The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 24, 2015

Selections Against The Spread–September 24-28, 2015

Today, we expand our fun nonsense with three different types of selections to lose you money quicker than if you throw it away playing one weekend fantasy games.  Before you throw away good money thinking you can be that one person in 20 million that makes a million dollars, and before you decide to lose it in the conventional way by playing the stock market, consider losing it this much more entertaining way.

Pardon us whilst we remove tongues from cheeks.

Seriously, just remember that these selections are worth less than what you pay for them.  Use these only as something to either endorse your prior beliefs of convince you to pocket that extra change in your wallet and buy some nice flowers for your utmost.

Today, we have decided to go with five sides picks, seven 10-point teasers, and one stupendous Money Line parlay.

Did we mention this: DO NOT use these picks as your guide to lose all your money this weekend.  How much will the PiRates wager this weekend?  A big fat 0.  We have chosen to go the flowers route; the payoff is so wonderful.

 

Sides

Home Visitor Line Our Pick
Syracuse LSU 24.5 Syracuse
Carolina New Orleans 3 Carolina
N. Y. Giants Washington 3 N. Y. Giants
Baltimore Cincinnati 2.5 Baltimore
Cleveland Oakland 3 Cleveland

10-Point Teasers

Home Visitor Teaser Pick
1
Washington California -14 Washington
Baylor Rice 44.5 Rice
Charlotte Florida Atlantic -21.5 Charlotte
         
2
Syracuse LSU -34.5 Syracuse
Michigan BYU 15.5 BYU
Kentucky Missouri 12.5 Missouri
         
3
Virginia Boise St. 7.5 Boise St.
Notre Dame Masachusetts 19 Notre Dame
Ole Miss Vanderbilt 15 Ole Miss
         
4
Dallas Atlanta 10 Atlanta
Carolina New Orleans -7 Carolina
St. Louis Pittsburgh 10 Pittsburgh
         
5
Miami Buffalo 12.5 Buffalo
N. Y. Giants Washington -7 N. Y. Giants
Houston Tampa Bay -3 Houston
         
6
Seattle Chicago 25.5 Chicago
New England Jacksonville 4.5 New England
Baltimore Cincinnati 12.5 Cincinnati
         
7
Cleveland Oakland -7 Cleveland
Green Bay Kansas City -2.5 Green Bay
Minnesota San Diego 11 San Diego

Money Line Parlay

For those two or three of you that have read this far and do not know what a Money Line parlay is, we will tell you, but we will also wonder why you have read this far in the first place.

The Money Line allows you to select the winner of a particular game without having to worry about a point spread.  However, since it is obvious that the favorite has a better chance to win the game than the underdog, you must pay a premium when you select the favorite to win the game.  For example, this week New England is an overwhelming favorite to beat Jacksonville.  The Money Line allows you to wager on New England to win the game by just one point and return money to you.  However, the Money Line odds for this game at most Las Vegas books is: New England -1400 and Jacksonville +800.  What this means is for every $1,400 you wager on New England at -1400, you can win $100 more than you wager.  So, if you put down $1,400 on New England on a Money Line wager, you receive $1,500 if New England wins (Your original $1,400 plus $100 profit, which is a return on your investment of 7.1%).  If you believe Jacksonville will upset the Patriots in Foxboro on Sunday and wager just $100 on the Jaguars to win the game, you stand to receive $900 (Your original $100 plus $800 profit) if Jacksonville wins.

A Money Line Parlay allows you to combine multiple games into one wager.  Let’s say that you have 3 favorites you believe will all win and feel confident enough to lay down cash for one combined wager.  For an example let’s use a possible 4-team Money Line Parlay for Sunday.

Houston is currently -280 vs. Tampa Bay

New England is currently -1400 vs. Jacksonville

Seattle is currently -1600 vs. Chicago

Green Bay is currently -320 vs. Kansas City

If you believe Houston, New England, Seattle, and Green Bay are certain winners and combine these four games into one wager, our parlay calculator says that for every $100 you wager, you will get back $203 (Your original $100 plus $103 profit) if the four teams all win.  If just one of the four loses or ties, then you lose your $100.

Just for fun, what if you think New England and Seattle will win with 100% belief in your mind?  What if you combine -1400 and -1600 into one wager?  The payout on $100 wagered would be just $114.  That is obviously a 14% return on your investment.  Now remember that in your mind this is 100% winnable.  Where else can you return 14% on an investment in one weekend?  Ah, this is why there are so many broke individuals in Las Vegas, and why the books and casinos can build new and improved versions every few years.  Who do you think wins the majority of these wagers?

Now that you have been warned, here is our super-duper 8-team Money Line Parlay for this week.  This returns at a rate slightly better than 3-2 if it wins.  For every $100 you wager on this parlay, if all eight teams win, your return is $251 (Your original $100 plus $151 profit).

And, here it is:

Money Line Parlay 8-team Parlay
3-2 odds
$151 payout for $100
Favorite Underdog  Odds Must Win
Nebraska Southern Miss.  -1400
Nebraska
Houston Texas St.  -800 Houston
Penn St. San Diego St.  -800 Penn St.
Western Kentucky Miami (O)  -1150 West Virginia
Georgia Southern Idaho  -750 Georgia Southern
South Carolina Central Florida  -650 South Carolina
Oregon Utah  -500 Oregon
Northwestern Ball St.  -1200 Northwestern

Did we mention that we strongly advise you not to wager real money on any of our recommendations?  Consider how much you paid for this information.  The sharpest of the sharp bettors make consistent profit during football season.  Do they look at our recommendations?  Okay, Billy, if you are reading this, please let us know.

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August 10, 2015

2015 Sun Belt Conference Preview

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:37 pm

Today, the PiRate Ratings begins previewing the FBS conferences for 2015-16 with the Sun Belt Conference preview.  While this league has perennially been the weakest of the FBS conferences, the gap is closing thanks to a couple of new teams entering the league in recent years.

Last year, Georgia Southern became the first team since Arkansas St. in 2011 to run the table.  The Eagles were not bowl eligible in 2014, but they are now, and they figure to be in the hunt in the conference race.

Another team that can make a bowl trip for the first time this year is Appalachian St.  The Mountaineers, like Georgia Southern, have won a national championship, albeit in the FCS.  However, Appy State is most noted for upsetting Michigan at “The Big House.”

Arkansas St. had five different head coaches in the last five seasons, but the Red Wolves finally retained a coach in Blake Anderson.  Anderson’s Wolves should remain in contention in the SBC race.

Dennis Franchione is primed to take Texas St. to its first bowl after failing to garner a bid last year even though they were 7-5.

UL-Lafayette is looking to make it five consecutive trips to the New Orleans Bowl.  Chances are good the Ragin’ Cajuns will be bowl eligible again.

UL-Monroe and South Alabama should come up a bit short this year, while New Mexico St. and Georgia St. figure to improve a little in the standings.

Idaho and Troy figure to fight it out to avoid the cellar.

Here is the Sun Belt Conference Media Poll For 2015

Sun Belt Conference Media Poll
Pos. Team 1st Place Total
 1 Georgia Southern 6 110
 2 UL-Lafayette 3 108
 3 Arkansas St. 1 96
 4 Appalachian St. 0 82
 5 Texas St. 0 78
 6 South Alabama 1 68
 7 UL-Monroe 0 59
 8 Troy 0 39
 9 Georgia St. 0 32
10 N. Mexico St. 0 30
11 Idaho 0 24

Here is the Preseason All-Conference team as voted by the media.

