Thursday, December 31, 2015

12/30 recap

Big East:
Seton Hall 83, @Marquette 63 - Marquette is dead and SHU appears to be for real
Georgetown 70, @DePaul 58

@Maryland 70, Penn St 64
Indiana 79, @Rutgers 72
Michigan 78, @Illinois 68
Northwestern 81, @Nebraska 72 - can't underestimate the importance of a road conference win
@Ohio St 78, Minnesota 63

@North Carolina 80, Clemson 69
@Pittsburgh 72, Syracuse 61 - slowly buying into Pitt; I'm not sure what the committee will do with these Boeheim-lite results

Houston 73, @South Florida 67 - okay, we'll pay attention to Houston for the time being

@Northern Iowa 80, Bradley 44

Sun Belt:
@UT-Arlington 85, Georgia St 70 - yeah, Sun Belt gets its own heading this year!  This was one of the tougher conference games, now already out of the way

Mountain West:
@San Diego St 67, Wyoming 55
Utah St 80, @San Jose St 71
Fresno St 69, @UNLV 66 - awful, awful loss for UNLV to Fresno a player this year?  Probably not

West Virginia 88, @Virginia Tech 63 - road wins are never trivial
@Dayton 85, Arkansas 81 (OT)

Cupcake winners:  Virginia, Iowa St, Duke, South Carolina, Rhode Island (at Brown), VCU, Vanderbilt, Boise St

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

12/29 recap

Conference play underway in earnest, finally

@Iowa 83, Michigan St 70 - no overall harm to MSU, and a modest profile improvement for Iowa.  Doesn't make their entire resume, though
Purdue 61, @Wisconsin 55 - Already, one of Wisky's hail-mary options to get back into the bubble talk is off the board

SMU 81, @Tulsa 69 - kind of criminal that Tulsa's best reasonable signature win chance in conference play is already by the boards, but alas.  SMU can wreck the NCAA chances of the conference if it wants to
Temple 77, @Cincinnati 70 - not a good look for Cincy; Temple has more work to do to be serious bubble players
@Memphis 77, Tulane 65

@UAB 76, Stephen F Austin 66
@Texas Tech 85, Richmond 70 - TTU is 10-1, somehow.  Not buying it yet
Wake Forest 77, @LSU 71
Florida St 73, @Florida 71
@NC State 72, Northeastern 66
@UConn 71, Texas 66 - a good win for UConn solidifying themselves as the AAC #1; Texas should be fine

Cupcake winners:  Kansas, Miami, Texas A&M, Baylor, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Colorado St, Oklahoma St, Georgia Tech, St Joseph's, Georgia, George Washington (on the road, no less), Kansas St, Alabama, Oregon, Hawaii

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

12/28 recap

One final full day of non-con action, pretty much everyone throttled back.

Signature win of the day:
@California 86, Davidson 60 - Cal acting like a tourney team (and Davidson starting to definitely look like a non-tourney team)

Catatstrophic loss of the day:
@Belmont 85, Valparaiso 81 - very tough ask to win at Belmont.  Valpo's still in fine position, but they can't afford a high raw number of losses, and this is one less they can afford in Horizon play
UC-Santa Barbara 83, @Washington 78

Postponement of the day:  New Mexico St at Wichita St

Cupcake winners:  UNC, Butler, Duke, Villanova, Utah, Louisiana Tech, Arizona St, St Mary's

Monday, December 28, 2015

Some early SoS readings

Everyone knows how important SoS is.  And while things will obviously change, it's late enough that we can start to read the tea leaves and see where teams stand.  Who scheduled up well and gave themselves a chance this year?

Georgia (6-3) RPI 41 SoS 1
A strong SoS number comes from truly avoiding cupcakes.  They got solid mid-majors in Oakland, Winthrop, and High Point to fill the bottom part of their schedule.  The issue, however, is that their signature win is...Georgia Tech at home?  And they lost to Chattanooga and K-State at home.  So it's not an at-large team, but they ARE set up to make a run if they get quality wins in the SEC.  A team like this with a marginal SoS is dead in the water even with quality SEC wins, but with this SoS, they'll have a fighting chance.

Xavier (12-0) RPI 1 SoS 2
We're going to have to talk X and the 1 line before too long, folks.  Also Villanova is sitting at SoS 5, so some strong RPI mojo will get passed around in the Big East.

Wichita St (5-5) RPI 57 SoS 6
Here is where you reap the rewards of scheduling up.  Injuries will play an issue when evaluating this resume (if you believe results before Van Vleet came back should be discarded, we're looking at 4-1 with wins over Utah and UNLV and a loss at SHU).  The very strong SoS will save Wichita barring disaster.

Florida (8-3) RPI 11 SoS 7
Kentucky (10-2) RPI 12 SoS 18
Vanderbilt (7-4) RPI 48 SoS 19
Alabama (7-3) RPI 25 SoS 20
Well done, SEC.  Turned a problem into a strength.

