Friday, February 22, 2019

Bubble watch: Big 12

Kansas (20-6) (9-4) NET 15 SoS 1
Vital signs:  5-6 R/N, non-con SoS 1, 9-5 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, avg win 65
Signature wins:  N-Tennessee, N-Michigan St, N-Marquette, and plenty others
Bad losses: @WVU, @ASU

It’s impossible to describe how obscene that average win number is.  That matters so much.  65!!!!!!!  The non-con SoS is its usual strong self, and they clearly have enough signature wins.  However, 2 road wins.  No non-con road wins, and they seem to have more or less split their conference road games over quality teams.  I just don’t know how you don’t seed the #1 SoS and an average win of 65 anywhere below the 2 line.

Iowa St (19-7) (8-5) NET 14 SoS 24
Vital signs:  8-4 R/N, non-con SoS 95, 5-4 vs. Q1, 3-3 vs. Q2, avg win 129
Signature wins:  @TTU, Kansas, @KSU
Bad losses:  N-Arizona

They’ve gotten loose a couple times at home in conference, losing to Baylor and TCU and missing a golden chance at a top 2 seed.  As is, a reasonable case for a 4 seed or better, without much chance to improve too much.  All metrics in good shape.

Texas Tech (21-5) (9-4) NET 10 SoS 49
Vital signs:  7-4 R/N, non-con SoS 158, 4-5 vs. Q2, 8-0 vs. Q2, avg win 140
Signature wins:  KSU, @Texas, @OU?
Bad losses:  nope

A little bit of the classic case of beating everyone you should, and losing to everyone you should.  They’ll have chances to add quality wins and really jump up the seed line…or they’ll lose and take their 7 seed. 

Kansas St (20-6) (10-3) NET 28 SoS 35
Vital signs:  9-4 R/N, non-con SoS 132, 6-3 vs. Q1, 4-3 vs. Q2, avg win 116
Signature wins:  TTU, @ISU, Kansas
Bad losses:  @Tulsa and @A&M

You’d expect more strength from a Big 12 resume…truth is their non-con is pretty light, without any real impact wins.  This will limit the seed upside, but several quality road wins in conference play matter as well.


Baylor (17-9) (8-5) NET 33 SoS 34
Vital signs:  6-5 R/N, non-con SoS 196, 4-6 vs. Q1, 7-1 vs. Q2, avg win 123
Signature wins:  TTU, swept ISU and Oklahoma
Bad losses:  SFA, Texas Southern

That’s a pair of Q4 losses that keeps this short of a lock.  Have shown they’re good enough to beat decent teams at a decent clip, and just need to keep their wheels on the road from here on in.

TCU (17-9) (5-8) NET 41 SoS 33
Vital signs:  6-6 R/N, non-con SoS 86, 1-6 vs. Q1, 5-3 vs. Q2, avg win 126
Signature wins:  @ISU, Baylor, Texas?
Bad losses:  @OSU, Lipscomb?

Hmm.  Not as good as I would’ve though.  Only two true road wins is an issue.  There’s just this feeling this resume is missing something.  Home chances against KSU, TTU, and ISU remain.  There you go.  Gotta get one for sure, and two wouldn’t hurt.

Texas (15-11) (7-6) NET 35 SoS 9
Vital signs:  4-6 R/N, non-con SoS 14, 4-6 vs. Q1, 4-4 vs. Q2, avg win 100
Signature wins:  N-UNC, Purdue, Kansas
Bad losses:  Radford, @Georgia, Providence

In the end, the combination of bad losses and good wins are more valued than not having either bad losses or good wins, so they might be okay.  Especially given that average win and SoS.  The problem is that the schedule is filled with pitfalls – home games against better teams, road games at fellow bubble teams.  They’re going to move way up the bracket, or off the bracket entirely.  There isn’t much middle ground to be had.

Oklahoma (16-10) (4-9) NET 38 SoS 13
Vital signs:  8-6 R/N, non-con SoS 22, 3-8 vs. Q1, 5-2 vs. Q2, avg win 86
Signature wins:  Wofford, N-Florida, swept TCU
Bad losses:  @WVU

Their schedule is a mathematical impossibility.  Average win of 86 is very high, and almost incredulous when you compare that with the actual list of wins.  They have no Q4 games.  None!  That’s why the average win is so ridiculous.  Of course, there’s something to be said for winning all those games.  There’s also something to be said for not winning your fair share of conference games.

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