The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 17, 2017

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

Saturday, March 18, 2017 NCAA Tournament Games

Team Team Red White Blue
West Virginia Notre Dame 6 4 1
Villanova Wisconsin 8 6 6
Gonzaga Northwestern 17 10 8
Florida St. Xavier 8 5 4
Butler Middle Tennessee 5 4 7
Arizona Saint Mary’s -2 -1 1
Florida Virginia 1 1 1
Purdue Iowa St. 1 2 1

 

Saturday’s TV Schedule

Time (EDT) Network Team vs. Team
12:10 PM CBS West Virginia vs. Notre Dame
2:40 PM CBS Villanova vs. Wisconsin
5:15 PM CBS Gonzaga vs. Northwestern
6:10 PM TNT Florida St. vs. Xavier
7:10 PM TBS Butler vs. Middle Tennessee
7:45 PM CBS Arizona vs. Saint Mary’s
8:40 PM TNT Florida vs. Virginia
9:40 PM TBS Purdue vs. Iowa St.

 

 

March 15, 2017

Red-White-Blue Ratings For Thursday’s NCAA Tournament Games

 

Team Team Red White Blue
Notre Dame Princeton 6 6 2
Virginia UNC-Wilmington 7 9 9
Butler Winthrop 10 9 10
Gonzaga South Dakota St. 24 21 15
West Virginia Bucknell 13 12 11
Florida East Tennessee St. 10 12 13
Minnesota Middle Tennessee 2 1 3
Northwestern Vanderbilt -1 -1 -5
Maryland Xavier -1 -1 -1
Villanova Mount St. Mary’s 22 23 21
Saint Mary’s VCU 5 6 4
Purdue Vermont 9 9 5
Florida St. Florida Gulf Coast 13 14 11
Wisconsin Virginia Tech 4 4 4
Arizona North Dakota 15 15 14
Iowa St. Nevada 6 6 6

January 16, 2017

The Best of the Best and Where They Might Be Vulnerable

Every year about this time, a group of anywhere from a half dozen to 30 college basketball teams rank as possible national title contenders.  In some years, only a handful of teams have reasonable title aspirations.  In some years, there are no clear cut favorites, and many teams could become Cinderella’s with the perfect fit for the glass slipper.

There has been a bit of a paradigm shift in college basketball the last two seasons.  It wasn’t much of a change, but lowering the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds has done a world of good for the game.  The 14% less time per possession has led to 8-12 more possessions per game for each team.  Teams that three years ago averaged 65 possessions per game are today pushing the ball to the tune of 80 possessions per game.

Contrary to what may have been predicted, offensive efficiency has not gone down.  It has gone up, because the layup and dunk off a fast break when the attacking team has a number’s advantage has led to more points per possession.  The offensive increase has once again made college basketball as exciting as it was in its hey days of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Also contrary to belief, the increased pace has not created a new UCLA dynasty in the men’s game like U Conn has done with the women’s side.  There are more than enough quality athletes throughout the nation and the world to make 100 teams competitive enough to win an NCAA Tournament game and 25 teams strong enough to reel off six consecutive wins after March 10.

We are not saying that the following 25 teams are the best 25 in the nation.  We have taken a sampling of the top teams from power conferences, the two or three current leaders from among the leagues just shy of being a power conference, as well as a couple of teams from mid-major conferences.

Today’s first look at the contenders will concentrate on showing you how the Four Factors and some of our own PiRate Ratings criteria can isolate where a contender might be vulnerable come NCAA Tournament time.  When it comes time for the teams to have one shining moment, the game changes a little.

In the past, teams that got to the Dance by beating opponents at the foul line sometimes floundered in the tournament, because officials let the players have a little more leeway before blowing their whistles.

Additionally, some teams that went 28-4 in the regular season but did so by running opponents out of the gym or holding onto the ball in a slower-paced offense found that quality opponents like they faced in the Dance did not succumb to their methods of operation.

Likewise, some full court pressure teams that entered the Dance with large scoring margin advantages (often padded by beating poor teams by 40 points), found that quality ball-control teams did not turn the ball over and allow these teams to score in transition.  These pressing teams had little half-court offense and quickly fell to teams that turned the ball over 10 times per game.

Today, we look at 25 chosen teams to tell you where they can exploit other quality teams, and also where they are vulnerable.  As you will see in this first look, there are no teams today that are not totally vulnerable in some way.  Thus, there is no clear-cut favorite to cut down the nets in Phoenix on April 3.  In point of fact, as we see it today, there are a couple dozen quality teams capable of making the Final Four, and yet all of these teams have an Achilles’ Heel and could lose before the Sweet 16 commences.

Before we get into the meat of this report, there could be a few readers not totally familiar with the Four Factors in basketball.  It is not rocket science.  The Four Factors (applies to both offense and defense) are:

  1. Field Goal Efficiency
  2. Turnover Rate
  3. Offensive Reboundin Rate
  4. Free Throw Rate

Field Goal Efficiency: [FGM+(3ptM * 0.5)]/FGA

Where FGM is field goals made; 3ptM is three-pointers made; and FGA is field goals attempted.  If your favorite team attempted 60 shots in a game and made 28 of these shots with 8 coming as three-pointers, then their FG Efficiency is [28+(8*0.5)]/60 which equals .533 or 53.3%

The difference between the offensive FG efficiency and the defensive FG efficiency is the FG efficiency margin.  This is by far the most important contributory part to winning in basketball, which is obvious, since the object of the game is to put the ball in the basket and score points, while limiting the opponents from putting the ball in the basket.

Turnover Rate:  TOV/100 Possessions figured as:  [TOV/(FGA+(FTA*0.475)+TOV]*100 and expressed as a percentage

This is a simple metric.  All it seeks to discover is how many turnovers does a team commit for every 1oo possessions.  There is a small adjustment in what qualifies as a possession for this metric as opposed to actual possessions.  Offensive rebounds are not factored into the possession counting here, as once a team secures an offensive rebound, they have already attempted a shot without committing a turnover.  The chance for a turnover after this is limited and can skew the real rate at which a team turns the ball over or forces their opponent to turn the ball over.

If your team committed 14 turnovers in a game in which they took 60 field goal attempts and 25 free throw attempts, their turnover rate for that game was: [14/(60+(25*.475)+14]*10o which comes to: 16.3%

Offensive Rebounding Rate: [OR/(OR+ Opponents’ DR)]*100, 

Where OR is offensive rebounds and DR is defensive rebounds.

If your team had 12 offensive rebounds, and their opponent had 32 defensive rebounds, your team’s offensive rebounding rate was: [12/(12+32)] * 100 which is 27.3%

Obviously, the compliment to this is defensive rebounding rate, which is the same formula applied to the opponents’ rebounding.

Free Throw Rate: FTM/100 Possessions or (FTM/[FGA+(FTA*0.475)-OR+TOV]) *100

There is a difference of opinion on how the expert analytics gurus figure this metric.  Some simple use FTA/FGA.  Some prefer FTM/FGA.  We have heard arguments in favor of both of these metrics, but we really liked a paper written by The Harvard Sports Analysis Collective’s John Ezekowitz, who argued for the metric we chose above in his February 21, 2011, paper entitled Re-examining The Four Factors: The Case For Free Throws Made Per 100 Possessions.

Putting It All Together

The key to the four factors is finding an algorithm in which the results of each team can be turned into some form of a rating or to produce a spread for a game between teams.  What good is it to know that Team A has X, Y, Z, and W rates in the four factors, and their opponent has a little better X and Z, and weaker Y and W rates.  So, where does that get us?  Only when the Four Factors can be turned into a rating of some sort is the data useful to the fan.

The PiRates tried for a few years to come up with an accurate rating from the Four Factors.  Our original mistake was assuming the different factors would not affect the college game any different than it does the NBA, where the numbers were determined to be 40% FG efficiency, 25% turnover rate, 20% offensive rebounding rate, and 15% free throw rate.

This did not make for an accurate rating when applied to college teams and uses to compare them in a point spread sort of way.  Whereas the NBA teams basically play equal schedules in terms of strengths of opponents (once enough games had been played), this cannot be said of the college game, where one team’s schedule could be as much as 20 points per game stronger than another team’s schedule.  Also, in the NBA, every team plays 41 home games and 41 road games.  The top college teams might schedule 19 home games, 3 neutral games, and just 9 road games.

We also realized that not all turnovers are the same.  A steal is worth more than any other type of turnover, because the ball remains live, and the defense frequently finds itself with a 2 on 1 or 3 on 2 fast break opportunity following a high percentage of their steals.  In the college game, more full court pressure can lead to steals that produce a lot of easy baskets, whereas in the NBA, this is a rare occurrence.

After much trial and error, we came up with three separate algorithms that when back-tested in past seasons produced acceptable predictive results.

Now, we can take a look at these 25 teams and make some assumptions based on their four factors data to date.  We can add some PiRate Rating data (like our unique R+T formula) to polish our beliefs.

The numbers you see below are our Blue Rating Scores for each of the Four Factors plus the Strength of Schedule score, the R+T rating, and the teams rating in true road and neutral games (neutral games when a team plays in another gym in their area against an out of town team does not count–like Kansas playing a Big East team in Kansas City).

AAC

Cincinnati: FG 6.4  TO 0.8  OR 0.6  FT 0.2  SOS 56.1  R+T 18.4 Rd W-L 4-2

The Bearcats do not excel in any one factor, but they are better than average in all factors.  Their SOS is good but not great, and their R+T rating is very good.  They will benefit from having extra scoring opportunities.  Cinti will run into trouble against big muscle teams from the power conferences, and they will struggle against teams that play choking man to man defense.  However, this team has enough talent to make it to the second weekend of the Big Dance.

ACC

Virginia: FG 12.0   TO 4.7   OR 4.3   FT -1.2   SOS 59.6   R+T 16.2   Rd W-L 6-1

The Cavaliers are going to be a tough out for any opponent in the NCAA Tournament.  Their style of defense will destroy teams that cannot shoot from the perimeter, and the Cavs will also exploit teams that do not have excellent passers.  To beat UVa, you must be able to pass the ball quick enough from the strong side to the weak side and then penetrate their interior defense for either an open look inside or a pass to a wide open three-point shooter.  Virginia will not beat itself.  Wisconsin and Arizona could be trouble for the Cavs, whereas Virginia could be a tough out for a team like Florida.

North Carolina: FG 6.4  TO 3.7   OR 17.4   FT 7.7   SOS 58.9   R+T 33.6   Rd W-L 7-3

The Tar Heels have the look of a Final Four team.  However, they have some small vulnerabilities.  First, they are not the best shooting team in Chapel Hill history, in fact far from it.  They do make up for this by being the best offensive rebounding team in college basketball.  They are not that shabby in the turnover department either, and thus, they have the best R+T rating in many years.  By the time the season moves into March, UNC will either be unbeatable and peaking at the right time or a major disappointment due to fatigue and injuries.  This is one team we cannot see losing prior to the Sweet 16, as they will be a 1 or 2 seed and no 15 or 16 seed can compete with them, with only a slim chance that a 7 or 8 seed can keep a game within single digits.

The team that beats UNC will be the team that can muscle their way under the basket and make the rebounding part of the equation only a minor Tar Heel victory.  Said team will also have to force the Heels into a few more turnovers than normal and produce some quick points off those turnovers.  West Virginia and Kentucky are the teams that will give UNC fits, while a great shooting team like UCLA or Gonzaga will find that they must do more than shoot lights out to beat this team.

Florida St.: FG 11.2   TO 2.8   OR 2.5   FT 2.4   SOS 58.6   R+T 15.6   Rd W-L 4-2

The Seminoles are going to be a tough match-up for teams outside the ACC that have never played against them.  Their style of play will lead to large victories in the early rounds of the tournament, but once FSU faces stiff competition, their inconsistent style of play will hurt their chances.  There will be many teams with a resume similar to theirs from amongst the power leagues.  FSU will be more like a poor man’s Kentucky.  They might win by 20-30 in the opening game, and they might make it to the Sweet 16 by way of a double digit win in their next game, but once they get to the Sweet 16, the Seminoles should be a quick out against a quality opponent like Villanova, Kansas, or Oregon.

