Category: team evaluation

SEC, Big 12, C-USA, Pac-12, SWAC, and Southland Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 12th, 2013 — 7:10pm

Click here to check out all the conference tournament predictions.

It’s a weak SEC, but they do have one Final Four contender in Florida. That combination makes the Gators overwhelming favorites. Behind them are bubble teams galore, with Kentucky as the most likely to unseat Florida, but they are without star Nerlens Noel.

SdTeam2nd RdQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
11Texas A&M63.610.
9Louisiana State56.
12South Carolina64.
13Mississippi State35.

As always, Kansas is the favorite, though the field is a better bet. Kansas State tied the Jayhawks for the regular season title but it’s the 3-seed Oklahoma State that has the best chance to knock off Kansas.

3Oklahoma State59.940.819.4
2Kansas State72.931.111.2
5Iowa State57.119.28.9
8West Virginia79.710.03.00.7
9Texas Tech20.
10Texas Christian14.

In my update on potential Bid Stealers, the top two teams that could turn a 1-bid league into a 2-bid league were Middle Tennessee and Memphis. Well, Middle Tennessee already lost in the Sun Belt tournament, and while other bracketologists aren’t quite as high on their at-large chances as my system is, they do all agree that Memphis is a tournament lock regardless. The worse news for bubble teams is that the rest of the conference–led by 2-seed Southern Miss–provides enough competition to make it more likely than not that someone besides the Tigers wins the C-USA tournament.

2Southern Mississippi77.753.126.4
3Texas-El Paso76.631.610.6
4East Carolina44.310.23.7
10Southern Methodist35.

The Pac-12 isn’t as bad as it has been, but it’s still not great. Arizona, despite their #4 seed, is the clear favorite. But the rest of top 5 plus 8-seed Stanford all have reasonable shots to take the auto bid.

11Washington State46.
7Southern California64.
9Arizona State39.713.83.31.1
12Oregon State26.

A conference has to be pretty bad for the 220th-best team to be an 80% favorite. And, well, the SWAC is that bad. The only other team that could compete with Southern is Texas Southern and they are ineligible for the conference tourney. Of note is that even in a group of terrible teams, one teams stands out from the pack. Grambling is so bad this year that they are 96% likely to lose to the 6-seed and 339th-ranked (out of 347) team in the country, Alabama A&M. That’s impressive ineptitude.

2Jackson State56.332.56.8
6Alabama A&M96.010.84.2
3Alcorn State50.824.83.8
5Alabama State43.723.32.8
4Prairie View49.219.42.4

The Southland tournament features one of the best low-major teams in Stephen F. Austin. They have a 62% chance to join the big dance, but Northwestern State and Oral Roberts could both stand in the Lumberjacks way.

1Stephen F. Austin89.662.0
2Northwestern State56.921.5
3Oral Roberts81.338.513.8
5Nicholls State64.441.55.31.5
4Southeastern Louisiana43.04.01.0
6Sam Houston State66.514.84.20.2
8McNeese State35.615.51.10.0
7Central Arkansas33.

Next up: the final installment including the ACC, Big Ten, Atlantic 10, Big West, Great West, and Big Sky.

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Big East, Mountain West, and WAC Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 11th, 2013 — 8:57pm

Click here to check out all the conference tournament predictions.

Georgetown got the #1 seed but 2-seed Louisville is the big favorite here. Pittsburgh is actually the most likely team to emerge from Georgetown’s half of the bracket.

SdTeam2nd RdQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
6Notre Dame85.
10St. John's (NY)
12Seton Hall48.
13South Florida51.

New Mexico is the top seed and Colorado State is the best team and 2-seed, but it’s host UNLV that is the favorite to win the Mountain West tourney. Ah, the powers of home court. The final four with the three aforementioned teams plus San Diego St. should be a lot of fun to watch. All four teams are ranked between 15th and 33rd in my predictive rankings with UNLV actually the worst of the four.

3Nevada-Las Vegas86.950.034.8
2Colorado State90.245.728.7
1New Mexico76.543.016.7
4San Diego State68.135.714.6
5Boise State31.913.63.5
6Air Force13.13.10.7
7Fresno State9.81.20.2

Denver is a near coin-flip to win the WAC. Top seed Louisiana Tech and 3-seed New Mexico State should provide some stiff competition, however. Utah State has a decent shot to upset.

