The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 2, 2015

PiRate Ratings Bracketology Report for Monday, February 2, 2015

If its’ the first Monday in February, then it’s the annual first installment of the PiRate Composite Bracketology Report.

We at the PiRate Ratings have realized that the public can find much more accurate bracketology data than that provided by the famous bracketologists at the major media outlets.  We have known this because as regular annual participants in the Football Prediction Tracker, you don’t see the most famous computer ranking services finishing at the top.  It’s always some math genius, sports fan professor of mathematics at some university (or somebody like us who got lucky and finished first twice before).

Bracketology is not an exact science.  There is no sabermetric formula you can plug into a computer and spit out the 68 teams that should be selected for the tournament.  There is no Batter’s Wins, Pitcher’s Wins, and Fielding Wins that show you the Mike Trout’s of college basketball.

Instead, we have smart guys like Patrick Stevens of the Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper, who for several years has been putting out bracketology selections considerably more accurate than the famous gurus at the major outlets.  Stevens is not alone.  We have isolated more than two dozen bracketologists with five or more years experience that all dust the major competition in accuracy.

When you combine these less known but more accurate hard-working guys, their composite selections are about as accurate as you will find anywhere.  For instance, two years ago, a couple successfully selected all 68 teams, and the rest picked 66 or 67 teams out of 68 correctly.  As a combined group, the composite successfully picked all 68 teams correctly.  Last year, the group as a whole hit on 67 of 68.

We first became interested in finding a more accurate bracketology experience when most of the gurus failed to select Virginia Commonwealth to make the Big Dance in 2011, and the Rams merely advanced to the Final Four.  One of the big-time selectors failed to include Dayton in last year’s predictions, and the Flyers advanced to the Elite 8.

And so, starting today and appearing frequently until Selection Sunday, we will monitor our 20-something unknown Einsteins and keep what we call the PiRate Composite Bracketology rankings.

Report for Monday, February 02, 2015

Let’s begin with the one-bid leagues.  21 conferences will send just one team to the NCAA Tournament.  In the case of 20 of these 21, the conference tournament winner will receive that lone bid.  The Ivy League may never hold a dedicated conference tournament, but many times in the past, a post-season playoff for first place has given the league a quasi-tournament.  In the Ivy, any team finishing tied for first qualifies for a playoff, even if one of the co-champs swept the other in the regular season.

For the one bid leagues, we will name the top contenders at the present time based on conference won-lost record.

America East Confer. Overall
Albany 9-0 14-7
Vermont 7-2 12-10
Stony Brook 6-3 15-9
New Hampshire 6-3 13-9
Atlantic Sun Confer. Overall
Florida Gulf Coast 6-1 16-7
North Florida 6-1 14-10
USC-Upstate 4-3 16-7
Big Sky Confer. Overall
Sacramento St. 9-1 15-6
Eastern Washington 7-1 16-5
Montana 7-2 11-9
Northern Colorado 6-3 11-9
Big South Confer. Overall
High Point 8-2 17-5
Radford 7-3 16-7
Charleston Sou. 7-3 13-8
UNC-Asheville 7-3 11-10
Coastal Carolina 6-4 15-7
Gardner-Webb 6-4 14-9
Winthrop 6-4 11-10
Big West Confer. Overall
UC-Davis 6-1 16-4
UC-Irvine 6-1 13-8
Long Beach St. 6-1 12-11
Colonial Confer. Overall
William & Mary 8-2 14-7
Northeastern 7-3 15-8
UNC-Wilmington 7-3 12-9
James Madison 6-4 13-10
Conference USA Confer. Overall
Louisiana Tech 8-1 17-5
Western Kentucky 8-1 15-6
UAB 7-2 11-11
Old Dominion 6-3 17-4
UTEP 6-3 14-7
Horizon Confer. Overall
Valparaiso 7-2 20-4
Cleveland St. 7-2 13-10
Green Bay 6-2 17-5
Oakland 6-2 11-12
Ivy League Confer. Overall
Yale 4-0 15-6
Harvard 3-1 13-5
Princeton 2-1 9-10
Mid-American Confer. Overall
Akron 6-2 15-6
Kent St. 6-2 15-6
Central Michigan 5-3 15-4
Toledo 5-3 13-8
Buffalo 5-3 14-6
Bowling Green 5-3 13-6
Metro Atlantic Confer. Overall
Iona 9-2 16-6
Rider 8-3 14-8
Manhattan 8-4 11-10
Monmouth 8-4 12-11
Canisius 7-5 12-9
Mideastern Ath. Confer. Overall
UNC Central 8-0 16-6
Norfolk St. 8-1 15-9
UM-Eastern Shore 6-2 13-10
Howard 5-2 11-10
South Carolina St. 6-3 8-15
Northeast Confer. Overall
St. Francis (NY) 8-2 14-9
Robert Morris 7-3 11-11
Bryant 7-3 10-10
St. Francis (PA) 6-4 12-9
Mt. St. Mary’s 6-4 10-11
Wagner 6-4 8-13
Ohio Valley Confer. Overall
Murray St. 9-0 19-4
Belmont 7-2 15-7
Eastern Illinois 7-3 13-9
UT-Martin 5-3 13-8
Patriot Confer. Overall
Bucknell 7-3 12-11
Colgate 7-3 10-13
Army 5-5 14-7
Lafayette 5-5 13-8
Southern Confer. Overall
Wofford 9-1 18-5
Chattanooga 8-2 15-8
Mercer 7-3 12-11
East Tennessee 6-5 13-8
Western Carolina 6-5 11-12
Southland Confer. Overall
Stephen F Austin 8-0 18-3
Sam Houston 8-1 16-5
Texas A&M-CC 6-2 11-9
Northwestern St. 6-3 11-9
Southwestern Ath. Confer. Overall
Texas Southern 7-1 10-11
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 4-4 7-15
Summit Confer. Overall
South Dakota St. 8-2 17-7
North Dakota St. 7-2 15-7
Oral Roberts 5-3 12-10
Sun Belt Confer. Overall
Georgia Southern 8-2 15-4
Georgia St. 8-3 15-7
Louisiana-Monroe 8-3 14-8
Western Ath. Confer. Overall
New Mexico St. 5-1 13-10
Missouri-KC 4-2 9-14