The battle for the 1 line:
North Carolina (10-2) RPI 3 SoS 12
Michigan St (13-0) RPI 2 SoS 45
Maryland (11-1) RPI 34 SoS 166
Duke (9-2) RPI 27 SoS 30
Virginia (10-1) RPI 10 SoS 56
Iowa St (10-1) RPI 4 SoS 14
It's obviously early for this, but early leg up to UNC and ISU, and an early ding to Maryland.

Monmouth (9-3) RPI 13 SoS 26
Here's why I think Monmouth will at least hang in the at-large discussion.  Took a 2-game road trip to UCLA/USC.  Played a big MTT and big names within it.  They also played 1 true home game out of 12 so far.  The home/road thing is a discussion for a different post, but from a SoS perspective, they gave themselves enough big chances to offset what will happen to them in the MAAC.

Texas-Arlington (8-2) RPI 37 SoS 129
I've been championing them...with UTEP going in the tank a bit, they only have 4 legit games on the non-con SoS right now....all 4 roadies, and they split them (Ohio St and Memphis for, Texas and LaTech against).  Really, splitting the legit games isn't bad.  The SoS is really hurt by a few really harmful cupcakes.  This will be an interesting test case in March if it comes to it.

Arkansas-Little Rock (8-1) RPI 35 SoS 182
While the schedule does have a lot of road/neutral games, it does have a couple cupcakes weighing it down.  Plus, their wins (Tulsa, SDSU etc) are eroding a bit.  While UTA is hanging up in the SoS department in the low 100s, it's much more difficult to make a case for one in the high 100s.  We'll see though, because I do expect those quality wins to look better.

Valparaiso (8-2) RPI 20 SoS 87
I do think Valpo's non-con SoS will be in a comfortable range.  They've done enough to make Horizon League play matter, IMO.

Dayton (9-2) RPI 9 SoS 3
Part of me thinks that the non-con SoS will be unsustainable, but it's obviously a perfect start, and should leave Dayton safely tucked within the bubble for a long time.

Long Beach St (4-8) RPI 85 SoS 8
UC-Santa Barbara (3-7) RPI 101 SoS 16
No at-large impact, but these numbers have helped the Big West climb the conference RPI rankings, and will help the conference's seed in March greatly.  They'll get higher than they deserve, really.

Teams in the danger zone in the SoS department:
Marquette (10-2) RPI 158 SoS 306 - they're getting sunk by a plethora of bad cupcakes
Baylor (8-2) RPI 94 SoS 261 - doesn't help that NMSU and SFA are down this year.  They're going to waste 3 games (1-2) against top 50 competition because of the other anchors
LSU (7-4) RPI 164 SoS 225 - their failures have been well-documented
Arizona (12-1) RPI 43 SoS 180 - obviously Zona will be fine, but we might need to scrutinize their seed more closely now

Sunday, December 27, 2015

12/27 recap

Another final quiet day as people just played some cupcakes.

@South Dakota St 65, Middle Tennessee 61 - yeah, probably the best game of the day

Cupcake winners:  Maryland, Marquette, Syracuse, VCU, Ohio St, Northwestern, Stanford

Saturday, December 26, 2015

12/26 recap

So just one game was played on this day.  One.  Everyone else took it off.  But who, of all programs, had the arrogance to play in and host a game on this day?  Who considers themselves so self-important that they had to play?

Kentucky, of course!  With a side helping of Louisville.  Ugh.

@Kentucky 75, Louisville 73 - will be useful for UK's seed, Louisville's resume is kind of actually garbage, but ACC play will fix that

12/25 recap

Stupid Diamond Head on what should've been a 2nd straight day off for the sport.

Oklahoma 83, Harvard 71 - Oklahoma winds up with 3 empty-calories wins.  Not great for them but hey, wins are better than losses
Hawaii 79, Auburn 67 - Hawaii binks a 3rd place on its home court.  I'm not THAT opposed to them in the at-large pool...if they come close to running the Big West table
BYU 84, Northern Iowa 76 - BYU trying to hang on in the bubble picture, but the WCC being in the tank is its death knell.  Meanwhile, what the heck, UNI?
Washington St 82, New Mexico 59 - well, so much for UNM

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

12/23 recap

Diamond Head:
Oklahoma 84, Hawaii 81
Harvard 69, Auburn 51 - OU/Harvard for the title.  Oklahoma has to be semi-furious - they needed more than Hawaii and Harvard to boost the resume
BYU 96, New Mexico 66
Northern Iowa 63, Washington St 59

Las Vegas Classic:
SMU 70, Colorado 66
Penn St 75, Kent St 69

@Baylor 85, New Mexico St 70
Akron 78, @Iona 64
Illinois 68, Missouri 63
Milwaukee 74, @Minnesota 65 - the conference is finally trying to help Valpo
@Utah St 76, North Dakota St 62

