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Winners and Losers from Selection Sunday

March 19th, 2013 — 12:20am

Despite what many television analysts might say, seeding does have an enormous impact on a team’s chances to advance in the tournament. Every seed line you move up increases your chances of going further in the tournament. But the seeds don’t always play out that way, and so when the bracket is released we can see exactly what matchups each team will face on their path through the tournament.

WINNERS

Indiana has a clear path to the Final Four

The Hoosiers head the easiest of the four regions. Their 2nd round opponent will be the easiest of the 8/9 matchups (NC State or Temple). In the Sweet 16, Syracuse could provide a stiff test but each other region has a 4 or 5 seed as good or better than the Orange. And the bottom half of Indiana’s bracket is by far the easiest of any region: Miami is the worst 2-seed, Marquette is the worst 3-seed (along with New Mexico) and none of the other teams provide much of a threat. Nobody is ever a shoo-in for the Final Four, there’s too many games against too many good teams, but Indiana definitely increased their odds on Sunday with the path they were dealt.

Also benefiting from this easy bracket is 6-seed Butler, who has a relatively easy path to the Elite 8. Could they shock the world…again…and make it to the Final Four? Continue reading »

Comment » | College Basketball, March Madness, predictive, team evaluation

Bid Stealers

February 12th, 2013 — 12:21am

With the Super Bowl behind us, it’s time for me to turn my attention to college hoops for a couple months.

As we approach March, it’s all about teams trying to claw their way into the tournament. As you surely know, there are two ways to get into the dance: win your conference or get a coveted at-large berth.

Most of the time, the winner of the conference’s automatic bid has little bearing on other teams. In the Big Ten, if Indiana doesn’t win the bid, Michigan might. Or Ohio State. Or Michigan State. Regardless, those teams were getting in anyway. Conversely, in the traditional one-bid leagues, like the SWAC, it doesn’t matter who wins. The champion is going dancing and the rest of the conference is going home.

But there are the select few who can really ruin a bubble team’s Selection Sunday. The Bid Stealers. These are the teams that have a chance to win an at-large bid, but unlike the power conferences where the alternatives for the auto bid are themselves at-large locks, when these bid-stealers lose its a team that otherwise had no chance to make the tournament that takes the conference’s auto bid. These teams, should they get an at-large bid, are essentially stealing a bid from the at-large pool. (Seth Greenberg, above, is not happy that a bid-stealer took a bid from his Virginia Tech Hokies.) Continue reading »

2 comments » | College Basketball, March Madness

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