Sunday, February 3, 2019

Bubble Watch - everyone else

Gonzaga (21-2) (8-0) NET 2 SoS 59
Vital signs:  8-2 R/N, non-con SoS 57, 4-2 vs. Quad 1, 3-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 161
Signature wins:  N-Duke, Washington, @San Fran?
Bad losses:  none

When your second best win is Washington, you’ve got problems.  A legitimate bubble team.  But wait, it’s Gonzaga?  Just kidding, they’re obviously fine.  Still that does highlight a big problem for them.  Yeah, they beat Washington and Creighton and Arizona and Illinois…and they’ve all let Gonzaga down this year.  Their list of wins aren’t as good as they normally are.  However, all the other metrics are in order so they’re fine.  And of course the win against Duke is the magic elixir.  But if you slapped Buffalo’s name on this resume, I’d be willing to bet everyone would put them on the 5 line.  Interesting dynamic.

San Francisco (16-5) (5-3) NET 49 SoS 164
Vital signs:  5-4 R/N, non-con SoS 276, 0-3 vs. Quad 1, 1-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 216
Signature wins:  St Mary’s…BYU and Stanford?
Bad losses:  @UCSB ain’t great

I’ve seen SFU be a chic pick for an at-large bid.  Their only Quad 1-2 win is home to St Mary’s.  Bad non-con SoS.  Really bad avg win.  Marginal road record (best road win is #160).  Um, what?

St Mary’s (14-9) (5-3) NET 47 SoS 48
Vital signs:  3-7 R/N, non-con SoS 95, 1-4 vs. Quad 1, 1-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 181
Signature wins:  @NMSU, San Fran, San Diego
Bad losses:  @Pepperdine, Harvard, UC-I

Since we don’t know exactly how NET will be valued, I’ll do a writeup for a top 50 NET team.  But that’s about all that’s working in favor of this resume at the moment.

Nevada (21-1) (8-1) NET 14 SoS 96
Vital signs:  10-1 R/N, non-con SoS 44, 0-0 vs. Quad 1, 8-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 144
Signature wins:  N-Arizona St, Utah St?  @USC?
Bad losses:  @New Mexico

Sneaky problem – 0 Quad 1 games.  Ouch.  Beat ASU, @Utah, @USC…they’ve been victimized by the Pac-12’s failures.  SoS is good, which is more a product of playing a bunch of good but not great teams (Tulsa, LU-Chicago, South Dakota St, BYU, Grand Canyon, etc).  Smart scheduling, but a bit of bad luck not to have impact wins on the resume.  We’ll see how it affects their seed.  I don’t really know what to do with them, honestly.

Utah St (16-5) (7-2) NET 38 SoS 145
Vital signs:  7-4 R/N, non-con SoS 62, 1-2 vs. Quad 1, 1-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 221
Signature wins:  N-St Mary’s, @UCI, Utah Valley?
Bad losses:  Fresno

Good NET, but not much else.  We’ll give them some credit for decent metrics overall, though.  I don’t think I can make a winning case for them, without them beating Nevada at home later.  Losses to ASU and BYU, even though they were R/N games, is probably the killer.  A split in them could’ve given them an exponentially better argument.

Buffalo (18-3) (7-2) NET 23 SoS 100
Vital signs:  10-3 R/N, non-con SoS 88, 2-1 vs. Quad 1, 2-2 vs. Quad 2, avg win 167
Signature wins:  @Syracuse, N-San Fran, Toledo
Bad losses:  I suppose @NIU and @BGU

Not quite as good as you’d think, as their WVU win has evaporated.  8-3 road record, which helps excuse the two road losses in conference play (as long as they don’t pick up too many more).  It’s not impossible that this resume misses the tourney, but the strength of the conference is really helping.  An up year means the BGU and NIU losses aren’t as catastrophic as they would be in most years.

Wofford (16-4) (11-0) NET 28 SoS 135
Vital signs:  7-3 R/N, non-con SoS 107, 1-4 vs. Quad 1, 3-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 205
Signature wins:  @UNCG, ETSU, Furman
Bad losses:  nothing even close to one

Played UNC, @Kansas, @Miss St, and @Oklahoma.  Lost ‘em all.  Man, if they had just gotten one…they did get South Carolina on the road, which isn’t nothing.  And that’s why they’re listed, along with their impossible NET rating.  And remember, the SoCon is strong this year.  Running the table this year would have real, legitimate resume value.  I think this has a chance.  It all depends on how much the committee cares about the signature win category, which is going to remain thin.