1Louisiana Tech89.257.522.4
3New Mexico State75.730.919.1
5Utah State70.232.38.9
9Texas-San Antonio59.
7Texas State49.
8San Jose State40.

Next up: the SEC, Big 12, C-USA, Pac-12, SWAC, and Southland tip off Wednesday.

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MAC and MEAC Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 11th, 2013 — 8:37pm

Previously covered: (1) Big South and Horizon, (2) A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC, (3) MVC, (4) SoCon, MAAC, and Sun Belt, and (5) America East, Summit, and Colonial.

As the clear-cut best teams in the conference and armed with double byes to the semifinals (actually a triple-bye), Akron and Ohio are the clear favorites to win the MAC. However, Akron just lost their starting PG, Alex Abreu, which should make Ohio the odds-on favorite. Kent State and Western Michigan get the two double byes as the 3rd and 4th seeds and are dark horse candidates. Look for the Golden Flashes, especially, as they appear on Akron’s half of the bracket.

SdTeam2nd RdQtrsSemisFinalsChamp
4Kent State69.116.86.4
3Western Michigan71.521.25.7
6Bowling Green State80.
5Ball State41.510.71.30.2
11Miami (OH)19.813.
7Eastern Michigan77.818.
9Central Michigan22.410.
10Northern Illinois22.

North Carolina Central is a decent favorite, but the conference is very balanced behind them. Last year’s tournament cinderella Norfolk State, who knocked off Missouri as a 15-seed, is the top seed here and the most likely team to knock of NC Central.

2North Carolina Central76.959.839.6
1Norfolk State68.735.318.0
5Morgan State87.754.031.815.5
4Savannah State85.341.220.28.8
7North Carolina A&T76.
6Delaware State61.330.38.52.3
10Florida A&M23.
9Coppin State32.
12South Carolina State12.
13Maryland-Eastern Shore14.

Next up: Big East, Mountain West, and WAC.

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America East, Summit, and Colonial Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 7th, 2013 — 10:01pm

Previously covered: (1) Big South and Horizon, (2) A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC, (3) MVC, and (4) SoCon, MAAC, and Sun Belt.

Three tournaments begin play Saturday. The America East is a 3-team race led by top seed Stony Brook, who wins nearly half the time. The 2-seed Vermont has the best chance to knock them off, and the host Albany can’t be overlooked with home court advantage throughout.

1Stony Brook97.857.947.8
4Albany (NY)87.940.017.3
7New Hampshire22.511.31.4
6Maryland-Baltimore County22.02.70.0

Before Taylor Braun went out with a foot injury, North Dakota St. was riding high at 15-3 as one of the best non-major conference teams in the country. In the 10 games he missed, they went just 5-5 and dropped to 3rd in the conference. Braun is back and after struggling in his first game back, went for 22 in his 2nd game back. Watch for the Bison in this one as even with those 10 games weighting them down, I still project them to win over half the time. The biggest competition is last year’s conference champion South Dakota St. led by Nate Wolters. Those two teams win over 80% of the time. Continue reading »

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What’s Wrong with the Hawkeyes?

March 7th, 2013 — 12:26am

Amazingly, the Achievement S-Curve matches up well with the traditional Bracketology projections out there such as the one at ESPN. The only current differences between my ASC and ESPN’s Bracketology occur at the very end of the bracket. All of Lunardi’s tournament teams are at least in my first 6 teams out of the bracket and all of my tournament teams are at least in his first 4 out. Except one.

All year, the biggest discrepancy between the Achievement S-Curve and traditional s-curves has been Iowa. Until recently, they weren’t even among those considered for the bracket. They have now snuck their way not into the First Four Out or the Next Four Out, but as the Ninth Team Out and last team considered for ESPN’s bracket. Now, the Hawkeyes are no perfect team, and what I love about the NCAA Tournament as opposed to the BCS is that there are no real “snubs”. If you’re not one of the top 34 non-automatic qualifiers, you don’t have much of a gripe.

