The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 9, 2015

PiRate Ratings Bracketology Report for Monday, February 9, 2015

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.  Looking at this week’s Basketball Prediction Tracker record of picking winning teams (http://www.thepredictiontracker.com/bbresults.php), you will see that it is our new experimental PiRate White and PiRate Red rankings that sit at number one and number two at 77.2% and 76.5%.  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, continuing 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 09, 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.  Harvard and Yale could very well play in March to determine the league champ.

 

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

 

America East Conference Overall
Albany 11-0 16-7
Vermont 9-2 14-10
New Hampshire 7-4 14-10
Stony Brook 6-4 15-10
     
Atlantic Sun Conference Overall
Florida Gulf Coast 7-1 17-7
North Florida 7-1 15-10
USC Upstate 5-3 18-7
     
Big Sky Conference Overall
Sacramento St. 10-1 16-6
Eastern Washington 9-1 18-5
Montana 8-3 12-10
Northern Arizona 7-3 12-11
Northern Colorado 7-4 12-10
     
Big South Conference Overall
High Point 8-4 17-7
Coastal Carolina 8-4 17-7
Radford 8-4 17-8
Gardner-Webb 8-4 16-9
Charleston Southern 8-4 14-9
Winthrop 8-4 13-10
UNC Asheville 8-4 12-11
     
Big West Conference Overall
UC Davis 8-1 18-4
UC Irvine 7-2 14-9
Long Beach St. 7-2 13-12
     
Colonial Conference Overall
William & Mary 9-3 15-8
Northeastern 8-4 16-9
UNC Wilmington 8-4 13-10
Hofstra 7-5 16-9
James Madison 7-5 14-11
Drexel 7-5 9-14
     
Conference USA Conference Overall
Louisiana Tech 9-2 18-6
Western Kentucky 9-2 16-7
U A B 9-2 13-11
U T E P 8-3 16-7
Old Dominion 7-3 18-4
UT San Antonio 6-5 12-10
Middle Tennessee 6-5 13-11
     
Horizon Conference Overall
Valparaiso 9-2 22-4
Cleveland St. 9-2 15-10
Green Bay 8-2 19-5
Oakland 7-3 12-13
     
Ivy League Conference Overall
Harvard 5-1 15-5
Yale 5-1 16-7
Princeton 3-2 10-11
Columbia 3-3 11-9
Cornell 3-3 11-11
     
M A C Conference Overall
Bowling Green 7-3 15-6
Akron 7-3 16-7
Kent St. 7-3 16-7
Toledo 7-3 15-8
Central Michigan 6-4 16-5
Buffalo 6-4 15-7
Western Michigan 5-5 14-9
     
M A A C Conference Overall
Iona 11-2 18-6
Rider 10-4 16-9
Manhattan 9-5 12-11
Monmouth 9-5 13-12
     
M E A C Conference Overall
UNC Central 10-0 18-6
Norfolk St. 9-1 16-9
Howard 6-3 12-11
UM-Eastern Shore 6-4 13-12
South Carolina St. 6-4 9-16
     
Northeast Conference Overall
St. Francis (NY) 10-2 16-9
Robert Morris 8-4 12-12
Bryant 8-4 11-12
St. Francis (PA) 7-5 13-10
Mt. St. Mary‘s 7-5 11-12
     
Ohio Valley Conference Overall
Murray St. 11-0 21-4
Tenn-Martin 7-3 15-8
Belmont 7-4 15-9
Eastern Illinois 7-4 14-10
Morehead St. 7-4 12-14
Eastern Kentucky 6-4 14-9
     
Patriot Conference Overall
Bucknell 8-4 13-12
Colgate 8-4 11-14
Lehigh 7-5 13-10
Lafayette 6-5 14-8
     
Southern Conference Overall
Wofford 11-1 20-5
Chattanooga 9-3 16-9
Mercer 9-3 14-11
Western Carolina 7-6 12-13
     
