March Madness Current Rankings – January 29th Edition

For the 2016-2017 we have witnessed some major upsets, as well as some roller coaster seasons, for multiple teams. This year, I attempted to wait before posting my March Madness rankings as I needed this season to flesh out. You’ll see (and most likely argue) that the current rankings are so tight that a three seed may end up as a nine seed; and vice-versa.

For example, take yesterday’s scores: Florida State 72, Syracuse 82North Carolina 62, Miami FL 77Oregon 65, Colorado 74Georgetown 85, Butler 81Notre Dame 60, Georgia Tech 62. That’s 9 of the top 14 teams who played. Of those 9 teams, five lost to unranked teams yesterday. Those five are mentioned above. A sixth team lost (Kentucky) but that was in a decidedly close game with Kansas; another top 4 team.

Yesterday is the microcosm of almost every team in the NCAA this season, making for a crazy finish and a potentially horrendous Selection Sunday later this year. Duke and Louisville have been the darlings of this year. That is, they have either been ridiculously good or uncharacteristically bad in must-win (to get into the top 10) games.

ACC is a Mess… Thanks Florida State

Louisville has 4 losses to their name: Baylor, Virginia, Notre Dame, Florida State. However, they have defeated Duke and Kentucky. Going to Duke’s end, they have only five losses: Kansas, Florida State, Louisville, NC State, and Virginia Tech. Those last two are head scratchers. I bring these two teams up because Florida State is ahead of both in the standings column but not in my rankings. Why?

It’s because of their losses: North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, and Temple. That’s three losses to unranked teams with a couple by double digits.

West Virginia Muddles the Big-12

In the Big-12, we see a similar story. Baylor leads the conference with Kansas and holds a slightly better record overall. While this will change on February 1st, Baylor is slightly ahead in our rankings due to their only loss being to West Virginia. For Kansas, their losses are to Indiana and that same pesky West Virginia Team. This makes it look like West Virginia is the best team in the Big-12. Except for the fact that West Virginia has lost to Temple, Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Oklahoma.

The only reason West Virginia gets weight is because they have wins over #1 Baylor, #2 Kansas, and #6 Virginia. That’s an impressive resume despite the 4 unranked losses. Everyone else has been a win for the Mountaineers. This makes a “on-paper” #18 but a mathematically close top-10 team.

Big Ten Looks Miserably Great

Maryland leads the Big Ten, is 19-2, and is somehow our #33 team. This means our rankings are terrible! Not quite actually. Let’s look at Maryland’s resume… Their losses are to Pittsburgh and Nebraska, both at home. Both losses are to unranked teams with losing records in conference; one with a losing record despite a standard non-conference schedule. Losing to Gardner-Webb does that to you.

What this means is that Maryland lost at home to a team who couldn’t even beat a 12-11 Big South team at home. That’s detrimental when this season is tight for all teams across the board.

Compare this is Wisconsin, and we see all three of Wisconsin’s losses are against ranked opponents with two on the road; the lone home loss to a top-4 ranked opponent (North Carolina). Combine that with wins over a couple ranked opponents and a win over Marquette, who just ousted #1 Villanova at home, and Wisconsin has a much better case made that Maryland for being in the Top 10; let alone Top 25.

The Season Ain’t Over Yet…

That said, there is still a lot of basketball left to be played. Almost every team has ten games remaining on their regular season schedule. Combined with the conference tournaments, we should start seeing the power conference non-conference wins from the first half of the season start to lessen their impact on the overall rankings. We should also see teams on the border either rise up or fade away. Most importantly, we should be able to see the glut of teams at the top of the standings in each conference smooth out. For instance, Kansas gets Baylor at least two more times this season. Wisconsin and Maryland have yet to play (in Madison).

There’s a lot to still be done.

So with these things in mind, note that the current rankings are reflective of the chaotic first two-thirds of the season and things will drastically change over the next month. But for the time being, here are your current March Madness seedings:

 

mmbracket30january

Current seedings for the March Madness Tournament. 32 Conference Champions and 36 At-Large Bids.

 

The overall rankings from our model are listed here in spreadsheet format. It should be noted that, compared to the AP and Coaches Polls, 24 teams of our Top 25 are in the Top 25 for the respective polls. Maryland (#22 and #23, respectively) is #33 in our rankings; and we have unranked Wichita State sitting at #24. As a heads up… our model has a fairly decent fit of 0.5777.

fittedprobabilities

Comparison of actual scores in games (blue) to the predicted scores based on our model (red). How good if the fit? 0.5777 (Really good for variance-inflated Poisson regression against 3000 of a possible 61000 interactions!)

