Saturday, March 11, 2017

3/11 S-CURVE

Welcome to my stream of thought, which I put in the 2nd half of this post.  It wanes as it goes along...I did a scrub of the top few lines.  Still want to look at the bubble, again, more and more.

The 1 line:  Villanova (30-3), Kansas (28-4), Gonzaga (32-1), North Carolina (26-7)
The 2 line:  Oregon (28-4), Kentucky (27-5), Duke (26-8), Baylor (24-7)
The 3 line:  Louisville (24-8), Arizona (29-4), UCLA (29-4), Florida (24-8)
The 4 line:  Florida St (25-8), Butler (23-8), West Virginia (26-7), Notre Dame (25-8)
The 5 line:  Purdue (25-7), Virginia (22-10), Minnesota (24-8), Cincinnati (28-4)
The 6 line:  Iowa St (22-10), Creighton (25-8), SMU (28-4), St Mary's (28-4)
The 7 line:  Maryland (23-8), Wisconsin (24-8), Miami (21-11), Northwestern (23-10)
The 8 line:  Michigan (22-11), Virginia Tech (22-10), Wichita St (29-4), Seton Hall (21-11)
The 9 line:  Providence (20-12), Dayton (23-7), Oklahoma St (19-12), Arkansas (24-8)
The 10 line:  Middle Tennessee (28-4), South Carolina (22-10), Marquette (19-12), VCU (25-7)
The 11 line:  Michigan St (19-14), Vanderbilt (19-14), Xavier (21-13), Kansas St (20-13), Wake Forest (19-13)
The 12 line:  USC (24-9), Rhode Island (22-9), Nevada (27-6), Texas-Arlington (23-7), UNC-Wilmington (27-5)
The 13 line:  Akron (25-7), Princeton (20-6), Vermont (27-5), East Tennessee St (25-7)
The 14 line:  Bucknell (26-8), Winthrop (24-6), Cal St-Bakersfield (19-8), Iona (22-12)
The 15 line:  FGCU (23-7), Northern Kentucky (22-10), UC-Irvine (19-13), Texas Southern (22-11)
The 16 line:  North Dakota (18-9), Jacksonville St (18-14), South Dakota St (16-16), New Orleans (16-11), Mount St Mary's (19-15), North Carolina Central (21-8)

Next 4 in:
Michigan St

Last 4 in:
Kansas St
Wake Forest
Rhode Island

Last 4 out:
Syracuse (18-14)
Illinois (17-14)
Illinois St (26-6)
California (21-12)

Next 4 out:
Indiana (18-15)
Georgia (18-14)
Houston (21-10)
Clemson (17-15)

1 line:  Villanova to me is a clear #1 overall.  I'm wrestling on the order of the other 3 teams.  I've moved Kansas back to #2 overall, although to me it's razor thin with Gonzaga and UNC.  The difference between KU and UNC is the road record; Kansas has kept more of a clean sheet on the road.  Gonzaga is tough to figure out as they don't have the depth of quality wins compared to these two; I put them in between as one "bad" loss to BYU at home is better than road losses to Indiana and GaTech.  I think.  I wouldn't have any big issue with ordering these three teams in any order.  And the order matters.  Their overall seed will dictate how the regions are balanced down the road.

2 line:  All the Pac-12 teams have depth issues with their signature win list.  There isn't much there.  Here's where I think the committee will invoke conference champion consideration and put Oregon (and Kentucky) above the heap.  Duke has played their way up, and I think given what they did with Boeheim last year, they'll elevate Duke's seed even more.  Tomorrow is big for Duke to hold their position.  For the last spot, I wanted to elevate a Pac-12 team, but Baylor and Louisville simply have better profiles.  I debated BU vs. UL for the longest time, splitting hairs, and I think Baylor's better T50 record and H2H win trump what UL has.  For now.  I know I flipped flopped, but I just don't have a good feel, and subconciously I think the committee won't put 3 ACC teams on the top 2 lines.

3 line:  The first 3 on this line are self-explanatory from the 2 line description.  The committee loves Florida a bit more than it should...I'm banking on that trend continuing.  The other 3 seed contenders have some version of a fatal flaw.  Yes I had FSU > Florida yesterday, but FSU's loss was more damaging as its road/neutral record was the flaw it needed to fix, and they blew that.

