Some Interesting End of Season Numbers

During various bubble discussions, we talked about whether there was significance to being a 20-win team in a power conference. VaWolf posited that it was correlation, not causation – and the final tally this year proves him correct. Nine such teams are in the NIT: Michigan, FSU, WVU, Alabama, Oklahoma St., Kansas St., Clemson, Ole Miss, Syracuse.

Interesting tidbits from the final Sagarin ratings:

– Final rating: Drexel 74, NC State 75

– Worst NCAAT snubs: Clemson (26), Missouri State (27)

– Weakest at-large selectons: Texas Tech (64), Old Dominion (68)

– Teams with more Top 25 wins than NC State’s 5: UCLA (8), UNC (7), Georgetown (6), Oregon (6), Virginia (6).

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

06-07 Basketball General NCS Basketball

97 Responses to Some Interesting End of Season Numbers

  1. Trout 03/12/2007 at 12:24 PM #

    One thing that is CLEARLY evident in the age of expanded conferences – 10 conference wins doesnt mean squat anymore.

    I’m not saying that either K-State or Syracuse deserved to get in, just that they both went 10-6 in their respective conferences (Big 12 and Big East) – both of those confernces had something going for them (K State finished 4th, the first 3 Big 12 teams – Kansas, Texas AM and Texas – all getting Top 4 seeds, Syracuse finished 6th in the Big East, which I think was a top 3 RPI conference).

  2. Trout 03/12/2007 at 12:25 PM #

    I dont think the NCAA should expand. I can see going to 68 with 4 play-in games, but I wouldnt go beyond that.

  3. TNCSU 03/12/2007 at 12:29 PM #

    ^^^I dont get Stanford at all. I guess they just wanted 5 Pac 10 teams. But if Stanford gets in this year because they beat UCLA at home, why in the hell didnt FSU get in last year… or this year for that matter.

    The friggin’ over-rated PAC-10 got SIX, not five teams in. RIDICULOUS! And only one is NOT either playing in CA or WA the first two rounds. How in the hell is USC a 5 seed and Marquette an 8 seed???? The PAC-10 bias is blatant — as it is every year. UCLA can get to the final four never playing outside of CA — basically home games all the way. It’s that way every year for them…plus they have arguably the easiest draw to the Elite Eight…with another home game to make the Final Four. Big 10 has got some questionable picks. Also, no way you can say Stanford, Arizona, Illinois, or Purdue is better than Syracuse or FSU IMO. Arizona got beat by 28 at home to the Holes! I think they are just trying to even the number of teams from BCS conferences, but 60% of PAC-10 teams (all but one playing on the west coast) is BLATANT bias, and the Big 12 should complain, as Kansas State is better than Stanford as well IMO!

  4. choppack1 03/12/2007 at 12:31 PM #

    “Looked over your idea for making I-AA basketball. 15 conferences is too much for I-AA. Basically you’d be taking the 13-16s out entirely, and the 13s and 14s are usually competitive. Also, only two or three conferences consistantly produce 16 seeds. Look at Holy Cross’s 13 this year, and Patriot League usually produces a 15 or 16. If you listed the 15s and 16s as noncompetitive- that’s only 8 leagues, and one of those horrible leagues producted Winthrop this year. ”

    I think you’re missing one of the points here.

    One of them is that you replaced these smaller programs w/ say an NC State, Michigan, Clemson, FSU, Missippi State, OK State, Syracuse, you’d probably MORE upsets of the top seeds. These schools are closer in talent than are most mid majors/mid-lows/whatever schools.

    Granted a Florida – Michigan match-up doesn’t have the same David vs. Goliath as Florida vs. whoever they are playing matchup. But it would probalby be a better game.

    This does’t mean I’m against the automatic bids – I do like what they add. I do think though, that if you really want more Cinderalla stories, you need to put the higher seeds up against better comp earlier. This year, the 8-9 seeds are pretty strong.

    Another tidbit, I heard that this year we had the most 20 win teams we’ve ever had in college b’ball – at 102 or something. The next total was 78.

