Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 31, 2014

The Big Ten certainly appears to be in full shuffle mode as I picked 3 of yesterday's 4 Big Ten games incorrectly. I certainly never would have guessed going into 2015 that Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State would be out of the bracket, with Maryland and Penn State rounding out the top three from our fine conference after Wisconsin.

The Gophers tip off against Purdue in just a few short hours, and sadly I'm stuck at work. With NYE festivities this evening I likely won't get a chance to watch the game until tomorrow, but will try to provide a bracket update while watching Gopher football take on Mizzou in the Citrus Bowl. Have a safe and happy New Years!

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Wisconsin
2's: Gonzaga, Villanova, Old Dominion, Arizona
3's: Kansas, West Virginia, Utah, Wichita State
4's: VCU, Saint John's, Northern Iowa, Colorado State
5's: Maryland, Iowa State, Washington, Dayton
6's: LSU, Texas, San Diego State, Baylor
7's: Louisville, Seton Hall, George Washington, Georgia
8's: North Carolina, Arkansas, Providence, Penn State
9's: Butler, Stanford, UNLV, Cincinnati
10's: Georgetown, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Xavier
11's: Notre Dame, TCU, Green Bay, Georgia Tech
12's: Minnesota, BYU, Iowa, Miami (FL), Temple, Buffalo
13's: Wofford, Harvard, Incarnate Word, Georgia State
14's: Eastern Washington, Stony Brook, Lafayette, Gardner-Webb
15's: Long Beach State, Northeastern, North Carolina Central, Saint Francis (PA)
16's: Murray State, Iona, Texas Southern, South Dakota State, Florida Gulf Coast, New Mexico State

FFO: Davidson, UTEP, Alabama, SMU
NFO: North Carolina State, Loyola-Chicago, Boise State, Illinois

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 30, 2014

Big Ten conference play is finally here! There are a couple monster matchups this afternoon: Maryland @ Michigan State and Iowa @ Ohio State. I expect both home teams to win, however both games will have moderate bracketology impacts. The Gophers start their Big Ten schedule tomorrow at Purdue. Despite the Boilermakers shaky performance lately (three straight losses), I expect a tough test from them. The Gophers will very likely need to reach their season average of 83 points in order to secure a victory. Purdue is averaging 76 points per game, and Minnesota has allowed that many in two straight games against mid-major opponents. Here are the Gophers keys to victory:
Interior Defense - Purdue is not an outside shooting team, averaging just 34% from beyond the arc this season. Walker and Eliason will need to avoid foul trouble in the first half.
Ball control - this is an area Minnesota typically dominates, ranking 5th in the nation in Steal/TO ratio at 0.91. Conversely, Purdue is 205th at 0.46. If the Gophers can maintain a positive TO margin, the game should be quite managable.
Defensive Rebounding - Purdue is currently 2nd in the Big Ten in Offensive boards, while Minnesota is 2nd to last in Defensive rebounds. Purdue misses an average of 31 shots per game, I'm going to say the Gophers need to get at least 23 of those rebounds to be successful tomorrow night.

One note about my newest bracket - as we get closer to the end of the season, I'm going to try to tweak my regression rankings less and less. Up to now, I've been moving teams as much as 4-5 seed lines based on quailty wins, bad losses, and other factors. Starting today, I'll move a team no more than ten slots (2.5 seed lines) away from their regression rank. This adjustment limit will likely shrink some, reaching 5 or 6 by the end of the season.

Finally, regarding projected automatic bids, I will continue to use best RPI for a few more weeks, until we get several games into the conference schedule. Once we reach mid-February or so, I will actually try to more accurately project auto-bids based on likely conference tournament seed and matchups.

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Wisconsin
2's: Gonzaga, Villanova, Arizona, Old Dominion
3's: Kansas, West Virginia, Saint John's, Utah
4's: Colorado State, VCU, Wichita State, Northern Iowa
5's: Iowa State, Baylor, George Washington, Washington
6's: LSU, Seton Hall, Maryland, Dayton
7's: Louisville, San Diego State, Georgia, Texas
8's: North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgetown, Providence
9's: Penn State, Butler, UNLV, Stanford
10's: Oklahoma State, Buffalo, Ohio State, Green Bay
11's: Davidson, Notre Dame, BYU, Oklahoma
12's: Minnesota, North Carolina State, Xavier, TCU, Cincinnati, Wofford
13's: Temple, Incarnate Word, Georgia State, Harvard
14's: Eastern Washington, High Point, Stony Brook, Lafayette
15's: Saint Francis (PA), Long Beach State, Murray State, Iona
16's: Texas Southern, North Carolina Central, Northeastern, South Dakota State, Florida Gulf Coast, New Mexico State

