4 line.  Them vs. Utah, UNI, Arkansas, can make the argument.  I wouldn't, but the committee did
3) Iowa St vs. 14) UAB
6) SMU vs. 11) UCLA
UCLA's inclusion is a bit insane.  Not a lot insane, considering they weren't out of my bracket until Wyoming took their spot.  The issue is they were 4 spots clear of the cutline.  I just don't think there's an argument for them over other power conference teams, at all, and I already pointed out how insane Dayton's seed is
2) Gonzaga vs. 15) North Dakota St
7) Iowa vs. 10) Davidson
Nothing to complain about here, either

There's, overall, some serious seeding issues, but these are mostly isolated.

NIT projections FINAL

The 1 line:  Temple (23-10), Colorado St (26-6), Old Dominion (24-7), Richmond (19-13)
The 2 line:  Murray St (25-5), UConn (20-13), Tulsa (22-9), Miami (21-12)
The 3 line:  Illinois (19-13), Rhode Island (21-9), Texas A&M (20-11), Stanford (19-13)
The 4 line:  Pittsburgh (18-14), St Mary's (20-9), Green Bay (22-8), George Washington (21-12)
The 5 line:  Louisiana Tech (24-8), Illinois St (20-12), Iona (26-8), Memphis (18-14)
The 6 line:  Yale (20-10), UTEP (22-10), South Carolina (16-16), Central Michigan (20-8)
The 7 line:  UC-Davis (23-6), William & Mary (18-12), South Dakota St (21-10), North Carolina Central (22-7)
The 8 line:  Montana (18-12), Bucknell (18-14), St Francis(NY) (22-11), Charleston Southern (16-11)

Last 6 in:
George Washington
Illinois St
South Carolina

Last 5 out:
UMass (17-15)
Arizona St (17-15)
Seton Hall (16-15)
Alabama (17-14)
Michigan (15-15)

The consideration board:  California, Toledo, Sam Houston St, Vanderbilt, Florida St, Clemson, Kansas St


1) Temple (23-10) vs. 8) St Francis(NY) (22-11)
4) George Washington (21-12) vs. 5) Louisiana Tech (24-8)
3) Texas A&M (20-11) vs. 6) UTEP (22-10)
2) Miami (21-12) vs. 7) South Carolina (16-16)

1) Richmond (19-13) vs. 8) Bucknell (18-14)
4) Pittsburgh (18-14) vs. 5) Iona (26-8)
3) Illinois (19-13) vs. 6) Yale (20-10)
2) UConn (20-13) vs. 7) William & Mary (18-12)

1) Old Dominion (24-7) vs. 8) Charleston Southern (16-11)
4) Green Bay (22-8) vs. 5) Illinois St (20-12)
3) Rhode Island (21-9) vs. 6) Central Michigan (20-8)
2) Murray St (25-5) vs. 7) North Carolina Central (22-7)

1) Colorado St (26-6) vs. 8) Montana (18-12)
4) St Mary's (20-9) vs. 5) Memphis (18-14)
3) Stanford (19-13) vs. 6) UC-Davis (23-6)
2) Tulsa (22-9) vs. 7) South Dakota St (21-10)


The 1 line:  Kentucky (33-0), Villanova (32-2), Duke (29-4), Wisconsin (31-3)
The 2 line:  Virginia (29-3), Arizona (31-3), Gonzaga (31-2), Iowa St (25-8)
The 3 line:  Kansas (26-8), Notre Dame (29-5), Maryland (27-6), North Carolina (24-11)
The 4 line:  Oklahoma (22-10), Baylor (24-9), Northern Iowa (30-3), Louisville (24-8)
The 5 line:  West Virginia (23-9), Wichita St (27-4), Georgetown (21-10), Butler (22-10)
The 6 line:  Utah (23-8), Arkansas (26-7), SMU (26-6), Michigan St (23-11)
The 7 line:  VCU (26-9), Providence (22-11), Xavier (21-13), Oregon (24-9)
The 8 line:  St John's (20-11), San Diego St (25-8), Dayton (25-8), Iowa (21-11)
The 9 line:  Cincinnati (22-10), North Carolina St (20-13), Ohio St (23-10), Purdue (20-13)
The 10 line:  Davidson (22-8), Oklahoma St (17-13), Boise St (23-8), Georgia (21-11)
The 11 line:  Indiana (20-13), Colorado St (26-6), BYU (23-9), Ole Miss (20-12), LSU (22-10), Texas (20-13)
The 12 line:  Stephen F Austin (26-4), Wyoming (23-9), Buffalo (23-9), Wofford (26-6)
The 13 line:  Valparaiso (25-5), Harvard (20-7), Georgia St (22-9), Northeastern (23-11)
The 14 line:  Eastern Washington (23-8), North Dakota St (21-9), UAB (18-15), UC-Irvine (19-12)
The 15 line:  Belmont (21-10), Albany (24-8), New Mexico St (21-10), Texas Southern (22-12)
The 16 line:  Coastal Carolina (20-9), North Florida (20-11), Lafayette (19-12), Manhattan (19-13), Robert Morris (19-14), Hampton (16-17)

Last 3 in:
Ole Miss

Last 3 out:
Temple (23-10)
UCLA (20-13)
UConn (20-14)

Bracket FINAL

1) Kentucky (34-0) vs. 16) Manhattan (19-13)/Robert Morris (19-14)
8) St John's (20-11) vs. 9) Purdue (20-13)
4) Northern Iowa (30-3) vs. 13) Northeastern (23-11)
5) Butler (22-10) vs. 12) Wofford (26-6)
3) Notre Dame (29-5) vs. 14) North Dakota St (21-9)
6) Michigan St (23-11) vs. 11) Ole Miss (20-12)/Texas (20-13)
2) Iowa St (25-8) vs. 15) Belmont (21-10)
7) Providence (22-11) vs. 10) Davidson (22-8)

1) Wisconsin (31-3) vs. 16) North Florida (20-11)
8) San Diego St (25-8) vs. 9) North Carolina St (20-13)
4) Oklahoma (22-10) vs. 13) Valparaiso (25-5)
5) Wichita St (27-4) vs. 12) Buffalo (23-9)
3) North Carolina (24-11) vs. 14) UAB (18-15)
6) SMU (26-6) vs. 11) BYU (23-9)/LSU (22-10)
2) Arizona (31-3) vs. 15) New Mexico St (21-10)
7) Xavier (21-13) vs. 10) Oklahoma St (17-13)