Cupcake winners:  Louisville, UConn, Davidson, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, USC, St Mary's (on the road)

12/22 recap

Diamond Head:
Oklahoma 88, Washington St 60
Auburn 83, New Mexico 78
Harvard 85, BYU 82 (OT) - this is really, really poor for BYU
Hawaii 68, Northern Iowa 52 - oh no UNI what are you doing

Las Vegas Classic:
SMU, Colorado win

Signature wins:
Kansas 70, @San Diego St 57 - this should still go in the books as a quality road win
Iowa St 81, @Cincinnati 79
@Purdue 68, Vanderbilt 55

Nearly catastrophic loss of the day:
Michigan St 99, Oakland 93 (OT)

Actual catastrophic losses of the day:
@DePaul 82, George Washington 61
@Old Dominion 71, Rhode Island 65 - ok, URI might be dead now

@Virginia 63, California 62 (OT)
Xavier 78, @Wake Forest 70 - road wins matter
@Arizona 85, Long Beach St 70
South Carolina 75, @St John's 61
@Texas Tech 65, Arkansas-Little Rock 53 - darn, well it was gonna happen sooner or later
@Weber St 99, South Dakota St 95

Cupcake winners:  Butler, Miami (on the road at LaSalle, at least), Louisville, Villanova, Utah, Richmond, St Joseph's (on the road at VaTech), Chattanooga, Arizona St (over SFA), Ole Miss, Georgia (big over Clemson), Indiana, Seton Hall, NC State, Dayton, VCU, Florida, Tennessee, Syracuse, Louisiana Tech (on the road at FGCU), Georgetown (on the road at Charlotte), Wichita St, Tulsa, LSU, Memphis, Iowa, Ohio St, UNLV, UCLA, Washington

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

12/21 recap

Outside of last Saturday, most of this December has been a snoozefest.

Conference play!:
@Gonzaga 99, Pepperdine 73

Providence 90, @UMass 66
Oregon 72, @Alabama 68
@Stanford 70, Sacramento St 60

Cupcake winners:  North Carolina, West Virginia, Florida St, Akron, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Marquette, North Dakota St, UT-Arlington, Colorado St, Oregon St, USC, St Mary's

Monday, December 21, 2015

Early-season tournament preview, part IV

Hey, Christmas tournaments!

Global Sports Classic
Dec 21-22
4 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Grand Canyon vs. Houston
Marshall vs. Wyoming
The stakes:  Not much to see here.  Houston could help the AAC a bit, though.

Las Vegas Classic
Dec 22-23
4 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Kent St vs. SMU
Colorado vs. Penn St
The stakes:  Well, none for SMU.  Is Kent the best team in the MAC?  That conference feels wide open.  Colorado really needs to beat Penn St and give themselves a quality win chance against SMU.

Diamond Head Classc
Dec 22, 23, 25
8 teams in your standard format
The matchups:
Auburn vs. New Mexico
BYU vs. Harvard
Oklahoma vs. Washington St
Northern Iowa at Hawaii
The stakes:  Oklahoma looks pretty clearly the best team here, but all of a sudden a OU/UNI semifinal looks like the best game here.  It's not make-or-break for UNI since they just binked one against Iowa St, though.  So the stakes aren't as high here.  On the other end of the bracket, 2 teams are going nowhere (Auburn and Harvard) and New Mexico is teetering.  BYU is kinda forced into a situation where they need to win twice.

12/20 recap

Signature win of the day:
Pittsburgh 94, Davidson 69 - neutral site blowout win?  okay

Catastrophic loss of the day:
NJIT 83, @St John's 74 - welp

Samford 69, @Nebraska 58

Cupcake winners:  UConn, Monmouth (yes, on the road at Rutgers only gets a mention in the cupcake section), Boise St, Arkansas-Little Rock

Sunday, December 20, 2015

12/19 recap

Finally, a day worth analyzing in great detail.

Signature wins of the day:
Northern Iowa 81, Iowa St 79 - ISU and UNC are two scalps you can't ignore
@Virginia 86, Villanova 75 - could be useful for pecking order purposes in March
Butler 74, Purdue 68 - good chance for this to hold as Butler's signature win
@Texas A&M 80, Baylor 61 - SEC teams have to grab their signature wins OOC
Cincinnati 69, @VCU 63 - road win

Catastrophic losses of the day:
Ohio St 74, Kentucky 67 - this can be the difference between the 1 line and the 2 line
@Seton Hall 80, Wichita St 76 (OT) - margin of error disappearing
UNC Asheville 79, @Georgetown 73 - welp
Rice 90, @New Mexico 89

