Sunday, February 28, 2021

Bubble Watch: leftovers

Less leftovers than I thought.

Loyola (19-4) (16-2) NET 16 SoS 164
Vital signs:  1-2 vs. Q1, 4-2 vs. Q2, 8-4 R/N
Signature wins:  @Drake, swept MSU?
Bad losses:  @Indiana St

A pretty classic beat-who-you're-supposed-to resume.  An alarming 11 Q4 wins, so it's a pretty light resume.  Is the NET ranking reliable in this instance?  I lean yes.  There's still a strong, strong road/neutral record to lean on.  This is a resume that certainly could miss the tournament, but this year causing problems with cutting the non-con short might save them.

Drake (22-3) (15-3) NET 41 SoS 261
Vital signs:  1-1 vs. Q1, 4-0 vs. Q2, 10-2 R/N
Signature wins:  Loyola, swept MSU?
Bad losses:  @Bradley and Valpo

Kinda in the same boat as LU, but without the NET boost and with horrendous SoS numbers.  That said, I lump them in the same bucket.  If they meet in the MVC finals, I reluctantly would put both in, but I'm not excited about either.

There's not much else to look at for at-large bids.  Things that caught my eye:

The SoCon had another good year overall it seems, but this time they don't have the at-large resumes to contend for multiple bids.

Colgate has a NET of 10.  lol.  Only because there's basically no non-conference games in the Patriot this year.  Navy and Colgate have separated in the league, and Navy did win at Georgetown.  No at-large bid for either, but a good solid seed should await for the winner.

I don't think anyone else is in play on the bubble.  Committee will use the shortened non-con as a shield, say no one from a mid-major conference has a resume good enough for an at-large bid, forgetting that no one had a chance to build up a resume good enough.

Bubble Watch: everyone else, part 1

Houston (18-3) (13-3) NET 4 SoS 60
Vital signs:  2-1 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, 6-3 R/N
Signature wins:  N-TTU, @SMU, Boise
Bad losses:  @ECU

Such is life in the AAC.  A lack of top-end wins will lock them out of the top 2 lines, I think.  And I don't see a way out of avoiding this fate.

Wichita St (11-4) (9-2) NET 66 SoS 24
Vital signs:  2-2 vs. Q1, 2-2 vs. Q2, 4-2 R/N
Signature wins:  Houston, @Ole Miss, and um
Bad losses:  none really...@Memphis?

They're one Houston win away from being a non-factor on the bubble.  I'm not a fan of those types of resumes that require a strong lean on one single result.  Two home losses to probable tourney teams (Ok St and Mizzou) are killers, because they haven't gotten many other quality win chances.  I don't know if this resume can hold on without another significant result.  They really need to find a way to get their SMU series played.  Badly.

SMU (11-4) (7-4) NET 46 SoS 107
Vital signs:  0-3 vs. Q1, 4-0 vs. Q2, 5-2 R/N
Signature wins:  @Dayton, Memphis....oof
Bad losses:  Cincy

No wins over probable tourney teams, right?  Can't put them in.  They really badly need their two games with Wichita rescheduled.  That could cost BOTH teams a tournament spot.

Memphis (13-6) (9-3) NET 61 SoS 132
Vital signs:  0-2 vs. Q1, 3-3 vs. Q2, 3-5 R/N
Signature wins:  lolno
Bad losses:  Tulsa, N-WKU, @Tulsa

Only mentioned because they have a home game with Houston in hand.  We'll see if they win that one.

Gonzaga (24-0) (15-0) NET 1 SoS 81
Vital signs:  7-0 vs. Q1, 5-0 vs. Q2, 12-0 R/N
Signature wins:  N-Iowa, N-Kansas, N-WVU, N-Virginia, swept BYU

A hilariously strong collection of neutral site wins.  #1 overall seed, and can probably even survive 2 losses and still hold onto it.

BYU (18-5) (10-3) NET 20 SoS 18
Vital signs:  3-3 vs. Q1, 5-2 vs. Q2, 9-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @SDSU, @Utah St, @St Mary's
Bad losses:  @Pepperdine

Pretty safely in.  Pretty strong resume, and a good job in the non-con to get a couple road/neutral wins that will carry weight.

St Bonaventure (13-3) (11-3) NET 28 SoS 75
Vital signs:  2-2 vs. Q1, 2-1 vs. Q2, 5-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @Richmond?  @Davidson?  VCU
Bad losses:  @Rhody?

