Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 5, 2015 - NIT

As of today, the Gophers look to be safely in the NIT. A win against Wisconsin tonight would bump them up to a 1- or 2-seed, however a loss really wouldn't hurt much, if at all. What would hurt is a loss on Sunday against Penn State, or a first round Big10 tournament loss to a bottom-feeder Big10 team. Unless Northwestern finds a way to beat Iowa in Iowa City, the Gophers need to win just one of their remaining two games to avoid a day-one game in the Big 10 tourney.

If today's standings hold, Minnesota would draw Indiana in the #7-#10 day-two matchup. There is an outside chance of catching Michigan for the #9 seed, but that would require Gopher victories over Wisconsin and Penn State, and a Michigan loss against visiting [last-place] Rutgers.

Indiana currently holds a tie-breaker over Illinois, and finishes the regular season at home against the Spartans. The only way the Illini can gain the 7-seed would be winning their final game at Purdue and a Michigan State win over Indiana.

There are currently 11 conferences where the regular season winner is a lock for an at-large bid. That leaves 20 potential NIT auto-bids (Ivy League regular season winner gets NCAA auto-bid). Assuming the favorite will win in slightly more than half of those conference tourneys, we would expect there to be between 8-10 auto bids from these 20 tournaments. Most of these teams will fall to the 7- and 8-seeds in the NIT bracket, with the possibility of one or two sneaking a couple seeds higher.

1's: Davidson, Connecticut, Stanford, UCLA
2's: Purdue, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Miami (FL)
3's: BYU, Kansas State, Central Michigan, Minnesota
4's: Rhode Island, Saint Mary's College, Seton Hall, Michigan
5's: South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Wyoming
6's: Tennessee, UTEP, Memphis, Louisiana Tech
7's: Clemson, Valbaraiso, William & Mary, Albany
8's: Sacramento State, Georgia Southern, Charleston Southern, North Florida

FFO: Yale, Massachusetts, Illinois State, California
NFO: Toledo, Bowling Green, George Washington, Kent State

March 5, 2015

-Notre Dame won the 3-seed showdown last night, bumping Louisville all the way to a #5.
-Providence ended Seton Hall's at-large hopes and solidified their own resume.
-No major upsets thus far in conference tournament play. In fact, only 2 of 13 tournament games yesterday ended in an upset: Longwood over Presbyterian and Saint Francis (PA) over Mount St. Mary's.
-The MVC tournament gets underway tonight, with the 7-10 seeds in action.
-Play also begins in the MAAC tourney, where the Iona Gaels will be favored.

-Finally, tonight's game against the Badgers may be the Gophers' last chance to add to their resume before Selection Sunday. It would be an unlikely win, but would be enough to put the Gophers back onto the bubble. They could still use some help from Michigan State sneaking up into the top-25, Illinois sliding back into the top-50, and Northwestern climbing into the top-100.
As for plan B, the Gophers are safely in the NIT field as of today, but losses to Penn State and/or a lower opening round Big10 conference opponent could change that. I'll try to get an NIT update posted later today.


Disclaimer about today's bracket update: due to a minor anomaly that's been bugging me for awhile now, I made a slight tweak to my regression model to better support seeding of teams near the bubble. If you notice any unexpected changes from yestesrday's bracket, that's why. I'll do some additional analysis after posting and may make some further tweaks tomorrow.

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke
2's: Kansas, Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga
3's: Maryland, Iowa State, Baylor, Notre Dame
4's: Wichita State, Oklahoma, Utah, North Carolina
5's: Louisville, Northern Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas
6's: Butler, Georgetown, SMU, VCU
7's: Colorado State, Providence, Iowa, San Diego State
8's: Texas, Dayton, Saint John's, Ohio State
9's: Oklahoma State, Oregon, North Carolina State, Cincinnati
10's: Tulsa, Indiana, Michigan State, Boise State
11's: Georgia, Temple, Illinois, Xavier, Ole Miss
12's: LSU, Texas A&M, Old Dominion, Stephen F. Austin, Wofford
13's: Murray State, Harvard, Buffalo, Green Bay
14's: Iona, UC Davis, Georgia State, High Point
15's: South Dakota State, Eastern Washington, Northeastern, North Carolina Central
16's: Stony Brook, New Mexico State, Florida Gulf Coast, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Saint Francis (NY)

FFO: Davidson, Syracuse, Connecticut, Stanford
NFO: UCLA, Purdue, Pittsburgh, Richmond
...and just for fun...
NNFO: Miami (FL), BYU, Kansas State, Central Michigan
NNNFO: Minnesota, Rhode Island, Saint Mary's College, Seton Hall

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 4, 2015

-Kentucky managed to hold off Georgia last night to start their season 30-0.
-Notre Dame travels to Louisville tonight in what will likely be a battle for a 3-seed.
-Providence plays at Seton Hall, who desperately needs quality wins to move onto the bubble.