Michigan St 78, @Northeastern 58 - road wins aren't trivial, remember
Utah 77, Duke 75 (OT) - tough to call it bad for Duke, they'll have chances to rebound.  And Utah will have plenty more signature win chances, so this wasn't make-or-break for them
@Xavier 85, Auburn 61
North Carolina 89, UCLA 76 - doesn't really hurt UCLA, and somewhat important for UNC just to stop the bleeding
@Arizona 82, UNLV 70
@Georgia 75, Georgia Tech 61
Indiana 80, Notre Dame 73
Northwestern 78, @DePaul 70
@Kansas St 61, Colorado St 56
@Rhode Island 79, Iona 74 (OT)
Mercer 69, @Arkansas 66 (OT)
Florida 72, Oklahoma St 70
@Oregon St 76, Tulsa 71
@Gonzaga 86, Tennessee 79
Texas 75, @Stanford 73 - road wins

Cupcake winners:  Kansas, Oklahoma (over Creighton, sure), Maryland, Providence, Miami, Louisville, George Washington, Syracuse, St Joseph's, LSU, Arizona St, Valparaiso, Illinois, Temple, Mississippi St, Iowa, Florida St, South Dakota St (on the road at FGCU), NC State (on the road at Mizzou), Michigan, Dayton, Cal, Vanderbilt, Colorado

Saturday, December 19, 2015

12/18 recap

Signature win of the day:
South Carolina 65, @Clemson 59 - still not optimistic on USC, but hey, they're going to drag this out as long as possible

Catastrophic loss of the day:
Incarnate Word 73, @St John's 51 - oy

@Oregon 94, Long Beach St 73
Ole Miss 85, @Memphis 79 - SEC:  not terrible?
Grand Canyon 52, @San Diego St 45 - SDSU is toast

Cupcake winners:  Wake Forest, Chattanooga, BYU, Colorado, UC Irvine, Oregon St

Friday, December 18, 2015


Just for visual effect.

@St Louis
1) Michigan St vs. 16) Southern/Wagner
8) Wichita St vs. 9) Notre Dame
4) Villanova vs. 13) Charleston
5) George Washington vs. 12) Colorado/Tulsa
3) Virginia vs. 14) Yale
6) USC vs. 11) Arkansas-Little Rock
2) Iowa St vs. 15) Sacramento St
7) UCLA vs. 10) UT-Arlington

1) Duke vs. 16) New Mexico St
8) Baylor vs. 9) Indiana
4) Butler vs. 13) Chattanooga
5) Texas A&M vs. 12) Northern Iowa/Northwestern
3) Arizona vs. 14) UC Irvine
6) Cincinnati vs. 11) Iowa
@Oklahoma City
2) Kansas vs. 15) Stephen F Austin
7) Gonzaga vs. 10) UNLV

@St Louis
1) Kentucky vs. 16) Army
8) Syracuse vs. 9) Valparaiso
4) West Virginia vs. 13) South Dakota St
5) Louisville vs. 12) Georgetown
3) North Carolina vs. 14) Belmont
6) Dayton vs. 11) Davidson
2) Maryland vs. 15) Albany
7) Monmouth vs. 10) UConn

@Oklahoma City
1) Oklahoma vs. 16) High Point/Hampton
8) Utah vs. 9) Vanderbilt
4) Miami vs. 13) Akron
5) Providence vs. 12) California
@Des Moines
3) Purdue vs. 14) Middle Tennessee
6) Oregon vs. 11) Pittsburgh
@Des Moines
2) Xavier vs. 15) North Florida
7) Texas vs. 10) South Carolina

12/17 recap

We're in the middle of the annual finals lull, which should be evident by the listing of the best game from Thursday:

@Middle Tennessee 83, Belmont 62

Cupcake winners:  SMU, West Virginia (on a neutral site, at least)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

12/17 S-CURVE

It's obviously still early, so there's a blend of performance and projection in this S-Curve.  Don't take the exact seed of any team too seriously for now.  We've got time to sort this out.

The post below this has your bracket.

The 1 line:  Michigan St (11-0), Oklahoma (7-0), Kentucky (9-1), Duke (9-1)
The 2 line:  Kansas (7-1), Iowa St (9-0), Maryland (9-1), Xavier (10-0)
The 3 line:  North Carolina (8-2), Purdue (11-0), Arizona (10-1), Virginia (8-1)
The 4 line:  Villanova (8-1), Butler (8-1), Miami (8-1), West Virginia (9-1)
The 5 line:  George Washington (9-1), Louisville (8-1), Providence (10-1), Texas A&M (8-2)
The 6 line:  Oregon (8-2), Dayton (7-2), Cincinnati (9-2), USC (9-2)
The 7 line:  UCLA (8-3), Gonzaga (6-3), Texas (7-3), Monmouth (7-3)
The 8 line:  Utah (8-2), Syracuse (7-3), Wichita St (4-4), Baylor (7-1)
The 9 line:  Notre Dame (7-2), Valparaiso (7-2), Indiana (8-3), Vanderbilt (6-3)
The 10 line:  UT-Arlington (8-2), UNLV (6-3), South Carolina (9-0), UConn (6-3)
The 11 line:  Pittsburgh (7-1), Iowa (7-3), Davidson (6-1), Arkansas-Little Rock (7-0)
The 12 line:  California (8-2), Georgetown (6-4), Northwestern (9-1), Northern Iowa (5-3), Colorado (7-1), Tulsa (7-3)
The 13 line:  South Dakota St (7-2), Chattanooga (6-2), Charleston (6-2), Akron (6-2)
The 14 line:  UC Irvine (6-4), Middle Tennessee (6-2), Belmont (6-5), Yale (5-5)
The 15 line:  Sacramento St (5-3), North Florida (6-4), Stephen F Austin (3-3), Albany (6-4)
The 16 line:  Army (7-2), New Mexico St (5-5), Southern (4-3), High Point (6-3), Hampton (4-4), Wagner (4-3)

