The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 22, 2017

Red, White, and Blue Ratings for Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament Games

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:33 pm

Sweet 16

Thursday, March 23
Team Team Red White Blue
Oregon Michigan -1 -1 -1
Gonzaga West Virginia 4 2 9
Kansas Purdue 4 4 1
Arizona Xavier 4 4 4

 

Friday, March 24
Team Team Red White Blue
North Carolina Butler 6 6 12
Baylor South Carolina 3 5 7
Kentucky UCLA 2 -1 1
Florida Wisconsin 5 4 -2

 

TV Schedule

Region Time (EDT) Network Team vs. Team
Thursday, March 23
Midwest 7:09 PM CBS Oregon vs. Michigan
West 7:39 PM TBS Gonzaga vs. West Virginia
Midwest 9:39 PM CBS Kansas vs. Purdue
West 10:09 PM TBS Arizona vs. Xavier
Friday, March 24
South 7:09 PM CBS North Carolina vs. Butler
East 7:29 PM TBS Baylor vs. South Carolina
South 9:39 PM CBS Kentucky vs. UCLA
East 9:59 PM TBS Florida vs. Wisconsin
           
Saturday, March 25
Midwest TBA TBA Oregon/Michigan vs. Kansas/Purdue
West TBA TBA Gonzaga/WVU vs. Arizona/Xavier
           
Sunday, March 26
South TBA TBA UNC/Butler vs. Kentucky/UCLA
East TBA TBA Baylor/S Car vs. Florida/Wisconsin

 

 

 

March 16, 2017

Red, White, and Blue Ratings for Friday’s NCAA Tournament Games

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:39 am

NCAA Tournament–Friday, March 17, 2017

Team Team Red White Blue
Michigan Oklahoma St. -1 3 1
Baylor New Mexico St. 11 12 13
Arkansas Seton Hall 2 1 -1
Oregon Iona 11 12 10
Louisville Jacksonville St. 18 18 17
SMU USC 8 8 4
North Carolina Texas Southern 22 20 19
Creighton Rhode Island 4 1 2
Kansas UC-Davis 22 19 18
Dayton Wichita St. -7 -5 -1
Duke Troy 15 16 14
Cincinnati Kansas St. 2 5 2
Miami (Fla.) Michigan St. 1 2 -2
Kentucky Northern Kentucky 19 18 13
South Carolina Marquette 1 -1 1
UCLA Kent St. 16 14 10

 

TV Schedule

Time (EDT) Network Team vs. Team
12:15 PM CBS Michigan vs. Oklahoma St.
12:40 PM truTV Baylor vs. New Mexico St.
1:30 PM TNT Arkansas vs. Seton Hall
2:00 PM TBS Oregon vs. Iona
2:45 PM CBS Louisville vs. Jacksonville St.
3:10 PM truTV SMU vs. USC
4:00 PM TNT North Carolina vs. Texas Southern
4:30 PM TBS Creighton vs. Rhode Island
6:50 PM TNT Kansas vs. UC-Davis
7:10 PM CBS Dayton vs. Wichita St.
7:20 PM TBS Duke vs. Troy
7:27 PM truTV Cincinnati vs. Kansas St.
9:20 PM TNT Miami (Fla.) vs. Michigan St.
9:40 PM CBS Kentucky vs. Northern Kentucky
9:50 PM TBS South Carolina vs. Marquette
9:57 PM truTV UCLA vs. Kent St.

 

 

 

March 14, 2017

PiRate Ratings Bracketnomics 505 Bracket Reveal & First Four Preview

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:57 am

For those that just want to see our Red-White-Blue Ratings for the First Four, here they are.

Team Team Red White Blue
New Orleans Mount St. Mary’s 3 -1 1
Wake Forest Kansas St. 1 1 1
UNC-Central UC-Davis 4 3 6
Providence USC 1 1 1

Now, for the rest of you:

Welcome one and all to our annually most viewed edition of the PiRate Ratings.  We have been working diligently for the past 42 hours getting this edition of March Madness Bracketnomics ready for you.

If you are new to this site today, there is something you need to do, and even if you are not, you should take this advice.  Open another window and bring up our primer from yesterday where we explain how we have come up with the numbers that we will show you today.  The link to the primer is:

https://piratings.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/bracketnomics-505-the-advanced-level-course-in-bracket-selection/

Before we begin picking winners in our bracket based on the PiRate Criteria, let us give you another little bit of advice in selecting your own brackets.

  1. Do not select a lot of early upsets.  Realize that nobody ever has picked a perfect bracket.  The chances are so slim that nobody may ever pick one!  The key to winning bracket contests where you must choose all the games at the beginning and do not get to select new winners after every round is to pick the National Champion, the Final Four, and the Elite 8 teams.  Realize that in about 95% of the cases, the Final Four teams come from one, two, three, or four seeds.  There will frequently be a seed lower than 4, but good luck trying to pick one.  What you will most likely do is remove one of the favorites to get there, so select very few upsets early.
  2. In the last 60+ years, only 2 times was the national champion a team from outside a major conference, and it has not happened since 1990.  So, go heavy on the best teams in the power conferences–Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC.  No Pac-12 team has won the title since Arizona beat Kentucky in 1997, so you might discount the Pac-12 a little.  No Big Ten team has won the title since Michigan State in 2000, so you might also want to discount the Big Ten a little.
  3. The most likely spots for upsets early come from 10-11-12 seed lines for good reason.  The top lower and mid-major teams usually end up on one of these seed lines, and in actuality, some of these teams would beat their higher-seed opponent 7 times out of 10.  In other words, these upsets are not really upsets.  They are incorrect seedings by the Committee.

Okay, we will leave the rest of that strategy up to you.  Let’s get to the Bracketnomics Facts for 2017

 

Who Has The Statistical Criteria That Looks Like A Final Four Team

This is an unusual year.  There are no teams closely similar to the Connecticut women’s team.  There is no obvious best team like in some years out of the past.  On the other hand, there are an inordinate amount of teams this year that look like they would have trouble winning the NIT 10 years ago.  There is parity by virtue of mediocrity.  The way the game is played in 2017, and with the 30-second shot clock, the game has become harder to isolate on just two or three teams and call them the heavy favorites to make the Final Four.

Let’s eliminate some teams so that what we have left is a much easier group to compare.

A. First, let’s forget the chance that a low-major or mid-major conference team will make the Final Four this year.  This does not include Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, or Wichita State, who we consider to be above mid-major.

B. Next, let’s take out any team that played a schedule too soft to prepare them for the top echelon of opponents.  From what’s left after (A), that will remove Wichita State and UCLA.

C. Next, let’s dump any team with a single-digit R+T rating after the Sweet 16 round.  Any single digit team in the Elite 8 gets knocked out, unless their opponent also has a single digit rating.  From this list of teams still in contention after (A) and (B), we now dump: South Carolina, Butler, Wake Forest, Arkansas, Minnesota, Michigan State, USC, Northwestern, Michigan, Notre Dame, Maryland, Marquette, Kansas State, Providence, Iowa State, Creighton, Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech.

D. Let’s remove any teams that are missing key players and might be able to get to the Sweet 16 without these players, but they are most likely to bow out at this point when the competition is too strong.  Say good bye to Xavier and Oregon.  For now, Creighton and Florida stay in because they played a significant number of games without their key players.

Now we have a much more manageable list of Final Four and Elite 8 Contenders, down to just 21 teams.

But, we are not finished eliminating teams.  What about teams that have not played all that well away from home?  We can eliminate the 22-9 team that went 17-0 at home and 5-9 away from home, because these teams are not going to all of a sudden beat the nation’s finest teams away from their home floor, at least not 4 consecutive times.

Let’s now say bye bye to Florida State, Miami (Fla.), and Seton Hall, lowering the number to 19.

And, then there is the essential thing of having enough consistency to win four games in a row against quality competition.  We cannot keep any teams that did not sustain at least one long winning streak or two extended winning streaks.  Only West Virginia fails to meet this criterion from the remaining group, lowering our list to 18.

Now,  let’s look at how the remaining 18 teams rate in the criteria that matter.

Scoring Margin

There is a reason both Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are still in this list.  They are serious contenders this year.  Gonzaga has the highest scoring margin and Saint Mary’s has the third highest among the 17 remaining teams.  From the list of 17, there are a couple teams that do not meet the 8 point minimum to be considered as a strong Final Four contender.  There are teams that make the Final Four with less than 8 point scoring margins, but they are the exception rather than the rule, and we are looking for angles that increase our percentage chance of hitting on Final Four teams.  It’s the end of the line here for Oklahoma State.

 

Field Goal Percentage Differential

Eventually, in order to get to the Final Four, a team is going to have to be superior when it comes to shooting and defending the shot, because eventually, being able to dominate the glass or force a lot of turnovers will not work against teams that can also rebound and force turnovers.  We are looking only for a difference of 5% or more to stay in the hunt for Final Four contention.  We must say adieu to three more teams that cannot meet this standard–Florida, Duke, and Wisconsin.  Now we have 14 teams on our list of Final Four contenders.

 

Rebound Margin

Remember that R+T rating is much more important than any of its components (Rebounding, Turnovers, and Steals), but for Final Four consideration, well over 90% of the past Final Four teams had positive rebound margin.  In what may help vindicate our selections to this point, all 14 teams remaining have positive rebounding margin.

 

Okay, Already, Who Is Left?

The following teams have resumes that could get them to the Final Four.  In alphabetical order, they are: Arizona, Baylor, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Purdue, Saint Mary’s, SMU, Villanova, Virginia, and West Virginia.  If our criteria is worth anything these years, we expect the Final Four to come from this list of teams.  But, we need to do better.  You cannot select 14 teams to make the Final Four or even Elite 8.

 

What we need to do now is look at each game as it is played.  It won’t help us to go with the 4 best resumes if these teams cannot all make the Final Four because they will play each other prior to that round.

Here is how we see the First Four games according to PiRate Criteria.  Note that our criteria and our Red-White-Blue Ratings have no real correlation, so the teams we predict to win may not be the same as the teams our criteria says will win.

First Four

New Orleans over Mount St. Mary’s

UNC-Central over UC-Davis

USC over Providence

Kansas St. over Wake Forest

Most brackets allow you to miss here without penalty and start in earnest at 64 teams, but we don’t go for that.

Round of 64

You will not see us picking many upsets in this round.  Remember the important factoid we revealed at the beginning: you win your bracket contests by getting your teams into the Elite 8, Final 4, and National Championship.  If you pick a lot of upsets, you are liable to have very few teams left by the Elite 8.

Villanova over New Orleans (Mount St. Mary’s)

Wisconsin over Virginia Tech

Virginia over UNC-Wilmington (upset possible, but we’ll take the Cavs)

Florida over East Tennessee (like a home game for the Gators)

SMU over USC in a rematch (also over Providence) near tossup vs. USC close to 50-50

Baylor over New Mexico St.

South Carolina over Marquette in close one that will be like home game for Gamecocks.

Duke over Troy

Gonzaga over South Dakota St.

Northwestern over Vanderbilt (close game)

Notre Dame over Princeton

West Virginia over Bucknell (not this year for Bison as Mountaineers are too physical)

Maryland over Xavier (Chris Mack becomes an early candidate for other big openings)

Florida State over Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU not as strong as their Sweet 16 team)

Saint Mary’s over VCU (Will Wade comes free for promotion to power conference team)

Arizona over North Dakota

Kansas over UNC-Central (UC-Davis)

Miami over Michigan State (MSU one and done two years in a row)

Iowa State over Nevada (but this one should be nip and tuck)

Purdue over Vermont (Boilermakers finally have the right type of resume to advance)

Creighton over Rhode Island (freeing up Dan Hurley if a big school wants him)

Oregon over Iona (loss of Chris Boucher does not hurt yet)

Oklahoma State over Michigan (This upset we will pick.  Cowboys have better criteria resume)

Louisville over Jacksonville State (UL almost has a home game in Indy)

North Carolina over Texas Southern

Seton Hall over Arkansas (should be physical and close)

Minnesota over Middle Tennessee (Blue Raiders are the Vegas favorite, but Gophers can exploit interior defense)

Butler over Winthrop (we would not be shocked if Butler has to rally to win this one)

Cincinnati over Kansas State (Wake Forest)

UCLA over Kent State

Wichita St. over Dayton (Will Archie Miller be the next NC State coach?)

Kentucky over Northern Kentucky (Norse would be happy with a lead at under 16 timeout in 1st half)

 

Round of 32

Villanova over Wisconsin

Virginia over Florida (should be very close, maybe overtime)

Baylor over SMU (this one should be a great game–Tim Jankovich in play at Illinois)

Duke over South Carolina (We don’t see Frank Martin leaving the Palmetto State unless he has 4 million reasons)

Gonzaga over Northwestern (Cinderella season ends here–no Cubs repeat in the Windy City)

West Virginia over Notre Dame (Irish wear down in the second half)

Florida State over Maryland

Arizona over Saint Mary’s (expect a hard-fought game but Gaels are outmanned)

Kansas over Miami (closer than expected)

Purdue over Iowa State (Boilermakers look impressive to this point)

Oregon over Creighton (Boucher’s absence felt but not enough for Ducks to lose)

Louisville over Oklahoma St. (Brad Underwood vs. Rick Pitino–Brilliant!)

North Carolina over Seton Hall

Butler over Minnesota (Should be a great game)

Cincinnati over UCLA (Bruins numbers padded by substandard overall schedule–not strong enough inside)

Kentucky over Wichita State (because Wildcat players appear to be on a mission and if so are the class of the field)

 

Sweet 16 to Elite 8

Villanova over Virginia (Cavs do not have enough offense to win at this point)

Baylor over Duke (Our big upset pick in this round, because Duke has holes Bears can exploit)

West Virginia over Gonzaga (Sorry Bulldog fans, WVU style of play is not what you want to face)

Arizona over Florida State (We expect Wildcats to win big in this one)

Kansas over Purdue (KU will have to play lights out to put Boilermakers away)

Louisville over Oregon (Boucher’s absence is too much to overcome in this round

North Carolina over Butler (If Heels are rolling at this point, then next round is actual title game)

Kentucky over Cincinnati (Should be ultra-physical and highly emotional game)

 

Elite 8 to Final Four

Unfortunately, at this point the top two teams in the field will meet

Baylor over Villanova (no repeat for Wildcats but a great game)

Arizona over West Virginia (Mountaineers run out of gas at this point)

Louisville over Kansas (Cards win a sloppy game)

Kentucky over North Carolina (This should have been the National Championship Game)

 

Final Four Semifinals

Baylor over Arizona (tough to go against a team playing in its home state)

Kentucky over Louisville (how much will this ticket cost)

 

National Championship

Kentucky over Baylor

 

The Kentucky criteria best matches that of past national champions.  Add to the fact that they have the most talent and a coach that can use the right psychology to motivate these future millionaires to play like their draft status is to be determined in this tournament, and we believe the Wildcats will cut the nets in Arizona.

 

Here is how the 14 top Pirate Criteria teams rank overall

  1. Kentucky
  2. North Carolina
  3. Baylor
  4. Arizona
  5. West Virginia
  6. Gonzaga
  7. Louisville
  8. Villanova
  9. Kansas
  10. Purdue
  11. Duke
  12. Cincinnati
  13. Saint Mary’s
  14. SMU

 

TV Schedule For First Four in Dayton

Day Time (EDT) Network Team vs. Team
Tuesday, March 14 6:40 PM truTV New Orleans vs. Mount St. Mary’s
Tuesday, March 14 9:10 PM truTV Wake Forest vs. Kansas St.
Wednesday, March 15 6:40 PM truTV UC-Davis vs. UNC-Central
Wednesday, March 15 9:10 PM truTV USC vs. Providence

 

 

 

 

March 6, 2017

The Pirate Ratings Bracketology Gurus Report For March 6, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:14 am

NOTE: Today, we combine our Bracketology Gurus Report with our conference tournament updates.

Automatic Bids Awarded

Ohio Valley Conference: JACKSONVILLE ST. (20-14)
Big South Conference: WINTHROP (26-6)
Missouri Valley Conference: WICHITA ST. (30-4)
Atlantic Sun Conference: FLORIDA GULF COAST (26-7)

Today’s TV Schedule

Championship Games–Winner Gets Automatic Bid

Time (ET) Network Conference Team vs. Team
7:00 PM CBSSN Colonial UNC-Wilmington vs. College of Charleston
7:00 PM ESPN2 SoCon UNC-Greensboro vs. East Tennessee St.
9:00 PM ESPN2 MAAC Siena vs. Iona

Other Conference Tournament Games Today

Time (ET) Network Conference Team vs. Team
5:00 PM ESPN3 MEAC MD-Eastern Shore vs. N.C. A&T
7:00 PM ESPN3 Summit South Dakota vs. South Dakota St.
7:00 PM ESPN3 Amer. East Vermont vs. New Hampshire
7:00 PM ESPNU Horizon Northern Kentucky vs. Youngstown St.
7:00 PM ESPN3 MAC Eastern Michigan vs. Northern Illinois
7:00 PM Kent St. Sports MAC Kent St. vs. Central Michigan
7:00 PM ESPN3 MEAC Coppin St. vs. Howard
7:30 PM ESPN3 Amer. East Stony Brook vs. Albany
7:30 PM ESPN3 MAC Western Michigan vs. Miami (O)
8:00 PM ESPN3 MAC Toledo vs. Bowling Green
9:00 PM ESPN WCC Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara
9:30 PM ESPN3 Summit IUPUI vs. Omaha
9:30 PM ESPNU Horizon Illinois-Chicago vs. Milwaukee
11:30 PM ESPN2 WCC Saint Mary’s vs. BYU

 

The Bubble As of Monday, 3/6/2017 12 Noon ET

Getting Closer to Safe (Probably Still In With 1 & Done in Conference Tournament) 

Michigan

Arkansas

Seton Hall

Michigan St.

In Good Shape but Need Another Win in Conference Tournament

VCU

Marquette

Providence

Xavier

In Today, But Might Need 2 Conference Tournament Wins to Stay In

USC

Vanderbilt

Wake Forest

Syracuse

In For Now, But Likely To Fall With Just One Upset In Power Conference Tournament

Illinois St.

Out For Now, But With A Chance To Play In With Big Conference Tournament Wins (in order)

Kansas St.