FFO: Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), SMU, Illinois
NFO: Boise State, Loyola-Chicago, Alabama, Michigan State

Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova
2's: Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Kansas, Old Dominion
3's: Arizona, Utah, West Virginia, Saint John's
4's: Wichita State, VCU, Northern Iowa, Georgia
5's: San Diego State, Iowa State, Texas, Washington
6's: Seton Hall, Colorado State, Baylor, Maryland
7's: LSU, George Washington, Dayton, Louisville
8's: Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgetown, Oklahoma State
9's: Providence, UNLV, Penn State, Stanford
10's: Butler, Oklahoma, TCU, Buffalo
11's: Green Bay, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Davidson
12's: North Carolina State, Ohio State, Xavier, Cincinnati, Indiana, Temple
13's: Wofford, Incarnate Word, Harvard, Eastern Washington
14's: Georgia State, High Point, Stony Brook, Saint Francis (PA)
15's: Lafayette, Murray State, Long Beach State, Iona
16's: North Carolina Central, Texas Southern, Northeastern, South Dakota State, North Florida, New Mexico State

FFO: BYU, Georgia Tech, SMU, Illinois
NFO: Central Michigan, Loyola-Chicago, Alabama, Boise State

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 28, 2014

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova 
2's: Gonzaga, Wisconsin, Old Dominion, Kansas
3's: Arizona, Wichita State, Utah, Washington
4's: West Virginia, Texas, Northern Iowa, VCU
5's: Saint John's, Iowa State, Colorado State, Maryland
6's: Louisville, LSU, Baylor, San Diego State
7's: Arkansas, Seton Hall, Dayton, North Carolina
8's: Penn State, Harvard, Georgia, Georgetown
9's: George Washington, California, Stanford, Ohio State
10's: Providence, Butler, Indiana, Oklahoma State
11's: UNLV, Minnesota, Buffalo, TCU
12's: BYU, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Green Bay, Cincinnati
13's: Temple, Wofford, Eastern Washington, Incarnate Word
14's: Georgia State, High Point, Long Beach State, Lafayette
15's: Saint Francis (PA), Murray State, Iona, North Carolina Central
16's: Northeastern, Stony Brook, Texas Southern, South Dakota State, North Florida, New Mexico State

FFO: Xavier, Davidson, Notre Dame, UC Davis 
NFO: Loyola-Chicago, Illinois, Boise State, Central Michigan

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 24, 2014

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova
2's: Wichita State, Old Dominion, Wisconsin, Gonzaga
3's: Kansas, Arizona, Washington, West Virginia
4's: Utah, Northern Iowa, VCU, Texas
5's: Colorado State, Louisville, Saint John's, LSU
6's: Georgia, San Diego State, Iowa State, Seton Hall
7's: Maryland, North Carolina, Arkansas, Dayton
8's: Baylor, UNLV, Harvard, BYU
9's: Georgetown, Stanford, Penn State, Georgia Tech
10's: SMU, Butler, Oklahoma, Buffalo
11's: NC State, George Washington, Oklahoma State, Providence
12's: Temple, Green Bay, Indiana, Ohio State, California
13's: Minnesota, Davidson, Wofford, Georgia State, Eastern Washington
14's: Incarnate Word, Long Beach State, High Point, Lafayette
15's: Saint Francis (PA), Iona, Murray State, North Carolina Central
16's: Northeastern, Stony Brook, Texas Southern, South Dakota State, North Florida, New Mexico State

FFO: Rhode Island, Cincinnati, Loyola-Chicago, Syracuse
NFO: UC-Davis, Illinois, Notre Dame, Miami (FL)

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas, Duke
2's: Villanova, Louisville, Gonzaga, Wichita State
3's: Arizona, Old Dominion, Wisconsin, Texas
4's: Colorado State, VCU, Northern Iowa, West Virginia
5's: Baylor, Maryland, Washington, Utah
6's: Saint John's, LSU, Iowa State, Green Bay
7's: Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, San Diego State
8's: North Carolina, Miami (FL), Dayton, Penn State
9's: Ohio State, California, Davidson, Harvard
10's: Buffalo, Oklahoma, Georgia, TCU
11's: North Carolina State, BYU, Georgetown, Xavier
12's: Cincinnati, Providence, Rhode Island, Oklahoma State, Illinois
13's: Minnesota, Butler, Wofford, Georgia State, SMU
14's: Eastern Washington, Incarnate Word, Lafayette, High Point
15's: UNC-Wilmington, Long Beach State, Saint Francis (PA), Belmont
16's: Iona, North Carolina Central, Florida Gulf Coast, Texas Southern, South Dakota State, Massachusetts-Lowell