Sun Belt Conference Preseason All-Conference Team
Offense Player School
Quarterback Fredi Knighten Arkansas St.
Running Back Matt Breida Georgia Southern
Running Back Elijah McGuire UL-Lafayette
Wide Receiver J. D. McKissic Arkansas St.
Wide Receiver Donovan Harden Georgia St.
Wide Receiver Rashon Ceaser UL-Monroe
Tight End Joel Ruiz Georgia St.
Offensive Line Jesse Chapman Appalachian St.
Offensive Line Darien Foreman Georgia Southern
Offensive Line Chris May South Alabama
Offensive Line Joseph Scelfo South Alabama
Offensive Line Adrian Bellard Texas St.
Defense Player School
Defensive Line Ronald Blair Appalachian St.
Defensive Line Ja’Von Rolland-Jones Arkansas St.
Defensive Line Chris Stone Arkansas St.
Defensive Line Gerrand Johnson UL-Monroe
Linebacker John Law Appalachian St.
Linebacker Xavier Woodson Arkansas St.
Linebacker Joseph Peterson Georgia St.
Defensive Back Doug Middleton Appalachian St.
Defensive Back Mitch Lane UL-Monroe
Defensive Back David Mims II Texas St.
Defensive Back Montres Kitchens Troy
Special Teams Player School
Kicker Aleem Sumanon South Alabama
Punter Austin Rehkow Idaho
Return Specialist Blaise Taylor Arkansas St.

Here are the Preseason PiRate Ratings for the Sun Belt Conference

Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 91.9 95.1 94.0 93.7
Georgia Southern 91.4 93.9 91.5 92.3
Arkansas St. 88.5 89.1 89.2 88.9
Texas St. 84.1 89.1 84.4 85.9
UL-Lafayette 83.4 88.1 83.6 85.0
UL-Monroe 81.3 78.1 80.8 80.1
South Alabama 76.6 85.3 78.4 80.1
Georgia St. 75.0 73.1 74.1 74.1
New Mexico St. 74.7 76.1 75.0 75.3
Troy 71.2 70.1 71.8 71.0
Idaho 70.8 81.1 72.7 74.9
Sun Belt Averages 80.8 83.6 81.4 81.9

Here are the predicted regular season records for the Sun Belt Conference

PiRate Ratings Predicted Records
Pos Team Conf. Overall Bowl
1 Appalachian St. 7-1 10-2 GoDaddy
2 UL-Lafayette 6-2 8-4 New Orleans
3 Texas St. 6-2 8-4 Camelia
4 Georgia Southern 6-2 7-5 At-Large
5 Arkansas St. 6-2 7-5 Cure
6 UL-Monroe 4-4 5-8 None
7 South Alabama 3-5 4-8 None
8 N. Mexico St. 3-5 3-9 None
9 Georgia St. 1-7 3-9 None
10 Idaho 1-7 2-10 None
11 Troy 1-7 2-10 None

PiRate Ratings Ready To Kick Off 2015-16 Football Season

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 5:25 pm

Welcome back to the PiRate Ratings.  After an interesting and fun-filled summer, it’s time to get back to the business of football ratings.  The PiRates once again go to sea, and we expect an interesting trip that will culminate on February 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, California.
Once again, the PiRate Ratings will be part of the Prediction Tracker and the Massey Comparison Rankings.
The ratings and game spreads will appear weekly at our sister site at http://www.piratings.webs.com .  This WordPress site will continue to have a weekly presence in both college and professional football with selections against the spread based on a consensus of computer ratings.  It will not be published to aid in the execution of wagering; it will strictly be experimental.  Occasionally (or frequently), we will issue opinions on the game, and because the 2016 Presidential Election Cycle will crank up in earnest near the end of the season, you won’t be surprised if you see us using our metrics to forecast the election.

It was this site in early 2012 that showed why Mitt Romney would not defeat President Obama in a general election, and we basically hit the electoral vote count right on the mark well in advance of the election.  Maybe we can be lucky again and predict the winner far in advance, but this election will be the toughest since the 1968 election to prognosticate.  Early indications are that this election could be closer than any since Rutherford B. Hayes beat Samuel J. Tilden 185-184 in a hotly controversial decision that earned President-elect Hayes the nickname of “Rutherfraud.”

Starting Tuesday, August 11, we will preview one conference per day.  We will preview the conferences in order of lowest to highest overall average ratings.

Coming in at last place once again is the Sun Belt Conference, and that’s what will be previewed Tuesday.

Check back around Noon Eastern Time.

July 16, 2015

2015 Football Season Returns Soon

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:31 am

Welcome back football fans.  The PiRates are back at it working late nights compiling the 2015-16 college and NFL ratings.

Look for the new season to kick off in Mid-August, when we begin previewing each of the FBS conferences, one at a time, beginning with the lowest rated conference and ending with the highest rated conference.  Gee, can you guess which conference might be the tops?  Hint:  A current Big Ten coach once said that the three toughest leagues in American Football were the NFC, the AFC, and this conference.

It will come as no surprise which individual team is number one in the preseason, and it also will not be all that surprising when they debut with the highest preseason PiRate Rating since Nebraska began the 1995 season.  Hint:  Their third best quarterback might be a top Heisman Trophy contender if he played at any of the other 24 teams in the Top 25.

The NFL Ratings will appear after the final college conference preview, and this will lead up to the first week’s college schedule.

The Ratings and spreads each week will be available from our website at http://www.piratings.webs.com.  This blog site will add extras, and if we can ever get the tabular format to align properly here, we will post the ratings and spreads here as well.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer, and remember to come back to this blog in Mid-August for our first conference preview.

August 26, 2014

Special Bulletin!

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:36 am

Due to issues beyond our control, namely WordPress choosing to make it difficult to paste tabular data from Microsoft Excel, the PiRate Ratings will no longer publish their weekly ratings to this site.

 

Please visit our webpage at:  http://www.piratings.webs.com

 

August 5, 2013

PiRate Ratings College & Pro Football Return For 2013-14 Season

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 9:17 am

Image

 

The 2013-14 PiRate Ratings For College and NFL Football are almost ready to debut for the new season.  We will begin previewing the college conferences on August 15 and the NFL divisions on August 25.

This year, we are going to issue three sets of ratings for all 125 FBS college teams, just like we have for the NFL for many years.

The PiRate Regular, PiRate Mean, and PiRate Bias Ratings will be part of the College and NFL Prediction Tracker at: http://www.thepredictiontracker.com, and the college ratings once again will be part of Ken Massey’s football comparison ratings at: http://masseyratings.com/cf/compare.htm.

The PiRate Ratings were the top-rated ratings against the NFL spread in 2011 and look to compete for the top spot once again this season.

June 24, 2013

The Better Approach to the NCAA Playoffs

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:37 am

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The NCAA Football Playoff is just two seasons away from becoming a reality.  This is the final season for the BCS Bowl system formula to select two teams to play for the National Championship.

In more years than not, the two teams perceived to be the best two played in the National Championship Game, but was that really the case?

There were seasons where one or more teams appeared to be the class of the country, only to find that another team was actually better, by a large amount in some seasons.

The Southeastern Conference has dominated the National Championship in the 21st Century, and in one of those rare occasions where the SEC was snubbed, an undefeated team might have been better than one of the two teams playing in the title game.  Witnessing all the seasons where a one-loss SEC team pounded its opponent in the championship contest makes one wonder if Auburn might have been the best team in 2004, and at least more deserving than Oklahoma for playing in the title game.