Rhode Island

Illinois

Iowa

California

Ole Miss

Houston 

Georgia

Must Now Win Automatic Bid (or Definitely Make Conference Championship Game)

Georgia

Georgia Tech

Indiana

This Week’s Guru Seeds

Seed Team
1 Villanova
1 Kansas
1 North Carolina
1 Gonzaga
2 Kentucky
2 Oregon
2 Louisville
2 Baylor
3 UCLA
3 Arizona
3 Florida St.
3 Butler
4 Duke
4 Florida
4 Purdue
4 West Virginia
5 Virginia
5 Notre Dame
5 Minnesota
5 Cincinnati
6 SMU
6 Saint Mary’s
6 Iowa St.
6 Maryland
7 Creighton
7 Wisconsin
7 Oklahoma St.
7 South Carolina
8 Miami
8 Northwestern
8 Dayton
8 Virginia Tech
9 Michigan
9 Arkansas
9 Wichita St.
9 Seton Hall
10 Michigan St.
10 VCU
10 Marquette
10 Providence
11 Xavier
11 USC
11 Middle Tennessee
11 Vanderbilt
11 Wake Forest
12 Syracuse
12 Illinois St.
12 Nevada
12 UNC-Wilmington
12 UT-Arlington
13 Princeton
13 Vermont
13 Winthrop
13 Akron
14 Bucknell
14 New Mexico St.
14 FGCU
14 UNC-Greensboro
15 Iona
15 South Dakota
15 Northern Kentucky
15 UC-Irvine
16 North Dakota
16 Texas Southern
16 Jacksonville St.
16 New Orleans
16 UNC-Central
16 Mount St. Mary’s

Last Four Byes: Marquette, Providence, Xavier, USC

Last Four In (headed to Dayton): Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest, Syracuse vs. Illinois St.

First Four Out (#1 NIT Seeds): Kansas St., Rhode Island, Illinois, Iowa

Next Four Out (#2 NIT Seeds): California, Ole Miss, Houston, Utah

All Conference Tournament Brackets Up to Date

America East Tournament–Higher Seed at Home
Quarterfinal Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 1 Vermont 26-5 vs. 8 Maine 7-24 86-41
2 2 Stony Brook 17-12 vs. 7 Binghamton 12-19 70-60
3 3 Albany 19-12 vs. 6 Hartford 9-22 100-71
4 4 New Hampshire 19-11 vs. 5 Md.-Baltimore Co. 18-11 74-65
Semifinal Round, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Vermont 27-5 vs. 4 New Hampshire 20-11 7:00 PM ESPN3
6 2 Stony Brook 18-12 vs. 3 Albany 20-12 7:30 PM ESPN3
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner Game 6 winner 11:00 AM ESPN2
* This Tournament Re-seeds after the quarterfinals like the NFL Playoffs
American Athletic Conference Tournament–Hartford,CT
First Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Temple 16-15 vs. 9 East Carolina 14-17 3:30 PM ESPNU
2 7 Tulsa 14-16 vs. 10 Tulane 6-24 6:00 PM ESPNNews
3 6 Connecticut 14-16 vs. 11 South Florida 7-22 8:00 PM ESPNNews
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 1 SMU 27-4 vs. Game 1 winner 12:00 PM ESPN2
5 4 Central Florida 20-10 vs. 5 Memphis 19-12 2:00 PM ESPN2
6 2 Cincinnati 27-4 vs. Game 2 winner 7:00 PM ESPNU
7 3 Houston 21-9 vs. Game 3 winner 9:00 PM ESPNU
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8 Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner 3:00 PM ESPN2
9 Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner 5:00 PM ESPN2
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
10 Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner 3:15 PM ESPN
Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament–Brooklyn
First Round, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 12 Clemson 16-14 vs. 13 North Carolina St. 15-16 12:00 PM ESPN2
2 10 Wake Forest 18-12 vs. 15 Boston College 9-22 2:00 PM ESPN2
3 11 Georgia Tech 17-14 vs. 14 Pittsburgh 15-16 7:00 PM ESPNU
Second Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 8 Syracuse 18-13 vs. 9 Miami (Fla.) 20-10 12:00 PM ESPN
5 5 Duke 23-8 vs. Game 1 winner 2:00 PM ESPN
6 7 Virginia Tech 21-9 vs. Game 2 winner 7:00 PM ESPN2
7 6 Virginia 21-9 vs. Game 3 winner 9:00 PM ESPN2
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8 1 North Carolina vs. Game 4 winner 12:00 PM ESPN
9 4 Louisville vs. Game 5 winner 2:00 PM ESPN
10 2 Florida St. vs. Game 6 winner 7:00 PM ESPN
11 3 Notre Dame vs. Game 7 winner 9:00 PM ESPN
Semfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
12 Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner 7:00 PM ESPN or 2
13 Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner 9:00 PM ESPN or 2
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
14 Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 winner 9:00 PM ESPN
Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament–Higher Seed at Home
Quarterfinal Round, Monday, February 27
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 1 Florida Gulf Coast 23-7 vs. 8 Stetson 11-20 87-57
2 2 Lipscomb 19-12 vs. 7 NJIT 11-19 97-66
3 3 North Florida 13-18 vs. 6 Jacksonville 17-14 77-74
4 4 USC-Upstate 17-14 vs. 5 Kennesaw St. 13-17 78-80
Semifinal Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
5 1 Florida Gulf Coast 24-7 vs. 5 Kennesaw St. 14-17 74-62
6 2 Lipscomb 20-12 vs. 3 North Florida 14-18 85-91
Championship Game, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
7 1 Florida Gulf Coast 25-7 vs. 3 North Florida 15-18 77-61
Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament–Pittsburgh (Duquense)
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 12 Massachusetts 14-17 vs. 13 St. Joseph’s 11-19 6:00 PM ASN
2 11 St. Louis 11-20 vs. 14 Duquesne 10-21 8:30 PM ASN
2nd Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 8 LaSalle 15-14 vs. 9 Davidson 15-14 12:00 PM NBCSN
4 5 St. Bonaventure 19-11 vs. Game 1 winner 2:30 PM NBCSN
5 7 George Mason vs. 10 Fordham 6:00 PM NBCSN
6 6 George Washington 18-13 vs. Game 2 winner 8:30 PM NBCSN
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 1 Dayton 24-6 vs. Game 3 winner 12:00 PM NBCSN
8 4 Rhode Island 21-9 vs. Game 4 winner 2:30 PM NBCSN
9 2 VCU 24-7 vs. Game 5 winner 6:00 PM NBCSN
10 3 Richmond 19-11 vs. Game 6 winner 8:30 PM NBCSN
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 1:00 PM CBSSN
12 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 3:30 PM CBSSN
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
13 Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner 12:30 PM CBS
Big 12 Conference Tournament–Kansas City
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 TCU 17-14 vs. 9 Oklahoma 11-19 7:00 PM ESPNU
2 7 Texas Tech 18-13 vs. 10 Texas 10-21 9:00 PM ESPNU
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 4 Iowa St. 20-10 vs. 5 Oklahoma St. 20-11 12:30 PM ESPN2
4 1 Kansas 28-3 vs. Game 1 winner 2:30 PM ESPN2
5 2 West Virginia 24-7 vs. Game 2 winner 7:00 PM ESPNU
6 3 Baylor 25-6 vs. 6 Kansas St. 19-12 9:00 PM ESPNU
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 4 winner vs. Game 3 winner 7:00 PM ESPN or 2
8 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 9:00 P< ESPN or 2
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 6:00 PM ESPN
Big East Conference Tournament–New York City
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 St. John’s 13-18 vs. 9 Georgetown 14-17 7:00 PM FS1
2 7 Xavier 19-12 vs. 10 DePaul 9-21 9:30 PM FS1
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 1 Villanova 28-3 vs. 12:00 PM FS1
4 4 Marquette 19-11 vs. 5 Seton Hall 20-10 2:30 PM FS1
5 2 Butler 23-7 vs. 7:00 PM FS1
6 3 Providence 20-11 vs. 6 Creighton 23-8 9:30 PM FS1
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner 6:30 PM FS1
8 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 9:00 PM FS1
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 5:30 PM Fox
Big Sky Conference Tournament–Reno, NV
1st Round, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Portland St. 14-15 vs. 9 Northern Arizona 9-22 5:35 PM Watch Big Sky
2 7 Sacramento St. 12-17 vs. 10 Idaho St. 5-25 8:35 PM Watch Big Sky
3 6 Montana St. 16-15 vs. 11 Southern Utah 5-26 11:05 PM Watch Big Sky
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 1 North Dakota 19-9 vs. Game 1 winner 3:05 PM Watch Big Sky
5 4 Idaho 17-12 vs. 5 Montana 16-15 5:35 PM Watch Big Sky
6 2 Eastern Washington 21-10 vs. Game 2 winner 8:35 PM Watch Big Sky
7 3 Weber St. 17-12 vs. Game 3 winner 11:05 PM Watch Big Sky
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8 Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner 8:35 PM Watch Big Sky
9 Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner 11:05 PM Watch Big Sky
Championship Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
10 Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner 8:30 PM ESPNU
Big South Conference Tournament—Winthrop
1st Round, Tuesday, February 28 (at Higher Seed)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 7 Campbell 14-16 vs. 10 Presbyterian 5-24 81-62
2 8 Charleston Southern 11-18 vs. 9 Longwood 6-23 79-74
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2 (at Winthrop)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 2 UNC-Asheville 23-8 vs. 7 Campbell 15-16 79-81
4 3 Liberty 19-12 vs. 6 Radford 13-17 52-56
5 1 Winthrop 23-6 vs. 8 Charleston Southern 12-18 92-78
6 4 Gardner-Webb 18-13 vs. 5 High Point 15-15 91-55
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 3 (at Winthrop)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
7 6 Radford 14-17 vs. 7 Campbell 16-16 50-66
8 1 Winthrop 24-6 vs. 4 Gardner-Webb 19-13 80-77 ot
Championship Game, Sunday, March 5 (at Higher Seed)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
9 1 Winthrop 25-6 vs. 7 Campbell 17-16 76-59
Big Ten Conference Tournament–Washington, DC
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 12 Nebraska 12-18 vs. 13 Penn St. 14-17 4:30 PM ESPN
2 11 Ohio St. 17-14 vs. 14 Rutgers 14-17 7:00 PM BTN
2nd Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 8 Michigan 20-11 vs. 9 Illinois 18-13 12:00 PM BTN
4 5 Michigan St. 18-13 vs. Game 1 winner 2:20 PM BTN
5 7 Iowa 18-13 vs. 10 Indiana 17-14 6:30 PM ESPN2
6 6 Northwestern 21-10 vs. Game 2 winner 8:50 PM ESPN2
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 1 Purdue 25-6 vs. Game 3 winner 12:00 PM ESPN
8 4 Minnesota 23-8 vs. Game 4 winner 2:20 PM ESPN
9 2 Wisconsin 23-8 vs. Game 5 winner 6:30 PM BTN
10 3 Maryland 24-7 vs. Game 6 winner 8:50 PM BTN
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 1:00 PM CBS
12 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 3:30 PM CBS
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
13 Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner 3:00 PM CBS
Big West Conference Tournament–Anaheim
Quarterfinal Round–Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 2 UC-Davis 19-12 vs. 7 Cal Poly 11-19 3:00 PM FSW
2 3 Cal St. Fullerton 16-13 vs. 6 Cal St. Northridge 11-18 5:30 PM FSW
3 1 UC-Irvine 19-13 vs. 8 UC-Riverside 7-20 9:00 PM Prime
4 4 Long Beach St. 14-18 vs. 5 Hawaii 14-15 11:30 PM Prime
Semifinal Round–Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner 9:30 PM ESPN3
6 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 12:00 AM ESPN3
Championship Game–Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 11:30 PM ESPN2
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament–Charleston, SC
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 8 Hofstra 15-16 vs. 9 Delaware 12-19 76-81
2 7 James Madison 9-22 vs. 10 Drexel 9-22 80-70
Quarterfinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 1 UNC-Wilmington 26-5 vs. 9 Delaware 13-19 91-82
4 4 William & Mary 16-13 vs. 5 Elon 18-13 71-66
5 2 College of Charleston 23-8 vs. 7 James Madison 10-22 67-62
6 3 Towson St. 19-12 vs. 6 Northeastern 15-15 82-54
Semifinal Round, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
7 1 UNC-Wilmington 27-5 vs. 4 William & Mary 17-13 105-94
8 2 College of Charleston 24-8 vs. 6 Northeastern 16-15 67-59
Championship Game, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 1 UNC-Wilmington 28-5 vs. 2 College of Charleston 25-8 7:00 PM CBSSN
Conference USA Tournament–Birmingham, AL
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Western Kentucky 15-16 vs. 9 UTSA 13-18 12:30 PM Camp. Insiders
2 5 Rice 21-10 vs. 12 Southern Miss. 9-21 3:00 PM Camp. Insiders
3 7 UAB 16-15 vs. 10 Charlotte 13-16 6:30 PM Camp. Insiders
4 6 Marshall 17-14 vs. 11 Florida Atlantic 10-19 9:00 PM Camp. Insiders
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Middle Tennessee 27-4 vs. Game 1 winner 12:30 PM ASN
6 4 UTEP 14-16 vs. Game 2 winner 3:00 PM ASN
7 2 Louisiana Tech 22-9 vs. Game 3 winner 6:30 PM ASN
8 3 Old Dominion 19-11 vs. Game 4 winner 9:00 PM ASN
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 12:30 PM CBSSN
10 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 3:00 PM CBSSN
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 8:30 PM CBSSN
Horizon League Tournament (Motor City Madness)–Detroit
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 7 Detroit Mercy 8-22 vs. 10 Milwaukee 8-23 60-85
2 8 Cleveland St. 9-21 vs. 9 Youngstown St. 11-20 69-84
Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 1 Oakland 24-7 vs. 9 Youngstown St. 12-20 80-81
4 2 Valparaiso 24-7 vs. 10 MIlwaukee 9-23 41-43
Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
5 3 Green Bay 18-12 vs. 6 Illinois-Chicago 14-17 70-79
6 4 Northern Kentucky 21-10 vs. 5 Wright St. 20-11 82-77
Semifinal Round, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Northern Kentucky 22-10 vs. 9 Youngstown St. 13-20 7:00 PM ESPNU
8 Illinois-Chicago 15-17 vs. 10 Milwaukee 10-23 9:30 PM ESPNU
Championship Game, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 7:00 PM ESPN
Ivy League Tournament–Philadelphia
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 1 Princeton 21-6 vs. 4 Penn 13-14 1:30 PM ESPNU
2 2 Harvard 18-9 vs. 3 Yale 17-10 4:00 PM ESPNU
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner 12:00 PM ESPN2
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament at Albany (Siena)
1st Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 8 Quinnipiac 10-20 vs. 9 Niagara 9-22 69-88
2 7 Canisius 17-14 vs. 10 Marist 8-23 77-73
3 6 Rider 17-14 vs. 11 Manhattan 10-21 69-68
Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
4 1 Mounmouth 26-5 vs. 9 Niagara 10-22 84-59
5 2 St. Peter’s 18-12 vs. 7 Canisius 18-14 61-58
Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
6 3 Iona 19-12 vs. 6 Rider 18-14 88-70
7 4 Siena 15-16 vs. 5 Fairfield 16-13 78-66
Semifinal Round–Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
8 1 Monmouth 27-5 vs. 4 Siena 16-16 85-89
9 2 St. Peter’s 19-12 vs. 3 Iona 20-12 65-73
Championship Game–Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
10 3 Iona 21-12 vs. 4 Siena 17-16 9:00 PM ESPN2
Mid-American Conference Tournament (1st Round at Higher Seed, All Others at Cleveland)
1st Round, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Eastern Michigan 15-16 vs. 9 Northern Illinois 15-16 7:00 PM ESPN
2 5 Western Michigan 15-15 vs. 12 Miami (O) 11-20 7:30 PM ESPN
3 7 Toledo 16-15 vs. 10 Bowling Green 13-18 8:00 PM ESPN
4 6 Kent St. 18-13 vs. 11 Central Michigan 16-15 7:00 PM None
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Akron 24-7 vs. Game 1 winner 12:00 PM ESPN3
6 4 Ball St. 20-11 vs. Game 2 winner 2:30 PM ESPN3
7 2 Ohio U 19-10 vs. Game 3 winner 6:30 PM ESPN3
8 3 Buffalo 17-14 vs. Game 4 winner 9:00 PM ESPN3
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 5:30 PM CBSSN
10 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 8:00 PM CBSSN
Mideast Athletic Conference Tournament at Norfolk, VA (Norfolk St.)
1st Round, Day 1–Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 5 Maryland-Eastern Shore 12-19 vs. 12 N. Carolina A&T 3-28 5:00 PM ESPN3
2 6 Coppin St. 8-23 vs. 11 Howard 8-23 7:00 PM ESPN3
1st Round, Day 2–Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 8 Delaware St. 10-21 vs. 9 Bethune-Cookman 9-21 4:00 PM ESPN3
4 7 South Carolina St. 10-19 vs. 10 Florida A&M 7-22 6:00 PM ESPN3
Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 UNC-Central 22-8 vs. Game 3 winner 6:00 PM ESPN3
6 2 Norfolk St. 15-15 vs. Game 4 winner 8:00 PM ESPN3
Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 3 Morgan St. 14-15 vs. Game 2 winner 6:00 PM ESPN3
8 4 Hampton 14-15 vs. Game 1 winner 8:00 PM ESPN3
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 winner 6:00 PM ESPN3
10 Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner 8:00 PM ESPN3
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 1:00 PM ESPN2
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament (Arch Madness) at St. Louis
1st Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 8 Evansville 15-16 vs. 9 Indiana St. 11-19 83-72
2 7 Bradley 12-19 vs. 10 Drake 7-23 67-58
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 1 Illinois St. 25-5 vs. 8 Evansville 16-16 80-69
4 4 Southern Illinois 16-15 vs. 5 Loyola (Chi.) 18-13 55-50
5 2 Wichita St. 27-4 vs. 7 Bradley 13-19 82-56
6 3 Northern Iowa 14-15 vs. 6 Missouri St. 16-15 64-70
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
7 1 Illinois St. 26-5 vs. 4 Southern Illinois 17-15 63-50
8 2 Wichita St. 28-4 vs. 6 Missouri St. 17-15 78-63
Championship Game, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
9 1 Illinois St. 27-5 vs. 2 Wichita St. 29-4 51-71
Mountain West Conference Tournament–Las Vegas (UNLV)
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Utah St. vs. 9 San Jose St. 2:00 PM MWN
2 7 Wyoming vs. 10 Air Force 4:30 PM MWN
3 6 San Diego St. vs. 11 UNLV 7:00 PM MWN
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 1 Nevada 25-6 vs. Game 1 winner 3:00 PM CBSSN
5 4 Fresno St. 19-11 vs. 5 New Mexico 17-13 5:30 PM CBSSN
6 2 Colorado St. 21-10 vs. Game 2 winner 9:00 PM CBSSN
7 3 Boise St. 19-10 vs. Game 3 winner 11:30 PM CBSSN
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8 Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner 10:00 PM CBSSN
9 Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner 12:30 AM CBSSN
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
10 Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner 6:00 PM CBS
Northeast Conference Tournament–All Games at Higher Seed
Quarterfinal Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 1 Mount St. Mary’s 16-15 vs. 8 Sacred Heart 13-18 76-73
2 2 Long Island 20-11 vs. 7 Robert Morris 13-18 68-69
3 3 Wagner 15-13 vs. 6 Fairleigh-Dickinson 11-18 72-70
4 4 St. Francis (PA) 14-15 vs. 5 Bryant 12-19 100-78
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
5 3 Wagner 16-13 vs. 4 St. Francis (PA) 15-15 70-71
6 1 Mount St. Mary’s 17-15 vs. 7 Robert Morris 14-18 75-66
Championship Game, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 1 Mount St. Mary’s 18-15 4 St. Francis (PA) 16-15 11:00 AM ESPN2
* This Tournament Re-seeds after the quarterfinals like the NFL Playoffs
Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Nashville
1st Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 5 Southeast Missouri 14-17 vs. 8 Tennessee St. 17-12 78-75 ot
2 6 Tennessee Tech 12-19 vs. 7 Murray St. 14-16 84-85 2ot
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 4 Jacksonville St. 17-14 vs. 5 Southeast Missouri 15-17 74-51
4 3 Morehead St. 14-15 vs. 7 Murray St. 15-16 69-75
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
5 1 Belmont 22-5 vs. 4 Jacksonville St. 18-14 59-65
6 2 UT-Martin 20-11 vs. 7 Murray St. 16-16 73-67
Championship Game, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
7 2 UT-Martin 21-11 vs. 4 Jacksonville St. 19-14 55-66
Pac-12 Conference Tournament–Las Vegas
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Arizona St. 14-17 vs. 9 Stanford 14-16 3:00 PM P12 Net.
2 5 California 19-11 vs. 12 Oregon St. 5-26 5:30 PM P12 Net.
3 7 Colorado 18-13 vs. 10 Washington St. 13-17 9:00 PM P12 Net.
4 6 USC 23-8 vs. 11 Washington 9-21 11:30 PM P12 Net.
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Oregon 27-4 vs. Game 1 winner 3:00 PM P12 Net.
6 4 Utah 20-10 vs. Game 2 winner 5:30 PM P12 Net.
7 2 Arizona 27-4 vs. Game 3 winner 9:00 PM P12 Net.
8 3 UCLA 28-3 vs. Game 4 winner 11:30 PM ESPN
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 9:00 PM P12 Net.
10 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 11:30 PM ESPN
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 11:00 PM ESPN
Patriot League Tournament–All Games at Higher Seed
1st Round, Tuesday, February 28
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 7 Loyola (MD.) 14-15 vs. 10 Lafayette 9-20 67-64
2 8 Army 12-18 vs. 9 American 8-21 74-58
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 2 Boston U 23-8 vs. 7 Loyola (MD.) 15-15 64-60
4 3 Lehigh 19-12 vs. 6 Colgate 10-21 77-72
5 1 Bucknell 23-6 vs. 8 Army 13-18 78-62
6 4 Navy 18-13 vs. 5 Holy Cross 15-16 49-42
Semifinal Round, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
7 2 Boston U 24-8 vs. 3 Lehigh 20-12 88-91 ot
8 1 Bucknell 24-6 vs. 4 Navy 19-13 70-65
Championship Game, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 1 Bucknell 25-6 vs. 3 Lehigh 21-12 7:30 PM CBSSN
Southeastern Conference Tournament–Nashville
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 12 Mississippi St. 15-15 vs. 13 LSU 10-20 7:00 PM SECN
2 11 Auburn 18-13 vs. 14 MIssouri 7-23 9:00 PM SECN
2nd Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 8 Georgia 18-13 vs. 9 Tennessee 16-15 1:00 PM SECN
4 5 Alabama 17-13 vs. Game 1 winner 3:20 PM SECN
5 7 Vanderbilt 17-14 vs. 10 Texas A&M 16-14 7:00 PM SECN
6 6 Ole Miss 19-12 vs. Game 2 winner 9:20 PM SECN
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 1 Kentucky 26-5 vs. Game 3 winner 1:00 PM SECN
8 4 South Carolina 22-9 vs. Game 4 winner 3:20 PM SECN
9 2 Florida 24-7 vs. Game 5 winner 7:00 PM SECN
10 3 Arkansas 23-8 vs. Game 6 winner 9:20 PM SECN
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 1:00 PM ESPN
12 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 3:20 PM ESPN
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
13 Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner 1:00 PM ESPN
Southern Conference Tournament–Asheville, NC
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 8 Western Carolina 9-22 vs. 9 The Citadel 11-20 72-78
2 7 Samford 17-14 vs. 10 VMI 6-23 79-61
Quarterfinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 1 UNC-Greensboro 23-8 vs. 9 The Citadel 12-20 76-67
4 4 Chattanooga 19-11 vs. 5 Wofford 15-16 67-79
5 2 Furman 21-10 vs. 7 Samford 18-14 63-67
6 3 East Tennessee St. 24-7 vs. 6 Mercer 15-16 73-66
Semifinal Round, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
7 1 UNC-Greensboro 24-8 vs. 5 Wofford 16-16 77-73
8 3 East Tennessee St. 25-7 vs. 7 Samford 19-14 81-72
Championship Game, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 1 UNC-Greensboro 25-8 vs. 3 East Tennessee St. 26-7 7:00 PM ESPN2
Southland Conference Tournament–Katy, TX (Greater Houston area)
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 5 Sam Houston St. 19-12 vs. 8 Central Arkansas 8-23 6:00 PM ESPN3
2 6 Lamar 18-13 vs. 7 Southeastern Louisiana 16-15 8:30 PM ESPN3
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 4 Houston Baptist 17-12 vs. Game 1 winner 6:00 PM ESPN3
4 3 Stephen F. Austin 17-13 vs. Game 2 winner 8:30 PM ESPN3
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 New Orleans 18-11 vs. Game 3 winner 6:00 PM ESPN3
6 2 Texas A&M-CC 19-10 vs. Game 4 winner 8:30 PM ESPN3
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 9:30 PM ESPN2
Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament–1st round at higher seed, Semis and Finals at Houston
Quarterfinal Round–Tuesday, March 7 at higher seed
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 1 Texas Southern 20-11 vs. 8 Alabama St. 8-22 8:30 PM None
2 4 Prairie View A&M 13-19 vs. 5 Grambling 15-16 9:00 PM None
3 2 Alcorn St. * 16-13 vs. 7 Mississippi Valley 7-24 7:00 PM None
4 3 Southern 14-17 vs. 6 Jackson St. 14-17 8:30 PM None
Semifinal Round–Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner 3:30 PM None
6 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 9:30 PM None
Championship Game–Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 6:30 PM ESPNU
*Alcorn St. is ineligible for postseason play due to low APR scores. If the Braves win the tourney, Texas Sou. wins the bid.
Summit League Tournament–Sioux Falls, SD
Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 1 South Dakota 21-10 8 Western Illinois 8-19 78-69 ot
2 2 North Dakota St. 19-10 7 IUPUI 13-17 57-76
Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 4 South Dakota St. 15-16 5 Denver 16-13 83-73
4 3 Omaha 16-13 6 Fort Wayne 19-11 84-80
Semifinal Round–Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 South Dakota 22-10 4 South Dakota St. 16-16 7:00 PM ESPN3
6 7 IUPUI 14-17 3 Omaha 17-13 9:30 PM ESPN3
Championship–Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner Game 6 winner 9:00 PM ESPN2
Sun Belt Conference Tournament–New Orleans
1st Round, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Coastal Carolina 15-16 vs. 9 South Alabama 14-17 1:30 PM ESPN3
2 5 Arkansas St. 20-11 vs. 12 Louisiana-Monroe 8-23 3:00 PM ESPN3
3 7 Louisiana-Lafayette 20-11 vs. 10 Arkansas-Little Rock 15-16 6:00 PM ESPN3
4 6 Troy 18-14 vs. 11 Appalachian St. 9-20 8:30 PM ESPN3
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 UT-Arlington 24-7 vs. Game 1 winner 1:30 PM ESPN3
6 4 Texas St. 18-12 vs. Game 2 winner 3:00 PM ESPN3
7 2 Georgia St. 19-11 vs. Game 3 winner 6:00 PM ESPN3
8 3 Georgia Southern 18-13 vs. Game 4 winner 8:30 PM ESPN3
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 12:30 PM ESPN3
10 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 3:00 PM ESPN3
Championship Game, Sunday, March 12
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 2:00 PM ESPN2
West Coast Conference Tournament at Las Vegas
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
1 8 Pepperdine 9-21 vs. 9 Pacific 10-21 84-89
2 7 San Diego 13-17 vs. 10 Portland 10-21 55-60
Quarterfinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score
3 3 BYU 21-10 vs. 6 Loyola Marymount 15-14 89-81
4 4 Santa Clara 16-15 vs. 5 San Francisco 20-11 76-69
5 1 Gonzaga 29-1 vs. 9 Pacific 11-21 82-50
6 2 Saint Mary’s 26-3 vs. 10 Portland 11-21 81-58
Semifinal Round, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 3 BYU 22-10 vs. 2 Saint Mary’s 27-3 9 or 11:30 ESPN/ESPN2
8 1 Gonzaga 30-1 vs. 4 Santa Clara 17-15 9 or 11:30 ESPN/ESPN2
Championship Game, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 9:00 PM ESPN
Western Athletic Conference Tournament–Las Vegas
Quarterfinal Round–Thursday, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 4 Utah Valley 14-15 vs. 5 Seattle 13-16 5:00 PM WAC Digital
2 2 New Mexico St. 25-5 vs. 7 Chicago St. 6-25 7:30 PM WAC Digital
3 3 Missouri-KC 16-15 vs. 6 UT Rio Grande Valley 10-21 10:00 PM WAC Digital
Semifinal Round–Friday, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 1 Cal State Bakersfield 21-8 vs. Game 1 winner 9:00 PM ESPN3
5 Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner 11:30 PM ESPN3
Championship Game–Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
6 Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner 11:00 PM ESPNU

