18 March 2013

Bracket thoughts and final season rankings

Generally the committee does okay at picking the "right" teams. I think LaSalle is the only strange pick, mostly because they've got an unreasonably high RPI (40), but they're not an indefensible pick either over Virginia, Iowa, Baylor, Kentucky, or Denver, and certainly defensible over Maryland or Alabama or Tennessee. MTSU deserves a shot here as far as the metrics were concerned and critics of such really don't pay much attention to minor conferences, or don't want us to do so in favor of the power conferences that already dominate the tournament. Giving one or two slots to these kinds of teams provides some variety in the early rounds, if not the risk or danger of playing an unfamiliar team. (I also think MTSU was greatly helped by Mississippi winning the SEC tournament).

The committee's real struggle is, and always has been, properly seeding the teams they've picked. I gather that's a really hard system, with certain rules involved, but it's not that hard that they should consistently underrate teams that are much better than the seed line they end up with. I've highlighted some of teams that don't conform to the rankings very well. Some are really, really bad.

A legend of sorts, for interpreting the data.
a) Breaks in the ranking list are to designate a tier of sorts, where teams in the slot above are clearly better than the teams below them. If the NCAA title isn't won by any of the teams in the top two tiers, I would consider that a huge upset. Final four teams emerging from anything past the top 4 tiers would likewise be odd.
b) Records are listed by top 100 records, plus losses to non top 100 teams.
c) Bold is teams that won automatic bids. The relevance of this is teams who win auto bids and receive 3-5 seeds tend to under-perform. New Mexico and St Louis are the only teams who might conform to this (last year Florida St lost in the second round. Louisville however advanced to the final 4).
d) Teams with poor to bad road records have their top 100 record in red. Bolded text there indicates a very poor (bad) road record. Poor road performance correlates really well with under-performing in the tournament, particularly with the top half of the bracket. (It also explains most of the bubble teams who didn't make the field, as all of them have poor road performance). Florida last year was the only team that advanced deeply that had a poor road record (partly because Missouri was upset in the first round). Marquette two years ago upset Syracuse and an overseeded Xavier team as a bad road team is the only example from the last two years.


Final rankings (all NCAA teams, seed after)
1) Florida      11-7-0 (3!)
2) Louisville 15-5-0 (1)
3) Indiana      14-6-0 (1)

4) Gonzaga 13-2-0 (1)
5) Kansas   15-4-1 (1)
6) Ohio St   12-7-0 (2)
7) Duke      14-5-0 (2)

8) Pittsburgh       9-7-1 (8!!)
9) Wisconsin   11-11-0 (5!)
10) Michigan     12-6-1 (4)
11) Michigan St 12-8-0 (3)

12) Miami         12-4-2 (2)
13) Georgetown 11-5-1 (2)
14) Syracuse      12-9-0 (4)
15) Creighton    13-6-1 (7!!)

16) New Mexico  15-4-1 (3)
17) Arizona         11-6-1 (6)
18) Missouri        10-9-1 (9!)
19) St Louis       13-5-1  (4)
20) Oklahoma St   9-7-1  (5)
21) VCU             13-8-0 (5)

22) St Marys        7-5-1  (11!!)
23) Minnesota      10-10-2 (11!!)

24) Colorado St        6-7-1 (8)
25) Kansas St           8-7-0 (4!)
26) Marquette           8-7-1 (3!!)
27) North Carolina     6-9-1 (8)
28) North Carolina St 6-8-2 (8)
29) San Diego St       6-8-2 (7)

30) MTSU         2-3-2 (11)
31) Iowa          6-10-2 (out)
32) Wichita St   10-7-1 (9)
33) Mississippi  10-6-2 (12!)
34) Iowa St        8-9-2  (10)
35) Notre Dame 10-8-1 (7)
36) Memphis     7-4-0 (6!)
37) Virginia        7-3-8 (out)
38) UNLV          9-6-3 (5!!)
39) Baylor         5-11-3 (out)

40) Belmont    6-2-4 (11)
41) Cincinnati  9-10-2 (10)
42) Kentucky   8-10-1 (out)
43) Denver       3-7-2 (out)

44) UCLA       13-6-3 (6!!)
45) Oklahoma   8-9-2 (10)
46) Illinois       8-11-1 (7!!)
47) Oregon    10-6-2 (12)

48) Stanford  6-12-2 (out)
49) Colorado  9-8-3  (10)
50) Villanova  8-11-2 (9!)
(51 is UConn, who is ineligible)
52) Butler       14-7-1 (6!!)
53) Akron        6-3-3 (12)
54) Boise St     4-7-3 (13)
55) Davidson   2-3-4 (14!)
56) Maryland    4-8-4 (out)

57) Southern Miss  1-7-2 (out)
58) LaSalle            7-7-2 (13)
59) Stony Brook (out)
60) California       7-10-1 (12)
61) Bucknell      4-3-2 (11!)
62) Alabama       8-8-4 (out)
63) Tennessee    10-10-2 (out)
64) Temple         9-6-3 (9!!)
65) Valparaiso    2-3-4 (14!)

78) New Mexico St (13)
89) Iona (15!)
90) South Dakota St (13)
100) Harvard (14)
110) Florida Gulf Coast (15)
117) Pacific (15)
120) Northwestern St (14)
133) Montana (13!)
134) Albany (15)
170) Southern (16)
175) Long Island (16)
177) James Madison (16)
178) Western Kentucky (16)
230) NC A&T (16)
251) Liberty (16)
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