Southland Conference Overall
Stephen F. Austin 9-0 19-3
Sam Houston St. 10-1 18-5
Northwestern St. 7-3 12-9
Texas A&M-C.C. 7-3 12-10
     
Summit Conference Overall
North Dakota St. 9-2 17-7
South Dakota St. 9-3 18-8
Oral Roberts 6-4 13-11
I P F W 6-5 13-11
     
Sun Belt Conference Overall
La. Monroe 10-3 16-8
Georgia Southern 9-3 16-5
Georgia St. 9-4 16-8
UT-Arlington 7-5 13-9
La. Lafayette 7-6 13-11
     
S W A C Conference Overall
Texas Southern 8-2 11-12
Jackson St. 5-5 7-16
Prairie View 5-5 7-16
Alabama A&M 5-5 6-14
     
W A C Conference Overall
New Mexico St. 7-1 15-10
U M K C 5-3 10-15
Seattle 4-4 11-11

 

The remaining 11 conferences will divvy up the 47 remaining bids.  For these conferences, we will list the teams by the average seed given to them by our two dozen plus experts.  If an expert left a team off his list, we assign a seed 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%.

 

American Conference Overall Seed
Tulsa 10-1 17-6 12
SMU 10-2 19-5 7
Cincinnati 8-3 17-6 7
Temple 8-3 17-7 13
Memphis 6-4 14-9 Out
Connecticut 6-4 13-9 Out
       
Atlantic 10 Conference Overall Seed
V C U 8-2 18-5 5
Rhode Island 8-2 16-5 Bubble
Dayton 7-3 17-5 10
George Washington 7-3 17-6 1st out
U Mass 7-3 14-9 8th out
Davidson 6-4 15-6 Bubble
St. Bonaventure 6-4 13-8 Out
       
A C C Conference Overall Seed
Virginia 9-1 21-1 1
Notre Dame 9-3 21-4 4
North Carolina 8-3 18-6 3
Duke 7-3 20-3 1
Louisville 7-3 19-4 3
Clemson 6-5 14-9 7th out
Pittsburgh 5-5 16-8 Bubble
Miami (FL) 5-5 15-8 13
N.C. State 5-6 14-10 6th out
       
Big East Conference Overall Seed
Villanova 8-2 21-2 2
Butler 8-3 18-6 5
Providence 7-4 17-7 6
Georgetown 7-5 15-8 7
Xavier 6-6 15-9 9
DePaul 6-6 12-13 Out
Seton Hall 5-6 15-8 12
St. John’s 4-6 15-8 12
       
Big Ten Conference Overall Seed
Wisconsin 9-1 21-2 2
Maryland 7-4 19-5 4
Ohio St. 7-4 18-6 8
Indiana 7-4 17-7 7
Purdue 7-4 15-9 4th out
Iowa 6-4 15-8 8
Michigan St. 6-4 15-8 11
Illinois 6-5 16-8 11
Michigan 6-6 13-11 Bubble
Minnesota 4-7 15-9 Bubble
       
Big 12 Conference Overall Seed
Kansas 8-2 19-4 2
Iowa St. 7-3 17-5 3
Oklahoma 7-4 16-7 4
Baylor 6-4 18-5 3
West Virginia 6-4 18-5 6
Oklahoma St. 6-5 16-7 6
Kansas St. 5-6 12-12 Out
Texas 4-6 15-8 8
       
Missouri Valley Conference Overall Seed
Northern Iowa 11-1 22-2 5
Wichita St. 11-1 21-3 5
       
Mountain West Conference Overall Seed
Wyoming 8-3 19-5 10th out
San Diego St. 8-3 18-6 9
Boise St. 7-3 17-6 5th out
Colorado St. 7-4 20-4 9
       
Pac-12 Conference Overall Seed
Arizona 8-2 20-3 2
Utah 8-2 18-4 4
Oregon 7-4 17-7 3rd out
Oregon St. 7-4 16-7 Out
Stanford 7-4 16-7 10
U C L A 6-5 14-10 2nd out
Washington 3-8 14-9 Bubble
       