Only two non-con games, so their entire resume is basically conference play.  Does winning the A-10 get them in?  A-10 is more or less the #9 conference in the country.  Conference champions of a top 10 conference in years past usually, but not always, are good enough to get at-large bids.  With 2 cupcake-ish games remaining, I highly recommend winning both of them.  13-3 looks a lit better than 12-4.

VCU (17-6) (10-4) NET 38 SoS 32
Vital signs:  2-4 vs. Q1, 6-0 vs. Q2, 7-4 R/N
Signature wins:  Bonaventure, N-USU, St Louis?
Bad losses:  Rhody, Mason

This isn't the greatest resume in the world.  The SoS numbers feel deceptive to me.  I think I'd put them in, but I'm not feeling strong about that prediction.

St Louis (12-5) (5-4) NET 49 SoS 230
Vital signs:  2-2 vs. Q1, 1-1 vs. Q2, 1-4 R/N
Signature wins:  Bonaventure, LSU, Richmond
Bad losses:  Dayton, @LaSalle

1 road win, in Q4.  Unplayable resume.

Richmond (12-6) (6-4) NET 53 SoS 39
Vital signs:  3-4 vs. Q1, 2-0 vs. Q2, 7-3 R/N
Signature wins:  N-Loyola, @Kentucky, @Davidson?
Bad losses:  LaSalle

A playable resume here though.  Road acumen, a couple signature wins, but a couple really, really dumb losses ruining everything.  This resume will be down to the wire.

San Diego St (18-4) (13-3) NET 18 SoS 25
Vital signs:  0-3 vs. Q1, 6-1 vs. Q2, 6-2 R/N
Signature wins:  Boise, UCLA, Colorado St
Bad losses:  none

The good news is no bad losses.  The bad news is no Q1 wins.  This means the seed upside is very, very limited.  I think the NET rating will help in their case.

Boise St (17-6) (14-5) NET 35 SoS 43
Vital signs:  2-4 vs. Q1, 2-2 vs. Q2, 7-6 R/N
Signature wins:  @BYU, @CSU, swept USU
Bad losses:  swept at Nevada

The lack of truly bad losses, plus juuust enough success on the road could be enough for them.  Worth noting 3 road losses were SDSU 2x and Houston, so they're better off than you think.  They're gonna need something more of value to add to the resume to make sure they make it, I fear.

Colorado St (14-4) (12-3) NET 45 SoS 73
Vital signs:  2-3 vs. Q1, 1-1 vs. Q2, 7-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @SDSU, @Utah St, Boise
Bad losses:  Boise

Heh, their worst loss doubles as their 3rd best win.  I think I like this resume slightly more than Boise's while acknowledging both are in the same situation.

Utah St (14-7) (12-4) NET 50 SOS 100
Vital signs:  2-4 vs. Q1, 1-1 vs. Q2, 7-5 R/N
Signature wins:  swept SDSU, CSU
Bad losses:  N-S Dakota St, @UNLV

Unlike the other teams above, USU took a couple dumb losses and it leaves them a half-step behind.  Will the committee take 4 MWC teams?  As much as it shouldn't matter, you know the committee will look at that sideways.  I'm worried.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Bubble Watch: Big East

Job hunting is time-intensive, I've learned.

Creighton (17-6) (13-5) NET 18 SoS 142
Vital signs:  4-2 vs. Q1, 7-1 vs. Q2, 7-3 R/N
Signature wins:  Nova, @UConn, @SHU
Bad losses:  3 Q3 losses at home to decent-ish teams

The non-con SoS is above 300.  I guessing it won't mean as much this year as in years past, but it does put a cap on this resume.  Actually some good, solid road wins on this resume help balance out the home losses, so a protected seed is a reasonable outcome for this resume.

Villanova (15-3) (10-2) NET 8 SoS 81
Vital signs:  2-2 vs. Q1, 5-1 vs. Q2, 7-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @Texas, @SHU, UConn?
Bad losses:  none

I don't think there's enough impact wins to be a viable candidate for a 1 seed, or even 2 seed.  I think the low number of losses is a stat that might be overrated by bracketologists.  Given what I've seen so far elsewhere, I think this is one of the 8 best resumes in the country, but they might need to beat Creighton at home to hold it.

