08 February 2017

Early NCAA ranks

All records are top 100 records only (with any losses to non-tournament quality teams designated).

1) Gonzaga  9-0
2) West Virginia 9-5

I don't have much faith these are the best two teams, mostly because they both have lower quality schedules, so far. Partly this is because nobody seems that far ahead of the rest of the pack this year.

3) Virginia 11-5
4) Louisville 10-5
5) Villanova 15-2

6) Kentucky 10-5 (seems to be in a funk, they were ranked #1 two weeks ago)
7) North Carolina 13-4
8) Kansas 13-3
9) Florida 11-5

10) Purdue 10-5
11) Wisconsin 12-3
12) Baylor 13-3
13) Duke 9-5
13) Florida St 11-4
15) Wichita St 2-4
16) UCLA 8-3

17) Cincinnati 7-2
18) Oregon 7-3
19) SMU 6-3-1

20) Arizona 7-3 (currently projected as a #2 seed on bracketmatrix)
21) Oklahoma St 7-8 (toughest schedule in the country)
22) Creighton 11-4
23) St Marys 5-2
24) Butler 14-4-1
25) Notre Dame 9-7

Non-top 25 notes
Michigan and Indiana are the first teams which I have ranked that are considered bubble teams (and probably out), at 31 and 32. Followed by Wake Forest and Miami. And Syracuse, as the ACC has a string of middling teams. None of these teams looks that distinguished. Syracuse has only one road/neutral win so far all year, for example. This is typical as bubble teams are usually mediocre.

ACC vs Big 12 as the "power conference" for the year
ACC has 11 potential teams up for bids (more like 10, Clemson hasn't beaten anyone, neither has Wake Forest), and the #3 and #4 and #7 teams.

Big 12 has 8 teams most likely all getting in, with #2 and #8 also in the conference. Additionally, even the weakest two teams that won't get in (Texas and Oklahoma) are in the top 100.

In general, the Pac-12 looks overrated by tournament prospects. Arizona's very high on the projected seed line, and Utah is projected as a bubble team, with a 2-7-1 record, and USC has a very low computer ranking (I have them at #59), mainly because they don't appear to have played anyone (5-4 record). California also has some bubble potential and a poor ranking (I have them at #55). I'd say there are probably some of the usual RPI shenanigans, but I don't look at RPI. These things could improve, but don't count on it.

UCLA rates as the best offense in college basketball.. but their defense is outside of the top 100.

Best non-major conference teams as upset spoilers should they get in:
#54 Middle Tennessee 5-1-3
#57 UNC Wilmington 3-3-1