Monday, January 23, 2017

Bubble watch, part VI: SEC

These are quickie profiles and writeups you can use in your evaluations.  Don’t expect eloquent thoughts, they’re just quick-hitters.


Kentucky (17-2) (7-0) RPI 3 SoS 6
Vital signs:  7-1 R/N, non-con SoS 11, 5-2 vs. Top 50, 9-2 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  N-UNC, South Carolina, Arky, N-MSU?
Bad losses:  none
You’d maybe like more high-end wins if you’re contending for a 1 seed, but I think the committee will use eye test liberally in this spot.

South Carolina (14-4) (5-1) RPI 20 SoS 28
Vital signs:  4-3 R/N, non-con SoS 51, 3-3 vs. Top 50, 8-4 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  Florida, @Georgia?  Michigan?
Bad losses:  perhaps @Memphis looks marginal
Only one real hole in the resume is 1 win over a likely tournament team.  SEC play kind of makes it difficult to pick those up.  They’ll be mostly fine, but seeding will be tricky with them.

Florida (14-5) (5-2) RPI 11 SoS 2
Vital signs:  10-4 R/N, non-con SoS 1, 4-4 vs. Top 50, 10-5 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  @Arky, Ole Miss, Georgia?  N-Miami?
Bad losses:  home to Vandy
Ok, so this thing is weird.  Look at all those neutral site games…played throughout the state of Florida.  But a couple of those games had FGCU, Miami, Mercer…they’re really not that good in road/neutral games.  Don’t be fooled by that one stat.  Still, the #1 SoS, thanks to complete avoidance of cupcakes.  And great scheduling (St Bona and Belmont are top 100 teams, SHU is a top 50, etc.).  This is really the luckiest computer profile I’ve ever seen.  Also scheduled up with Duke and FSU and Gonzaga, but lost all those.  This is one of the weirdest resumes you’ll ever see.


Arkansas (15-4) (4-3) RPI 33 SoS 50
Vital signs:  4-2 R/N, non-con SoS 79, 0-3 vs. Top 50, 5-3 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  @Tenn?  Houston?  ugh
Bad losses:  Mississippi St
Pretty obvious what the problem is.  Need a quality win.  Good news is the other metrics are in good shape.

Georgia (11-7) (4-3) RPI 44 SoS 31
Vital signs:  4-5 R/N, non-con SoS 20, 1-4 vs. Top 50, 5-6 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  @Ole Miss?  @Auburn?
Bad losses:  @Oakland
This feels pretty generous.  The simple question, ‘who did you beat?’ does not have a good answer here.  None of the computer metrics are in too bad of shape otherwise, so pay attention if they can stack up some wins.

Ole Miss (12-7) (3-4) RPI 46 SoS 24
Vital signs:  4-4 R/N, non-con SoS 28, 0-7 vs. Top 100, 3-7 vs. Top 100
Signature wins:  uh, Memphis at home?  @Auburn?  Tennessee?
Bad losses:  actually, none.  I don’t count MTSU at home as bad, for now
They seem to exist just to spread top 50 wins to the rest of the conference.  Great SoS thanks to smart avoidance of cupcakes.  Actually have beaten all the teams they should…and lost to all the teams they should.  If they can actually win games?  We might have something.  But not until then.

NIT Watch:
Alabama (11-7) (4-2) RPI 87 SoS 63 – no wins of any value, so don’t waste your time here.
Mississippi St (12-6) (3-3) RPI 121 SoS 125 – at least they won at Arkansas.  But the non-con SoS is hovering around 300, so discard them as they’re already out of signature win chances after losing to UK.
Auburn (13-6) (3-4) RPI 69 SoS 75 – kind of want to give them a chance, but TTU and Bama are their 2 Top 100 wins.  Nope.
Tennessee (9-9) (3-4) RPI 61 SoS 12 – did you know they’re 0-8 vs. the top 50?  One theme in this conference – scheduling up is helping all their computer numbers.  I’m not even listing Vandy because they’re under .500, but they have a RPI hovering around 60.
Texas A&M (10-8) (2-5) RPI 98 SoS 36 – not really; did beat VaTech and Georgia, which is more than some in this list.

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