More from CBT | |
Recently, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee made public its intent to evaluate options for integrating additional analytics and metrics into its process for selecting and seeding teams for the NCAA tournament. How that might eventually look we don’t know. What metrics will be included? Will there be any weighting for certain metrics (such as the current Ratings Percentage Index or RPI) over others? It’s an interesting twist, although not necessarily that new. Selection Committee members have had various data points at their fingertips for years. How each chose to use (or not use) ratings such as BPI, KenPom, Sagarin, and others is unknown; none were a part of the “official” process and rarely discussed publicly.
The point today isn’t to have a lengthy discussion about the merits of various analytic tools. Rather, it provides an opportunity to look at how a new system might look. One of the concepts mentioned was the potential for a “composite” ranking that would factor in a given set of analytic metrics. In the interest of today’s bracket update, here’s a look at some rankings and the “composite” for the top six teams on the seed list (data points were through games played on Tuesday).
The metrics included: RPI, NPI (Warren Nolan), ELO Chess, KenPom, Sagarin, and BPI. Composite ranking is in parenthesis, based upon an average of these metrics.
- Villanova (2.33)
- Kansas (4.83)
- Baylor (9.00)
- UCLA (11.16)
- Kentucky (3.16)
- Gonzaga (6.50)
As you can see, the composite score would favor moving Kentucky and Gonzaga into spots two (2) and four (4) on the seed list, making them No. 1 seeds instead of Baylor and UCLA (in today’s bracket). Those are not wrong conclusions. Of course, metrics do not necessarily do an effective job of including actual results. Example: UCLA won at Kentucky. An individual result is only one factor (usually a small one) in a team’s overall resume. But the disparity in numbers (11.16 to 3.16) suggests a notable difference between UK and UCLA. How the Committee might discuss those two teams given the result vs. numbers would be interesting.
The more relevant takeaway here is that Villanova is No. 1 by a significant margin. When you factor in the math, the difference between Villanova and Kentucky is a little larger than it looks. Thus, the Wildcats remain entrenched as the overall No. 1 seed today by almost any measure, resume and otherwise.
In keeping with our theme, we used a similar process, including a metric called Strength of Record (SOR) to help decipher an uninspiring collection of bubble teams. With that in mind, Kansas State and Wake Forest are the final two at-large entries. It’s completely erratic near the bottom of the bracket, so this is far from definitive. History suggests that may not change much.
UPDATED: January 19, 2017
Regarding bracketing principles, can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)
- Rhode Island vs. Kansas State | Midwest Region
- Georgia vs. Wake Forest | East Region
- NEW ORLEANS vs. WEBER STATE | Midwest Region
- MT. ST. MARY’S vs. MORGAN STATE | East Region
BRACKET PROJECTION …
|EAST – New York||MIDWEST – Kansas City|
|1) VILLANOVA||1) KANSAS|
|16) M.S. MARY’S / MORGAN ST||16) NEW ORLEANS / WEBER ST|
|8) Northwestern||8) Michigan State|
|9) MID TENNESSEE ST||9) Clemson|
|5) Florida||5) CINCINNATI|
|12) VERMONT||12) Kansas St / Rhode Island|
|4) Virginia||4) OREGON|
|13) RICHMOND||13) NEW MEXICO ST|
|6) MARYLAND||6) South Carolina|
|11) Georgia / Wake Forest||11) NC-WILMINGTON|
|3) Butler||3) North Carolina|
|14) FLA GULF COAST||14) WINTHROP|
|Orlando||Salt Lake City|
|7) Indiana||7) Saint Mary’s|
|10) Seton Hall||10) TCU|
|2) FLORIDA STATE||2) Creighton|
|15) GA-SOUTHERN||15) BUCKNELL|
|WEST – San Jose||SOUTH – Memphis|
|1) UCLA||1) Baylor|
|16) TEXAS-SOUTHERN||16) UC-IRVINE|
|8) Dayton||8) USC|
|9) Virginia Tech||9) Arkansas|
|Orlando||Salt Lake City|
|5) Purdue||5) Duke|
|12) AKRON||12) NEVADA|
|4) West Virginia||4) ARIZONA|
|13) CHATTANOOGA||13) VALPARAISO|
|6) Wisconsin||6) Minnesota|
|11) California||11) ILLINOIS STATE|
|3) Notre Dame||3) Louisville|
|14) MONMOUTH||14) BELMONT|
|Salt Lake City||Indianapolis|
|7) SMU||7) Xavier|
|10) Texas Tech||10) Iowa State|
|2) GONZAGA||2) KENTUCKY|
|15) NORTH DAKOTA ST||15) PRINCETON|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA
Last Four Byes (at large): Iowa State, Texas Tech, TCU, California