Louisville: FG 6.5   TO 4.8  OR 7.9   FT 1.7   SOS 62.9   R+T 20.3   Rd W-L 5-2

Don’t dismiss this edition of Cardinals.  Rick Pitino knows how to coach in March, and there is enough talent at the Yum Center to guide UL to the Final Four.  The Cards have played a tough schedule to date and pulling off numbers like their current Four Factors against the opposition they have faced is a sign of a top 10 team.  In most years, these numbers would be the best in the nation, and even in a year where there are many great teams, these numbers stick out as among the best.

To beat the Cards, it is going to take a team that can shut off their inside game and force UL to beat them from the perimeter.  Not many teams can do this, but there are some potential teams out there that can send the Cards home, such as Virginia from their own league, Oregon, and Purdue.

Notre Dame: FG 8.5   TO 4.0   OR 0.2   FT 3.8   SOS 56.3   R+T 11.2   Rd W-L 5-2

The Fighting Irish have been consistently good for several years but with also a consistent liability.  Notre Dame has not been a dominant rebounding team since Digger Phelps retired.  While, the Irish have numbers strong enough to indicate they are Sweet 16 worthy, they do not have the dominating inside game that will get them to Phoenix.  A host of quality teams are out there that can hit the glass and limit ND to one shot per possession, and the Irish are bound to face one of them if they make it to the Sweet 16.  Baylor, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Kentucky could send Mike Brey’s bunch home to Indiana.  On the other hand, Notre Dame could be a tough opponent for UCLA, Villanova, or Maryland.

Big 12

West Virginia: FG 7.2    TO 16.0   OR 5.8   FT 5.1   SOS 53.7   R+T 27.2   Rd W-L 5-2

The jury is still out on this team, even though our PiRate Blue metrics say that Coach Bob Huggins has the currently top team in the land.  Huggie Bear’s Mountaineers have to prove they can sustain these fat metric ratings against the top teams.  WVU’s SOS is rather low for a Power Conference team, and they have yet to face Kansas or any tough team on enemy hardwood.  Their toughest road game to date came against Texas Tech, and they flunked that exam.

If WVU can keep their TO rate at astronomically high numbers and also maintain their better than average rebound rate, they are capable of making it to Phoenix.  Whereas many pressing teams eventually run into a team that does not fret the pressure and actually exploits it for points, WVU is more than your typical on the line/up the line gimmick defense.  This team can win by dominating on the glass, getting the ball inside for easy baskets, hitting the three, and playing strong half-court defense.  Once again, until they play Kansas a couple times, Kansas State on the road, as well as road trips to Iowa State and Baylor, it is too early to make a logical call on this team.

Baylor: FG 11.1   TO -0.2   OR 9.5   FT 8.1   SOS 61.8   R+T 20.5   Rd W-L 6-1

 

Scott Drew has been to the Elite 8 before, and this Baylor team looks like his next Elite 8 club.  Until the Bears face a team that can force the issue and pressure the ball, they look like a favorite to advance in each round.  As West Virginia showed, Baylor is not equipped to handle crazy pressure.  Other teams that might exploit this weakness include Virginia, Butler, Kentucky, and Florida.  And, if a mid-major like UNC-Wilmington or Middle Tennessee meets the Bears in the round of 32, Baylor will have to bring their A-game to avoid a major upset loss.

Kansas: FG 11.2   TO 1.7   OR 6.2  FT 0.1   SOS 59.1   R+T 16.4   Rd W-L  4-1

The Jayhawks have been flying under the radar if that is possible, but now that KU has ascended to the top of the charts, they will be on the center stage every game they occupy the penthouse.  Bill Self always has a contender in Lawrence, so this should come as no surprise when we say that the Jayhawks have the right stuff to make it all the way to the Final Four.  They can shoot the ball with the best of them, and they can defend the ball with the best of them.  They are not world-beaters anywhere else, but their other metrics are quite strong.  And, they have produced these numbers against a very good schedule.  KU has another big bonus, something they had when they won the title back in 1988.  With a star like Frank Mason III, teams will have to concentrate and dedicate another defender to stop this star.  That might work against some teams, but KU has five or six other players that can carry the team, so it is impossible to really double up on Mason.  If you are old enough to remember 1988, this reminds us of Danny Manning.

Big East

Villanova: FG 12.1   TO 1.6   OR 4.1    FT 9.6   SOS 61.1    R+T 16.1    Rd W-L 8-1

The Wildcats have proven so far this year to be good enough to repeat as National Champions, and in point of fact, at this point in the season compared to last year, they are a better team.  The rub is that so are about 30 other dominating teams.  VU has been putting teams away by getting their regulars into foul trouble from making quick moves to the basket.  Unlike other teams with very high FT rates, they are less likely to suffer from how the game is called differently in the Big Dance, because officials will blow their whistles on drives to the basket that produce contact.

Considering ‘Nova has put up these gaudy numbers against A+ competition, and they have an 8-1 record away from Philly, they are more than capable of making it back to Phoenix.  But, as Alabama just found out in football, getting back to the title game and winning it, are in different universes.  Villanova wants no part of North Carolina in a rematch.

Creighton: FG 12.5   TO 2.7   OR -3.4   FT 2.7    SOS 58.8   R+T 7.3    Rd W-L 7-0

Every year, one or two highly-rated teams gets sent home from the Dance early by a mid-major team that can exploit the power team’s weakness.  Creighton has the resume of a power team that could be susceptible to an early round loss.  Their negative rebounding rate might be covered up by other assets during the regular season, but come tournament time, just about every opponent they might face will be able to exploit this poor metric.  If their TO rate was really good, they could overcome this liability, but this is not the case, as the Blue Jays are just average or a little below in this department as well.  Their R+T rating is too low to make it to the Elite 8, and the Sweet 16 is their ceiling.  If they make it to the Sweet 16, teams like Baylor, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Kentucky can beat them by double digits.

Butler: FG 6.5   TO 5.1   OR 0.1   FT 2.1   SOS 61.3  R+T 10.0   Rd W-L 5-3

When Butler made back-to-back appearances in the National Championship Game, their Four Factors numbers were consistently good but not outstanding in any category.  This Butler team has somewhat inconsistent numbers compared to those Bulldog teams, but at the same time, they are stronger in the turnover rates and have played a much tougher schedule to date than those teams that won five tournament games.

Butler is probably a little too inconsistent this year to win five games and make it to the championship.  They might be better equipped to beat a North Carolina or Kansas than the 2010 and 2011 teams, but this Bulldog edition could easily stub its toe right out of the gates and not get a chance to upset teams like the 2010 and 2011 teams did (Syracuse, Kansas State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and Florida).

Big Ten

The Big Ten has been able to make it to the Final Four multiple times in recent years, but no league team has cut down the nets since Michigan State in 2000 (Maryland was in the ACC when they won in 2002).  There are a couple teams this year capable of giving it a good try.

Wisconsin: FG 8.9  TO 3.9  OR 15.9   FT 2.6    SOS 52.7  R+T 28.8   Rd W-L 4-3

The Badgers have played a rather weak schedule to date, and that could send their current numbers much lower once the better Big Ten opponents have been faced away from Madison.  With Bronson Koenig, Ethan Happ, and Nigel Hayes, the Badgers have a trio of quality players good enough to carry them to the Final Four.  In past years, overall team speed was an issue with this team, but the Badgers have quickness, finesse, and power this year.  UW has been much, much better at home than away from home, and a lot of teams that go 18-0 at home and 9-6 away from home leave the Dance early.  A quality team that is headed to the Elite 8 usually wins 70% or more of its games away from home, and UW is just 4-3 at this point.  Of course, those three losses came to Creighton, North Carolina, and Purdue.  Recent road wins against Marquette and Indiana could be an indication that UW is on the verge of breaking out and becoming a serious contender.

Maryland: FG 6.1  TO 0.5   OR 3.4  FT 7.5  SOS 56.4   R+T 8.8  Rd W-L 6-0

An aside: Back in the days when only one team per conference went to the NCAA Tournament, Maryland had a team that was good enough to win the national championship but was just a couple points away from getting a chance to play in it.  The 1974 Terrapins went 23-5.  Their five losses represent the best five-loss team in history.  Loss number one came at the hands of #1 UCLA in Pauley Pavillion to open the season (Bruins had won more than 70 consecutive games), in a game in which the officiating was very generous to the Bruins and yet UM lost by just one point and had a chance to win the game at the buzzer.  Loss number two came at North Carolina State, who had won 35 of its previous 36 games (lone loss to UCLA) and who would be the eventual national champs.  This loss was a six-point loss, and the Terps led this game into the second half before a Wolf Pack rally won it for the home team.  Loss number three came on the road against #4 North Carolina, yet another contest where UM had a chance to win until late in the second half.  The Terps only home loss came against NC State, who by now would not lose again until the following season.  This loss to the Pack was another close affair with UM losing by six after leading in the second half.  You can probably guess where loss number five came.  Once again, NC State topped UM in the ACC Championship Game in what is probably the best every ACC Title game.  State won by a score of 103-100 in overtime.  Maryland’s 23 wins were mostly lopsided affairs.  Even the two other contests against North Carolina were not close, as the Terps won by 11 in College Park and by 20 in Greensboro in the ACC Tournament semifinals.

What has that got to do with this year’s Terp team?  Nothing, except this year’s UM team will be in the Big Dance even if they do not win the Big Ten Tournament or the regular season title.  However, this year’s UM team is primed to be an early round upset loser, because it is nowhere near as talented as that 1974 team that featured John Lucas, Tom McMillen, and Len Elmore.  That UM team out-shot quality opposition by 11%, out-rebounded them by 11 per game, and outscored them by 17 points per game.

Purdue: FG 10.1  TO -0.7  OR 10.5  FT 8.3   SOS 55.9  R+T 19.7   Rd W-L 5-2

We could give another history lesson on this Big Ten team.  Purdue has been to the Final Four twice before, but both times, it was with teams that played an entirely different style of basketball from this team and from all the teams during the Gene Keady era.

We have a lot of respect for Coach Keady and his successful disciples, including current Boilermaker coach Matt Painter.  However, history has not been kind to the “Keady system” in NCAA Tournament history.  Purdue never made it to the Final Four with all the highly-ranked teams of the 1980’s and 1990’s and seldom made it past the second game.  Case in point, last year, the Boilermakers left the Dance immediately, losing to Arkansas-Little Rock in their first game.

Why is it that Purdue has under-performed so consistently for so many years?  Coach Keady and his disciples strongly advocate an intelligent offensive half-court set and tough man-to-man defense to prevent good shots.  That works well in the regular season, as teams like this routinely play smart ball and beat all the teams they are supposed to beat, and even upset some better teams.  But, when you get into the second week of March, the opposition is usually as good as you at shooting and preventing good shots.  Games are more frequently decided by which team gets more opportunities to shoot.  Thus rebounding and turnover margin play significantly more important roles than they do in the regular season.  Purdue has not been a consistently tough team on the boards, and they do not pressure the passing lanes.

This year’s Boilermaker squad is one of the best rebounding teams in Mackey Arena in a long time, but once again, PU is stinking it up in the turnover rate metric.  The rebounding strength could get Painter’s squad past the first game and maybe even into the Sweet 16, but when the Boilermakers run into a team like Butler, Kentucky, or Florida, or even a Mid-major like UNC-Wilmington or Middle Tennessee, they are going to have a tough time advancing.  And, should they find West Virginia in their bracket…..

Pac-12

UCLA: FG 14.2   TO 0.3   OR -1.0   FT 3.2   SOS 53.4   R+T 10.0   Rd W-L 8-1

This might be the most exciting team to watch, but this UCLA team suffers from the same issues that Purdue suffers from as stated above.  When the Bruins are hot, they can put any team away, and their win at Kentucky showed this.  However, they will run into defenses that can slow them down when they get to March, and the Bruins do not have what it takes to get additional scoring chances through rebounding and turnover margin.  Additionally, the Bruins have played a lot of cupcakes this year, and a lot of their shooting stats have been aided by playing weak defensive teams.  Until they are ousted thought, Lonzo Ball and company promise to give the fan his or her money’s worth.

