Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 30, 2014

It was Big Ten Shakeup night last night as Northwestern and Penn State upset ranked conference opponents on the road.  As great as these upsets feel for the Wildcats and Nittany Lions, they have a much greater effect on the Badgers and Buckeyes.  Wisconsin has now lost 4 of 5, Ohio State 5 of 6, and they face each other on Saturday so at least one will continue their slide.  And while Wisconsin can rely on a strong SOS and four quality wins, Ohio State has ZERO quality wins and a plummeting RPI.  If the Buckeye's can't right the ship soon, they'll have gone from #1 seed to NIT bound in less than a month.

In last night's "Big 3" games, Arizona held on to win a very close one over Stanford, Syracuse beat Wake Forest, and Kansas picked up their 7th quality win, against Iowa State.  After posting about the Kansas conundrum yesterday, my model moved them into the 4th overall seed today, thanks to dimished SOS numbers for Michigan State and Villanova.  That's not to say that there won't be a debate in the weeks to come, but for now I have to trust my model.

1 seeds: Arizona, Syracuse, Wichita State, Kansas
2 seeds: Michigan State, VillanovaFlorida, San Diego State
3 seeds: Creighton, Massachusetts, Cincinnati, Saint Louis
4 seeds: Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Duke, Iowa State
5 seeds: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Gonzaga, Michigan
6 seeds: George Washington, Louisville, UCLA, Texas
7 seeds: Southern Miss, New Mexico, Kentucky, Memphis
8 seeds: Virginia, VCU, Connecticut, Ohio State
9 seeds: Iowa, Missouri, Xavier, Colorado
10 seeds: Toledo, Arizona State, Providence, Minnesota
11 seeds: Saint Mary's, Oregon, Kansas State, SMU
12 seeds: Green Bay, North Dakota State, Florida State, Richmond, Ole Miss, Belmont
13 seeds: LSU, North Carolina, Delaware, New Mexico State
14 seeds: Harvard, Stephen F Austin, Mercer, Manhattan
15 seeds: Boston University, Hawaii, Georgia State, North Carolina Central
16 seeds: Northern Colorado, Stony Brook, Bryant, Chattanooga, Radford, Southern

First Four Out: Saint Joseph's, Boise State, California, Stanford
Next Four Out: North Carolina State, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Indiana


  1. Massachusetts on the 3 line after last nights loss? Cmon. Talk about a team that hasn't beat anyone...Wisconsin still seeded above Michigan?

  2. UMass certainly appears to be heading lower than a 3 seed, but their current SOS is still very good at 30. Even though it's a bad loss (barely), it's still only their 3rd loss of the year. Their other resume metrics don't warrant too much variance from their RPI of 8. I feel a 9-12 snake position is justified.

    For Wisconsin and Michigan, it really depends on how much weight you put on recent games compared to the season as a whole. The Badgers have 3.5 quality wins and just 1.5 bad losses. With a #9 RPI and #3 SOS, I have a tough time justifying a snake seed lower than 16. Michigan is definitely an improved team, and may pass Wisconsin by March, but the Wolverines have just two quality wins to go with a very bad loss to #122 Charlotte, and lower RPI (14) and SOS (15) than the Badgers.

  3. Just curious, you don't think the committee is going to take into account the injuries the lead to the loss against Charlotte and look at it as more of an anomaly than a bad loss?

    Also curious on what you are judging as quality wins? I would think Iowa, @MSU and @Wisconsin would be at least 3 quality wins.

  4. You may be right on the Charlotte loss, I hadn't taken Michigan's injuries into account.

    I'll admit I don't have a hard and fast rule for what defines a quality win. It's hard to nail down, because the quality of prior opponents can change significantly over time. A week or two ago I would have certainly called Iowa a quality win, but now they're borderline for me. Ohio State is another great example of a team that two weeks ago is absolutely a quality win at any location, but now a home win over the #32 RPI team - that's iffy for me.

    If I had to give a general guideline, I'd say home win over top-25, neutral over top-30, and road over top-35. I realize this is a stricter definition than the more common top-50 rule, but that's just my opinion. I'd love to do some statistical analysis on this topic sometime to actually hammer out a sound definition supported by numbers.

  5. No that's fine. At least you have some kind of rule to go by. That's better than, I just kind of pick and choose whatever I like. Appreciate the feedback.