1) Duke (29-4) vs. 16) Lafayette (19-12)/Hampton (16-17)
8) Iowa (21-11) vs. 9) Cincinnati (22-10)
4) Baylor (24-9) vs. 13) Georgia St (22-9)
5) Georgetown (21-10) vs. 12) Stephen F Austin (26-4)
3) Kansas (26-8) vs. 14) UC-Irvine (19-12)
6) Utah (23-8) vs. 11) Indiana (20-13)
2) Gonzaga (31-2) vs. 15) Texas Southern (22-12)
7) Oregon (24-9) vs. 10) Boise St (23-8)

1) Villanova (32-2) vs. 16) Coastal Carolina (20-9)
8) Dayton (25-8) vs. 9) Ohio St (23-10)
4) Louisville (24-8) vs. 13) Harvard (20-7)
5) West Virginia (23-9) vs. 12) Wyoming (23-9)
3) Maryland (27-6) vs. 14) Eastern Washington (23-8)
6) Arkansas (26-7) vs. 11) Colorado St (26-6)
2) Virginia (29-3) vs. 15) Albany (24-8)
7) VCU (26-9) vs. 10) Georgia (21-11)

3/15 recap

Big 10 finals:
Wisconsin 80, Michigan St 69 (OT)

SEC finals:
Kentucky 78, Arkansas 63

American finals:
SMU 62, UConn 54

A-10 finals:
VCU 71, Dayton 65

Sun Belt finals:
Georgia St 38, Georgia Southern 36

S-Curve 3/15 midday

2nd to last update.  VCU takes Michigan St's spot on the 6 line, Michigan St can take it back.

UConn plays for Texas' spot in the bracket.

Wisconsin plays for the 1 line.

On the bubble, I feel comfortable enough locking in Colorado St and BYU on the top end, and removing UConn and Tulsa on the bottom end.  Murray St too.  6 teams play 3 spots now.

The 1 line:  Kentucky (33-0), Villanova (32-2), Duke (29-4), Wisconsin (30-3)
The 2 line:  Virginia (29-3), Arizona (31-3), Gonzaga (31-2), Iowa St (25-8)
The 3 line:  Kansas (26-8), Notre Dame (29-5), Maryland (27-6), North Carolina (24-11)
The 4 line:  Oklahoma (22-10), Baylor (24-9), Northern Iowa (30-3), Louisville (24-8)
The 5 line:  West Virginia (23-9), Wichita St (27-4), Georgetown (21-10), Butler (22-10)
The 6 line:  Utah (23-8), Arkansas (26-7), SMU (25-6), VCU (26-9)
The 7 line:  Michigan St (23-10), Providence (22-11), Xavier (21-13), Oregon (24-9)
The 8 line:  St John's (20-11), San Diego St (25-8), Dayton (25-8), Iowa (21-11)
The 9 line:  Cincinnati (22-10), North Carolina St (20-13), Ohio St (23-10), Oklahoma St (17-13)
The 10 line:  Purdue (20-13), Davidson (22-8), Boise St (23-8), Georgia (21-11)
The 11 line:  Indiana (20-13), BYU (23-9), Colorado St (26-6), Ole Miss (20-12), LSU (22-10), Texas (20-13)
The 12 line:  Stephen F Austin (26-4), Wyoming (23-9), Buffalo (23-9), Wofford (26-6)
The 13 line:  Valparaiso (25-5), Harvard (20-7), Georgia St (22-9), Northeastern (23-11)
The 14 line:  Eastern Washington (23-8), North Dakota St (21-9), Belmont (21-10), UAB (18-15)
The 15 line:  UC-Irvine (19-12), Albany (24-8), New Mexico St (21-10), Texas Southern (22-12)
The 16 line:  Coastal Carolina (20-9), North Florida (20-11), Lafayette (19-12), Manhattan (19-13), Robert Morris (19-14), Hampton (16-17)

Last 3 in:
Ole Miss

Last 2 out:
Temple (23-10)
UCLA (20-13)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

S-Curve 3/15 morning edition

1) Wisconsin to the 1 line, Virginia to the 2.  My heart's not into it, but it's what I believe the committee will do.
2) I dropped Georgia like a stone during my seed scrubbing.  I think they're safe though, ahead of two other SEC bubble teams.
3) I'm not exactly comfortable with how close everyone has Indiana to the bubble.  I just don't see it.  I think they're clear by about 5 spots.  They just simply have better wins than the other bubble teams.
4) I dropped the Mountain West teams some, but not a lot.  Colorado St did drop down, and I would not be shocked if they were a surprise miss.
5) If I'm gonna be wrong, it's going to be on Temple.  No qualms with them being in.  I might debate Texas/Temple down to the wire.
6) Back up to the gut says Notre Dame on the 2 line, but that non-con SoS says nope.  It's reluctant, but I think that 2 seed is Iowa St's.
7) Another pressure point...last 3 seed.  UNC/Oklahoma.  I could go either way on this one.
8) Pressure point...#16 overall on the S-Curve.  I would NOT be shocked if UL got pushed down to the 5.  They're much closer to that than the 3.
9) The 7-9 lines are ugly, IMO.  The profiles fall off fast.

The 1 line:  Kentucky (33-0), Villanova (32-2), Duke (29-4), Wisconsin (30-3)
The 2 line:  Virginia (29-3), Arizona (31-3), Gonzaga (31-2), Iowa St (25-8)
The 3 line:  Kansas (26-8), Notre Dame (29-5), Maryland (27-6), North Carolina (24-11)
The 4 line:  Oklahoma (22-10), Baylor (24-9), Northern Iowa (30-3), Louisville (24-8)
The 5 line:  West Virginia (23-9), Wichita St (27-4), Georgetown (21-10), Butler (22-10)
The 6 line:  Utah (23-8), Arkansas (26-7), SMU (25-6), Michigan St (23-10)
The 7 line:  Providence (22-11), VCU (25-9), Xavier (21-13), Oregon (24-9)
The 8 line:  St John's (20-11), San Diego St (25-8), Dayton (25-7), Iowa (21-11)
The 9 line:  Cincinnati (22-10), North Carolina St (20-13), Ohio St (23-10), Oklahoma St (17-13)
The 10 line:  Purdue (20-13), Davidson (22-8), Boise St (23-8), Georgia (21-11)
The 11 line:  Indiana (20-13), BYU (23-9), Colorado St (26-6), Ole Miss (20-12), LSU (22-10), Texas (20-13)
The 12 line:  Stephen F Austin (26-4), Wyoming (23-9), Buffalo (23-9), Wofford (26-6)
The 13 line:  Valparaiso (25-5), Harvard (20-7), Georgia St (22-9), Northeastern (23-11)
The 14 line:  Eastern Washington (23-8), North Dakota St (21-9), Belmont (21-10), UAB (18-15)
The 15 line:  UC-Irvine (19-12), Albany (24-8), New Mexico St (21-10), Texas Southern (22-12)
The 16 line:  Coastal Carolina (20-9), North Florida (20-11), Lafayette (19-12), Manhattan (19-13), Robert Morris (19-14), Hampton (16-17)