Rank Team Score MM Position AP Poll Coaches Poll
1 Gonzaga 0.56423 West Coast 3 3
2 Virginia 0.56829 ACC 12 13
3 Villanova 0.56622 Big East 1 2
4 Louisville 0.56585 At-Large 13 14
5 Baylor 0.56501 Big 12 5 5
6 West Virginia 0.56374 At-Large 18 18
7 Kentucky 0.56325 SEC 4 4
8 Kansas 0.56083 At-Large 2 1
9 North Carolina 0.56053 At-Large 9 6
10 Wisconsin 0.55964 Big Ten 15 15
11 Arizona 0.55836 Pac-12 7 9
12 Purdue 0.55786 At-Large 20 20
13 Duke 0.55491 At-Large 17 17
14 Florida 0.55385 At-Large 25 25
15 Butler 0.55367 At-Large 11 11
16 Oregon 0.55325 At-Large 10 10
17 Cincinnati 0.55248 American 19 19
18 Florida St 0.55106 At-Large 6 8
19 UCLA 0.55062 At-Large 8 7
20 Notre Dame 0.55061 At-Large 14 12
21 Creighton 0.55033 At-Large 16 16
22 South Carolina 0.54867 At-Large 23 24
23 St Mary’s CA 0.54777 At-Large 21 21
24 Wichita St 0.54746 Missouri Valley
25 Xavier 0.54656 At-Large 24 22
26 SMU 0.54471 At-Large 27 31
27 Iowa St 0.54453 At-Large 30 34
28 Northwestern 0.54294 At-Large 28 27
29 Indiana 0.54271 At-Large 29
30 Marquette 0.54263 At-Large
31 Oklahoma St 0.54237 At-Large
32 Michigan 0.54222 At-Large
33 Maryland 0.54214 At-Large 22 23
34 Miami FL 0.54142 At-Large 35
35 Clemson 0.54053 At-Large
36 Kansas St 0.54014 At-Large 26 28
37 Minnesota 0.53835 At-Large
38 Texas Tech 0.53819 At-Large
39 Virginia Tech 0.53738 At-Large 31
40 TCU 0.53711 At-Large
41 Tennessee 0.53644 At-Large
42 Georgetown 0.53559 At-Large
43 Dayton 0.53555 Atlantic 10 32
44 Wake Forest 0.53548 At-Large
45 USC 0.53491 At-Large 33 30
46 Syracuse 0.53473 At-Large
47 Utah 0.53451   37
48 Arkansas 0.53427  
49 VA Commonwealth 0.53407  
50 Michigan St 0.53379  
51 Illinois St 0.53229   35
52 Georgia 0.53199  
53 California 0.53187  
54 Ohio St 0.53183  
55 Seton Hall 0.53176  
56 Houston 0.53073  
57 Providence 0.52984  
58 Alabama 0.52978  
59 MTSU 0.52954 Conference USA 36 32
60 Texas A&M 0.52943  
61 Rhode Island 0.52862  
62 Illinois 0.52805  
63 Vanderbilt 0.52750  
64 Georgia Tech 0.52665  
65 Auburn 0.52512  
66 NC State 0.52510  
67 Penn St 0.52479  
68 Mississippi 0.52478  
69 Pittsburgh 0.52459  
70 Memphis 0.52438
71 Nevada 0.52425 Mountain West 36
72 UCF 0.52417
73 Iowa 0.52328
74 UNC Wilmington 0.52321 CAA 29 26
75 Texas 0.52292
76 Oklahoma 0.52222
77 BYU 0.52213
78 Valparaiso 0.52148 Horizon
79 Mississippi St 0.52135
80 Nebraska 0.52132
81 ETSU 0.52062 Southern
82 Stanford 0.51983
83 Colorado 0.51917
84 Akron 0.51905 Mid-American 34
85 New Mexico St 0.51803 WAC 33
86 Davidson 0.51787
87 Temple 0.51706
88 San Diego St 0.51660
89 Vermont 0.51659 America East
90 UT Arlington 0.51630 Sun Belt
91 Loyola-Chicago 0.51582
92 St John’s 0.51574
93 Monmouth NJ 0.51572 MAAC
94 Col Charleston 0.51528
95 St Bonaventure 0.51514
96 Boise St 0.51505
97 Richmond 0.51480
98 San Francisco 0.51442
99 Connecticut 0.51396
100 Belmont 0.51389 Ohio Valley
101 Ohio 0.51388