Next 4 in:
Arkansas-Little Rock

Last 4 in:
Northern Iowa

Last 4 out:
New Mexico (7-2)
Oregon St (5-2)
Florida (6-3)
Michigan (7-3)

Next 4 out:
Seton Hall (8-2)
San Diego St (5-4)
Rhode Island (6-4)
Oklahoma St (7-3)

Other names on the consideration board:  Arizona St, Marquette, Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Houston, St Mary's
Pity mention because of how far they're off the bubble right now:  LSU

Break it down!
Pac-12 7
Big 10 6
Big 12 6
Big East 5
A-10 3
American 3
Sun Belt 2
Mountain West 1

12/16 recap

Signature win of the day:
Arizona St 66, @UNLV 56 - okay, now I'm taking ASU seriously

@Richmond 77, Old Dominion 61
@Texas Tech 79, South Dakota St 67 - this kinds of mellows my buzz on SDSU for now
Arkansas-Little Rock 77, @Central Arkansas 54 - road wins matter
Tennessee-Martin 72, @St Louis 76 - just in case you thought SLU was relevant
@Florida St 90, Mississippi St 66
@New Mexico 79, New Mexico St 61

Cupcake winners:  UNC, Arizona, Baylor, SMU, Louisville, LSU (although no win is a cupcake win for LSU these days), Ohio St, NC State, Tennessee, Utah, Alabama, St Mary's

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

12/15 recap

Signature win of the day:
Monmouth 83, @Georgetown 68 - now there's wiggle room with regards to an at-large bid

Catastrophic loss of the day:
@Georgia Tech 77, VCU 64 - VCU probably done in the at-large picture

@Ole Miss 99, Louisiana Tech 80

Cupcake winners:  Duke, UCLA, Cincinnati, Chattanooga (which has graduated to the level where each game matters), Michigan, South Carolina, Memphis, Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma St, Wisconsin, Stanford, Oregon

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

12/14 recap

Cupcake winners:  Gonzaga, St Mary's

Wait, that's it? Not a single power conference school in action, so yeah, that's it.

Monday, December 14, 2015

12/13 recap

Signature win of the day:
@St John's 84, Syracuse 72 - still not really buying into St John's, but hey, a good win is a good win

Catastrophic losses of the day:
@Nebraska 70, Rhode Island 67 - in a vacuum, not awful, but if you accumulate too many of these, URI...
@Houston 105, LSU 98 - when you schedule soft, at least win the games you're supposed to, LSU
@Northern Colorado 73, Colorado St 64

@USC 68, Yale 56
St Joseph's 66, @Temple 65 (OT)
@Washington St 84, UTEP 68
Alabama 51, Clemson 50

Cupcake winners:  Iowa St, Villanova, Arizona (over Missouri, yes that's a cupcake), West Virginia, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Tulsa (it was on the road, though), Florida St, NC State, Pitt, Northwestern

Sunday, December 13, 2015

12/12 recap

Signature wins of the day:
@Texas 84, North Carolina 82 - useful home win
@Xavier 65, Cincinnati 55 - Xavier could be looking at the 2 or 3 line soon
UCLA 71, @Gonzaga 66 - a road win with values
@Wichita St 67, Utah 50 - a team desperately needing a good win got it

Catastrophic losses of the day:
@Boise St 74, Oregon 72 - I guess Boise needed it, but it's worse for Oregon to lose it
Marquette 57, @Wisconsin 55
Chattanooga 61, @Dayton 59 - the good news here is Dayton did a lot of good before this game

@Kentucky 72, Arizona St 58
@Kansas 82, Oregon St 67
@Michigan St 58, Florida 52
@Butler 94, Tennessee 86
@UConn 75, Ohio St 55 - OSU is dead
@Middle Tennessee 88, Auburn 81 (OT)
@Georgia St 68, Old Dominion 64
@California 63, St Mary's 59
@Texas A&M 78, Kansas St 68
@Washington 92, Montana 62
@Colorado 92, BYU 83
Oklahoma St 62, @Minnesota 60
UC Irvine 73, @Utah St 63
@New Mexico 76, Northern Iowa 57

Cupcake winners:  Maryland, Oklahoma, Purdue, Providence, Louisville, Michigan, Pepperdine (on the road!), Georgetown, George Washington, Indiana, Davidson, Memphis

Saturday, December 12, 2015

12/11 recap

Almost no one played last night.  Literally not a single score that I would normally type up here occurred last night.