  5. CaptainCraptacular 03/12/2007 at 12:33 PM #

    *Who doesn’t enjoy watching the 14 upset the 3 when that 3 is Carolina or Duke?*

    I can understand why some pull against them in the tourney, but to me this is emotion overcoming reason.

    I want all the ACC teams to do well in the tourney, including Puke and UNC. This can only help the national perception of the conference, and without any corroborating evidence, it seems that it would only help our conference bubble teams when the selection committee meets the following year after a strong showing by the ACC in the year or years preceding it. Who knows, it may have played a part in our hanging by a thread bubble chances in 2003 and 2005. In 2003 the ACC had won the prior 2 national championships and had put 3 in those final 4s. In 2005 the ACC was coming off a year in which we had another 2 make the final 4. This may have ever so slightly influenced enough members of the committee to include us those years over an equally worthy bubble team not in a conference with the stature of the ACC.

    Of course I may be delusional as the committee professes to put currrent year blinders on in its deliberations. But there has to be at least a tiny unmeasureable bit of influence.

    There’s probably plenty of evidence to refute my belief. But if nothing else, if the ACC does well in the tourney, including the 2 evil empires, it at least for that year gives the member schools bragging rights that our conference was the toughest. So I root my ass off for Carolina or Duke when it gets down to that.

  6. Texpack 03/12/2007 at 12:35 PM #

    I would add either three or seven more “play-in” games. I just died laughing as Digger ranted about K-State over Arkansas with their stats posted on the screen yesterday. RPI 35 vs. 56 Top 50 5-5 vs. 2-5 SOS 10 vs. 88. He must be one of Huggie Bear’s drinking buddies.

  7. VaWolf82 03/12/2007 at 12:36 PM #

    Who doesn’t enjoy watching the 14 upset the 3 when that 3 is Carolina or Duke?

    If you want upsets…put FSU, Clemson, K-State, Alabama, Syracuse, Ok St, Michigan, WVA, Miss, etc in the place of Jackson St, Fl A&M, Central Conn, Belmont, Eastern. Ken, etc and you might get some real Cinderalla stories.

    As it is, there are over a dozen teams each year with absolutely no chance at winning two games. I fail to see how these teams add anything at all to the NCAAT at all, beyond easy first round games for the highest seeds.

  8. CaptainCraptacular 03/12/2007 at 12:36 PM #

    Stanford (and the Pac 10) must have been pushed over the top (all other things being equal) with their one point win over Virginia @ Virginia. To my knowledge the Pac-10 was otherwise unsuccessful against east coast teams.

    UCLA lost to WVU
    Arizona lost to UVa and got simply crushed by Carolina.

    If UVa beats Stanford, they don’t get in.

  9. VaWolf82 03/12/2007 at 12:37 PM #

    I dont think the NCAA should expand.

    I agree….so let’s move the little teams to their own tournament and let teams that can actually compete take their place.

  10. CaptainCraptacular 03/12/2007 at 12:42 PM #

    *If you want upsets…put FSU, Clemson, K-State, Alabama, Syracuse, Ok St, Michigan, WVA, Miss, etc in the place of Jackson St, Fl A&M, Central Conn, Belmont, Eastern. Ken, etc and you might get some real Cinderalla stories.*

    *As it is, there are over a dozen teams each year with absolutely no chance at winning two games. I fail to see how these teams add anything at all to the NCAAT at all, beyond easy first round games for the highest seeds.*

    If the tourney would ever expand, this would be my suggestion. Take the 8 would be 15+16 seeds with automatic bids, and have them all play a play in game for the 16th seed. That would free up 4 more at-large bids for schools like you mentioned that would actually have a chance to win 2 games.

  11. Astral Rain 03/12/2007 at 12:45 PM #

    The 13s and 14s can compete, and I would say that if you get a 1 or 2 seed, you SHOULD be rewarded with a near-gimme in the first round…

  12. CaptainCraptacular 03/12/2007 at 12:46 PM #

    My comments about the 15-16 seed play in games were made without reading all the posts basically suggesting similar things above.