FFO: Notre Dame, South Carolina, Stanford, Richmond
NFO: George Washington, Boise State, Evansville, Marquette

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014

I'm working on trying to hone in my method a bit more consistently, so bear with me as there may be some minor fluctuations over the next couple weeks that may not make sense. My goal is to be able to consistently rank teams based on resumes alone, without looking at the name of the school. I hope to have this method locked down by the beginning of conference play.

1's: Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Virginia
2's: Wichita State, Louisville, Wisconsin, Villanova
3's: Old Dominion, Arizona, Seton Hall, Gonzaga
4's: VCU, LSU, Texas, Colorado State
5's: Green Bay, Arkansas, Iowa State, Miami
6's: Baylor, Harvard, Washington, Utah
7's: San Diego State, Northern Iowa, Xavier, Maryland
8's: Dayton, West Virginia, Michigan State, Oklahoma
9's: NC State, Butler, Saint John's, Wofford
10's: Ohio State, Penn State, Cincinnati, North Carolina
11's: Oklahoma State, Buffalo, Boise State, Georgia Tech
12's: Texas A&M, George Washington, Davidson, TCU, Rhode Island
13's: Alabama, California, Incarnate Word, Georgia State, Long Beach State
14's: Eastern Washington, UNC Wilmington, Temple, Iona
15's: Lafayette, High Point, North Carolina Central, Mount Saint Mary's
16's: Belmont, Massachusetts-Lowell, Florida Gulf Coast, North Dakota State, New Mexico State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

FFO: Stanford, UTEP, Illinois State, Charlotte
NFO: Illinois, UNLV, Providence, Georgia

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 18, 2014

1's: Kentucky, Kansas, Virginia, Arizona
2's: Duke, Wisconsin, Wichita State, Louisville
3's: Villanova, Old Dominion, Gonzaga, LSU
4's: Texas, Iowa State, Colorado State, Seton Hall
5's: Washington, VCU, San Diego State, Baylor
6's: Utah, Green Bay, Miami, Arkansas
7's: Harvard, Dayton, Northern Iowa, West Virginia
8's: Maryland, Saint John's, Ohio State, North Carolina
9's: Oklahoma, Michigan State, Xavier, Buffalo
10's: Penn State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Butler
11's: NC State, Stanford, George Washington, UTEP
12's: Cincinnati, Wofford, Georgia Tech, Davidson, Illinois
13's: California, Illinois State, Gardner-Webb, Incarnate Word, UNC Wilmington
14's: Georgia State, Long Beach State, Temple, Eastern Washington
15's: Murray State, Lafayette, Iona, North Carolina Central
16's: Florida Gulf Coast, Massachusetts-Lowell, Sacred Heart, North Dakota State, New Mexico State, Alabama State

FFO: Boise State, UNLV, Texas Tech, Georgia State
NFO: Minnesota, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Alabama

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17, 2014

In order to eliminate any personal bias in tweaking my regression ordering, I simply hid the Excel column with the name of the school. With that said, although last night's games in reality had minimal affect on the bracket order, this new tweaking process did result in a few teams sliding 1-2 lines one way or the other. Also, for the automatic bids, for now I'm simply using the team from each conference with the best RPI. Once conference play has begun, I'll use the conference leader, with ties being broken by best RPI. The last disclaimer I'll give here is that I did this fairly quickly and did not put forth the scrutiny in comparing resumes that later updates will involve.

1's: Kentucky, Kansas, Virginia, Arizona
2's: Duke, Wisconsin, Louisville, Wichita State
3's: Villanova, Gonzaga, Texas, Iowa State
4's: Colorado State, Old Dominion, Seton Hall, Washington
5's: LSU, San Diego State, Baylor, VCU
6's: Harvard, Miami, Northern Iowa, Ohio State
7's: Arkansas, Utah, Green Bay, Dayton
8's: Maryland, Oklahoma, UTEP, West Virginia
9's: Saint John's, Buffalo, George Washington, Michigan State
10's: Xavier, Davidson, TCU, Butler
11's: Penn State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Boise State
12's: Oklahoma State, Eastern Michigan, Wofford, NC State, California
13's: Illinois, Texas A&M, Gardner-Webb, Incarnate Word, UNC Wilmington
14's: Georgia State, Long Beach State, Temple, Eastern Washington
15's: Murray State, Lafayette, Iona, North Carolina Central
16's: Florida Gulf Coast, Massachusetts-Lowell, Sacred Heart, North Dakota State, New Mexico State, Alabama State

