Friday, February 22, 2019

Bubble watch: ACC

Surprise capsules on a Friday!


Duke (23-3) (11-2) NET 3 SoS 2
Vital signs:  10-1 R/N, non-con SoS 6, 7-2 vs. Q2, 7-1 vs. Q2, avg win 95
Signature wins:  swept UVa, N-Kentucky, @Louisvlle, N-TTU
Bad losses:  home to Syracuse is not great for a 1 seed

Nothing really keeping them away from #1 overall.  They’ve got some road games to get through, though.

Virginia (23-2) (11-2) NET 2 SoS 25
Vital signs:  11-1 R/N, non-con SoS 190, 8-2 vs. Q1, 5-0 vs. Q2, avg win 119
Signature wins:  @UNC, N-Wisky, swept VT
Bad losses:  none

If anything hurts, it’s that they’re locked out behind Duke in the rankings for obvious reasons, and the non-con SoS is middling.  That’s more of a product of bad teams, but UVa still has Wisky and Maryland in their pocket.  They still have Louisville twice, so there’s still a little work to do to protect their 1 seed.

North Carolina (21-5) (11-2) NET 9 SoS 5
Vital signs:  10-3 R/N, non-con SoS 11, 6-5 vs. Q1, 5-0 vs. Q2, avg win 113
Signature wins:  Gonzaga, @Duke, @Louisville
Bad losses:  N-Texas isn’t great I suppose

If there is a concern, it’s that the depth of quality win is slightly behind other teams who are competing for a spot on the top line.  Of course though, we’re picking nits and they’ll be seeded appropriately.

Florida St (21-5) (9-4) NET 21 SoS 54
Vital signs:  9-4 R/N, non-con SoS 95, 5-3 vs. Q1, 5-2 vs. Q2, avg win 127
Signature wins:  Purdue, N-LSU, Louisville
Bad losses:  @BC, @Pitt

Despite the very good road record, those are 2 marginal road losses that limit their seed upside.  A protected seed would be a reasonable outcome for this resume.

Louisville (18-9) (9-5) NET 18 SoS 4
Vital signs:  5-6 R/N, non-con SoS 8, 4-8 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, avg win 127
Signature wins:  Michigan St, @UNC, @VT
Bad losses:  @Pitt, @Indiana now

The SoS will allow them to absorb some more resume damage without suffering too much.  4 wins in 12 Q1 games is a decent, but not great, number.  Still have Virginia twice, and I could see them sliding into the 6-8 seed range if they get swept.

Virginia Tech (20-6) (9-5) NET 13 SoS 81
Vital signs:  8-4 R/N, non-con SoS 238, 3-6 vs. Q1, 5-0 vs. Q2, avg win 162
Signature wins:  N-Purdue, N-Washington, @NCSU?
Bad losses:  @Penn St probably, @Clemson?

The litmus test for how much NET matters.  Sterling NET number, but some ominous vital signs.  Average win north of 160 and a very marginal non-con SoS are usually seed-killers.  Also of concern:  given the number of chances, the quality win ledger feels a bit light.  They have UVa, Duke, and @FSU left, so they have some time yet to really boost the resume.  It’s not impossible they lose all 3 and miss the tournament altogether.


Syracuse (18-8) (9-4) NET 42 SoS 28
Vital signs:  5-4 R/N, non-con SoS 46, 3-4 vs. Q1, 5-2 vs. Q2, avg win 123
Signature wins:  @Duke, Louisville, @OSU
Bad losses:  Georgia Tech, ODU at home?

They’ve shown that they can win enough against elite competition, and they’ve erased 2 marginal neutral site losses (Oregon, UConn) with a reasonable 5-2 road record in the ACC.  It would take some work to miss the tourney from here, but they have each of the Big 3 left on the schedule.  0-3 and they may start worrying.

North Carolina St (19-8) (7-7) NET 32 SoS 204
Vital signs:  5-5 R/N, non-con SoS 352, 1-7 vs. Q1, 6-0 vs. Q2, avg win 190
Signature wins:  Auburn, Syracuse, Clemson?
Bad losses:  @Wake

A couple hideous numbers.  Non-con SoS 352.  There are 353 teams.  Avg win is 190.  Yikes.  What’s kept them in is bad loss avoidance.  Every loss outside of @Wake has been to a top 20-ish team.  The big problem:  there’s only one such opportunity left, at FSU.  The committee will not like teams who fail to beat quality teams.  You gotta get one of them on the positive side of your ledger.  Sure, conference tourney can solve this problem, but that’s cutting it close.  A combination of no signature wins and horrible SoS is usually a death sentence.

Clemson (15-11) (5-8) NET 44 SoS 30
Vital signs:  4-8 R/N, non-con SoS 127, 1-8 vs. Q1, 3-3 vs. Q2, avg win 157
Signature wins:  VT, Lipscomb?  @South Carolina?
Bad losses:  @Miami, Nebraska?

Not a lot to work with on this resume.  Does have UNC and Syracuse at home left, so if they can add more quality wins to this, it’s not impossible.  But really this is optimistic at best.

NIT bubble teams:  Boston College, Notre Dame

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