UConn (12-6) (9-6) NET 42 SoS 79
Vital signs:  2-3 vs. Q1, 3-3 vs. Q2, 6-3 R/N
Signature wins:  N-USC, @Xavier?
Bad losses:  I suppose @Provi and St John's, kinda

They don't have much volume on the resume, which makes this tricky.  They've shown competence on the road, though, which I think helps more than the other stats hurt.  That said, it feels like USC is carrying their entire resume, and they really really could use one more signature win, or at least a small string of decent wins to beef up the resume.  They're one dumb loss away from ruining everything.

Xavier (13-5) (6-5) NET 57 SoS 55
Vital signs:  2-2 vs. Q1, 4-3 vs. Q2, 2-3 R/N
Signature wins:  Creighton, Oklahoma, uh...Toledo?
Bad losses:  none below Q2A

Another case where the volume is lacking.  Two great home, albeit at home, and not much working for them on the resume beyond that.  The lack of dumb losses does help though.  This does feel like a resume the committee will acquiesce to if they can keep the dumb losses off the resume.  It looks like they're going to miss Villanova on the schedule this year....that's a really, really bad break.  A loss wouldn't hurt this resume at all, and we know what a signature win would do.

Seton Hall (13-10) (10-7) NET 54 SoS 50
Vital signs:  3-6 vs. Q1, 3-3 vs. Q2, 6-7 R/N
Signature wins:  @UConn, @PSU, @Xavier?
Bad losses:  Providence, @Butler?

A token mention.  Swept by CU and Nova means they better beat one of them in a conference tournament.

St John's (14-10) (8-9) NET 75 SoS 123
Vital signs:  2-6 vs. Q1, 3-2 vs. Q2, 5-7 R/N
Signature wins:  Nova, @UConn, @Provi?
Bad losses:  DePaul at home oh no

The one win over Nova gets them listed, for now.  Not much else going on here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Bubble Watch: Pac-12

 Seems like the same old problem for the conference.  One elite team this time, but no depth whatsoever in this conference just kills all the bubble resumes in here.

USC (19-4) (13-3) NET 14 SoS 54
Vital signs:  3-2 vs. Q1, 4-2 vs. Q2, 7-2 R/N
Signature wins;  N-BYU, @Arizona, @Stanford?
Bad losses:  @Oregon St

A very good road/neutral record will mask a lot of other problems.  I think winning a conference might matter a bit more this year, so I give them a reasonable chance of a top 4 seed, but without high-end impact wins, it's a tough sell when comparing them to other teams.  Seems like the Pac-12 is stuck where they've been the past few years.

Colorado (17-7) (11-6) NET 22 SoS 85
Vital signs:  2-4 vs. Q1, 6-0 vs. Q2, 9-6 R/N
Signature wins:  @USC, @Stanford, Arizona?
Bad losses:  3 Q3 losses, yeesh

If you took away the NET and looked at the rest....I mean they'd be in, but it wouldn't be pretty.  That road win at USC is getting so much mileage right now.  They actually have 6 road/neutral games in Q3/4 (going 4-2 in those), so I'm not going too crazy over 9 R/N wins right now.  Signature win chances remain though.  A chance to enhance the profile...or ruin it completely.  Not safe yet.

UCLA (16-5) (12-3) NET 41 SoS 109
Vital signs:  2-3 vs. Q1, 2-2 vs. Q2, 5-5 R/N
Signature wins:  Colorado, swept Arizona?
Bad losses:  @Wazzu?

Looks like a classic "beat the teams you're supposed to beat" resume, with a sweep over Arizona and a couple Q2A losses serving as the swing games.  They'll make the tournament but I'm not excited about this resume.  Quality win chances do remain, though.

Oregon (14-5) (9-4) NET 49 SoS 123
Vital signs:  2-3 vs. Q1, 4-0 vs. Q2, 5-3 R/N
Signature wins:  Colorado, @Arizona, N-SHU?
Bad losses:  Oregon St, Wazzu

Q3 losses mixed in with middling computer numbers isn't a good recipe.  Not the greatest collection of quality wins.  Pretty empty profile.  Not sure I see a single-digit seed here.  This team will probably be the difference between 3 bids and 4 bids for the conference.

Arizona (15-8) (9-8) NET 43 SoS 52
Vital signs:  2-3 vs. Q1, 3-5 vs. Q2, 5-4 R/N
Signature wins:  @USC, Colorado, uh
Bad losses:  Stanford, @Utah, etc

Without the USC win, they're probably off the board.  As is, I'll give them a shout for the moment.

