Monday, January 2, 2017

Bracket Projection: 1/2

The first week of conference play is in the books, and it came with the usual assortment of exciting upsets. Due to the conservative nature of this prediction system and my belief that good teams are still good even when they lose a game on the road in conference, the field doesn't change too much. Let's take a look at what my computer spit out this week:

1 Villanova Kentucky Kansas Baylor
2 Virginia Gonzaga Duke Louisville
3 UCLA North Carolina Creighton Xavier
4 West Virginia Butler Arizona Florida
5 Florida St. Oregon Saint Mary's USC
6 Notre Dame Cincinnati Wisconsin Purdue
7 Minnesota Clemson Indiana Arkansas
8 Miami FL Virginia Tech South Carolina Maryland
9 Iowa St. Oklahoma St. Northwestern SMU
10 Seton Hall VCU TCU Michigan
11 Illinois Wichita St. Pittsburgh UT Arlington
11 Rhode Island Texas A&M
12 Monmouth Middle Tennessee UNC Wilmington Dayton
13 Valparaiso Chattanooga Akron Boise St.
14 Winthrop Vermont New Mexico St. Tennessee St.
15 Florida Gulf Coast Texas Southern Lehigh Princeton
16 North Dakota St. North Carolina Central Texas A&M Corpus Chris UC Irvine
16 Mount St. Mary's Weber St.

Biggest Movers: South Carolina dropped from a 6 to an 8 after a 16 point loss to Memphis. Wake Forest dropped out after losing their first two ACC games, making way for Rhode Island, one of my first teams out last week, to sneak into the field. Everyone else is right where they were last week or within one seed line in either direction.

1 seeds: Two of my original 1 seed predictions have moved back into the 1 line: Kentucky and Kansas. Louisville lost to Virginia in conference play, which dropped them two a 2 seed, and Gonzaga's RPI dropped after playing a few low-ranked teams, leaving room for the others to take their place. I still expect Baylor to drop off at some point, but they keep on winning, as does the #1 overall Villanova.

Big Ten: Minnesota beat Purdue, which initially moved the Boilermakers down one seed line and the Golden Gophers up one, but I had to swap Minnesota with Notre Dame to preserve not having teams from the same conference play in the second round, something the selection committee often does. Indiana lost at home to Nebraska, but stays as a 7 seed because they were probably under-seeded to begin with. Northwestern moves up a seed due to the general logjam that exists in the middle of the field. You'll see teams in that region move up or down slightly seemingly at random throughout the season. Maryland and Michigan stay where they were despite each losing a game, and Ohio State and Michigan State stay just outside, although it is very close.

Michigan: As mentioned earlier, the Wolverines dropped their first Big Ten matchup at Carver Hawkeye, a place they haven't won at since 2011. This, of course, isn't the end of the world, especially since 11/14 teams in the Big Ten already have at least one loss. They're 87th in RPI, so they still have to get that number up over the next few weeks. I said last week that I'd like to see them go 4-1 over their first 5 games, so that now would require them winning 4 straight against Penn State, Maryland, Illinois, and Nebraska. Kenpom says they have a 27% chance of completing that winning streak. Speaking of percent chances...

The graph took a hit, which is expected when you lose a toss-up game like Michigan did, but 10-8 is still the median, and it has now grown over 20% likelihood. I'll be excited to see it grow positive as Michigan starts to win a few games. When we come back, they'll have played home games against Penn State and Maryland, and they have a 63% chance of going 2-0 this week. Let's hope they do, and hope the computer program rewards them and they start to creep up the seed lines.

No comments:

Post a Comment