The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 25, 2017

PiRate Ratings Elite 8 Preview

RED-WHITE-BLUE RATINGS

Saturday, March 25
Team Team Red White Blue
Gonzaga Xavier 11 8 3
Kansas Oregon 6 3 3

 

Sunday, March 26
Team Team Red White Blue
Kentucky North Carolina 1 -2 -1
Florida South Carolina 6 7 5

 

PiRate Ratings National Championship Criteria Breakdown of the Elite 8

Gonzaga vs. Xavier

Power Conference: Xavier-Yes, Gonzaga-No    Favors Xavier

Strength of Schedule: Xavier 58.70, Gonzaga 54.02  Favors Xavier by a little

R+T Rating: Gonzaga 20.3, Xavier 14.4  Favors Gonzaga by a little

Scoring Margin: Gonzaga 22.3, Xavier 4.0  Favors Gonzaga by a good amount

FG% Differential: Gonzaga 14.5, Xavier 1.1  Favors Gonzaga by a lot

Road W-L: Gonzaga 20-0, Xavier 12-9   Favors Gonzaga by a good amount

Winning Streaks: Gonzaga 29 & 6, Xavier 7 & 6  Favors Gonzaga by a little

Expected Possessions in this Game: 69 per team  Favors neither team

Outcome: Gonzaga has everything going for it except conference strength and schedule.  If the Bulldogs had the same numbers and played in the Big East, they would have the perfect resume for a national champion.  However, there hasn’t been a national champion from outside a power conference since UNLV won in 1990, and before that, it was Texas Western in 1966.  Of course, non power conference teams have made it to the Final Four numerous times in the past decade.

Criteria Selection: GONZAGA 75  Xavier 70

 

Kansas vs. Oregon

Power Conference: Yes for Both   Favors neither team

Strength of Schedule: Kansas 58.11, Oregon 56.83  Only slightly favors Kansas

R+T Rating: Oregon 14.8,  Kansas 12.6  Only slightly favors Oregon

Scoring Margin: Oregon 13.5, Kansas 12.0  Not much difference

FG% Differential: Oregon 7.7, Kansas 7.5  A Push

Road W-L: Kansas 16-3, Oregon 15-5  This favors Kansas, but it is almost a home game for KU

Winning Streaks: Kansas 18 & 8, Oregon 17 & 8  A Push

Expected Possessions in this Game: 71  Slightly favors Kansas

Outcome: We have to include two extra criteria here.  Oregon’s stats must be slightly discounted due to the loss of Boucher, and Kansas is playing this game in their favorite venue not named Phog Allen Fieldhouse, earning about two points of home court advantage.   Otherwise, this game would be a tossup, and it still might be rather close.  However, watching what KU did to a quality Purdue team on this court Thursday night, it makes us wonder if any college team can beat Kansas in KC.  Oops!  That happened in the Big 12 Tournament, so think again–except not today.

Criteria Selection: KANSAS 83  Oregon 75

 

Florida vs. South Carolina

Power Conference: Yes for both and both in the SEC so this is a third game between these teams.  Both teams won the game on their home floor.

Strength of Schedule: Florida 59.34, South Carolina 56.23  A slight edge to the Gators

R+T Rating: Florida 11.1, South Carolina 10.4  About the same

Scoring Margin: Florida 11.9, South Carolina 8.3  A small edge to the Gators

FG% Differential: Florida 4.3, South Carolina 2.3  A small edge to the Gators

Road W-L: Florida 18-7, South Carolina 10-7, actually about the same as UF played a lot of early neutral site games in their own backyard while their gym was being refurbished

Winning Streaks: Florida 9 & 7, South Carolina 8 & 5

Expected Possessions in this Game: 71  Favors neither team

Outcome: South Carolina’s defense in their Sweet 16 game against Baylor was the best we have seen in a game this late into the Big Dance since Georgetown manhandled Kentucky in 1984, which comes on top of one of the best offensive performances in their win over Duke.  Can the Gamecocks do this to a team that is not just a conference foe, but a rather strong rival?  Florida might also be a tad fatigued coming off the overtime win over Wisconsin, but it helps that the Gators are facing a team they know about without having to look at the film for a long time.  This will be the most exciting game of this round, even more exciting than the big UK-UNC match, because this will have the feel of the 7th game of an NBA playoff series.