Last 5 in:
Colorado St
Ole Miss

Last 5 out:
Temple (23-10)
UCLA (20-13)
Murray St (25-5)
UConn (20-13)
Tulsa (22-9)

Off the board:  Stephen F Austin (into the autobid category), Miami, Illinois, Old Dominion - I conservately kept them on, but they can safely come off now.

UConn charging up the list is semantics only - either they win the autobid or fall back off the board.  If they do win tomorrow, they would get seeded on the 11 line right ahead of Stephen F Austin.

NIT projections 3/15 morning

There will be one final projection, after the NCAA announcement but before the NIT announcement.

The 1 line:  Temple (23-10), UCLA (20-13), Murray St (25-5), UConn (20-13)
The 2 line:  Tulsa (22-9), Miami (21-12), Illinois (19-13), Old Dominion (24-7)
The 3 line:  Rhode Island (21-9), Texas A&M (20-11), Stanford (19-13), Richmond (19-13)
The 4 line:  Pittsburgh (18-14), St Mary's (20-9), Green Bay (22-8), George Washington (21-12)
The 5 line:  Louisiana Tech (24-8), Illinois St (20-12), Iona (26-8), Memphis (18-14)
The 6 line:  Yale (20-10), UTEP (22-10), South Carolina (16-16), Central Michigan (20-8)
The 7 line:  UC-Davis (23-6), William & Mary (18-12), South Dakota St (21-10), North Carolina Central (22-7)
The 8 line:  Montana (18-12), Bucknell (18-14), St Francis(NY) (22-11), Charleston Southern (16-11)

Last 6 in:
George Washington
Illinois St
South Carolina

Last 5 out:
UMass (17-15)
Arizona St (17-15)
Seton Hall (16-15)
Alabama (17-14)
Michigan (15-15)

The consideration board:  California, Toledo, Sam Houston St, Vanderbilt, Florida St, Clemson, Kansas St

Bracket it:

1) Temple (23-10) vs. 8) St Francis(NY) (22-11)
4) George Washington (21-12) vs. 5) Louisiana Tech (24-8)
3) Stanford (19-13) vs. 6) UC-Davis (23-6)
2) Illinois (19-13) vs. 7) Central Michigan (20-8)

1) UConn (20-13) vs. 8) Bucknell (18-14)
4) Pittsburgh (18-14) vs. 5) Iona (26-8)
3) Rhode Island (21-9) vs. 6) Yale (20-10)
2) Old Dominion (24-7) vs. 7) William & Mary (18-12)

1) Murray St (25-5) vs. 8) Charleston Southern (16-11)
4) Green Bay (22-8) vs. 5) Memphis (18-14)
3) Richmond (19-13) vs. 6) South Carolina (16-16)
2) Miami (21-12) vs. 7) North Carolina Central (22-7)

1) UCLA (20-13) vs. 8) Montana (18-12)
4) St Mary's (20-9) vs. 5) Illinois St (20-12)
3) Texas A&M (20-11) vs. 6) UTEP (22-10)
2) Tulsa (22-9) vs. 7) South Dakota St (21-10)

Bracket 3/15 morning

There will be one more bracket after this.  For entertainment purposes only.

1) Kentucky (33-0) vs. 16) Manhattan (19-13)/Robert Morris (19-14)
8) St John's (20-11) vs. 9) Ohio St (23-10)
4) Northern Iowa (30-3) vs. 13) Northeastern (23-11)
5) West Virginia (23-9) vs. 12) Wyoming (23-9)
3) Notre Dame (29-5) vs. 14) North Dakota St (21-9)
6) Michigan St (23-10) vs. 11) Colorado St (26-6)/LSU (22-10)
2) Iowa St (25-8) vs. 15) Texas Southern (22-12)
7) VCU (25-9) vs. 10) Purdue (20-13)

1) Wisconsin (30-3) vs. 16) Coastal Carolina (20-9)
8) San Diego St (25-8) vs. 9) Oklahoma St (17-13)
4) Oklahoma (22-10) vs. 13) Valparaiso (25-5)
5) Butler (22-10) vs. 12) Buffalo (23-9)
3) North Carolina (24-11) vs. 14) Belmont (21-10)
6) Utah (23-8) vs. 11) BYU (23-9)
2) Arizona (31-3) vs. 15) New Mexico St (21-10)
7) Xavier (21-13) vs. 10) Georgia (21-11)

1) Duke (29-4) vs. 16) Lafayette (19-12)/Hampton (16-17)
8) Iowa (21-11) vs. 9) Cincinnati (22-10)
4) Louisville (24-8) vs. 13) Harvard (20-7)
5) Wichita St (27-4) vs. 12) Wofford (26-6)
3) Kansas (26-8) vs. 14) UAB (18-15)
6) Arkansas (26-7) vs. 11) Indiana (20-13)
2) Gonzaga (31-2) vs. 15) UC-Irvine (19-12)
7) Oregon (24-9) vs. 10) Boise St (23-8)

1) Villanova (32-2) vs. 16) North Florida (20-11)
8) Dayton (25-7) vs. 9) North Carolina St (20-13)
4) Baylor (24-9) vs. 13) Georgia St (22-9)
5) Georgetown (21-10) vs. 12) Stephen F Austin (26-4)
3) Maryland (27-6) vs. 14) Eastern Washington (23-8)
6) SMU (25-6) vs. 11) Ole Miss (20-12)/Texas (20-13)
2) Virginia (29-3) vs. 15) Albany (24-8)
7) Providence (22-11) vs. 10) Davidson (22-8)