Oregon: FG 10.2   TO 3.0   OR 7.5   FT 6.5   SOS 57.1   R+T 19.5   Rd W-L 5-2

The Ducks could be a contender for the Final Four.  After a slow start, Oregon has now won 14 consecutive games and looks like the team the pundits expected they would be this season.  The Ducks have a really tough closing stretch in the regular season with seven consecutive tough games between February 4 and 25.  Included in this slate is a three-game stretch against Arizona, UCLA, and USC, with the latter two on the road.  If Oregon can come through this three-week stretch without injuries or undue fatigue, this team can repeat its performance of last year and maybe make it one round past what it did last year.  That would mean they make it to Phoenix.

Arizona: FG  8.3  TO 0.6   OR 7.3   FT 10.4   SOS 58.1   R+T 20.2   Rd W-L 5-2

At first glance, Arizona’s numbers don’t look much different than Oregon’s above.  Look a little closer.  This is a team that relies a bit too much on free throw rate and is vulnerable against a team that can pressure the ball and force turnovers.  Arizona wants no part of West Virginia, but they could fall prey to a lesser pressure team or a team that turns the ball over less than 10 times a game like Virginia.  In their loss to Gonzaga, the Wildcats turned the ball over nine times in the first half and didn’t shoot well, and Gonzaga pulled out to a double digit lead.  Arizona did get to the foul line several times, but they missed too many foul shots to get back in the game.  This is likely to happen to them in an NCAA Sweet 16 game if UA makes it that far.

SEC

Kentucky: FG  9.1  TO 6.7   OR 7.4   FT 4.7   SOS 61.1   R+T 22.3   Rd W-L 6-1

This is always a tough team to figure out.  Annually, John Calipari recruits the top talent in the nation to Lexington, and Kentucky has better talent than every team on its schedule.  However, that talent is almost always freshmen, and even five McDonald’s All-Americans as college freshmen are bound to play a bit inconsistently.  On any given night, these future NBA stars are liable to blow out an average team by 30 to 40 points.  On any given night, these future NBA stars are liable to fiddle around and allow a mediocre team to stay in contention.

In Kentucky’s favor, these freshmen will have 33 to 35 games of experience by the time the NCAA Tournament begins, and the Wildcats will have a 1 or 2 seed, able to get to the Sweet 16 just by showing up.  Once at the Sweet 16, this team will have the talent and tools to keep winning, but they will still be just raw enough to lay an egg and go home with a disappointing loss.

It will take a muscle team to beat Kentucky, one that can throw its weight around on the glass, make their fouls count more like unnecessary roughness penalties in football, and has the ability to outscore the Wildcats from behind the arc.

Florida: FG 3.1  TO 6.6  OR 1.7   FT 8.9   SOS 63.0   R+T 11.4   Rd W-L 8-3

Here is a really interesting team.  At first glance, this Florida team looks like many of the Florida teams under former coach Billy Donovan.  The Gators’ ball-hawking defense tends to lead to more scoring opportunities for the orange and blue than for their opponents.  However, the really good Gator teams under Donovan played incredible half-court defense.  This Gator team is a bit weak defending inside, and that will be their downfall in March.  The Gators are adequate but not great shooting the ball, and when they don’t force a turnover, they are not great at stopping the ball from going through the opponents’ basket.

One thing in UF’s favor is their schedule has prepared them to play top-flight teams.  Outside of the league Florida played Seton Hall, Miami, Gonzaga, Florida State, and Duke.

South Carolina: FG 7.8   TO 4.9   OR 4.6   FT -5.4   SOS 56.2   R+T 13.9   Rd W-L 4-2

You have to look at South Carolina’s statistics a bit differently than just viewing their numbers.  This is a tale of two teams.  There is the USC team that is 11-0 when its best player, Sindarius Thornwell has been healthy enough to play, and there is the USC team that is 3-3 when Thornwell has not played.

The bad news for SEC teams is that Thornwell is close to 100% well again, and the Gamecocks are 4-0 in the league because of it.  A healthy Thornwell is a threat to record a triple double or score 20 points and pull down a dozen boards, while playing exemplary defense.

If the Gamecocks stay healthy this year, they look like a near lock to make the Dance, and once they get there, we have faith in Coach Frank Martin that they will play multiple games.  USC’s defense is tournament worthy, and they have just enough offense to pull away in the second half.  Their major liability is at the foul line, where they commit more than an average number of fouls.  However, this stat suffered considerably during Thornwell’s absence.  Since his return, the Gamecocks have a much better showing.

The Rest

Gonzaga: FG 15.6  TO 1.6   OR  2.6  FT 5.6   SOS 55.9  R+T 16.9   Rd W-L 7-0

Gonzaga faces a similar task that Wichita State faced in 2014, when they went 34-0 in the regular season.  The Bulldogs are the last undefeated team standing at 17-0, and the way they dominated St. Mary’s Saturday night, many sports professionals are calling for an undefeated regular season.  They still have to go to St. Mary’s, and they have to play at BYU, so they could still lose one or two regular season games this year.

Gonzaga has been a number one seed before as well as the top-ranked team in the nation, and things did not go all that well for the Bulldogs.  In 2013, the Zags entered NCAA Tournament play with a 31-2 record.  They almost became the first number one seed to lose to a 16-seed, when they had to hold on to narrowly edge Southern University in the Round of 64.  Then, GU fell in the Round of 32 to Wichita State, and the Shockers rolled to the Final Four from there.

Might things be different this year for Mark Few’s squad?  Gonzaga looks a lot like UCLA.  They are not quite as good shooting the ball, but they are a tad better defending the ball.  They are considerably better on the boards, but by the time the Dance begins to tap, their strength of schedule will have dropped to a point where they may not be ready to face a quality team in the Sweet 16.  The Kyle Wiltjer Gonzaga team that made it to the Elite 8 was more equipped for the tournament than this year’s squad, so we believe Gonzaga will fall in the Sweet 16 round.

Nevada: FG 5.4   TO -1.8   OR 3.5   FT 9.8   SOS 52.3   R+T 8.0   Rd W-L 8-3

If you consider Gonzaga not to be a mid-major, then Nevada is the best non Power Conference team in the West this year, but the Wolfpack are a paper tiger.  They do not have the numbers to be a serious contender like some former Mountain West Conference teams in the past.  Their low R+T number coming from a below average schedule strength means Nevada is likely to exit the Dance quickly and by double digits.  We wanted to include them here today so you can compare them to the two mid-majors most likely to advance to the second weekend this year.

UNC-Wilmington: FG 3.8   TO 7.1   OR 3.7   FT -2.0  SOS 51.2   R+T 12.9  Rd W-L 9-2

UNCW gave Duke a big scare last year in the Round of 64, and this year’s team is better, capable of making a run to the Sweet 16.  Coach Kevin Keatts is a Rick Pitino disciple, and we would not be shocked to see Keatts taking over a big time program sooner rather than later.  He has all the tools to be a star on the big stage, and his team plays like it deserves a shot on basketball’s Broadway.

UNCW’s biggest liability is their negative FT rate.  This has come about because the Seahawks commit a lot of fouls with their pressure defense.  We tend to believe that some of this has been because they have played a lot of games on the road, where the officials whistled them for more fouls than they would have received had they been at home.  When the NCAA Tournament begins, a lot of the plays in which they might have been whistled for a foul in the regular season will no longer draw a foul call.

UNCW is the poor man’s West Virginia, and they could easily be this year’s Stephen F. Austin.  Beware if your favorite big time program makes the Tournament and they draw this team, and your team is like Purdue, Baylor, UCLA, Arizona, or Creighton.  The Seahawk press can produce a quick burst of points and put your team behind the eight ball.

Middle Tennessee: FG 3.7  TO 5.0  OR 7.4  FT -2.5  SOS 56.3  R+T 17.5  Rd W-L 8-1

If you like UNCW’s chances, then you’ll love Middle Tennessee’s chances this year.  This is the CUSA team that upset Michigan State in last year’s tournament, and this year’s Blue Raider squad is maybe 10 points better than last year’s group.  Middle Tennessee actually played UNCW over the Thanksgiving holiday and beat the Seahawks by five.  The Blue Raiders went on the road to Ole Miss and destroyed the Rebels in the first half with a 29-point halftime lead before coasting to a 15-point win.  They repeated the performance against SEC neighbor Vanderbilt winning by 23 and never being challenged.

The Blue Raiders could have 30 wins when the NCAA Tournament begins, and it would not surprise us if they receive a seed as high as 9 or 10.  Of course, this would mean they would play a 1 or 2 seed in the Round of 32 should they win their first game.  The Blue Raiders’ fans should root for your team to draw a team like Purdue, Notre Dame, Creighton, Butler, or Maryland in the first game and not someone like West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Oregon, or Kentucky.  Of course, these teams are most likely to be encountered after the opening game, which means the Blue Raiders should be a hot pick in the Round of 64.

We did not include the 25 best teams in this presentation.  There are many other quality teams like Indiana, Duke, Miami, TCU, Xavier, Akron, Illinois State, California, Utah, USC, and New Mexico State.

We hope you enjoyed this piece and learned a little about how the Four Factors has been part of the new analytical study of basketball.

Coming Friday: We take our next stab at the Field of 68, and if we can get our gurus to send us the information in time, we will debut our annual Bracketology Guru report.  Shout out to the Gurus that have not done so–please return the email we sent you to tell us if you plan to participate this year.  If we do not have enough information to debut our guru composite, we will attempt to select 68 teams ourselves.

November 30, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–December 2-5, 2016

Throughout this season, our college parlay picks have been our bread and butter until last week.  Last week, we made six parlay selections, four with college teams and two with NFL teams.  We won with one of the three college parlays but we won both the NFL Parlays to finish the week with a tidy profit.

For the week, we invested $600 imaginary dollars, and the three wins returned $755 for a profit of $155 and a return on investment of 26%.  For the year, that moved our total ROI of 7% on a profit of $407 on an investment of $5,500.

With the number of college games dwindling down, we will only issue three parlay selections this week.

December 2-5, 2016
1. College Parlay at +362
West Virginia over Baylor
W. Kentucky over La. Tech
Wyoming over San Diego St.
 
2. College Parlay at +269
South Alabama over N. Mexico St.
Troy over Georgia Southern
Oklahoma over Oklahoma St.
Idaho over Georgia St.
Clemson over Virgina Tech
 
3. NFL Parlay at +122
Denver over Jacksonville
Green Bay over Houston
New England over Los Angeles

October 24, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For October 27-29, 2016

End of the Month Conference Inventory & Bowl Outlook
A big turn of events over the weekend changed the landscape of the projected playoffs, as Penn St. put Ohio St. in major jeopardy. Should Ohio St. beat Michigan, and the three teams finish in a tie for first place, and Nebraska loses a game prior to the Big Ten Championship Game, the league could see itself left out in the cold. Let’s take a look at all the conference races, starting with the Group of 5 leagues.

American Athletic Conference
Following a win at Central Florida, Temple’s victory over South Florida on Saturday puts the Owls in the driver’s seat in the Eastern Division. TU could win out to finish the regular season at 7-1 in the league and 9-3 overall, advancing to the conference championship game.

USF and UCF will most likely decide second place in the East when the two rivals face off at the end of the year. Cincinnati is still in contention for bowl eligibility, but the Bearcats have a difficult final month and could lose out against a slate featuring Temple, Central Florida, and Tulsa on the road and BYU and Memphis at home. Cinti must win two of these games to get to 6-6, and for now we are picking the Bearcats to fall short. Connecticut and East Carolina don’t have enough winnable games remaining to get to 6-6.

In the West, Houston is almost out of the race now after SMU shocked them in Dallas. Navy is in the driver’s seat with its win over Memphis, while Tulsa is the only serious contender to the Midshipmen. Tulsa must win at Memphis this weekend to make the game with Navy on November 12 the division title game.

Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 7

Conference USA
Both divisions are very much up for grabs with multiple teams still alive in the race to the conference title game. In the East, Western Kentucky hung 52 first half points on Old Dominion to knock the Monarchs off the perch as the last CUSA unbeaten team. Now, WKU, ODU, Middle Tennessee, and Florida Int’l. all have a conference loss. Middle Tennessee plays at FIU this week; Western plays at Florida Atlantic, and ODU plays at UTEP. If the three favorites win as we think they will, it will make this division a three-team race in November, and all three teams could win out at that point. For now, we will take the Hilltoppers to win the division.