Last Four IN (at large): Georgia, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Rhode Island
First Four OUT (at large): VCU, Miami-FL, Pittsburgh, Michigan
Next four teams OUT (at large): Marquette, Wichita State, Illinois, Penn State
Breakdown by Conference …
ACC (9): FLORIDA STATE, North Carolina, Louisville, Notre Dame, Virginia, Duke, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Big 10 (7): MARYLAND, Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern
Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas State
Big East (5): VILLANOVA, Creighton, Butler, Xavier, Seton Hall
SEC (5): KENTUCKY, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia
Pac 12 (5): ARIZONA, UCLA, Oregon, USC, California
Atlantic 10 (3): RICHMOND, Dayton, Rhode Island
American (2): CINCINNATI, SMU
West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s
Missouri Valley (1): ILLINOIS STATE
Mountain West (1): BOISE STATE
ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), Georgia-Southern (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Weber State (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), New Orleans (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Winthrop (BSO), Morgan State (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), MT. ST. MARY’S (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)
Indiana went through the gauntlet of emotions on Wednesday night.
First, one of their most important players, O.G. Anunoby, went down with what appears to be a serious knee injury midway through the first half. Then, the Hoosiers blow a big lead at Penn State. Finally, James Blackmon Jr. bailed them out with a game-winning, buzzer-beating three.
After the game, head coach Tom Crean got choked up talking about the victory:
RELATED: What’s wrong with Indiana?
“As the leader of these guys I’m excited about the way they played considering everything we went through in this game,” Crean said. “There were a lot of tears in that locker room because no one knew what was going on with one of their fallen brothers. And I had to leave a guy who was crying and that wasn’t easy. But we found a way to win the game so I’m proud of them for that.”
Crean gets a lot of heat from fans – both of Indiana and of Indiana’s rivals – but that was a genuine moment of anguish. It’s easy to forget that he’s a human being dealing with more job-related stress than you can imagine. He’s paid handsomely for it, but that doesn’t make always make it easier.
Down 12 at halftime, VCU needed a second-half comeback to force overtime at Fordham.
There was nothing VCU could do to counteract Fordham’s game-winner.
Antwoine Anderson’s jumper as time expired in overtime gave Fordham a 69-67 victory Wednesday night.
After winning eight-straight games, VCU has now dropped back-to-back games with a loss to Davidson coming last weekend. The loss will likely bring up the same questions that were there after a less-than-steallar non-conference showing for VCU, given Fordham had lost 10 of 12 coming into the night.
The suspension that Arizona guard Allonzo Trier is currently serving is due to positive test for performance-enhancing drugs during the preseason.
Trier, who has missed the first 18 games of the season, confirmed the news with a statement released late on Wednesday night that said he has “never knowingly taken a banned substance.”
According to a statement released by the university, Trier has been cleared by the NCAA after an appeal, but he cannot suit up for the Wildcats until the drug is completely out of his system.
“After finding out that I was given a banned substance by a well-intentioned, but misguided person not associated with the University after an injury, I presented this information to the NCAA,” Trier said in the statement. “The NCAA agreed that I had no knowledge of receiving the substance and my eligibility was restored. Although I can practice and travel with the team, I am not allowed to resume playing in games until the substance completely leaves my body even at a trace amount.”
There is no timetable for his return, but the door is open for a return.
As a freshman last season, Trier averaged 14.8 points and shot 36.4 percent from three. He was Arizona’s best isolation scorer and their leading returning scorer.
Without Trier, Arizona has looked like a Pac-12 title contender. They are 16-2 on the season and undefeated in league play heading into their games at the LA schools this weekend.