Just because the championship has been expanded by adding two more teams, there is no reason to believe that the NCAA has fixed its problems.  Look at BoiseState in 2006 and 2009.  Look at TCU in 2010.  Look at Utah in 2004 and 2008.  We really cannot state that any of these five undefeated teams did not deserve to be in the Championship Game.

Take 2009.  Both BoiseState and TCU ran the table in the regular season.  They were denied a spot in the title game based on schedule strength.  This is a major flaw that is not being addressed by the NCAA.  How do we know that had either of these teams played for the title that they would have beaten Alabama that year.

Schedule strength is a joke when determining who deserves to play for the national title.  As an example, let’s say that the entire 1st and 2nd team All-Americans were juniors in eligibility but seniors as students.  Now, let’s say that every one of the 22 position players and special teams players decided to transfer to Eastern Michigan.

It would be obvious that Eastern Michigan would be the best team in the nation by far, maybe even a little better than the weakest NFL teams.  EMU would easily go 12-0 and then run all over the MAC East winner in the Conference Championship Game.

Now, let’s say that the Eagles played Illinois State, Idaho, Army, and South Alabama outside of the MAC.  Add games with Akron, U Mass, Miami of Ohio, from the East with the five MAC West teams, and their strength of schedule might be around #120.  This 13-0 team might have a chance at playing as the last selected BCS Bowl team, but the Eagles would have zero chance to play for the championship.  Yet, we all would know that they were the best college team since Army in 1945!  What a travesty to deny this best team in modern football a chance to play for the title!  Do we deny the Baltimore Ravens a chance to get to the Super Bowl, if their schedule is weaker than New England’s?  Ask yourself this: how many times in the last 20 years has the team with the best record made it to the Super Bowl?

The NFL is the number one sports league in the world for a reason.  There is no selection committee choosing who gets into the NFL playoffs.  Every fan in the world can see which teams are in the playoffs without a fancy computer formula that has needed to be tweaked multiple times when it was easy to tell that the most deserving teams did not always receive an invitation.

The NCAA needs to set up a similar system to where all fans can know for sure which teams will make the playoffs.  Rather than choose the representatives, the teams’ play on the field should be the only deciding factor.

It is rather easy to do if you ask us on our PiRate ship.  It would require minimal adjustment to pull it off.  We believe the NCAA FBS division should be subdivided into FBA-1 and FBS-2.  There are about 80 schools that play at a level where they could possibly field a playoff-caliber team.  The other 46, and soon to be more do not have the resources as of now to play at the highest echelon of college football.

Thus, it would be our plan to take these 80 schools and place them into four, 20-team league, subdivided into two, 10-team divisions.  We are not all that far away from having that now.

With 10 teams in a division, every team would be able to play itself into the playoff without having to be selected.  The teams would play every other team in their division plus three at-large games that would have minimal impact on their making the playoffs.

After 12 games, with nine of the games coming within the division, a divisional champion would move on to play the opposite divisional champion in each of the four leagues.  The four champions would then become the four teams in the NCAA playoffs.  No seeding would be done.  The four league championship games would be played at neutral sites, and the four winners would not be seeded.  They would face off in the semifinals on a rotation with East playing Midwest and South playing West one year; East playing South and Midwest playing West the next year; and East playing West and South playing Midwest the next year.

The East, South, Midwest, and West Leagues could keep conference names, so we could be looking at a 20-team ACC, 20-team SEC, 20-team Big 20, and 20-team Pac-20.

We suggest the leagues continue to keep their current teams, with the exception of the Big 12 which would send teams into different leagues.

So, the ACC would keep its Atlantic and Coastal divisions with the seven current teams scheduled to be there in 2014 (Louisville replacing Maryland in the Atlantic Division.  To this 14-team league, we would add West Virginia, Cincinnati, South Florida, Central Florida, Connecticut, and East Carolina with three going to the Atlantic and three to the Coastal.

The SEC would keep its 14 teams in the present form and then add Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Houston, and SMU,

The Big 20 would take the 14 Big Ten schools of 2014 (Maryland and Rutgers already coming to the conference) and add Kansas, Kansas St., Iowa St., Oklahoma, OklahomaSt., and Notre Dame.

The expanded Pac-20 would include the current 12 members plus BYU, Boise St., Fresno St., Nevada, San Diego St., San Jose St., Hawaii, and Utah St.

Every one of these 80 teams could begin each season knowing that if they won their division, nothing could prevent them from becoming National Champion.

For divisional ties, a tiebreaker system similar to the NFL would be used to break all ties.  A coin flip would be the last of about 7 or 8 tiebreakers (The NFL has never needed to use this, and the chances would be so infinitesimal to believe it would happen while the Sun still shines on the Earth.

Here is an example of how it would work.  We will say that in 2016 under this plan, Florida St. and West Virginia won the two ACC divisions after West Virginia and Louisville had to go to the third tiebreaker to determine who won.  Florida St. then beat West Virginia in the ACC Championship Game to earn the first spot in the NCAA Playoffs.

In the SEC, Texas, LSU, and Alabama all finished tied at 7-2 in their division, but Texas held the tiebreaker over its two rivals. Florida tied South Carolina in the other division but won the head-to-head contest to represent the East Division.  Texas then won the SEC Championship Game.

In the Big 20, Ohio St. won one of the divisions outright, while Oklahoma and Nebraska tied at 8-1, but the Sooners won the head-to-head contest to take the tiebreaker. Ohio St. then beat Oklahoma in the Big 20 Championship Game.

In the Pac-20, Oregon and USC both went 9-0/12-0, with USC winning the Pac-20 Championship Game.  The Trojans are considered the overwhelming number one team, but that matters not in these playoffs.  They are just one of the four participants in the NCAA Playoffs.

This would be the season where the East and West play each other and the South and Midwest play each other in the semifinal round.  So, in the Final Four, we would see Florida St. take on USC and Ohio St. face Texas, with the winners advancing to the National Championship Game.

December 7, 2012

2012-13 NCAA Simulated Football Playoffs–Round One

The Road To Simper Bowl VI

The Opening Round of the 2012-13 PiRate Simulated College Football Playoffs is in the books.  The number 5-12 seeds squared off with the top four seeds receiving byes.

 

Without further adieu, let’s reveal the results.

 

#12 Seed: Louisville (10-2) at #5 Seed: Oregon (11-1)

Oregon 45  Louisville 17

 

Oregon

Team

Louisville

45

Score

17

23

First Downs

18

42

Rush Attempts

37

223

Rush Yards

104

18

Pass Completions

18

29

Pass Attempts

32

209

Pass Yards

191

0

Intercepted

1

3-43.7

Punt Average

6-41.5

2-41

Punt Returns

0-0

4-92

Kick Returns

5-93

5-40

Penalties

7-57

0-0

Fumbles/Lost

2-0

2-11

Def: Sack-Yds

0-0

71

Plays

69

432

Total Yards

295

 

#11 Seed: Florida State (11-2) at #6 Seed: Kansas State (11-1)

Kansas State 27  Florida State 16

 

Kansas St.

Team

Florida St.