 

March 3, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For March 4-5, 2017

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, March 4, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Virginia Pittsburgh 13 15 13
Louisville Notre Dame 10 9 12
Florida St. Miami (Fla.) 10 8 9
Syracuse Georgia Tech 7 10 6
Clemson Boston College 14 13 10
Virginia Tech Wake Forest 2 3 2
North Carolina Duke 9 7 7
SMU Memphis 15 16 16
Kansas St. Texas Tech 5 4 5
Oklahoma TCU 2 2 -1
Texas Baylor -4 -4 -6
Oklahoma St. Kansas 2 -1 -1
Georgetown Villanova -8 -9 -5
St. John’s Providence 1 -1 -1
DePaul Xavier -6 -7 -9
Butler Seton Hall 10 10 10
Marquette Creighton 3 3 1
Rutgers Illinois -3 -3 -5
Ohio St. Indiana 2 1 1
Maryland Michigan St. 4 3 1
Colorado California 2 -1 -3
Utah Stanford 10 10 9
Arizona St. Arizona -9 -10 -11
Oregon St. Oregon -19 -20 -17
USC Washington 12 12 9
UCLA Washington St. 24 25 18
Texas A&M Kentucky -9 -7 -4
Tennessee Alabama 4 3 4
Arkansas Georgia 5 6 2
Vanderbilt Florida -6 -7 -3
Auburn Missouri 10 9 7
LSU Mississippi St. -1 -1 1
Ole Miss South Carolina -2 -1 -3

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, March 5, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Connecticut Cincinnati -6 -7 -4
Iowa Penn St. 6 5 5
Northwestern Purdue 1 -4 -4
Wisconsin Minnesota 5 9 2
Nebraska Michigan -4 -7 -1

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Top 25

  1. Villanova
  2. Gonzaga
  3. North Carolina
  4. Kansas
  5. Kentucky
  6. UCLA
  7. Wichita St.
  8. Purdue
  9. Florida
  10. West Virginia
  11. Baylor
  12. Duke
  13. Oregon
  14. Louisville
  15. Saint Mary’s
  16. SMU
  17. Florida St.
  18. Cincinnati
  19. Butler
  20. Virginia
  21. Iowa St.
  22. Oklahoma St.
  23. Wisconsin
  24. Arizona
  25. Creighton

ACC

  1. North Carolina
  2. Duke
  3. Louisville
  4. Florida St.
  5. Virginia
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Wake Forest
  8. Miami (Fla.)
  9. Virginia Tech
  10. Syracuse
  11. Clemson
  12. Georgia Tech
  13. Pittsburgh
  14. North Carolina St.
  15. Boston College

Big 12

  1. Kansas
  2. West Virginia
  3. Baylor
  4. Iowa St.
  5. Oklahoma St.
  6. Texas Tech (tie)
  7. Kansas St. (tie)
  8. TCU
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Texas

Big East

  1. Villanova
  2. Butler
  3. Creighton
  4. Marquette
  5. Providence
  6. Seton Hall
  7. Xavier
  8. Georgetown
  9. St. John’s
  10. DePaul

Big Ten

  1. Purdue
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Maryland
  4. Minnesota
  5. Michigan
  6. Northwestern
  7. Michigan St.
  8. Iowa
  9. Illinois
  10. Indiana
  11. Ohio St.
  12. Penn St.
  13. Nebraska
  14. Rutgers

Pac-12

  1. Oregon
  2. UCLA
  3. Arizona
  4. California
  5. USC
  6. Utah
  7. Colorado
  8. Stanford
  9. Arizona St.
  10. Washington
  11. Washington St.
  12. Oregon St.

SEC

  1. Kentucky
  2. Florida
  3. South Carolina
  4. Arkansas
  5. Georgia
  6. Alabama
  7. Vanderbilt
  8. Ole Miss
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Tennessee
  11. Auburn
  12. Mississippi St.
  13. Missouri
  14. LSU

Current Bubble Teams

Top 10 Bubble Teams (IN THE DANCE)

  1. VCU
  2. Providence
  3. Seton Hall
  4. Marquette
  5. Xavier
  6. USC
  7. Syracuse
  8. Wake Forest 
  9. Illinois
  10. Illinois St.

Top Bubble Teams (OUT OF THE FIELD & NIT-BOUND)

  1. California
  2. Kansas St.
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Georgia
  5. Houston
  6. Georgia Tech
  7. Vanderbilt
  8. TCU
  9. Utah
  10. Iowa

Conference Tournament Update

America East Tournament–Higher Seed at Home
Quarterfinal Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 1 Vermont 26-5 vs. 8 Maine 7-24 86-41  
2 2 Stony Brook 17-12 vs. 7 Binghamton 12-19 70-60  
3 3 Albany 19-12 vs. 6 Hartford 9-22 100-71  
4 4 New Hampshire 19-11 vs. 5 Md.-Baltimore Co. 18-11 74-65  
                   
Semifinal Round, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Vermont 27-5 vs. 4 New Hampshire 20-11 7:00 PM ESPN3
6 2 Stony Brook 18-12 vs. 3 Albany 20-12 7:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Championship Game, Saturday, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 5 winner       Game 6 winner   11:00 AM ESPN2
  * This Tournament Re-seeds after the quarterfinals like the NFL Playoffs
                   
Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament–Higher Seed at Home
Quarterfinal Round, Monday, February 27
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 1 Florida Gulf Coast 23-7 vs. 8 Stetson 11-20 87-57  
2 2 Lipscomb 19-12 vs. 7 NJIT 11-19 97-66  
3 3 North Florida 13-18 vs. 6 Jacksonville 17-14 77-74  
4 4 USC-Upstate 17-14 vs. 5 Kennesaw St. 13-17 78-80  
                   
Semifinal Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
5 1 Florida Gulf Coast 24-7 vs. 5 Kennesaw St. 14-17 74-62  
6 2 Lipscomb 20-12 vs. 3 North Florida 14-18 85-91  
                   
Championship Game, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 1 Florida Gulf Coast 25-7 vs. 3 North Florida 15-18 3:00 PM ESPN
                   
Big South Conference Tournament–1st Round & Championship at Higher Seed, Middle 2 Rounds at #1 Winthrop
1st Round, Tuesday, February 28 (at Higher Seed)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 7 Campbell 14-16 vs. 10 Presbyterian 5-24 81-62  
2 8 Charleston Southern 11-18 vs. 9 Longwood 6-23 79-74  
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2 (at Winthrop)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
3 2 UNC-Asheville 23-8 vs. 7 Campbell 15-16 79-81  
4 3 Liberty 19-12 vs. 6 Radford 13-17 52-56  
5 1 Winthrop 23-6 vs. 8 Charleston Southern 12-18 92-78  
6 4 Gardner-Webb 18-13 vs. 5 High Point 15-15 91-55  
                   
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 3 (at Winthrop)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 6 Radford 14-17 vs. 7 Campbell 16-16 6:00 PM ESPN3
8 1 Winthrop 24-6 vs. 4 Gardner-Webb 19-13 8:00 PM ESPN3
                   
Championship Game, Sunday, March 5 (at Higher Seed)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   1:00 PM ESPN
                   
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament–Charleston, SC
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Hofstra 15-16 vs. 9 Delaware 12-19 6:00 PM CAA.tv
2 7 James Madison 9-22 vs. 10 Drexel 9-22 8:30 PM CAA.tv
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 1 UNC-Wilmington 26-5 vs.       12:00 PM Comcast SN
4 4 William & Mary 16-13 vs. 5 Elon 18-13 2:30 PM Comcast SN
5 2 College of Charleston 23-8 vs.       6:00 PM Comcast SN
6 3 Towson St. 19-12 vs. 6 Northeastern 15-15 8:30 PM Comcast SN
                   
Semifinal Round, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 3 winner   vs.   Game 4 winner   2:00 PM Comcast SN
8   Game 5 winner   vs.   Game 6 winner   4:30 PM Comcast SN
                   
Championship Game, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   7:00 PM CBSSN
                   
Horizon League Tournament (Motor City Madness)–Detroit
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 7 Detroit Mercy 8-22 vs. 10 Milwaukee 8-23 5:30 PM ESPN3
2 8 Cleveland St. 9-21 vs. 9 Youngstown St. 11-20 8:00 PM ESPN3
                   
Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 1 Oakland 24-7 vs.   Game 2 winner   5:30 PM ESPN3
4 2 Valparaiso 24-7 vs.   Game 1 winner   8:00 PM ESPN3
                   
Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 3 Green Bay 18-12 vs. 6 Illinois-Chicago 14-17 5:00 PM ESPN3
6 4 Northern Kentucky 21-10 vs. 5 Wright St. 20-11 7:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Semifinal Round, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 3 winner   vs.   Game 6 winner   7:00 PM ESPNU
8   Game 4 winner   vs.   Game 5 winner   9:30 PM ESPNU
                   
Championship Game, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   7:00 PM ESPN
                   
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament at Albany (Siena)
1st Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 8 Quinnipiac 10-20 vs. 9 Niagara 9-22 69-88  
2 7 Canisius 17-14 vs. 10 Marist 8-23 77-73  
3 6 Rider 17-14 vs. 11 Manhattan 10-21 69-68  
                   
Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 1 Mounmouth 26-5 vs. 9 Niagara 10-22 7:00 PM ESPN3
5 2 St. Peter’s 18-12 vs. 7 Canisius 18-14 9:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
6 3 Iona 19-12 vs. 6 Rider 18-14 7:00 PM ESPN3
7 4 Siena 15-16 vs. 5 Fairfield 16-13 9:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Semifinal Round–Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8   Game 4 winner   vs.   Game 7 winner   4:30 PM ESPN3
9   Game 5 winner   vs.   Game 6 winner   7:00 PM ESPN3
                   
Championship Game–Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
10   Game 8 winner   vs.   Game 9 winner   9:00 PM ESPN2
                   
Mideast Athletic Conference Tournament at Norfolk, VA (Norfolk St.)
1st Round, Day 1–Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 5 Maryland-Eastern Shore 12-19 vs. 12 N. Carolina A&T 3-28 5:00 PM ESPN3
2 6 Coppin St. 8-23 vs. 11 Howard 8-23 7:00 PM ESPN3
                   
1st Round, Day 2–Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 8 Delaware St. 10-21 vs. 9 Bethune-Cookman 9-21 4:00 PM ESPN3
4 7 South Carolina St. 10-19 vs. 10 Florida A&M 7-22 6:00 PM ESPN3
                   
Quarterfinal Round. Day 1, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 UNC-Central 22-8 vs.   Game 3 winner   6:00 PM ESPN3
6 2 Norfolk St. 15-15 vs.   Game 4 winner   8:00 PM ESPN3
                   
Quarterfinal Round. Day 2, March 9
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 3 Morgan St. 14-15 vs.   Game 2 winner   6:00 PM ESPN3
8 4 Hampton 14-15 vs.   Game 1 winner   8:00 PM ESPN3
                   
Semifinal Round, March 10
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 5 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   6:00 PM ESPN3
10   Game 6 winner   vs.   Game 7 winner   8:00 PM ESPN3
                   
Championship Game, March 11
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
11   Game 9 winner   vs.   Game 10 winner   1:00 PM ESPN2
                   
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament (Arch Madness) at St. Louis
1st Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 8 Evansville 15-16 vs. 9 Indiana St. 11-19 83-72  
2 7 Bradley 12-19 vs. 10 Drake 7-23 67-58  
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 1 Illinois St. 25-5 vs. 8 Evansville 16-16 1:00 PM MVC TV
4 4 Southern Illinois 16-15 vs. 5 Loyola (Chi.) 18-13 3:30 PM MVC TV
5 2 Wichita St. 27-4 vs. 7 Bradley 13-19 7:00 PM MVC TV
6 3 Northern Iowa 14-15 vs. 6 Missouri St. 16-15 9:30 PM MVC TV
                   
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 3 winner   vs.   Game 4 winner   3:30 PM CBSSN
8   Game 5 winner   vs.   Game 6 winner   6:00 PM CBSSN
                   
Championship Game, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   2:00 PM CBS
                   
Northeast Conference Tournament–All Games at Higher Seed
Quarterfinal Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 1 Mount St. Mary’s 16-15 vs. 8 Sacred Heart 13-18 76-73  
2 2 Long Island 20-11 vs. 7 Robert Morris 13-18 68-69  
3 3 Wagner 15-13 vs. 6 Fairleigh-Dickinson 11-18 72-70  
4 4 St. Francis (PA) 14-15 vs. 5 Bryant 12-19 100-78  
                   
Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Mount St. Mary’s 17-15 vs. 7 Robert Morris 14-18 12 or 2 PM MSG/FCS
6 3 Wagner 16-13 vs. 4 St. Francis (PA) 15-15 12 or 2 PM MSG/FCS
                   
Championship Game, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 5 winner       Game 6 winner   11:00 AM ESPN2
  * This Tournament Re-seeds after the quarterfinals like the NFL Playoffs
                   
Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Nashville
1st Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 5 Southeast Missouri 14-17 vs. 8 Tennessee St. 17-12 78-75 ot  
2 6 Tennessee Tech 12-19 vs. 7 Murray St. 14-16 84-85 2ot  
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
3 4 Jacksonville St. 17-14 vs. 5 Southeast Missouri 15-17 74-51  
4 3 Morehead St. 14-15 vs. 7 Murray St. 15-16 69-75  
                   
Semifinal Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Belmont 22-5 vs. 4 Jacksonville St. 18-14 7:30 PM ESPNU
6 2 UT-Martin 20-11 vs. 7 Murray St. 16-16 10:00 PM ESPNU
                   
Championship Game, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 5 winner       Game 6 winner   8:00 PM ESPN2
                   
Patriot League Tournament–All Games at Higher Seed
1st Round, Tuesday, February 28
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
1 7 Loyola (MD.) 14-15 vs. 10 Lafayette 9-20 67-64  
2 8 Army 12-18 vs. 9 American 8-21 74-58  
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Score  
3 2 Boston U 23-8 vs. 7 Loyola (MD.) 15-15 64-60  
4 3 Lehigh 19-12 vs. 6 Colgate 10-21 77-72  
5 1 Bucknell 23-6 vs. 8 Army 13-18 78-62  
6 4 Navy 18-13 vs. 5 Holy Cross 15-16 49-42  
                   
Semifinal Round, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 2 Boston U 24-8 vs. 3 Lehigh 20-12 12 or 2 PM CBSSN
8 1 Bucknell 24-6 vs. 4 Navy 19-13 12 or 2 PM CBSSN
                   
Championship Game, Wednesday, March 8
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   7:30 PM CBSSN
                   
Southern Conference Tournament–Asheville, NC
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Western Carolina 9-22 vs. 9 The Citadel 11-20 5:00 PM ESPN3
2 7 Samford 17-14 vs. 10 VMI 6-23 7:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 1 UNC-Greensboro 23-8 vs.   Game 1 winner   12:00 PM ESPN3
4 4 Chattanooga 19-11 vs. 5 Wofford 15-16 2:30 PM ESPN3
5 2 Furman 21-10 vs.   Game 2 winner   6:00 PM ESPN3
6 3 East Tennessee St. 24-7 vs. 6 Mercer 15-16 8:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Semifinal Round, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 3 winner   vs.   Game 4 winner   5:00 PM ESPN3
8   Game 5 winner   vs.   Game 6 winner   7:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Championship Game, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   7:00 PM ESPN2
                   
Summit League Tournament–Sioux Falls, SD
Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 1 South Dakota 21-10   8 Western Illinois 8-19 7:00 PM ESPN3
2 2 North Dakota St. 19-10   7 IUPUI 13-17 9:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Sunday, March 5
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 4 South Dakota St. 15-16   5 Denver 16-13 7:00 PM ESPN3
4 3 Omaha 16-13   6 Fort Wayne 19-11 9:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Semifinal Round–Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5   Game 1 winner       Game 3 winner   7:00 PM ESPN3
6   Game 2 winner       Game 4 winner   9:30 PM ESPN3
                   
Championship–Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 5 winner       Game 6 winner   9:00 PM ESPN2
                   
West Coast Conference Tournament at Las Vegas
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Pepperdine 9-21 vs. 9 Pacific 10-21 BYUtv 9:00 PM
2 7 San Diego 13-17 vs. 10 Portland 10-21 BYUtv 11:00 PM
                   
Quarterfinal Round, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 3 BYU 21-10 vs. 6 Loyola Marymount 15-14 4:00 PM BYUtv
4 4 Santa Clara 16-15 vs. 5 San Francisco 20-11 6:00 PM BYUtv
5 1 Gonzaga 29-1 vs.   Game 1 winner   10:00 PM ESPN2
6 2 Saint Mary’s 26-3 vs.   Game 2 winner   12:00 AM ESPN2
                   
Semifinal Round, Monday, March 6
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7   Game 3 winner   vs.   Game 4 winner   9 or 11:30 ESPN/ESPN2
8   Game 5 winner   vs.   Game 6 winner   9 or 11:30 ESPN/ESPN2
                   
Championship Game, Tuesday, March 7
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9   Game 7 winner   vs.   Game 8 winner   9:00 PM ESPN

 

 

February 27, 2017

The Pirate Ratings Bracketology Gurus Report For February 27, 2017

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:01 am

Gonzaga’s Loss–Good or Bad

Minutes after Gonzaga lost their home finale Saturday night, we began hearing the so-called experts talk about how a loss might help the Bulldogs rather than keep the pressure on them to stay undefeated.  We have heard this statement many times in the past, and we believe it is hogwash.  A loss never really helps a team, even if coaches and others say it may help focus attention and force players to play harder.

The team that goes 29-0 before losing is not one that needs help focusing or one that can find a way to improve on the loss.  As a matter of fact, we believe this loss hurts Gonzaga more than what it looks like on face value.  Their players lost a lot of confidence, and any self-doubt can create weaker play.  Look at it in baseball.  When a player has to think about facing Aroldis Chapman, or before him Randy Johnson, Rob Dibble, or Sandy Koufax, the thought of facing a pitcher than they cannot possibly hit oftentimes leads to the batter not being able to hit these stars.  The all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, didn’t believe he could hit Koufax’s curve ball, and he didn’t.  He hit below .175 against him.

In the basketball world, we see a close correlation between Gonzaga and the 1977 San Francisco Dons.  That USF team had four stars that would matriculate to the NBA, including future Chicago Bulls’ center Bill Cartwright, who had been considered the nation’s top high school prospect when he signed with the Dons.

The 1977 USF team played in the West Coast Athletic Conference, the predecessor of today’s West Coast Conference, of which Gonzaga is a member (as is USF).  The Dons were the odds-on favorite to win the WCAC title, but nobody expected USF to do what they did that year.  Starting just outside the top 10, USF began winning game after game.  Their early schedule featured several power conference teams, including eventual SEC champion Tennessee and WAC Champion Utah.  The Dons stayed undefeated throughout November and December, and with a win over St. John’s and a second win over Houston, USF moved to the top of the polls in early January.  There was no real competition in conference play as the Dons won the league by five games.  With a 29-0 record and a scoring margin near 20 points per game, USF closed out the regular season with a road game against a good but not great Notre Dame team.

In the second half, the Irish began to wear down the USF stars, and they were able to neutralize the Dons’ best factor–their rebounding ability.  Notre Dame went on a run and knocked USF out of the unbeaten ranks just before NCAA Tournament play began.  USF fell to number three in the nation behind Michigan and UCLA, but the experts of the day said that the loss would help USF be able to focus and recover.  It wasn’t to be.  In their very first tournament game, USF ran up against the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV, and Coach Jerry Tarkanian was about to take his team to its first Final Four.  UNLV ran out to a quick double-digit lead and cruised to a 121-95 victory to end USF’s year at 29-2.

We are not saying that Gonzaga will lose its first tournament game, and remember that when USF lost to UNLV, there were just 32 Tournament teams.  What we are saying is that Gonzaga’s chances of making the Final 4 are now less by several percentage points than it was prior to Saturday.  In fact, we are willing to state that we do not believe the Bulldogs will make it to the Elite 8 this year, because their confidence level has dropped.  They may not even win the WCC Tournament.  Saint Mary’s might advance further in the Dance.  That’s how much we believe this loss hurt the Zags.

 

Our Weekly Look at the Conferences

To many basketball fans, the next five weeks equates to summer vacation. Conference tournament action commences today with the opening round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament tipping off in Fort Myers, Florida, Nashville, Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Jacksonville, as the four higher seeded teams host the four lower seeded teams.

Starting today, our Bracketology Report merges with the Conference Tournament Coverage, so you will get a bit of both. In total 10 different leagues have their tournament brackets in place, so instead of showing you the records of the top teams in those leagues, we will show you the tournament schedules along with a brief look at who is hot, who is not, and who we think might win.
Our Bracketology Gurus have sent their selections to us this week, and many of them plan to update every time their bracket changes in the last two weeks before Selection Sunday.

ONE BID CONFERENCES
America East

America East Tournament–Higher Seed at Home
Quarterfinal Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 1 Vermont 26-5 vs. 8 Maine 7-24 7:00 PM ESPN3
2 2 Stony Brook 17-12 vs. 7 Binghamton 12-19 7:00 PM ESPN3
3 3 Albany 19-12 vs. 6 Hartford 9-22 7:30 PM ESPN3
4 4 New Hampshire 19-11 vs. 5 Md.-Baltimore Co. 18-11 7:30 PM ESPN3
 

Semifinal Round, Monday, March 6

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed 7:00 PM ESPN3
6 2nd Highest Remaining Seed vs. 2nd Lowest Remaining Seed 7:30 PM ESPN3
 

Championship Game, Saturday, March 11

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner Game 6 winner 11:00 AM ESPN2
* This Tournament Re-seeds after the quarterfinals like the NFL Playoffs

Vermont finished the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record in the league, and there is only one other team remaining that has an undefeated conference record (Princeton is 12-0 in the Ivy League with two games remaining). So, the Catamounts must be considered prohibitive favorites, especially since they have home court advantage throughout the tournament. Only one league opponent gabe Vermont any real difficulty this year, and that was Maryland-Baltimore County. However, UMBC finished as the fifth seed, and the Retrievers will have to win a road game against New Hampshire to get a chance at the Catamounts. UNH lost at Vermont by just eight points after playing to a stalemate in the first half, and the Wildcats did not lose another game afterwards, finishing on a five-game winning streak.

Atlantic Sun

Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament–Higher Seed at Home
Quarterfinal Round, Monday, February 27
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 1 Florida Gulf Coast 23-7 vs. 8 Stetson 11-20 7:00 PM WatchESPN
2 2 Lipscomb 19-12 vs. 7 NJIT 11-19 8:00 PM WatchESPN
3 3 North Florida 13-18 vs. 6 Jacksonville 17-14 7:00 PM WatchESPN
4 4 USC-Upstate 17-14 vs. 5 Kennesaw St. 13-17 7:00 PM WatchESPN
 

Semifinal Round, Thursday, March 2

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 Game 1 winner vs. Game 4 winner TBA WatchESPN
6 Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner TBA WatchESPN
 

Championship Game, Sunday, March 5

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 3:00 PM ESPN

Florida Gulf Coast has been in this spot before, and the Eagles have come through as the favorite more than once. They did lose at home to second seed Lipscomb in an ugly game where defense dominated, but the Bisons will most likely have to beat North Florida in the semifinals to get to Fort Myers for the title game. North Florida swept Lipscomb during the regular season, with their star Dallas Moore scoring 75 points in the two contests. FGCU is looking pretty and the Eagles would be competitive if they make the Big Dance. They beat UT-Arlington and lost close games to Michigan St. and Baylor.

Big Sky
North Dakota 13-3/18-8
Eastern Washington 12-4/20-9
Weber St. 11-5/16-11
Idaho 10-6/16-12
Montana St. 10-6/15-14

Weber State dropped three straight games, while the two teams above them in the standings are enjoying nice winning streaks. Montana State is the hot team from the next waive, but keep an eye on 8th place Portland State (7-9/14-13). The Vikings have lost a lot of close games, five in overtime, and they have the ability to score points in big spurts. It would not be a surprise if PSU upset a team or two in this tournament, which in our opinion is wide open.

Big South

Big South Conference Tournament–1st Round & Championship at Higher Seed, Middle 2 Rounds at #1 Winthrop
1st Round, Tuesday, February 28 (at Higher Seed)
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 7 Campbell 14-16 vs. 10 Presbyterian 5-24 7:00 PM BSouth Net.
2 8 Charleston Southern 11-18 vs. 9 Longwood 6-23 7:00 PM BSouth Net.
 

Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2 (at Winthrop)

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 2 UNC-Asheville 23-8 vs. Game 1 winner 1:00 PM ESPN3
4 3 Liberty 19-12 vs. 6 Radford 13-17 3:00 PM ESPN3
5 1 Winthrop 23-6 vs. Game 2 winner 7:00 PM ESPN3
6 4 Gardner-Webb 18-13 vs. 5 High Point 15-15 9:00 PM ESPN3
 

Semifinal Round, Friday, March 3 (at Winthrop)

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 6:00 PM ESPN3
8 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 8:00 PM ESPN3
 

Championship Game, Sunday, March 5 (at Higher Seed)

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 1:00 PM ESPN

Winthrop and UNC-Asheville could be on a collision course for a rematch of last year’s championship game, where UNCA won on a neutral floor and then became fodder for eventual National Champion Villanova in the Round of 64. Winthrop has the edge this year, as the Eagles will play at home as long as they remain in the tournament. The two games between these teams were both nip and tuck games that went to the wire, with the game in Asheville needing an extra 10 minutes to decide the winner (UNCA won to earn a split). If you are looking for a dark horse, Gardner-Webb is playing its best ball of the year at the present time, and the Bulldogs upset UNCA to give the regular season title to Winthrop.

Big West
UC-Davis 10-4/18-11
UC-Irvine 10-4/17-13
Cal St. Fullerton 8-6/14-13

No team has been able to dominate in this league this year, and the tournament should be competitive. The current co-leaders meet in Irvine to close the regular season, and the winner should take the top seed. Long Beach St. (8-7/13-18) has been dreadful away from home this year, but Anaheim is almost like being at home in the Pyramid, so the 49ers might be worth looking at as a dark horse.

Colonial Athletic

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament–Charleston, SC
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Hofstra 15-16 vs. 9 Delaware 12-19 6:00 PM CAA.tv
2 7 James Madison 9-22 vs. 10 Drexel 9-22 8:30 PM CAA.tv
 

Quarterfinal Round, Saturday, March 4

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 1 UNC-Wilmington 26-5 vs. 12:00 PM Comcast SN
4 4 William & Mary 16-13 vs. 5 Elon 18-13 2:30 PM Comcast SN
5 2 College of Charleston 23-8 vs. 6:00 PM Comcast SN
6 3 Towson St. 19-12 vs. 6 Northeastern 15-15 8:30 PM Comcast SN
 

Semifinal Round, Sunday, March 5

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 2:00 PM Comcast SN
8 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 4:30 PM Comcast SN
 

Championship Game, Monday, March 6

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 7:00 PM CBSSN

A month ago, we could have just ceded this tournament to defending champ UNC-Wilmington, but that was before the Seahawks lost to William and Mary, Charleston, and Elon. Now, this looks like a tournament that is much more up for grabs. UNCW is still the favorite, but they will not win this is a cake walk. Expect some competitive games, and it would not be a surprise if somebody other than the top two teams emerges as the eventual champion. We are keeping an eye on 8-seed Hofstra. The Gaels lost a lot of close games and then won a couple on the road at the end. They have to play in the opening round and would need to win four games to take the NCAA bid, but they could sneak into the semifinals.