The remaining 11 conferences will divvy up the 47 remaining bids.  For these conferences, we will list the teams by the average seeding given to them of our two dozen plus experts.  If an expert left a team off his list, we assign a seeding of “20” to this team to lower their overall seeding.  Thus it is better to be the last team in the Big Dance on every bracketologist’s list and seeded at 13 than to be a 12-seed on 80% and not included on 20%.

If you see a team marked with a number followed by the word “out,” that team is one of the top 10 teams just outside of the field.  If you see a team marked with a number followed by an asterisk (*), that team is one of the last 10 to make the field and very vulnerable for dropping out if they lose a couple games they should not.  If a team is marked as “bubble,” then they received at least one placement in one of the experts’ seedings but did not make the first 10 teams out of the tournament.

American Ath. Confer. Overall Seed
SMU 9-1 18-4 7
Cincinnati 6-3 15-6 8
Tulsa 9-0 16-5 11 *
Temple 6-3 15-7 2nd out
Connecticut 4-4 11-9 bubble
Atlantic Coast Confer. Overall Seed
Virginia 7-1 19-1 1
Duke 5-3 18-3 2
Louisville 6-2 18-3 3
North Carolina 7-2 17-5 3
Notre Dame 8-2 20-3 3
Miami 4-4 14-7 11 *
NC State 5-5 14-9 11 *
Syracuse 5-3 14-7 8th out
Clemson 5-4 13-8 9th out
Atlantic 10 Confer. Overall Seed
VCU 7-1 17-4 4
Dayton 7-2 17-4 9
George Washington 6-3 16-6 12 *
Davidson 5-3 14-5 1st out
Rhode Island 7-2 15-5 10th out
U Mass 5-3 12-9 bubble
Big East Confer. Overall Seed
Villanova 6-2 19-2 2
Butler 6-3 16-6 5
Georgetown 7-3 15-6 6
Providence 6-3 16-6 6
Seton Hall 5-4 15-6 8
Xavier 5-5 14-8 9
St. John’s 3-5 14-7 11 *
Big Ten Confer. Overall Seed
Wisconsin 7-1 19-2 2
Maryland 6-3 18-4 4
Ohio State 6-3 17-5 7
Indiana 6-3 16-6 7
Michigan State 6-3 15-7 9
Iowa 4-4 13-8 11 *
Michigan 6-4 13-9 bubble
Purdue 6-3 14-8 bubble
Illinois 4-5 14-8 bubble
Big 12 Confer. Overall Seed
Kansas 7-1 18-3 2
Iowa State 6-2 16-4 3
West Virginia 6-2 18-3 4
Baylor 4-4 16-5 5
Oklahoma 5-4 14-7 5
Texas 3-5 14-7 7
Oklahoma State 4-5 14-7 10
Kansas State 5-4 12-10 bubble
Missouri Valley Confer. Overall Seed
Wichita State 9-1 19-3 5
Northern Iowa 9-1 20-2 6
Mountain West Confer. Overall Seed
San Diego State 7-2 17-5 8
Colorado State 6-3 19-3 10 *
Wyoming 7-2 18-4 5th out
Boise State 5-3 15-6 bubble
Pac-12 Confer. Overall Seed
Arizona 8-1 20-2 1
Utah 7-2 17-4 4
Stanford 6-3 15-6 8
Washington 3-6 14-7 3rd out
UCLA 5-4 13-9 bubble
Southeastern Confer. Overall Seed
Kentucky 8-0 21-0 1
Arkansas 5-3 16-5 6
Georgia 5-3 14-6 9
LSU 5-3 16-5 10 *
Texas A&M 6-2 15-5 10 *
Mississippi 5-3 14-7 12 *
Florida 5-3 12-9 4th out
Tennessee 5-3 13-7 6th out
Alabama 3-5 13-8 bubble
South Carolina 2-6 11-9 bubble
West Coast Confer. Overall Seed
Gonzaga 10-0 22-1 1
BYU 7-4 17-7 7th out
St. Mary’s (CA) 9-2 17-5 bubble

The experts have the following eight teams playing an opening round game in Dayton:

North Carolina St. vs. George Washington

Tulsa vs. Ole Miss

New Mexico St. vs. Texas Southern

Bucknell vs. St. Francis (NY)

The top seeds would be seeded thusly:

East: Virginia

South: Kentucky

Midwest: Gonzaga

West: Arizona

The number two seeds would go here:

East: Wisconsin

South: Villanova

Midwest: Duke

West: Kansas

The 3-Seeds:

East: North Carolina

South: Louisville

Midwest: Iowa St.

West: Notre Dame

The 4-seeds:

East: Maryland

South: West Virginia

Midwest: VCU

West: Utah

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