27

Score

16

18

First Downs

17

47

Rush Attempts

34

202

Rush Yards

119

10

Pass Completions

22

22

Pass Attempts

38

147

Pass Yards

236

1

Intercepted

2

5-43.4

Punt Average

5-39.8

1-(-3)

Punt Returns

3-14

3-61

Kick Returns

2-38

6-55

Penalties

7-46

1-0

Fumbles/Lost

1-1

2-13

Def: Sack-Yds

0-0

69

Plays

72

349

Total Yards

355

 

 

#10 Seed: Texas A&M (10-2) at #7 Seed: Georgia (11-2)

Georgia 33  Texas A&M 31

 

Georgia

Team

Texas A&M

33

Score

31

22

First Downs

23

36

Rush Attempts

41

137

Rush Yards

180

20

Pass Completions

29

34

Pass Attempts

45

242

Pass Yards

313

1

Intercepted

1

3-41.3

Punt Average

2-45.0

0-0

Punt Returns

0-0

6-199

Kick Returns

1-21

5-35

Penalties

8-72

0-0

Fumbles/Lost

1-1

1-12

Def: Sack-Yds

2-11

70

Plays

86

379

Total Yards

493

 

#9 Seed: Stanford (11-2) at #8 Seed LSU (10-2)

Stanford 28  LSU 20

 

L S U

Team

Stanford

20

Score

28

16

First Downs

20

42

Rush Attempts

39

151

Rush Yards

172

16

Pass Completions

17

29

Pass Attempts

28

156

Pass Yards

183

2

Intercepted

0

6-45.7

Punt Average

5-41.6

2-6

Punt Returns

3-37

3-59

Kick Returns

2-47

6-50

Penalties

8-56

2-1

Fumbles/Lost

1-0

1-7

Def: Sack-Yds

2-15

71

Plays

67

307

Total Yards

355

 

Round Two is now set.  Our Elite Eight Games Include:

 

#9 Seed: Stanford (12-2) at #1 Seed: Notre Dame (12-0)

#7 Seed: Georgia (12-2) at #2 Seed: Alabama (12-1)

#6 Seed: Kansas St. (12-1) at #3 Seed: Ohio State (12-0)

#5 Seed: Oregon (12-1) at #4 Seed: Florida (11-1)

 

These games will be simulated and revealed next Friday, December 14, 2012 before 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

December 3, 2012

2012-13 NCAA Simulated Football Playoffs–Bracket Reveal

The Road To Simper Bowl VI

Yes, a playoff is coming to college football in two more years, but as far as we are concerned, the NCAA still had not gotten it right.  A four-team playoff this year would have included Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, and Oregon.  Kansas State would have been left out, and that would be a travesty.

Imagine the NFL leaving out the San Francisco 49ers from the playoffs this year.  It would be an outrage and would lessen the NFL as a brand.

There’s a reason the Super Bowl is what it is:  It is a legitimate playoff where all division champions are included.

The NCAA will never approach the success of the NFL while there is a chance that an 11-1 Kansas State team would not be included as Big 12 Champions.  No poll or computer rating, ours included, can really select Alabama, Florida, or Oregon as a better team than Kansas State, and thus this new four-team playoff that will commence in 2014 is a joke without merit.

Schedule strength can never determine which teams are better and more deserving than others.  It does not determine which teams are the best.  Winning a conference championship does accomplish that.

For instance, what if the Houston Texans roster played as the collegiate Houston Cougars?  Let’s say, the “Texans” played the same schedule this season as the “Cougars” and easily ran the table with a 13-0 mark, destroying the likes of Texas State, Louisiana Tech, UCLA, Rice, North Texas, UAB, SMU, UTEP, East Carolina, Tulsa, Marshall, and Tulane, before knocking off Central Florida in the Conference USA Championship Game.

Let’s say with this 13-0 record, Houston moved up to number nine in the BCS rankings.  In the current BCS season, they would have been rewarded with the Orange Bowl bid that went to Northern Illinois.  After thoroughly destroying Florida State to finish 14-0, they might have moved up to sixth or fifth.  We are supposed to believe that four or five college teams are still better than the most talented roster in the NFL.

Under the future playoff rules, the 13-0 Cougars/Texans would not even have a chance of playing in the playoffs.  That’s correct, the top team in the NFL would be deemed unworthy of playing for the collegiate national championship.

How to rectify this is very simple.  First, the champions of the current top six conferences must receive automatic playoff spots, just like the eight divisional champions of the NFL.  Then, six more at-large teams need to be included to guarantee that a 13-0 Houston Cougars team with the Houston Texans roster would be included.

Okay, so you say that our supposition is a big joke?  Sure, the top NFL team would never put on college jerseys and play.  However, how can you tell that a 13-0 Houston Cougars team may or may not be a better team than a 11-1 Florida Gators team?  If Florida played Houston’s schedule, they could do no better than 13-0.

This is where our PiRate Playoff system corrects these terrible misdeeds.

This is our sixth year simulating playoffs.  Here is how it works:

The champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC receive automatic bids.  In our world, teams on probation are eligible for our playoffs.  We want the best teams from each conference.  We believe that not allowing teams to appear in the postseason after they played an entire season is ridiculous.  Only the players and fans are punished.  Instead, probation should be monetary only.  Thus, Ohio State is eligible for our playoffs.

After the top six conference champions are selected, we next take any conference champion that finishes in the top 12 of the BCS poll also receives an automatic bid.  Then, at-large teams are added based on BCS rating until 12 total teams have been selected.

Just like the NFL, our simulated college playoffs are played at the home field of the higher-seeded team until the Championship Game, The Simper Bowl, which is played at a neutral site.  In past years, we have chosen the Los Angeles Coliseum, but we have chosen a new location this year—Metlife Stadium in Metro New Jersey.  If a Super Bowl can be played outdoors in East Rutherford, then we can stage a college championship game there as well.

Each game in our simulated playoffs will be simulated just one time this year.  By simulating games 100 times, there is very little chance for upsets, and in real playoffs, teams only square off once.  So, if a team that might win 12 times out of 100 happens to win that lone simulation, it is the same as an upset in the NFL playoffs, and why the NFL is the king of all sports.

About the simulator:  We have access to a computer simulator on a large college campus.  It has been used to predict winners against the spread in the past, but at the present time, nobody is using it for that purpose.  A large string of statistical data is fed into the simulator, and it spits out winners of simulated games along with total statistics.

In the past, the simulator produced individual statistics and even a basic play-by-play, such as: “Smith 3 yard gain up the middle/Tackle Jones and Brown.”  Unfortunately, we only have access to total statistics this year.

What do we think about the 35 bowls with 70 teams, including schools that are 6-6 or even 6-7?  We could not care less about these games.  It might be a big deal for Central Michigan and Western Kentucky to play in a bowl, but we aren’t going to give it a moment’s notice.  In fact, only the box score with stats means anything to us, and then only because we have to calculate new ratings for the final ratings.

Even games such as Clemson and LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and Oregon and Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl mean nothing.  They cannot affect the national championship.  At least in the old days, it was possible for as many as five bowl games to play a part in the National Championship.

We like to use the 1970-71 bowl season as an example.  Entering the bowls, Texas was 10-0, Ohio State was 9-0, Nebraska was 10-0-1, and Arizona State was 11-0.  Additionally, Toledo and Dartmouth were undefeated in a year in which the Rockets and Big Green were actually good enough to beat a top ten team, with squads that were probably the best ever from the MAC and Ivy League.  Tennessee and Notre Dame both had just one loss, with the Vols losing only to Top Ten team Auburn with Pat Sullivan throwing to Terry Beasley.  The Irish were undefeated until losing their final game against Southern Cal in the Coliseum in LA.

