Sunday, March 16, 2014

Actual Selection Results and Bracketology Scoring

Well, the results are in.  After several surprises and snubs, my bracketology score (explained below) was 330.  That's 9 points better than my bracket last year, and hopefully good enough for a ranking in the top half of the 100+ bracketologists in the matrix.

The "Paymon" bracketology score works like this: 6 points for a team on the correct seed line, 4 points for a team within one seed line, and 3 points for a team correctly picked in the field but more than one line away from its actual seed.

I ended up with 35 teams on the correct line (210 pts), 24 teams within one seed line (96 pts), 8 teams picked correctly in the field but more than one line away from their actual seed (24 pts), and one team picked incorrectly - SMU instead of NC State.

It's been interesting watching true NCAA analysts fail miserably at wearing bracketology hats.  Doug Gotlieb said Louisville as a #4 was the biggest surprise he's ever seen, and Ron Wellman (selection committee chair) gave him a good lesson in bracketology.  It's about a team's entire resume from November through March, not just how good they are playing on Selection Sunday.

My top three surprises are...
1. New Mexico on the 7-line.  The committee clearly weighed a lack of top-100 wins very heavily for New Mexico, but not for their fellow Mountain West team San Diego State, who had one fewer top-100 win than the Lobos and lesser or equal metrics in every other resume field except for wins/losses.
2. St. Joseph's on the 10-line.  As I noted earlier this afternoon, I clearly reached a bit too far in putting the Hawks on the 7-line, but their resume certainly deserves better than a 10.  Their top-25, top-50, and top-100 numbers are better than six or seven of the eight teams on the 8 and 9 lines (all but GWU and maybe Kentucky).  Pittsburgh in particular is a huge stretch at the first 9-seed, as their RPI, SOS, top-25 wins, top-50 wins, top-100 wins, and last-10 record are worse than St. Joe's.
3. NC State in the field.  I'm not particularly surprised that SMU didn't get into the field, as Ron Wellman made a good point about their poor SOS.  What surprises me is that NC State was chosen over teams like Minnesota, Florida State, and Missouri.  I believe that's a bit of over-reaction by the committee to their win over Syracuse.

March 16, 2014 - Final Selection Sunday Prediction

As Florida and Michigan State have finalized their respective conference championships, below are my final predictions for the bracket.

1's: Florida, Wichita State, Arizona, Kansas 
2's: Wisconsin, Villanova, Iowa State, Virginia
3's: Michigan, Duke, Creighton, Syracuse 
4's: Louisville, San Diego State, New Mexico, Michigan State
5's: VCU, Massachusetts, Cincinnati, North Carolina 
6's: UCLA, Kentucky, Saint Louis, Ohio State 
7's: Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, Saint Joseph's 
8's: Baylor, George Washington, Texas, Memphis 
9's: Gonzaga, Colorado, Kansas State, Dayton 
10's: Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, Providence 
11's: Stanford, Nebraska, Xavier, Iowa, SMU 
12's: BYU, Tennessee, North Dakota State, Harvard, Stephen F. Austin 
13's: Manhattan, Delaware, Western Michigan, New Mexico State 
14's: Tulsa, Mercer, Eastern Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette 
15's: North Carolina Central, American, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Weber State 
16's: Wofford, Albany, Mount Saint Mary's, Coastal Carolina, Cal Poly, Texas Southern 

FFO: Minnesota, Florida State, Missouri, California 
NFO: Georgetown, Saint John's, Illinois, Green Bay

March 16, 2014 - Update #2

I'm very surprised how many ESPN & CBS pundits have penned Michigan into the #1 line, some saying they'll get it even if they lose to State today. The two reasons I've been hearing this morning for giving Michigan a #1 are their Big Ten regular season win, and 10 top-50 wins (3rd in the nation). I think both of these reasons are misguided. Jamie Zaninovich (selection committee member) said last week that the committee really doesn't consider finishing position in either conference regular season or tournament. They look at who you beat and where you beat them. Beyond that, other accolaides are really just fluff. Regarding Michigan's top-50 wins, I brought it up before, and I'll say it again...four of those wins are against Nebraska and Minnesota - 48th and 50th, respectively. So, the Wolverines have 6 top-47 wins - tied for 10th in the field (Kansas has 12). I believe the committee is too smart to rely so heavily on the arbitrary Fifty number; they'll consider each team's entire body of work. If Michigan wins today, and gets a #1 seed, I won't be surprised...all I'm saying is that it's far from the sure thing that the TV analysts will have you believe.

