Sunday, February 3, 2019

Bubble Watch - Big 10

Fuck you Jim Delany for scheduling Friday games.


Michigan (20-2) (9-2) NET 5 SoS 64
Vital signs:  6-2 R/N, non-con SoS 183, 5-2 vs. Quad 1, 6-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 125
Signature wins:  UNC, Purdue, @Nova
Bad losses:  none

Middling non-con SoS is about the only real flaw.  As much as people like to rail on about metrics, the raw number of losses do matter, and just two road losses in league play is solid.  Legitimate 1 seed contender.

Michigan St (18-4) (9-2) NET 8 SoS 28
Vital signs:  8-3 R/N, non-con SoS 127, 8-3 vs. Quad 1, 4-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 104
Signature wins:  Purdue, swept Iowa, Maryland
Bad losses:  I suppose Indiana at home

8 Quad 1 wins is sexy.  You can make the argument that home against Purdue and @Iowa being he best win is a problem – they lack the truly high end wins that the other contenders for the 1 line have.  However, 6 true road wins and an average win approaching 100 is really good too.  There is also time to fix the signature win thing, against Michigan.

Purdue (16-6) (9-2) NET 12 SoS 2
Vital signs:  5-6 R/N, non-con SoS 34, 5-5 vs. Quad 1, 5-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 96
Signature wins:  MSU, @Wisky, Iowa
Bad losses:  N-Notre Dame

There is one potential criticism in that, despite the SoS, the non-con was light on tangible results, having lost to VT, Texas, and UND.  They’ve gotten enough quality wins in conference play to mitigate that, though.  Every metric is between acceptable and great right now.

Wisconsin (16-6) (8-3) NET 11 SoS 25
Vital signs:  7-4 R/N, non-con SoS 84, 5-4 vs. Quad 1, 5-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 125
Signature wins:  Michigan, @Iowa, Maryland
Bad losses:  @WKU, Minny at home?

A good lesson:  If you win a majority, but not a super-majority, of your games against prospective tourney teams, you’ll be fine.  Wisconsin is fine.  Decent amount of road wins.  Good SoS.  No red flags.  One signature win buttressing the resume.  Just fine.


Maryland (17-6) (8-4) NET 24 SoS 29
Vital signs:  5-4 R/N, non-con SoS 58, 3-4 vs. Quad 1, 5-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 135
Signature wins:  Wisky, @OSU, Nebraska?
Bad losses:  N-Illinois

Without a win over a signature opponent, Maryland falls short of the lockbox for now.  Another resume in overall fine shape, as they’ve won enough games against similar competition to be okay.  Whiffed on wins in their 4 toughest games, which will limit their seed upside for now. 

Iowa (17-5) (6-5) NET 22 SoS 68
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 260, 3-5 vs. Quad 1, 5-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 142
Signature wins:  Michigan, Iowa St, Ohio St?
Bad losses:  @Minny is the worst

Here the non-con SoS is a definite counterweight to the resume, so no lockbox yet.  Only two road wins (NW, PSU); they’ll need to pick up 1 road win of significance at some point just to be safe.  They’ll have reasonable chances to do so, though.  Their depth of wins isn’t that great (you can blame UConn and Oregon for underperforming and not helping Iowa’s resume more).  This feels like a team destined to be in the middle of the bracket somewhere.

Minnesota (16-6) (6-5) NET 51 SoS 88
Vital signs:  5-5 R/N, non-con SoS 212, 3-4 vs. Quad 1, 2-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 134
Signature wins:  @Wisky, Iowa, N-Washington
Bad losses:  @BC, @Illinois?

Marginal SoS, only 1 true road win (strangely enough, Wisconsin).  4 neutral site wins, although 3 of them have little caloric value.  So their issue is more transparent than most.  Win road games of any kind.  They’ll need a few more Quad 1-2 wins as well to be sure, but the road thing seems to be a bigger issue in my mind.

Ohio St (14-7) (4-6) NET 35 SoS 34
Vital signs:  5-3 R/N, non-con SoS 136, 3-5 vs. Quad 1, 3-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 152
Signature wins:  @Cincy, @Nebraska, @Creighton
Bad losses:  @Rutgers

OSU has lost to basically all the good B1G teams, and beaten all the fair and bad ones (minus Rutgers).  Did really important work in the non-con, with road wins that will carry weight with the committee.  They might need a high-end win by the end of the year, but they’ll have their chances to get it.  No red flags in the way that, say, Iowa or Minnesota have, so they’re in ok shape for now.

Indiana (13-9) (4-7) NET 44 SoS 50
Vital signs:  3-7 R/N, non-con SoS 156, 3-7 vs. Quad 1, 3-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 153
Signature wins:  @MSU, Louisville, Marquette
Bad losses:  @Rutgers

Some great, some not-so-great.  3 signature wins that will trump just about all other bubble contenders.  Marginal 2-7 road record, which includes losing to Rutgers, Arky, and Northwestern.  Depth of wins is not great, as evidenced by the avg win north of 150.  Their issue will be consistency going forward – they need quantity of good wins, not quality of good wins, if that makes sense.  More road wins, more Quad 1-2 wins, and it’s ok if they miss all the rest of their truly signature win chances.

Nebraska (12-9) (3-8) NET 33 SoS 107
Vital signs:  4-6 R/N, non-con SoS 236, 2-6 vs. Quad 1, 3-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 148
Signature wins:  @Indiana, Seton Hall?  @Clemson?
Bad losses:  @Illinois, @Rutgers

A courtesy listing at this point.  No metric screams quality team right now.  No legitimate argument can be made anymore.  They’ve lost all their quality win chances.  Just can’t justify them anymore.

Off the board:
If you’re wondering, Northwestern is even worse off than Nebraska, with just a home win over Indiana to lean on.  And if you think Rutgers matters, their non-con SoS of 317 is a non-starter.

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