Conference USA
Note: Middle Tennessee is closing in on moving into the Bubble should they win out and make it to the CUSA Championship Game and lose. For now, we keep CUSA as a one-team bid.

Middle Tennessee 15-1/25-4
Louisiana Tech 13-4/21-9
Old Dominion 11-5/18-10
UTEP 11-5/13-15
Rice 10-6/20-9

Middle Tennessee clinched the CUSA regular season title yesterday, and with two home games over bottom-feeders, the Blue Raiders should enter the conference tournament at 27-4. The good news for MTSU is the host team looks like they are headed for a 7th place finish, and UAB could not face the Blue Raiders until the Championship Game from that spot. The Blazers took the Raiders to the wire yesterday in the Magic City. UTEP was the lone team to beat the Raiders, but Rice and Louisiana Tech played MTSU close and could pose a challenge.

Horizon
Oakland 14-4/24-7
Valparaiso 14-4/24-7
Northern Kentucky 12-6/21-10
Green Bay 12-6/18-12
Wright St. 11-7/20-11

Imagine how the Cleveland Cavaliers would respond if Lebron James were lost just prior to the start of the playoffs. That’s how Valpo feels right now, as their big star is out of action, and the Crusaders are just an average team without him. Will Alec Peters return 100% healthy from his leg injury that cost him to miss the last two games? Without him yesterday, Valpo lost at Northern Kentucky to fall into a first place tie with Oakland.

Oakland has won nine consecutive games, while Northern Kentucky is making a name for itself for the first time since it became the third Cincinnati-area team to play Division 1 basketball. NKU Head Coach John Brannen is one of the up and coming coaches with a future at a bigger program sometime down the road, and his Norse could be ready to make some noise in Motor City Madness.

Ivy
Princeton 12-0/19-6
Harvard 10-2/18-7
Yale 7-5/15-10
Columbia 5-7/11-14
Penn 5-7/12-13

The top four teams in the Ivy League qualify for the inaugural Ivy League Tournament at the Palestra in Philadelphia. Princeton and Harvard have clinched spots, while Yale needs another win to clinch a spot. The final spot is still to be decided, as Columbia beat Penn Saturday night to move back into a tie for fourth place. At present, Columbia holds the tiebreaker, but Penn has the more advantageous closing schedule with two home games, while the Lions must play two road games.

Princeton must still get by Harvard at home to finish 14-0 and then most likely will have to beat Harvard a third time to make it to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers played a couple of good non-conference foes close, but this does not look like the year where an Ivy team will win an NCAA Tournament game.

Metro Atlantic

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament at Albany (Siena)
1st Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Quinnipiac 10-20 vs. 9 Niagara 9-22 5:00 PM ESPN3
2 7 Canisius 17-14 vs. 10 Marist 8-23 7:00 PM ESPN3
3 6 Rider 17-14 vs. 11 Manhattan 10-21 9:00 PM ESPN3
 

Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Friday, March 3

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 1 Mounmouth 26-5 vs. Game 1 winner 7:00 PM ESPN3
5 2 St. Peter’s 18-12 vs. Game 2 winner 9:30 PM ESPN3
 

Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Saturday, March 4

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
6 3 Iona 19-12 vs. Game 3 winner 7:00 PM ESPN3
7 4 Siena 15-16 vs. 5 Fairfield 16-13 9:30 PM ESPN3
 

Semifinal Round–Sunday, March 5

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8 Game 4 winner vs. Game 7 winner 4:30 PM ESPN3
9 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 7:00 PM ESPN3
 

Championship Game–Monday, March 6

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
10 Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner 9:00 PM ESPN2

An interesting factoid here: The MAAC tiebreaker system forced a coin flip to determine the bottom two seeds. Marist and Manhattan tied for last at 5-15. Using the MAAC tiebreaker system, the two teams split their games. The second tiebreaker resorts in seeing who had the better record against the top-ranked team and downward until one team finished with a better record against the teams in order. Unfortunately, both Marist and Manhattan were swept by the top 5 teams. The 6th and 7th place teams tied, and Marist and Manhattan both went 1-3 against those two teams. Both teams swept Niagara, so that left no choice but to flip a coin to decide which team would be the #10 seed and which team would be the #11 seed.
Marist won the coin flip and will be the #10 seed, while Manhattan will be the #11 seed.

As for the other end of the standings, Monmouth tries to make up for stumbling in this tournament last year when the Hawks had enough talent to do some damage in the Big Dance. They may get there a year late, but the 2017 Hawks do not look to be as strong as last year’s team; they do enter the tournament riding a 16-game winning streak. Siena has to be considered a contender, since the tournament will be played on their home floor. Iona and St. Peter’s will not go down without a fight, so if the bracket holds, the semifinal round should be one worth watching.

Mid-American
Akron 13-3/23-6
Ohio 10-6/18-9
Ball St. 9-7/18-11
Kent St. 9-7/17-12
Buffalo 9-7/15-14
Western Michigan 9-7/13-15

The MAC Tournament is always a wide-open event, and the regular season champ is rarely a big favorite. Buffalo has won the last two MAC Tournaments, and the Bulls have to be considered a contender to “three-peat.” Akron failed as the top seed last year, and the Zips have lost the magic touch they had earlier in the season when they ran off a dozen victories in a row. Kent State is the hot team in the East, while Western Michigan is trying to become the MAC basketball version of the 1914 Miracle Boston Braves. WMU was in last place at 3-7 in the league, but the Broncos have won six consecutive games to move into a tie for first in the West.

Mideastern Athletic
UNC-Central 13-1/22-6
Norfolk St. 12-3/15-14
Morgan St. 10-4/13-14

MEAC hopes for avoiding Dayton rest on UNC-Central winning the conference tournament. The Eagles could even concievably move up to a 15-seed if they win out.

Mountain West
Nevada 12-4/23-6
Colorado St. 12-4/20-9
Boise St. 11-5/18-9
Fresno St. 9-7/17-11

Every week, we see a different team looking like the best in this league, but what the last few weeks have really told us is there is no really great MWC team this year like San Diego State and New Mexico have been in recent years. Then again, the top four this year are not chopped liver, and even though this figures to be a one-bid league in 2017, don’t automatically select this league’s representative to fall in their first NCAA Tournament game. Nevada has a very good offense. Colorado State has a very good defense. Boise State and Fresno State have better than average offenses and defenses. And, then there is always the possibility that one of the two recent teams that have controlled this league (San Diego St. and New Mexico) could get hot and take the conference tournament crown.

Northeast

Northeast Conference Tournament–All Games at Higher Seed
Quarterfinal Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 1 Mount St. Mary’s 16-15 vs. 8 Sacred Heart 13-18 7:00 PM NEC Frontrow
2 2 Long Island 20-11 vs. 7 Robert Morris 13-18 9:00 PM MSG+/FCS
3 3 Wagner 15-13 vs. 6 Fairleigh-Dickinson 11-18 7:00 PM MSG+/FCS
4 4 St. Francis (PA) 14-15 vs. 5 Bryant 12-19 7:00 PM NEC Frontrow
 

Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 4

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed 12 or 2 PM MSG/FCS
6 2nd Highest Remaining Seed vs. 2nd Lowest Remaining Seed 12 or 2 PM MSG/FCS
 

Championship Game, Tuesday, March 7

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner Game 6 winner 11:00 AM ESPN2
* This Tournament Re-seeds after the quarterfinals like the NFL Playoffs

In the last four years, four different teams have won the NEC regular season championship, and four different teams have won the conference tournament. In the four cases, the regular season champion did not win the conference tournament. The last team to win both the regular season and conference tournament was Long Island five years ago. Mount St. Mary’s won the regular season title, but LIU looks like the team to beat once again, as the Blackbirds enter tourney play riding a six-game winning streak that includes a victory at MSM.

Ohio Valley

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Nashville
1st Round, Wednesday, March 1
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 5 Southeast Missouri 14-17 vs. 8 Tennessee St. 17-12 7:30 PM OVC Digital
2 6 Tennessee Tech 12-19 vs. 7 Murray St. 14-16 9:30 PM OVC Digital
 

Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 4 Jacksonville St. 17-14 Game 1 winner 7:30 PM OVC Digital
4 3 Morehead St. 14-15 Game 2 winner 9:30 PM OVC Digital
 

Semifinal Round, Friday, March 3

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 1 Belmont 22-5 Game 3 winner 7:30 PM ESPNU
6 2 UT-Martin 20-11 Game 4 winner 10:00 PM ESPNU
 

Championship Game, Saturday, March 4

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner Game 6 winner 8:00 PM ESPN2

Belmont has been in the NCAA Tournament seven times in the last 11 years, and if the Bruins do not make it eight out of 12 this year, it will be a major shock. Last year, Austin Peay came from the lowest seed to upset the field, and if you are looking for a team to repeat that, keep an eye on Tennessee State.

Patriot

Patriot League Tournament–All Games at Higher Seed
1st Round, Tuesday, February 28
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 7 Loyola (MD.) 14-15 vs. 10 Lafayette 9-20 7:30 PM Patriot Lg Net
2 8 Army 12-18 vs. 9 American 8-21 7:00 PM Patriot Lg Net
 

Quarterfinal Round, Thursday, March 2

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 2 Boston U 23-8 vs. Game 1 winner 7:00 PM Patriot Lg Net
4 3 Lehigh 19-12 vs. 6 Colgate 10-21 7:00 PM Patriot Lg Net
5 1 Bucknell 23-6 vs. Game 2 winner 7:00 PM Patriot Lg Net
6 4 Navy 18-13 vs. 5 Holy Cross 15-16 7:00 PM Patriot Lg Net
 

Semifinal Round, Sunday, March 5

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 12 or 2 PM CBSSN
8 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 12 or 2 PM CBSSN
 

Championship Game, Wednesday, March 8

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 7:30 PM CBSSN

Bucknell is tough to beat at home, and the Bison will get home court advantage throughout the tournament, but Lehigh swept the Bison during the regular season. The Explorers were swept by Boston U, and they will most likely have to win in Boston to get to Bucknell. Boston was swept by Bucknell, so the top three were like Rock, Paper, Scissors. Might another team be in the mix? It would be a very long shot, because the top three ended the season looking double-digit points better than the rest of the league.

Southern
East Tennessee 14-3/24-6
Furman 14-4/21-10
UNC-Greensboro 13-4/22-8
Chattanooga 10-7/19-10

The two hot teams meet tonight to decide the regular season champion, with ETSU visiting UNCG. Both teams enter with six-game winning streaks, and both teams have been playing defense like champions. The loser of this game will probably get a chance for revenge when the outcome is much more important.

Southland
New Orleans 12-4/17-10
Texas A&M-CC 11-5/18-9
Stephen F. Austin 11-5/16-12
Houston Baptist 10-6/15-12

This is a weak year in the SLC, and the eventural league representative in the NCAA has a high probability of heading to Dayton as a 16-seed in a first four game. The two hot teams as conference play comes to the end are Texas A&M-CC with a nine-game winning streak and Houston Baptist with a seven-game winning streak. TAMCC coach Willis Wilson came close to getting into the Dance many times with Rice, and he has slowly built the Islanders into a contender. It would be touching if Wilson finally made it to the NCAA Tournament in his 22nd season as a Division I head coach.

Southwestern Athletic
Texas Southern 13-2/17-11
Southern 10-6/14-15
Grambling 8-7/13-15

Unfortunately for this league, the hottest team is the one ineligible to go to the NCAA Tournament (Alcorn State). Texas Southern will be the heavy favorite, but even if the Tigers win the tournament, they will almost assuredly have to play in the First Four in Dayton.

Summit

Summit League Tournament–Sioux Falls, SD
Quarterfinal Round–Day 1, Saturday, March 4
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 1 South Dakota 21-10 8 Western Illinois 8-19 7:00 PM ESPN3
2 2 North Dakota St. 19-10 7 IUPUI 13-17 9:30 PM ESPN3
 

Quarterfinal Round–Day 2, Sunday, March 5

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 4 South Dakota St. 15-16 5 Denver 16-13 7:00 PM ESPN3
4 3 Omaha 16-13 6 Fort Wayne 19-11 9:30 PM ESPN3
 

Semifinal Round–Monday, March 6

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
5 Game 1 winner Game 3 winner 7:00 PM ESPN3
6 Game 2 winner Game 4 winner 9:30 PM ESPN3
 

Championship–Tuesday, March 7

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 5 winner Game 6 winner 9:00 PM ESPN2

This should be a rather interesting tournament. 4-seed South Dakota State and 6-seed Fort Wayne cannot be overlooked, but the top three seeds are clearly the co-favorites. Omaha and Fort Wayne can light up the scoreboard, and their quarterfinal game could see one or both teams top the century mark.

Sun Belt
UT-Arlington 12-3/22-6
Georgia St. 11-5/18-10
Georgia Southern 11-5/18-11
Arkansas St. 10-5/18-9

UT-Arlington has the lone signature win in this league this year (beat St. Mary’s), and the Mavericks could be this year’s version of UALR. The top four in this league could play each other 10 times, and the final records might range from just 17-13 to 13-17, so UTA cannot automatically waltz through to the NCAA Tournament.

Western Athletic
Cal St. Bakersfield 12-1/21-7
New Mexico St. 10-3/24-5

One of these two teams should win the conference tournament, mostly because the only other quality team (Grand Canyon) is still a year away from becoming a full-fledge Division I member. CSUB has won 10 games in a row by an average of 11.5 points per game, which includes a win over New Mexico St.

MULTIPLE BID LEAGUES

American
In: SMU, Cincinnati
Bubble: Houston

Atlantic 10
In: Dayton, VCU
Bubble: Rhode Island

Atlantic Coast
In: North Carolina, Florida St., Louisville, Notre Dame, Duke, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia
Bubble: Syracuse, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech

Big 12
In: Kansas, West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa St., Oklahoma St.
Bubble: Kansas St., TCU, Texas Tech

Big East
In: Villanova, Butler, Creighton
Bubble: Seton Hall, Providence, Xavier, Marquette

Big Ten
In: Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan St., Northwestern, Michigan
Bubble: Iowa

Missouri Valley

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament (Arch Madness) at St. Louis
1st Round, Thursday, March 2
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Evansville 15-16 vs. 9 Indiana St. 11-19 7:00 PM MVC TV
2 7 Bradley 12-19 vs. 10 Drake 7-23 9:30 PM MVC TV
 

Quarterfinal Round, Friday, March 3

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 1 Illinois St. 25-5 vs. Game 1 winner 1:00 PM MVC TV
4 4 Southern Illinois 16-15 vs. 5 Loyola (Chi.) 18-13 3:30 PM MVC TV
5 2 Wichita St. 27-4 vs. Game 2 winner 7:00 PM MVC TV
6 3 Northern Iowa 14-15 vs. 6 Missouri St. 16-15 9:30 PM MVC TV
 

Semifinal Round, Saturday, March 4

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 3:30 PM CBSSN
8 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 6:00 PM CBSSN
 

Championship Game, Sunday, March 5

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 2:00 PM CBS

In: Wichita St.
Bubble: Illinois St.

Pac-12
In: Oregon, Arizona, UCLA
Bubble: California, Utah, USC

SEC
In: Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina
Bubble: Vanderbilt, Georgia

West Coast

West Coast Conference Tournament at Las Vegas
1st Round, Friday, March 3
Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 8 Pepperdine 9-21 vs. 9 Pacific 10-21 BYUtv 9:00 PM
2 7 San Diego 13-17 vs. 10 Portland 10-21 BYUtv 11:00 PM
 

Quarterfinal Round, Saturday, March 4

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
3 3 BYU 21-10 vs. 6 Loyola Marymount 15-14 4:00 PM BYUtv
4 4 Santa Clara 16-15 vs. 5 San Francisco 20-11 6:00 PM BYUtv
5 1 Gonzaga 29-1 vs. Game 1 winner 10:00 PM ESPN2
6 2 Saint Mary’s 26-3 vs. Game 2 winner 12:00 AM ESPN2
 

Semifinal Round, Monday, March 6

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
7 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 9 or 11:30 ESPN/ESPN2
8 Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 9 or 11:30 ESPN/ESPN2
 

Championship Game, Tuesday, March 7

Gm # Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
9 Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 9:00 PM ESPN

In: Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s
Bubble: None

The PiRate Ratings Bracketology Gurus Composite For February 27, 2017
1. North Carolina, Kansas, Villanova, Oregon
2. Gonzaga, Louisville, Kentucky, Baylor
3. Arizona, UCLA, Butler, Florida St.
4. West Virginia, SMU, Purdue, Florida
5. Duke, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Creighton
6. Virginia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oklahoma St.
7. Saint Mary’s, Miami, Maryland, Iowa St.
8. South Carolina, Dayton, Michigan St., Virginia Tech
9. Michigan, Wichita St., Arkansas, VCU
10. Middle Tennessee, Northwestern, Seton Hall, Syracuse
11. Providence, Seton Hall, Xavier, California, Marquette
12. UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, UT-Arlington, Illinois St., Wake Forest
13. Vermont, Monmouth, Bucknell, East Tennessee
14. Western Michigan, Belmont, Princeton, UNC-Asheville
15. Oakland, Cal St. Bakersfield, Florida Gulf Coast, South Dakota
16. Eastern Washington, UNC-Central, Texas Southern, UC-Davis, Long Island, Texas A&M-CC

Last Four Byes: Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence, Syracuse
Last Four In/Dayton Bound: Wake Forest vs. Illinois St. / Marquette vs. California
First Four Out/#1 NIT Seeds: Vanderbilt, Rhode Island, Kansas St., TCU
Next Four Out: Georgia Tech, Houston, Texas Tech, Georgia

February 24, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For February 25-26, 2017

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:23 am

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Red-White-Blue Spreads *

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Clemson Florida St. -3 -1 -3
Pittsburgh North Carolina -10 -9 -6
North Carolina St. Virginia -8 -9 -9
Boston College Virginia Tech -6 -5 -2
Miami Duke -1 -1 -1
Connecticut SMU -6 -6 -4
TCU West Virginia -7 -7 1
Oklahoma St. Texas Tech 10 6 8
Iowa St. Baylor 3 2 -4
Texas Kansas -7 -6 -5
Oklahoma Kansas St. -1 -1 -2
St. John’s Georgetown 1 -1 -4
DePaul Seton Hall -5 -5 -7
Villanova Creighton 8 10 8
Providence Marquette 2 2 9
Minnesota Penn St. 10 9 11
Michigan Purdue -2 -1 -2
Maryland Iowa 7 8 9
Indiana Northwestern 3 6 8
Missouri St. Wichita St. -12 -9 -10
Northern Iowa Illinois St. -5 -3 -5
Stanford Oregon -7 -10 -8
Arizona UCLA 2 2 7
Arizona St. USC -3 -4 -4
Washington St. Washington 2 1 1
South Carolina Tennessee 6 5 4
Kentucky Florida 5 3 3
Ole Miss Missouri 11 10 10
Vanderbilt Mississippi St. 7 7 10
Georgia LSU 14 12 13
Texas A&M Alabama 4 3 6
Auburn Arkansas 1 1 -1
Gonzaga BYU 23 19 19
Saint Mary’s Santa Clara 17 18 19

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, February 26, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Louisville Syracuse 14 12 15
Notre Dame Georgia Tech 12 14 10
Central Florida Cincinnati -4 -5 -2
Xavier Butler 1 1 2
Michigan St. Wisconsin -1 -1 6
Nebraska Illinois 2 1 1


* Red, White, and Blue Ratings are 3 different algorithmic formulas using basketball’s Four Factors, Strength of Schedule, and where the game is played as the predominant data to come up with a game spread.  The Red and White Ratings closely mirror each other, while the Blue Rating uses considerably more data and is time-consuming to calculate.  Thus, we are limited with the amount of games we can predict.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Top 25

  1. Gonzaga
  2. North Carolina
  3. Kansas
  4. Villanova
  5. Florida
  6. Kentucky
  7. Louisville
  8. West Virginia
  9. Wichita St.
  10. Oregon
  11. Duke
  12. Purdue
  13. UCLA
  14. Saint Mary’s
  15. Baylor
  16. Cincinnati
  17. Florida St.
  18. Wisconsin
  19. SMU
  20. Arizona
  21. Notre Dame
  22. Creighton
  23. Virginia
  24. Butler
  25. Oklahoma St.

