Florida

March 16, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , ,

The EPW Bracket – FINAL

The wait is finally over. Here is the EPW bracket that will be submitted to Bracket Matrix, assuming Florida and Michigan St. are victorious.

Spreadsheet

The #1 seeds are Florida (South), Arizona (West), Villanova (East) and Wichita St. (Midwest). Their pods are Orlando, San Diego, Buffalo and St. Louis.

The #2 seeds are Virginia (East), Syracuse (Midwest), Wisconsin (South) and Iowa St. (West). Their pods are Raleigh, Buffalo, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

The #3 seeds are Michigan (Midwest), Kansas (South), San Diego St. (West) and Michigan St. (East). Their pods are Milwaukee, San Antonio, Spokane and Orlando.

Finally, the #4 seeds are Creighton (Midwest), Duke (South), Louisville (East) and Cincinnati (West). Their pods are San Antonio, Raleigh, Spokane and San Diego.

Final Bracket - Top 16

 

 

 

 

 

#5 seeds: Connecticut (Midwest), UCLA (South), New Mexico (East) and Saint Louis (West)

#6 seeds: Gonzaga (Midwest, Massachusetts (South), Pittsburgh (West) and VCU (East). *Notes, Ohio St. and North Carolina both forced down a seed line. VCU jumps two spots.

#7 seeds: Ohio St. (West), North Carolina (South), Oklahoma (East) and George Washington (Midwest)

#8 seeds: Kentucky (East), Harvard (South), Texas (Midwest) and Providence (West)

Final Bracket - Top 32

 

 

 

 

 

#9 seeds: Baylor (West), Oregon (Midwest), Memphis (South) and Saint Joseph’s (East)

#10 seeds: STEPHEN FULLER AUSTIN (Memphis), Colorado (East), Southern Miss (West) and Arizona St. (Midwest)

#11 seeds: Xavier (South), SMU (West), Oklahoma St. (Midwest) and North Dakota St. (East)

#12 seeds: Florida St. (Midwest), Toledo (South), Stanford/Green Bay (East), Nebraska/BYU (West)

#13 seeds: Manhattan (Midwest), North Carolina Central (East), Delaware (West) and New Mexico St. (South)

#14 seeds: Western Michigan (West), Mercer (South), Tulsa (East), Eastern Kentucky (Midwest)

#15 seeds: Louisiana Lafayette (Midwest), Milwaukee (East), American (South), Wofford (West)

#16 seeds: Weber St. (West), Albany (South), Coastal Carolina/Mount St. Mary’s (East), Texas Southern/Cal Poly (Midwest)

Final Bracket - Complete

 

 

 

 

 

Last Four In: Stanford, Green Bay, Nebraska, BYU

First Four Out: Dayton, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana Tech

Next Four Out: Kansas St., North Carolina St., Tennessee, Minnesota

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March 14, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

EPW: College Basketball Rankings through March 13

There were so many shake-ups yesterday that I don’t even know where to begin. Villanova lost their spot as the EPW #1 overall team with their loss to Seton Hall. Iowa tumbled 12 spots thanks to a loss against Northwestern and now are on the outside looking in. Xavier, Providence, Stanford and Florida St. have all taken the necessary steps to strengthen their resumes. All in all, yesterday was a pretty eventful day in college hoops, and it is only going to get better.

Spreadsheet

Seeds

1: Arizona, Florida, Villanova, Syracuse

2: Wichita St., Wisconsin, Kansas, San Diego St.

3: Michigan, Creighton, Virginia, Iowa St.

4: Duke, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Michigan St.

5: Louisville, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina

6: Gonzaga, Ohio St., New Mexico, Pittsburgh

7: Texas, VCU, George Washington, Oklahoma

8: UCLA, Harvard, Baylor, Memphis

9: Oregon, Kentucky, Southern Miss, Colorado

10: Stephen F. Austin, Xavier, Toledo, Providence

11: Stanford, Arizona St., Florida St., SMU

12: Oklahoma St., Dayton, (Nebraska/Saint Joseph’s), North Dakota St.

13: (Green Bay/BYU), Louisiana Tech, Manhattan, North Carolina Central

14: Delaware, Georgia St., New Mexico St., Mercer

15: UC Irvine, Eastern Kentucky, Stony Brook, Milwaukee

16: American, Wofford, (Weber St./Coastal Carolina), (Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern)

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January 24, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , , ,

EPW: College Basketball Rankings through January 24

The college basketball landscape was pretty tame last night, with the majority of tournament teams performing as expected. There were a few small shake-ups, though. Florida jumped four spots to #9 by way of a 62-58 victory at Alabama. While games like this typically go unnoticed, this ranks as Florida’s 5th best victory to date. Part of that stems from the fact that they have played a fairly weak schedule, but the fact of the matter is, beating above average conference foes on the road is a tough task.

