Friday, February 22, 2019

Bubble watch: SEC


Tennessee (23-2) (12-1) NET 6 SoS 98
Vital signs:  8-2 R/N, non-con SoS 108, 4-2 vs. Q1, 7-0 vs. Q2, avg win 117
Signature wins:  N-Gonzaga, N-Louisville, swept Florida?
Bad losses:  nope

The sneaky thing about the resume is the extreme lack of depth of wins.  Florida is pretty definitely their third best win, which is very light for a SEC team.  Honestly, they got screwed by the schedule.  They only get Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi St, and LSU once.  That is a brutal break for a team needing quality wins for their case for a 1 seed.  The good news is they get all four of them, and Kentucky, as their final five games.  That’s kind of a brutal schedule, but it will definitely make or break their case for a 1 seed.

Kentucky (22-4) (11-2) NET 5 SoS 31
Vital signs:  8-3 R/N, non-con SoS 44, 8-3 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, avg win 112
Signature wins:  Tennessee, N-UNC, Kansas, @Louisville
Bad losses:  N-Seton Hall probably

Not much wrong with the resume, just feels a half-step behind the other contenders.  Except for Tennessee, which we covered above.

LSU (21-5) (11-2) NET 16 SoS 20
Vital signs:  9-3 R/N, non-con SoS 9, 6-2 vs. Q1, 7-3 vs. Q2, avg win 104
Signature wins:  @Kentucky, @MSU, Auburn
Bad losses:  N-Oklahoma St, Arkansas?

A very good non-con SoS buttressed by very good teams (Furman, UNCG, Memphis, et al) without playing too many cupcakes.  So don’t get carried away by the SoS.  But they are 7-1 in true road games, so I can’t dock them too much.

Mississippi St (19-7) (7-6) NET 26 SoS 16
Vital signs:  8-4 R/N, non-con SoS 24, 8-4 vs. Q1, 4-3 vs. Q2, avg win 111
Signature wins:  Auburn, Cincy, @Ole Miss
Bad losses:  @South Carolina, N-ASU?

Sure, 8 Q1 wins is a bit inflated by the presence of some road/neutral wins (Arky, Dayton, St Mary’s, Clemson).  But still, it counts.  All in all, they’re fine as long as they don’t lose stupid games.  To be fair, they’ll have ample opportunity to do just that, though.


Auburn (17-8) (7-6) NET 20 SoS 37
Vital signs:  5-6 R/N, non-con SoS 40, 1-6 vs. Q1, 9-2 vs. Q2, avg win 128
Signature wins:  Washington, Florida, Alabama
Bad losses:  @South Carolina probably

I really do wish they had a better signature win to make things easier on me.  Their other metrics are in good shape, so it’s just about finding a signature win.  Kentucky and Tennessee remain.  Heck, Mississippi St remains too.  Definitely need to get one, just to get something better on the board.

Ole Miss (18-8) (8-5) NET 34 SoS 86
Vital signs:  8-5 R/N, non-con SoS 166, 4-7 vs. Q1, 3-1 vs. Q2, avg win 148
Signature wins:  swept Auburn, @MSU, N-Baylor
Bad losses:  @South Carolina

They haven’t even gotten to play UT or UK yet, so there’s still a fair amount of variance in where this resume can end up.  It’s another case where they’re probably fine, but they still can’t afford the disaster scenario yet.

Florida (15-11) (7-6) NET 31 SoS 29
Vital signs:  7-7 R/N, non-con SoS 123, 3-10 vs. Q1, 3-0 vs. Q2, avg win 121
Signature wins:  @LSU, @Alabama, @Arky?
Bad losses:  South Carolina

Man, so many missed chances.  But we’ll be fair, there’s a lot of road games in there.  And their numbers aren’t too bad overall.  They’ve got 3 cupcakes in a row coming up, and they would be very well advised to handle their business.  Also have LSU and Kentucky left, I’d advise a split in those games.

Alabama (15-11) (6-7) NET 51 SoS 27
Vital signs:  6-8 R/N, non-con SoS 60, 2-6 vs. Q1, 7-3 vs. Q2, avg win 116
Signature wins:  Kentucky, MSU, Ole Miss
Bad losses:  Georgia St, A&M

Their best road win is Missouri.  That’s an obvious hole in an otherwise okay resume.  7 Q2 wins might save them.  This feels like a quintessential bubble resume.

South Carolina (13-12) (9-4) NET 81 SoS 23
Vital signs:  4-7 R/N, non-con SoS 101, 3-7 vs. Q1, 4-3 vs. Q2, avg win 124
Signature wins:  Auburn, MSU, @Florida
Bad losses:  @Wyoming, Stony Brook, @OkSt

7 Q1/2 wins, so I guess we have to list them.  But as you can tell, I'm not enthusiastic about it.  Most of their work has been ruining everyone else's bubble resume.

NIT bubble teams:  Arkansas

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