3/15 preview

SEC finals:  Arkansas/Kentucky...this would be worth multiple seeding lines to Arkansas if they get this
A-10 finals:  VCU and Dayton...I could see the committee just ignoring this game, they've got bigger fish to fry
AAC finals:  UConn/SMU.  They will need to build contingencies for this game.  I'm guessing they'll save a spot on the 11 line for UConn
Big 10 finals:  Wisky/Michigan St.  Contingencies here too.  Wisky will have to hold to stay a 1 seed because Duke/UVa/Arizona are too strong.  Committee can't ignore this game like they have in previous years
Sun Belt finals:  Georgia St/Georgia Southern in one last NIT bid poach watch

3/14 recap

Big 12 finals:
Iowa St 70, Kansas 66 - god, I have no idea what to do with the 2 line.  I think it should be Notre Dame.  I think past evidence says Kansas would keep it.  Therefore, I'm going Iowa St.  I reserve the right to change my mind

ACC finals:
Notre Dame 90, North Carolina 82 - at the very least, UND has prevented the committee from punishing them for the non-con SoS.  3 is the floor now.  UNC...are SoS monsters.  They'll be fine, seed-wise

Big East finals:
Villanova 69, Xavier 52 - you can make an excellent argument it's Nova who should give up their 1 seed to make room for UVa/Duke/Wisky.  I just think the committee will be blind to those particular thoughts

Pac-12 finals:
Arizona 80, Oregon 52 - unfortunately for Zona, the Pac-12 was down and the teams that needed to cooperate (Wisky and Nova) haven't

MW finals:
Wyoming 45, San Diego St 43 - you all know what this means by now

Big 10 semifinals:
Wisconsin 71, Purdue 51 - moving Wisky to the 1 line...actually get hurt slightly with the upset by MSU.  A win over Maryland would've been nice as resume insurance, to ensure that 1 seed
Michigan St 62, Maryland 58 - MSU creeping up to the 6 line

SEC semifinals:
Kentucky 91, Auburn 67 - thanks, SEC tournament, for this essential matchup
Arkansas 60, Georgia 49

A-10 semifinals:
VCU 93, Davidson 73 - VCU is rescuing its seed quite a bit, thanks to a couple decent wins and a soft 7 line
Dayton 56, Rhode Island 52 - VCU/Dayton might be for a 7 seed

AAC semifinals:
SMU 69, Temple 56 - sorry Temple, I think this is going to end badly
UConn 47, Tulsa 42 - and this definitely isn't ending well for Tulsa

Ivy playoff:
Harvard 53, Yale 51 - Yale's a NIT bubble team

MAC finals:
Buffalo 89, Central Michigan 84

Southland finals:
Stephen F Austin 83, Sam Houston St 70 - too bad SFA won't be an at-large team and shock everyone with an at-large bid like I was hoping

CUSA finals:
UAB 73, Middle Tennessee 60 - and CUSA's sending their 6th best team in terms of overall resume, d'oh

Big West finals:
UC-Irvine 67, Hawaii 58

Big Sky finals:
Eastern Washington 69, Montana 65 - NIT bid poach

A-East finals:
Albany 51, Stony Brook 50

MEAC finals:
Hampton 82, Delaware St 61 - great, a under .500 team

SWAC finals:
Texas Southern 62, Southern 58 - if the committee is paying attention, TSU should avoid the 16 line

WAC finals:
New Mexico St 80, Seattle 61

Sun Belt semifinals:
Georgia St 83, Louisiana-Lafayette 79
Georgia Southern 44, Louisiana-Monroe 43 - top 2 seeds hold; one more NIT bid poaching situation for tomorrow

The rolling CBI/CIT bid acceptance tracker

It's what the title says it is.  Track the bids here.

There's like a 97% chance I'll be missing some announcements, so if you feel like it, barge into the comments and leave info if you so desire.


New Hampshire (link) at NJIT (link)
Bowling Green (link) at St Francis(PA) (link)
James Madison (link) at USC Upstate (link)
Dartmouth (link) at Canisius (link)
Eastern Illinois (link) at Oakland (link)

Florida Gulf Coast (link) as host
Eastern Kentucky (link) as host
Incarnate Word (link) as host
Western Michigan (link) as host
Northwestern St (link) as host

Tennessee-Martin (link)
Portland (link)
IPFW (link)

There are also plenty of unconfirmed reports out there (players, coaches saying their season is still going, while not confirming details of it).  As of Saturday afternoon, I'm probably done updating this post, as we only really have to wait 24 hours at this point.

NIT projections 3/14

The 1 line:  Temple (23-9), Tulsa (22-8), Murray St (25-5), Miami (21-12)
The 2 line:  Illinois (19-13), Old Dominion (24-7), Rhode Island (21-8), Texas A&M (20-11)
The 3 line:  Stanford (19-13), Richmond (19-13), UConn (19-13), Pittsburgh (18-14)
The 4 line:  St Mary's (20-9), Buffalo (22-9), George Washington (21-12), Louisiana Tech (24-8)
The 5 line:  Green Bay (22-8), Illinois St (20-12), Memphis (18-14), UMass (17-15)
The 6 line:  South Carolina (16-16), Iona (26-8), Harvard (19-7), UTEP (22-10)
The 7 line:  Arizona St (17-15), UC-Davis (23-6), William & Mary (18-12), South Dakota St (21-10)
The 8 line:  North Carolina Central (22-7), Bucknell (18-14), St Francis(NY) (22-11), Charleston Southern (16-11)

Bubble in:
George Washington
Green Bay
Illinois St
South Carolina
Arizona St

Bubble out:
Seton Hall (16-15)
Alabama (17-14)
Wyoming (22-9)
Michigan (15-15)
California (18-15)
Toledo (20-13)
Sam Houston St (21-7)
Eastern Washington (22-8)
Vanderbilt (18-13)

I'm giving the NIT a pretty wide berth for the bubble teams.  They really have some options to go with.

S-Curve 3/14

Too many changes to list out.