ACC

  1. North Carolina
  2. Louisville
  3. Duke
  4. Florida St.
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Virginia
  7. Miami
  8. Syracuse
  9. Wake Forest
  10. Virginia Tech
  11. Clemson
  12. Pittsburgh
  13. Georgia Tech
  14. North Carolina St.
  15. Boston College

Big 12

  1. Kansas
  2. West Virginia
  3. Baylor
  4. Oklahoma St.
  5. Iowa St.
  6. Kansas St.
  7. TCU
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Texas
  10. Oklahoma

Big East

  1. Villanova
  2. Creighton
  3. Butler
  4. Xavier
  5. Marquette
  6. Providence
  7. Georgetown
  8. Seton Hall
  9. St. John’s
  10. DePaul

Big Ten

  1. Purdue
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Michigan
  4. Minnesota
  5. Maryland
  6. Northwestern
  7. Michigan St.
  8. Indiana
  9. Ohio St.
  10. Iowa
  11. Illinois
  12. Penn St.
  13. Nebraska
  14. Rutgers

Pac-12

  1. Oregon
  2. UCLA
  3. Arizona
  4. California
  5. USC
  6. Utah
  7. Colorado
  8. Stanford
  9. Arizona St.
  10. Washington
  11. Washington St.
  12. Oregon St.

SEC

  1. Florida
  2. Kentucky
  3. Arkansas
  4. South Carolina
  5. Vanderbilt
  6. Georgia
  7. Ole Miss
  8. Tennessee
  9. Alabama
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Auburn
  12. Mississippi St.
  13. Missouri
  14. LSU

Oh, have we got some great games for you this weekend

Every week, we seem to tell you there are some great games to watch for that weekend.  This one is no different.  There are more than enough interesting games this week for you to watch.  Most of the Bubble teams are playing, and we have the crucial ones you can see on TV or online.  Then, you have some big games where both teams will be in the NCAA no matter what, so these games are big just to see who looks the part.  You also have a couple of rival games, and in one case there is a low-major conference rivalry game that ended in a fight the last time the two teams played on the same court where they will play this weekend.  You will see that we have compared this game to the 1965 Giants and Dodgers, but at least no baseball bats will be present (at least we hope).

All Times Eastern      
Time Home Visitor TV Why to Watch
Friday Night
7:00 PM Green Bay Oakland ESPNU 2nd place in Horizon on the line
7:00 PM Monmouth Siena ESPN2 Monmouth G Justin Robinson
8:00 PM Harvard Yale ESPN3 These two rivals will meet in Ivy Semis too
         
Saturday
Time Home Visitor TV Why to Watch
12:00 PM Clemson Florida St. ACC Net. Must win for CU on the Bubble
12:00 PM Connecticut SMU CBS SMU vying for #3 Seed
1:00 PM New Hampshire Md.-Baltimore Co. ESPN3 AmEst #3 Seed to avoid Verm. til finals
2:00 PM Kentucky Florida CBS SEC Reg. Season Championhip on the line
2:00 PM TCU West Virginia ESPN TCU needs win for Bubble Advancement
2:00 PM Oklahoma St. Texas Tech ESPNU TTU needs win for Bubble Advancement
2:00 PM Northern Iowa Illinois St. CBSSN ISU trying to stay on good part of Bubble
2:00 PM Rhode Island VCU ESPN2 URI needs win stay at bottom of Bubble
2:00 PM Vermont Stony Brook ESPN3 Top 2 teams in AmEst–Title preview?
3:00 PM Villanova Creighton Fox Top 20 Matchup
4:00 PM Vanderbilt Mississippi St. ESPNU VU needs win to stay on Bubble
4:00 PM Michigan Purdue ESPN2 Mich. trying to stay on good part of Bubble
4:00 PM Miami (Fla.) Duke CBS Miami can clinch NCAA w/win
4:00 PM Stanford Oregon Pac-12 Net. Ducks competing for #2 Seed
4:00 PM Iowa St. Baylor ESPN Baylor competing for #2 Seed
4:00 PM Providence Marquette CBSSN Both teams on Bubble–Marq in better pos.
6:00 PM Oklahoma Kansas St. ESPNU KSU must win to stay in Bubble
7:00 PM Columbia Penn ESPN3 Last Ivy League Tournament spot on line
8:00 PM Indiana Northwestern Big 10 Net. IU loss could be final straw for Crean
8:15 PM Arizona UCLA ESPN Game of the Day
10:00 PM Gonzaga BYU ESPN2 Zags Last resume builder until WCCT
         
Sunday
Time Home Visitor TV Why to Watch
1:00 PM UAB Middle Tennessee CBSSN MTSU slim chance for at-large if needed
2:00 PM Louisville Syracuse CBS Orange win secures NCAA bid
3:00 PM Central Florida Cincinnati CBSSN Will Tacko make Cinti Fall
3:30 PM Xavier Butler FS1 Game of the Day
4:00 PM Michigan St. Wisconsin CBS MSU win & on the “in” part of the Bubble
4:00 PM Iona Monmouth ESPN3 Mad Rivalry like 1965 Dodgers-Giants
6:30 PM Notre Dame Georgia Tech ESPNU Tech needs more W’s for NCAA bid

Conference Tournaments Begin Monday

One conference tournament commences play Monday night.  The Atlantic Sun Bracket is finalized, and the quarterfinal round begins on the 27th.  The A-Sun does not have one hosting site.  All games will be played on the home floor of the higher seed, and Florida Gulf Coast owns home court advantage throughout.

Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament–Higher Seed at Home
Quarterfinal Round, Monday, February 27
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Florida Gulf Coast 23-7 vs. 8 Stetson 11-20 7:00 PM WatchESPN
2 Lipscomb 19-12 vs. 7 NJIT 11-19 8:00 PM WatchESPN
3 North Florida 13-18 vs. 6 Jacksonville 17-14 7:00 PM WatchESPN
4 USC-Upstate 17-14 vs. 5 Kennesaw St. 13-17 7:00 PM WatchESPN

 

 

February 17, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For February 18-19, 2017

 

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Miami (Fla.) Clemson 3 5 5
North Carolina St. Notre Dame -7 -5 -4
Duke Wake Forest 9 11 10
Louisville Virginia Tech 14 14 15
Pittsburgh Florida St. -1 -5 -4
North Carolina Virginia 6 4 2
Cincinnati Tulsa 16 17 14
Houston SMU -1 1 -1
Baylor Kansas 2 2 7
Texas Kansas St. -1 1 2
West Virginia Texas Tech 14 12 9
Iowa St. TCU 8 8 4
Oklahoma St. Oklahoma 14 11 13
Seton Hall Villanova -7 -8 -5
Marquette Xavier 3 3 -1
Iowa Illinois 6 3 1
Purdue Michigan St. 13 13 8
Northwestern Rutgers 13 11 9
Ohio St. Nebraska 6 7 5
Wichita St. Northern Iowa 20 17 18
Oregon Colorado 12 15 18
Washington St. Arizona St. -2 -1 3
Washington Arizona -10 -10 -9
UCLA USC 12 12 9
Tennessee Missouri 14 12 15
Mississippi St. Florida -12 -11 -10
Alabama LSU 12 12 10
Texas A&M Auburn 4 4 8
Arkansas Ole Miss 7 7 5
Georgia Kentucky -7 -7 -4
Vanderbilt South Carolina -2 1 2
Gonzaga Pacific 34 27 29
BYU Saint Mary’s -3 -5 -5

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, February 19, 2017
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Georgia Tech Syracuse 1 -3 2
Butler DePaul 19 18 21
Creighton Georgetown 9 8 5
Wisconsin Maryland 7 8 4
Minnesota Michigan 4 1 6
Illinois St. Loyola (Chi.) 10 8 8
Oregon St. Utah -13 -10 -11

PiRate Ratings Top 25

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Villanova
  3. Kansas
  4. West Virginia
  5. Louisville
  6. North Carolina
  7. Florida
  8. Kentucky
  9. Virginia
  10. Duke
  11. Purdue
  12. Florida St.
  13. Baylor
  14. UCLA
  15. Wichita St.
  16. Oregon
  17. Saint Mary’s
  18. SMU
  19. Arizona
  20. Creighton
  21. Wisconsin
  22. Oklahoma St.
  23. Cincinnati
  24. Butler
  25. Notre Dame

 

ACC

  1. Louisville
  2. North Carolina
  3. Virginia
  4. Duke
  5. Florida St.
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Wake Forest
  8. Miami (Fla.)
  9. Clemson
  10. Syracuse
  11. Virginia Tech
  12. Georgia Tech
  13. Pittsburgh
  14. North Carolina St.
  15. Boston College

Big 12

  1. Kansas
  2. West Virginia
  3. Baylor
  4. Oklahoma St.
  5. Iowa St.
  6. TCU
  7. Kansas St.
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Texas

Big East

  1. Villanova
  2. Creighton
  3. Butler
  4. Marquette
  5. Xavier
  6. Seton Hall
  7. Providence
  8. Georgetown
  9. St. John’s
  10. DePaul

Big Ten

  1. Purdue
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Maryland
  4. Northwestern
  5. Minnesota
  6. Michigan
  7. Indiana
  8. Michigan St.
  9. Iowa
  10. Ohio St.
  11. Illinois
  12. Penn St.
  13. Nebraska
  14. Rutgers

Pac-12

  1. UCLA
  2. Oregon
  3. Arizona
  4. California
  5. Utah
  6. USC
  7. Colorado
  8. Stanford
  9. Washington
  10. Arizona St.
  11. Washington St.
  12. Oregon St.

SEC

  1. Florida
  2. Kentucky
  3. South Carolina
  4. Arkansas
  5. Tennessee
  6. Georgia
  7. Alabama
  8. Ole Miss
  9. Vanderbilt
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Auburn
  12. Mississippi St.
  13. Missouri
  14. LSU

Friday Night Games You Might Want To Watch

Don’t wait until Saturday to start following basketball games, because there are some interesting Friday night games this week.

Starting at 7 PM EST tonight, tune into ESPN2 to see Valparaiso visit Oakland in a battle of the top two teams in the Horizon League.  Alec Peters may be the best Mid-Major player you have not seen.  Peters averages 23.1 points per game and 10.7 rebounds a game for Valpo, and he is an excellent passer similar to Bill Walton in his UCLA days.

Earlier in the season, Oakland won by 12 at Valpo, never allowing the Crusaders to take a lead in the entire game.  Oakland guard Martez Walker put the game away in the opening minutes of the second half with a salvo of baskets while also being a force on the glass.

 

There are two important Ivy League games tonight.  Columbia visits Harvard in a game the Lions need to show they belong with the top three in the league.  Princeton, Harvard, and Yale are locks to make the four-team Ivy League Tournament, but Columbia still has work to do and has a weekend road set with Harvard and Dartmouth after losing at Penn and Princeton last weekend.  This game will be on ESPN3 at 7 PM EST.  Two more losses this weekend, and Columbia could be tied for fourth rather in fourth by two games over the lower division.

At 8 PM EST on ESPN3, Princeton visits Yale.  If the Tigers can get by the Bulldogs tonight, their chance of wrapping up the top seed in the Ivy League’s first ever tournament will be about 98%, since they already won at Harvard.  PU is riding an 11-game winning streak.

 

At 9 PM EST on ESPN2, Virginia Commonwealth visits Richmond in a big Atlantic 10 game.  VCU is in first place in the league, but the Rams need a resume boost to guarantee a possible at-large bid if they do not earn the automatic invitation.  Richmond has no signature wins, and the Spiders will have to run the table in the A-10 Tournament to get back to the Dance.

 

At 10 PM EST, California travels west across the Bay to take on Stanford at Maples Pavilion in a game that could move the Bears into safe at-large territory if they can take down their rival.  This game will air on FS1.  Coach Cuonzo Martin’s teams tend to become tougher defensively and gel as a team in the second half of the year, and this Bear team is 8-2 in its last 10 games with the two losses coming at Oregon and at Arizona.  Three weeks ago in Berkeley, 6-11 Ivan Rabb was unstoppable, hitting a couple of threes from the top of the key and getting some in-your-face baskets at the rim, as his 25 points destroyed the Cardinal.

 

Saturday’s Best Games

Kansas at Baylor 1 PM EST on CBS

Kentucky at Georgia 6 PM EST on ESPN

TCU at Iowa St. 6 PM EST on ESPNEWS

SMU at Houston 6 PM EST on ESPN2

Xavier at Marquette 8 PM EST on CBSSN

Virginia at North Carolina 8:15 PM EST on ESPN

USC at UCLA 10 PM EST on Pac-12 Network

Saint Mary’s at BYU 10 PM EST on ESPN2

 

Gonzaga 2017 vs. Wichita State 2014

Current undefeated and top-ranked Gonzaga reminds many fans of the 2014 Wichita State team that ran the table and earned the regular season number one ranking prior to entering NCAA Tournament action as the top seed.  That Shocker team beat only one top team that season, winning at Tennessee.  The Vols would go on to make the Sweet 16, before falling to Michigan by a bucket.

This year’s Gonzaga team has a slightly better schedule resume.  The Bulldogs own neutral court victories of Florida, Iowa State, and Arizona in an 8-day period just after Thanksgiving.  The Zags also swept top 20 Saint Mary’s by 23 and 10 points.

Let’s take a look at the Four Factors comparison between the two teams.

Effective Field Goal Percentage

Gonzaga has the clear advantage here.  The Bulldogs current EFG% is 58.1%.  Their regular FG% is 51.6%, and they are hitting 39% of their three-point attempts.  Defensively, GU gives up an EFG% of just 41.7%, for an EFG% margin of 16.4%, the best in the nation.

In 2014, Wichita State was quite good in this factor, but they were not as good as GU this year.  The Shockers’ EFG% was 52.6%, as there were games where they could not hit from outside 10 feet until the last 5-8 minutes of the second half.  Their defensive EFG% was very good at 44.6% for an EFG% margin of 8.0%.  It was not in the top 10 in the nation that year.

 

Turnover Rate

This factor is a wash between the two undefeated teams.  Gonzaga has a current TO rate of 13.8 and a defensive TO rate of 16.1 for a margin of 2.3%

Wichita State had a TO rate of 13.6 and a defensive TO rate of 16.3 for a margin of 2.7%.

 

Rebound Rate

This is where Wichita State had a major advantage.  The Shockers had an Offensive Rebound Rate of 35.0, which was very good, while their Defensive Rebound Rate was an excellent 26.0 for a Rebound Rate margin of 9.0%.  The Shockers did not have a dominant rebounder, but their three guards rebounded like power forwards.

 

Gonzaga has an Offensive Rebound Rate of 31.1 and a Defensive Rebound Rate of 27.0 for a Rebound Rate margin of 4.1.  The Bulldogs have won the battle of the boards in a large majority of their games thanks to the two-headed seven-foot dominators combining for 11 boards a game.  While the Bulldogs are quite good in this factor, Wichita State was dominant.

 

Free Throw Rate

This is the least important of the Four Factors, but it is still important just by being one of the four factors.  Gonzaga has one of the best FT Rate margins in the nation this year, and the reason is that opponents are forced to foul Gonzaga’s big dominating centers inside to prevent easy baskets.

GU’s offensive FT Rate is 22.9, and their defensive FT Rate is 15.3 for a FT Rate margin of 7.6%.  As good as this number is, 2014 Wichita State had one of the best FT Rates of all time.  Their Offensive FT Rate was 28.4, while their Defensive FT Rate was 18.8 for a FT Rate margin of 9.6%!

 

Other Factors

These factors were made under slightly different strengths of schedule.  Gonzaga’s current SOS averages about 2 points per game better than Wichita’s SOS from 2014.  This even includes Wichita’s game against Kentucky, which put an end to the undefeated season in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

The PiRate R+T ratings for both teams is a wash.  Gonzaga’s current R+T is 20.4, while Wichita State’s was 21.2.  Both teams received ample extra scoring opportunities due to superior rebounding and turnovers (with an emphasis on steals).

There is virtually no difference in quality depth, as both teams could go two deep at every position.

 

Wichita State’s Season Ended

The Shockers won their first NCAA Tournament game by 27 points over 16-seed Cal Poly.  Then they fell by 2 to Kentucky in the next round.  Kentucky won because Wichita State lacked the overall quickness to prevent numerous open shots by the Wildcats on both the perimeter and through penetration.  John Calipari adjusted well at halftime when Wichita State enjoyed a 6-point lead, and a 10-0 UK run in a three-minute stretch at the start of the second half gave Kentucky the lead.  Trailing by two with seven seconds left, Wichita State had a chance to tie or win the game, but Fred Van Vleet’s contested three-pointer from 21 feet out bricked off the backboard.