  13. Lock 03/12/2007 at 12:47 PM #

    Interesting idea on the I-AA/NIT thing…but honestly, I can’t support anything that removes the best part of the NCAA tourney: the no-name Cinderellas. The teams few outside of the respective alumni associations can name. They’re a huge part of what makes the NCAA tourney so special. For argument’s sake, let’s say you take the 16 weakest conferences. That’s 16 teams (tourney winners) you’re removing from the NCAA tourney…the 16-13 seeds, effectively. Now, we see no 1-16 upsets and ungodly few 2-15 upsets…however, 3-14 and 4-13 are frequent enough to make things interesting.

    I’m in favor of not removing that interest.

    In addition, though these weaker conferences are just that…weaker conferences, what damage would be done to the schools by relegating them to a weaker status? Would any of these schools be willing to part with their miniscule hopes of a NCAA championship for a lower-class status? The money helps, but I’m not convinces personally…

    Anyway, what you mention earlier VaWolf about putting well-known-team-A in place of no-hope-team-A removes that hey-who-ARE-these-guys?? factor, which I would have to say is a large part of the NCAA fun.

  14. Mr O 03/12/2007 at 12:52 PM #

    There simply is no good argument for not expanding the tournament because of the flawed human system in picking the bids. Plus, I doubt the small schools want their own separate tournament.

    Why make it more complicated than just going to 80 teams? It is so easy to fix. If you don’t like the extra games, then don’t watch them. Once the field is set at 64, then you can start watching and it will be just like the tournament was in previous years except with a much stronger overall field. The chances for upsets go up dramatically against the #1 and #2 seeds because they won’t be playing total cupcakes.

  15. Trout 03/12/2007 at 1:00 PM #

    “There simply is no good argument for not expanding the tournament because of the flawed human system in picking the bids. ”

    Expanding doesnt take the flawed human system out of the equation, it just lowers the standard to make it in. Instead of teams hovering around 40 in the RPI complaining, you’ll get teams hovering around 55-60 in the RPI complaining. No matter what # you choose, there will always be teams on “the other side.”

    I think its great at 64/65.

  16. LRM 03/12/2007 at 1:03 PM #

    The good argument against expanding the tournament is that eventually you do to the NCAA Tourney what you’ve already done to the college bowl system, which is expand to the point where the post-season becomes anti-climactic.

    Teams’ bubbles burst every year and there are always undeserving teams in the tourney and so-called “deserving” teams left out. But the simple fact is, Syracuse, WV, Drexel, FSU, and K-State all had a chance to play their way in by winning their conference tournament and failed to do so.

    The fact that teams like Wright State and GW won their respective tournaments and played their way is why the next three weekends are so great.

  17. LRM 03/12/2007 at 1:04 PM #

    Trout – good argument. You just said what I couldn’t find the words for.

  18. TNCSU 03/12/2007 at 1:05 PM #

    IMO, if you have 1 play in game, you should have 4 to make all play-ins play a number one seed. This would add 3 at-larges to the field. That would be my suggestion.

    On a different note, did anyone meet the plane at RDU last night to greet the players and coaches? Has that been planned in the past? I think they’re flying to Philly this afternoon.

  19. gopack968 03/12/2007 at 1:09 PM #

    This year’s tournament selections are just plain weird. The ‘Dance Card’ only hit at 88%.

    “The Dance Card correctly predicted 30 of the 34 at-large selections (missing on Georgia Tech, Indiana, Stanford, and Texas Tech), for a 2007 accuracy of 88%. [Note: Missouri State becomes the highest ranked team ever to not get a bid, and Texas Tech becomes the lowest ranked team — and by a substantial margin the team furthest below the bubble line — ever to get a bid. Stanford also surpasses the previous mark for being furthest below the bubble line to get a bid.]”

    They had Stanford at 64 and Texas Tech at 68. Neither should have been above Missouri State and Syracuse (and a few others). The other interesting thing about this this anomaly is that it does not include any mid-major teams.

    As for expansion – no, it is grueling enough and big enough already. And I gotta say, these little flukes are going to occur unless a computer does the selecting – which would be a bad idea.