The West is just as interesting as the East with Louisiana Tech, Southern Mississippi, and North Texas all with one conference loss. The schedule favors the Mean Green, and North Texas looks like the strongest team in the division at this point. Coach Seth Luttrell is in his first year in Denton, after serving as an assistant at Texas Tech, and he should be the easy Coach of the Year in this league after his team was picked to finish last.

Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 6

Independents
What looked like three for sure bowl spots going to Independents now could be reduced to just one. BYU is in good shape to gain bowl eligibility and earn their basically automatic bid to the Poinsettia Bowl. Army was on the way to bowl eligibility, but the Black Knights have fallen on hard times in recent weeks. At 4-3, the Cadets must get to 7-5 to be bowl eligible due to their playing two FCS teams this year. This means, they must win twice from among Wake Forest, Air Force, Notre Dame, and Navy plus Morgan State to go bowling. Of course, there is the caveat that if they should fall one win short at 6-6 but not enough teams earn bowl eligibility, they could still get a bowl bid as an alternate before any 5-7 teams are considered.

Notre Dame looks like a 5-7 team at best. The question is, “would the school accept a bowl bid at 5-7, if their high APR score allows them to qualify for a bowl as an alternate?” For now, we are going with the Irish to accept a bowl at 5-7 if they are so needed to fill out the field of 80.

Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 1 but with Army and Notre Dame receiving bids as non-qualifying alternates

Mid-American Conference
It’s all about the Broncos, no trouble. Western Michigan looks like the odds-on favorite to run the table to finish the season 13-0 and take the Group of 5 automatic bid to a New Year’s 6 Bowl. Coach P.J. Fleck could receive national coach of the year consideration, and WMU could see a top 10 regular season finish in the rankings before the Cotton Bowl bid they would receive. The Broncos own wins at Northwestern and at Illinois this year, so they will not be a pushover for a possible 11-1 opponent from a Power 5 league.

The race in the Western Division is not done just yet. Toledo is still undefeated in league play, and the Rockets close the regular season playing at WMU on Black Friday. The entire Western Division is still alive for bowl eligibility, but it looks like four of the six will make it, while two don’t. Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan are the two most likely to top six wins.

The Eastern Division is down to two teams in contention for both the divisional crown and bowl eligibility. Ohio and Akron might be the sixth and seventh best teams in the MAC, but the winner of their contest on November 22 at Peden Stadium in Athens will decide which team gets to be fodder for WMU in the conference championship game.

Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 6

Mountain West Conference
Boise State is the current leader for the Group of 5 NY6 Bowl bid, but the PiRates believe the Broncos are going to stub their toes somewhere before December 3. In fact, the way BSU has played in recent weeks, we can see a scenario where they do not even win the division.

Wyoming is the team playing well enough to knock BSU off the perch. The Cowboys are riding a powerful offense and an opportunistic defense under Coach Craig Bohl and sit with a 3-0 league mark. Boise State plays the Cowboys in Laramie this week, and the winner should take the division flag.

The entire Mountain Division could finish 6-6 or better overall. Air Force started hot and has fallen on hard times in October, but the Falcons need just two more wins and have Fresno State and San Jose State on the remaining schedule. Colorado State and New Mexico also need just two more wins to get to 6-6, and that is what we believe both will get. Utah State is 3-4 and needs three more wins, but the Aggies might be fortunate with just two more wins. At 5-7, USU could still earn a bowl as an alternate due to their acceptable APR score.

The West Division looks cut and dry at this point. San Diego State can already start preparing for the MWC Championship Game. The Aztecs’ only competitor for the division crown is Hawaii, and the game between the two teams will be at Qualcomm Stadium in two weeks.

With a home loss to Colorado State, UNLV is now most likely out of the bowl picture. A 5-7 record won’t work for the Rebels due to a low APR score.

The MWC gets six bowl bids, and if Boise State does not earn the NY6 bowl bid, there will be one extra team available as an at-large candidate for another bowl. Most likely, this will be a bowl east of the Mississippi.

Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 7 with Utah State a possible 5-7 alternate

Sun Belt Conference
This is the one league where more bowl eligible teams should be produced than conference bowl tie-ins. The SBC has four bowl guarantees, and they could provide a fifth team as a fill-in for another bowl. As of today, we believe that five teams will become bowl eligible, and the fill-in spot will not be available. So,thanks to geography, this means one team from this league will be at the top of the chain when at-large contenders are selected prior to the 5-7 teams getting their shots.

Troy looks like the strongest team this year, and the Trojans are our favorite to win the league and accept the New Orleans Bowl bid that goes to the league champion. Arkansas State, Appalachian State, and Georgia Southern are all still in contention and should be bowl eligible, although

Arkansas State has little room for error. We believe Idaho still has a good chance to get to 7-5, but we do not hold out a lot of hope for Louisiana-Lafayette or South Alabama.

Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 5

POWER 5 CONFERENCES
The race for the four playoff spots looks much clearer today, but we believe there are going to be some big upsets still. Our bowl projections could still have wide swings, so what you see today is just one wacky way the season could wind up. If the season ended today, Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, and Washington would be your four playoff teams.

We are predicting that two of these four will lose before the season ends, and one from this list will not make the playoffs. For this week’s entry, we are going to project Clemson losing to Florida State or to the Coastal Division Champion in the ACC title game. The Tigers are missing something on both sides of the ball this year, and we believe they will stumble one time. If CU loses to Florida State this week and then wins out to finish 12-1, the Tigers might still crack the playoffs as the #4 seed. What happens with Louisville in this scenario? The Cardinals could be 11-1, and because they would still not qualify for the ACC Championship Game if they finished tied with Clemson, they would be looking at an Orange Bowl bid or Cotton Bowl bid.

The team that concerns us as of this week if Washington. The Huskies play three very tough road games before the season concludes. They might get by Utah in Salt Lake City this week, and they should win at Cal in two weeks, but the season finale against rival Washington State is the perfect setup for the Cougars to upset the Apple Cup cart. If Washington State loses just one conference game and beats Washington on Black Friday, WSU will earn the Pac-12 North title, and UW will be out of the playoff race with no extra game to build back their resume.

The Big 12 still has two undefeated teams in Baylor and West Virginia. Both have fine squads, but we do not see either going 12-0, and 12-0 is what it will take for either to get to the Playoffs this year. The Big 12 decided not to expand, and that basically was an edict from the big state school in Austin, Texas. That decision could keep this league as the fifth best Power 5 league more years than not.

The Big Ten is not done just yet. Michigan still has to win at Ohio State, and the Buckeyes are not ready to roll over and let that team up north come into the Giant Horseshoe and leave undefeated. As of today, we believe the Wolverines will claw their way to a win in Columbus for the first time since 2000. If Ohio State wins, the East could finish with a three-way tie between the Buckeyes, Wolverines, and Penn State.

Nebraska currently leads the West with by a game over Northwestern and two over Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. We believe the Cornhuskers are about to experience a tough final five weeks of the regular season with three losses possible. That opens the door for Wisconsin and Northwestern. The winner of the Badgers-Wildcats game on November 5 could emerge as the division winner if Nebraska does lose three times.

The SEC looks like an obvious play toy for Alabama. The Crimson Tide has a week off before facing LSU in Baton Rouge in two weeks. We believe the Tide will win by 17 or more points in this game. A closing game with Auburn could be interesting if the Tigers continue to play like they did against Arkansas on Saturday. However, we believe that was an anamoly, and Auburn will be lucky to lose by less than 14 to Alabama.

Texas A&M should not get too down for losing at Bama by 19 points. The Aggies are still alive in the Playoff picture. If A&M wins out, and the expected losses to teams we believe will lose actually happen, then TAMU could sneak into the playoff field at 11-1.

Atlantic Coast Conference
Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 10 with a possible 11th as a 5-7 alternate

Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Miami, Georgia Tech
Syracuse can earn a bid at 5-7.

Big 12 Conference
Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 6

Oklahoma, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU
We have Texas Tech at 5-7 and Texas at 4-8 as of today.

Big Ten Conference
Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 10

Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota

Pac-12 Conference
Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 8

Washington, Washington State, California, Stanford, USC, Colorado, Utah, Arizona State
We have Oregon at 5-7 and UCLA at 4-8 as of now. UCLA can jump into the alternate bowl mix at 5-7, but the Ducks will be out of luck.

Southeastern Conference
Projected Bowl Eligible Teams: 9

Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee
As of this week, we have four teams (Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, and Vanderbilt) in contention to finish 5-7. We believe three of these teams will finish 5-7: Kentucky, South Carolina, and the winner of the Missouri/Vanderbilt game in Columbia on November 12. Should Vanderbilt win this game, they will move to the number one spot in the 5-7 bowl teams (assuming Duke finishes 4-8 and Minnesota is bowl eligible). Should Missouri win that game, then South Carolina will move into the fourth slot of 5-7 teams and have a decent shot of getting a bid.

 

The 5-7 Mess

As the season progresses, the number of mediocre teams has increased rather than decreased. As of today, it looks like at least four bowl spots will have to be awarded to 5-7 teams, and this includes a 6-6 Army team that actually needs seven wins to gain bowl eligibility.
The way the at-large bowl spots are filled out are not necessarily loved by the bowls themselves. For instance, if a 7-5 Idaho team is available for a bowl, while Notre Dame or Oregon sits at 5-7, it is the Vandals that must fill that bowl slot before the two powers can be considered. Imagine if you are the Birmingham or Indepedence Bowl, and you are faces with inviting a 7-5 team from almost 2,000 miles away and one which will soon be dropping out of FBS football. That’s the breaks, and it is what happens when there are about 10 too many bowls.
One solution that has not been discusses is allowing FCS teams to fill bowls. What if an undefeated Sam Houston State could get an Armed Forces Bowl Bid rather than play in the FCS Playoffs? Might an undefeated Citadel team be a better choice for the Birmingham Bowl than a 5-7 team from out West?