Criteria Selection: FLORIDA 67  South Carolina 64

 

Kentucky vs. North Carolina

Power Conference: Yes for both  Before the tourney started, the ACC might have gotten a little extra over the SEC, but with 3 of the Elite 8 from the SEC, it almost makes us think about the opposite

Strength of Schedule: North Carolina 59.00, Kentucky 58.63   A Push

R+T Rating: North Carolina 31.0,  Kentucky 17.1  UNC has the best R+T in NCAA basketball, but Kentucky’s is rather high as well, and in the course of this game, it will not give the Tar Heels a lot of advantage

Scoring Margin: North Carolina 14.7, Kentucky 13.8  Not enough difference to matter

FG% Differential: North Carolina 5.6,  Kentucky 5.2  A Push

Road W-L: Kentucky 17-3, North Carolina 14-7,  A slight edge to the Wildcats

Winning Streaks: Kentucky 14 & 7, North Carolina 13 & 7, While this looks like another push, Kentucky’s 14-game winning streak is ongoing, and there is a definite difference in the Wildcats’ performance in this streak, while Carolina played its best basketball in November and December

Expected Possessions in this Game: 74,  which favors Kentucky just like it did in December

Outcome: We selected Kentucky to run the table and win the National Championship before the NCAA Tournament started, and nothing has changed our beliefs that the Wildcats are the best team in the nation when they want to play up to their potential.  It can be difficult to motivate a stable full of future NBA Lottery picks, but Coach John Calipari is a master psychologist with an ability to coerce through his many talks with his players.  When any of the starters and a couple reserves can go off and score 25 points in a game, it is hard to prepare in advance.  Stop Monk, and someone else has a career night.

Criteria Selection: KENTUCKY 85  North Carolina 73

March 23, 2017

PiRate Ratings Bracketnomics 505 Sweet 16 Criteria Reveal

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:00 am

If you get to start anew with your brackets in whatever pool you are playing in as a participant, we have updated our PiRate Ratings Criteria for the Sweet 16.
If you played along with us, you should have 10 teams left in your Sweet 16, having 26 of the 32 first round winners. If you are in a league where you get one point for each winner that goes from 64 to 32, and two points for every correct Sweet 16 team, then you should be sitting pretty with 46 points. Hopefully, we will help you score some 3-point winners the next two nights, whether you must stick with your original picks, or you get to start over with the 16 remaining teams.

To understand our methods if you don’t already know, refer to this primer: https://piratings.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/bracketnomics-505-the-advanced-level-course-in-bracket-selection/

Here is a breakdown of each game for the next two nights, followed by an update at how the Elite 8 and Final Four look using our criteria.

Oregon vs. Michigan
Power Conference: Both teams

Strength of Schedule: Very slight edge to Michigan, but not enough to matter much

R+T Rating: Large edge to Oregon, as the Ducks’ R+T is 14.7 to the Wolverines’ 3.2. This means that on average, Oregon will have an opportunity through superior rebounding, ball-steals, and overall turnover differential to outscore Michigan by 11.5 points. There is a caveat, as the Ducks are missing a key component in Chris Boucher.
Ability to Win Away from Home: Oregon 14-5/Michigan 11-8. The Ducks have a decent advantage here, but not enough to move this game to the win column.

Winning Streak(s): The Ducks won 17 games in a row at one point this season and eight in a row another time, while Michigan had two, five-game winning streaks. Once again, Oregon has the advantage here, but we cannot annoint the Ducks winners just yet. Not having Boucher removes a lot of these advantages three rounds into the Big Dance.

Since the strengths of schedule are similar, the following stats can be used at face value.
Scoring Margin: Michigan = 8.9, Oregon = 13.8, Ducks look better here
FG% Differential: Michigan = 1.9, Oregon = 7.8, Ducks look much better here, as UM fails to qualify
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 68

This is a tough game to figure out, because Boucher’s absence makes Oregon less than what the stats say. Still, the Ducks come out as the superior team based on how we use the criteria. In our original picks, we had Louisville knocking Oregon out of the tournament in this round, but the Cardinals were sent packing last weekend.

PiRate Criteria Pick: OREGON

 

Gonzaga vs. West Virginia
Power Conference: West Virginia is, Gonzaga is not. A slight edge to the Mountaineers

Strength of Schedule: WVU 55.55. Gonzaga 54.02, a slight edge to the Mountaineers

R+T Rating: WVU 19.1, Gonzaga 21.2, a push when SOS is applied

Ability to Win Away from Home: WVU 11-6, Gonzaga 19-0, even with SOS factored into the equation, Gonzaga has the advantage here.