S E C Conference Overall Seed
Kentucky 10-0 23-0 1
Arkansas 7-3 18-5 6
Texas A&M 7-3 16-6 10
Ole Miss 7-3 16-7 9
L S U 6-4 17-6 10
Georgia 6-4 15-7 8
Tennessee 5-5 13-9 Bubble
Florida 5-5 12-11 9th out
Alabama 4-6 14-9 Bubble
       
West Coast Conference Overall Seed
Gonzaga 12-0 24-1 1
Saint Mary’s 10-2 18-5 Bubble
B Y U 8-5 18-8 Bubble
Pepperdine 8-5 15-9 Out

 

Using the average seeding of all the teams, here is how the experts see the top four seeds per region as of today.

 

South Seed
Kentucky 1
Arizona 2
Louisville 3
Maryland 4
   
East Seed
Virginia 1
Villanova 2
Iowa St. 3
Oklahoma 4
   
Midwest Seed
Duke 1
Kansas 2
North Carolina 3
Utah 4
   
West Seed
Gonzaga 1
Wisconsin 2
Baylor 3
Notre Dame 4

 

This is how our experts seed the eight teams that must play an opening round game in Dayton.  This includes the last four teams making the NCAA Tournament as #12 or #13 seeds as well as the lowest four-seeded teams among those that receive automatic bids.

 

Opening Round Games at Dayton
Miami (FL.) vs. St. John’s
Temple vs. Seton Hall
America East Champion vs. Patriot Champion
S W A C Champion vs. Northeast Champion

 

How about the top five teams from conferences that will receive just one bid?  There are five teams seen as capable of beating a higher seed, including one team deemed to be talented enough to sneak into the Sweet 16.

 

Top 5 Teams From 1-bid Leagues
Old Dominion Sweet 16
Stephen F. Austin 1 win
Louisiana Tech 1 win
Valparaiso 1 win
Murray St. 1 win

 

So you want some dark horse candidates to sneak into the Final Four.  Here are four teams that have qualities that can make it hard for opponents to prepare to play on short notice.  This is a quartet of teams that could make an unexpected run to the Final Four.

 

4 Darkhorse Final 4 Candidates
Indiana
Iowa St.
Northern Iowa
Utah

 

Every year, a top-6 seed loses its opening round game in such a way that it really does not look like an upset.  In the past Georgetown and Vanderbilt have lost multiple times to double-digit seeds in such a way that the underdog looked like it could win nine times out of 10.  Here are the teams this season most vulnerable to losing a first round game as the favorite, while looking like they might lose nine times out of 10 to the “upset” winner.

 

5 1st Round Upset Candidates
Arkansas
Maryland
Notre Dame
Oklahoma St.
Villanova

 

Congratulations to Georgetown!  The Hoyas appear to have the talent to win that first round game this year.

 

Here are the 10 most vulnerable at-large teams this week.  A couple of unexpected losses or too many unexpected losses will send these teams to the NIT.

 

Last 10 IN Overall Seed
Miami (FL) 68
Temple 67
Seton Hall 66
St. John’s 65
Tulsa 64
Michigan St. 63
Illinois 62
Texs A&M 61
L S U 60
Stanford 59

 

Here are the top 10 teams waiting to move up into the field if and when some of the last 10 flub up.  These teams are one winning steak or a big win or two away from moving into the field of 68.

 

1st 10 Out Overall Seed
George Washington 69
U C L A 70
Oregon 71
Purdue 72
Boise St. 73
N. C. St. 74
Clemson 75
U Mass 76
Florida 77
Wyoming 78

 

We will have another update next Monday, February 16.  It won’t be long until the first conference tournaments commence.  Three weeks from tomorrow, the Atlantic Sun, Horizon, and Patriot League tournaments start.

 

We will have the conference tournament seeds and score updates daily starting with Monday, March 2.

 

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