Our complete Bowl Projections follow below.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 135.6 128.8 135.5 133.3
2 Michigan 129.6 127.1 130.1 128.9
3 Louisville 130.0 124.8 130.1 128.3
4 Washington 129.0 121.6 129.1 126.6
5 Clemson 126.6 119.3 125.6 123.8
6 Ohio St. 123.0 122.7 123.5 123.1
7 LSU 124.5 119.5 124.1 122.7
8 Auburn 122.7 120.6 122.7 122.0
9 Oklahoma 119.8 118.0 119.4 119.1
10 Virginia Tech 118.9 117.5 119.3 118.6
11 Tennessee 119.0 115.9 118.4 117.8
12 Texas A&M 117.3 115.3 117.1 116.6
13 Florida St. 119.0 112.6 118.0 116.5
14 North Carolina 118.1 111.7 118.0 115.9
15 Colorado 117.2 112.7 117.0 115.7
16 Wisconsin 115.7 113.7 116.5 115.3
17 USC 117.2 112.7 114.9 114.9
18 Miami 116.6 110.6 116.2 114.5
19 Baylor 114.1 114.4 114.7 114.4
20 Florida 114.0 116.3 112.3 114.2
21 Oklahoma St. 113.8 115.1 113.4 114.1
22 Pittsburgh 115.2 111.5 114.4 113.7
23 Western Michigan 112.6 111.5 114.3 112.8
24 Ole Miss 115.0 109.5 113.9 112.8
25 West Virginia 113.2 111.9 112.9 112.7
26 Washington St. 113.2 110.3 113.3 112.3
27 Nebraska 112.6 109.6 112.4 111.5
28 Stanford 113.5 107.4 112.9 111.3
29 Iowa 111.8 109.2 111.6 110.9
30 Notre Dame 112.3 108.7 110.6 110.5
31 Texas 110.0 111.3 109.2 110.2
32 Houston 109.9 108.5 111.5 110.0
33 Penn St. 109.2 110.8 108.4 109.5
34 UCLA 109.9 108.4 109.2 109.2
35 Boise St. 108.1 109.1 109.3 108.8
36 Utah 111.2 105.9 109.3 108.8
37 South Florida 108.6 106.8 109.1 108.2
38 Georgia Tech 109.8 105.6 108.9 108.1
39 Georgia 108.5 107.7 107.8 108.0
40 TCU 107.3 108.8 106.6 107.6
41 Northwestern 109.3 105.2 108.1 107.5
42 Arkansas 109.6 104.9 107.7 107.4
43 Kansas St. 106.6 109.0 106.5 107.4
44 BYU 109.3 103.8 108.9 107.3
45 Mississippi St. 107.8 106.3 106.7 106.9
46 North Carolina St. 107.0 104.0 106.6 105.9
47 Arizona St. 105.8 104.7 104.6 105.1
48 Oregon 105.9 104.1 104.9 105.0
49 Toledo 103.8 103.2 104.5 103.8
50 Wake Forest 104.4 102.0 104.1 103.5
51 Minnesota 104.1 103.1 103.4 103.5
52 Temple 103.4 102.8 103.6 103.3
53 San Diego St. 103.0 101.5 105.0 103.2
54 Indiana 102.6 104.6 102.2 103.1
55 Maryland 102.8 105.1 101.3 103.1
56 Texas Tech 103.8 103.0 102.1 103.0
57 Memphis 103.9 101.3 102.6 102.6
58 Navy 102.8 101.9 102.6 102.5
59 Michigan St. 103.3 102.9 101.1 102.4
60 Syracuse 103.7 100.5 102.3 102.2
61 California 105.1 98.0 102.8 102.0
62 Western Kentucky 102.1 99.3 103.1 101.5
63 Duke 101.4 101.6 100.5 101.2
64 Virginia 101.8 99.5 101.1 100.8
65 Tulsa 99.7 101.8 100.6 100.7
66 Arizona 101.2 99.1 99.7 100.0
67 Vanderbilt 101.4 98.2 100.1 99.9
68 Kentucky 99.1 100.1 98.3 99.2
69 Missouri 99.4 99.0 98.9 99.1
70 Appalachian St. 98.1 98.6 99.9 98.9
71 Iowa St. 98.6 98.1 97.9 98.2
72 Cincinnati 97.9 98.2 98.1 98.1
73 Central Michigan 97.2 98.9 97.8 98.0
74 Boston College 98.3 97.6 97.8 97.9
75 South Carolina 97.2 97.1 96.6 97.0
76 Middle Tennessee 96.2 96.9 96.8 96.6
77 Central Florida 95.6 97.3 96.1 96.3
78 Illinois 97.4 93.9 96.6 96.0
79 New Mexico 94.6 96.9 95.5 95.7
80 Louisiana Tech 94.5 96.3 96.0 95.6
81 Air Force 95.1 96.3 95.1 95.5
82 Connecticut 96.0 94.4 95.8 95.4
83 SMU 94.6 93.9 96.9 95.2
84 Troy 92.8 97.5 94.8 95.1
85 Northern Illinois 93.9 95.3 95.2 94.8
86 Army 90.5 98.7 93.3 94.2
87 Utah St. 93.3 96.0 93.1 94.1
88 Purdue 94.6 92.6 93.5 93.6
89 Oregon St. 95.6 91.1 93.9 93.5
90 Ohio 89.5 96.2 90.0 91.9
91 East Carolina 91.2 93.2 91.3 91.9
92 Southern Mississippi 91.5 92.0 91.9 91.8
93 Georgia Southern 90.5 90.7 92.5 91.3
94 Colorado St. 89.8 91.6 90.7 90.7
95 Rutgers 91.8 89.4 90.4 90.6
96 Akron 87.9 93.4 89.5 90.3
97 Wyoming 89.5 89.8 90.3 89.9
98 Arkansas St. 88.1 90.1 89.8 89.3
99 Eastern Michigan 86.9 89.1 87.3 87.8
100 Old Dominion 86.3 89.7 86.7 87.6
101 UNLV 86.3 89.6 86.6 87.5
102 Ball St. 85.2 87.7 86.3 86.4
103 Tulane 84.7 88.9 85.2 86.3
104 South Alabama 83.5 90.3 84.8 86.2
105 Nevada 85.1 87.5 85.7 86.1
106 Kent St. 85.2 87.2 85.7 86.1
107 Miami (O) 85.0 86.0 86.3 85.8
108 Hawaii 86.1 84.9 85.9 85.6
109 Kansas 84.0 89.5 81.5 85.0
110 Georgia St. 82.7 87.2 84.6 84.8
111 Marshall 82.9 86.3 83.8 84.3
112 UTSA 81.0 88.0 83.4 84.2
113 North Texas 82.4 85.2 83.2 83.6
114 Rice 81.0 87.8 81.2 83.3
115 Massachusetts 80.1 86.4 81.2 82.6
116 Bowling Green 82.2 82.6 82.2 82.3
117 San Jose St. 82.0 81.8 81.3 81.7
118 Idaho 79.3 84.6 80.9 81.6
119 Fresno St. 80.0 83.7 79.7 81.1
120 Florida International 78.7 83.5 78.8 80.3
121 UL-Lafayette 77.5 83.6 79.3 80.2
122 Florida Atlantic 77.0 81.9 80.2 79.7
123 Buffalo 73.1 80.2 73.5 75.6
124 Charlotte 73.5 78.8 74.2 75.5
125 UTEP 72.1 76.7 73.4 74.1
126 New Mexico St. 71.8 74.9 72.7 73.1
127 UL-Monroe 67.4 72.3 67.7 69.1
128 Texas St. 67.3 69.5 68.1 68.3

 

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 108.6 106.8 109.1 108.2
Temple 103.4 102.8 103.6 103.3
Cincinnati 97.9 98.2 98.1 98.1
Central Florida 95.6 97.3 96.1 96.3
Connecticut 96.0 94.4 95.8 95.4
East Carolina 91.2 93.2 91.3 91.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 109.9 108.5 111.5 110.0
Memphis 103.9 101.3 102.6 102.6
Navy 102.8 101.9 102.6 102.5
Tulsa 99.7 101.8 100.6 100.7
SMU 94.6 93.9 96.9 95.2
Tulane 84.7 88.9 85.2 86.3
         
AAC Averages 99.0 99.1 99.4 99.2
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisville 130.0 124.8 130.1 128.3
Clemson 126.6 119.3 125.6 123.8
Florida St. 119.0 112.6 118.0 116.5
North Carolina St. 107.0 104.0 106.6 105.9
Wake Forest 104.4 102.0 104.1 103.5
Syracuse 103.7 100.5 102.3 102.2
Boston College 98.3 97.6 97.8 97.9
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Virginia Tech 118.9 117.5 119.3 118.6
North Carolina 118.1 111.7 118.0 115.9
Miami 116.6 110.6 116.2 114.5
Pittsburgh 115.2 111.5 114.4 113.7
Georgia Tech 109.8 105.6 108.9 108.1
Duke 101.4 101.6 100.5 101.2
Virginia 101.8 99.5 101.1 100.8
         
ACC Averages 112.2 108.5 111.6 110.8
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 119.8 118.0 119.4 119.1
Baylor 114.1 114.4 114.7 114.4
Oklahoma St. 113.8 115.1 113.4 114.1
West Virginia 113.2 111.9 112.9 112.7
Texas 110.0 111.3 109.2 110.2
TCU 107.3 108.8 106.6 107.6
Kansas St. 106.6 109.0 106.5 107.4
Texas Tech 103.8 103.0 102.1 103.0
Iowa St. 98.6 98.1 97.9 98.2
Kansas 84.0 89.5 81.5 85.0
         
Big 12 Averages 107.1 107.9 106.4 107.2
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 129.6 127.1 130.1 128.9
Ohio St. 123.0 122.7 123.5 123.1
Penn St. 109.2 110.8 108.4 109.5
Indiana 102.6 104.6 102.2 103.1
Maryland 102.8 105.1 101.3 103.1
Michigan St. 103.3 102.9 101.1 102.4
Rutgers 91.8 89.4 90.4 90.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 115.7 113.7 116.5 115.3
Nebraska 112.6 109.6 112.4 111.5
Iowa 111.8 109.2 111.6 110.9
Northwestern 109.3 105.2 108.1 107.5
Minnesota 104.1 103.1 103.4 103.5
Illinois 97.4 93.9 96.6 96.0
Purdue 94.6 92.6 93.5 93.6
         
Big Ten Averages 107.7 106.4 107.1 107.1
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 102.1 99.3 103.1 101.5
Middle Tennessee 96.2 96.9 96.8 96.6
Old Dominion 86.3 89.7 86.7 87.6
Marshall 82.9 86.3 83.8 84.3
Florida International 78.7 83.5 78.8 80.3
Florida Atlantic 77.0 81.9 80.2 79.7
Charlotte 73.5 78.8 74.2 75.5
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisiana Tech 94.5 96.3 96.0 95.6
Southern Mississippi 91.5 92.0 91.9 91.8
UTSA 81.0 88.0 83.4 84.2
North Texas 82.4 85.2 83.2 83.6
Rice 81.0 87.8 81.2 83.3
UTEP 72.1 76.7 73.4 74.1
         
CUSA Averages 84.6 87.9 85.6 86.0
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 112.3 108.7 110.6 110.5
BYU 109.3 103.8 108.9 107.3
Army 90.5 98.7 93.3 94.2
Massachusetts 80.1 86.4 81.2 82.6
         
Independents Averages 98.1 99.4 98.5 98.7
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio 89.5 96.2 90.0 91.9
Akron 87.9 93.4 89.5 90.3
Kent St. 85.2 87.2 85.7 86.1
Miami (O) 85.0 86.0 86.3 85.8
Bowling Green 82.2 82.6 82.2 82.3
Buffalo 73.1 80.2 73.5 75.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 112.6 111.5 114.3 112.8
Toledo 103.8 103.2 104.5 103.8
Central Michigan 97.2 98.9 97.8 98.0
Northern Illinois 93.9 95.3 95.2 94.8
Eastern Michigan 86.9 89.1 87.3 87.8
Ball St. 85.2 87.7 86.3 86.4
         
MAC Averages 90.2 92.6 91.0 91.3
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 108.1 109.1 109.3 108.8
New Mexico 94.6 96.9 95.5 95.7
Air Force 95.1 96.3 95.1 95.5
Utah St. 93.3 96.0 93.1 94.1
Colorado St. 89.8 91.6 90.7 90.7
Wyoming 89.5 89.8 90.3 89.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 103.0 101.5 105.0 103.2
UNLV 86.3 89.6 86.6 87.5
Nevada 85.1 87.5 85.7 86.1
Hawaii 86.1 84.9 85.9 85.6
San Jose St. 82.0 81.8 81.3 81.7
Fresno St. 80.0 83.7 79.7 81.1
         
MWC Averages 91.1 92.4 91.5 91.7
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 129.0 121.6 129.1 126.6
Washington St. 113.2 110.3 113.3 112.3
Stanford 113.5 107.4 112.9 111.3
Oregon 105.9 104.1 104.9 105.0
California 105.1 98.0 102.8 102.0
Oregon St. 95.6 91.1 93.9 93.5
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colorado 117.2 112.7 117.0 115.7
USC 117.2 112.7 114.9 114.9
UCLA 109.9 108.4 109.2 109.2
Utah 111.2 105.9 109.3 108.8
Arizona St. 105.8 104.7 104.6 105.1
Arizona 101.2 99.1 99.7 100.0
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.4 106.4 109.3 108.7
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 119.0 115.9 118.4 117.8
Florida 114.0 116.3 112.3 114.2
Georgia 108.5 107.7 107.8 108.0
Vanderbilt 101.4 98.2 100.1 99.9
Kentucky 99.1 100.1 98.3 99.2
Missouri 99.4 99.0 98.9 99.1
South Carolina 97.2 97.1 96.6 97.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 135.6 128.8 135.5 133.3
LSU 124.5 119.5 124.1 122.7
Auburn 122.7 120.6 122.7 122.0
Texas A&M 117.3 115.3 117.1 116.6
Ole Miss 115.0 109.5 113.9 112.8
Arkansas 109.6 104.9 107.7 107.4
Mississippi St. 107.8 106.3 106.7 106.9
         