FFO: Stanford, Yale, Rhode Island, Alabama
NFO: Minnesota, Charlotte, Texas Tech, Houston

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16, 2014

Quick Update

1's: Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, Virginia
2's: Duke, Wisconsin, Louisville, Villanova
3's: Wichita State, Texas, Gonzaga, Seton Hall
4's: Iowa State, Old Dominion, Colorado State, Washington
5's: San Diego State, Baylor, LSU, VCU
6's: Miami, Harvard, West Virginia, Northern Iowa
7's: Saint John's, Ohio State, Maryland, Utah
8's: Arkansas, Green Bay, TCU, Penn State
9's: Dayton, Xavier, Buffalo, Boise State
10's: Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina, UTEP
11's: Butler, George Washington, Michigan State, Oklahoma State
12's: Saint Mary's, Eastern Washington, California, Eastern Michigan, Texas A&M,
13's: NC State, Georgia Tech, UNC Wilmington, Georgia State, Temple
14's: Wofford, Long Beach State, Murray State, McNeese State
15's: Lafayette, Iona, High Point, Mount Saint Mary's
16's: NC Central, Florida Gulf Coast, Massachusetts-Lowell, South Dakota State, New Mexico State, Texas Southern

FFO: Illinois, Davidson, Stanford, Yale
NFO: Minnesota, Texas Tech, Rhode Island, Charlotte

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014

Although I'm getting sucked into the bracketology wormhole a bit earlier this year, I still feel uneasy about posting predictions so early. I think as long as it's kept in mind that these are "if the season ended today" predictions, and not meant to be forward looking. In reality, it will still be another 3-4 weeks before some of the mid-major 'surprise' names in this bracket start to sift themselves out and then we'll see more of the big names we're used to: Creighton, Michigan, Syracuse, UMass, Cincy, UCLA...and hopefully Minnesota.

1's: Kentucky, Arizona, Virginia, Duke
2's: Wisconsin, Kansas, Gonzaga, Wichita State
3's: Louisville, Miami, Villanova, Iowa State
4's: Texas, Northern Iowa, San Diego State, LSU
5's: Utah, Colorado State, Ohio State, Baylor
6's: Washington, Old Dominion, North Carolina State, Seton Hall
7's: Maryland, UW-Green Bay, Dayton, Harvard
8's: TCU, West Virginia, North Carolina, Davidson
9's: Butler, Boise State, VCU, Saint John's
10's: Illinois, Penn State, Oklahoma, George Washington
11's: Iowa, Buffalo, Arkansas, Michigan State
12's: Florida Gulf Coast, Xavier, Alabama, Eastern Michigan
13's: UTEP, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Buffalo, Georgia State, Gardner-Webb
14's: Eastern Washington, Incarnate Word, Long Beach State, Northeastern
15's: Iona, Lafayette, North Carolina Central, Massachusetts-Lowell
16's: Wofford, Sacred Heart, Belmont, New Mexico State, South Dakota State, Alabama State

FFO: California, Evansville, Texas A&M, Cincinnati
NFO: Charlotte, Texas Tech, Yale, Oklahoma State

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 7, 2014

So as it turns out, my OCD has led me to a new update just a few days after saying it's way too early to begin serious bracketologizing.  Knowing myself, I'll probably come up with a couple updates per week until the new year when I'll get after it daily.

Since it is far too early to stick strictly to the regression-based formula (as shown in my last post), this bracket includes a significant amount of tweaking from the formulaic ordering in order to arrive at what I consider a realistic selection outcome come March.  I may put together another strictly formulaic bracket just for fun.  I have not yet taken into account potential in-conference matchups or geographic issues.