4 line:  Teams with multiple signature wins, but with fatal flaws that prevent them from going to the 3 line.  A combination of having sloppy losses, having marginal non-con SoS numbers, and merely okay-to-good road records instead of great.  Each fatal flaw is worse than Florida's (aka Vanderbilt).  Purdue's loss makes it easier to not have them a B1G team in the Top 16.  I do fear Minny or the winner of SMU/Cincy sneaking onto this line, but I think the committee will be disciplined here.

5 line:  How do you weigh a conference championship against overall resume?  That's my conundrum with Purdue, who I want to list behind Minnesota and Virginia.  I think all 3 are clear 5 seeds, but the order within is under debate.  I reserve the right to tinker with it...but I'm not sure I can elevate any of the three teams to the 4 line.  Notre Dame's run and the positives of the other resumes make that impossible.  I'm also guessing this is where Cincy winds up, just from good bad loss avoidance, although this spot could eventually be under fire from Iowa St.

6 line:  ISU and Creighton are examples of teams avoiding anything harmful happening to them, and sneaking up as a result.  Both have signature win chances to move up a line.  Cincy, SMU, and St Mary's are tricky teams to seed.  Mostly bad loss avoidance, but a lack of depth of quality wins.  Teams like ISU and Creighton with good depth are passing them up as they add more depth.  My guess is this is where SMU settles...but a probable Cincy/SMU game could be for that spot on the 5 line eventually.  And St Mary's/Maryland is something I'll likely change my mind on 27 times in the next day.

7 line:  This is where it feels like the field gets markedly weaker.  Wisconsin as a 7 makes me wince a bit given their non-con SoS, but I can't find anyone to put in front of them.  The 7 line is also where you can start to make a case for Wichita given their unique resume.  I don't feel very good about Miami either.  Northwestern too, but at least they're still playing, so there could be movement.  It seems like every B1G team is a 7 seed, by the way.  Wisky and NU will play for the right to stay on this line, probably.

8 line:  Big run for Michigan, they can still move up further.  This B1G tourney is going to cause a lot of late volatility in the S-Curve.  That last spot on the 8 line is a breaking point in the S-Curve...I don't like SHU in that spot but I can't find anyone I like more.

9 line:  I'm not as high on Dayton as others.  This is a more appropriate spot for them than the 7 line.  Also after further review, Oklahoma St's resume isn't nearly as good as everyone assumes.  I don't think they're THAT far from the bubble...I feel like I'm being modestly generous only dropping them to a 9.  They have a lack of quality wins.

10 line:  South Carolina is another team falling back after further study...the lack of premier teams in the SEC do hurt the bubble teams alot.  Legitimate bubble teams start to show up on this line, and SoS starts to become a bigger consideration.  Many teams around this area have marginal SoS numbers, so it's a question of how much the committee will be willing to stomach with, for example, Marquette.  The choices really start to become more about feel than about resume.

11 line:  The choices start to become about a single metric rather than 3 or 4.  MSU and Vanderbilt and Xavier have SoS in their side, along with enough quality wins despite a gaggle of chances.

12 line:  I reserve the right to go back and look at this again, but URI and USC don't have the strikes that Syracuse does with regard to SoS and road record.  I'm guessing there's an emphasis to be put here on road record, which kills Cal and Syracuse.  Syracuse's SoS numbers aren't that out of line compared to other teams a couple seed lines higher, but it's the combination of that and road record that kill them for now.  Compare them to the last few teams in the field, and they lag behind in that category while having a little better wins.  I think those wins get trumped.  Nevada is an interesting team to seed, I could absolutely see them up a seed line or two, but I don't think they're there.

Out:  In my mind, both Illinois and Illinois St are reasonable choices when you stack them up against USC and Rhode Island...ISU has good bad loss avoidance, but less quality wins than URI.  Feels like URI is a superior version of ISU's resume.  Illinois has a good SoS and a good number of quality wins, but just lost maybe once or twice too many.  I think the bubble gets cut off after ISU, don't think I can make a case for anyone else below them...I think.


HenryMuto said...

Lots of push to get Duke to a #1 seed if they win tonight which surprises me they would been a 4 seed at the start of the ACC tournament.

Andrew said...

God, I hate these interviews. Now I have to make a change I don't want to on my 1 line.