The 1 line:  Kentucky (32-0), Villanova (30-2), Virginia (29-3), Duke (29-4)
The 2 line:  Wisconsin (29-3), Arizona (30-3), Gonzaga (31-2), Kansas (26-7)
The 3 line:  Notre Dame (28-5), Maryland (27-5), Iowa St (24-8), North Carolina (24-10)
The 4 line:  Oklahoma (22-10), Northern Iowa (30-3), Baylor (23-9), Louisville (24-8)
The 5 line:  West Virginia (23-9), Wichita St (27-4), Georgetown (21-10), Utah (23-8)
The 6 line:  Butler (22-10), SMU (24-6), Arkansas (25-7), Providence (22-11)
The 7 line:  Michigan St (22-10), San Diego St (25-7), Xavier (21-12), St John's (20-11)
The 8 line:  Oregon (24-8), Dayton (24-7), VCU (24-9), Cincinnati (22-10)
The 9 line:  Ohio St (23-10), Iowa (21-11), North Carolina St (20-13), Georgia (21-10)
The 10 line:  Oklahoma St (17-13), Colorado St (26-6), Purdue (20-12), Indiana (20-12)
The 11 line:  Davidson (22-7), BYU (23-9), Boise St (23-8), Ole Miss (20-12), LSU (22-10)
The 12 line:  Texas (20-13), UCLA (20-13), Stephen F Austin (25-4), Wofford (26-6), Yale (20-9)
The 13 line:  Valparaiso (25-5), Central Michigan (20-7), Northeastern (23-11), Georgia St (21-9)
The 14 line:  North Dakota St (21-9), Belmont (21-10), Albany (23-8), UC-Irvine (18-12)
The 15 line:  UAB (17-15), New Mexico St (20-10), Texas Southern (21-12), Montana (18-11)
The 16 line:  Coastal Carolina (20-9), Lafayette (19-12), North Florida (20-11), Manhattan (19-13), Robert Morris (19-14), Delaware St (16-16)

Last 7 in:
Boise St
Ole Miss

Last 6 out:
Temple (23-9)
Tulsa (22-8)
Stephen F Austin (currently in as Southland leader)
Murray St (25-5)
Miami (21-12)
Illinois (19-13)
Old Dominion (24-7)

Teams still in play, but are too far gone for an at-large bid:  UConn, Rhode Island

While I leave the bubble with 13 teams playing for 7 spots, the very likely scenario is this:  There are two spots left, held by Texas and UCLA.  Those are the spots that will disappear if the likes of Wyoming and UConn win their conference tourneys.  Also, Temple and Tulsa are both gunning for those spots.  I leave Murray St and ODU on the board as the sentimental possible mid-major choices, and Miami/Illinois as the stock power conference options left on the board.

I'm still not sure what I want to do with the 1 line.  Duke having those head-to-head wins is extremely massive right now, but I can't help but wonder that the committee can't ignore Wisky's double championships (if they happen).

Friday, March 13, 2015

3/14 preview

Big 12 finals:  Kansas vs. Iowa St, in what might just be for a 2 seed.  By the way, this 2 seed is now in line to get stuck with Kentucky, so stay tuned.  You may not want to win this one
Mountain West finals:  Wyoming in a pure bid-steal situation against SDSU
Big East finals:  Xavier has done wonders for their profile, this would be worth many seed lines.  Nova must get this to maintain a 1 seed
ACC finals:  North Carolina and Notre Dame.  I think the 3 line is the peak for both here
Pac-12 finals:  Oregon/Arizona

Big 10 semifinals:  Purdue/Wisconsin, as Purdue goes for the lockbox and Wisky goes for the 1 line.  Michigan St/Maryland for positioning
SEC semifinals:  Auburn/Kentucky, Georgia/Arkansas, blah
A-10 semifinals:  VCU/Davidson, Rhode Island/Dayton
AAC semifinals:  Temple/SMU, UConn/Tulsa, let's see what the two bubble teams do
Sun Belt semifinals:  top 4 seeds have made it to this point

Championship games elsewhere:
A-East:  Stony Brook/Albany (Albany in a NIT bid poaching situation)
MEAC:  Hampton/Delaware St
CUSA:  Middle Tennessee/UAB
Ivy:  Harvard/Yale
SWAC:  Southern/Texas Southern - well, other than the pride of the actual championship, this is meaningless
MAC:  Buffalo/Central Michigan (CMU has the NIT autobid; Buffalo is a NIT at-large lock, so no NIT bid is getting poached here either way)
Big Sky:  Eastern Washington/Montana (Montana in a NIT bid poaching situation)
Southland:  Sam Houston St/Stephen F Austin (I don't think SFA is dead from a at-large standpoint yet)
WAC:  Seattle/New Mexico St (NMSU in a NIT bid poaching situation)
Big West:  Hawaii/UC Irvine

3/13 recap

Big 12 semifinals:
Kansas 62, Baylor 52 - big, because Maryland and Notre Dame are charging for their spot on the 2 line
Iowa St 67, Oklahoma 65 - I think the final pecking order is going to be ISU > OU > BU > WVU for these Big 12 teams

ACC semifinals:
North Carolina 71, Virginia 67 - I don't think UNC can get all the way to the 3 line; it's pretty crowded there.  A win tomorrow might make me change my mind
Notre Dame 74, Duke 64 - well, things just got complicated on the 1 line.  I gotta think about this

Pac-12 semifinals:
Arizona 70, UCLA 64 - and now, UCLA waits.  I think their fate hinges on what happens in the American tomorrow
Oregon 67, Utah 64 - Utah bleeding seed lines everywhere now

Big East semifinals:
Villanova 63, Providence 61 - Nova has to be #2 overall, right?
Xavier 65, Georgetown 63 - X to the 7 line?