Toledo was limited to the Tangerine Bowl as MAC Champion, and the Rockets destroyed William & Mary by four touchdowns.  It wasn’t enough to put them in the title picture, but it led to a Top 10 finish in some polls.

Arizona State played North Carolina in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta and won by more than three touchdowns to finish 11-0.  However, the Sun Devils were in the WAC then, and their schedule was not quite as tough as others in contention.  They did beat a 6-5 Kansas State team by 22 point, but Nebraska beat the Wildcats by 38.

New Year’s Day started with the Sugar Bowl on ABC and the Cotton Bowl on CBS, both kicking off at roughly the same time.  In the Cotton Bowl, number one Texas was facing off against #4 Notre Dame.  The Longhorns had defeated the Irish the year before in the Cotton Bowl to win the national title.  However, Coach Ara Parseghian devised an entirely new defense aimed at stopping the powerful wishbone offense run by Texas.  They held the Longhorns more than 30 points under their scoring average, while quarterback Joe Theismann passed the Irish to a convincing 13-point win.  Number one was up for grabs now.

Over on ABC, Tennessee was thoroughly destroying a 9-2 Air Force team in the Sugar Bowl.  That Air Force team had clobbered Pac-8 champ Stanford earlier in the season.  Now, the Vols and Irish had won as one-loss teams.  All eyes shifted west to Pasadena.

In the Rose Bowl on NBC, Curt Gowdy explained to the nation that Ohio State would lock up the national title with a victory over 8-3 Stanford.  The undefeated Buckeyes were a senior-laden team with enough stars to start an NFL expansion franchise.  Those seniors had been 27-1 to this point in their careers.  But, Stanford had the big equalizer.  Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett and end Randy Vataha was the best passing combo in the nation, just a fraction ahead of Sullivan and Beasley.  Ohio State’s three yards and a cloud of dust offense began the game looking invincible, but then Stanford’s defense brought a rover back up to the middle to plug the off-tackle holes.  Plunkett began firing rifle shots against a Buckeye secondary that had not faced a passing team all season.  All of a sudden, the cinch national title was gone, and Stanford won by 10 points.

Now, the nation turned to Miami and the Orange Bowl on NBC.  Nebraska was 10-0-1, but the Cornhuskers were a slight underdog to 9-2 LSU, a team that had lost to Notre Dame 3-0.  The game was a defensive struggle all night, and LSU led for three quarters.  With 15 minutes to go in the game, it looked like several teams might split the title.  Nebraska had one good fourth quarter drive to take the lead, and the “Huskers held on to win a nailbiter 17-12.

All told, the Peach, Sugar, Cotton, Rose, and Orange Bowls played a part in the title that season.  Nebraska eventually won all of the postseason versions of the “legitimate” national championships of that day.  All four New Year’s Day Bowls were essential games to watch.

In other years, as many as five different teams claimed national championships in the same year.  It may not have been ideal, but at least teams that deserved to be considered in the national championship equation received recognition.  For instance, in 1973, Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Oklahoma all received recognition from at least one “officially recognized” polling service as national champion.  Additionally, there were three major mathematical ratings (pre-computer) that were considered legitimate enough to award a national champion.  The Carr Ratings, Litkenhous Ratings, and Dunkel Ratings crowned a national champion every year.

This cannot happen today.  Yes, the AP still crowns a recognized national champion and has awarded one to a team that did not win the BCS Championship Game (and could theoretically move 12-0 Ohio State to number one if Notre Dame loses to Alabama), but it does not come close to matching the bowls of yesteryear.

It is our opinion that the old way with multiple champions was better than the current BCS.  It made the four big New Year’s Day bowls must-see television events.

The new four-team playoff misses the mark and will cause the same troubles.  It would not have worked this year, and if Ohio State had been eligible, it would have meant that both Oregon and Kansas State would have been left out in favor of Alabama and Florida.

The only way to crown one legitimate champion is to give every top team a chance to play for it on the football field, and until the NCAA copies the NFL and institutes a playoff that gives the big conference champions an automatic bid and gives the smaller conference champions a chance to get into the playoffs, then any championship awarded is bogus.

With that in mind, the PiRate Ratings release its “Dandy Dozen” for 2012-13 and the pairings for the PiRate simulated playoffs.  The Road to Simper Bowl VI begins today.

Automatic Bids

Atlantic Coast Conference: Florida State 11-2

Big East Conference: Louisville 10-2

Big Ten Conference: Ohio State 12-0 (See above for why Ohio State is here and not Wisconsin)

Big 12 Conference: Kansas State 11-1

Pacific-12 Conference: Stanford 11-2

Southeastern Conference: Alabama 12-1

 

Other Conference Champions in BCS Top 12

No Teams Qualified (Northern Illinois did not qualify in our playoffs)

At-Large Selections (Selected in order of BCS Ranking)

Notre Dame 12-0

Florida 11-1

Oregon 11-1

Georgia 11-2

L S U 10-2

Texas A&M 10-2

 

Here are how our “Dandy Dozen” are seeded.  The top four teams receive first-round byes, while numbers 5 through 12 play in to the Final Eight, just like the NFL Playoffs.

  1. Notre Dame

  2. Alabama

  3. Ohio State (based on where they would have been if not on probation).

  4. Florida

  5. Oregon

  6. Kansas State

  7. Georgia

  8. L S U

  9. Stanford

10. Texas A&M

11. Florida State

12. Louisville

 

The opening round of the PiRate Simulated Playoffs begin this Friday, December 7, 2012.  Check back Friday after 1PM Eastern Standard Time for the results and statistics.

Here are the matchups

8 at L S U
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9 Stanford | |
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1 at Notre Dame | |
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5 at Oregon |————————
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12 Louisville | | | |
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4 at Florida | |
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|Championship Game
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7 at Georgia |At Met Life Stadium
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10 Texas A&M | | |
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2 at Alabama | | |
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6 at Kansas State |————————
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11 Florida State | | |
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3 at Ohio State |
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March 11, 2012

NCAA College Basketball Tournaments — March 11 Update

Here is the up-to-date (as of Saturday Night, March 10) results of all conference tournaments as well as the pairings for today’s games.

 

America East

Preliminary Round

#9 Binghamton 73  #8 Md.-Balt. Co. 67

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Stony Brook 78  # 9 Binghamton 69

#4 Albany 63  #5 New Hampshire 45

#2 Vermont 50  #7 Maine 40

#6 Hartford 53  #3 Boston U 49 

 

Semifinals

#1 Stony Brook 57  #4 Albany 55

#2 Vermont 77  #6 Hartford 73 2OT

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Vermont 51  #1 Stony Brook 43

 

Automatic Bid – VERMONT 23-11

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Vermont destroyed Stony Brook by 19 points during the regular season, and yesterday showed that the earlier game was not a fluke.

 

A C C

Opening Round

#8 Maryland 82  #9 Wake Forest 60

#5 North Carolina St. 78  #12 Boston College 57

#10 Virginia Tech 68  #7 Clemson 63

#6 Miami (FL) 54  #11 Georgia Tech 36

 

Quarterfinals

#1 North Carolina 85  #8 Maryland 69

#5 North Carolina St. 67  #4 Virginia 64

#2 Duke 60  #10 Virginia Tech 56

#3 Florida St. 82  #6 Miami (FL) 71

 

Semifinals

#1 North Carolina 69  #5 North Carolina St. 67

#3 Florida St. 62  #2 Duke 59  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 North Carolina (29-4) vs. #3 Florida St. (23-9)

 

 

At-Large: North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Virginia

Upper Bubble: North Carolina St.