Stanford (14-9) (10-7) NET 58 SoS 63
Vital signs:  4-5 vs. Q1, 2-4 vs. Q2, 12-7 R/N
Signature wins:  N-Alabama, N-UCLA, swept Arizona
Bad losses:  @ASU, @Wazzu, @Utah?

Only 4 home games on the season, which leads to this interesting breakdown.  Don't automatically get swept up by 12 road/neutral wins.  That said, 12-7 in road games is a clip well over .500, and the committee could fall in love with it.  They have the one high-end win against Bama.  Crazier things have happened.  I'm paying attention here.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Bubble watch: SEC

Yes, this is moving slower than anticipated.  First bracket will come sometime next week.

SEC seems to be the easiest conference in the world to project.  6 teams in good shape and everyone else in terrible shape.  That said, I'm surprised the top 6 haven't separated in the conference standings more than they have already.  I think the unbalanced schedule has created a bit of a mess here.  But I'm disappointed that Missouri and Florida and Tennessee in particular haven't separated from the bottom half of the conference more clearly.


Alabama (18-5) (13-1) NET 8  SoS 22
Vital signs:  7-3 vs. Q1, 5-1 vs. Q2, 7-4 R/N
Signature wins:  @Tennessee, @LSU, Arkansas, etc etc
Bad losses:  WKU, if that counts

That one Q3 loss is probably juuuuust enough to keep them off the 1 line.  Everything about the resume is pretty rock-solid.  No other home losses, enough quality road wins, great metrics across the board.

Arkansas (17-5) (9-4) NET 25 SoS 61
Vital signs:  4-4 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, 4-4 R/N
Signature wins:  @Missouri, Florida, @Kentucky?
Bad losses:  none realy

This seems like the classic resume of a team that beats everyone they should, but loses to everyone they should too.  They've missed most their chances at the biggest signature wins, which will limit their seed upside to maybe the 4 or 5 line.  Safely in, though, obviously.

LSU (14-6) (9-4) NET 27 SoS 19
Vital signs:  3-6 vs. Q1, 3-0 vs. Q2, 4-4 R/N
Signature wins:  Tennessee, Arkansas, @Ole Miss?
Bad losses:  @Kentucky I suppose

No losses outside of Q1, solid SoS numbers, and a generally inoffensive resume means they're a tournament lock.  However, with the lack of quality road wins, it's tough to argue they belong anywhere around a protected seed.  8 line is where they're at, and it sounds about right.

Tennessee (15-6) (8-6) NET 17 SoS 117
Vital signs:  5-4 vs. Q1, 1-2 vs. Q2, 3-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @Missouri, Kansas, Colorado
Bad losses:  Kentucky

At least with this team, they're some non-con results that give them extra support.  There's some good home wins...and a couple dumb home losses.  With the SoS numbers being a bit low, I kind of put them in the same bucket as Arkansas and LSU; maybe slightly higher because of NET.  4 line seems aggressive for them, unless the eye test is getting thrown in.

Missouri (14-6) (7-6) NET 37 SoS 14
Vital signs:  6-4 vs. Q1, 3-2 vs. Q2, 6-4 R/N
Signature wins:  Illinois, Alabama, @Tennessee
Bad losses:  @Georgia and MSU?

lol what.  They're 4-0 vs. Q1A.  That's hilarious.  and 6 losses outside of Q1A.  What in the world is this resume.  Beat Tennessee and Arkansas on the road....lost to them at home.  Such a weird resume.  Ultimately.....bad NET, but great SoS, high end wins...I dunno.  Too many losses to be a 1 or 2 seed perhaps, but no reason they can't be a protected seed - IF they win the games they're supposed to.  They don't need quality wins right now for the resume, they just need steady results.


Florida (11-6) (7-5) NET 30 SoS 50
Vital signs:  3-3 vs. Q1, 3-2 vs. Q2, 5-4 R/N
Signature wins:  @WVU, Tennessee, LSU
Bad losses:  S Carolina, Kentucky, @MSU

What's mostly different here is the dumb losses are a little more dumb than the teams above them.  Their quality win chances down the stretch appear to be limited, so I'm a bit nervous about this resume if they do something stupid.  It seems like they're down on games played compared to everyone else; this is a resume that kind of really needs volume.  They need to make up some games; I think it'll have a direct impact on their resume.

Is it just me or does the conference fall off a cliff after Florida?