I currently give the nod to Kansas for the final #1 seed, by a very close margin over Wisconsin and Villanova based on the Jayhawks' incredibly tough schedule, number of quality wins, and lack of bad losses. Really, the #4 through #13 overall seeds are separated by very, very close margins.

Some have Louisville (my #13) as a possible #1 seed, but I'm having trouble placing them above any of my #3 seeds, based on their overall resume, and definitely not above any of the twos.  Syracuse has struggled of late, but still has a boatload of quality wins (6 top-40, 11 top-65).  Same for Creighton, Duke, and Virginia.

It will be interesting to see how high St Joseph's moves after winning the Atlantic 10.  I've got them up to a #7, but it may be a bit reactionary to move them up past George Washington and Baylor, who both may have better overall resumes.

Here's where I have things as of 3pm, with three contingencies below.

1's: Florida, Wichita State, Arizona, Kansas 
2's: Wisconsin, Villanova, Michigan, Iowa State
3's: Virginia, Duke, Creighton, Syracuse 
4's: Louisville, San Diego State, New Mexico, VCU
5's: Massachusetts, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Michigan State 
6's: UCLA, Kentucky, Saint Louis, Ohio State 
7's: Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, Saint Joseph's 
8's: Baylor, George Washington, Texas, Memphis 
9's: Gonzaga, Colorado, Kansas State, Dayton 
10's: Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, Providence 
11's: Stanford, Nebraska, Xavier, Iowa, SMU 
12's: BYU, Tennessee, North Dakota State, Harvard, Stephen F. Austin 
13's: Manhattan, Delaware, Western Michigan, New Mexico State 
14's: Tulsa, Mercer, Eastern Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette 
15's: North Carolina Central, American, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Weber State 
16's: Wofford, Albany, Mount Saint Mary's, Coastal Carolina, Cal Poly, Texas Southern 

FFO: Minnesota, Florida State, Missouri, California 
NFO: Georgetown, Saint John's, Illinois, Green Bay

Contingency #1:
If Michigan State holds on to beat Michigan, the Spartans will move up to the final #4 seed and VCU will fall to the first #5 seed ahead of UMass.  Michigan will fall to the first #3 seed, with Virginia sliding up to the final #2 seed behind Iowa State.

Contingency #2:
If Michigan comes back to beat State, the Wolverines will move up to the first #2 seed, ahead of Wisconsin.  Michigan State will remain in the same position.

Contingency #3:
If Kentucky come back to bead Florida, they will move up to a #5 seed, ahead of UNC.  If Michigan State loses, they would drop to the first #6 seed.  If they win, then UNC will drop to the first #6 seed.

No contingency is needed for a Florida win over Kentucky as it would not change my current seeding.

As soon as the last two games go final, I'll publish my final predictions and email them to Bracket Matrix so they can be recorded and scored.

March 16, 2014 - Morning update

This update based on games played through 3/15/14. I'll post another one shortly based on the results of the ACC and Atlantic 10 championship games.

1's: Florida, Wichita State, Arizona, Kansas
2's: Wisconsin, Villanova, Michigan, Duke
3's: Iowa State, Creighton, Virginia, Syracuse
4's: Louisville, VCU, San Diego State, New Mexico
5's: Massachusetts, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Michigan State
6's: UCLA, Kentucky, Saint Louis, Ohio State
7's: Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, George Washington
8's: Baylor, Texas, Memphis, Saint Joseph's
9's: Gonzaga, Colorado, Kansas State, Dayton
10's: Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, Providence
11's: Stanford, Nebraska, Xavier, Iowa, SMU
12's: BYU, Tennessee, North Dakota State, Harvard, Stephen F. Austin
13's: Manhattan, Delaware, Western Michigan, Georgia State
14's: New Mexico State, Tulsa, Mercer, Eastern Kentucky
15's: North Carolina Central, American, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Weber State
16's: Wofford, Albany, Mount Saint Mary's, Coastal Carolina, Cal Poly, Texas Southern

FFO: Minnesota, Florida State, Missouri, California
NFO: Georgetown, Saint John's, Illinois, Green Bay