That said, we can still try to pick the 34 most deserving at-large teams and Iowa certainly appears to be in the heart of that discussion. The Hawkeyes are 19-11 against what I measure as the 10th toughest schedule in the country. However, teams that appear much more flawed are listed ahead of them. Let’s take a look at a few of the issues that are influencing this misperception. Continue reading »

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SoCon, MAAC, and Sun Belt Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 6th, 2013 — 10:11pm

If you missed it, here are the previous conferences covered: (1) Horizon and Big South, (2) A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC, and (3) Missouri Valley.

The Southern Conference, once again, has been dominated by Davidson. The Wildcats haven’t been quite good enough to garner any at-large consideration, but the way they’ve run through the SoCon it shouldn’t matter. They have a 2 in 3 chance to head back to the NCAA Tournament. Should somebody stop them, it will have to be the College of Charleston, and they have a 20% chance to do so. Elon at 8% is the only other team with more than a prayer. Continue reading »

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Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 6th, 2013 — 8:33pm

I’ve already covered the Big South and Horizon tournaments, as well as the A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC. The Missouri Valley, along with Bucknell, Belmont, and the WCC power duo of Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s already covered, sports two potential Bid Stealers as both Creighton and Wichita State should be in the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens in Arch Madness this week.

There is, however, a good chance that a team outside of the MVC’s top pair takes home the tournament title and accompanying ticket to the big dance. Northern Iowa, Illinois St, Indiana St., and Evansville combined have a nearly 20% chance to win the title, with each having a better than 3% chance. For Creighton and Wichita State, they still have plenty to play for. Right now, both teams are looking at a seed in the middle of the pack, and they want to do everything they can to move off the 8 and 9 seed lines. A couple wins in the conference tournament could shift them into the 5-7 seeds and greatly increase their chances of reaching the Sweet 16.

2Wichita State90.962.733.0
3Northern Iowa51.219.67.5
6Illinois State48.816.45.6
5Indiana State52.513.73.1
10Southern Illinois62.
7Missouri State37.

Next up: The Southern, MAAC, and Sun Belt conferences get under way Friday.

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Bid Stealers – 2013 Conference Tournament Edition

March 6th, 2013 — 10:16am

Earlier this season, I looked at those teams who could potentially shrink the at-large pool by getting upset in their conference tournament. These potential “Bid Stealers” are generally teams from mid-major conferences where they are the only viable at-large candidate. When they don’t win the conference tournament, that automatic bid is going to a team that otherwise would have no chance of going dancing and therefore they are stealing a bid from another at-large candidate.

As we enter Conference Tournament season, it’s time to refresh that look at this year’s potential Bid Stealers. My process for determining auto and at-large bids relies on a simulation of the remainder of the season followed by an application of my Achievement S-Curve to determine NCAA Tournament bids. My Achievement S-Curve (ASC) is based on what I think the criteria for selection should be, and is not trying to mimic the selection committee.

Here are this year’s potential Bid Stealers: Continue reading »

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A-Sun, Northeast, Patriot, OVC, and WCC Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 6th, 2013 — 12:14am

This is the second group of conference tournament I’ll take a look at. Earlier I looked at the Big South and Horizon tournaments.

The Atlantic Sun is mostly a two-team conference. Florida Gulf Coast ranks as the best team in the conference (#173 in my predictive rankings), but Mercer is close behind (#184) while grabbing the top seed and having the benefit of hosting the conference tournament. That is enough to make Mercer a better bet than the field here at 54%. FGCU is the only other team in double digits (23%), as far as their chances to go dancing. Continue reading »

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Big South and Horizon Conference Tournament Predictions – 2013

March 5th, 2013 — 11:14pm

First up among this year’s conference tournaments are the Big South and the Horizon as both leagues kicked off with their 1st Round games today.

The Big South is one of the weakest leagues in the country, and my predictive ratings rank just one team in the top 190 teams in the country: Charleston Southern at #164, making them the favorite in the Big South. With host Coastal Carolina and the next-strongest team UNC-Asheville both getting upset tonight, the only other team with a reasonable chance at unseating Charleston Southern is Gardner-Webb, clocking in at a 19% chance at snagging the Big South’s automatic bid (which will definitely increase after tonight’s upsets). Continue reading »

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