Lower Bubble: Miami (FL)

 

North Carolina already has a number one seed to the NCAA Tournament, but the Tar Heels will play all out today.  UNC usually fares best in the Big Dance when they win the ACC Tournament.

 

 

Atlantic Sun

Quarterfinals

#1 Belmont 76  #8 Jacksonville 62

#4 East Tennessee 68  #5 N. Florida 66

#2 Mercer 61  #7 Lipscomb 53

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 71  #3 S. Carolina Upstate 61

 

Semifinals

#1 Belmont 69  #4 East Tennessee 61

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 62 #2 Mercer 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Belmont 83  Florida Gulf Coast 69

 

Automatic Bid – BELMONT 27-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Atlantic 10

1st Round

#8 Massachusetts 92  #9 Duquesne 83

#5 St. Joe’s 80  #12 Charlotte 64

#7 LaSalle 80  #10 Richmond 72

#6 Dayton 67  #11 George Washington 50

 

Quarterfinals

#8 Massachusetts 77  #1 Temple 71

#4 St. Bonaventure 71  #5 St. Joe’s 68

#2 St. Louis 78  #7 LaSalle 71

#3 Xavier 70  #6 Dayton 69

 

Semifinals

#4 St. Bonaventure 84  #8 Massachusetts 80

#3 Xavier 71  #2 St. Louis 64  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Xavier (21-11) vs. #4 St. Bonaventure (19-11)

 

At-Large: Temple, St. Louis

Upper Bubble:

Lower Bubble: Xavier

 

There will be one less bubble team getting an at-large bid thanks to the A-10.  Neither Xavier nor St. Bonaventure would have received a bid, so the winner becomes a bid-thief.

 

Big East

Opening Round

#9 Connecticut 81  #16 Dayton 67

#13 Pittsburgh 73  #12 St. John’s 59

#10 Seton Hall 79  #15 Providence 47

#14 Villanova 70  #11 Rutgers 49

 

2nd Round

#9 Connecticut 71  #8 West Virginia 67 OT

#5 Georgetown 64  #13 Pittsburgh 52

#7 Louisville 61 #10 Seton Hall 55

#6 South Florida 56  #14 Villanova 47

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Syracuse 58  #9 Connecticut 55

#4 Cincinnati 72  #5 Georgetown 70 2OT

#7 Louisville 84  #2 Marquette 71

#3 Notre Dame 57 #6 South Florida 52

 

Semifinals

#4 Cincinnati 71  #1 Syracuse 68  

#7 Louisville 64  #3 Notre Dame 50

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#7 Louisville 50  #4 Cincinnati 44

 

Automatic Bid – LOUISVILLE 26-9

At-Large Teams – Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Connecticut

Bubble – Seton Hall, South Florida

 

Big Sky

Quarterfinals

#3 Portland St. 75  #6 Montana St. 53

#4 Eastern Washington 81  #5 Idaho St. 75

 

Semifinals

#1 Montana 74  #4 Eastern Washington 66

#2 Weber St. 69 #3 Portland St. 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Montana 85 #2 Weber St. 66

 

Automatic Bid: MONTANA 25-6

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

This is a one-bid league, but both Montana and Weber State are talented enough to win an opening round game in the NCAA Tournament. With an RPI around 70, the Wildcats are probably not on the bubble.

 

Big South

Preliminary Round

#8 High Point 68  #9 Gardner-Webb 58

#7 VMI 55  #10 Radford 53

 

Quarterfinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 86  #8 High Point 61

#4 Charleston Sou. 88  #5 Liberty 74

#6 Winthrop 71  #3 Campbell 55

#7 VMI 85  #2 Coastal Carolina 68

 

Semifinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 91  #4 Charleston Sou. 64

#7 VMI 75  #6 Winthrop 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 UNC-Asheville  80  #7 VMI 64

 

Automatic Bid – UNC-ASHEVILLE 24-9

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Big Ten

Opening Round

#8 Iowa 64  #9 Illinois 61

#5 Indiana 75  #12 Penn State 58

#10 Minnesota 75  #7 Northwestern 68

#6 Purdue 79  #11 Nebraska 61

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Michigan St. 92  #8 Iowa 75

#4 Wisconsin 79  #5 Indiana 71

#2 Michigan 73  #10 Minnesota 69

#3 Ohio St. 88  #6 Purdue 71

 

Semifinals

#1 Michigan St. 65 #4 Wisconsin 52

#3 Ohio St. 77  #2 Michigan 55  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Michigan St. (26-7) vs. #3 Ohio St. (27-6)

 

At-Large: Ohio St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue

Upper Bubble:

Lower Bubble: Northwestern

 

The two best teams in the league face off for the final conference championship.  All bids will be decided by the final horn.

 

Big 12

Opening Round

#9 Texas A&M 62  #8 Oklahoma 53

#7 Oklahoma St. 76  #10 Texas Tech 60

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kansas 83  #9 Texas A&M 66

#4 Baylor 82  #5 Kansas St. 74

#2 Missouri 88  #7 Oklahoma St. 70

#3 Iowa St. 65  #6 Texas 71

 

Semifinals

#4 Baylor 81  #1 Kansas 72  

#2 Missouri 81  #6 Texas 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Missouri 90  #4 Baylor 75

 

Automatic Bid – MISSOURI 30-4

At-Large Teams – Kansas, Baylor, Iowa St., Kansas St.,

Bubble – Texas

 

Missouri has a decent shot at moving up to a number one seed, but not as much as if they had defeated Kansas instead of Baylor for the title.

 

Big West

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Beach St. 80  #8 UC-Davis 46

#4 Cal Poly SLO 66  #5 UC-Riverside 54

#7 UC-Irvine 65  #2 Cal State Fullerton 59

#3 U C S B 72  #6 Pacific 52

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Beach St. 68  #7 UC-Irvine 57

#3 U C S B 64  #4 Cal Poly SLO 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Long Beach St. 77  #3 U C S B 64

 

Automatic Bid – LONG BEACH ST. 25-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Long Beach State deserves a number 12 seed.  The 49ers will be a dangerous opponent in the first two rounds.

 

Colonial Athletic

Opening Round

#9 UNC-Wilmington 70  #8 James Madison 59

#5 Delaware 72  #12 Towson St. 65

#6 Georgia St. 85  #11 Hofstra 50

#7 Northeastern 57  #10 William & Mary 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Drexel 59  #9 UNC-Wilmington 47

#4 Old Dominion 88  #5 Delaware 74

#3 George Mason 61  #6 Georgia St. 59

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 75  #10 William & Mary 65

 

Semifinals

#1 Drexel 68  #4 Old Dominion 51

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 74  #3 George Mason 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 59 #1 Drexel 56

 

Automatic Bid – VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 28-6

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Drexel

 

 

Drexel has a chance of earning an at-large bid, but their RPI is on the low side at 68.