SEC Averages 112.2 110.0 111.4 111.2
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 98.1 98.6 99.9 98.9
Troy 92.8 97.5 94.8 95.1
Georgia Southern 90.5 90.7 92.5 91.3
Arkansas St. 88.1 90.1 89.8 89.3
South Alabama 83.5 90.3 84.8 86.2
Georgia St. 82.7 87.2 84.6 84.8
Idaho 79.3 84.6 80.9 81.6
UL-Lafayette 77.5 83.6 79.3 80.2
New Mexico St. 71.8 74.9 72.7 73.1
UL-Monroe 67.4 72.3 67.7 69.1
Texas St. 67.3 69.5 68.1 68.3
         
Sun Belt Averages 81.7 85.4 83.2 83.5

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.2 110.0 111.4 111.2
2 ACC 112.2 108.5 111.6 110.8
3 Pac-12 110.4 106.4 109.3 108.7
4 Big 12 107.1 107.9 106.4 107.2
5 Big Ten 107.7 106.4 107.1 107.1
6 AAC 99.0 99.1 99.4 99.2
7 Independents 98.1 99.4 98.5 98.7
8 MWC 91.1 92.4 91.5 91.7
9 MAC 90.2 92.6 91.0 91.3
10 CUSA 84.6 87.9 85.6 86.0
11 Sun Belt 81.7 85.4 83.2 83.5

 

PiRate Retrodictive
# Team
1 Alabama
2 Michigan
3 Clemson
4 Louisville
5 Washington
6 Texas A&M
7 Ohio St.
8 Wisconsin
9 Nebraska
10 Western Michigan
11 West Virginia
12 Florida St.
13 Boise St.
14 Tennessee
15 Oklahoma
16 LSU
17 Auburn
18 Colorado
19 Baylor
20 Florida
21 Washington St.
22 Penn St.
23 Utah
24 Virginia Tech
25 USC
26 North Carolina
27 Houston
28 Stanford
29 Toledo
30 Pittsburgh
31 Navy
32 South Florida
33 Arkansas
34 Ole Miss
35 Miami (Fla)
36 Oklahoma St.
37 Appalachian St.
38 Iowa
39 BYU
40 Wake Forest
41 Arizona St.
42 Memphis
43 Northwestern
44 Troy
45 North Carolina St.
46 San Diego St.
47 Temple
48 Georgia Tech
49 Kansas St.
50 Georgia
51 TCU
52 California
53 Minnesota
54 Tulsa
55 Maryland
56 UCLA
57 Western Kentucky
58 Central Florida
59 Kentucky
60 Wyoming
61 Louisiana Tech
62 Texas Tech
63 Indiana
64 Central Michigan
65 Vanderbilt
66 Middle Tennessee
67 Oregon
68 Georgia Southern
69 Texas
70 Syracuse
71 Air Force
72 Eastern Michigan
73 Akron
74 Colorado St.
75 Mississippi St.
76 Duke
77 Southern Miss.
78 South Carolina
79 Cincinnati
80 Arizona
81 Notre Dame
82 Missouri
83 New Mexico
84 SMU
85 Michigan St.
86 Old Dominion
87 Oregon St.
88 Utah St.
89 Ohio
90 Army
91 Connecticut
92 Virginia
93 North Texas
94 Idaho
95 Boston College
96 Illinois
97 Hawaii
98 Tulane
99 East Carolina
100 Arkansas St.
101 Purdue
102 South Alabama
103 Ball St.
104 Rutgers
105 Iowa St.
106 UL-Lafayette
107 Northern Illinois
108 Georgia St.
109 UTSA
110 UNLV
111 Kent St.
112 Marshall
113 Miami (O)
114 Nevada
115 UL-Monroe
116 Bowling Green
117 New Mexico St.
118 Florida Int’l.
119 Charlotte
120 Kansas
121 San Jose St.
122 Massachusetts
123 Texas St.
124 UTEP
125 Rice
126 Fresno St.
127 Buffalo
128 Florida Atlantic

 

This Week’s Games–October 27-29
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Thursday, October 27      
Pittsburgh Virginia Tech -0.7 -3.0 -1.9
Buffalo Akron -12.8 -11.2 -14.0
Toledo Ohio U 16.8 9.5 17.5
Georgia Southern Appalachian St. -4.6 -4.9 -4.4
USC California 15.1 17.7 15.1
         
Friday, October 28      
South Florida Navy 8.8 7.9 9.5
Utah St. San Diego St. -6.7 -2.5 -8.9
Fresno St. Air Force -12.1 -9.6 -12.4
         
Saturday, October 29      
Central Michigan Kent St. 15.0 14.7 15.1
Houston Central Florida 17.3 14.2 18.4
East Carolina Connecticut -1.8 1.8 -1.5
Georgia Tech Duke 11.4 7.0 11.4
Virginia Louisville -25.2 -22.3 -26.0
Missouri Kentucky 3.3 1.9 3.6
Iowa St. Kansas St. -5.0 -7.9 -5.6
Oklahoma St. West Virginia 3.6 6.2 3.5
Illinois Minnesota -3.7 -5.2 -3.8
Michigan St. Michigan -24.3 -22.2 -27.0
Purdue Penn St. -11.6 -15.2 -11.9
North Carolina St. Boston College 11.7 9.4 11.8
Temple Cincinnati 8.5 7.6 8.5
Florida Atlantic Western Kentucky -22.1 -14.4 -19.9
Georgia (N) Florida -5.5 -8.6 -4.5
Texas Baylor -1.1 -0.1 -2.5
Wake Forest Army 16.9 6.3 13.8
Notre Dame Miami (Fla.) -1.3 0.9 -2.6
Utah Washington -14.8 -12.7 -16.8
Indiana Maryland 2.8 2.5 3.9
TCU Texas Tech 6.5 8.8 7.5
Ohio St. Northwestern 16.7 20.5 18.4
Eastern Michigan Miami (O) 4.9 6.1 4.0
Tulane SMU -7.4 -2.5 -9.7
South Alabama Georgia St. 3.8 6.1 3.2
Oregon Arizona St. 3.1 2.4 3.3
Wyoming Boise St. -15.6 -16.3 -16.0
Louisiana Tech Rice 16.5 11.5 17.8
Southern Miss. Marshall 11.6 8.7 11.1
UTSA North Texas 1.1 5.3 2.7
Florida Int’l. Middle Tennessee -14.5 -10.4 -15.0
Arkansas St. UL-Monroe 23.7 20.8 25.1
Oklahoma Kansas 38.8 31.5 40.9
Wisconsin Nebraska 6.1 7.1 7.1
Ole Miss Auburn -4.7 -8.1 -5.8
South Carolina Tennessee -18.8 -15.8 -18.8
Texas A&M New Mexico St. 48.5 43.4 47.4
UTEP Old Dominion -11.2 -10.0 -10.3
Memphis Tulsa 7.2 2.5 5.0
Florida St. Clemson -4.6 -3.7 -4.6
San Jose St. UNLV -1.3 -4.8 -2.3
Oregon St. Washington St. -14.6 -16.2 -16.4
Arizona Stanford -9.3 -5.3 -10.2
Hawaii New Mexico -4.5 -8.0 -5.6
FBS vs. FCS Week 9  
Home Visitor PiRate
Massachusetts Wagner 17
Mississippi St. Samford 19

 

This Week’s Bowl Projections

Bowl Conferences Team vs. Team
New Mexico MWC CUSA New Mexico vs. Sou. Miss.
Las Vegas Pac-12 MWC Arizona St. vs. San Diego St.
Cure AAC SBC South Florida vs. Arkansas St.
Camellia MAC SBC Akron vs. Ga. Southern
New Orleans CUSA SBC La. Tech vs. Troy
Miami Beach AAC MAC Houston vs. Toledo
Boca Raton AAC CUSA Memphis vs. W. Kentucky
Poinsettia MWC BYU Air Force vs. BYU
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Central Mich. vs. Boise St.
Bahamas AAC/CUSA MAC/CUSA Temple vs. Eastern Mich.
Armed Forces Navy Big 12 Navy vs. [Idaho]
Dollar General MAC SBC Ohio U vs. Appy St.
Hawaii CUSA MWC North Texas vs. Hawaii
St. Petersburg AAC ACC/ND Tulsa vs. Miami (Fla.)
Quick Lane ACC/ND Big Ten {Notre Dame} vs. Indiana
Independence SEC ACC/ND {S.Carolina} vs. Georgia Tech
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA Maryland vs. Middle Tenn.
Military ACC/ND AAC N. Carolina St. vs. Central Fla.
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Northwestern vs. Utah
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 {Utah St.} vs. California
Pinstripe ACC/ND Big Ten Wake Forest vs. Iowa
Russell Athletic ACC/ND Big 12 Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma St.
Foster Farms Big Ten Pac-12 Minnesota vs. USC
Texas Big 12 SEC Kansas St. vs. Arkansas
Birmingham AAC SEC [Army] vs. {Syracuse}
Belk ACC/ND SEC N. Carolina vs. Georgia
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 Oklahoma vs. Colorado
Liberty Big 12 SEC TCU vs. LSU
Sun ACC/ND Pac-12 Pittsburgh vs. Stanford
Arizona CUSA/SBC MWC/SBC Old Dominion vs. Wyoming
Music City ACC/ND/B10 SEC Nebraska vs. [Colorado St.]
Orange ACC/ND B10/SEC Louisville vs. Baylor
Citrus ACC/ND/B10 SEC Wisconsin vs. Auburn
TaxSlayer ACC/ND/B10 SEC Florida St. vs. Ole Miss
Peach Semifinal Semifinal Michigan vs. Texas A&M
Fiesta Semifinal Semifinal Alabama vs. Clemson
Outback Big Ten SEC Ohio St. vs. Florida
Cotton At-Large At-Large Western Mich. vs. Washington
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Penn St. vs. Wash. St.
Sugar Big 12 SEC West Virginia vs. Tennessee
Championship Semifinal Winners Alabama vs. Michigan
           
[Team] At-Large Selection
{Team} At-Large Selection of projected 7-Loss Team

The APR Score Rankings

If one or more 5-7 teams are needed to fill vacant bowl slots, they will be filled in order of highest APR score.  For instance, if there are five spots to be filled by 5-7 teams, the highest five 5-7 teams in APR score will automatically earn those spots.  Then, in order of APR score, the teams will choose which bowl bid to accept.  Here is the ranking of the teams.  If there are five spots to be filled, then it could go down to the 40th best APR score or lower, because few teams will actually be 5-7.

APR Scores
1 Duke
2 Northwestern
3 Minnesota
4 Wisconsin
5 Vanderbilt
6 Army
7 Michigan
8 Georgia Tech
9 Air Force
10 North Texas
11 Clemson
12 Stanford
13 Central Florida
14 Utah
15 Auburn
16 Boise St.
17 Navy
18 Illinois
19 Louisville
20 Boston College
21 Nebraska
22 Indiana
23 Alabama
24 Florida
25 Michigan St.
26 Missouri
27 Utah St.
28 Maryland
29 Kansas St.
30 Notre Dame
31 Middle Tennessee
32 Rice
33 Toledo
34 Virginia
35 Washington
36 Syracuse
37 UTEP
38 Rutgers
39 UCLA
40 South Carolina
41 Mississippi St.
42 Temple
43 Ohio St.
44 Hawaii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 20, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–October 20-24, 2016

Not So Good

Last weekend was not a great one for the parlay-pickers at PiRate Headquarters.  We selected four longshot parlays and returned one winner at +192, as upsets by Eastern Michigan and Vanderbilt prevented a potential major windfall.

For the season, this drops our mediocre results to just plain not-so-good.  As usual, our solace is that we are not out a penny, because we never actually invest real currency (or whatever you call those green notes in your wallet).

We’re not all that enthused with this week’s schedule either.  It took an extra afternoon to come up with four picks, and we included two underdogs to win outright in our four plays.  Good luck with that.

It may be a better weekend to hike in the forest with all the changing colors on the trees.

1. College Parlay @ +209
California over Oregon
North Carolina over Virginia
West Virginia over TCU
 
2.College Parlay @ +234
Colorado over Stanford
Oklahoma over Texas Tech
Alabama over Texas A&M
Tulsa over Tulane
 
3. College Singleton @ +275
Arizona St. over Washington St.
 
4. NFL Parlay @ +208
Green Bay over Chicago
Cincinnati over Cleveland
Atlanta over San Diego
Denver over Houston

August 31, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 1-5, 2016

This just for fun weekly feature turned out to be our most widely read part of the PiRate Ratings last year, because just like a broken clock is correct twice a day, somehow our money line parlays returned 40% on investment last year. People began leaving comments at our sister site, http://www.piratings.webs.com , telling us they were using these picks to wager their hard-earned money. That disappointed us a lot, since we begged them not to do this.

