Monday, February 26, 2007

Bracket Time 2-26

1) UCLA (1) v. 16) Weber St.
8) Air Force v. 9) Creighton

4) Maryland v. 13) Vermont
5) Vanderbilt v. 12) Syracuse

2) Georgetown v. 15) South Alabama
7) UNLV v. 10) Texas Tech

3) Memphis v. 14) Oral Roberts
6) Oregon v. 11) Illinois

1) Florida (4) v. 16) East Tennessee St.
8) Butler v. 9) Arizona

4) Pittsburgh v. 13) Wright St.
5) Boston College v. 12) West Virginia

2) Wisconsin v. 15) Austin Peay
7) Louisville v. 10) Old Dominion

3) Virginia Tech v. 14) Penn
6) Texas v. 11) Purdue

1) Ohio St. (2) v. 16) Jackson St./Central Connecticut St.
8) Kentucky v. 9) Stanford

4) Duke v. 13) Holy Cross
5) Southern Cal v. 12) Virginia Commonwealth

2) Texas A&M v. 15) Sam Houston St.
7) Michigan St. v. 10) Xavier

3) Southern Illinois v. 14) Toledo
6) Tennessee v. 11) Villanova

1) North Carolina (3) v. 16) Delaware St.
8) Indiana v. 9) BYU

4) Nevada v. 13) Santa Clara
5) Notre Dame v. 12) Winthrop

2) Kansas v. 15) Long Beach St.
7) Marquette v. 10) Missouri St.

3) Washington St. v. 14) Marist
6) Virginia v. 11) Davidson

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Seedings 2-20

1: UCLA, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida
2: Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, Kansas, Ohio St.
3: Washington St., Georgetown, Memphis, Southern Illinois
4: Duke, Virginia Tech, Air Force, Nevada
5: Butler, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Marquette
6: Stanford, Indiana, Kentucky, Boston College
7: Texas, Southern Cal, BYU, Tennessee
8: Maryland, Notre Dame, Arizona, Oregon
9: Louisville, UNLV, Alabama, West Virginia
10: Villanova, Oklahoma St., Creighton, Xavier
11: Purdue, Clemson, Winthrop, Clemson
12: Virginia Comm., Akron, Davidson, Syracuse
13: Wright St., Santa Clara, Rhode Island, Holy Cross
14: Penn, Vermont, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Oral Roberts
15: Marist, Long Beach St., South Alabama, Austin Peay
16: Jackson St., Central Conn. St., Delaware St., Weber St., East Tennessee St.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Random-ness, Why I Don't Have Seedings/a Bracket here

To answer the second part first, it's because I'm simply waiting for the Kansas-Kansas State game tonight. If K-State wins, they are in for this week. The Wildcats lose and they are out and Purdue jumps in to take their place. I also ended up having to do something this week that I absolutely hate doing, and that is replacing a team in the bracket after they haven't lost during the week (Illinois in this case). But I refuse to ignore an 8-5 team in the Big East (Syracuse). This is also the time of year where "if the season ended today" plays a gi-normous role.

Look at Purdue's remaining schedule: @ Iowa, @ Northwestern, Minnesota, Northwestern again. Very real possibility to go 4-0 in that stretch (although I think I jinxed them there)

Syracuse has @ Providence, G-Town and @ Villanova. Very real chance to go 0-3 right there.

Now on to notes:
-This past Saturday with the BracketBusters is just so awesome. I started watching games at 11 am (Central) and didn't stop until New Mexico State had defended their seemingly impenetrable homecourt against Ohio around 1:10 the next morning. I will be doing the same thing in three weeks on the eve of Selection Sunday. Except I will be blogging the entire day for that. (Event brought to you by Full Throttle energy drink)

-Missouri State fans must be thinking, "Please don't let this come down to those 10 guys again." Bears fans, DO NOT look at this image.