Cupcake winners:  Pitt, Valparaiso (on the road! at a terrible team, but still on the road), North Dakota St (on the road, too).

By the way, Valpo is 7-2 overall, and 4-2 on the road.  The committee looks favorably upon playing all those roadies, and winning them.  Losing at Ball St is forgivable when  you beat Oregon St and Rhode Island on the road too.   The bad news is they might be out of quality win chances because the Horizon is a tire fire.

Friday, December 11, 2015

12/10 recap

We've hit the finals lull.

Signature win of the day:
@Iowa St 83, Iowa 82 - okay so it's not exactly signature, but it beats the alternative

Catastrophic loss of the day:
Southern 68, @Wyoming 58

Cupcake winners:  SDSU, Seton Hall

Thursday, December 10, 2015

12/9 recap

Signature win of the day:
Dayton 72, @Vanderbilt 67 - on the road at the presumptive SEC #2 is a good scalp

Catastrophic loss of the day:
Milwaukee 68, @Wisconsin 67

@Arizona 85, Fresno St 72
Valparaiso 69, @Indiana St 63 - these road games are land mines for the prospective mid-major
@BYU 80, Utah St 68
@Wichita St 56, UNLV 50
@Pepperdine 77, Long Beach St 75

Cupcake winners:  Michigan St, Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Providence, Temple (on the road at Penn), Indiana, Kansas St, Creighton, Missouri, Illinois (just over Yale), Davidson, Boise St, Colorado St, Cal

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12/8 recap

Signature win of the day:
South Dakota St 84, @Minnesota 70

Nearly catastrophic loss of the day:
@Gonzaga 61, Montana 58

Maryland 76, UConn 66 - reasonably solid neutral-site win
Virginia 70, West Virginia 54 - ditto
@Miami 66, Florida 55
@SMU 82, Michigan 58 - SMU will be helping the AAC, at least.  What is wrong with Michigan?
Northern Iowa 73, @George Mason 65
@George Washington 76, Penn St 66
@Arkansas 89, Evansville 76
@Washington 92, TCU 67

Cupcake winners:  Xavier, Baylor, Rhode Island, St Joseph's, Georgia, Syracuse, Texas-Arlington, Texas, Ohio St, Marquette, Stephen F Austin, Tulsa, Notre Dame

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

12/7 recap

Signature win of the day:
Oklahoma 78, Villanova 55 - a neutral site win over a probable Big East champ?  Okay then

Cupcake winners:  Iowa St, Purdue, Butler, Oregon, Iowa, Georgetown, USC, San Diego St

Monday, December 7, 2015

12/6 recap

Signature wins of the day:
@Baylor 69, Vanderbilt 67 - not likely to overly impact either team
@Florida St 76, VCU 71 - rebound for FSU and a pretty big blow to VCU

Catastrophic losses of the day:
Colorado 88, @Colorado St 77 - not seeing the strength in the MWC this year, so these drops of home games are pretty costly
San Diego 53, San Diego St 48 - and this is why the MWC is down

@North Carolina 98, Davidson 65
UMass-Lowell 68, @Boston College 66 - oy
@Clemson 66, Wofford 51
@Southern Miss 74, North Dakota St 62 - ew
@UCLA 83, Long Beach St 76

Cupcake winners:  Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, St Mary's, Washington

Sunday, December 6, 2015

12/5 recap

Signature wins:
Arizona 68, @Gonzaga 63 - obvious
@Georgetown 79, Syracuse 72 - a signature win for a team desperately needing one
Arizona St 67, @Texas A&M 54 - is ASU not as awful as we think?  A&M will qualify as a quality win this year
Providence 74, @Rhode Island 72 - quality road win

Catastrophic losses:
South Dakota 85, @Minnesota 81 (2OT)
Missouri St 64, @Oklahoma St 63
Oral Roberts 70, @Tulsa 68 - the double whammy of a bad home loss and watching your signature wins fritter away to nothing.  sigh
@Richmond 82, Northern Iowa 67