 

Conference USA

Opening Round

#5 U A B 72  #12 Tulane 64

#8 U T E P 67 #9 Houston 62 OT

#10 East Carolina 68  #7 Rice 66 

#6 Marshall 74  #11 S M U 56

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Memphis 65  #8 U T E P 47

#4 Central Florida 51  #5 U A B 43

#2 Southern Mississippi 81  #10 East Carolina 78

#6 Marshall 105  #3 Tulsa 100  3 OT

 

Semifinals

#1 Memphis 83  #4 Central Florida 52

#6 Marshall 73  #2 Southern Mississippi 62

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Memphis 83  #6 Marshall 57

 

Automatic Bid – MEMPHIS 26-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Southern Miss

 

Memphis’s blowout win over Marshall definitely kept the Thundering Herd out of any discussion.  Southern Miss is not a high bubble team.  The Golden Eagles could be disappointed around 7 PM EDT today.

 

Horizon League

Opening Round

#4 Milwaukee 68  #9 Illinois-Chi. 55

#5 Butler 70  #8 Wright St. 52

#3 Detroit 80  #10 Loyola (Chi) 71

#6 Youngstown 77  #7 Green Bay 60

 

Quarterfinals

#5 Butler 71 #4 Milwaukee 49

#3 Detroit 93 #6 Youngstown St. 76

 

Semifinals

#1 Valparaiso 65  #5 Butler 46

#3 Detroit 63  #2 Cleveland St. 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Detroit 70  #1 Valparaiso 50

 

Automatic Bid – DETROIT 22-13

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Neither Valpo, Cleveland State nor Butler will  earn at-large bids.

 

M A A C

Preliminary Round

#8 Marist 64 #9 St. Peter’s 57

#7 Niagara 80 #10 Canisius 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Iona 87  #8 Marist 63

#4 Fairfield 65  #5 Rider 63

#2 Loyola (MD) 86  #7 Niagara 73

#6 Siena 84  #3 Manhattan 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Fairfield 85  #1 Iona 75

#2 Loyola (MD) 70  #6 Siena 60

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Loyola (MD) 48  #4 Fairfield 44

 

Automatic Bid – LOYOLA (MD) 24-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Iona played their way out of the Big Dance and into the NIT.

 

M A C

Opening Round

#12 Northern Illinois 55  #5 Eastern Michigan 52  

#8 Western Michigan 69  #9 Ball St. 63

#7 Toledo 60  #10 (Miami (O) 53

#11 Central Michigan 54  #6 Bowling Green 53  

 

2nd Round

#8 Western Michigan 71  #12 Northern Illinois 54

#7 Toledo 75  #11 Central Michigan 72

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Kent St. 76  #8 Western Michigan 72

#3 Ohio 65  #7 Toledo 57

 

Semifinals

#1 Akron 78  #4 Kent St. 74

#3 Ohio 77  #2  Buffalo 74

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Ohio 64  #1 Akron 63

 

Automatic Bid – OHIO 26-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Akron

 

Akron fell to #58 in the RPI, so the Zips have a chance to get an at-large bid.

 

M E A C

Opening Round

#8 Hampton 69 #9 Morgan St. 65

#5 North Carolina Central 60 #12 Md. Eastern Shore 43

#4 Bethune-Cookman 62 #13 South Carolina St. 53

#11 Florida A& M 74  #6 Coppin St. 72

#10 Howard 51  #7 North Carolina A&T 50

 

Quarterfinals

#8 Hampton 59  #1 Savannah St. 46

#4 Bethune-Cookman 60  #5 North Carolina Central 59

#2 Norfolk St. 71 #7 Howard 61

#11 Florida A&M 65  #3 Delaware St. 55  

 

Semfinals

#4 Bethune-Cookman 81  #8 Hampton 72

#2 Norfolk St. 58  #11 Florida A&M 46

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Norfolk St. 73  #4 Bethune-Cookman 70

 

Automatic Bid – NORFOLK ST. 25-9

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Norfolk State makes its first trip to the NCAA Tournament, and the Spartans have a chance to avoid the first round in Dayton.

 

Missouri Valley

Opening Round

#8 Indiana St. 66  #9 Southern Illinois 51

#7 Drake 65  #10 Bradley 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Wichita St. 72 #8 Indiana St. 48

#4 Illinois St. 54 #5 Northern Iowa 42

#2 Creighton 68 vs. #7 Drake 61

#3 Evansville 72 vs. #6 Missouri St. 64

 

Semifinals

#4 Illinois St. 65  #1 Wichita St. 64

#2 Creighton 99  #3 Evansville 71

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Creighton 83  #4 Illinois St. 79 OT

 

Automatic Bid – CREIGHTON 27-5

At-Large – Wichita St. 27-5

Bubble – None

 

Mountain West

Quarterfinals

#1 San Diego St. 65  #8 Boise St. 62

#4 Colorado St. 81  #5 T C U 60

#2 New Mexico 79  #7 Air Force 64

#3 U N L V 56  #6 Wyoming 48

 

Semifinals

#1 San Diego St. 79  #4 Colorado St. 69

#2 New Mexico 72  #3 U N L V 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 New Mexico 68  #1 San Diego St. 59

 

Automatic Bid – NEW MEXICO 27-6

At-Large – San Diego St., U N L V

Bubble – Colorado St.

 

Anything other than four bids would be disappointing and even ridiculous.  Colorado State’s RPI is #24, and the Rams are tournament-worthy.

 

Northeast

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Island 80  #8 Sacred Heart 68

#5 Quinnipiac 80  #4 St. Francis (NY) 72

#3 Robert Morris 87  #6 Monmouth 68

#2 Wagner 87  #7 Central Conn. St. 77

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Island 78 #5 Quinnipiac 75

#3 Robert Morris 71  #2 Wagner 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Long Island 90  #3 Robert Morris 73

 

Automatic Bid: LONG ISLAND 25-8

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

Wagner’s slim chances for getting in as a wildcard team went bye-bye with their semifinal loss to RMU.

 

LIU enters the Big Dance winning 20 of their last 22 games.

 

Ohio Valley

Opening Round

#5 Southeast Missouri 75  #8 E. Kentucky 65

#7 Jacksonville St. 75  #6 Austin Peay 70

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Tennessee Tech 77 #5 Southeast Missouri 73

#3 Morehead St. 68  #7 Jacksonville St. 54

 

Semifinals

#1 Murray St. 78  #4 Tennessee Tech 58

#2 Tennessee St. 59 #3 Morehead St. 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Murray St. 54  #2 Tennessee St. 52

 

Automatic Bid – MURRAY ST. 30-1

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Murray State should receive a #4 or #5 seed, a #6 at worst.

 

Pac-12

Opening Round

#9 Oregon St. 69  #8 Washington St. 64

#5 U C L A 55  #12 U S C 40

#7 Stanford 85  #10 Arizona St. 65

#6 Colorado 53  #11 Utah 41

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Oregon State 86  #1 Washington 84

#4 Arizona 66  #5 U C L A 58

#2 California 77  #7 Stanford 71

#6 Colorado 63  #3 Oregon 62  

 

Semifinals

#4 Arizona 72  #9 Oregon St. 61

#6 Colorado 70  #2 California 59

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#6 Colorado 53  #4 Arizona 51

 

Automatic Bid – COLORADO 23-11

At-Large – None

Bubble – California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona

 

Colorado is the only sure bid in this league.  However, we believe that no ‘Big Six” conference will receive just one bid.  Politics must be considered, even if “they” claim that all at-large teams are considered as independents.  Look for at least one from the bubble above to make the Dance.