Conference tournament play has begun, and the first few teams (outside the Ivy League) have been officially eliminated from NCAA tournament play.
-Ohio Valley conference will be the first to crown an auto-bid, on Saturday. Murray State is the heavy favorite there, with big help from a double-bye bracket where they begin play in the semifinal.
-Big South, Missouri Valley, and Atlantic Sun all hold their championship on Sunday. High Point is the favorite in the Big South, and North Florida in the Atlantic Sun. In the MVC tourney we should see a fantastic rubber match in the Wichita State-Northern Iowa battle; each team won by double digits on their home court. The winner will likely be a 3 or 4 seed, and the loser a 5 or 6.
-Speaking of the Ivy League, they hold their de-facto championship on Friday, as Yale plays at Harvard. The two teams are currently tied atop the conference standings, and Harvard won their home meeting in early February - a two-point nailbiter. Without a conference tournament, the Ivy League regular season champion is awarded the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Although both teams will have one remaining game on Saturday, both will be heavy favorites.


1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke
2's: Kansas, Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga
3's: Maryland, Iowa State, Baylor, Louisville
4's: Wichita State, Oklahoma, Utah, Notre Dame
5's: Northern Iowa, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgetown
6's: SMU, Arkansas, VCU, Butler
7's: Colorado State, Dayton, Iowa, San Diego State
8's: Ohio State, Providence, Indiana, Saint John's
9's: Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Boise State, Oregon
10's: Texas, North Carolina State, Xavier, Michigan State
11's: Georgia, Temple, Texas A&M, Illinois, Cincinnati
12's: Davidson, LSU, Old Dominion, Wofford, Stephen F. Austin
13's: Buffalo, Green Bay, Iona, Harvard
14's: Murray State, UC Davis, Georgia State, High Point
15's: South Dakota State, Eastern Washington, Northeastern, Albany
16's: North Carolina Central, New Mexico State, Florida Gulf Coast, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Saint Francis (NY)

FFO: Ole Miss, UCLA, Syracuse, Connecticut
NFO: Purdue, Pittsburgh, BYU, Richmond
...and just for fun...
NNFO: Stanford, Miami (FL), Minnesota, Kansas State
NNNFO: Seton Hall, George Washington, Wyoming, Rhode Island

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 3, 2015

There was a lot of action on my 3-line yesterday. Iowa State knocked off Oklahoma in Ames, and Baylor lost to a Texas team that had dropped 8 of 11 and was desperate for a resume booster. After the dust settled, not a whole lot changed on my bracket. Baylor dropped two snake spots, but maintained a spot on the 3-line thanks to a bevy of quality wins, and a #3 SOS. Oklahoma dropped just one snake line, but since they were previously on the end of the 3-line that means down to a #4 for the Sooners, replaced by Louisville.

In other games, Boise State knocked off San Diego State, solidifying their tournament selection. Barring any major collapses, the Mountain West will have three teams in the field (including Colorado State), possibly four if Utah State or Wyoming pulls off a conference tournament victory.

Tonight will be Kentucky's final road game of the season, against a formidable Georgia team. The Wildcats will still be heavy favorites, but this may be their last tough test before they reach the Sweet 16. The game will be on the 4-letter flagship at 8pm CST if you're interested.

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke
2's: Kansas, Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga
3's: Maryland, Iowa State, Baylor, Louisville
4's: Oklahoma, Wichita State, Utah, West Virginia
5's: Notre Dame, Northern Iowa, Arkansas, Butler
6's: North Carolina, Georgetown, SMU, VCU
7's: Indiana, Colorado State, Dayton, Ohio State
8's: San Diego State, Iowa, Providence, Saint John's
9's: Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Boise State, Xavier
10's: Oregon, Texas A&M, Georgia, Texas
11's: Michigan State, Temple, North Carolina State, Illinois, Cincinnati
12's: LSU, Davidson, Old Dominion, Stephen F. Austin, Buffalo
13's: Wofford, Green Bay, Iona, Harvard
14's: Murray State, UC Davis, Georgia State, High Point
15's: Eastern Washington, South Dakota State, Northeastern, Stony Brook
16's: North Carolina Central, New Mexico State, Florida Gulf Coast, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Saint Francis (NY)

FFO: Syracuse, Connecticut, UCLA, BYU
NFO: Purdue, Stanford, Miami (FL), Kansas State
...and just for fun...
NNFO: Richmond, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Minnesota
NNNFO: George Washington, Clemson, Alabama, Wyoming

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015

Happy Monday, and welcome to March! With just 13 days until Selection Sunday, things are really starting to heat up. Despite a home loss to BYU, I have Gonzaga barely hanging on to the last #2 seed. A loss in the WCC tournament, and deep conference tournament runds by one of the current 3-seeds could knock them down. It will be interesting to see how pollsters rate the Zags' loss, and how far down they'll fall once the updated rankings come out later today.

