Sunday, March 13, 2011

Final NCAA prediction...

Lets take a look at the bubble teams now that it is Selection Sunday and see who should be in and who should be out.

The one team that I don't get as a bubble team is USC. They lost 9 games in the Pac-10, which had more bad teams than good ones. They have losses to Bradley (RPI 234), Rider (105), TCU (209), Oregon x2 (135), Oregon St (217), Cal (77), and Washington State (84). I know they are playing well now, beat some good teams (Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, Arizona), but the resume is clearly not tourney-worthy. The are certainly better with Jio Fontan, but I still don't see them in.

I have written on here the last week or so that I don't think BC has a legit case either. They failed to pick up a top 50 win since beating Texas A&M over Thanksgiving week. Not enough quality wins coupled with some bad losses put them out.

St Mary's went 3-4 in their last 7 and if they don't get in, they can blame it on losing late in the year (2/16) to San Diego, who boasts an RPI of 320. But, like BC, their only top 50 win was St. Johns, and that was on 11/16. Their 2nd best win was Gonzaga (58), but the Gaels also lost to the Zags twice. Stat that keeps them out: 20 of 23 wins vs. sub-100 opponents and one sub-300 loss.

Clemson looks like the ACC's best bubble team, but only because they have beaten the others up recently. ACC supporters think Clemson should be a lock because they have good wins over VT, BC, and FSU. While these are quality wins, do they, coupled with wins vs Charleston, Miami, and Long Beach State (next best wins) get the Tigers in? Maybe.

Virginia Tech is in a tough spot as well, as they were probably the last team out last year when I thought they were in easily. They are in a similar position this year with an RPI of 61 and that one Duke win as their case-maker. They have 2 wins over FSU, which help, and their win over Penn State looks better now. I just don't see how their stock improved after the past 2 weeks by getting blown out at home vs BC, losing to Clemson, beating GT and FSU (w/o Singleton by a finger-tip).

Alabama has a case only because of their 2 wins over UGA and their incredible play at home this season. Check the numbers below to see how they played away from home. The committee looks at numbers like these.

Bubble Teams Stats (via Mark Schlabach)

Most losses vs. teams outside top 25: UGA (4); VT (7); Clemson (6); Bama (7); BC (8); Penn St (8); VCU (8); Colo (10); USC (11)

Most top-50 wins: Colo (6); USC (5); PSU (5); Ala (4); VCU (3); UGA (3); VT (2); BC (1); St. Mary's (1); UAB (1); Clemson (0)

Road/Neutral: VCU (12-8); VT (10-8); St. Mary's (10-6); UGA (9-7); BC (8-8); USC (7-10); Penn St (6-8); Clem (6-9); Colo (6-11); Ala (5-11)

How I see it (with Richmond winning today)

1. Ohio State, Duke, Kansas, Pitt
2. Notre Dame, San Diego St, UNC, BYU
3. UConn, Texas, Florida, Kentucky
4. Louisville, Arizona, Syracuse, Wisconsin
5. Texas A&M, Purdue, Vanderbilt, UNLV
6. Xavier, St Johns, Kansas St, West Virginia
7. Washington, Old Dominion, Temple, Georgetown
8. UCLA, Cincinnati, Utah St, Gonzaga
9. Missouri, Richmond, Butler, George Mason
10. Villanova, Tennessee, Florida St, Marquette
11. Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan St
12. Clemson/Alabama, Illinois/Virginia Tech, Penn State

These predictions will certainly change if Dayton wins today. That would push out the last team in, which here was Alabama.

This differs from the "Bracketology" experts at CBS Sports (Bama/Colorado in and VCU/St Mary's out) and ESPN (UGA/Bama in and St Mary's/USC out)

Only 7 hours until we know for sure...


William Satterwhite said...

Regarding USC, I think it all comes down to how the commitee chooses to view their season- does the team's performance since Fontan came aboard count for more than the team's performance without him? They're going to be an interesting case either way.

I don't really understand UGA not being solidly in at this point. Their resume doesn't stand out as great in any particular way but at the same time, it also doesn't have any of the kind of notable warts some other teams have- they are just a solid all-around bubble team and in a year (and format) with such a soft bubble, i think that's the kind of team that deserves to be rewarded before most of the others. I think Bama should be out, with their weak resume they really needed to play Kentucky close. That road/neutral number is really ugly and in my eyes serves to offset their 4 top-50 wins quite a bit.

Jeff said...

Agreed. Good points.