The Pi-Rate Ratings

January 28, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

4IllinoisTennesseeTexas TechMichigan St.
5LSUProvidenceOhio St.Connecticut
7XavierIowa St.IowaColorado St.
8Wake ForestIndianaBYUMiami (Fla.)
9Saint Mary’sLoyola (Chi.)Boise St.Florida St.
10ArkansasNorth CarolinaOregonDavidson
11CreightonMurray St.TCUOklahoma
12UABIonaSan FranciscoWyomingSan Diego St.Notre Dame
13ChattanoogaToledoVermontSouth Dakota St.
14WagnerPrincetonSeattleJacksonville St.
15Cleveland St.Appalachian St.Cal St. FullertonWeber St.
16LongwoodColgateNorfolk St.SouthernUNC-WilmingtonNew Orleans

Best Of The Rest

69Mississippi St.
72West Virginia
73Seton Hall
74Texas A&M


I try to mimic what the Selection Committee Does each year. I weigh several factors, including the NET Rankings, Strength of Record, a few select computer ratings (not my own, since as far as I know, only one former Committee member has ever acknowledged knowledge of the PiRate Ratings), wins against Quadrant 1 opponents and Quadrant 2 opponents versus losses against Quadrant 4 opponents, results away from home, and to a lesser extent conference record, and even though they will never admit it, there is a political aspect involved. The eighth best team in the Atlantic Coast or Big Ten Conference will beat out the second best team in the Missouri Valley Conference nine out of ten times when their resumes are similar.

Every year, the selection criteria claimed to be the most important by the Committee changes a little to fit what I believe are the desired results. For instance, in one year, in order to include a team like Syracuse at 19-14 over a team like Murray State at 29-4 that lost in the OVC Tournament to Belmont, the Committee referred to the fact that Syracuse went 2-8 against Quad 1 teams on the road, while Murray State went 1-1, and thus Syracuse’s schedule was so much stronger.

Then the next year, Kansas State gets in at 19-14 over Wofford at 30-4 that lost in the SoCon Tournament Championship to UNC-Greensboro; the Committee ignores the fact that Wofford went 5-2 against Quadrant 1 opponents while Kansas State went 3-9. Now, they state that Kansas State’s overall schedule strength was number 11, while Wofford’s was number 103. Never mind that West Virginia swept Kansas State during the regular season and then knocked the Mountaineers out of the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals, while Wofford beat WVU by eight points in Hawaii in November.

One additional factor used in today’s Bracketology was conference record to date. If a team is three games under .500 in their conference at the halfway point of their conference season, such as Seton Hall at 3-6, the rest of their resume is strong enough to be considered, but if The Hall finishes 7-11 or worse in the Big East, I don’t see them getting into the field with so many strong teams in conferences that normally receive a maximum of two teams getting into the Field.

Mid-Major Spoilers

This year, there are more Mid-Major teams in the running for at-large bids, and if a couple are upset in their conference’s tournament, they are still likely to be considered. Let’s take a look.

Atlantic 10: Davidson will most likely receive a bid if they don’t earn the league’s automatic berth. A team like Dayton, Saint Louis, or VCU is capable of winning the automatic bid, and personally, I think the Billekens are the team to beat in March in DC.

Conference USA: Andy Kennedy has done a fantastic job at UAB, but if the Blazers don’t win the CUSA Tournament at the Cowboys’ practice facility in Frisco, Texas, they have a decent shot at getting in as an at-large team. Louisiana Tech and North Texas must be considered co-favorites to win the conference tournament, especially with Frisco being almost a home game for the Mean Green from nearby Denton. Keep an eye on both Charlotte and Middle Tennessee, as the 49ers and Blue Raiders are rounding into shape.

Metro Atlantic: Rick Pitino knows how to win, even if he may cut corners at times. His Iona Gaels are definitely a Bubble team if they are 29-5 but runners up in the MAAC Tournament to Monmouth or Saint Peter’s.

Mid-American: Both Toledo and Ohio U are on the cusp of being at-large worthy. If the Rockets meet the Bobcats in the MACtion Title Game, the loser has a small chance to earn a spot.

Missouri Valley: Loyola of Chicago is a near lock to get into the Dance even if they fall short in Arch Madness. The MVC has multiple teams with enough talent and excellent coaching to win in Saint Louis. Missouri State, Drake, Northern Iowa, and Bradley are teams to watch.

Mountain West: It is likely that at least three and possibly four MWC teams will hear their names called on Selection Sunday. Colorado State and Boise State are near locks at this point, while San Diego State and Wyoming are strong candidates. Also, Utah State is recovering from a rough patch, but even at 2-5 in the league, the Aggies are talented enough to win the conference tournament if totally healthy.

Ohio Valley: Murray State might be deserving of a single-digit seed if the Racers win out from here. Even if they lose a game to Morehead State or Belmont, and they lose in the finals of their conference tournament, the Racers could still get in, just like Belmont a couple years ago.

West Coast: The WCC is used to getting Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s into the Field in the same year, but this year four teams have Tournament-worthy resumes. BYU and San Francisco also have decent shots to get into the field.

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