@Virginia 67, William & Mary 52
@Purdue 70, New Mexico 58
@Xavier 95, Western Kentucky 64
Seton Hall 84, @Rutgers 55 - Rutgers:  not good
@Wisconsin 76, Temple 60 - not a trivial result
@Dayton 86, North Florida 71
@Loyola(Chi) 68, Creighton 65
California 78, @Wyoming 72 (OT) - hey, road wins are road wins
@BYU 73, Weber St 68
Ole Miss 74, UMass 64
@Long Beach St 67, New Mexico St 53
Evansville 85, @Murray St 81 (OT)
Texas-Arlington 76, @UTEP 62 - UTA has an at-large resume, folks

Cupcake winners:  Michigan St, Kansas, Duke, West Virginia, Miami, SMU, Louisville, North Carolina St, Butler, Utah, Michigan, Marquette, Iowa, Illinois, South Carolina, Oregon St, Ohio St, Stephen F Austin, Memphis, Indiana, Boise St

Saturday, December 5, 2015

12/4 recap

Catastrophic loss of the day:
@UNLV 80, Oregon 69 - okay, this isn't too bad, really
Kansas St 68, @Georgia 66 - this, however, is kinda bad

@Wake Forest 88, Arkansas 85
St Joseph's 80, @Columbia 78
Alabama 58, @Southern Miss 55
@Missouri 78, Northern Illinois 71

Cupcake winners:  Maryland, Pitt, Old Dominion, Texas, St Mary's

Friday, December 4, 2015

There's a new postseason tournament

Yes, that means we have FIVE postseason tournaments this year.

I won't regurgitate the info here, but the gist is this:  a 16-team tournament, but all played on a neutral site (Vegas, naturally).

What does this mean?  Actually more than you think.

NCAA as the #1 tournament and NIT as the #2 tournament will stay that way forever.

Right now we have the CBI (16 teams) and CIT (32 teams) to cover additional postseason needs.  CBI seems to cater to higher-major teams, and the CIT actively avoids anyone who's not a mid-major.  However, both charge a fee to any team that hosts a game in their tournament.  This, plus the general stigma of playing in a marginal postseason tournament, leads some teams to decline postseason bids.

The new Vegas 16 is a neutral site game, and is a 5 day commitment.  The CBI/CIT may require home games, and a 2-3 week commitment.  You will see some teams choose Vegas over the CBI/CIT because of the less commitment required.  My guess is you'll see more mid-majors stay in the CIT where they can play at home and in front of fans, while more high-majors head to Vegas for a one-off.

A big key here is the different format - some programs will like the idea of a single-elimination tournament beginning and ending in the same week instead of over 3 weeks, and just one neutral site location instead of fluid travel plans.

The one obstacle?  Before this year, 148 teams made the postseason out of 351 in D-1.  Adding this, 148 bumps up to 164.  That's a lot of teams, and the ends of all 3 fields (Vegas, CBI, CIT) might be weak.

Who will this hurt?  Likely the CBI.  High-major teams that would usually choose the CBI will likely choose Vegas instead.  I wouldn't be surprised if the CBI dies next year, or even this year.  I think the CIT will remain as is for the foreseeable future.  The CIT specifically caters itself to the low-majors.  They know their market, and they serve it well enough.

Having the Vegas 16 is overkill, unless it successfully kills off the CBI.

12/3 recap

Signature win of the day:
@UCLA 87, Kentucky 77 - self-explanatory

Catastrophic loss of the day:
Long Beach St 83, @Colorado St 77 - now obviously LBSU is good, but at home, needing to build an at-large resume, this is damaging

Quality wins:
@Valparaiso 61, Belmont 57
USC 75, @UCSB 63 - road wins!

Cupcake winners:  Oklahoma, Texas-Arlington

Thursday, December 3, 2015

12/2 recap

@Michigan St 71, Louisville 67 - UL will be fine and MSU is streaking towards the 1 line
@Duke 94, Indiana 74
Wisconsin 66, @Syracuse 58 (OT) - SU can afford this because of Atlantis, and Wisky gets a desperately needed quality win
Penn St 67, @Boston College 58
Notre Dame 84, @Illinois 79
@Iowa 78, Florida St 75 (OT)

Signature wins of the day:
Butler 78, @Cincinnati 76 - quality road win!
Tulsa 66, @Oklahoma St 56 - I'm starting to think OSU isn't good, although I can hear Tulsa whining at me already, because I'm dismissing both of their big wins already

@Texas A&M 75, FGCU 65
@Towson 75, George Mason 54 - just in case you were wondering after Mason beat Ole Miss and Okie State on a neutral site...they've got several marginal road losses now
@George Washington 72, Seton Hall 64
@LSU 119, North Florida 108
Arizona St 79, @Creighton 77
@Utah 83, BYU 75

The "road wins are never trivial" results:
Gonzaga 69, @Washington St 60
SMU 75, @TCU 70
Auburn 81, @Coastal Carolina 78
Hofstra 84, @LaSalle 80 - checking in on the CAA favorites...losses of N-SCarolina and Indiana St...beat FSU and 2 road wins over middling A-10 schools.  Okay so far
VCU 62, @Middle Tennessee 56