This is a just for fun mathematical experiment. We have no inside information; we have no specialist in Vegas placing wagers anonymously for us like other heavy hitters. In fact, if we were to announce to any book that we would like to play our picks for real, they would bend over backwards to help us do just that. So, that should tell you not to use these picks. Just read what we have to offer. If there is some way to wager just for fun with your friends, by picking X number of teams to win outright, then maybe you can use our selections.

For those not aware of the Money Line, it is a line established to wager on who you think will win the game without having to cover a pointspread. Obviously, if Michigan plays Hawaii, you would take Michigan to win. As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend.” In order to take Michigan to win the game outright over Hawaii, you have to give ridiculous odds to the book. To win just $100 on this proposal, you must put up $75,000! If you want to wager just $100 on Hawaii to win the game in the biggest upset in years, you would win $25,000 if it happened!

Obviously, this is an extreme outlier. Let’s look at a closer game this week. Vanderbilt hosts South Carolina tomorrow night. The current Money Line odds are listed as Vanderbilt -185 and South Carolina +165. This means that if you believe the Commodores will win, you must put up $185 to win $100 ($285, because you get your investment money back as well). If you believe South Carolina will win this game, then by wagering $100, you stand to win $165 ($265 as you will get your $100 back as well if you win) if the Gamecocks win.

A Money Line parlay allows you to combine multiple games in order to raise your total odds. The catch is that if you bet X amount of games as one parlay wager, all X teams must win. It is considered a sucker bet to play this type of exotic wager, but we are not suckers, because we bet $0 every week. We can choose and choose parlays every week, and we will not lose a penny. We hope you will not either.

Here is our plan of attack that worked rather well last year for us. We will select a host of favorites and bunch them into parlays where the odds are better than even money for us should we win the wager. For example, let’s say that you combine three favorites into one parlay wager. Team A is listed at -250. Team B is listed at -235. Team C is listed at -225. The parlay on this three-team wager would be +188, or you would put up $100 to win $188 ($288 because as you know by now, when you win, you get back your investment money as well.)

It is not easy for three teams at -250, -235, and -225 to all win in a given week. That’s the catch. It looks so easy, and there are some nice hotels in Vegas that have been built from funds donated to them by suckers that thought it looked so easy.

Okay, now that you have been warned, let’s get started with our first Money Line Parlays of the 2016 season. We are playing just two parlays this week, and by playing, we mean like it is Monopoly–it is just a fun game.

Parlay #1

This one gives us +167 odds on our $100 fantasy investment. Yep, if we win, we receive $267 from the fake book in fake Vegas.

Tulsa over San Jose St.
Wake Forest over Tulane
LSU over Wisconsin
West Virginia over Missouri

Parlay #2

This one gives us +127 odds on our $100 fantasy investment. So, if we win just one of these two parlays, it will be a profitable week.

Colorado over Colorado St.
Temple over Army
UTEP over New Mexico St.
Minnesota over Oregon St.

Okay, that’s $200 fake invested funds into two parlays. If we lose both, we are out our imaginary $200. If we win #1 and lose #2, we will have a nice profit in week one returning $267 on the $200 wagered (33.5% ROI). If we lose #1 and win #2, we will have a so-so profit in week one returning $227 on the $200 wagered (13.5% ROI). If somehow both parlays win, we will be taking a fake vacation to an imaginary mountain lodge after pulling off a return of $494 on the $200 wagered (147% ROI).

One final warning and plea–please do not wager real money on these picks. Use them for fun only. See if you can come up with your own and see for yourself how easy hard it is.

Happy football holiday weekend.

August 21, 2016

2016 Big 12 Conference Football Preview

The Big 12 has been teetering on the brink of unplanned obsolescence for the last couple of years. As the only Power 5 Conference without a postseason Conference Championship Game, the league powers have been a little paranoid that other predators from the West Coast, the Deep South, and the Upper Midwest, might pillage them and leave them without a job. The Pac-12 is anxious to change its name to the Pac-16. The SEC and Big Ten realize that it is easier to work with 16 rather than 14 teams. The ACC has 15 in all sports except football, but even in football, Notre Dame plays basically five conference games per year.

What does a league do with just 10 members? It cannot play a conference title game until it has 12. Obviously, the league must expand by two to six teams, or else, their members will be searching for greener futures and high payouts.

In the meantime, the Big 12 continues to provide some of the most exciting football on the planet. The quasi-renegade league provides the alternative to the SEC’s and Big Ten’s blood and guts play, just like the old American Football League of the 1960’s sold itself as the more entertaining league to the NFL. The AFL had all the razzle dazzle stars like Joe Namath, Len Dawson, Daryle Lamonica, John Hadl, Cookie Gilchrist, Lance Alworth, and others, while the NFL was all about bruising fullbacks running between the tackles and halfbacks running power sweeps behind pulling guards.

The Big 12 is the pass-happy league with wide open offenses, blitzing and gambling defenses, and no game secure even if a team has scored over 50 points. Who can forget the day in 2014 when undefeated TCU led undefeated Baylor by 18 points in the fourth quarter and lost 61-58? You could have watched Alabama beat Arkansas 14-13 that day. Michigan beat Penn State 18-13.

2016 promises to be an interesting season in the Southwest. Oklahoma represented the league in the NCAA Playoffs, after two 11-1 teams failed to earn a spot the year before. The Sooners quickly bowed out in a semifinal loss to Clemson, but OU is loaded this season and in contention for the top overall spot.

The Sooners will not receive a free pass to the playoffs this year. Their schedule is tricky with a pre-conference matchups with Houston at NRG Stadium to start the season and Ohio State on September 17. Then following a bye week, OU has a road game with TCU, and the annual Red River Shootout with Texas the following Saturday. If Coach Bob Stoops can guide his squad to a 5-0 start, a 7-0 finish is very likely.

A group of four teams figure to be the main challengers to the Sooners, or in a probable case, a quartet fighting for a Sugar Bowl berth as the league runnerup. Oklahoma State, TCU, and Baylor figure to be on most pundits’ lists, but the PiRates believe that Coach Charlie Strong will bring the Texas Longhorns back to near the top of the standings this year and even give Oklahoma a run for its money. If he doesn’t, the UT alumni may be advertising for a new coach in 2017.

For the Longhorns, the season kicks off with a Sunday tilt at home against Notre Dame, and a win in the opener could give the burnt orange a shot in the arm. A road game against Oklahoma State precedes the fight with the Sooners at the Texas State Fair the following week, and pulling off back-to-back wins over their rivals to the north is most unlikely. Thus, we believe that Texas can win 10 games and vie for the Sugar Bowl bid, but they cannot win 11 or 12 and contend for a playoff spot.

TCU begins the season ranked ahead of Texas in our ratings and actually within shouting distance of Oklahoma, but the Horned Frogs have to rebuild on offense due to heavy losses, including their star quarterback, running back, and wideout. The defense is still solid, but they may be on the field for too many plays in crucial games. Road games at Baylor and Texas could eliminate any gain made by possibly upsetting Oklahoma ar Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Oklahoma State is flying a little under the radar to begin the season. The Cowboys were 10-0 last year, before losing to Baylor, Oklahoma, and Ole Miss to end the year at 10-3. Their offense could top 42 points per game this year with experience and depth returning, while the defense should be on par with last year’s defense. OSU wins games by outscoring opponents, so scores like 45-31 are frequent happenings, and this team can win double digit games again while giving up 30+ points per game.

Baylor faced a minor rebuilding project heading into this season, but off the field events have wounded the Bears enough to where second half of the season depth issues could cause a minor fold. We do not expect BU to contend for the Big 12 crown, and we would not be shocked if the losses began to mount beginning with a trip to Austin on October 29.

Kansas State, West Virginia, and Texas Tech represent the next wave. In most years, KSU plays one of the softest non-conference slates, guaranteeing themselves of three wins before taking the field, and thus needing just a 3-6 conference mark to earn a bowl bid. However, the Wildcats will begin the season 0-1 with a Friday night game at the Farm against Stanford. The likely 3-6 conference record will leave the guys from the Little Apple home for the holidays.

Texas Tech faces a similar situation. The Red Raiders are looking at 3-6 or even 2-7 in league play, as they must play Kansas State and Iowa State on the road. Playing at Arizona State in September could prevent TTU from going bowling as well.

West Virginia may actually be a tad weaker than the previous two teams, but the Mountaineers have the favorable schedule that could give them the three wins they need to pair with a 3-6 conference mark and finish 6-6.

Iowa State is not ready to compete for bowl eligibility this year, but the Cyclones are moving upwards slowly. They could even sneak into a tie for 7th if the ball bounces their way, but they should win more than one conference game this year.

Kansas still has basketball season to await. The Jayhawks are likely destined for yet another last place finish, but this year KU should at least win a game after finishing 0-12 in 2015. The season opener with Rhode Island is the only for sure winnable game, but the Jayhawks might be confident enough to pull off the mild upset over Ohio the following week. It looks like another 0-9 league mark for the Jayhawks, but then by the time they host Texas on November 19, all will be okay with the Rock Chalkers at Allen Fieldhouse.

Here is how the Big 12 Media predicted the 2016 order of finish.

2016 Big 12 Conference Media Poll
# Team 1st Pl. Total
1 Oklahoma 24 258
2 TCU 2 222
3 Oklahoma St. 0 202
4 Baylor 0 156
5 Texas 0 151
6 Texas Tech 0 141
7 West Virginia 0 126
8 Kansas St. 0 88
9 Iowa St. 0 59
10 Kansas 0 27

Here are the initial 2016 PiRate Ratings for the league.

Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 125.6 122.1 125.6 124.4
Oklahoma St. 117.5 118.8 117.5 117.9
Texas 114.4 118.0 114.4 115.6
TCU 113.3 115.6 113.2 114.0
Baylor 109.4 109.7 110.6 109.9
West Virginia 106.6 106.1 106.0 106.2
Kansas St. 103.1 107.5 102.5 104.4
Texas Tech 104.9 102.3 102.7 103.3
Iowa St. 99.8 99.2 98.7 99.2
Kansas 88.3 96.1 85.9 90.1

The PiRate Ratings are meant to be used only to predict the outcomes of the next week of games, and are not best used to predict beyond that point. Because we use algorithms that include automatic adjustments by each team based on depth and experience, two different teams can win by the exact score we predict, and their new ratings might change differently.

Thus, using our ratings to predict won-loss records and bowl projections is a bit comical, but then we all need some laughs every now and then. So, laugh away at our projected standings and bowls, and notice that this league will not provide the needed number to fill all of its obligations, thus benefiting other leagues like the Big Ten and Pac-12, who both may have extra bowl eligible teams this year.

Big 12 Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
Oklahoma 9-0 12-0 Playoffs/Fiesta
Oklahoma St. 7-2 10-2 Alamo
Texas 7-2 10-2 Sugar
TCU 6-3 9-3 Russell Athletic
Baylor 6-3 9-3 Texas
West Virginia 3-6 6-6 Liberty
Kansas St. 3-6 5-7  
Texas Tech 2-7 4-8  
Iowa St. 2-7 4-8  
Kansas 0-9 2-10

Coming Monday, August 22: The Pac-12 Conference with wide open races in both divisions.  Is there a surprise team ready to emerge as the new league beast, or is it more of the same old fare?

January 15, 2016

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Picks for January 16-17, 2016

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:55 am

This week, we expand our selections to include both Saturday and Sunday games of games from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC.

Beginning next week, we will commence with our 32 Bracketologists consensus as there have now been enough games to actually put some weight behind the teams in the field, on the bubble, and out of the field.

The Red Rating uses an algorithm based on the Four Factors of basketball.

The White Rating incorporates a “least squares” principle to the Four Factors.

The Blue Rating is a separate statistics and strength of schedule approach similar to our PiRate Bias Ratings in football.

