Scandal & Bubbleology

Sports Illustrated‘s Stewart Mandel re-visits a host of scandal-ridden programs who are trying to put their programs back together two years after some serious problems. It is an interesting read that I thought that I would share.

Two Years Later: Four Schools Struggle to Rebuild After Scandal
Part One, Part Two

In more current news from the same source, Seth Davis does a GREAT job of explaining the current nature of “Bubbleology” updated for March 1st.

I very much like Davis’ approach to breaking down the Field of 65- as opposed to trying to project a field (with a week of the regular season remaining), Davis ranks the current position of the teams on the Bubble based on “Flights”. His approach includes the following:

=> 41 Bids Accounted; 24 Remain
* 27 teams, representing nine conferences, will be in the tournament regardless if they lose every game remaining in the season.
* 14 leagues that will get only one bid no matter what

=> The Eight Wild Cards
* 8 conferences have an automatic bid plus a chance at some at-larges or two. Davis assumes that the current conference leaders win all eight of the league titles, 16 potential berths unclaimed.
* This is where the analysis turns sensitive. George Washington (Atlantic 10), Pacific (Big West), Southern Illinois (Missouri Valley) and Nevada (WAC) all have high probabilities of earning at-large berths if they do not win their respective confererence tournament championships. For everyone one of these teams that lose in their tournament, a potential at-large bid is reclaimed from the current pool of 16 remaining berths.
* Addtionally, Old Dominion (Colonial), Miami of Ohio (MAC), Davidson (Southern) and Vermont (America East) could potentially earn at-large bids if they lose in their conference tournaments…but it would be a little more challenging than the aforementioned teams.
* Andy Katz of ESPN highlights “What to Watch” in some of these conference tournaments.

=> 24 Fighting for 16 (or Less)
* 24 teams currently remain for the unclaimed 16 berths.
* These 24 teams are not guaranteed an at-large bid should they lose the rest of their games. Others would have to win everything until the conference tournament final to be considered.
* To account for the different potential scenarios, Davis segments his bubble into four “flights” that lists each team in order of strength.
* Again, assuming all eight wild cards win their league tournaments and no at-large berths are claimed by mid-majors that deserve at-large bids, only the teams in the D flight would currently be out.
* If you look at the last few teams in Flight C, you may be surprised who’s in the tournament if today were Selection Sunday.

I’ll stop there and you can check out how the chips fall by visiting the article.

General NCS Basketball

3 Responses to Scandal & Bubbleology

  1. Trout 03/02/2005 at 10:14 AM #

    Thanks for bringing the Seth Davis article to my attention. One of the things I like about blogs, people like you do the searching for me! 🙂

    Seriously, that was a very good analysis by Seth.

    One cannot assume that all those 8 mid majors will go the way he predicts. Let’s be aggressive, and say 4 of them lose in their respective tournaments, but stil get at large bids. That reduces the number of spots from 16 to 12, with the same 24 teams competing. Obviously, all of Flight D is out. NC State is currently in Flight C. Are they in the top half of Flight C, or the bottom half?

    And of course, I think we are in Flight C solely on the “potential” to finish 8-8 in the ACC. If we dont get there, then it is all drivel – for NC State.

    When the season is all said and done, 2 games will haunt NC State, IMO, more than any others. No, not St Johns, not WVU and not Miami or VT. Road losses to weaker teams in the ACC happen. I can understand that. Not happy about it, but understand. HOME losses to FSU and UVA, I still shake my head over those 2 games. FSU is just flat out bad. Outside of NC State and the upset of Wake at home, they have only beaten Clemson. NO road wins except against NC State. UVa, almost the same story. No other road wins except NC State, and a home win over VT, otherwise Clemson and FSU are their only other victories.

    If NC State simply plays decent games against FSU and UVA, they would be 8-6 in the ACC, 18-9 overall, with an RPI probably in the low 60s, and be in Seth’s Flight B at the worst, perhaps Flight A.

  2. Trout 03/02/2005 at 10:17 AM #

    Back to Seth’s article. A PackPride poster noted this:

    “Davis is missing quite a few mid-major teams that need to be mentioned in that conversation. From what I can tell, the only mid-major he mentions on the bubble is Wichita State. Others that should be mentioned include Northern Iowa (MVC), Buffalo, Akron, and Kent State (MAC), and possibly Arkansas-LR and Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt.)”

  3. BJD95 03/03/2005 at 10:39 AM #

    I don’t believe Florida State has beaten ANYBODY since they beat us in the RBC Center. That’s simply remarkable.

    FSU at home, UVA at home, St. John’s ANYWHERE – those are the big three. They look very ugly on the old resume without a win Sunday night.

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