Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

18 was quite an interesting number for the Gophers on Saturday. It's the number of points they allowed to Ohio State in a solid first half, the number of points they scored themselves in a horrendous second half, and also the margin of defeat. Having fallen off the bubble, Minnesota will need a quite unlikely surge of wins to make the big dance. They'll need at least three wins in their last 4+ games, depending on who they meet in the first round of the Big10 tournament. If the season ended today, they'd be the #7 seed facing #10 Northwestern.

It was another exciting weekend of basketball, as 3 of the top 7 teams lost, and several others made big moves in solidfying their resumes. Syracuse lost to #5 Duke, but retained their spot on the top seed line by a very narrow margin over Villanova. The win moved Duke up to a three. San Diego State lost to New Mexico, knocking the Aztecs down to the 3-line. Louisville beat Cincy, moving the Cardinals up to the front of the 5-line.

1's: Wichita State, Arizona, Florida, Syracuse
2's: Villanova, Saint Louis, Kansas, Creighton
3's: Wisconsin, San Diego State, Cincinnati, Duke
4's: Iowa State, Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky
5's: Louisville, New Mexico, UCLA, Ohio State
6's: Michigan State, Michigan, Gonzaga, Connecticut
7's: North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, SMU
8's: VCU, Memphis, George Washington, Colorado
9's: Iowa, Pittsburgh, Saint Joseph's, Arizona State
10's: Toledo, Missouri, Stanford, Oregon
11's: Indiana State, Green Bay, Dayton, North Dakota State
12's: BYU, Kansas State, Southern Miss, Richmond, Middle Tennessee
13's: California, Belmont, Baylor, Stephen F. Austin, Harvard
14's: Mercer, Iona, New Mexico State, North Carolina Central
15's: Delaware, Georgia State, Boston University, UC Santa Barbara
16's: Vermont, Robert Morris, Elon, Northern Colorado, Alabama State, VMI

FFO: Xavier, Saint Mary's, Saint John's, Oklahoma State
NFO: Boise State, Arkansas, Providence, Ohio


  1. You seem to like comparisons.

    1st Place 2nd Rated RPI Conference

    1st Place in the 10th Rated RPI Conference

    2nd Place in the 20th Rated RPI Conference.

    3rd Place in the 6th Rated RPI Conference

    Not knowing the name of those teams who would you seed the highest?

  2. Another Comparison.

    2 teams. Same Conference.

    Team A is 9-5 vs RPI top 50

    Team B is 5-5 vs RPI top 50

    Team A beat Team B on the road.

    Team A is currently leading their conference.

    Team B is 5th in their conference.

    Which would you seed higher? I hope you answer Team B because that's what you did.

  3. I could go on and on with these comparisons. Look at the resumes for teams like Villanova. 3-3 vs RPI top 50. Saint Louis 4-2 vs RPI top 50. New Mexico 3-3. Kentucky 3-4.

    Eventually you are going to just have to admit you don't like Michigan. Because there is no way that the Big Ten regular season Champ is going to end up with a 6 seed.

  4. I appreciate the feedback, Dawg. I honestly have no hate for Michigan, even if they are a Big10 foe of my Gophers. My projections are purely algorithmic, based on the last three years' committee selections. The Wolverines certainly have a number of quality wins that may boost their seeding come March 16th, but you can't overlook the fact that they have 7 losses and the 41st best winning percentage in the country. Their strong schedule (including those 5 quality wins) moves them up past half of the teams with better records ahead of them, but not up to a 4-seed...yet. If they win their remaining (relatively easy) Big10 games, then my method would probably agree with a 4-seed.

    I think it's dangerous to put too much weight on Conference strength when analyzing a specific team. That's placing too much emphasis on what other teams around them are doing. SOS is a major factor in the selection process, and conference strength contributes to that number, but placing additional weight on a team's conference translates to bias in my opinion. "Team A plays in Conference B, therefore they must be better than Team Y who plays in conference Z." That's a very peripheral view and overlooks the most important part of a team's resume - their own performance.

    Your point about the limited scope of blind resume comparisons is well noted. I understand that a team is seeded based on their entire resume, and not just a selected few metrics. Obviously based on the information you provided, you'd place Team #1 from Conference #2 (Michigan) ahead of Team #1 from Conference #10 (Wichita St). Similarly, you can make a very valid case for Michigan being ahead of Ohio State, but the Buckeyes have a two-game lead in overall winning percentage - which is by far the largest factor in seeding.


  5. Look at last years seedings. There are numerous places where your point about winning percentage being #1 is shown to be false.

    Colorado St. St Marys, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Butler are all teams that got at large bids and got seeded below teams with inferior win percentages.

    St Marys was the #46 overall team, with the same exact record as Indiana who was #3 overall.

    Michigans resume is astounding. 9 wins over the RPI top 50. Do you know who has more? Kansas. Thats it. SOS? 7th. Conference SOS? 3 Only USC and NW have had tougher conference schedules. Look at their losses. @ Iowa State. Not going to be held against them. @ Duke, Not going to be held against them. Charlotte. Injuries and early season Tourney, Not going to be held against them. Arizona. Brandon Ashley isnt on the team anymore, that is going to be weighed. The committee looks at things like this.

    The committee is going to see a team that will probably go 15-3 in arguably the toughest conference in the nation, with a chance at getting their All American Center back.

    If Michigan wins out and wins the conference tournament, not only will they not get a #4 seed, I will bet you they end up in the top 5 overall seeds.

    Just to be clear, I'm not trying to berate you. I enjoy our back and forth. I appreciate the work you put in and the fact that you take time to defend your position.

  6. Look at the RPI from last year and this year. Saint Louis looks just like Memphis. Look at how the committee treated Memphis last year. Saint Louis is going to get the same thing.