    Now, if I were a bubble team I might feel differently…

  20. BJD95 03/12/2007 at 1:11 PM #

    You don’t want to mess too much with the 64-team bracket system. It’s what keeps the entire nation (and not just sports geeks like us) interested. That’s right, b/c it’s conucive to betting pools.

    I did a blog post last year about expanding to 68 (1 play-in game each region, for the last 8 at-large teams). I think the little conference champs should get their day in the sun, and that teams that earn #1 and #2 seeds should have an easier time in Round 1. The at-large teams couldn’t complain, since they get a chance to “earn” the bid rather than have to argue their bubble status. Plus, this would actually make good TV.

    For example, this year would require adding 3 new teams to the last 5 at-large squads. Hypothetical match-ups:

    Texas Tech vs. Missouri State
    Old Dominion vs. Florida State
    Arkansas vs. Syracuse
    Illinois vs. Stanford

  21. Mr O 03/12/2007 at 1:12 PM #

    Again, we had 30% of the field with RPIs of 69 or higher. That is a freaking joke. The fact that the tournament is only 64 teams makes the field of 64 very diluted because of the automatic bids. Expanding the field would do the opposite.

    Expanding the field still makes it great for teams like Wright St and GW for winning their tournaments because they are still included. Expanding the tournament doesn’t eliminate them at all and it gives them they same opportunity to advance and a greater chance to actually win a game instead of being automatically eliminated as a 15 or 16 seed.

    I want the strongest field of 64 that we can get. The current system produces a very weak bottom 20 teams in the tournament unfortunately.

  22. Rochester 03/12/2007 at 1:14 PM #

    I agree with the voices that say leave the NCAAT as it is. So what if a 16-seed has no chance to beat a No. 1. Some day it will happen. The first four days of the tournament are the most fun, mainly because anything (almost) can happen. And if Carolina loses on the first weekend I will celebrate. I don’t care about the conference’s standing and reputation when compared to having to hear about them reaching another Final Four, etc. Send ’em home crying, please.

    As much as it sucks to miss out on the tournament when you could say we could easily handle anyone in the 13-16 seed range, there should be some nebulous minimum accomplishment required to get in. Despite our run this week 18-15 doesn’t really cut it. Same for Clemson, etc. This isn’t hockey where you make the playoffs just by suiting up. (Don’t get me started on Jim Boeheim’s 128-team proposal.)

    What some of the schools like Syracuse may be finding is that the 16-team super conferences aren’t such a great idea after all. I’d rather have 8- to 10-team conferences where the round robin schedule is possible. That would also make it easier to compare teams from the same conference because you wouldn’t have to dissect who they played. Is 8-8 = 10-6? In some cases it might be. If I were Czar for a Day I’d do some serious realigning.

  23. Trout 03/12/2007 at 1:16 PM #

    If it expands, I like BJD’s idea. 68 – with 4 play in games

  24. Mr O 03/12/2007 at 1:24 PM #

    Who is messing with a 64 team bracket? If you like 64 teams, then start paying attention at the round of 64. Start betting at that round(not that it really makes any difference). Nothing has changed except that the quality of those 64 teams will be significantly improved in the last 16 seeds.

    Trout: As far as the human element still being involved, the reason it is important to push its level of involvement down is the number of automatic bids to poor teams and the improved depth of quality teams at the division 1 level. The number of teams in the running for the at-large bid’s today is much larger. I forget what the exact number was, but the number of teams with 20+ wins this year set a record by a wide margin.

    It is just very difficult to compare teams for the final 16 at-large bids because of the differences in overall schedules. Is the RPI fair? Is the adjusted RPI fair? Is the Sagarin fiar? Or should humans with conference affiliations do it all themselves?

    Again, it is so logical, to me at least, that i can’t see why anyone would not want to expand the field.

  25. noah 03/12/2007 at 1:42 PM #

    The first two days of the NCAA tournament are some of the cheapest-to-produce programming and some of the highest rated television you can find in the country.

    Why everyone wants to go mucking with the NCAA tournament is beyond me.

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