 

Gonzaga’s Vulnerability

It is difficult for some to understand that an undefeated team with a scoring margin of 23.8 points per game could really be vulnerable, but even the 1972 UCLA Bruins had a few liabilities.  Gonzaga is not unbeatable, as all college teams (even the UConn women’s team) can be defeated, even if it is not that likely.

A good pressure defense team can disrupt the Bulldogs enough to provide an opening to score some cheap baskets off steals and to force GU into foul trouble.  Florida almost had enough in the defensive tank to pull it off, but Gonzaga still won thanks to hot inside-outside shooting from Josh Perkins and Jonathan Williams, while the Bulldog defense stuck to the Gators like glue, forcing UF to shoot just 36.9% from the field and a pitiful 10.5% from behind the arc.

Gonzaga does not always put an opponent away once they have taken a double-digit lead.  They almost saw Iowa State come back from a 15-point halftime deficit and 18-point 2nd half deficit, as Iowa State’s Deonte Burton brought the Cyclones back to within a point with multiple chances to take the lead in the final minute.  ISU had a shot to win at the buzzer and could not get the shot off.  If GU does not help out on defense, a star player can possibly end the Bulldogs’ season in the Big Dance.

Our Take

We believe Gonzaga is clearly better than the 2014 Wichita State team.  If they enter the NCAA Tournament with a 33-0 record (which we believe is about 95% possible), they will obviously be a #1 seed.  The first game against a #16 seed should be no problem, and we cannot see any possible #8 or #9 seed finding a way to beat them two days later.

Once they get to the Sweet 16, there could be some teams capable of beating the Zags, but only if either Gonzaga lays a big egg or the opponent plays lights out.  The possible #4 or #5 seeds that could pose a problem for GU include West Virginia, Cincinnati, SMU, and South Carolina.  All four of these teams can force Gonzaga to turn the ball over and alter their offense to a point where they must shoot poor shots late in the shot clock.

If Gonzaga makes it to the Elite 8, there will be somebody like Louisville, Kentucky, Florida, Virginia, Duke, or North Carolina in their path.  All of these teams can beat Gonzaga half the time, so it would be considered a 50-50 game against any of these teams.

Looking at the Final Four if GU finally makes it to there, we actually do not think the other potential number one seeds are the teams likely to beat the Bulldogs.  Villanova, Kansas, and Baylor will not match up well with GU.  It will be another team, like one of the teams mentioned in the Elite 8 paragraph that will stop the undefeated streak–if it is stopped.

 

Since Indiana last blitzed the field in 1975-76 (and Rutgers made it to the Final Four undefeated), Indiana State in 1979, UNLV in 1991, and Kentucky in 2015, made it to the Final Four unbeaten, and none of the three won the title.

Indiana State was clearly not up to Michigan State’s talent level as Larry Bird could not beat Magic Johnson plus Greg Kelser plus 5 or 6 other really good Spartans.

UNLV met a really good Duke team that probably would not have beaten the Runnin’ Rebels more than 2 times out of 10.  However, the Blue Devils had been dealt a major black eye with the worst ever National Championship Game loss to UNLV the year before, and they came out punching.

Kentucky ran up against a much more poised and mature Wisconsin team, one in which the Badgers players had ma lot more NCAA Tournament experience.  UW played a smart game; they forced Kentucky to beat them by doing something other than one-on-one dribble drives and feeds when faced with double-teams.  The UK players did not come out punching, and their defense was subpar that night.

In Gonzaga’s favor, they are not a one-man team like Indiana State (Carl Nicks was good but not a star).  They will not face an opponent that has a grudge from losing by 30+ points the last time they played, but Florida and Arizona might know a little more about what it will take to win if there is a rematch in the Dance.  The Bulldogs are not an inexperienced team lacking maturity that will fall to a more experienced, more mature team, because Mark Few has too many mature players on this team for that to happen.

If Gonzaga loses in the NCAA Tournament, it will be because the other team has equal or superior talent and plays well enough with that talent to win.  Otherwise, GU will become the next undefeated national champion.

The PiRates say that Gonzaga has a 1 in 12 chance of going 39-0 and winning the national title and maybe a 1 in 11.8 chance of just winning the national title.  We believe they have a 1 in 3 chance of making it to the Final Four.

February 15, 2017

The Best of the Best and Where They Might Be Vulnerable–2nd Edition

A month ago, we showed you a couple dozen top college basketball teams’ advanced statistics and then tried to examine through those stats where each team might be vulnerable.  We found vulnerability with every team to some extent, so it is obvious that there is no clear-cut favorite to win the NCAA Championship.  The days of UCLA having a 95% chance of winning the title have come and gone.  The team with the most chance of winning it all this year might have something like a 7-8% chance of winning it all, while up to 20 teams may have 4% chances of cutting down the nets at University of Phoenix Stadium in The Valley of the Sun.

In our second edition of the Best of the Best, we see only minor changes from before.  While we hope all of you regularly read our little project, we know this is not so.  Therefore, we will bring the newcomers up to speed on how we operate here on the PiRate ship.

First, we are math geeks.  We have linear and boolean algebra experts helping us out, and our founder is an amateur mathlete and a professional in baseball analytics.  Fret not; you do not have to know algebra to enjoy this site.  We have done all the calculations.  We will show you some of the formulas that we use to come to our conclusions, but it won’t be on the test.  You get an A+ if you just show up (maybe that’s why we don’t teach at Cal Tech or M.I.T.).

The PiRates are proponents of the Four Factors in basketball.  We have found that with a little different emphasis in each of the factors, this set of data can be applied to the NBA, College, High School, Middle School, and even the kids’ youth leagues (although if somebody is using Four Factors’ data to coach a 5th and 6th grade team, they need to reconsider why they are coaching at all).

The Four Factors can really be considered Eight Factors, because they can be used to rate teams’ offense and defense.  When you subtract the defensive factor from the offensive factor in each of the four stats, you get a Four Factors margin (just like when you subtract points per game allowed from points per game scored, you get scoring margin).

Here are the Four Factors.  If you just want this week’s results, skip down to “BEST OF THE BEST”

  1. Effective Shooting Percentage
  2. Turnover Rate
  3. Offensive Rebounding Rate
  4. Free Throw Rate

1. Effective Shooting Percentage: (FG+(0.5*3pt))/FGA

The difference between regular field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage is that you count all made three-pointers as 1.5 made field goals.  So, if a team hits 25 of 55 shots and makes 6 three-pointers, their EFG% is: (25+(6*.05))/55 which equals 50.9%.

The defensive equivalent uses the same formula, and the difference between the offensive and defensive EFG% is the EFG% margin.

2. Turnover Rate (TOV/100 Possessions not including offensive rebounds)

The TOV Rate is the number of turnovers committed per every 100 possessions (and forced per 100 possessions for the defensive factor).  You can accurately measure possessions in college basketball by using the following formula.

FGA+(.475*FTA)+TO-Off. Rebounds

However for TOV Rate, we remove the offensive rebounds because it skews the rate.  When a team gets an offensive rebound, they almost always get another shot attempt and do not hold the ball long enough to commit additional turnovers at the same rate that they do in a possession not involving an offensive rebound.

If a team commits 14 turnovers in a game in which they had 69 possessions but with 8 offensive rebounds, their TOV Rate for the game is: 14/61, which comes to 23%

3. Offensive Rebound Rate: (Off. Rebounds/(Off. Rebounds + Opponents’ Def. Rebounds)

This is basically the percentage of offensive rebounds a team retrieves off its own missed shots.  If a team has 35 total missed shots in a game where a rebound is then retrieved by one team or the other, and they finish with 8 offensive rebounds, their Offensive Rebound Rate is: 8/35, which comes to 22.9%.

The defensive counterpart to this is Defensive Rebound Rate.  If a team’s opponent has 38 total missed shots in a game where there were rebounds retrieved by one team or the other, and the opponent finished with 6 offensive rebounds, then the team’s defensive rebound rate is: 6/38, which comes to 15.8%.  The rebound rate margin would be: 22.9-15.8 or 7.1%.

If you count the two examples, in standard parlance the better rebounding team won the battle of the boards 40-33.

4. Free Throw Rate 

The basketball math experts disagree on how to calculate this rating.  Some believe that just getting fouled is all that matters, since each foul makes it one foul closer to an opposing player becoming disqualified.  Others believe that this rate should be the percentage of free throw attempts to field goal attempts.  Others say, it should be made free throws per field goal attempts.

We disagree with these beliefs.  These numbers can easily become skewed when a team plays enough close games with the lead in the final minutes.  Said team may not attempt another field goal, while the opponent fouls them on purpose to stop the clock and hope this team misses foul shots.

Let’s say Florida leads South Carolina, Alabama. Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Tennessee by a few points in every game as the clock reaches 2 minutes.  These other teams foul the Gators’ players on purpose in hopes that the shots will be missed, and they can come down the floor and hit buckets to win the game or force overtime.

At the same time, Kentucky plays these same five teams and leads by 20 with 2 minutes to play.  These opponents do not need to foul at this point, as the reserves are ready to come in and try to get in the scorebook.  Are we to believe that Florida is a more effective free throw shooting team, simply because their opponents can still win in the final 2 minutes, so they will purposely foul, while there would be no use in fouling Kentucky with the Wildcats up 20.

So, what is the answer?  We must admit that there is no way to fully eliminate the intentional fouling in multiple close games, but at least we reduce it as much as possible.  And, we use made free throws to at least show that it is important to make them, especially in those close games.

We go with: (FT/100 Possessionsand this time we include offensive rebounds, because defenses frequently foul following an offensive rebound.

If a team makes 17 foul shots in a game in which they had 71 possessions, their Free Throw Rate is 17/71, which is 23.9%.

 

Now What

We take the stats (offense and defense) for each team we evaluate.  We have an algorithm (formula) that we use that gives different weight to each of the factors.  The weights differ depending on whether it is NBA, NCAA, High School, Middle School, or Youth.  Turnover margin matters less in the NBA than it does in college, and it matters more the lower you go down, until by the time you reach the 5th and 6th grade, it is the most important factor of all (so if you coach 5th and 6th grade basketball, you should do what you can to force as many turnovers as possible and then create the fastest offense you can have so as not to commit too many turnovers–think about a 10-second offense).

Now, you should have picked up on the apparent weaknesses of the Four Factors for college basketball.  By now, you have probably thought that Gonzaga’s stats might look a lot better than Wisconsin’s stats, because the Bulldogs play a much weaker conference schedule than the Badgers.  We use the strengths of schedule for every team to adjust their factors to a point where we hope we have found a happy midpoint to show what each teams’ stats might be against average competition.

Also, think about a team that plays 18 home games, 4 neutral site games, and 9 road games, versus another team that plays 14  home games, 3 neutral site games, and 14 road games.  We adjust for this as well.

As a point of fact, we treat schedule strength and ability to win away from home (nobody plays at home in the Big Dance) as importantly as a good horse handicapper treats class in a horse race.  The mid-major and low-major teams are like claiming and allowance horses, while the power leagues are like stakes-racing horses.  North Carolina is the horse that runs in the Breeder’s Cup Classic, while Cal State Bakersfield is still a maiden until it wins its small track maiden claiming race at WAC Downs.  We know which horse is going to finish ahead of the other as long as it does not throw his jockey.  The stakes horse finishes 20 lengths ahead.

R+T

The last component in our best of the best look is something we trademarked at the PiRate Ratings.  R+T is a combination of rebounding, turnovers, and steals.  It reveals how many extra shooting opportunities a team might have against any type of opponent.  To have a really good R+T number, a team must be equally competent in rebounding, forcing turnovers while not committing many, and by getting steals.

The formula is: (Rebound Margin * 2) + (Steals per Game * 0.5) + (6 – Opponents’ Steals per Game) + (Turnover Margin)

If a team has an R+T rating better than 20, then they can overcome a cold shooting night and still win an NCAA Tournament game over a team with an R+T rating below 10.  If a team has an R+T rating in the 28-35 range, they will be very difficult to beat if they also come from a power conference and wins consistently away from home.  If you find a team from one of the top leagues with an R+T over 28 and said team wins 75% of its games away from home, you have a team that frequently wins four games and makes the Final Four.

To the contrary, if you find a team that looks really good on paper, and they have a gaudy won-loss record, but their R+T rating is under 8, watch out.  All it takes is one cold shooting night or one hot shooting night from the opponent. and this team can go home.

And, if you find a power league team with a negative R+T rating, give great consideration toward picking the Cinderella underdog to pull off the upset in the Big Dance.  A majority of the higher seed power conference teams with negative R+T ratings actually lose in their first tournament game.  It does not happen that often, but ask Georgetown fans about Florida Gulf Coast and Virginia Commonwealth.  Ask Vanderbilt fans about Siena, Richmond, and Murray State.  Ask Purdue fans about Arkansas-Little Rock.  In all these cases, the favorite had a lousy R+T rating, while the underdog had decent or even very good R+T ratings.  The low R+T teams can win in the regular season against lesser-quality teams, but in the Big Dance, that stuff doesn’t cut it.  It is vital to get extra scoring opportunities while limiting them to your opponents.

Now it’s time for the reveal.

BEST OF THE BEST

We look at 28 teams this week.  As before, we have selected three mid-major teams as possible upset winners in an opening game if they get the right draw.  We do not include #1 Gonzaga as a mid-major.

We are listing these teams alphabetically.  The first four columns have already been adjusted using our algorithm.

Team FG TO OR FT SOS R+T Road  W-L% Poss/G
Arizona 3.3 0.1 1.1 1.0 57.8 18.3 75.00 66.9
Baylor 4.7 -0.4 1.4 0.3 61.7 17.3 72.73 65.6
Butler 1.8 1.0 0.1 0.2 60.4 9.4 66.67 67.7
Cincinnati 5.0 1.0 0.7 0.0 54.9 18.0 70.00 67.1
Creighton 5.6 0.5 -0.7 0.2 57.3 4.2 90.91 72.9
Duke 4.1 0.4 0.7 0.7 58.5 15.1 63.64 70.7
Florida 3.3 1.1 0.5 0.8 59.4 13.3 77.78 71.5
Florida St. 4.4 0.8 0.3 0.1 58.8 13.4 50.00 73.4
Gonzaga 8.5 0.5 0.6 0.7 54.3 20.1 100.00 70.9
Kansas 4.2 0.2 0.7 0.1 59.9 12.1 83.33 72.6
Kentucky 3.2 1.1 0.9 0.4 60.2 17.7 72.73 76.6
Louisville 3.7 1.0 1.2 0.1 61.0 19.9 66.67 69.6
Middle Tenn. 3.1 1.0 0.9 -0.3 50.9 16.3 84.62 66.3
North Carolina 2.1 0.8 2.6 0.6 59.1 31.6 61.54 74.2
Notre Dame 3.2 0.7 -0.4 0.3 58.1 5.2 54.55 68.7
Oklahoma St. 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.1 59.6 13.4 58.33 73.9
Oregon 5.2 0.6 0.7 0.5 58.4 15.6 63.64 69.6
Purdue 5.5 -0.3 1.3 0.8 56.6 18.0 72.73 71.2
SMU 3.9 0.5 2.2 0.7 54.0 26.7 63.64 63.7
South Carolina 2.4 1.3 0.5 -0.2 56.8 11.4 70.00 71.4
St. Mary’s 5.8 -0.2 2.0 0.3 54.0 20.7 90.00 60.4
UCLA 6.7 0.0 0.0 0.3 52.5 10.3 83.33 75.2
UNC-Wilm. 2.0 1.3 0.6 -0.3 50.2 12.4 73.33 72.7
Villanova 5.2 0.4 0.4 0.9 57.9 13.9 85.71 65.8
Virginia 5.3 1.1 0.9 -0.2 59.8 17.0 66.67 61.8
West Virginia 2.6 2.7 0.7 0.2 55.4 20.9 63.64 73.9
Wichita St. 5.5 1.0 1.5 0.5 49.8 23.6 75.00 70.5
Wisconsin 3.3 0.8 1.8 0.4 54.1 22.4 72.73 65.9

Vulnerabilities

Arizona: The Wildcats do not have the look of a Final Four contender at this point.  They do not have a glaring weakness, but their strengths lack muscle.  Their TO and OR numbers would be adequate if they had a better EFG% margin, but teams with their resume seldom win four games in the NCAA Tournament.  They do have a decent road win-loss record, and it includes a win at Pauley Pavilion.

Baylor: The Bears are very vulnerable to pressure defenses, as their game against West Virginia showed.  BU turns the ball over just a little too much and then does not force many turnovers on their defensive end.  A strong schedule predicts that they should slide through to the Sweet 16, but after that point, any pressure defense from a quality team is going to make the going tough for BU.

Butler: In December and early January, it looked like this Bulldog edition could contend for a deep run in the Dance.  Now, it looks more like Butler could be a team to watch out for an opening game upset.  They might handle pressure defenses better than most other tournament teams, but the Bulldogs lack enough rebounding strength and do not shine in the EFG% department.  It may be a stretch for this team to make the Sweet 16, and it is 50-50 as of now whether they can get to the Round of 32 if they fall to a 5-seed.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats are somewhat of a mystery.  They looked like an Elite 8 team and Final Four contender until they took a trip to Dallas, where SMU stopped the UC offense and won an ugly contest.  It’s a good bet that the Bearcats and Mustangs will meet again in the AAC Championship Game.  If Cinti enters the Big Dance playing at their peak, then the Bearcats should move on to the Sweet 16 with a chance to advance past that if they get a good draw and do not have to face a North Carolina, Villanova, Florida, or Oregon, teams with the right type of offense to hurt the Bearcats.

Creighton: This one is cut and dry.  The Blue Jays look like a team that will lose its first game in the NCAA Tournament.  They do not rebound the ball well enough to advance, and their R+T is the lowest of the 28 teams we have featured today.  We expect Creighton to go home quickly in the Dance, and a team like Monmouth, Wichita State, Middle Tennessee, or Bucknell could possibly dominate them in the Round of 64.

Duke: Coach K is back on the sideline, and there is going to be some silent gossip going around that he might be thinking about retiring.  So, his players might pick up on this and play the best they can play.  It won’t take much for this team to move into the Final Four discussion.  Duke is a better version of Arizona this season.  The Blue Devils’ numbers are just enough better to move from a Sweet 16 to an Elite 8 and better team.  The one thing that bothers us is that Duke has not always been sharp away from Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Florida: A month ago, we considered Florida a two and out team at best.  The Gators have started to turn things around this year, and their numbers are improving as the season continues.  They are not West Virginia when it comes to pressure defense, but they are better than most of the rest in that regard.  A dominant rebounding team may give the Gators fits.  An exceptional record away from home and a tough schedule indicates that the Gators are a force to be reckoned with and a Final Four contender this year.