102 Bucknell 0.51340 Patriot
103 Princeton 0.51332 Ivy League
104 La Salle 0.51320
105 Tulsa 0.51304
106 Arizona St 0.51298
107 Chattanooga 0.51277
108 New Mexico 0.51273
109 Rutgers 0.51266
110 Louisiana Tech 0.51218
111 Colorado St 0.51059
112 Arkansas St 0.51005
113 Massachusetts 0.50996
114 St Joseph’s PA 0.50939
115 Missouri St 0.50931
116 George Mason 0.50916
117 FL Gulf Coast 0.50863 Atlantic Sun
118 Oakland 0.50856
119 LSU 0.50842
120 Furman 0.50835  
121 G Washington 0.50832
122 Boston College 0.50812
123 UAB 0.50758  
124 Old Dominion 0.50712
125 UNC Asheville 0.50688 Big South
126 Yale 0.50612
127 Fresno St 0.50603
128 IPFW 0.50602
129 Wyoming 0.50596
130 Lehigh 0.50589
131 Washington 0.50565
132 E Michigan 0.50538
133 Winthrop 0.50476
134 Rice 0.50418
135 Iona 0.50416  
136 Northeastern 0.50399
137 Northern Iowa 0.50361
138 Elon 0.50359
139 UNC Greensboro 0.50344
140 N Dakota St 0.50334 Summit
141 Towson 0.50326
142 Georgia St 0.50323
143 W Kentucky 0.50323
144 Harvard 0.50322
145 Marshall 0.50311
146 Santa Clara 0.50278
147 ULL 0.50275
148 DePaul 0.50259
149 Utah St 0.50176
150 CS Bakersfield 0.50166
151 Toledo 0.50092
152 Tennessee St 0.50008
153 Samford 0.49985
154 Evansville 0.49974
155 Penn 0.49971
156 William & Mary 0.49958
157 Indiana St 0.49931
158 South Dakota 0.49916
159 Washington St 0.49901
160 Ga Southern 0.49895
161 Loy Marymount 0.49893
162 S Illinois 0.49872
163 N Kentucky 0.49819
164 Kent 0.49815
165 Denver 0.49814
166 NC Central 0.49797 MEAC
167 Weber St 0.49775 Big Sky
168 UC Irvine 0.49765 Big West
169 Canisius 0.49758
170 Missouri 0.49758
171 Grand Canyon 0.49752
172 Mercer 0.49713
173 East Carolina 0.49686
174 N Illinois 0.49662
175 Ball St 0.49654
176 Air Force 0.49644
177 Albany NY 0.49634
178 C Michigan 0.49627
179 Wright St 0.49598
180 WI Green Bay 0.49549
181 St Peter’s 0.49526
182 Boston Univ 0.49522
183 Navy 0.49511
184 UNLV 0.49508
185 Wofford 0.49458
186 San Jose St 0.49448
187 Buffalo 0.49443
188 E Washington 0.49438
189 Duquesne 0.49360
190 Fordham 0.49348
191 Montana 0.49333
192 San Diego 0.49316
193 Charlotte 0.49274
194 Troy 0.49268
195 TN Martin 0.49260
196 New Hampshire 0.49229
197 Sam Houston St 0.49224 Southland
198 UMBC 0.49222
199 Siena 0.49221
200 Hofstra 0.49191
201 New Orleans 0.49176
202 NE Omaha 0.49167
203 Morehead St 0.49152
204 Lipscomb 0.49135
205 Murray St 0.49115
206 Liberty 0.49064
207 Ark Little Rock 0.49062
208 UC Davis 0.49052
209 Coastal Car 0.49036
210 Jacksonville St 0.49028
211 Stony Brook 0.49020
212 Drake 0.48973
213 Oral Roberts 0.48973
214 IL Chicago 0.48968
215 Columbia 0.48949
216 Utah Valley 0.48897
217 Mt St Mary’s 0.48870 Northeast
218 SC Upstate 0.48858
219 TX Southern 0.48818 SWAC
220 Bradley 0.48791
221 North Dakota 0.48739
222 South Alabama 0.48728
223 Holy Cross 0.48711
224 Montana St 0.48701  
225 Fairfield 0.48692
226 IUPUI 0.48684
227 Army 0.48643
228 Pacific 0.48640
