Want NCAA Tourney bids? Play in a thin league #ACCHate

I’ve been working hard today to try understand the current lay of the land regarding NC State’s potential to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

A very important topic to discuss is the impact of the DEPTH and the strength of your conference on your performance. When I did the work to carve the REALLY bad teams out of the equation and focus on how many ‘good teams’ that one faces within their conference I came up with a very interesting result. Take a look at the following number of teams per conference that are ranked in the RPI’s Top 160 (doing Top 150 would’ve taken about one team away from each conference).

Then look at the distribution of projected bids relative to the depth of the conference.

# of Top 160 Teams
ACC – 13 [Proj 5 Bids]
B10 – 12 [Proj 6 Bids]
SEC – 12 [Proj 3 Bids]
Pac12 – 10 [Proj 6 Bids]
A10 – 10 [Proj 6 Bids]
BE – 10 [Proj 4 Bids]
B12 – 9 [Proj 7 Bids]
AAC – 6 [Proj 5 Bids]

Generally speaking, the conferences with less of the better teams are producing comparably MORE NCAA Tournament bids. That just ain’t right…especially when they don’t go prove themselves outside of the league.

Let’s look at the Atlantic 10 for a moment and their projected 6 bids while having 30% less Top 160 teams than the ACC. The ACC’s 9th place team (FSU) beat the A-10’s 2nd (VCU) & 4th (UMass) place teams. Yet, the A-10 appears to be sending six teams to the NCAA Tournament while most are projecting only five ACC teams. Tell me exactly why St. Joe’s is so solidly in after playing the #146 OOC SOS? St Joe’s BEST OOC win was a six point win over #84 Boston University. They lost to LSU by 17 points! Effectively, all St. Joes did was wallow around in a conference that shared wins with each other and PRESTO!!! Easily in the Projected in with no problem! (Despite the ACC’s #9 team dominating their league.)

Look at Arizona State for a moment. The Sun Devils tackled the #236 ranked out of conference schedule in America in which they lost to the ACC’s 10th place, Miami Hurricanes. The Sun Devils best OOC win was against a team that didn’t even make the NCAA Tournament, #91 Marquette. Their second best win was vs #111 UC Irvine. Their only big win of the year was at home vs Arizona when the Wildcats were dealing with some injuries. THAT’s a resume for succes!! How is it that the Sun Devils are so easily ‘in’ while the ACC is struggling to get in teams?

The answer is pretty easy — the ACC has more good teams beating up on each other that isn’t being appreciated by the media and potentially the NCAA Tournament committee. This is a problem.

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Home Forums Want NCAA Tourney bids? Play in a thin league #ACCHate

This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  BJD95 8 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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  • #46877

    StateFans
    Keymaster

    I’ve been working hard today to try understand the current lay of the land regarding NC State’s potential to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tourname
    [See the full post at: Want NCAA Tourney bids? Play in a thin league #ACCHate]

    #46887

    Wulfpack
    Participant

    Not sure I see it this way. There are some really bad teams in this league. I wrote a post a week or so about the coaching hires at Wake, BC, GT and VT, and how that is adversely affecting the perception of our league. We need those teams to step it up. They are all bad.

    #46890

    StateFans
    Keymaster

    There ‘bad teams’ in every league. That’s why it makes sense to use numbers instead of subjectivity. Also, we don’t all get to play those bad teams multiple times like the teams in other conferences due to the imbalanced schedule.

    At the end of the day, many of these teams – St Joe’s, Colorado, Stanford, Az State, others – have done nothing or next to nothing outside of their league and are easily in with a similar number of wins vs the middle of their league as we have.

    #46893

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    Going into the ACCT, Pitt had only one win against the Top-50 (Stanford) and was considered IN by every bracket that I saw. The key was that they lost no bad games…the worst were to FSU and State at home. So there is definitely value in having more wins, even if they came against bad teams.

    But I think that the middle of the ACC is very weak compared to past years. This group won very few games against the RPI Top-50 and had a very poor record (2-22 before ACCT Friday) against the Top-4 seeds. By itself, WF won as many games against the Top-4 as the five teams seeded 5-9 did as a group.

    So I agree that more weaker teams would make the middle of the conference look better. But the middle of the conference was undeniably weak this year.

    #46895

    Wulfpack
    Participant

    And the bad continue to be very bad. There are not four bad teams in the best conferences.

    #46901

    StateFans
    Keymaster

    Yes. Middle of the ACC was undeniably weaker than the middle of the ACC in past years.

    I do not think if the middle of the ACC was weaker than any of the other conferences against which we are competing THIS YEAR. Miami beat Arizona State. FSU beat VCU and UMass. Duke & UNC were #3 and #4 in our league and they beat the likes of Louisville; Michigan; Michigan State; UCLA and others. Maryland beat Providence and lost to UConn by one point. We tied in the Big 10 Challenge.

    We seemed to do well against these other conferences. Yet, teams who did not perform well against other conferences (ASU, St Joe’s, Dayton, others) appear to be getting rewarded.

    #46905

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    I looked at something for a potential blog entry a few weeks ago talking about how weak the ACC was this year. I decided not to do it, but the linked graph (using today’s RPI rankings from ESPN) is what I was thinking about.

    http://www.statefansnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Conference-Comparisons.jpg

    This graph tells me that the middle of the ACC is substantially weaker than the best conferences this year.

    X-axis is conference ranking divided by total number of teams in conference so that the last place team in each conference = 1.

    #46906

    Wulfpack
    Participant

    Miami and Wake each finished a game over .500 (with terrible conference records). VT, BC, GT and ND were all under .500. I’m not seeing the lack of production for six teams in the Big 12, Big 10 and Pac 12.

    #46909

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    One of the things that I haven’t looked as what each of the conferences are doing with their conference schedules. The grossly unbalanced model that the ACC is using could easily skew the conference to conference comparisons. I need to think about this before I say how much the ACC schedule affects the comparisons.

    #46934

    MP
    Participant

    Nice graph, that seems to justify bid projections. I wonder how the A 10 sizes up.

    #46939

    MP
    Participant

    But another look, it appears the ACC, B1G, and Big 12 all have 7 teams that are ~ Top 55. PAC has 6 in that range. So maybe the size of the ACC is making the graph appear worse than it really is. (Referring to VaW’s graph here)

    #46940

    Wulfpack
    Participant

    The A10 has six tourney caliber teams but the bottom is really bad.

    #46941

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    Luckily for you, the Bristol race is under red flag at the moment.

    http://www.statefansnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Conference-Comparisons-2.jpg

    I know absolutely nothing about the A-10. But the top of the conference appears weaker than the ACC, but the middle is stronger. But when you start making comparisons to mid-majors, that should pretty much settle the discussion on conference strength. So I’m not going to enter into cause/effect arguments comparing the A-10 and ACC.

    #46942

    Wulfpack
    Participant

    So maybe the size of the ACC is making the graph appear worse than it really is.

    Wouldn’t it have to be the bottom, that is undeniably deep in a bad way? Too many bad teams clogging the conference.

    #46943

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    But another look, it appears the ACC, B1G, and Big 12 all have 7 teams that are ~ Top 55. PAC has 6 in that range. So maybe the size of the ACC is making the graph appear worse than it really is. (Referring to VaW’s graph here)

    It’s probably not size, it’s probably a matter of top wins. The 5-9 seeds in the ACC just don’t have very many and that will make a huge difference on Selection Sunday.

    #46946

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    Guys…we had every chance to earn a bid, and came up short. That be the painful truth.

    Know what really killed the ACC’s conference strength? Our overwhelming conference champion getting blitzed OOC. Thanks a lot, UVA.

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