Monday, February 5, 2018

Bubble watch part 1 (Big East)

You know what I haven't done this entire year yet?  Bubble Watch!  Let's bang out a set over the next few days.

Big East


Villanova (22-1) (9-1) RPI 2 SoS 24
Vital signs:
13-1 road/neutral record
non-con SoS 53
avg RPI win 110
9-1 vs. Group 1
3-0 vs. Group 2
Signature wins:  N-Tennessee, N-Gonzaga, Xavier
Bad losses:  none
Not a whole lot to discuss with Nova.  Only potential flaw?  It's possible Virginia could stack up more signature wins than them to poach the #1 overall seed.  But the schedule is littered with Group 1 and Group 2 chances down the stretch, and Nova just isn't going to lose much, period.

Xavier (21-3) (9-2) RPI 3 SoS 19
Vital signs:
6-3 road/neutral record
non-con SoS 38
avg RPI win 113
5-3 vs. Group 1
5-0 vs. Group 2
Signature wins:  Cincy, @Seton Hall, Creighton, Butler
Bad losses:  N-Arizona St is not aging well
It's going to be pretty tough for X to build a case for a 1 seed...doable but not impossible.  All the numbers scream great but not #1 great.  They got a @Butler/@Creighton/SHU/Nova stretch coming.  Have fun with that one.

Should be in:

Seton Hall (17-6) (6-4) RPI 17 SoS 21
Vital signs:
5-5 road/neutral record
non-con SoS 61
avg RPI win 129
5-5 vs. Group 1
0-0 vs. Group 2
Signature wins:  N-TTU, @Louisville, @Butler
Bad losses:  @Rutgers
It's safe to say 5 Group 1 wins with this resume means a solid position.  It's really just a matter of seeding for this team.  I don't have much to say here; this is the resume of your garden variety 5 seed right here.

Butler (17-7) (7-4) RPI 25 SoS 32
Vital signs:
5-6 road/neutral record
non-con SoS 81
avg RPI win 150
3-7 vs. Group 1
2-0 vs. Group 0
Signature wins:  N-Ohio St, Nova
Bad losses:  @Maryland might be the worst
When all your losses are within Group 1, and you've got a couple signature wins in that group, you'll be fine.  Seeding will be an issue - getting clipped by Seton Hall at home or Provi on the road limits your seed upside.  You can see this problem represented by the average RPI win of 150 - that's low.

Creighton (17-6) (7-4) RPI 23 SoS 54
Vital signs:
4-6 road/neutral record
non-con SoS 258
avg RPI win 155
3-5 vs. Group 1
4-1 vs. Group 2
Signature wins:  Butler, Seton Hall
Bad losses:  N-Baylor?
A couple red flags, which are related  Avg RPI win is not good.  Non-con SoS is's submarined by a few bad cupcakes.  They scheduled Northwestern, Gonzaga, UCLA, Baylor...just about all of them have failed CU.  Still, the committee does not judge intent, just results, and Creighton will pay the price for their non-con schedule.  It's going to be difficult for them to miss the tourney because so many of their losses are reasonable (road losses at BE teams).  However, they have X and Nova both coming at home.  Lose both and you're fine, but you then have to hold serve in your other games just in case.


Providence (15-8) (6-4) RPI 27 SoS 15
Vital signs:
5-6 road/neutral record
non-con SoS 55
avg RPI win 127
5-5 vs. Group 1
2-1 vs. Group 2
Signature wins:  Xavier, Butler, Creighton
Bad losses:  @UMass, Minny
In reasonably good shape.  Do own a road win at Marquette, which helps mask, just a little bit, that all their best wins are at home.  They are really hurt by the new RPI Group rules, as they have home wins over 77, 79, and 68 in the non-con.  Still, without a glaring flaw, they'll be fine if they avoid the bad loss trap (there's a few coming though).

Marquette (13-10) (4-7) RPI 60 SoS 9
Vital signs:
4-4 road/neutral record
non-con SoS 118
avg RPI win
2-9 vs. Group 1
2-1 vs. Group 2
Signature wins:  Seton Hall, @Providence
Bad losses:  Georgia at home is the worst
Good SoS numbers, which will help.  But if you have enough opportunities, you have to eventually cash them in.  And I fear they may have exhausted their chances.  They're both with Nova, Butler, and X for the year, but they do have Creighton 2x coming.  They kinda need a higher-end win than what they have right now.  One other modest flaw:  only played 1 road game in the non-con (@Wisky).  Have roadies with all 3 basement teams in the conference coming still.  Will need to hold serve to boost those numbers just a bit.

The other 3 teams have lost the plot:
St John's non-con resume:  10-2, RPI 17, SoS 5.  With a signature win over Duke.  The hell?
Georgetown's non-con SoS has actually taken a turn for the better, all the way up from 351 to 348.  And one of their 10 wins in the non-con moved up to a Group 3 win!
DePaul is DePaul.

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