Sunday, February 3, 2019

Bubble Watch - AAC and A-10

Houston (21-1) (8-1) NET 7 SoS 67
Vital signs:  5-1 R/N, non-con SoS 145, 2-1 vs. Quad 1, 8-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 149
Signature wins:  LSU, @USF?  Utah St?  oof
Bad losses:  @Temple, I guess

The problem is evident.  A lack of signature wins.  Now, you can fix that by winning everything, and Houston has.  But it 100% puts a cap on how high they can rise on the seed list.  You can’t get a very high seed with 1 win over a tourney team on the resume.  They do have Cincy twice yet, though.

Cincinnati (19-3) (8-1) NET 25 SoS 112
Vital signs:  6-2 R/N, non-con SoS 171, 2-1 vs. Quad 1, 3-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 162
Signature wins:  N-Ole Miss, @Temple, USF?
Bad losses:  @ECU

A bit unfortunate their SoS is down a bit.  They split with the 2 SEC Mississippi schools in the non-con, and lost to OSU.  Scheduled well, but NKU, UCLA, George Mason, UNLV….down the line, their opponents have hurt their SoS.  As is, they’re in an overall solid position, but can’t afford to slide too much.  The resume can’t afford the cost of a loss to other prospective bubble teams in the conference.

UCF (16-4) (6-2) NET 43 SoS 113
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 138, 0-1 vs. Quad 1, 3-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 163
Signature wins:  Alabama, Temple, @UConn?
Bad losses:  FAU, @Wichita

Their only Quad 1 game was a loss to Memphis.  There’s just nothing in the resume that suggest tournament team, to be honest.  Every aspect just isn’t good enough.  Now, the good news is they have 4 games with Cincy and Houston in the hopper, so this situation will fix itself.  However, it might take more than 1 win in those games to get there.

Temple (16-6) (6-3) NET 54 SoS 42
Vital signs:  8-4 R/N, non-con SoS 161, 1-5 vs. Quad 1, 5-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 165
Signature wins:  Houston, N-Davidson?  Memphis?
Bad losses:  Penn

At least with Temple, they split with Houston, giving them some kind of backbone to the resume.  6 true road wins is good too, but the lack of depth of quality wins will be an issue going forward.  They’ve already spent one of their Cincy games and both Houston games, so they won’t have many chances to enhance the resume going forward.

VCU (15-6) (6-2) NET 48 SoS 17
Vital signs:  4-5 R/N, non-con SoS 2, 1-3 vs. Quad 1, 2-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 151
Signature wins:  @Texas, N-Temple, Hofstra?
Bad losses:  Charleston, @URI, @ODU?

Gets respect for the SoS, and the signature wins feel comparable to other bubble teams.  The A-10 being down has killed their chances to add quality wins though, and it’s going to make the degree of difficulty very high for getting an at-large bid.  But they should be on the board, thanks to that SoS.

Davidson (15-5) (7-1) NET 63 SoS 114
Vital signs:  6-5 R/N, non-con SoS 142, 0-2 vs. Quad 1, 4-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 169
Signature wins:  VCU, @St Louis?  N-Northeastern?
Bad losses:  @St Joe’s, @Wake

Probably not in play on the bubble.  But the losses are bad but not catastrophic, so as A-10 leader we’ll let them hang around until they lose their way off the bubble.  But there’s not much going on here.

St Louis (14-8) (5-4) NET 122 SoS 147
Vital signs:  3-6 R/N, non-con SoS 164, 1-2 vs. Quad 1, 2-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 200
Signature wins:  @Seton Hall, Butler, Oregon St
Bad losses:  Richmond, @SIU, @Duquesne

This is generous.  The non-con results let them stay on the board for now.  I guess.

Off the board (American):
South Florida is 15-6.  With a 332 non-con SoS and 1 Quad 1-2 win (home to Memphis).  You can’t justify them right now, they need multiple wins against legit AAC teams to pretend to have a chance.  Similarly, Memphis and UConn lack Quad 1-2 wins, which really kill their case before they can make an argument.  SMU and Tulsa are losing in conference play which makes their case even easier to dismiss.  I wouldn’t discount the odds of someone in this group making a big run, but don’t give any of these teams a reasonable chance until they’re deep into that run.

Off the board (A-10):
Dayton would seem like a natural at-large candidate, and maybe I’m being harsh listing them down here.  Their only win in the top 2 quads is Butler, though.  And an avg win of 201.  Pass for now.  George Mason and Duquesne are hanging out at the top of the league, but have terrible overall resumes.  I’ll throw URI down here for now.

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