Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bracketology Results- 9-16 seeds

The first year in the matrix, I did, well, OK.  321 puts me in the lower third, but in a pretty tight group and nowhere near the bottom.  Commitment to ISU hurt, but the Big Ten also jacked things up with several teams more than one line off.  I will put up some additional thoughts and lessons learned.

5 points for a hit, 2 points for 1 line miss, -1 for 2 line miss, -4 for 3 line or more miss, -5 for missing the field

9 SEEDS: 7 points
ME: Vanderbilt, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Marquette
FIELD: Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Michigan State

Analysis: Sneaking Vandy up to a 9 was a good call, despite the losses.  Virginia Tech outplayed their RPI, but much like Miami, was a hard team to slot with the rest of the ACC.  I think Seton Hall was the benefit of some fortuitous scheduling.  They are vey similar to Wake Forest, as they go as far as Delgado can take them.  Much like the rest of the Big Ten, the Spartans are even a slight reach for a 10 seed, but can get there on reputation, much like Syracuse last year.  A 9 is too high.

10 SEEDS: -2 points
ME: Rhode Island, Miami, South Carolina, Michigan State
FIELD: VCU, Wichita State, Marquette, Oklahoma State

Analysis: LOL… haha… LOL.

OK, in the committee’s defense, Marquette and OKST were seeded high in my metric that focused on more on form, less on RPI.  That said, NOBODY wants to play any of these teams.  But the Shockers are closer to the 1 line than the 10 line.  Marquette can drop 100 on anyone any night, and the Cowboys score more efficiently than Tiger at a Denny’s.  VCU is the weak link here, and they were the hottest team in the A-10, just lacking that Shaka swagger.  Let’s just say the 2 seeds are going to take it on the chin.

11 SEEDS: -9 points (-10 for ISU)
ME: Seton Hall, Nevada, Northwestern, Providence, Illinois State
FIELD: Providence, USC, Xavier. Wake Forest, Kansas State, Rhode Island

Analysis: So, here is where the bracketologists deserve a pass.  While there were a few upsets, with Valpo, Monmouth, and Arlington going down.  There were still several one-bids with profiles to snare single-digit seeds.  What the committee did to the field with Wichita State is reprehensible, but MTSU, Nevada, UNCW, Princeton, Vermont, and ETSU all brought fair profiles to the table.  Given the bubble was not strong, it seems bizarre that both play-in games get lofted to the 11 line.  I originally had them on the 12/13 lines.  As the conference tourneys shook out, it was clear that at least one game would move up to the 11 slot for balance. Let’s just say the last bucket of at-large candidates, Xavier, Wake, KSU, Marquette, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Providence, USC, and Illinois St (fuck it, Syracuse), al profiled worse than MTSU, all except Vandy profiled worse than Nevada, and UNCW also jumped ahead of most of these teams.  When we project the bracket, we take certain rules and assumptions into account, and one of those is that regardless of conference affiliation, the next best team gets the next highest slot until there is a conflict.  In this case, it appears the committee through all that out the window and lumped all one-bids into the lowest seed leper colonies.  This really does a disservice to the higher seeds, as MTSU and Little Rock either showed how overrated the Big Ten was last year, or how poorly managed the seeding process was for the lower seeds.  By the way, I chose Andy Enfield as my coach of the year, but they finished lower in my ranking than every team listed in the two categories above, making them clearly a 13 seed if they were selected.  Not saying they couldn’t get in, but if they did make it, they belonged with Providence or KSU on the 12/13 line.  Instead, the 5 seed gets a much tougher matchup than the 6 seed.

12 SEEDS: 16 points
ME: Xavier, UNC Wilmington, Princeton, Wake Forest, Kansas State
FIELD: UNC Wilmington, Princeton, Middle Tennessee State, Nevada

Analysis: I had UNCW forward on the 10/11 line for a while, but reality set in and they were easily passed by Nevada.  I had Nevada as the 12 West and Xavier on the 11 and switched them as the last thing I did before submitting, as Nevada was going to have a huge proximity advantage in the West pod and region.  Politics reigned.  I cannot conceive a scenario that had MTSU coming out of the single digit seeds, but his proves they were not even in the running for an at-large bid had they lost.  Princeton dodges several bullets to get to the dance, likely seeded correctly.

13 SEEDS: 17 points
ME: Vermont, East Tennessee State, New Mexico State, Bucknell
FIELD: Vermont, East Tennessee State, Bucknell, Winthrop

Analysis: No beef.  I thought FGCU had a better chance of moving up than Winthrop, but the WAC was pretty weak.  NMSU is fairly assessed.

14 SEEDS: 14 points
ME: Florida Gulf Coast, Northern Kentucky, Iona, Winthrop
FIELD: Florida Gulf Coast, Kent State, Iona, New Mexico State

Analysis: Iona’s RPI jumped a long ways during their run, and I never properly accounted for that.  So did Northern Kentucky, but they got buried behind a pedestrian Kent team that may have been closer to the 16 line than the 14 line.  This is more historical bias believing that the MAC was actually relevant this year.  I do like where NKY ended up.

15 SEEDS: 14 points
ME: NC Central, Kent, North Dakota, Troy
FIELD: North Dakota, Troy, Northern Kentucky, Jacksonville State

Analysis: Kentucky/Northern Kentucky… chances the Wildcats are looking ahead to the Shockers and UCLA?  100%.  Troy and Texas State both profiled to the same spot on the seed line, so that was no big deal.  NC Central’s metrics play much better than their RPI.  I watched them really tax Ohio State earlier in the season.  They can play and may have screwed a sleepy 2 seed.

16 SEEDS: 27 points
ME: Texas Southern, Jacksonville State, South Dakota State, Mount Saint Mary’s, Davis, New Orleans
FIELD: Those guys, but NC Central instead of JAXST


Analysis: It’s easy to find the weak sisters on the S-curve.  The committee is just a little lazier and dropped a significantly more talented Central team into the 68th slot based on RPI, rather than looking at the results on the floor.  By the way, the ONE GUY that could have ruined Gonzaga’s opening weekend will face them in the first game.  Mike Daum has the full package and can spread them out.  He doesn’t have much help, and the Zags are deep, but don’t sleep on the Jacks.

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