UNC Greensboro (18-3) (9-1) NET 52 SoS 183
Vital signs:  9-2 R/N, non-con SoS 168, 1-3 vs. Quad 1, 1-0 vs. Quad 2, avg win 228
Signature wins:  @ETSU, Furman, Radford?
Bad losses:  nothing, maybe home to Wofford?

I know I put them in last week…probably not justifiable.  But who cares.  Still though, probably can’t justify this, especially given that they’ve already spent one of their Wofford games.

Lipscomb (16-4) (9-0) NET 32 SoS 209
Vital signs:  8-3 R/N, non-con SoS 51, 2-3 vs. Quad 1, 2-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 229
Signature wins:  @TCU, @Liberty, Vermont
Bad losses:  home to Belmont?

In play!  The SoS is bad, but the non-con SoS isn’t, giving them a reasonable argument.  Played 5 Quad 1 games, all on the road, and went 2-3 in those games (lost to UL, Clemson, Belmont).  Actually got swept by Belmont, which is killer.  I’d love to see what things would look like if that was flipped.  8-3 true road record, the avg win is really bad…I don’t know.  I don’t think this is a dead resume.  Also, thanks to Liberty’s inexplicable NET ranking, they’ve got one more chance at a quad 2 win, probably.  They also avoided bad losses, which counts for something.  I’ll be paying attention to them this next month.

Belmont (16-4) (8-2) NET 62 SoS 142
Vital signs:  6-3 R/N, non-con SoS 63, 2-1 vs. Quad 1, 3-1 vs. Quad 2, avg win 199
Signature wins:  swept Lipscomb, @Murray St, @UCLA
Bad losses:  Jax St, @Green Bay

Wait, what?  This is probably aggressive, but I’ll list them for now.  I mean, 5 quad 1-2 wins for an OVC team is nothing to sneeze at.  Problem is, based on the OVC schedule, they’re probably done with those chances this year.  But with the non-con SoS thrown in, it’s not an impossible task for them to be in play.

Off the board (WCC):
I’ll give shoutouts to BYU, Loyola Marymount, and San Diego for doing their part to help the conference during the non-con.  But they just don’t have any nutritional value in their individual resumes to warrant a breakdown.

Off the board (MWC):
Really bad year for the conference as a whole.  If you squint, maybe you can make a case for Fresno, but with just two Quad 1-2 wins, probably not.  Bad SoS too.

Off the board (MAC):
A shoutout for a good year overall for the conference.  Just can’t put any of them on the bubble other than Buffalo.  Toledo didn’t play a Quad 1 or 2 game in the non-con.  Kent St actually has wins over Vandy and Oregon St on the road, which isn’t nothing, but their non-con SoS is 262.  Can’t do it.  Bowling Green doesn’t have much either.

Off the board (SoCon):
I feel bad for Furman.  Villanova will stand as a signature win, but Loyola has faded, and those are two of their three wins outside of quad 4 games.  That’s right.  They have 3 wins in the top 3 quads.  And their non-con SoS is a ghastly 286, which shows how bad it was outside of Nova.  Sigh.  4 SoCon losses already dooms them.  ETSU deserves credit for a good NET and good record, but they lack SoS and impact wins.

Off the board (elsewhere):
Penn won the Big 5.  They also have 4 losses in Quads 3 and 4.  Wins over Nova and Temple are great but they spent all their wiggle room, and then some. 

CUSA has nothing cooking this year.  Old Dominion is actually 2-1 in the top 2 quads, beating @Syracuse and VCU.  They also have 5 quad 3 losses and a non-con SoS in the 300s, despite playing 3 quad 1-2 games in said non-con.  Alas.

WAC is having a good year record-wise, but their resumes are mostly empty calories.  NMSU has a non-con SoS of 217, which is shocking for a team that played Kansas, St Mary’s, and has a series with UNM.  Either way, they didn’t win their signature win chances, so that’s that.

Northeastern really scheduled up (non-con SoS 15), but only cashed in once, beating Alabama while losing to good teams (Syracuse, VT, Vermont, Davidson, et al).  One wasn’t enough, and they’ve lost 3 quad 4 games.  Shame.  Hofstra has a top 60 NET, but no quad 1 or 2 wins with a bad SoS.

Liberty is a top 50 NET team.  Okay.  They did beat UCLA, but with a non-con SoS of 238, they needed more depth in their quality win list (or any depth) to matter.

Until very recently, I was on the Murray St bandwagon.  Non-con SoS north of 200, no quad 1-2 wins, just 6 games outside of quad 4.  Sorry.

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