Winning Streak(s): WVU 8 & 4, Gonzaga 29 & 5, Gonzaga enjoys a small advantage

We must handicap these stats with Gonzaga playing in a weaker conference and a slightly weaker schedule
Scoring Margin: WVU 15.3, Gonzaga 22.8, a push
FG% Differential: WVU 3.4, Gonzaga 14.5
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 71

This is where we see another #1 seed going down. Gonzaga’s main Achilles Heel is their conference, where the WCC has two other quality teams. Of course, teams like Butler, George Mason, VCU, and Wichita State have advanced to the Final Four, but the percentages say that these are exceptions and not the norm. When you are trying to win a contest by going with the percentages, you go with the norm unless you have a major reason not to do so. When looking at the obvious way this game will deviate from the norm, it comes from the vaunted WVU full-court press, something that Gonzaga has not faced from a quality team this year. It is our belief that GU will commit very few turnovers against the press and even capitalize with a couple of easy baskets, making it look like to the casual fan that the press is not working. However, we believe it will take the Bulldogs out of their offense just enough to cause them to rush and make poor shot selections, and it will also begin to wear their bigger, bulkier players down in the second half. A fatigued team is only a shell of itself, and once GU is fatigued, WVU will pull away and win this game.

PiRate Criteria Pick: WEST VIRGINIA

Kansas vs. Purdue
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: KU 58.11, PU 55.83, a decided advantage for the Jayhawks

R+T Rating: KU 12.3, PU 15.5, a credible advantage for the Boilermakers

Ability to Win Away from Home: KU 16-3, PU 12-5, a tiny advantage for KU

Winning Streak(s): KU 18 & 8, PU 7 & 6, KU has the advantage, but this isn’t overwhelming since PU has two 6+ streaks, and that is all we are looking for in this criterion

Since the strengths of schedule favor KU enough to matter, we must handicap the following stats.
Scoring Margin: KU 11.4, PU 12.6, with the handicap, KU has a minor advantage here
FG% Differential: KU 7.3, PU 6.4, a slight edge to the Jayhawks
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 72 which will favor KU in the 2nd half

In previous years where Purdue was very good, we would call for Kansas to easily win this game because in the past, Purdue did not own good R+T numbers. In fact, they were downright awful. However, this year is very different up in West Lafayatte, where Purdue has an R+T number strong enough to reach the Final Four. Unfortunately, Kansas has the criteria strong enough to win the National Championship, and thus we must go with the team that is only a tad better in this game. A Boilermaker win would not be a surprise at all, but we must go with the percentages.

PiRate Criteria Pick: KANSAS (but this should be an outstanding game)

Arizona vs. Xavier
Power Conference: Both (in recent years, we would discount the Pac-12 some, but not this year. Three league teams made the Sweet 16.

Strength of Schedule: Arizona 58.17, Xavier 58.70, a wash

R+T Rating: Arizona 18.0, Xavier 15.2, the Wildcats with an ever so slight advantage that is not enough to mean much

Ability to Win Away from Home: Arizona 17-3, Xavier 11-9, this is a big advantage for ‘Zona

Winning Streak(s): Arizona 15 & 6, Xavier 7 & 6, Another tiny advantage to the Wildcats

Since the strengths of schedule are almost identical, the following stats can be used at face value.
Scoring Margin: Arizona 11.0, Xavier 4.1, the Wildcats have a major advantage here, as XU’s scoring margin is well beneath the threshold of a Final Four contender.
FG% Differential: Arizona 6.0, Xavier 0.9, another big edge for Arizona
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 67

This one appears to be headed to a double-digit win for the higher-seeded team. Add on to the criteria the fact that Xavier has not been the same since Edmund Sumner was lost for the year at the end of January, and this game looks like a potential breeze for Arizona.
PiRate Criteria Pick: ARIZONA (by double digits)

 

North Carolina vs. Butler
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: UNC 59.00, BU 59.04, a total push

R+T Rating: UNC 31.1, BU 9.5, do we really need to go on after this criterion shows the Tar Heels with a chance on average to score 20 more points on rebounds, steals, and turnovers?

