Sunday, March 14, 2021
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Monday, March 8, 2021
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Loyola (19-4) (16-2) NET 16 SoS 164
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Creighton (17-6) (13-5) NET 18 SoS 142
Xavier (13-5) (6-5) NET 57 SoS 55
Seton Hall (13-10) (10-7) NET 54 SoS 50
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
USC (19-4) (13-3) NET 14 SoS 54
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Alabama (18-5) (13-1) NET 8 SoS 22
Ole Miss (12-9) (7-7) NET 60 SoS 78
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Should be in
First impression: conference is strong in the computers. I see 5 high seeds coming, and some bubble teams getting dragged along kicking and screaming into the field. I have 9 teams listed below...it really does feel like all 9 would make it, but I think the chances of Minnesota or Indiana missing would be reasonable.
Ohio St (17-4) (11-4) NET 7 SoS 52
Vital signs: 8-3 vs. Q1, 2-1 vs. Q2, 7-3 R/N
Signature wins: @Illinois, @iowa, @Wisconsin
Bad losses: I suppose @Northwestern, maybe
Illinois (14-5) (10-3) NET 4 SoS 48
Vital signs: 6-4 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, 5-3 R/N
Signature wins: Iowa, @Penn St, Wisconsin
Bad losses: not really
Vital signs: 3-1 vs. Q1, 4-0 vs. Q2, 3-1 R/N
Signature wins: @Purdue, @Maryland, Wisconsin
Bad losses: none
They're behind in games played, and this seems like a resume from which quantity of good results is lacking. I expect some swings in valuation of this profile down the stretch despite the gaudy record. I guess this depends on what the rest of the country is doing, but I see a lot of projected 1 seeds for them right now and I'm not sure I feel that aggressively about their resume yet to put them there. That has to be an eye test play.
Iowa (15-6) (9-5) NET 8 SoS 85
Vital signs: 4-5 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, 4-4 R/N
Signature wins: @Rutgers, @Maryland, Purdue
Bad losses: home to Indiana?
4-3 in true road games in conference play, and the NET, puts them higher than the record would first suggest. Much like Illinois, they lack the juice to get to the top line at the moment. With 3 signature road win chances though, this could change. On one end, they could be this year's 10-loss team that ends up on the 3 line....or would win at Wisky/OSU/Michigan and get to the 1 line.
Wisconsin (15-6) (9-5) NET 16 SoS 136
Vital signs: 3-4 vs. Q1, 5-2 vs. Q2, 4-4 R/N
Signature wins: Loyola, @Rutgers, @Maryland
Bad losses: @Marquette?
I don't have much to say. Obvious tournament team, borderline protected seed territory, some chances to improve the profile down the stretch. Your stock 4 seed.
Should be in
Purdue (13-8) (8-6) NET 26 SoS 23
Vital signs: 3-7 vs. Q1, 6-0 vs. Q2, 5-7 R/N
Signature wins: swept Ohio St (wait, what), @Indiana
Bad losses: @Miami
They've beaten a probable 1 seed twice...and have lost their next 7 toughest games. Ugh. One of these profiles. The SoS and NET numbers can very well save them, but the polarization in this resume makes me nervous. What really, really makes me nervous is that they're just about out of quality win chances already based on the schedule. I highly recommend beating Wisconsin at home here.
Vital signs: 4-6 vs. Q1, 3-1 vs. Q2, 3-4 R/N
Signature wins: Illinois, @Maryland, Purdue
Bad losses: @Michigan St?
This is the type of bubble team that ends up on something like the 7 or 8 line because their conference is so strong. They've done juuuuust enough against opponents juuuust good enough to safely be in the field. But this is a team that can't afford to be just, say, 4 games over .500 at the end of the year.
Minnesota (13-7) (6-7) NET 46 SoS 15
Vital signs: 4-6 vs. Q1, 1-1 vs. Q2, 0-6 R/N
Signature wins: Michigan, Ohio St, Iowa
Bad losses: Maryland
The flaw in this resume is obvious. Get a road win, literally any road win. 3 signature home wins. They need to do something on the road. Literally anything. Only 2 chances left though. I don't care who they beat at home, they're out without probably 2 road/neutral wins.
Indiana (11-9) (6-7) NET 51 SoS 65
Vital signs: 2-8 vs. Q1, 5-0 vs. Q2, 6-5 R/N
Signature wins: swept Iowa, Penn St
Bad losses: Northwestern
So admittedly I don't know what to do here. Bad overall record, not good enough against Q1. The one thing saving them is all those road/neutral wins, but 5 of those fell in Q2 and Q3 against struggling power conference teams. What do you do with that? I would imagine road wins of any kind would be overvalued this year. That plus the conference affiliation might save them. Will likely be heavily debated by everyone down the stretch.
Somehow Penn St and Maryland are top 40 NET teams despite being below .500. They can probably be safely ignored. So can Michigan St with a NET of 91; I see that ranking being used aggressively as a filter by the selection committee.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
As you may have guessed, my plans have had a modest change to them this season. A sequence of real-life emergencies (yes, plural) have more or less taken me away from all free time (which includes even following the sport on a day-to-day basis). As it turns out, family health and employment end up being more important than college basketball, although it's debatable. I thought I could fake my way through November and then pick up steam in the blog in December; real life decided naaaaaaah.
I've more or less had to abandon sports consumption, and only now can start playing catch-up. Literally as I look right now, Kentucky is 5-13? The hell happened there? Duke is under .500? Why is there a toothpaste ranked #13 in NET? This is the level of knowledge I am currently operating at.
It's fully my intention to publish the annual bracket prediction on Selection Sunday (a personal streak dating back to 1997 and a blog streak of 2014). But I'm going to be coming from a very sideways angle this time around. This is going to have to be much more haphazard. It might make an interesting social project, to see if intense knowledge of the sport is required for Bracketology.
I dunno if there'll be daily recaps. Although it'd be hilarious to go back to November, with February eyes. Might be some intrinsic value there. I'm probably going to try and start with conference deep dives, and compare the eyes of a person who has just the numbers with the eyes of people who've seen the season play out.
God willing, I can carve out some time this weekend to do this.