06 February 2013

Early NCAA Ranks

I use a composite of Pomeroy, Sagarin Predictor, and LRMC to rank teams. It comes out fairly close to ESPN's BPI, but there's some twists and turns along the way. It tends, combined with some other factors, to put me in the top 1-2 percentile on ESPN's bracket challenges year after year.

I will look at things like away/neutral records or high/low pace teams once the field is set to adjust picks but I don't generally care until then. A very good team will win either way anyway. Teams that are closely or reverse ranked on this list when matched up tend to be excellent upset picks early.

For once the polls appear to be correct near the top at least. (Louisville is a little underrated and Butler is way overrated). I made the mistake of actually looking at the horrid RPI ranking system, so there's some notes on that.

1) Florida
2) Indiana

3) Michigan
4) Duke
5) Louisville

6) Kansas
7) Syracuse
8) Pittsburgh (huge gap on RPI rank)
9) Ohio State
10) Gonzaga

11) Minnesota
12) Miami (somehow 2nd in RPI?)
13) Arizona (somehow 3rd?)
14) Creighton
15) Wisconsin (perennially underrated, probably because they're boring and slow. Pitt is slower this year though)

16) Kentucky (44th?)
17) Michigan State
18) Colorado State
19) Cincinnati
20) Oklahoma St
21) VCU (49th?)

22) Georgetown
23) San Diego St
24) Ole Miss
25) Baylor

Some other teams of note
26) St Marys (somehow 60th in RPI)
27) UNLV
29) Belmont (little conference high pace team, fun upset watch pick)
34) BYU (on Lunardi's bubble, safely in here)
36) New Mexico (5th! in RPI? 5th!)
37) Oregon (ranked)
38) Missouri (ranked)
42) Middle Tennessee (little conference likely snubbed team if they don't win out, also fun upset watch)
45) Butler (ranked, 14th RPI?). I have them in but they're on my bubble.

Southern is also having the best season for a SWAC team since I've been keeping track of the probable and set fields. That doesn't mean they'll win any games, but they're inside the top 200, which is astonishing for that league. I have them at roughly 148th. I think a number of times a worse team has won their conference tournaments, bumping them up to 300th range, but even then, the better team was only in the 220s.

Memphis, UConn, UCLA, and Virginia would be the last four in at large.

Right now here's my list of bubble teams that wouldn't get in:
Maryland
Illinois
Oklahoma (23rd?)
Arkansas
LaSalle (27th?)
Alabama
Temple
Villanova

Lunardi also has either in or on the bubble listed these teams:
Louisiana Tech
Arizona State
Indiana State
Washington
St John's
Only two of those (La Tech and Indiana St) even made my list to keep tabs on and neither would get in.
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