 

Patriot League

Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 87  #8 Navy 63

#5 Lafayette 84  #4 Holy Cross 76

#2 Lehigh 70 #7 Colgate 57

#3 American 57  #6 Army 40

 

Semifinals

#1 Bucknell 79 #5 Lafayette 52

#2 Lehigh 85 #3 American 66

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Lehigh 82  #1 Bucknell 77  

 

Automatic Bid: LEHIGH 26-7

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

The Mountain Hawks search for the first NCAA Tournament win in their fifth trip to the Big Dance, and they have the one-two punch in C J McCollum and Gabe Knutson.  Lehigh lost at Michigan State by just nine points earlier in the year, and they enter the NCAA Tournament having won eight games in a row and 12 of 13.

 

Southern

Opening Round

#5N Appalachian St. 93  #4S College of Charleston 81

#3N Western Carolina 68  #6S Citadel 56

#5S Furman 75  #4N Samford 66

#3S Georgia Southern 76  #6N Chattanooga 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1N UNC-Greensboro 65  #5N Appalachian St. 55

#3N Western Carolina 82 #2S Wofford 59

#1S Davidson 73  #5S Furman 54

#2N Elon 65  #3S Georgia Southern 58

 

Semifinals

#3N Western Carolina 82  #1N UNC-Greensboro 77

#1S Davidson 83  #2N Elon 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1S Davidson  93 #1N UNC-Greensboro 91

 

Automatic Bid – DAVIDSON 25-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Davidson might not have earned a ticket as an at-large team.  Tell that to Kansas coach Bill Self, and he would say you were crazy.

 

S E C

Opening Round

#8 L S U 70  #9 Arkansas 54

#5 Alabama 63  #12 South Carolina 57

#7 Ole Miss 68  #10 Auburn 54

#11 Georgia 71  #6 Mississippi St. 61 

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kentucky 60  #8 L S U 51

#4 Florida 66  #5 Alabama 63

#7 Ole Miss 77  #2 Tennessee 72 OT

#3 Vanderbilt 63  #11 Georgia 41

 

Semifinals

#1 Kentucky 74  #4 Florida 71

#3 Vanderbilt 65  #7 Ole Miss 53

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Kentucky (32-1) vs. #3 Vanderbilt (23-10)

 

At-Large: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt

Upper Bubble: Alabama

Lower Bubble: Ole Miss, Mississippi St.

 

The two teams picked to finish one-two at the beginning of the year meet for the tournament championship.  Kentucky won two close games during the year.  The Wildcats are just one last second jump shot away from being undefeated and considered the best team since Bill Walton’s 1973 UCLA Bruins went 30-0.  Look for the Wildcats to turn Royal Street into Royal Blue Street around 2:30 PM today.

 

Southland

Quarterfinals

#1 UT-Arlington 96  #8 Nicholls St. 48

#4 McNeese St. 78  #5 TX-San Antonio 74 OT

#2 Stephen F Austin 68  #7 Sam Houston 46

#3 Lamar 76  #6 Northwestern State (LA) 69

 

Semifinals

#4 McNeese St. 92  #1 UT-Arlington 72  

#3 Lamar 55  #2 Stephen F Austin 44  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Lamar 70 #4 McNeese St. 49

 

Automatic Bid – LAMAR 23-11

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Lamar probably has a date in Dayton in two or three days.

 

S W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 63  #8 Jackson St. 60

#5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 60  #4 Alabama St. 56  

#2 Texas Southern 75  #7 Alabama A&M 62

#6 Alcorn St. 103  #3 Prairie View 79

 

Semifinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 71  #5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 64

#2 Texas Southern 60  #6 Alcorn St. 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 71  #2 Texas Southern 69

 

Automatic Bid – MISSISSIPPI VALLEY ST. 21-12

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

The Delta Devils began the season 1-11 but have gone 20-1 since.  Still, they most likely will be forced to play in Dayton.

 

Summit League

Quarterfinals

#1 Oral Roberts 71  #8 I P F W 67

#4 Western Illinois 58  #5 North Dakota St. 53

#2 South Dakota St. 77  I U P U I 56

#6 Southern Utah 84  #3 Oakland 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Western Illinois 54  #1 Oral Roberts 53

#2 South Dakota St. 63  #6 Southern Utah 47

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 South Dakota St. 52  #4 Western Illinois 50

 

Automatic Bid – SOUTH DAKOTA ST. 27-7

At-Large Teams –None

Bubble – Oral Roberts

               

Had South Dakota St. and Oral Roberts advanced to the Championship Game, and Oral Roberts’ lost instead of losing to WIU in the semis, ORU would be on the at-large line and not the bubble.  With an RPI of 55, the Golden Eagles are in a precarious position. 

 

Sunbelt

Opening Round

#6 South Alabama 87  #11 Troy 81

#7 Western Kentucky 67 #10 Florida Int’l 63

#9 Arkansas St. 70 #8 Florida Atlantic 55

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Arkansas St. 64  #1 Middle Tennessee 61

#5 North Texas 65  #4 Louisiana-Lafayette 62

#7 Western Kentucky 68  #2 U A L R  63 

#3 Denver 61  #6 South Alabama 50

 

Semifinals

#5 North Texas 76  #9 Arkansas St. 72

#7 Western Kentucky 67  #3 Denver 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#7 Western Kentucky 74  #3 Denver 70

 

Automatic Bid –WESTERN KENTUCKY 15-18

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Middle Tennessee

 

This is probably a one-bid league. The top two seeds lost in their first games in this unique tournament played in two separate gyms in the same building.  Middle Tennessee may still be on the bubble with an RPI of 65, but they are more than likely headed to the NIT.  Western Kentucky will be headed to the first round in Dayton.  However, their 15-18 record is very misleading.  The Hilltoppers were supposed to contend for the regular season championship; however, major dissension led to a poor start and a dismissal of head coach Ken McDonald.  Since Ray Harper assumed command, WKU has sported a 10-7 record, and a 7-4 finish.  This team cannot be overlooked in Dayton and could very well advance to the second round.

 

W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Nevada 54  #8 San Jose St. 44

#5 Louisiana Tech 72  #4 Utah St. 70

#2 New Mexico St. 65  #7 Fresno St. 49

#6 Hawaii 72  #3 Idaho 70

 

Semifinals

#5 Louisiana Tech 78  #1 Nevada 73  

#2 New Mexico St. 92  #6 Hawaii 81

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 New Mexico St. 82  #5 Louisiana Tech 57

 

Automatic Bid – NEW MEXICO ST. 26-9

At-Large – None

Bubble – Nevada.

 

Nevada fell to #63 in the RPI, and the Wolfpack are on the cusp of falling off the bubble. 

 

West Coast

Opening Round

#8 Portland 74 #9 Santa Clara 70

 

2nd Round

#5 San Francisco 87  #8 Portland 66

#6 San Diego 76  #7 Pepperdine 54

 

Quarterfinals

#5 San Francisco 67  #4 Loyola Marymount 60

#3 B Y U 73 vs. #6 San Diego 68

 

Semifinals

#1 Saint Mary’s 83  #5 San Francisco 78

#2 Gonzaga 77  #3 B Y U 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Saint Mary’s 78  #2 Gonzaga 74 OT

 

Automatic Bid – SAINT MARY’S 26-5

At-Large Teams – Gonzaga

Bubble – B Y U

 

This has the look of a three-bid league, with the two behemoths and BYU all headed to the Big Dance.  Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga are now the true powers of the West.  If you remember UCLA versus USC or Oregon State in the 1970’s and 1980’s, this is what this rivalry has become.  Both teams could easily advance to the Elite 8.

 

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