Big 10 quarterfinals:
Wisconsin 71, Michigan 60 - and now the stakes are high for Wisky thanks to the ACC losses
Purdue 64, Penn St 59 - and Purdue gets into a no-loss game against Wisky.  Well done
Maryland 75, Indiana 69 - the 2 line still in play for Maryland, but Kansas isn't cooperating
Michigan St 76, Ohio St 67

SEC quarterfinals:
Kentucky 64, Florida 49
Auburn 73, LSU 70 (OT) - dear God, what do we do with LSU now?
Arkansas 80, Tennessee 72
Georgia 74, South Carolina 62

American quarterfinals:
SMU 74, East Carolina 68
Temple 80, Memphis 75 - Temple's season now down to one game, against SMU
Tulsa 59, Houston 51
UConn 57, Cincinnati 54 - UConn just popped Tulsa's bubble.  Tulsa needed the quality win chance against Cincy and are denied

A-10 quarterfinals:
Davidson 67, LaSalle 66
VCU 70, Richmond 67
Dayton 75, St Bonaventure 71
Rhode Island 71, George Washington 58 - we'll deal with URI's at-large candidacy if they beat Dayton.  I don't think they're there yet

MW semifinals:
Wyoming 71, Boise St 66 (OT) - I think Boise is okay with the attrition elsewhere
San Diego St 56, Colorado St 43 - and now, CSU waits

CUSA semifinals:
Middle Tennessee 53, UTEP 50 - impact on the NIT bubble
UAB 72, Louisiana Tech 62 (OT) - there goes a NIT spot.  CUSA's going to have a seeding problem for their champion

MAC semifinals:
Central Michigan 75, Toledo 66
Buffalo 68, Akron 59 - Buffalo should be safe for the NIT now, and

Southland semifinals:
Stephen F Austin 91, Northwestern 79 - hidden storyline:  SFA is in bubble play if they lose tomorrow
Sam Houston St 70, Texas A&M-CC 67

Big West semifinals:
Hawaii 65, UC-Davis 58
UC-Irvine 72, UC-Santa Barbara 63 (OT)

Big Sky semifinals:
Eastern Washington 91, Sacramento St 83
Montana 61, Northern Arizona 59

Sun Belt quarterfinals:
Louisiana-Lafayette 53, Texas St 43
Louisiana-Monroe 77, South Alabama 59

MEAC semifinals:
Delaware St 63, North Carolina Central 57 - just a stupid, stupid upset, and your MEAC champion will be the #68 team on the S-Curve this year
Hampton 75, Norfolk St 64 - and of course the competent 2 seed goes down too

SWAC semifinals:
Southern 68, Alabama St 66
Texas Southern 90, Prairie View A&M 77 - and TSU has the SWAC bid thanks to Southern and ASU being ineligible.  Good job SWAC

WAC semifinals:
New Mexico St 57, Cal St-Bakersfield 53
Seattle 69, UMKC 63

S-Curve 3/13

North Carolina from a 5 to a 4 seed
Utah from a 4 seed to a 5 seed (Utah did nothing wrong; UNC jumped them)
Wichita St from a 6 seed to a 5 seed
Butler from a 5 seed to a 6 seed (Butler's loss is Wichita's gain)
Xavier from a 9 seed to a 8 seed
Iowa from a 8 seed to a 9 seed
NC State from a 10 seed to a 9 seed
Oklahoma St from a 9 seed to a 10 seed

The 1 line:  Kentucky (31-0), Virginia (29-2), Duke (29-3), Villanova (29-2)
The 2 line:  Wisconsin (28-3), Arizona (29-3), Gonzaga (31-2), Kansas (25-7)
The 3 line:  Maryland (26-5), Notre Dame (27-5), Oklahoma (22-9), Iowa St (23-8)
The 4 line:  Baylor (23-8), Northern Iowa (30-3), North Carolina (26-7), Louisville (24-8)
The 5 line:  Utah (23-7), Georgetown (21-9), West Virginia (23-9), Wichita St (27-4)
The 6 line:  Butler (22-10), SMU (23-6), Arkansas (24-7), Providence (22-10)
The 7 line:  St John's (20-11), Michigan St (21-10), Cincinnati (22-9), San Diego St (24-7)
The 8 line:  Dayton (23-7), VCU (23-9), Oregon (23-8), Xavier (20-12)
The 9 line:  Ohio St (23-9), Iowa (21-11), Colorado St (26-5), North Carolina St (20-13)
The 10 line:  Oklahoma St (17-13), Georgia (20-10), Davidson (22-6), LSU (22-9)
The 11 line:  Indiana (20-12), Boise St (23-7), Purdue (20-11), BYU (23-9), Ole Miss (20-12)
The 12 line:  Texas (20-13), UCLA (20-12), Stephen F Austin (24-4), Wofford (26-6), Yale (20-9)
The 13 line:  Louisiana Tech (24-7), Valparaiso (25-5), Central Michigan (19-7), UC-Davis (23-5)
The 14 line:  Northeastern (23-11), Georgia St (21-9), North Carolina Central (22-6), Belmont (21-10)
The 15 line:  North Dakota St (21-9), Albany (23-8), New Mexico St (19-10), Texas Southern (20-12)
The 16 line:  Montana (17-11), Coastal Carolina (20-9), North Florida (20-11), Manhattan (19-13), Robert Morris (19-14), Lafayette (19-12)

Welcome to the lockbox:
Colorado St
Ohio St
North Carolina St

Are very likely to be welcomed to the lockbox tomorrow:
Davidson (currently in as A-10 leader)
Boise St (currently in as MW leader)

Last 5 in:
Ole Miss

Last 7 out:
Tulsa (21-8)
Temple (22-9)
Stephen F Austin (currently in as Southland leader)
Murray St (25-5)
Miami (21-12)
Illinois (19-13)
Old Dominion (24-7)
Richmond (19-12)

It's highly doubtful anyone else is in play.  Texas A&M and Stanford have come off the board.  Illinois and ODU do stay on the board for now.

3/13 preview

Big East semifinals:  Nova/Provi and X/G'town are good matchups.

ACC semifinals: UVa/UNC and Duke/Notre Dame, with seeding implications everywhere.

Big 12 semifinals:  Baylor/Kansas and Iowa St/Oklahoma, again there's seeding implications everywhere.

Pac 12 semifinals:  UCLA's big chance against Arizona.  Oregon/Utah will be for seed positioning.

Mountain West semifinals:  Boise/Wyoming; Colorado St/SDSU; all 3 main teams here might be good to go no matter what happens here.

Big 10 quarterfinals:  Purdue is stuck with a must-win game against Penn St.  Maryland gets Indiana with the 2 line in sight.  Ohio St/Michigan St for seed jockeying.

SEC quarterfinals:  Auburn/LSU; obvious must-hold situation for LSU.  And I think Georgia is good to go, but they get stuck with South Carolina

A-10 quarterfinals:  Davidson in one last must-hold situation against LaSalle.  VCU/Richmond, as Richmond tries to furiously rally from off the bubble.  Dayton needs to handle St Bonaventure.