Games Schedule for: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Georgia Tech Virginia Tech 9 9 4
Wake Forest Syracuse 1 1 3
North Carolina North Carolina St. 18 15 21
Pittsburgh Boston College 19 23 19
Duke Notre Dame 10 9 10
Clemson Miami (Fla.) -5 -5 3
Kansas TCU 23 20 26
Texas Tech Baylor -1 5 2
Oklahoma West Virginia 7 6 -2
Kansas St. Iowa St. -1 2 2
Texas Oklahoma St. 6 8 5
Maryland Ohio St. 12 11 8
Minnesota Indiana -13 -13 -9
Illinois Nebraska 3 3 5
Northwestern Penn St. 10 11 9
Arizona St. Washington 6 6 2
Arizona Washington St. 16 16 17
South Carolina Missouri 15 15 11
Georgia Texas A&M -1 -1 -4
Mississippi St. Tennessee 1 -1 3
Auburn Kentucky -10 -10 -14
Vanderbilt Alabama 9 12 5
Ole Miss Florida 1 -3 3
LSU Arkansas 3 3 6
Games Schedule for: Sunday, January 17, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Florida St. Virginia -2 -3 -3
Wisconsin Michigan St. -6 -4 -9
Iowa Michigan 12 10 8
Colorado Oregon -1 2 4
Utah Oregon St. 4 3 6

 

February 16, 2015

America’s Most Accurate Bracketology Composite—February 16, 2015

As the Eastern half of the nation tries to dig itself out of the latest several feet of global warming, it is hard to believe that the NCAA Tournament will begin in four weeks and one day.

The weather may not be clearing, but the dance marathon competitors are beginning to clear up.

Before going into this week’s bracketology report, let me address the shot-clock story from Friday, February 13.  If you haven’t read it, here is the link: https://piratings.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/college-basketball-and-the-shot-clock/

We have received a lot of feedback from dozens of you, and apparently, this is a very divisive issue.  About 75% of you favor the 24-second clock for college basketball, while about 25% of you believe it will ruin the game.  You did not buy into the statistical data showing that more possessions in a game lead to more deviation in the efficiency and thus opens up the possibility of more upsets and not fewer.

We are happy that a couple of you are mathematics educators at the highest level, and all of you were unanimous in your support of the 24-second clock and the evidence that more possession would lead to more upsets.  Yes, it could lead to power teams winning by 40 instead of 25, but as we stated, Kentucky readily welcomes minimum possession games, and if the Wildcats are to be defeated this year, we believe it will come from an up-tempo team forcing the Blue Mist to defend 70 or more possessions.

Okay, back to the issue at hand.  Our two dozen plus bracketologists have released their individual bracketology reports this week, and we have combined them into our third master list of the season.  For more information on our composite experts, look at previous bracketology reports on this site.

Once again, 21 conferences will send just one team to the NCAA Tournament, and this could become 22 if Gonzaga wins the automatic bid from the West Coast Conference, as BYU has fallen out of the at-large list.  For now, we have Gonzaga sweeping through the remainder of their schedule, so in essence 22 leagues are tapped to send one representative to the Dance.

That leaves 46 remaining at-large spots, and according to our current data, about 64 teams competing for those 46 spots.

Let’s start with the definite one-bid leagues.  The conference tournament champion will get the lone bid for these conferences.  In the case of the Ivy League, at the present time, we believe Harvard and Yale will both finish 12-2, necessitating a playoff game.

Here are the top contenders for each of the one-bid leagues.  We have approximated the seed for the leading contender.

 

America East Conf Overall Seed
Albany 12-0 18-7 16
Vermont 11-2 16-10  
New Hampshire 9-4 16-10  
Stony Brook 8-4 17-10  
       
Atlantic Sun Conf Overall Seed
Florida Gulf Coast 9-1 19-7 15
North Florida 8-2 16-11  
USC Upstate 6-4 19-8  
       
Big Sky Conf Overall Seed
Eastern Washington 10-2 19-6 14
Sacramento St. 10-3 16-8  
Montana 10-3 14-10  
Northern Arizona 8-4 13-12  
Northern Colorado 7-6 12-12  
       
Big South Conf Overall Seed
High Point 10-4 19-7 16
Radford 10-4 19-8  
Charleston Southern 10-4 16-9  
Coastal Carolina 9-5 18-8  
Winthrop 9-5 14-11  
UNC Asheville 9-5 13-12  
Gardner-Webb 8-6 16-11  
       
Big West Conf Overall Seed
UC Davis 9-1 19-4 14
UC Irvine 7-3 14-10  
Long Beach St. 7-4 13-14  
UC Santa Barbara 6-4 13-11  
Hawaii 6-5 18-9  
       
Colonial Conf Overall Seed
William & Mary 10-4 16-9 14
UNC Wilmington 10-4 15-10  
Northeastern 9-5 17-10  
James Madison 9-5 16-11  
Hofstra 8-6 17-10  
Drexel 8-6 10-15  
       
Conference USA Conf Overall Seed
Louisiana Tech 11-2 20-6 13
UTEP 10-3 18-7  
Western Kentucky 9-3 16-8  
UAB 9-4 13-13  
Old Dominion 7-5 18-6  
UT San Antonio 7-6 13-11  
       
Horizon Conf Overall Seed
Valparaiso 11-2 24-4 12
Cleveland St. 10-3 16-11  
Green Bay 9-3 20-6  
Oakland 8-4 13-14  
       
Ivy Conf Overall Seed
Harvard 7-1 17-5 12
Yale 7-1 18-7  
Princeton 4-3 11-12  
       
Metro Atlantic Conf Overall Seed
Iona 14-2 21-6 13
Rider 12-4 18-9  
Monmouth 10-5 14-12  
Manhattan 10-6 13-12  
       
Mid-American Conf Overall Seed
Bowling Green 9-3 17-6 13
Central Michigan 8-4 18-5  
Akron 8-4 17-8  
Kent St. 8-4 17-8  
Toledo 8-4 16-9  
       
Mideastern Conf Overall Seed
UNC Central 11-0 19-6 15
Norfolk St. 9-3 16-11  
Howard 7-4 13-12  
Delaware St. 6-4 12-13  
UM-Eastern Shore 7-5 14-13  
South Carolina St. 7-5 10-17  
Hampton 6-5 10-14  
       
Northeast Conf Overall Seed
St. Francis (NY) 12-2 18-9 16
Robert Morris 9-5 13-13  
Bryant 9-5 12-13  
St. Francis (PA) 8-6 14-11  
LIU 8-6 12-13  
Mt. St. Mary‘s 8-6 12-13  
       
Ohio Valley Conf Overall Seed
Murray St. 13-0 23-4 13
UT-Martin 8-4 16-9  
Eastern Kentucky 8-4 16-9  
Belmont 8-5 16-10  
Eastern Illinois 8-5 15-11  
Morehead St. 7-6 12-16  
       
Patriot Conf Overall Seed
Bucknell 10-4 15-12 16
Colgate 9-5 12-15  
Lehigh 8-6 14-11  
       
Southern Conf Overall Seed
Wofford 12-2 21-6 12
Chattanooga 11-3 18-9  
Mercer 10-4 15-12  
East Tennessee St. 8-7 15-10  
Western Carolina 8-7 13-14  
       
Southland Conf Overall Seed
Sam Houston St. 11-1 20-5 14
Stephen F. Austin 10-1 20-4  
Northwestern St. 8-4 13-10  
Texas A&M-CC 8-4 13-11  
       
Southwestern Conf Overall Seed
Texas Southern 9-2 12-12 16
Prairie View 6-5 8-16  
       
Summit Conf Overall Seed
South Dakota St. 10-3 19-8 15
North Dakota St. 10-3 18-8  
IPFW 7-5 14-11  
Oral Roberts 7-5 14-12  
South Dakota 7-6 13-14  
       
Sun Belt Conf Overall Seed
La.-Monroe 12-3 18-8 15
Georgia Southern 11-3 18-5  
Georgia St. 10-4 17-8  
UT-Arlington 8-6 14-10  
La.-Lafayette 8-7 14-12  
       
Western Athletic Conf Overall Seed
New Mexico St. 9-1 17-10 16
UMKC 6-3 11-15  

Here are the multiple-bid leagues.  We list the top contenders by conference record, but you can see in many cases teams that are lower in the standings may be ranked ahead of teams higher in the standings when it comes to tournament criteria.

American Conf Overall Seed
SMU 12-2 21-5 6
Tulsa 10-2 17-7 12
Temple 10-3 19-7 9
Cincinnati 8-5 17-8 10
Memphis 7-5 15-10  
Connecticut 7-5 14-10  
       
Atlantic Ten Conf Overall Seed  
Dayton 9-3 19-5 8
VCU 9-3 19-6 6
Rhode Island 9-3 17-6  
Massachusetts 9-3 16-9  
Davidson 8-4 17-6  
George Washington 7-5 17-8  
       
Atlantic Coast Conf Overall Seed
Virginia 11-1 23-1 1
Notre Dame 10-3 22-4 3
Duke 9-3 22-3 1
Louisville 8-4 20-5 3
North Carolina 8-4 18-7 4
Clemson 7-6 15-10  
Pittsburgh 6-6 17-9  
NC State 6-7 15-11 12
Florida St 6-7 14-12  
Miami (FL) 5-6 15-9  
       
Big 12 Conf Overall Seed  
Kansas 10-2 21-4 2
Iowa St. 8-4 18-6 3
Oklahoma 8-5 17-8 4
West Virginia 7-5 19-6 7
Oklahoma St. 7-6 17-8 6
Baylor 6-6 18-7 4
Texas 6-6 17-8 8
       
Big East Conf Overall Seed  
Villanova 10-2 23-2 2
Butler 8-4 18-7 5
Providence 8-5 18-8 6
Georgetown 8-5 16-8 7
Xavier 7-7 16-10 10
St. John’s 6-6 17-8 9
       
Big Ten Conf Overall Seed  
Wisconsin 11-1 23-2 2
Maryland 9-4 21-5 4
Purdue 9-4 17-9  
Michigan St. 8-4 17-8 8
Ohio St. 8-5 19-7 7
Indiana 8-5 18-8 7
Illinois 7-6 17-9 11
Iowa 6-6 15-10 11
Michigan 6-7 13-12  
Minnesota 5-8 16-10  
       
Missouri Valley Conf Overall Seed  
Northern Iowa 13-1 24-2 5
Wichita St. 13-1 23-3 5
       
Mountain West Conf Overall  
San Diego St. 10-3 20-6 8
Wyoming 9-4 20-6  
Boise St. 8-4 18-7  
Colorado St. 8-5 21-5 10
       
Pac-12 Conf Overall Seed  
Arizona 10-2 22-3 2
Utah 10-2 20-4 3
Oregon 8-5 18-8  
UCLA 8-5 16-10 11
Stanford 7-6 16-9 11
Oregon St. 7-6 16-9  
       
Southeastern Conf Overall Seed  
Kentucky 12-0 25-0 1
Arkansas 9-3 20-5 5
Texas A&M 8-4 17-7 11
Ole Miss 8-4 17-8 9
LSU 7-5 18-7 10
Georgia 7-5 16-8 9
Tennessee 6-6 14-10  
       
West Coast Conf Overall Seed  
Gonzaga 14-0 26-1 1
St. Mary’s 11-3 19-6  
BYU 10-5 20-8  

Here is how the experts seed the top four by regions.

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

The last 10 in the field are all in danger of falling out of the field of 68 with one bad week.  Michigan was in the field two weeks ago, but the Wolverines have lost four games in a row to fall off the bubble altogether.

# Last 10 In
68 Tulsa
67 N. C. St.
66 Stanford
65 Texas A&M
64 UCLA
63 Illinois
62 Iowa
61 LSU
60 Colorado State
59 Cincinnati

These are the remaining teams in order trying to move up into the field, but for now would be in the NIT if the season ended today.

# NIT Bound?
69 Purdue
70 Miami (FL.)
71 Oregon
72 U Mass
73 Old Dominion
74 BYU
75 Boise St.
76 Pittsburgh
77 Florida
78 Clemson
79 Minnesota
80 Arizona St.
81 TCU
82 Seton Hall
83 George Washington
84 Wyoming
85 Davidson
86 Rhode Island
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