1's: Kentucky, Arizona, Duke, Wisconsin
2's: Kansas, Virginia, Louisville, Villanova
3's: Texas, Gonzaga, San Diego State, Iowa State
4's: Miami (FL), Wichita State, Northern Iowa, Colorado State
5's: Harvard, Arkansas, Ohio State, Baylor
6's: Seton Hall, North Carolina State, UW-Green Bay, West Virginia
7's: Utah, LSU, Dayton, Old Dominion
8's: Butler, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois
9's: Penn State, Boise State, BYU, Iowa
10's: Yale, TCU, Washington, VCU
11's: Oklahoma, SMU, Davidson, Michigan State
12's: Colorado, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Providence, Saint John's, Massachusetts
13's: Buffalo, Georgia State, Iona, UC-Santa Barbara
14's: Eastern Washington, Massachusetts-Lowell, Holy Cross, Florida Gulf Coast
15's: Belmont, UNC-Wilmington, Stephen F. Austin, Wofford
16's: North Carolina Central, North Dakota State, Sacred Heart, High Point, New Mexico State, Alabama State

FFO: Nebraska, Xavier, Michigan, Texas A&M
NFO: Wyoming, Minnesota, UConn, Syracuse

Friday, December 5, 2014

Just for Kicks Regression bracket - December 5, 2014

I've been working on dialing in my regression analysis for this season to include the past 1-, 3-, and 5-years' at-large selections. Testing my coefficients on the current season-to-date results produces the bracket below. To be clear, as the season winds down in late February and early March, I will make slight tweaks based on significant anomolies, but for the most part I intend to stick fairly closely to the regression results. To be extra clear, I have made no tweaks to the blatant anomolies in the order below, and they are for illustration of process only and not intended to be any kind of real predictions or projections.

Without further ado, if the season ended today, here would be the bracket:

1's: Miami, Old Dominion, Kentucky, Arizona
2's: Iowa State, Villanova, Texas, Colorado State
3's: Duke, Louisville, Wisconsin, North Carolina State
4's: Northern Iowa, Kansas, San Diego State, Syracuse
5's: LSU, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Arkansas
6's: Purdue, Virginia, Seton Hall, Harvard
7's: Georgia Tech, Davidson, UW-Green Bay, West Virginia
8's: Butler, Michigan, Washington, Rhode Island
9's: VCU, BYU, Colorado, Charlotte
10's: TCU, Michigan State, Iowa, Penn State
11's: Valparaiso, Alabama, Buffalo, Illinois
12's: North Carolina, Wichita State, Providence, Saint Mary's, Georgia State, Eastern Washington
13's: Utah State, UC Davis, Florida Gulf Coast, East Tennessee State
14's: Belmont, Dayton, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan
15's: Stephen F Austin, Canisius, Army, Vermont
16's: Sacred Heart, High Point, Towson, Alabama State, Norfolk State, IPFW

FFO: Stanford, Holy Cross, Georgia State, Wyoming
NFO: Oklahoma, Minnesota, Texas Tech, Maryland

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2014-2015 Stupid-Early Bracketology December 3-4, 2014

Welcome back to college basketball! Although it's still a bit early to get into statistical projections (UW-Green Bay currently #1 RPI...), I've got an itch to post some preliminary bracket predictions. With 102 days until Selection Sunday literally anything can happen. Kentucky could drop 14 games and miss the playoffs. The Wyoming Cowboys could finish the season undefeated and [maybe] snag a #1 seed. That being said, here are my stupid-early, moderately-based-on-statistics, likely-to-drastically-change, 2015 bracket predictions. Please note that this is primarily based on season-to-date state, and really any future looking projections. So this is more of an "if the season ended today" type of a deal. I'll try to get at least one more slightly-less-stupid-early update out before conference play gets underway after the holidays.

1's: Gonzaga, Duke, Arizona, Kentucky
2's: Virginia, Villanova, Louisville, Miami
3's: Wisconsin, Texas, Wichita State, San Diego State
4's: Kansas, Arkansas, Northern Iowa, West Virginia
5's: Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa State, Harvard
6's: Colorado St, Syracuse, NC State, Providence
7's: Green Bay, Oklahoma St, VCU, Cincinnati
8's: UConn, UNC, Iowa, Penn State
9's: Old Dominion, Colorado, Utah, Valparaiso
10's: St. Mary's, Illinois, Washington, Maryland
11's: Seton Hall, BYU, Belmont, Dayton
12's: Wyoming, Georgia Tech, Baylor, Yale, Butler
13's: Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida GC, East Michigan, Towson
14's: SF Austin, Army, E Tennessee St, East Washington
15's: Canisius, UTPA, Vermont, High Point
16's: UC Davis, IPFW, AR-Little Rock, Alabama St, Norfolk St, Sacred Heart

FFO: Purdue, California, Nebraska, Michigan State
NFO: Iona, TCU, George Washington, Minnesota