Ole Miss (12-9) (7-7) NET 60 SoS 78
Vital signs:  2-4 vs. Q1, 4-3 vs. Q2, 4-5 R/N
Signature wins:  Tennessee, @Auburn?  Missouri
Bad losses:  MSU, Georgia

The entire resume is basically a home win over Tennessee.  I give them half a chance if they pick off Missouri on the road.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Bubble watch: Big 12

The thing that strikes me here is the top-heavy nature of the conference.  How do you get a conference that sends 7 of 10 teams to the tournament?  The biggest step is making sure the other 3 teams are terrible (and they are).

The next step is relatively strong SoS numbers, which they seem to have done.  And outside of Baylor, they're distributing wins pretty evenly in conference play.  All the good teams are failing to separate from each other in the middle of this conference, which just means everyone has a pile of quality wins.  I feel pretty confident that they'll have 5 teams in the top 16 on the S-Curve at least (and easily could get to 6).  It's just that I don't think we'll know which ones, and in what order, until the conference tournament.


Baylor (17-0) (9-0) NET 2 SoS 163
Vital signs:  6-0 vs. Q1, 2-0 vs. Q1, 9-0 R/N
Signature wins:  N-Illinois, @Texas Tech, @Texas

The SoS number isn't great.  That's really the only issue.  Non-con cupcakes are kinda killing it.  That said, in this environment, I don't think it's as big a deal this year.

Kansas (15-7) (10-5) NET 21 SoS 43
Vital signs:  4-7 vs. Q1, 3-0 vs. Q2, 6-6 R/N
Signature wins:  @TTU, WVU, Oklahoma
Bad losses:  not even close to one

Their usual SoS numbers are down; no big deal.  Their resume features a lot of quality win chances....and more misses than hits.  They're not going to enjoy their usual lofty seed, but they're safely in the field...and they still have signature win chances on the board.  This looks like the type of team that goes 19-10 and ends up on the 4 line.

Oklahoma (13-5) (8-4) NET 18 SoS 20
Vital signs:  5-5 vs. Q1, 1-0 vs. Q2, 3-4 R/N
Signature wins:  Alabama, swept WVU
Bad losses:  @Xavier, but that probably doesn't even count as one

Polarizing resume with just 2 games in Q2/Q3.  .500 is a fine enough record in Q1 games.  A resume with no major holes, but also no starring feature that gives them a chance at the 2 line, at least for now.  And I don't see signature win chances coming, so this seed may be lower than people think in March.

Texas (13-5) (7-4) NET 22 SoS 5
Vital signs:  3-5 vs. Q1, 3-0 vs. Q2, 6-1 R/N
Signature wins:  @WVU, @Kansas, N-Indiana?
Bad losses:  none

Strong SoS numbers and a VERY strong road/neutral record means they're in a very good position for a protected seed.  Home losses against elite competition is forgivable.  With more quality win chances coming, a sleeper candidate to move up to the top 2 lines.

Texas Tech (14-6) (6-5) NET 15 SoS 40
Vital signs:  4-5 vs. Q1, 1-1 vs. Q2, 6-2 R/N
Signature wins:  @Oklahoma, @Texas, @LSU
Bad losses:  I suppose home to OSU technically has to be listed here?

Another sterling road/neutral record, and again, a couple home losses against elite competition.  Just like Texas, a sleeper candidate to move up to the top 2 lines.

West Virginia (14-6) (7-4) NET 17 SoS 7
Vital signs:  5-6 vs. Q1, 4-0 vs. Q2, 8-3 R/N
Signature wins:  swept TTU, @OSU
Bad losses:  nah

Strong SoS numbers, and another team with massive road/neutral splits.  The schedule isn't as accodomating for quality win chances like the other teams above them, so they may be out of reach of the 2 line.


Oklahoma St (14-6) (7-6) NET 39 SoS 75
Vital signs:  4-4 Q1, 2-1 vs. Q2, 6-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @TTU, Kansas, Texas
Bad losses:  swept by TCU?!

That bad sweep keeps them out of the lockbox for now.  It's the only resume flaw, really. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Bubble watch - ACC

Is it just me, or is this conference a bit of a tire fire this year?  There's a lot of mediocrity, and a lot of teams pooling around .500 overall.  The distribution of wins in conference play really aren't seeming to help anyone.  And it means signature win chances within conference play goes away.  It's a perfect storm to ensure you get the minimum amount of bids.