AAC quarterfinals:  Temple/Memphis and Tulsa/Houston.  It's the AAC's turn to play bubble roulette.  Cincy could do the conference a favor by knocking out UConn.

MAC semifinals
SWAC semifinals
CUSA semifinals
Southland semifinals
MEAC semifinals
Big Sky semifinals
WAC semifinals
Sun Belt quarterfinals

Thursday, March 12, 2015

3/12 recap

Big 12 quarterfinals:
Baylor 80, West Virginia 70 - well, WVU might be trapped on the 5, or even 6 line, trapped behind the BU/OU/ISU tier
Kansas 64, TCU 59
Iowa St 69, Texas 67 - UT is your true bubble team that can still go either way
Oklahoma 64, Oklahoma St 49 - well, I keep writing about that BU/OU/ISU trio.  They're all in the semifinals here, and are playing each other for seeding, IMO

ACC quarterfinals:
Virginia 58, Florida St 44 - now the fun begins for UVa to secure the #2 overall seed
North Carolina 70, Louisville 60 - the race for protected seeding just gets more muddled.  Can the ACC get 5?  I'm not sure, and I still think I like UL for that 4th spot...maybe.  I don't know yet
Duke 77, North Carolina St 53
Notre Dame 70, Miami 63 - I don't think Miami's going to get there

Big East quarterfinals:
Villanova 84, Marquette 49
Providence 74, St John's 57 - pretty important for Provi to avoid slipping towards the 7 or 8 line
Georgetown 60, Creighton 55
Xavier 67, Butler 61 (OT) - seeding Butler might be tricky

Pac-12 quarterfinals:
Arizona 73, California 51
UCLA 96, USC 70
Oregon 93, Colorado 85
Utah 80, Stanford 56

Big 10 2nd round:
Michigan 73, Illinois 55 - not the way to stay on the bubble
Penn St 67, Iowa 58 - there's the Iowa we know and love
Indiana 71, Northwestern 56 - on this day, a service hold is gold
Ohio St 79, Minnesota 73 - finally, a lockbox for OSU

SEC 2nd round:
Florida 69, Alabama 61 - pretty significant game for the NIT bubble
Auburn 66, Texas A&M 59 - and now everyone's got A&M way adrift from the bubble, rightfully so.  The basketball gods took my big call a couple weeks ago away from me, sigh
Tennessee 67, Vanderbilt 61 - the SEC is drunk
South Carolina 60, Ole Miss 58 - jesus, what an awful loss.  SEC has gone full SEC late in the season

A-10 2nd round:
LaSalle 76, UMass 69 - could cost UMass the NIT
VCU 63, Fordham 57
St Bonaventure 60, St Joseph's 49
George Washington 73, Duquesne 55

AAC 1st round:
East Carolina 81, Central Florida 80 (OT)
Houston 66, Tulane 60
UConn 69, South Florida 43

Mountain West quarterfinals:
Boise St 80, Air Force 68
Wyoming 67, Utah St 65
San Diego St 67, UNLV 64
Colorado St 71, Fresno St 59 - everyone's stable in this conference

MAC quarterfinals:
Toledo 78, Eastern Michigan 67
Akron 53, Kent St 51

CUSA quarterfinals:
UTEP 83, Florida International 71
Middle Tennessee 59, Old Dominion 52 - catastrophic loss of the day
UAB 53, Western Kentucky 52
Louisiana Tech 70, Rice 64 - with ODU out, this becomes an active bid poaching situation for NIT bubble teams

Big Sky quarterfinals:
Eastern Washington 91, Idaho 83
Sacramento St 70, Portland St 60
Northern Arizona 63, Northern Colorado 57
Montana 76, Weber St 73 (OT) - the top 4 teams hold serve here

Big West quarterfinals:
UC-Davis 71, Cal St-Northridge 67
Hawaii 79, Long Beach St 72
UC-Irvine 63, UC-Riverside 54
UC-Santa Barbara 54, Cal Poly 50

Sun Belt 1st round:
Texas St 68, Texas-Arlington 62
South Alabama 57, Arkansas-Little Rock 55

Southland 2nd round:
Northwestern St 96, McNeese St 89
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 61, New Orleans 58

MEAC quarterfinals:
Hampton 76, Maryland-Eastern Shore 71
Delaware St 65, Howard 60

SWAC quarterfinals:
Southern 64, Alabama A&M 60
Prairie View A&M 62, Jackson St 56

WAC quarterfinals:
Cal St-Bakersfield 55, Utah Valley 40
UMKC 70, Texas-Pan American 61
Seattle 49, Chicago St 45

Ivy League conference recap

This is part 33 of a 33-part series in this blog, designed to give you all the information you need to know about each conference's tournament, and the postseason prospects of every single team in the conference.

Final standings:
Yale 11-3
Harvard 11-3
Princeton 9-5
Dartmouth 7-7
Columbia 5-9
Cornell 5-9
Brown 4-10
Penn 4-10

Conference tournament format:  Oh wait, they're rebels, the last holdouts without one.  But we do have a one-game playoff to settle the tie at the top.  The Palestra in Philadelphia will host it.

1t) Harvard vs. 1t) Yale

The stakes:
A likely 13 seed for the winner of the game.  The loser will be a true NIT bubble team.  Quickly, the highlights:
Yale:  @UConn, @Vermont, @Kent St
Harvard:  UMass, N'eastern, @Vermont

Both did reasonable work in the non-con.  The NIT chances of the loser will likely depend on how much the NIT bubble contracts.  It'll be close.

Deeper down, Princeton and Dartmouth are CIT-eligible.  Dartmouth is really a borderline resume, Princeton less so.

NIT projections 3/12

Fine-tuning the S-Curve a bit more, and formalizing the predictions a bit.