Florida St: The Seminoles have begun to swoon a bit, and with every successive road game in the ACC, they look more vulnerable than the previous game.  Winning big at home and then losing on the road does not lead to a lot of success in the NCAA Tournament.  However, a few well-timed ACC road wins and a run in the ACC Tournament could give FSU a resume not that different than that of Duke..

Gonzaga: In case you didn’t know, technically a West Coast Conference team has won the NCAA Championship before.  When San Francisco won back-to-back championships in 1955 and 1956, they were a member of the California Basketball Association, which would be renamed the West Coast Athletic Conference in 1957.  This Bulldog team is different from others that did not make the Final Four, namely they are quite strong defending in the paint and then preventing offensive rebounds.  Opponents do not shoot the ball with much success against the GU defense, while the Bulldogs have a strong shooting offense.  However, they have yet to face a really quality pressure defense, and they could be somewhat vulnerable to a West Virginia, Florida, or even a South Carolina.

Kansas: This is not Bill Self’s best Kansas team, but if you watch this Jayhawk team play, you can see a winning attitude, where KU seems to find a way to win games.  A strong schedule and very successful road record tells us that Self definitely has a Final Four contender.  We think that the Jayhawks will meet their match in an Elite 8 matchup, because teams with this resume seldom get lucky more than once, and KU may need a little luck against other power teams.

Kentucky:  Don’t underestimate John Calipari’s ability to get a bunch of 5-star players to play cohesively as a team.  It isn’t easy.  The Wildcats could easily become a group of future first round picks that do not hustle, and even let up so as not to suffer an injury just before the draft.  Then again, this team has had bouts of inconsistency.  When the players are on their game, there are few teams (maybe no other teams) that can match up with them on talent alone.  When they are acting like they have ADHD, they are vulnerable even to mediocre .500 teams.  We won’t dismiss, Cal’s kids, because their resume says they have Final Four numbers.  They also have the fastest pace of any team that will be in the Dance, and they could wear opponents down.

Louisville: A little dissension can become a lot of dissension in a hurry, and recent troubles involving players on this team could come back to hurt the Cardinals.  UL looked like a team headed to Spring Break in their loss to Virginia when not at full strength.  When they are on their game, they are the best team in the Commonwealth, and that says they are a Final Four contender.

Middle Tennessee: The top mid-major team will not be overlooked this year, when they trounced Michigan State in the opening game last year.  The Blue Raiders are a better team in 2017 than they were in 2016, so it is not unthinkable to say they are a sweet 16 contender.  Their pressure man-to-man defense creates a lot of turnovers with easy scoring opportunities thanks to some quick perimeter players.  Their big liability is their schedule strength, as it is too low for a team to think about advancing past the sweet 16.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels looked like the best team by far back before New Year’s.  They still look like one of the best, but their EFG% margin has fallen a bit too much, while their incredible rebounding prowess has weakened a little.  We are not saying that UNC is doomed to lose in a big upset, but we are saying they could fall in a mild upset, but not until the Elite 8 round.  If we had to choose one team with the absolute best resume of a national champion, North Carolina would be surely be one of those teams in the discussion thanks to the Heels owning the best R+T rating; they are the only team with an R+T in excess of 28.  It will take a team that can shoot lights out from outside and put up a good fight inside to beat UNC, but there are a half-dozen or so teams this year that can do it.

Notre Dame: For the same reason as Creighton, we do not see a deep run for the Fighting Irish this year.  They cannot hold their own on the backboards, and they do not dominate teams in the field goal department.  and, they are not a team capable of forcing a lot of turnovers.  Their current R+T is the second worst in this field.  They do not look like a sweet 16 team.

Oklahoma St.: Brad Underwood was not supposed to get the Cowboys to the Dance in year one in Stillwater.  We’re not sure this OSU team could beat Underwood’s Stephen F. Austin team from last year, but the Cowboys have improved their resume the most in the last month.  If they continue to improve, then they will be a dangerous team in mid-March.  When Underwood gets his type of player on campus, watch out!

Oregon: Which Oregon team will show up in March–The team that beat Arizona by a million points, or the team that blew a 19-point lead to UCLA?   If basketball were all about shooting and defending the shot with no rebounding or turnovers, the Ducks would be a national title contender.  Still, this team would not surprise us if they cruise to the sweet 16 and survive to the elite 8 like last year.

Purdue: In past years, Gene Keady coaching tree members have under-performed in the NCAA Tournament, and they all share something in common.  These coaches stress half-court defense and prefer not to pressure the ball and play in the passing lanes.  They train their players to play smart and not take many chances, trying to win a game one possession at a time.  These coaches should have become football coaches.  In the NCAA Tournament, a team needs to have a way to get extra shooting opportunities, when they run up against an opponent that can shoot better than they can.  Purdue has its best chance in a long time to break that bad streak this year, not because the Boilermakers can force a lot of turnovers (which they cannot).  PU is such a dominating rebounding team that they can get those extra chances by taking multiple shots per possession.  We think PU has its best shot to get past the first weekend to the sweet 16 and maybe elite 8.  Still, the Boilermakers are not in the same class with the final four contenders.

SMU: Tim Jankovich served as an assistant under multiple NCAA Tournament coaches including two that have championship rings–Bill Self and Larry Brown.  Jankovich has a sleeper in Dallas this year.  SMU excels in all four phases of the game.  A schedule that is on the lower side of strength when compared to ACC, Big 12, and SEC teams, and a road record that is not indicative of winning 4 NCAA Tournament games probably foretells an exit in the Sweet 16 or round of 32.

South Carolina: Just getting to the NCAA Tournament after a long drought should be enough for Gamecock fans this year.  USC does not possess a Final Four resume, and it is debatable if what they have is strong enough to predict a sweet 16 appearance.  Their R+T is 11.0, which is okay in the first game and better than average for a second game, but the entire range of data puts them in the same boat as Arizona.

St. Mary’s: In a typical year, the Gaels might be considered the darling of the best of the rest conferences.  SMC has advanced to the sweet 16 before, and it would not be a major shock if they do so again this year with an incredible defense, a decent group of rebounders, and a tough road team.  Like Gonzaga, they do not have an overwhelmingly strong schedule.

UCLA: The Bruins can shoot an opponent out of a gym in two minutes, but other than that, they do not shine in the other departments.  They play better on the road than they do at home, and they play at a pace that can cause a lot of problems for teams that do not have a lot of depth or conditioning.  However, in the Big Dance, most teams have ample supplies of both as well as competent defenses.  Because UCLA cannot rebound or force turnovers well enough, this does not look like their year.  A run to the sweet 16 could be bumpy, and if they sons of Westwood make it that far, they should be an underdog in that game.

UNC-Wilmington: The Seahawks are starting to fade, and now it is only a 50-50 chance they will win the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament and earn a spot in the NCAA field.  A month ago, they were on par with Middle Tennessee as the top mid-Major threat.  This is the one team in this field that is hurt by fouling too much, and it comes because the players are getting hurt when opponents break their pressure defense.  Still, UNCW could recover and be a tough out in the NCAA Tournament.  They have the confidence.

Villanova: The last team to repeat as National Champions was Duke in 1992 and 1993.  Before that, you have to go back to UCLA in 1967-68-69-70-71-72-and 73.  The Wildcats could be the next one to do it, because this team is even better than last year’s champion.  VU wins on the road against quality competition, and while they are not exceptionally strong in the R+T department, they are adequate.  The Wildcats will have trouble with a Kentucky, West Virginia, or even against a Middle Tennessee or Wichita St.  However, we expect VU to be in the elite 8 with a chance to make it back to the Final Four.

Virginia: Teams that play like Virginia seldom win the NCAA Tournament.  They always seem to run up against a team that can score on a couple of cheap baskets, and they cannot make up the difference in the remaining amount of time.  UVA has good numbers in all but their free throw rate.  The Cavaliers have played a tough schedule, but we do not believe they can win four games against NCAA Tournament-caliber teams.  We expect the Cavs to be put out as early as the second game and most likely in the sweet 16.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers are going to embarrass their early round opponents, possibly winning their first two games by a combined 50 points.  Then, they are going to run into trouble in either the sweet 16 or elite 8, when they face a team that does not wilt to their defensive pressure and one that can dominate them on the glass.  WVU’s biggest liability is that they don’t shoot the ball all that well.  They can still beat an average team while having an awful shooting night, because they can get 10 extra good shooting opportunities.  A team like Kentucky or North Carolina will turn the tables and embarrass the Mountaineers.

Wichita St.: The Shockers shocked the world with a Final Four trip and then shocked the world the following year by going undefeated in the regular season with a team that looked like it could contend for the title.  WSU ran up against an underrated Kentucky team that advanced to the national title game.  This year’s team is somewhere in between those two teams from their past.  Coach Greg Marshall has a team with no apparent weakness.  The only fly in the ointment is that this team has played a weak slate, and it is going to come back to haunt them when they face a power conference opponent like Duke or Baylor.

Wisconsin: The Badgers are the Midwest version of Arizona this year.  They have decent numbers in all respects, and they have played well on the road.  However, the Big Ten is definitely down this year.  We do not see a repeat of a couple years ago for the Badgers.  UW is no better than a sweet 16 team for now.

 

 

February 13, 2017

The Pirate Ratings Bracketology Gurus Report For February 13, 2017

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:27 am

Sunday Excitement

Before we get started with today’s Bracketology Gurus report, we ask you which TV game this weekend became the most exciting one of all.  We hear some of you voting for the Virginia Tech-Virginia game Sunday, the Gonzaga-St. Mary’s game and Kansas-Texas Tech game Saturday, and a smattering of votes for games in leagues that some of you like over others, maybe the ACC or Big Ten.

If you found us for the first time today, you must know that we have esoteric tastes on the PiRate ship.  Our founder contacted this writer around 5PM Sunday to tell us that we had just missed the best game of the weekend, and probably 99.9% of the college basketball fandom didn’t even know the game he watched was televised.

The Captain told us that we should have watched the Vermont-Maryland-Baltimore County game yesterday.  He tuned in to see if how this Catamount team compared to former coach Tom Brennan’s last team in the Green Mountain State.  That team upset Syracuse in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Captain was very impressed with both teams yesterday and became an instant admirer of UMBC’s little sparkplug, K.J. Maura.  The 5 foot 8 inch and 140 pound Maura was overlooked by all major college teams and had to go the junior college route to make it to the low-major Terriers.  Yesterday, Maura was all over the gym, leading UMBC to an almost incredible comeback after trailing by 18 points in the second half.  The Terriers cut the Vermont lead down to two points with less than 30 seconds to go, and after a steal of an inbound pass, they had plenty of time to set up a final shot, but panic set in leading to an off-balance shot, when Maura was one pass away ready to force the action.  Still, UMBC had a chance to send the game into overtime with 2.1 seconds left on the clock.  A deflected inbound pass found Maura with the ball at halfcourt with the final second on the clock quickly ticking down to goose eggs.  Maura threw up a 46 1/2 foot prayer that was almost answered TWICE!  The ball kicked off the front of the rim and then bounced straight up about 13 feet up from the floor.  In what seemed like 5 seconds to the fans, gravity finally sent the ball toward Earth as the red light illuminated the board like a diner billboard advertising the daily special.  It looked like the pumpkin might drop in the basket, but it fell behind the backboard, giving the win to the Catamounts.

When we tell you avid basketball fans to give the low major and mid major conferences a chance, we really mean it.  Some of the most exciting games are in these mass media ignored leagues.  The Mother Ship will hype these leagues during Championship Week, but you should watch some of these league’s games now when the teams are fighting for spots in the standings, where as opposed to the big conferences, many of the lower leagues value the standings by awarding home games to the superior seeds.

Oh, and the Vermont-UMBC game had the great John Feinstein as the color commentator.  His Schtick reminds our founder of Vin Scully doing a basketball game–great stories with great commentary.

*********

BRACKETOLOGY For 2/13/17

27 days from today, we will know the magic 68 teams that can still win the national championship.  27 days out, our Bracketology Gurus have come to a consensus on 53 of the expected 68 that will receive invitations to the Dance.  15 teams could not receive 100% of the Guru vote.  We will call all the teams that received votes but did not receive a unanimous consensus as our Bubble for the week.  The 15-highest vote-receiving Bubble teams are in the Field of 68 for now, while the rest of the Bubble teams are basically NIT teams for now.

Once again, the Gurus come within one vote of agreeing that 22 conferences will send just one representative to the NCAA Tournament, with the lone dissenter believing that the Missouri Valley Champion runner-up will be a #1 seed in the NIT.  We will go with 22 one-bid leagues and include two Valley teams in the Dance.

ONE-BID LEAGUES

America East: Vermont 13-0/23-5

Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast 9-2/20-7

Big Sky: Weber St. 10-2/15-8

Big South: UNC-Asheville 12-2/20-7

Big West: UC-Davis 8-2/16-9

Colonial: UNC-Wilmington 11-3/22-5

Conference USA: Middle Tennessee 12-1/22-4

Horizon: Valparaiso 11-2/21-5

Ivy: Princeton 8-0/15-6

Metro Atlantic: Monmouth 13-2/21-5

Mid-American: Akron 11-1/21-4

Mideastern Athletic: UNC-Central 9-1/18-6

Mountain West: Boise St. 9-3/16-7

Northeast: Mount St. Mary’s 12-2/14-13

Ohio Valley: Belmont 12-1/18-5

Patriot: Bucknell 11-2/19-7

Southern: Furman 11-2/18-8

Southland: New Orleans 10-3/15-9

Southwestern Athletic: Texas Southern 10-1/14-10

Summit: North Dakota St. 9-3/17-8

Sun Belt: Arkansas St. 9-3/18-7

Western Athletic: Cal State Bakersfield 8-1/17-7

 

The Bubble

Math can be a funny thing sometimes if you are a math geek.  While 15 teams made this week’s PiRate Bracketology Gurus Bubble List, a few of them actually finished with a better seed than a few of the teams that were consensus picks.  The reason for this is that a couple of the teams that did not receive consensus selection were seeded considerably higher than some of the consensus teams in a three or four of the dozen Guru’s lists.  We expect that in the next few weeks, this will work itself out, and there will be a consensus Bubble in early March.

In order, here is this week’s Bubble.  The top 15 in this Bubble make the Dance this week, while number 16 starts the group of first teams out.

  1. Virginia Commonwealth 10-2/20-5
  2. Miami (Fla.) 6-6/16-8
  3. Michigan St. 7-5/15-10
  4. Michigan 6-6/16-9
  5. TCU 6-6/17-8
  6. California 9-4/18-7
  7. Syracuse 8-5/16-10
  8. Minnesota 6-6/18-7
  9. MVC #2 (Illinois St. for now  13-1/21-5)
  10. Kansas St. 5-7/16-9
  11. Oklahoma St. 5-7/16-9
  12. Georgia Tech 6-6/15-10
  13. Seton Hall 5-7/15-9
  14. Marquette 6-7/15-10
  15. Arkansas 7-5/18-7
  16. Wake Forest 6-7/15-10
  17. USC 8-5/21-5
  18. Indiana 5-8/15-11
  19. Tennessee 6-6/14-11
  20. Rhode Island 8-4/16-8
  21. Auburn 5-7/16-9
  22. Pittsburgh 3-9/14-11
  23. Clemson 3-9/13-11
  24. Providence 5-8/15-11
  25. Utah 8-5/17-8
  26. Richmond 9-3/15-9
  27. Texas Tech 4-8/16-9
  28. Alabama 7-5/14-10
  29. Houston 9-4/18-7
  30. Ole Miss 6-6/15-10

As you can see, the Bubble has a lot of teams that really should not even be part of the conversation, but this is one of those seasons where 25 teams are really good and the next 55 teams are rather mediocre.  The law of averages would have us believe that one of these mediocre teams will enter the Field of 68 with 12 or more losses and then advance to the Elite 8 and maybe even steal a spot in the Final Four.  Kansas 27-11 (1988), Villanova 25-10 (1985), and North Carolina State 26-10 (1983) from the past even won the whole thing with a lot more losses than the top teams that fell by the wayside those three seasons.

Here is the seed list for all 68 teams

Teams in CAPS represent selected Conference Champion of One Bid League

1–Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor

2–North Carolina, Florida St., Louisville, Oregon

3–Virginia, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky

4–Duke, West Virginia, Butler, UCLA

5–Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Purdue

6–SMU, Creighton, Maryland, South Carolina

7–Dayton, Xavier, Northwestern, St. Mary’s

8–Iowa St., VCU, Miami (Fla.), Michigan St.

9–Virginia Tech, TCU, Michigan, California

10–Syracuse, Minnesota, Wichita St., Kansas St.

11–Oklahoma St., Illinois St., MIDDLE TENNESSEE, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall

12–UNC-WILMINGTON, AKRON, VALPARAISO, Marquette, Arkansas

13–VERMONT, MONMOUTH, BOISE ST., BELMONT

14–FLORIDA-GULF COAST, PRINCETON, BUCKNELL, ARKANSAS ST.

15–UNC-ASHEVILLE, FURMAN, NORTH DAKOTA ST., CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD

16-NEW ORLEANS, TEXAS SOUTHERN, WEBER ST., CAL-DAVIS, UNC-CENTRAL, MOUNT ST. MARY’S

 

First Four in Dayton

16-Weber St. vs. Mount St. Mary’s

16-Cal-Davis vs. UNC-Central

12-Marquette vs. Arkansas

11-Georgia Tech vs. Seton Hall

 

Last Four Byes

Illinois St.

Oklahoma St.

Kansas St.

Minnesota

 

First Four Out

Wake Forest

USC

Indiana

Tennessee

 

Next Four Out

Rhode Island

Auburn

Clemson

Pittsburgh

Coming Mid-week: We take our next look at the top teams that we consider to be real title contenders and apply our 4 Factors Data and PiRate Ratings Criteria to see which teams have staying power.  Does Gonzaga have what it takes to give Mark Few his first Final Four appearance, or are the Bulldogs headed for an early stumble?  Can Kentucky meld into a real team of character rather than 7 youthful characters and make a run to the title?  Could this be Coach K’s final season in Durham, and could he repeat the performance of John Wooden and go out on top?  Or, is there another team lurking behind the current contenders that may not be getting its due?  Find the answers, or at least our version of the answers, in our next report.  Time permitting, it will be published Wednesday late afternoon (Eastern Time).

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