Bracketology: Three Days Remain!

Building off our most recent posts: Bracketology: Five Days Remaining and Bracketology: Four Days Remain, we gave our updated brackets along with a few steps for Bubble teams to take during their conference tournament play to ensure entry into the NCAA Tournament. Here we primarily focused on Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio State, and Michigan State of the Big Ten Conference; Vanderbilt and Georgia of the SEC; TCU, Texas Tech, and Kansas State of the Big 12; Cal and Utah of the Pac-12; Pittsburgh, Clemson, and Syracuse of the ACC; Dayton and VCU of the Atlantic 10; and Illinois State.

From the Thursday games we witnessed:

  • TCU defeat Kansas.
  • Indiana defeat Iowa.
  • Illinois lose to Michigan.
  • Vanderbilt defeat Texas A&M
  • California defeat Utah
  • Georgia defeat Tennessee
  • Mississippi defeat Missouri
  • Kansas State defeat Baylor

That’s a lot of teams at the bottom of the NCAA Tournament short list that won a day after several bottom teams lost. Today we need to sort out the 58 conference tournament games and see their impact on our models.

No conference tournaments held championship games today. Friday will see no tournament completions either. Fourteen tournaments complete on Saturday with the remaining six tournaments complete on Selection Sunday.

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the conference leaders. Capital lettered teams have won their conference tournament and are guaranteed entry. The other teams are selected due to our rating.

  • America East: Vermont (28-5, 16-0)
    • Currently in the America East Championship vs. Albany on March 8th. Winner goes to the tournament, loser is out. No At-Larges for this conference.
  • American: Cincinnati (27-4, 16-2)
    • Tournament starts March 9th. Projected 2 tournament slots.
  • Atlantic 10: Dayton (24-6, 15-3)
    • Tournament starts March 8th. Projected 2 tournament slots.
  • Atlantic Coast: North Carolina (27-6, 14-4)
    • Tournament started yesterday. Projected 11 tournament slots. 1 teams first 10 out.
  • Atlantic Sun: FLORIDA GULF COAST (26-7, 12-2)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Big 12: Kansas (28-4, 16-2)
    • Tournament starts March 8th. Projected 7 tournament slots. 2 teams first 10 out.
  • Big East: Villanova (29-3, 15-3)
    • Tournament starts March 8th. Projected 6 tournament slots.
  • Big Sky: Eastern Washington (22-10, 13-5)
    • Tournament in final four. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Big South: WINTHROP (26-6, 15-3)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Big Ten: Purdue (25-6, 14-4)
    • Tournament starts March 8th. Projected 7 tournament slots. 4 teams in first 10.
  • Big West: UC Irvine (20-13, 12-4)
    • Tournament starts March 9th. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Colonial Athletic: UNC-WILMINGTON (29-5, 15-3)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Conference USA: Middle Tennessee (28-4, 17-1)
    • Tournament starts today. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Horizon League: NORTHERN KENTUCKY (24-10, 12-6)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Ivy League: Princeton (21-6, 14-0)
    • Tournament starts March 11th. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Metro Atlantic: IONA (22-12, 12-8)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Mid-American: Akron (25-7, 14-4)
    • Tournament starts March 9th. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Mid-Eastern: North Carolina Central (24-8, 13-3)
    • Tournament in final four. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Missouri Valley: WICHITA STATE (30-4, 17-1)
    • Only 1 tournament slot.
  • Mountain West: Nevada (26-6, 14-4)
    • Tournament starts March 8th. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Northeast: MT. ST. MARY’S (19-15, 14-4)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Ohio Valley: JACKSONVILLE STATE (20-14, 9-7)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Pac 12: UCLA (29-3, 15-3)
    • Tournament starts March 8th. Projected 4 tournament slots. 1 team in first 10.
  • Patriot League: BUCKNELL (26-8, 15-3)
    • Tournament in championship game. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Southeastern: Kentucky (26-5, 16-2)
    • Tournament starts March 8th. Projected 4 tournament slots. 2 teams in first 10.
  • Southern: EAST TENNESSEE STATE (27-7, 14-4)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Southland: New Orleans (18-11, 13-5)
    • Tournament starts today. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • SWAC: Texas Southern (21-11, 16-2)
    • Tournament in final four. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • Summit League: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (18-16, 8-8)
    • Only 1 tournament team.
  • Sun Belt: UT – Arlington (24-7, 14-4)
    • Tournament starts March 8th. Projected 1 tournament slot.
  • West Coast: GONZAGA (32-1, 17-1)
    • Projected 2 tournament teams.
  • Western Athletic: New Mexico State (26-5, 11-3)
    • Tournament starts March 9th. Projected 1 tournament slot.

Current Bracket:

MMBracketMAR10

Current seedings for the NCAA Tournament based on the Jacobs models for rankings after March 9th.

We saw some changes! Let’s break them down…

#69: Syracuse (18-14, 10-8, ACC)

Syracuse got pushed out due to a slew of bubble team wins. Moving down two spots, the Orangemen are right on the thinnest part of the bubble. With no games left, this does not mean that ‘Cuse is out. An Indiana loss could swap the teams; as Indiana has taken their place for the time being. Syracuse needs Indiana to lose to a struggling Wisconsin to help their odds at taking a seed on Selection Sunday.

#68: Indiana (18-14, 7-11, Big Ten)

Indiana took care of business today. They beat up Iowa, ending Iowa’s hopes of making the NCAA Tournament. With Indiana sitting on the edge of the bubble, they are prime candidates to fall right back out; particularly with a loss to struggling Wisconsin on Friday.

To get in: Need at least a win over Wisconsin.

Who’s still knocking?

