FanPost

The UConnBlog-cketology: Post-Wednesday Championship Week Edition

UConn-Cincinnati is less than 48 hours away but the bubble is starting to fill up- or so you hear. I tend to be a metrics-based, big-picture bracketologist. Isolate out the rabble, the hype, the overreactions and analyze the full resumes.

  • Quick but simple on UConn: by every single measurement of a basketball team EXCEPT RPI, this team should be in the NCAAs regardless of what happens against Cincinnati. Their KenPom is good. Their BPI is good. They have good wins. They have good road wins. They have a good neutral win. Several of their losses were by one possession without their best defensive player. If you want to call me a homer, that's fine...but explain the metrics? Are they also homers too? Because they all say this UConn team should be in.
  • Timing is interesting. Just look at Cincinnati- they're also safely in, IMO, but its interesting how the national narrative works. The reason they are considered "safer" than UConn is that they just beat SMU at home, whereas UConn got demolished at SMU. The funny thing is...UConn beat SMU, at home, with an equally impressive performance. Cincy beat Houston at home/lost at Houston, UConn did the reverse. Cincy's worst loss, Memphis, is WAY worse than losing to Houston by every metric. Oh, and UConn actually has a much better OOC than Cincinnati. But, sure, Cincy is safer in the field...?
  • Syracuse has faltered greatly down the stretch and their coach is a cheater who picks his nose. But they're also a team with several high-profile wins. Texas A&M on a neutral court, at Duke, UConn on a neutral court (dammit)...as awful/horrid/terribad as losing at St. John's (in a de-facto home game at MSG) is, their profile is worthy of inclusion.
  • So is Oregon State, which it was prior to beating hapless Arizona State. This is a team who stated before the year started that they were scheduling to game the RPI and did it. They had a very tough schedule and did well against it. The Beavers have not danced since 1990, but Tinkle Time should get their tap shoes on.
  • Shakeup in the Last 4 in bumps out Florida and South Carolina. Two "meh" teams that need to make runs to get back in. Welcome Tulsa and Georgia Tech to the field.
  • Tulsa has gotten some press, but I'd bet that GT one blows your mind. Tech beat Virginia, Notre Dame, VCU and Pittsburgh. They beat the Horizon champs by 30. They don't have much to speak of for road wins, but they did have a top 30 SOS. Their worst loss was at Clemson, when Clemson was on a good run in the ACC- and besides, that's still a top-100 team. This is an underrated team with a good profile...a much better one than some of the teams we are about to go over.
  • Wichita State is a clear level above the rest of the mid-majors being discussed. I'd rank them as Wichita (huge chasm), Monmouth, Valpo, Saint Mary's. Any of the last three getting in over UConn/Cincinnati/Tulsa/Syracuse would be ridiculous.

  1. Wichita has a big win over Utah, Van Vleet injury complications, etc.
  2. Monmouth racked up a pair (not four, UCLA and Georgetown are BAD TEAMS), of good OOC wins in November. They also lost to Army. And Canisus. And Manhattan. That is not worthy of making the tournament and I'll go one step further...their amazing bench antics are 90% why they are being discussed. Fun entertainment, but not a reason to put them in.
  3. Valpo is a good basketball team, but they played two teams in the top 75 of the ranking systems, winning against Oregon State and losing at Oregon. CALL ME CRAAAZY, but I don't think beating a 9-seed is enough to get an at-large bid.
  4. Saint Mary's did not leave the state of California until WCC play. They played at California. They lost. They have one of the worst schedules in the country. They are a Fraud. Capital F. They are Utah State 2016.

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