229 Gardner Webb 0.48631
230 Texas St 0.48608
231 W Michigan 0.48605
232 Missouri KC 0.48603
233 E Illinois 0.48577
234 S Dakota St 0.48551
235 SF Austin 0.48540
236 Quinnipiac 0.48515
237 CS Northridge 0.48515
238 SE Missouri St 0.48500  
239 Portland St 0.48471
240 Rider 0.48467
241 Portland 0.48464
242 Long Beach St 0.48409
243 Bowling Green 0.48365
244 Drexel 0.48360
245 High Point 0.48334
246 Brown 0.48322
247 Idaho 0.48321
248 F Dickinson 0.48308
249 Loyola MD 0.48307  
250 Hawaii 0.48285
251 Tulane 0.48281
252 South Florida 0.48223
253 James Madison 0.48192
254 Miami OH 0.48188
255 Cleveland St 0.48167
256 Houston Bap 0.48160
257 Manhattan 0.48133
258 Appalachian St 0.48107
259 TAM C. Christi 0.48099
260 Lamar 0.48093
261 SE Louisiana 0.48071
262 St Louis 0.48068
263 Long Island 0.48054
264 Niagara 0.48054  
265 WI Milwaukee 0.48020
266 Wagner 0.47986
267 FL Atlantic 0.47973
268 NJIT 0.47907
269 Cornell 0.47885
270 Pepperdine 0.47842
271 St Francis PA 0.47826
272 Oregon St 0.47810
273 Tennessee Tech 0.47805
274 Seattle 0.47777
275 Delaware 0.47650
276 UTEP 0.47642
277 Bryant 0.47639
278 MA Lowell 0.47627
279 N Colorado 0.47598
280 North Florida 0.47584
281 Incarnate Word 0.47582
282 Jacksonville 0.47569
283 Radford 0.47532
284 Youngstown St 0.47528
285 Kennesaw 0.47516  
286 E Kentucky 0.47492
287 North Texas 0.47468
288 Colgate 0.47444
289 Austin Peay 0.47441
290 UTRGV 0.47424
291 Binghamton 0.47416
292 Campbell 0.47409
293 UC Riverside 0.47398
294 ULM 0.47398
295 Citadel 0.47387
296 Robert Morris 0.47356
297 W Illinois 0.47338
298 CS Fullerton 0.47292
299 Florida Intl 0.47267
300 UT San Antonio 0.47206
301 Northwestern LA 0.47196
302 Nicholls St 0.47188
303 American Univ 0.47159
304 Detroit 0.47110
305 Cal Poly SLO 0.47061
306 Charleston So 0.47028
307 Marist 0.46909
308 Sacred Heart 0.46861
309 CS Sacramento 0.46849
310 Cent Arkansas 0.46815
311 Abilene Chr 0.46782
312 VMI 0.46756
313 Stetson 0.46747
314 McNeese St 0.46736
315 Norfolk St 0.46684
316 Edwardsville 0.46657
317 Southern Univ 0.46529
318 Santa Barbara 0.46505
319 Dartmouth 0.46464
320 MD E Shore 0.46449
321 Chicago St 0.46388
322 Alcorn St 0.46337
323 Hartford 0.46333
324 W Carolina 0.46325
325 Maine 0.46301
326 Morgan St 0.46294
327 Northern Arizona 0.46277
328 Savannah St 0.46143
329 Lafayette 0.46101
330 Idaho St 0.46024
331 Southern Miss 0.45996
332 Prairie View 0.45977
333 Hampton 0.45909
334 Jackson St 0.45903
335 Southern Utah 0.45851
336 Central Conn 0.45490
337 St Francis NY 0.45442
338 S Carolina St 0.45359
339 Longwood 0.45091
340 Howard 0.45062
341 Grambling 0.44944
342 Alabama St 0.44910
343 MS Valley St 0.44871
344 Delaware St 0.44628
345 Florida A&M 0.44611
346 Bethune-Cookman 0.44559
347 Presbyterian 0.44518
348 Ark Pine Bluff 0.44513
349 Coppin St 0.44175
350 Alabama A&M 0.42701
351 NC A&T 0.01039
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