Sunday, February 3, 2019

Bubble Watch - $EC


Tennessee (19-1) (8-0) NET 4 SoS 84
Vital signs:  8-1 R/N, non-con SoS 82, 4-1 vs. Quad 1, 6-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 121
Signature wins:  N-Gonzaga, N-Louisville, @Florida
Bad losses:  none

Only real criticism is the win list – no real wins over probable tourney teams beyond those 3.  SEC conference play will fix that problem though.  So I guess you have to rank those ACC teams ahead of UT if you must.

Kentucky (18-3) (7-1) NET 6 SoS 44
Vital signs:  6-3 R/N, non-con SoS 44, 6-2 vs. Quad 1, 3-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 124
Signature wins:  N-UNC, @Louisville, Kansas
Bad losses:  N-Seton Hall, I suppose

No major flaws, good high-end wins, maybe two marginal losses.  Conference play will give them a legitimate chance at a 1 seed.  Not much for me to add on this one.

Mississippi St (16-5) (4-4) NET 26 SoS 26
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 40, 5-2 vs. Quad 1, 4-3 vs. Quad 2, avg win 120
Signature wins:  Cincy, @Ole Miss, Auburn
Bad losses:  @S Carolina, N-Arizona St?

Maybe the lockbox is a bit high for MSU, but every metric is in good shape at the moment and I have no real reason to fear their situation.


LSU (17-4) (7-1) NET 19 SoS 30
Vital signs:  6-3 R/N, non-con SoS 13, 3-2 vs. Quad 1, 6-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 125
Signature wins:  @Ole Miss, @Arky?  N-St Mary’s?  oof
Bad losses:  N-Okla St, Arky

With that SoS and road/neutral record, that list of quality wins is surprisingly bad.  The SoCon is actually propping them up, representing 2 Quad 2 wins for them.  They’re getting screwed by the schedule – they only get Kentucky, MSU, and Tennessee once, when the one thing their resume lacks is high-end wins.  They can afford to lose them all and make the field.  But making the field is one thing; getting a good seed is another.

Auburn (14-6) (4-4) NET 21 SoS 32
Vital signs:  4-5 R/N, non-con SoS 36, 1-5 vs. Quad 1, 5-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 141
Signature wins:  Washington, N-Arizona?  Alabama?
Bad losses:  @S Carolina

The resume issue is as clear as day – get some signature wins.  Only one road win too.  Despite the overall good shape they’re in with their metrics, sooner or later they’ll need to add some wins over probable tourney teams to feel truly safe.  These opportunities are plentiful for them though.  Does have a Murray St win hiding in Quad 2.

Ole Miss (14-7) (4-4) NET 39 SoS 57
Vital signs:  6-4 R/N, non-con SoS 161, 3-7 vs. Quad 1, 2-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 169
Signature wins:  Auburn, @Mississippi St, N-Baylor
Bad losses:  none

I wish that avg win mark was a bit higher, and that it was 4-6 instead of 3-7 in Quad 1.  They would be a lot more safer with that.  As is, without a game against a truly elite team on the resume yet, they’re a bit light on actual resume heft to feel too safe right now.  2 of those neutral site wins are Quad 4 wins, so they’re not in as good shape as you’d think on that metric.

Alabama (13-8) (4-4) NET 46 SoS 16
Vital signs:  5-6 R/N, non-con SoS 72, 3-5 vs. Quad 1, 4-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 115
Signature wins:  Kentucky, Mississippi St, Ole Miss?
Bad losses:  N-Northeastern, A&M, Georgia St

They need to thank their lucky stars they got Kentucky, because this is a very troubling resume without.  Avg win of 115 is actually very solid, they did a good job avoiding non-con deadweight (their non-con SoS is a result of a lot of decent opponents but no truly great opponents).  One of those Quad 1 wins is N-Liberty, so make what you will of that.  This is your typical bubble resume, really.

Florida (12-9) (4-4) NET 40 SoS 53
Vital signs:  5-5 R/N, non-con SoS 140, 1-7 vs. Quad 1, 4-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 140
Signature wins:  @Arky, Ole Miss, Butler?
Bad losses:  South Carolina, N-Butler?

They lost their top 7 games on the schedule, and already have spent their chances against Tennessee and Kentucky at home.  They have enough signature win chances left on the board, but they need multiples of them now, and fast.

Arkansas (13-8) (4-4) NET 57 SoS 37
Vital signs:  4-4 R/N, non-con SoS 109, 1-5 vs. Quad 1, 2-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 142
Signature wins:  @LSU, Indiana?  @A&M?
Bad losses:  WKU, Ga Tech

Very close to not listing them.  Borderline to even be borderline.

Off the board:
Special shoutout to South Carolina, 6-2 in league but 10-10 overall.  They actually have wins of Auburn, MSU, and @Florida on the board, and no real disqualifying metric outside of a Quad 4 loss, so they’re not completely dead.  Keep an eye out just in case.  I have a feeling they’ll be closer to 2018 Nebraska than anything else, though.  Missouri might have the same record as Florida, but an avg win of 170 pretty much described their current situation.

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