#70: Vanderbilt (18-14, 10-8, SEC)

Vanderbilt took care of business on Thursday against Texas A&M. Many brackets have this 18-14 team in the NCAA Tournament over several other 18-14 teams with similar resumes. This is not far-fetched; but this team needs more work done in order to secure a spot. It starts on Friday against Florida.

To get in: Need at least a win against Florida.

#71: TCU (18-14, 6-12, Big 12)

TCU picked up the win they needed. It moved them three spots closer to the tournament, but they still find themselves out. Why? Many other teams won too. If TCU wins one more against Iowa State, TCU not only find themselves in the Big 12 title game, but that should solidify their resume for the NCAA Tournament.

To get in: Get one more win over Iowa State to separate themselves from the other six bubble teams that picked up key wins today.

#72: Georgia (18-13, 9-9, SEC)

Georgia eliminated the last shred of hope from Tennessee on Thursday but still find themselves a few spots out. They need to beat Kentucky to make a case.

To get in: Need at least a win against Kentucky.

#75: California (22-11, 10-8, Pac 12)

Cal picked up the win they needed on Thursday against Utah. However, Utah was on its last leg; virtually no chance of making the Tournament. Cal needed to win just to have a chance. Now they have to make big moves. Beating Oregon makes a case. But with TCU beating Kansas and Kansas State beating Baylor; Cal has competition with teams on the fringe and crawling from the 75th team in the Tournament (7th out) to that needed 68th spot.

To get in: Need a win over Oregon. Still may not be enough.

#76: Mississippi (20-12, 10-8, SEC)

Wait… Ole Miss won and they fell a spot? That’s because they beat Missouri while other teams beat bigger opponents. Recall that we said that the Rebels needed to make the SEC championship game in an effort to make the tournament. This continues by taking on Arkansas on Friday. A loss will end their hopes.

To get in: Need to at least beat Arkansas.

What about those other bubble teams?

#73: Illinois (18-14, 8-10, Big Ten)

Bubble popped with a loss against Michigan.

#74: Iowa (18-14, 10-8, Big Ten)

Bubble popped with a loss to Indiana.

#85: Utah (20-11, 11-7, Pac 12)

Utah’s loss to Cal on Thursday ended their hopes.

#78: Illinois State (27-6, 17-1, Missouri Valley)

Illinois State is finally out. They have been out considering standard models such as Bradley-Terry, Mallow, Directed Acyclic Graph Pairwise Comparison, Elo, Pythagrean, and Colley. The only measure that had them in was RPI (By the way RPI is proven to not be statistically sound). Why brackets still had them in; well… statistics isn’t their thing.

So who is in danger of dropping out of the tournament?

#65: Kansas State (19-12, 8-10, Big 12)

Kansas State moved up a couple more spots with a big win over Baylor. This is the second win over the Bears for the Wildcats. Kansas State has a solid resume despite a terrible conference record. We analyzed this two days ago. Feel free to scroll up, clink the link and re-read. Kansas State did what they needed to get in.

To get in: Should be safe. 

#67: Clemson (17-15, 6-12, ACC)

Why is Clemson here? Because teams that beat them are still winning key games. Duke just knocked off Louisville. Clemson should not be here. Give another two days to find Clemson finally eradicated from here. Clemson’s on here only because we do not weight wins based on recency. This is also why Indiana is higher up on our list compared to other brackets. For Indiana, they have wins over North Carolina and Kansas; both early in the season.

To get in: Clemson will be out. Wait for it.

#61: Wake Forest (19-13, 9-9, ACC)

Based on the results from today, Wake Forest’s resume actually got better without playing. Moving a single spot up, Wake is benefitting from wins by teams that they have beaten. Wake is getting to the point where they are safe.

#63: Michigan State (19-13, 10-8, Big Ten)

Michigan State got their win against Penn State. They should be safe. With their next game against Minnesota on Friday, Michigan State can pad their resume with a win.

#64: Providence (20-11, 10-8, Big East)

Providence needed to beat Creighton to stay safe but lost by double digits. This drops Providence a spot making them our fifth-to-last team in. Their work is not done. They need to worry about Vanderbilt, TCU, and Georgia. If one of these teams falter, then expect Providence to be safe.

#56: Xavier (20-12, 9-9, Big East)

Xavier beat Butler. Taking care of business moved them from 60th in the tournament field (32 auto bids + 29 at-large teams ahead of them) to 56th. That four team jump guarantees Xavier to be in.

That’s where we will leave most teams today. Tomorrow, we will take a quick glimpse on how today’s games shape the rankings for the NCAA Tournament. Here, we will leave you with our comparisons to the Coaches Poll, AP Poll, and the Lunardi selection.

NOTE: As of right now (4 AM Eastern Time), Lunardi has not updated his rankings. Therefore, we leave that column blank. As soon as his rankings are updated, we will update the comparisons.

EDIT: Lunardi has finally posted his rankings this morning.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 1.31.59 PM

Our rankings, team, ranking score, March Madness Position, AP Poll Ranking, Coaches Poll Ranking, Lunardi Ranking. #1 – #38.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 1.32.21 PM

Our rankings, team, ranking score, March Madness Position, AP Poll Ranking, Coaches Poll Ranking, Lunardi Ranking. #38 – #75.

One final note: We find ourselves two differences from Lunardi’s poll. Based on his Tweets from Thursday night, Lunardi moved Illinois State out and replaced them with Kansas State. Our main difference is Clemson vs. Vanderbilt. That and we dropped Syracuse for Indiana. So we are still two teams apart.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to sound off and catch the Conference Tournament action going on right now!

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One thought on “Bracketology: Three Days Remain!

  1. Pingback: Bracketology: Two Days Remain… | Squared Statistics: Analyzing Crime, Sports, and People

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