-A ridiculous stat from that Missouri St.-Winthrop: The Eagles shot 67.4% in eFG for the game. Yes, including the first 10 minutes of the game.

-A team that started 17-0 has a very real possibility of not making the NCAA Tournament, and it hasn't shocked very many people.

-Andy Glockner on had a great point about Vandy beating Florida, and that is that the Commodores decided to throw the milk-the-clock logic out the window in the second half and just play the way they had been. All teams should take a pointer from Kevin Stallings with a decent second half lead. Sure, if you lose playing your offense, you're going to get burned for not clock-milking, but it's a whole hell of a lot better than losing after taking awkward 30-second possessions.

-I love Butler, but I have had this feeling ever since they had that first conference loss to UIC that this team will get screwed in seedings by the committee (eg Gonzaga in 2002, when they were still a borderline mid-major)

-Under the radar BYU, who might be in position to get as high as a 5 seed, is scoring an unbelievable 1.18 points per possession in Mountain West play. If they had been doing that in non-conference play, the Cougars would lead the nation in that stat.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Xavier Corollary

To be fair, this "theory" could just as easily be named after West Virginia from two years ago or Bradley from last year.

But if you remember the seasons that the aforementioned two teams had, you know what I am talking about. So, The Xavier Corollary is a team that was once left for dead as far as tournament hopes go, but catches fire in the last month or so to end up not only making the dance, but makes a Sweet 16 run.

The best example, and the name sake of this self-created term comes from a 2004 Xavier team that was 10-9 going into their annual Crosstown Shootout against Cincinnati on February 3. At that point, the Musketeers were on the outside of the NIT bubble with a 2-5 A10 record. Eighteen games later, they were thisclose to beating Duke in the Elite Eight and going to the Final Four.

Last year's Sweet 16 Bradley club was 13-9 and 7-7 in the MVC after a February 8 loss against Indiana State. Two years ago, West Virginia was 12-7 and 2-6 in the Big East after February 1 and made it to the Elite Eight and lost in overtime to Louisville.

Prime candidates to keep the yearly Xavier Corollary going this season include San Diego State, Ole Miss, Old Dominion and DePaul. Or maybe none of those teams. You just never know in college basketball.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Updating the Bracket 2-12

1. Florida v. 16. East Tennessee State
8. UNLV v. 9. Missouri St.

4. Indiana v. 13. Akron
5. Nevada v. 12. Maryland

2. Kansas v. 15. Long Beach St.
7. BYU v. 10. Notre Dame

3. Washington St. v. 14. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
6. Virginia v. 11. Vanderbilt

1. UCLA v. 16. Weber St.
8. Duke v. 9. Texas

4. Southern Illinois v. 13. Oral Roberts
5. Air Force v. 12. Gonzaga

2. Ohio St. v. 15. Austin Peay
7. Stanford v. 10. Florida St.

3. Georgetown v. 14. Vermont
6. Butler v. 11. Alabama

1. North Carolina v. 16. Delaware St.
8. Oklahoma St. v. 9. West Virginia

4. Kentucky v. 13. Davidson
5. Oregon v. 12. Winthrop

2. Pittsburgh v. 15. Penn
7. Tennessee v. 10. Kansas St.

3. Memphis v. 14. South Alabama
6. Virginia Tech v. 11. Virginia Commonwealth

1. Wisconsin v. 16. Miss. Valley St./Central Conn. St.
8. Villanova v. 9. Creighton

4. Boston College v. 13. Holy Cross
5. Arizona v. 12. Illinois

2. Texas A&M v. 15. Marist
7. Southern Cal v. 10. Xavier

3. Marquette v. 14. Wright St.
6. Clemson v. 11. Georgia

Friday, February 09, 2007

Climbing up the Ivy

The Ivy League, from the perspective of someone who also follows European soccer, is a lot like the Scottish Premier League. Two teams dominate it (Celtic FC and Rangers FC in our Penn and Princeton roles), and you know that one of them is going to win that league's title every year.