Ability to Win Away from Home: UNC 13-7, BU 12-5, pretty much even here

Winning Streak(s): UNC 13 & 7, BU 12 & 5, another push

Since the strengths of schedule are identical, the following stats can be used at face value.
Scoring Margin: UNC 14.8, BU 7.8, Give the Heels a little more advantage here
FG% Differential: UNC 5.5, BU 3.7, more props for the Heels
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 70 (Butler will want to slow the pace, but they will have to play catchup)

Pirate Criteria Pick: NORTH CAROLINA

Baylor vs. South Carolina
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: BU 59.40, USC 56.23, the Bears have a little advantage here

R+T Rating: BU 19.3, USC 10.4, Baylor with decent advantage in this one

Ability to Win Away from Home: BU 12-5, USC 11-7, another tilt to the Bears

Winning Streak(s): BU 15 & 5, USC 8 & 5, BU with yet another advantage

Since the strengths of schedule favors Baylor, the following stats must be handicapped a little
Scoring Margin: BU 10.1, USC 7.9, the criteria keeps tilting green
FG% Differential: BU 7.2, USC 1.9, this continues the trend
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 67, Baylor will conrol the pace.

PiRate Criteria Pick: BAYLOR

 

Kentucky vs. UCLA
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: UK 58.63, UCLA 54.00, a nice advantage for the Wildcats, but UCLA still meets the minimum number for Final Four consideration, and remember UCLA won at Kentucky earlier this season

R+T Rating: UK 17.2, UCLA 10.9

Ability to Win Away from Home: UK 16-3, UCLA 14-3, nothing to learn here

Winning Streak(s): UK 13 & 7, UCLA 13 & 10, not much here either

We must handicap the following stats in UK’s favor fde to the strengths of schedule
Scoring Margin: UK 13.9, UCLA 15.0, basically a wash
FG% Differential: UK 5.4, UCLA 10.2, The Bruins pick up a big advantage here with Championship-caliber differential
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 74, expect the most up-tempo game of the Sweet 16, and it could even top 75.

Face it: this is the game that is going to make this round. The winner most likely plays North Carolina in the Elite 8, making for a fantastic 48-hours in Memphis, where they could move these games to the Liberty Bowl and still not have enough seats for the fans that want to get in. Think of this game like the second Ali-Frazier fight. Or, if you are a Bruin fan over the age of 55, be forewarned and remember that Houston beat your Bruins in the 1967-68 regular season before meeting up with the worst ever whipping by a number one team in the history of the game.

PiRate Criteria Pick: KENTUCKY — Until the Wildcats are knocked out of the tournament, they have the best resume when comparing it to past National Champions.

 

Florida vs. Wisconsin
Power Conference: Both

Strength of Schedule: Fla 59.34, UW 54.79, The Gators have a decided advantage

R+T Rating: Fla 3.3, UW 3.3 This is a dirty wash, as neither team can expect to be a Championship team with these R+T ratings.

Ability to Win Away from Home: Fla 17-7, UW 12-7, Florida played a lot of neutral site games near home when their arena was not ready following remodeling. This becomes a wash

Winning Streak(s): Fla. 9 & 7, UW 9 & 8, a wash

Since the strengths of schedule favor the Gators, the following stats must be handicapped in UF’s favor. Scoring Margin: UF 6.2, UW 9.2, a wash
FG% Differential: UF 4.6, UW 4.2, a small edge for the Gators
Estimated Possessions per team in this game: 69 We look for the Badgers to slow the tempo a little

When Florida isn’t playing Vanderbilt, they look like Final Four contenders. Actually, two of the three losses to the Commodores came after the Gators lost John Egbunu for the season due to injury, and UF went from 23-5 to 24-8 after that loss. This discounts the Gators’ results enough to make up for the schedule strength favor. In other words, this is a game where you flip a coin. We do not use the Four Factors in this criteria selection process, but if we were to use them for this game, it would just add a bunch of balance, as the teams would come out dead even. We must select somebody to go on and lose to Baylor Sunday, and just because they have a little more recent NCAA Tournament success, we will go with the Badgers.

PiRate Criteria Pick: WISCONSIN –but this is really a tie

Elite 8 to Final Four
Baylor over Wisconsin
Arizona over West Virginia
Kentucky over North Carolina
Kansas over Oregon

Semifinals
Baylor over Arizona
Kentucky over Kansas

Championship
Kentucky over Baylor

Note: When we first revealed the criteria for all 68 teams in the dance, we listed the top 10 teams with the best matching criteria to past champions. The top 6 teams in this list, and 8 of the 10 made the Sweet 16. Here is that top 10 again.
1. Kentucky
2. North Carolina
3. Baylor
4. Arizona
5. West Virginia
6. Gonzaga
7. Louisville
8. Villanova
9. Kansas
10. Purdue

 

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.

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