Blog Entry

Bracket steady at the top

Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:28 pm
Today's bracket and bubble watch are posted.  The top three seeds are still the same, although some shuffling among regions has occurred.

One of the biggest myths of bracketing is that the committee "snakes" the field, but that isn't true.  No effort is made to match the overall No. 1 with the worst of the two seeds, or the 16 seeds or the 8s or any seed.  Geography plays a big role in where teams get placed.  There is some effort at balance among the top four seeds in each region, and in the bracket overall, but that's it.

Geography plays a much bigger role in bracketing than most people realize.  That's because the feedback the NCAA gets from schools and coaches is that they would rather be in a tougher region close to home than travel far for an easier draw.

So, no Kansas is not the lowest No. 2 seed just because it is paired with overall No. 1 Kentucky.

Texas and Arizona are out of the bracket, replaced by UCF and Miami.  Miami actually picked up a big win over the weekend against Florida State.  The other teams didn't lose, but got shuffled after re-evaulation.

Iowa State was the biggest mover up the bracket after filling a big hole in its resume with a win at Kansas State.  It was only the Cyclones fourth top 100 win, but their first away from home.

Wisconsin moved up a couple spots as well after winning at Ohio StateNotre Dame had its nine-game winning streak broken at St. John's, then lost again to Georgetown last night.

Conference tournaments are underway, which has those teams near the bottom of the bracket sweating out potential bid-stealers.  If Murray State were to go down in the OVC tournament, somebody's bubble would burst as Murray is clearly at-large quality.

The same would happen if a team other than Creighton or Wichita State wins the Missouri Valley.

It's a little dicier after that.  Harvard might be an at-large if it somehow loses the Ivy League.  The Ivy does not have a tournament, so the Crimson would have to lose in the regular season.  They are currently tied with Penn in the loss column.  If the two teams finish tied, the Ivy would have a one-game, neutral court playoff.

Teams like Long Beach, Oral Roberts, Drexel and Iona have slim at-large hopes should they lose their conference tournaments as well.

I will update the bracket and bubble watch pages daily from now on, as events dictate.


Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:05 am

Bracket steady at the top


Interesting discussion regarding Marquette.  Their body of work is pretty solid, but unless they do close with 2 wins and win the BE tournament, I think a 1 seed is a stretch.  Out of conference they beat Ole Miss by 30!  They also beat Wisconsin on the road, but the Loss to LSU hurts them.  Vandy not so much.  In conference their losses are to SU, GTown and ND - all currently ranked in the top 25.  13-3 is very respectable for the BE.  15-3 would be a statement.  They will need some help ie Duke, UNC, Mich St and Kansas would all have to get bounced early in the conf tournaments.  Possible but not likely.  I like where your head is at though.  No one is talking about Marquette.  They are a dangerous team.   

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 9:05 am

Bracket steady at the top

Meant in reply to VT grad

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 9:03 am

Bracket steady at the top

I don't think you're wrong per se; but I do think you are underestimating the impact of the conference tournaments. For argument's sake, say Duke beats UNC this weekend and then loses early in the ACC tournament. That alone MIGHT knock them off the top line. But if a team like Mizzou wins the B12 (and Duke loses early ACC) then it absolutely knocks Duke off the line. The only two locks are Kentucky and Syracuse. Everything else is still fluid. One team I'm curious to watch in the next ten days is Marquette. They close out the season w a win and then win the BET, where do they belong in the discussion? Obviously would have to be a two seed; if things broke right could they stun with a one seed? Probably not but it bares watching.

Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Bracket steady at the top

Hahahahaha. I guess my point was proven last night RE: Xavier. Will they still hold onto your 10 seed, Palm, or are you ready to face reality and come to the conclusion that every other person who does this and is actually competent at their job came to weeks ago?

Since: Jan 4, 2012
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:10 am

Bracket steady at the top

I was nearly 100% sure that MSU was not worthy of a No. 1 seed and they clearly proved that tonight. They are a good team don't get me wrong but without Draymond Green performing at a high level they won't even make the Sweet 16. Kentucky and Syracuse should clearly have a 1 seed, as well as Kansas according to their SOS and performance against a No. 3 Missouri after being down 19. The fourth No. 1 seed will be wrapped up this weekend when UNC takes on Duke at Cameron Indoor. IF Duke can beat UNC at home and sweep the series it'd be a miracle for them not to get a 1 seed in the dance, but Duke has been really inconsistant at home. Both shooting percentages and points per game have been significantly lower in their last 6 home games opposed to road games for Duke. If UNC beats Duke this weekend I feel they deserve the fourth and final 1 seed. This is becoming an interesting last stretch of the regular, can't wait until tourney time. Please comment if you agree or disagree with any of my statements. (Non-biased comments please, I understand fans will go to the end of the Earth for their teams, but please be rational and have a good argument backing up your comments, THANKS!)

Since: Jun 1, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:22 pm

Bracket steady at the top

It's conference record that decides the seeding.  RPI only figures in when the NCAA Tournament is selected that RPI is a factor.  

Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:37 pm

Bracket steady at the top

How many losses does Xavier have to amass in their terrible conference before you drop them a seed or leave them out of your bracket? Every single other major bracket predictor has Cincinnati ahead of Xavier but you. In other words: you suck.

Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:36 pm

Bracket steady at the top

South Florida doesn't have the quality wins those teams have. RPI is dumb. South Florida's RPI is artificially inflated, which is obvious when you see they are 20-30 ranks higher in every other metric (Sagarin, BPI, KenPom, etc.). Only absolute idiots like Jerry Palm look at RPI alone.

Since: Mar 26, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:40 pm

Bracket steady at the top

I do not understand how Kansas is a two with Michigan State a one.  Kansas has more wins against teams ranked in your Top 10 RPI.  Kansas has more wins against teams ranked in a major poll's top 10.  And simply in the eye test, Kansas is better.  Two dominating POY candidates (Robinson and Taylor) to MSU's one (Green).  The only stat that Michigan State has over Kansas is strength of schedule.  Kansas' worst loss is against a team (Davidson) which is ranked higher than MSU's worst loss (Illinois).  Please shed some light on this for me.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: February 28, 2012 3:03 pm

Bracket steady at the top

I would like to know how West VA, Connecticut, Seton Hall, and Cincinatti still get in the Big East tournament ahead of South Florida.  Is RPI not a factor?

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