The facepalm seems to have gained popularity during the pre-game reports and the results over the past week certainly deserve one (probably more than one). I could say a lot more, but I think that everything that could be said has already been covered in the half-dozen threads since last Sat.
The regular season is down to two weeks and four or five games. Time is running out so we’ll look at how the teams are shaping up for the various byes in the ACCT. Of course, we’ll also look at the mess in the middle to see that there is a lot of work left for all of these teams if they want an at-large bid to the NCAAT.
But let’s start with the RPI charts to see where everyone in the top 2/3 of the conference is sitting.
- FSU has been removed from the IN graph.
- UNC and WF have been removed from the BUBBLE graph.
Remaining schedule – WF and ND at home with State, VT, and Duke on the road. UNC will be favored in four of those games. They should be able to sleep-walk to at least 12 wins and with the tie-breaker over Pitt, will likely end up no worse than the 4 seed. UNC is currently tied with Duke in the loss column which means that the game in Durham to end the regular season should be for the 3rd seed.
UNC should be moving up in the various seeding brackets…and currently should be around a 5-6 seed. Interesting factoid #1: The six seed has a better winning percentage in the NCAAT than the 5th seed.
Remaining schedule – BC, ND, and Clemson on the road with FSU and State at home. Pitt will probably be favored in all of these games, so we should expect 12 or 13 wins. To get the 4th seed in the ACCT and a two-round bye, Pitt needs Duke and someone else to beat UNC down the stretch. Worst case, their final game against Clemson will be for the 5th seed.
Pitt’s best win of the year….#48 Stanford. Combine this embarrassing fact with their RPI and they are getting dangerously close to the dreaded 8/9 seed in the NCAAT (ie, the second round ejection seat). Interesting factoid #2….the #10 seed has a better winning percentage in the NCAAT than the #9 seed.
The overwhelming conclusion from this graph is that the bubble teams allegedly competing for an at-large bid don’t have much movement in that direction. 0.500 ball from this point on will not get any of these teams into the NCAAT.
Clemson’s schedule starts with a two game road stretch against GT and WF and then they finish the season at home against UMD, UM, and Pitt. The Tiggers will probably be favored in four of five games and could end up with 11 wins. It wouldn’t take a lot for the final game of the regular season against Pitt in SC to end up being for the 5th seed in the ACCT…and possibly a ticket to the Big Dance. But then again, there is no way to predict what a team that has beaten Duke and lost to #114 ND will do from one game to the next.
Some details on Clemson’s NCAAT Resume
- RPI Ranking of #72 – not good
- OOC SOS of #272 – somewhere between bad and very bad
- Best win – #10 Duke – very good
- 2nd best win – #56 NCSU – not good
- Bad Losses – @ #114 ND and @ #142 Auburn – pretty typical for back-side of bubble teams
- win over Pitt
- win on Friday in ACCT
- Enough other wins to have an RPI at 60 or better.
Remaining schedule – VT and Pitt on the road and UNC, UM and BC at home. Favored in three of the five games trending towards a 9-9 record.
Highlights of State’s NCAAT Resume:
- RPI Ranking #58 – OK but nothing spectacular
- OOC SOS of #110 – nothing special, but not horrible
- Best win @ #50 Tenn – somewhere between not good and bad
- Bad Losses – @ #105 WF and #122 NC Central – typical
The focal point of State’s season was never going to be the Clemson game. The way that they lost after playing so well at Syracuse shows that there was no magical transformation before the trip north. The same State team that we’ve seen blown out a number of times this year still sits on the bench next to MG. State fans will need to see the Carrier Dome version of the Pack play for the entire game several times against at least two good teams between now and Selection Sunday.
Remaining schedule – Clemson on the road and SYR, VT and UVa at home. They will probably only be favored in one game the rest of the year suggesting 8-10. I’m shocked that a UMD team that couldn’t beat State playing without Warren still shows up on the Bubble Graph at all.
Remaining schedule – BC and Pitt on the road with GT and SYR at home. 2-2 would give the Noles an 8-10 record to wrap up one of the worst collapses in recent memory.
Remaining schedule – WF, UVA, and UNC on the road with GT and Pitt at home. For a team that couldn’t beat UM on the road this week, 6 or 7 wins and the final spot on Wed seems likely.
The pre-season poll on the right side of the SFN homepage showed that 60% of the voters expected this State team to win between 7-9 games. This prediction is a little odd since pre-season expectations among State fans frequently trend towards delusionally-optimistic. But this is one of those times when there is no joy in being proven right.
One of the choices on the pre-season poll was 9-9 and NCAAT Bubble. With the expanded and weakened ACC, we need to disassociate ACC record with NCAAT selection. Just last year, UVA had an 11-7 conference record and didn’t get an at-large bid. With the unbalanced conference schedule and an overall weak conference, there are simply too many meaningless wins available to attempt any such correlation.