The unbalanced schedule really stands out in a conference like this, when your access to a signature win chance is so limited.  Most years, there's enough strong teams at the top that bubble teams get enough chances.  This year, with no high-end resumes, everyone suffers downballot.

I think there's a strong chance someone not listed on this page goes on a run and makes the tournament, though.  


Virginia (15-3) (11-1) NET 6 SoS 53
Vital signs:  3-2 vs. Q1, 5-0 vs. Q2, 6-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @Clemson, Ga Tech, and Notre Dame?  meh
Bad losses:  N-San Francisco

Not nearly enough resume heft given what you'd normally expect from an ACC leader.  3 line based on name and reputation seems about right here.

Virginia Tech (14-4) (8-3) NET 33 SoS 63
Vital signs:  3-2 vs. Q1, 4-2 vs. Q2, 5-3 R/N
Signature wins:  Virginia, N-Nova, @Notre Dame?
Bad losses:  @Pitt and PSU?

With a couple of truly signature wins, they're in decent position.  Really, outside of NET ranking, isn't this resume better than Virginia's?  Maybe a couple more dumb losses, but some good wins to balance it out.  I would like to see more depth of quality wins, though.

Should be in

Florida St (11-3) (7-2) NET 25 SoS 84
Vital signs:  2-2 vs. Q1, 4-0 vs. Q2, 1-2 R/N
Signature wins:  @Louisville, Florida, Clemson?
Bad losses:  UCF

Not a lot going on as far as road games on this resume.  I'd like to see them shore that up before calling them a lock.  Still, all the other metrics are generally good enough to make the field, but I'm pretty whelmed by the overall resume.  I'm starting to catch a trend here where the entire ACC is a bit poor this year.

Louisville (11-4) (6-3) NET 34 SoS 42
Vital signs:  0-3 vs. Q1, 7-0 vs. Q2, 3-3 R/N
Signature wins:  Va Tech?  Seton Hall?  @Pitt?
Bad losses:  @Miami

The classic beat-who-you're-supposed-to-beat resume.  I can't imagine making the field without a Q1 win, but if they keep their nose clean, they just might.

Clemson (13-5) (7-5) NET 45 SoS 17
Vital signs:  3-5 vs. Q1, 6-0 vs. Q2, 4-4 R/N
Signature wins:  N-Alabama, FSU, N-Purdue
Bad losses:  @Duke and GT?

Probably fine.  No real bad losses, won enough quality win chances, piled up some neutral site wins to buttress that part of the resume.  They've got very winnable road games coming up, which can make the difference between the 4 line and the 9 line.


North Carolina (12-7) (7-5) NET 56 SoS 65
Vital signs:  1-6 vs. Q1, 5-1 vs. Q2, 6-7 R/N
Signature wins:  @Duke, Syracuse, N-Stanford?
Bad losses:  @NC State

I have no idea what to do here.  They simply must have better quality wins to make the tournament, period.  But 6 road/neutral wins already can't miss, right?  I feel like any analysis is pointless given their upcoming schedule, it will form a significant portion of their overall resume.

Syracuse (12-6) (6-5) NET 52 SoS 111
Vital signs:  0-4 vs. Q1, 2-1 vs. Q2, 2-5 R/N
Signature wins:  VT, @NC State, and uh...
Bad losses:  Pitt

Practically a courtesy listing.  There's nothing here.  And everything behind them in the conference isn't much better.  This is not a deep ACC bubble.

Bubble watch - Big 10

Let's see how good this analysis holds up.

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 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

5-1 record vs. Q1A.  All of those games were road games.  I think road wins, any road wins, will carry increased value this year.  You can forgive a couple road losses, when you can hide them behind other signature road wins.  A pretty obvious resume for the 1 line, and they can probably even absorb a couple blows and still be there.

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

Merely 2-4 vs. Q1A means their seed upside may be limited.  Can they be a 1 seed?  I'm not sure there's enough top-end results to get home (it appears they have two late chances on the schedule to fix this).  Signature road win at Duke has faded to dust, it appears.  No real bad losses.  I see them projected as the top 2 seed right now.  That feels aggressive, but it appears it's part of a larger trend of aggressive seeding of B1G teams right now.  Or the rest of the country sucks right now.

Michigan (13-1) (8-1) NET 3 SoS 122
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.

Rutgers (12-7) (8-7) NET 29 SoS 25
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

Another administrative note

 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.