The 1 line:  Tulsa (21-8), Temple (22-9), Miami (21-11), Old Dominion (24-6)
The 2 line:  Illinois (19-12), Stanford (19-12), Murray St (25-5), Texas A&M (20-10)
The 3 line:  Richmond (19-12), UConn (17-13), Rhode Island (20-8), Pittsburgh (18-14)
The 4 line:  St Mary's (20-9),  UMass (17-14),  Memphis (18-13), Alabama (17-13)
The 5 line:  George Washington (20-11), Iona (26-8), Buffalo (21-9), Vanderbilt (18-12)
The 6 line:  Illinois St (20-12), Green Bay (22-8), Arizona St (17-15), Harvard (19-7)
The 7 line:  Minnesota (17-14), Seton Hall (16-15), UTEP (21-9), William & Mary (18-12)
The 8 line:  South Dakota St (21-10), St Francis(NY) (22-11), Charleston Southern (16-11), Bucknell (18-14)

The first 13 teams reside in the NIT lockbox.

Bubble in:
George Washington

Next 4 in:
Illinois St
Green Bay
Arizona St

Last 4 in:
Seton Hall

Last 4 out:
Florida St (17-15)
Oregon St (16-14)
Clemson (16-15)
California (18-14)

Next 4 out:
Wyoming (20-9)
UNLV (17-14)
Toledo (19-12)
Sam Houston St (20-7)

Next 4 out:
Eastern Washington (20-8)
Penn St (17-15)
LaSalle (16-15)
UC-Santa Barbara (16-12)

Teams under .500 I'll deal with, if they get on a bit of a run:  Kansas St, Florida, Michigan

If you wonder how the NIT would create the bracket?  Remember that teams can be moved a seed line.

1) Tulsa vs. 8) South Dakota St
4) Memphis vs. 5) Arizona St
3) St Mary's vs. 6) Alabama
2) Stanford vs. 7) Minnesota

1) Miami vs. 8) Charleston Southern
4) UMass vs. 5) Iona
3) Pittsburgh vs. 6) George Washington
2) Texas A&M vs. 7) UTEP

1) Old Dominion vs. 8) Bucknell
4) Rhode Island vs. 5) Buffalo
3) UConn vs. 6) Harvard
2) Illinois vs. 7) Illinois St

1) Temple vs. 8) St Francis(NY)
4) Vanderbilt vs. 5) Green Bay
3) Richmond vs. 6) William & Mary
2) Murray St vs. 7) Seton Hall

3/12 preview

Big 10 2nd round:  Michigan/Illinois, Penn St/Iowa, Northwestern/Indiana, Minnesota/Ohio St.  You know who needs to hold here.

ACC quarterfinals:  UNC/Louisville is big for seeding purposes; I like the winner to hold onto a protected seed in the end.  NC State gets Duke, but it only matters for seeding purposes now.  What does matter is Miami, against Notre Dame, for both teams (I think Notre Dame is a 3 seed, many others don't).

Big East quarterfinals:  Some nice matchups here.  St John's and Provi are next to each other in my S-Curve, so their game will be useful.  Xavier/Butler as well.

Big 12 quarterfinals:  Baylor/West Virginia is a big game for seeding purposes.  Texas/Iowa St.  This is for the world for Texas.  Your one chance.  Oklahoma/Oklahoma St.  OSU should be safe; OU playing for the 3 line.

Pac-12 quarterfinals:  UCLA in a must-hold situation against USC.  Oregon should be home free, but would be well advised to handle Colorado.  And Stanford's big chance against Utah looms.

SEC 2nd round:  A&M needs to hold against Auburn.

A-10 2nd round:  VCU needs to stop bleeding seed lines, and gets terrible Fordham.

American 1st round:  UConn and 5 terrible teams are in action on this day.

Mountain West quarterfinals:  Hold-serve theater here, with Boise St/Air Force, UNLV/SDSU, and Fresno St/Colorado St.

Lesser tourney action:
CUSA quarterfinals - ODU begins their at-large push
Big Sky quarterfinals
Big West quarterfinals
SWAC quarterfinals
WAC quarterfinals
Sun Belt 1st round
Southland 2nd round
MAC quarterfinals

S-Curve 3/12

No seed changes from yesterday.

The 1 line:  Kentucky (31-0), Virginia (28-2), Duke (28-3), Villanova (28-2)
The 2 line:  Wisconsin (28-3), Arizona (28-3), Gonzaga (31-2), Kansas (24-7)
The 3 line:  Maryland (26-5), Notre Dame (26-5), Oklahoma (21-9), Iowa St (22-8)
The 4 line:  Baylor (22-8), Northern Iowa (30-3), Louisville (24-7), Utah (22-7)
The 5 line:  North Carolina (25-7), Georgetown (20-9), West Virginia (23-8), Butler (22-9)
The 6 line:  Wichita St (27-4), SMU (23-6), Arkansas (24-7), Providence (21-10)
The 7 line:  St John's (20-10), Michigan St (21-10), Cincinnati (22-9), San Diego St (23-7)
The 8 line:  Iowa (21-10), Dayton (23-7), VCU (22-9), Oregon (22-8)
The 9 line:  Oklahoma St (17-12), Xavier (19-12), Colorado St (25-5), Ohio St (22-9)
The 10 line:  North Carolina St (20-12), Georgia (20-10), Davidson (22-6), LSU (22-9)
The 11 line:  Indiana (19-12), Boise St (22-7), Ole Miss (20-11), Purdue (20-11), BYU (23-9)
The 12 line:  UCLA (19-12), Texas (20-12), Stephen F Austin (24-4), Wofford (26-6), Yale (20-9)
The 13 line:  Louisiana Tech (23-7), Valparaiso (25-5), Central Michigan (19-7), UC-Davis (22-5)
The 14 line:  Northeastern (23-11), Georgia St (21-9), North Carolina Central (22-6), Belmont (21-10)
The 15 line:  North Dakota St (21-9), Albany (23-8), New Mexico St (19-10), Texas Southern (20-12)
The 16 line:  Montana (16-11), Coastal Carolina (20-9), North Florida (20-11), Manhattan (19-13), Robert Morris (19-14), Lafayette (19-12)

Bubble in:
Colorado St
Ohio St
North Carolina St

Next 4 in:
Davidson (currently in as A-10 leader)
Boise St (currently in as MW leader)
Ole Miss

Last 4 in:

Last 4 out:
Tulsa (21-8)
Temple (22-9)
Miami (21-11)
Old Dominion (24-6)

Bubble inception (we need to go deeper):
Illinois (19-12)
Stanford (19-12)
Stephen F Austin (currently in as Southland leader)
Murray St (25-5)
Texas A&M (20-10)
Richmond (19-12)