RTC Bracketology Update: Selection Sunday

Posted by zhayes9 on March 13th, 2011

Zach Hayes is RTC’s official bracketologist.

UPDATED: Sunday, 4:10 PM ET.

First 4 Byes: Illinois, Colorado, Penn State, Michigan.

Last Four In: Clemson, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Georgia.

First Four Out: Saint Mary’s, Southern California, Boston College, VCU.

S-Curve (italics indicate automatic bids)

  • 1 Seeds: Kansas, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh
  • 2 Seeds: Duke, San Diego State, North Carolina, Connecticut
  • 3 Seeds: Florida, Texas, Louisville, Kentucky
  • 4 Seeds: BYU, Purdue, Syracuse, Wisconsin
  • 5 Seeds: St. John’s, West Virginia, Arizona, Vanderbilt
  • 6 Seeds: Texas A&M, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Xavier
  • 7 Seeds: Georgetown, Old Dominion, Missouri, Washington
  • 8 Seeds: Utah State, Temple, George Mason, Tennessee
  • 9 Seeds: UCLA, UNLV, Richmond, Gonzaga
  • 10 Seeds: Florida State, Marquette, Villanova, Butler
  • 11 Seeds: Michigan State, Illinois, Colorado, Penn State
  • 12 Seeds: Memphis, Michigan, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Georgia
  • 13 Seeds: Belmont, Princeton, Oakland, Indiana State
  • 14 Seeds: Bucknell, Morehead State, Wofford, Long Island
  • 15 Seeds: Akron, Northern Colorado, St. Peter’s, Boston University
  • 16 Seeds: UC-Santa Barbara, UNC-Asheville, Hampton, Arkansas Little-Rock, UT-San Antonio, Alabama State
  • Despite Duke’s ACC Tournament title, in a head-to-head resume comparison with either Pittsburgh or Notre Dame, the Big East duo prevails. Two of Duke’s wins over NCAA Tournament teams came with Kyrie Irving. Duke has substantially less RPI top-25 and top-50 wins and their best road victory on the season is Maryland. Pittsburgh and Notre Dame finished 1-2 in the best conference in recent memory. I could see Duke get the final #1 just as they did last year over a Big East team (West Virginia), but if they do it’s the second straight year it’s undeserved.
  • Kentucky moves up to a #3 seed with their SEC Tournament win. They’re playing at a very high level and the committee will have noticed, thrashing both Alabama and Florida. The Gators remain as a #3 seed with their commendable body of work.
  • Richmond moves up to a #9 seed with their Atlantic 10 Tournament win. No bid stealer today. Georgia is my last team in the field.
  • I have a hunch that St. Mary’s will sneak in over one of the ACC or SEC teams, but I can’t include them purely based on a feeling. Frankly, there’s no argument for St. Mary’s over Georgia. The only argument to leave Alabama out is their horrid non-conference. St. Mary’s has one win over the RPI top-50 and it came in November. That doesn’t cut it.
  • Kansas is my #1 overall seed. It doesn’t really matter. They’ll go to the San Antonio region while Ohio State goes to Newark regardless.
zhayes9 (301 Posts)


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7 Responses to “RTC Bracketology Update: Selection Sunday”

  1. garik16 says:

    “Second straight year it’s undeserved.” Lovely. You can only beat who you have in front of you, and the statistics (Pomeroy, Sagarin, etc.) all state that Duke is the better team…and it’s not even close (Notre Dame is 8 Sagarin, 14th if you use the predictor, and 10th in Pomeroy. Duke is 2 or 3.).

    The better team is Duke. But because ND got so many more chances at “big wins,” they get the talk. Syracuse might be a better team than Notre Dame.

    (And I root for ND as my 3rd college team for various reasons. But still the point remains.)

  2. zhayes9 says:

    Duke’s best win is Maryland. Pitt has DOUBLE the top 25 wins and won the regular season title in the best conference in the nation by far. The ACC just wasn’t very good, and how can you discount BYU without Davies and not discount the KSU and Mich St wins for Duke since they had Irving and now he’s hurt?

    Regardless, I have Duke as the best #2 seed, so it can be settled in the regional final. I just felt like West Virginia deserved it last year at the time over them and Pittsburgh/Notre Dame does today.

    You’re certainly in the majority.

  3. zhayes9 says:

    Best road win that is.

  4. DMoore says:

    “Second straight year it’s undeserved.”
    The real point here is that the criterion are flawed. It’ll be the second straight year that Duke was ranked in the top two by the computer rankings that are allowed to take margin of victory (i.e. dominance) into account. If you want to pick the best teams and seed them based on who is better, you have to look beyond who did you play and who did you beat. Everyone knows the RPI is a flawed metric, but the criteria that are used to pick and seed the tournament just repeats the same errors.

    Look at it this way — if you were betting on the games and it was your money on the line, is that all you would look at?

    As for the argument about discounting Irving’s injury, Duke lost him 27 games ago. It’s not very relevant to how good they are.

  5. DMoore says:

    By the way, if you look at those computer models that actually measure dominance, “the best conference in recent memory” isn’t even the best in the country this year. Having a deep middle doesn’t automatically make up for having horrible teams at the bottom and no great teams at the top.

  6. zhayes9 says:

    I really haven’t heard one person argue the Big East isn’t the best conference. You’re the first.

    My job is to predict what the committee will do and they use RPI numbers to measure teams and teams wins/losses as a grouping tool, so I have to factor those #’s considerably. If the committee comes out and said they used Kenpom and Sagarin this year over anything else, I’ll change my thinking.

    I do agree with your basic point that the RPI is flawed.

  7. garik16 says:

    “Duke’s best win is Maryland.” Apparently North Carolina doesn’t count?

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