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March 15, 2014


1's: Wichita State, Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin
2's: Kansas, Villanova, Creighton, Duke
3's: Michigan, Iowa State, Syracuse, Virginia
4's: San Diego State, Louisville, Cincinnati, VCU
5's: Massachusetts, Saint Louis, New Mexico, North Carolina
6's: Ohio State, Connecticut, Michigan State, Oklahoma
7's: Oregon, George Washington, UCLA, Kentucky
8's: Texas, Baylor, Memphis, Colorado
9's: Gonzaga, Saint Joseph's, Kansas State, Dayton
10's: Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, Stanford
11's: Nebraska, Iowa, SMU, Xavier, Providence
12's: BYU, Tennessee, Toledo, North Dakota State, Louisiana Tech
13's: Harvard, Manhattan, Stephen F. Austin, Delaware
14's: New Mexico State, Georgia State, Mercer, Eastern Kentucky
15's: North Carolina Central, American, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wofford
16's: Stony Brook, Weber State, Mount Saint Mary's, Coastal Carolina, Cal State Northridge, Texas Southern

FFO: Minnesota, Florida State, Missouri, California
NFO: Georgetown, Saint John's, Illinois, Green Bay

Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day! Just three days of action left before the selection show. Yesterday was bubble day, with nearly every bubble team in action. Providence and Minnesota played their way in, while Arkansas and California played their way out. Missouri and St. john's sealed their fates on the wrong side of the bubble with losses to fellow bubble teams Tennessee and Providence. Tennessee and Florida State boosted their resumes, but still have work to do in their respective conference tournaments.

The Gophers play Wisconsin in the game of their season. While I previously thought they needed to win this game to even have a chance, losses by bubble teams around them make this game a win-and-in situation for Minnesota. In fact, they may still have a chance with a loss today, if they get more help from Big East bubblers Providence and Xavier. And, the Gophers RPI won't be hurt by a loss, and their SOS will rise to top-6 win or lose.

1's: Wichita State, Florida, Arizona, Kansas
2's: Wisconsin, Villanova, Syracuse, Creighton
3's: San Diego State, Duke, Michigan, Iowa State
4's: Virginia, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Massachusetts
5's: Louisville, VCU, New Mexico, North Carolina
6's: Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan State, Connecticut
7's: Oregon, George Washington, UCLA, Texas
8's: Memphis, Kentucky, Colorado, Gonzaga
9's: Baylor, Dayton, Saint Joseph's, Kansas State
10's: Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Stanford
11's: Pittsburgh, Iowa, SMU, Toledo
12's: Xavier, Providence, BYU, Minnesota, Southern Miss, North Dakota State
13's: Harvard, Manhattan, Stephen F. Austin, Delaware
14's: Georgia State, New Mexico State, Mercer, Eastern Kentucky
15's: UC Irvine, North Carolina Central, American, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
16's: Wofford, Stony Brook, Weber State, Coastal Carolina, Mount Saint Mary's, Alabama State

FFO: Tennessee, Florida State, Missouri, California
NFO: Georgetown, Saint John's, Illinois, Green Bay

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014

This is somewhat of a mid-day update, as several games with seeding implications have finished.

1's: Wichita State, Florida, Arizona, Kansas
2's: Wisconsin, Villanova, Syracuse, Creighton
3's: San Diego State, Duke, Michigan, Iowa State
4's: Virginia, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Massachusetts
5's: Louisville, VCU, New Mexico, North Carolina
6's: Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan State, Connecticut
7's: Oregon, George Washington, UCLA, Kentucky
8's: Texas, Memphis, Colorado, Gonzaga
9's: Dayton, Baylor, Saint Joseph's, Kansas State
10's: Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Iowa
11's: Stanford, Pittsburgh, SMU, Toledo
12's: Xavier, Arkansas, BYU, California, Southern Miss, North Dakota State
13's: Harvard, Manhattan, Stephen F. Austin, Delaware
14's: Georgia State, New Mexico State, Mercer, UC Santa Barbara
15's: Eastern Kencutky, North Carolina Central, American, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
16's: Wofford, Stony Brook, Weber State, Mount Saint Mary's, Coastal Carolina, Alabama State

FFO: Providence, Missouri, Tennessee, Minnesota
NFO: Georgetown, Florida State, Saint John's, Illinois