Cupcake winners:  Providence, Baylor, UConn, Clemson, Temple, Rhode Island, Marquette, Boise St, Oregon St

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

12/1 recap

B1G/ACC Challenge:
@North Carolina 89, Maryland 81 - no harm no foul for Maryland, and a nice win for UNC that could come in handy when the debate for the #1 overall seed kicks in down the road
Virginia 64, @Ohio St 58 - good hold by the better team on the road here.  OSU is in all sorts of trouble this year
Purdue 72, @Pittsburgh 59 - another one where the road team was the better team, and proved it.  Road wins are important if you want to be a protected seed
Miami 77, @Nebraska 72 (OT) - another road win by the better team!  The committee is impressed, everyone
Michigan 66, @North Carolina St 59 - another one!  Road games are supposed to be tough, but the better teams are winning
Northwestern 81, @Virginia Tech 79 - this just might be Northwestern's year

Signature win of the day:
@Texas 80, Texas-Arlington 73 (OT) - yes, it counts.  As for UTA, man if they got this....but still, with other quality wins, the mission is now to win all games they should

@Iowa St 84, North Dakota St 64
Villanova 86, @St Joseph's 72 - every road win is a quality win
@Florida 76, Richmond 56
@William & Mary 55, Old Dominion 48 - two things:  1) I'm wrong on ODU this year, and 2) the CAA is having a nice year so far
Davidson 109, @Charlotte 74 - road wins are never trivial
Utah St 69, Missouri St 68 - don't make me repeat my road win mantra
@Memphis 94, Louisiana Tech 64
San Diego St 76, @Long Beach St 72

Cupcake winners:  Georgia, Georgetown, Arkansas, Arkansas-Little Rock, Evansville, Missouri, UAB, Cal

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

12/1 S-CURVE

Time for a modest update.  This is a weird hybrid curve of results and predictions, as there's not enough raw data to analyze a team on the results alone.  So it's a weird hybrid where teams who earned a higher seed to date aren't up there and tanking teams aren't wholly removed.

The 1 line:  Maryland (6-0), Kentucky (7-0), North Carolina (5-1), Villanova (6-0)
The 2 line:  Iowa St (5-0), Michigan St (7-0), Kansas (3-1), Duke (6-1)
The 3 line:  Arizona (6-1), Syracuse (6-0), Oklahoma (4-0), Texas A&M (6-1)
The 4 line:  Gonzaga (4-1), Virginia (5-1), Xavier (7-0), Purdue (6-0)
The 5 line:  Louisville (5-0), Oregon (6-0), Providence (6-1), George Washington (6-1)
The 6 line:  Butler (4-1), West Virginia (6-0), Miami (5-1), Cincinnati (7-0)
The 7 line:  Davidson (3-0), Oklahoma St (5-1), Utah (5-1), Dayton (5-1)
The 8 line:  Vanderbilt (5-1), Northern Iowa (4-1), Indiana (5-2), USC (5-2)
The 9 line:  UConn (4-2), Valparaiso (4-2), Colorado St (5-1), Northwestern (5-1)
The 10 line:  Georgetown (2-3), Baylor (4-1), Texas-Arlington (5-1), Notre Dame (4-2)
The 11 line:  Monmouth (4-2), California (4-2), Florida (5-1), San Diego St (3-3)
The 12 line:  Rhode Island (4-2), South Carolina (7-0), Wichita St (1-4), Seton Hall (5-1), Tulsa (4-2), Michigan (3-2)
The 13 line:  Northeastern (4-1), South Dakota St (5-1), Chattanooga (4-2), North Florida (4-2)
The 14 line:  Louisiana Tech (4-0), Akron (3-2), Long Beach St (2-3), Weber St (3-2)
The 15 line:  Murray St (4-2), Princeton (4-0), Boston (3-3), New Mexico St (4-2)
The 16 line:  Albany (3-3), Alabama A&M (3-1), Stephen F Austin (2-3), High Point (3-2), Long Island (3-2), Howard (3-2)

Next 4 in:
San Diego St
Rhode Island
South Carolina

Last 4 in:
Wichita St
Seton Hall

Last 4 out:
UCLA (4-3)
Alabama (4-2)
Iowa (4-2)
Arkanasas-Little Rock (3-0)

Next 4 out:
Ohio St (2-3)
Oregon St (3-1)
Pittsburgh (3-0)
Marquette (4-2)

11/30 recap


Catastrophic loss of the day:
@Charleston 70, LSU 58 - um, LSU, you need to get in the tournament still, you know

@Kentucky 75, Illinois St 63
@Oregon 78, Fresno St 73

B1G/ACC Challenge:
Wake Forest 69, @Rutgers 68 - well, someone had to win
@Minnesota 89, Clemson 83

Cupcake winners:  Indiana, South Carolina, Northern Iowa