But what of them doesn't win? Wouldn't that just tear a hole in the fabric in both universes?

Well, I'm here to tell you no, and this is part of the reason why the Ivy League needs to have a conference tournament.

Among college basketball super-nuts, I feel like the consensus with the Ivy is something along the lines of, "Well, who cares if they have a conference tournament, Penn or Princeton will win it anyway." And justly so. This year, however, I am paying far more attention than would usually be the case, and that is because of Yale.

The school that brought us the skull and bones is leading the Ivy League with a 6-1 record and is right up there with Penn in overall efficiency in the Ivy. And hopefully, if this stays true, and Yale does the nearly unthinkable, it will push this conference into a tournament.

I know exactly what the Ivy brass would tell me, "The Ivy League does not award athletic scholarships and therefore would not deem it appropriate to have a postseason moneymaking venture." (Or something more lawyerspeak than that.)

Two words for all that crap: Patriot. League.

They only started allowing a limited amount of scholarships a couple years ago and even had a tourney when they were exclusively non-scholarship athletes. And they do it by playing all games at campus sites.

And that is why I will, for the at least the next month, be rooting for the Bulldogs to break this mold in hopes of them joining all of us less-intelligent folk in the greatness, fun, tension and heartbreak that is Championship Week. And the double-layered underdog thing is cool too.

Seedings after February 8

The aforemention Ivy League rant will have to wait for later tonight, as will my first bracket matchups and site pairings. But here are the seeds after I adjusted my S-Curve to eliminate intra-conference matchups.

No. 1: Florida, UCLA, North Carolina, Wisconsin
No. 2: Pittsburgh, Marquette, Ohio St., Texas A&M
No. 3: Washington St., Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon
No. 4: Georgetown, Butler, Memphis, Boston College
No. 5: Duke, Southern Illinois, Indiana, Air Force
No. 6: Nevada, Arizona, Virginia, Clemson
No. 7: Florida St., Virginia Tech, Stanford, Southern Cal
No. 8: BYU, Villanova, Oklahoma St., Creighton
No. 9: Missouri St., Texas, UNLV, Notre Dame
No. 10: Vanderbilt, Alabama, Gonzaga, Tennessee
No. 11: Kansas St., Illinois, West Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth
No. 12: Texas Tech, Winthrop, Xavier, Arkansas
No. 13: Davidson, UMass, Holy Cross, Akron
No. 14: Long Beach State, Tex. A&M-Corpus Christi, South Alabama, Oral Roberts
No. 15: Marist, Vermont, East Tennessee State, Austin Peay
No. 16: Yale, Central Conn. State, Delaware St., Jackson St., Weber St.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fun Time Stat-ness!

I don't give nearly enough creedence as I should to the genius of tempo-free stats. Let me just sum it up like this: these things don't lie.

Most of the time a TV presentation will tell you how well how well a team is shooting with just a percent number. But the most important statistic(s) in my oh-so-very humble opinion (IMOSVHO?) is (offensive and defensive) points per possession.

Let's take the small sample of two Big 12 teams. First, Texas Tech, which is in a freefallin' tailspin, losing four in a row, after once upon a two weeks ago co-leading the Big 12 (including one of the biggest kick-in-the-nads games against Nebraska on Tuesday). In all four losses, they have fallen below the recognized average point of one in the offensive category and allowed more than the one defensively.

The same exact thing has happened to Oklahoma State in their four conference losses. And if I talked about all the examples of this, I would not only kill my own bandwidth, but all of Blogger's as well.

Also, one of the things that I love that Big Ten Wonk does along the O-PPP/D-PPP lines has been expanded by the great K-Dub. Now, I just need to figure out how to sneak in these kind of stats into my write-ups on Dallas-Ft. Worth area high school games I cover without having to go on a 15-minute explain-a-stat lecture to them.

Look for a new bracket and an Ivy League rant coming tomorrow.