The other team to take a step forward was UCLA, who thumped Stanford by 17. Similar to Florida, UCLA’s schedule to this point has been fairly pedestrian, but this game is the 3rd best win on their resume. In fact, their three best wins have all come in the past 12 days. Lunardi has the Bruins as a 7 seed, which lines up with the EPW. If that seed holds, I wouldn’t want to be the 2 seed in their region.

If I had done posts like this over the past month, this next entry would start to seem repetitive. Oregon dropped their 5th straight game, losing to Washington in Seattle. After starting 13-0, and picking up their biggest win of the season at Utah, the wheels have come completely off. In his most recent bracket, Lunardi had Oregon as a 10 seed. This loss likely puts them on the bubble. My ratings have Oregon at #45, which means they need to right the ship fast to lower their anxiety levels come Selection Sunday.

Like yesterday, here is today’s snapshot of the projected Top 40 rankings at the end of the regular season.

2014Jan24 - Top 40

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January 23, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , , , , ,

March Madness: Inaugural EnglePomWatch Ratings

I’ve attempted to write this for over a week but now that Joe Lunardi has put out his most ridiculous column in a long time, I figured now I need to pick up the pace.

The following is an up to date ranking of college basketball’s elite, based on a method started by VegasWatch here. The method is simple, really. Using KenPom ratings, compare how other teams’ would have fared by playing Team X’s schedule. Today, I’m going to hit on a few of the big outliers compared to Lunardi’s current bracket, and, barring laziness, give updates every few days after big wins/losses.

top4-2

 

 

 

OK, let me go over the columns, as there’s a lot of information in that graphic. c(W%) and f(W%) represent the team on the left’s current winning percentage (absent games against non-D1 opponents) and what their winning percentage is expected to be at the end of the regular season based on KenPom ratings. Pyth is the team’s current pythagorean rating, per KenPom. Now, we get into the basis of the method. c(SOS) is average difference in win percentage from the baseline teams (UCLA, Iowa, Oklahoma St, Villanova, Pittsburgh & Wichita St) and the actual win percentage from the team on the left. Note, that those 6 teams listed are completely arbitrary. They can be changed, but the general path of the data will remain the same.

So, if those 6 teams were to play Arizona’s schedule, we would expect their win% to be .814. Since Arizona’s is currently 1.000, we take the difference and end up with the Curr. Diff. column, in this case .186. This entire exercise has been done for all the teams with seeds 1-12 in the current Lunardi bracket, along with some bubble teams.

The f(SOS) and End. Diff. columns are the same method, only it’s projecting through season’s end. I think this is the best way to look at potential seeding, as this paints the picture of how we would expect this method to look in 6 weeks. I probably did a horrible job explaining this, but whatever. Head to the VegasWatch link at the top and search his archives. He probably explains it better than I did.

Kansas

 

The first team I want to look at is Lunardi’s current darling, Kansas. Lunardi has the Jayhawks as a one seed, and proceeded to write an article today explaining that. His logic (that their schedule has been super hard) is completely ignoring the fact that they already have 4 losses. In order for Kansas to end up as a one seed, you need to use some pretty optimistic projections for the rest of Kansas’ season. Luckily, I’m using some reasonable projections instead. I have Kansas ranked #10 when projecting through the end of the season. (Note: end of season is just that. This does not factor in the conference tournament.)

Yes, Kansas has played an incredibly difficult schedule. The hardest of all the teams I am tracking, in fact. But just because you have played a difficult schedule does not mean the results of the games shouldn’t matter. With his method, if you played 20 road games against the 20 best teams in college basketball and lost them all, you would have 40 “Winning Points” and would be a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Right.

Look, Kansas is a good team, and if they won the entire tournament this year, no one would be shocked. But to project them as a 1 seed now because they happened to play Villanova, Colorado, Florida and San Diego St., with total disregard for the outcome of the game, is absolutely insane.

kentucky

 

 

And I thought the Kansas seeding was bad. First of all, Kentucky hasn’t been good. Their only quality win was against Louisville. They are actually underperforming the performances expected for my 6 baseline teams. I think you can make a better case for them being unranked than being #14. They have one road win. They have done nothing of note this season and are being ranked and projected as if this were 2011. How Lunardi (or anyone) can have a team like Pittsburgh either ranked behind, or projected ahead of, Kentucky, should not be covering this sport. (Spoiler alert: Lunardi has Pitt as a 5 seed. I have them projecting as the 7th best resume in the country.) While Pitt’s schedule has been easier to-date, it projects equal at the end of season (.805 vs. .806). If you play an equal schedule, but have 2 fewer losses, that has to matter, right?

Anyway, there are a few other major differences between Lunardi and this method that I will touch on later. For now, here is the EnglePomWatch Top 40 projections for the end of the season.

top40

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