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke
2's: Kansas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Gonzaga
3's: Maryland, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma
4's: Louisville, Utah, Wichita State, West Virginia
5's: Notre Dame, Butler, Northern Iowa, Arkansas
6's: SMU, North Carolina, Georgetown, VCU
7's: Indiana, Ohio State, San Diego State, Oklahoma State
8's: Colorado State, Dayton, Iowa, Providence
9's: Tulsa, Saint John's, Texas A&M, Xavier
10's: Michigan State, Oregon, Temple, Texas
11's: Boise State, Georgia, Illinois North Carolina State, Ole Miss
12's: Davidson, Cincinnati, Old Dominion, Wofford, Stephen F. Austin
13's: Buffalo, Green Bay, Iona, Harvard
14's: Murray State, UC Davis, Georgia State, High Point
15's: Eastern Washington, South Dakota State, Northeastern, Stony Brook
16's: North Carolina Central, New Mexico State, Florida Gulf Coast, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Saint Francis (NY)

FFO: LSU, Syracuse, Connecticut, BYU
NFO: Kansas State, UCLA, Stanford, Purdue
...and just for fun...
NNFO: Pittsburgh, Richmond, Miami (FL), Seton Hall
NNNFO: Minnesota, George Washington, Alabama, Clemson

Friday, February 27, 2015

February 27, 2015

The Gophers pulled off a huge overtime upset in Lansing last night, which will help tremendously in solidifying an NIT bid. They have a week off before hosting the Badgers on Thursday the 5th. A victory in that came could even put them back into the bubble discussion, but they'd still need a very deep run in the Big 10 tournament to have a realistic shot at an at-large selection. In the meantime, they can get some help via losses by the teams above them, and wins by Penn State, Northwestern, and Nebraska. If any of those three teams can crack the top-100 (they're currently 112, 114, & 124th), that would help Minnesota a bunch.

I'm beginning to work on a mathematical system to rate the AP pollsters. I would like to be able to definitively say which voters know what they're doing, and which are ranking teams via one of these methods. I'll continue to provide updates as I make progress.

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke
2's: Kansas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Gonzaga
3's: Maryland, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma
4's: West Virginia, Louisville, Utah, Butler
5's: Notre Dame, Northern Iowa, Arkansas, SMU
6's: Georgetown, North Carolina, VCU, Wichita State
7's: Oklahoma State, Indiana, San Diego State, Ohio State
8's: Providence, North Carolina State, Saint John's, Colorado State
9's: Georgia, Tulsa, Dayton, Texas
10's: Iowa, Xavier, Oregon, Texas A&M
11's: Michigan State, Ole Miss, Illinois, Cincinnati, Temple
12's: Pittsburgh, Davidson, Wofford, Old Dominion, Stephen F. Austin
13's: Green Bay, Buffalo, Murray State, Harvard
14's: Iona, UC Davis, Eastern Washington, South Dakota State
15's: High Point, William & Mary, Georgia State, Florida Gulf Coast
16's: North Carolina Central, New Mexico State, Stony Brook, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Saint Francis (NY)

FFO: Syracuse, Stanford, LSU, UCLA
NFO: Boise State, Purdue, Miami (FL), Richmond
...and just for fun...
NNFO: Connecticut, UTEP, Washington, George Washington
NNNFO: Seton Hall, Minnesota, Rhode Island, BYU

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 26, 2015


1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke
2's: Kansas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Gonzaga
3's: Maryland, Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia
4's: Notre Dame, Louisville, Notre Dame, Utah
5's: Northern Iowa, Arkansas, North Carolina, Butler
6's: Georgetown, SMU, VCU, Wichita State
7's: Indiana, San Diego State, Oklahoma State, Ohio State
8's: Colorado State, Dayton, Tulsa, North Carolina State
9's: Providence, Xavier, Saint John's, Iowa
10's: Michigan State, Oregon, Georgia, Texas A&M
11's: Texas, Cincinnati, Temple, Illinois, Ole Miss
12's: Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Wofford, Stephen F. Austin, Old Dominion
13's: Green Bay, Buffalo, Harvard, Murray State
14's: Iona, UC Davis, Eastern Washington, Georgia State
15's: South Dakota State, William & Mary, High Point, North Carolina Central
16's: Florida Gulf Coast, New Mexico State, Stony Brook, Bucknell, Texas Southern, Saint Francis (NY)

FFO: Davidson, LSU, UCLA, Boise State
NFO: Miami (FL), Richmond, Purdue, Stanford