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. justaguy 03/12/2007 at 1:46 PM #

    The Big 10 seems especially suspect, as the B10-ACC challenge revealed (again). There is one crucial game in that conference that dragged a couple teams in: Michigan State’s win at home over Wisconsin. Without it, the case for 6 Big 10 teams unravels.

    Without that win MSU finishes 21-12, 7-9 conf., and doesn’t make the 65-team field. Poor record and Wisconsin was MSU’s only win over a team in the field.

    Without MSU in the field, Purdue and Illinois have no wins over teams in the field. #12 seed Illinois probably doesn’t make the field either. In addition, look for a quick exit by Purdue when they play Arizona.

  2. Trout 03/12/2007 at 1:48 PM #

    Its hard for me to watch Wisconsin and sometimes Ohio State. Just no offense.

  3. choppack1 03/12/2007 at 1:50 PM #

    “So what if a 16-seed has no chance to beat a No. 1. Some day it will happen. ”

    Well, it hasn’t happened since the tourney expanded to 64 teams. That’s over 80 games, No. 1 seeds are 80 and 0 vs. #16 seeds.

    Let’s repeat that again – No. 1 seeds are 80 and 0 vs. #16 seeds.

    Now, ask yourself, if these #16 games included majors, even majors like an NC State, FSU, Syracuse or Missippi State, would that record still be 16 and 0? Would it make for a better tourney?

    It’s funny to hear things like “well, this is what makes the tourney great.” Does this format guarantee the best games or does it protect the higher seeds? In the ACC tourney this year, we saw 3 lower seeded teams beat future NCAA tournament teams…and those games were great.

    Remember for those who booster George Mason – they were an at-large bid. They didn’t win their post-season tourney. I don’t have any problem w/ team earning their way in the tourney. I do have a problem w/ people who nominate mid-majors just because they are enamoured w/ the Cinderella factor.

  4. CaptainCraptacular 03/12/2007 at 1:51 PM #

    *Without MSU in the field, Purdue and Illinois have no wins over teams in the field.*

    Purdue beat Virginia….again the Hoos helping out both Stanford and Purdue.

  5. Rochester 03/12/2007 at 2:00 PM #

    “Better” is one of those terms that’s really subject to interpretation. If you kick all the little conferences out the quality of play would go up. But many people prefer having the longshots in the field. I’m one of them.

    Considering the NCAAT is probably the most watched championship tournament of any sport at any level, I think a lot of people enjoy the way it’s set up now. While other setups might be equally enjoyable, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  6. VaWolf82 03/12/2007 at 2:06 PM #

    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.

    Opinions obviously vary….sometimes alot. I never enjoyed shooting fish in a barrel, but some do. I’m just sorry for you that “a large part of the NCAA fun”, disappears after the first two days.

  7. Astral Rain 03/12/2007 at 2:19 PM #

    The only thing I don’t like about the NCAAT right now is the play-in game, which feels artificial. I’d rather see 4 play-in games, or none. George Masons are rare as hell, and even they weren’t the last team, usually the last at-large teams are really just filler and not much of a threat.

    As for realigning the conferences, I think that would be interesting. What if each conference was required to do a round-robin for basketball and football, I think some teams would be dumped/forming new conferences…

  8. justaguy 03/12/2007 at 2:25 PM #

    One of the issues I see in the NCAAT is the transition from conference play to non-conference play. Immediately before selection Sunday, teams have been playing other teams within their conference that they know very well. In many cases they are playing for the 3rd time in the season. Then the field is set and no team, except under very rare circumstance, will play a team from its own conference in the first two rounds. This means that the match ups are quite important between two teams that usually don’t know that much about one another. For teams seeded in the 5-12 range, the match ups can easily overcome seeding differences. In conference play, match up problems get remediated over the course of the season, which is why it is very hard to beat a team 3 times in a season. In addition, teams have a very short period of time to prepare for the opponent, especially going in to round 2.

  9. choppack1 03/12/2007 at 2:29 PM #

    AR – That play in game stinks because it is generally 2 “lows”. By design it is supposed to be the worst vs. worst game to kick off the tournament.

    This really shows how perception can alter reality and how some folks just form their “opinions” based on what the various talkng heads say. Do people like watching the 1 vs. 16 games??

    Here’s what makes the NCAA tournament special. You play 16 basketball games on Thurday, you play 16 on Friday. Of these 32 games, 20 should be competitive. Of those 32 games, especially given the parity of college basketball, you’re likely to see at 8 upsets.

    The NCAA isn’t great because the fairy tale comes true – it’s great because there are so many games going on at once – most of them are competitive.

    Like I said, you want to see a No. 1 seed lose to the No. 16 seed, get rid of the automatic invites and you’ve just quadrupled the chances it will happen.

  10. Rochester 03/12/2007 at 2:52 PM #

    I do hate the play-in game and it seems like everyone hates it. The two teams involved basically get screwed because they didn’t “really” make the field. Everyone filling out their brackets just skips that one. No one watches it (it will be interesting to see TV ratings vs the NIT games Tuesday night). I realize getting rid of this game would eliminate one more at-large berth, but I say give it the axe.

  11. Mr O 03/12/2007 at 2:55 PM #

    Noah: Would you consider making the first two days more competitive to be “mucking with it”?

    The first two days are great for the fans. No arguments here. However, as choppack points out the number 1 seeds are 80-0 and the number 2 seeds have won 95% of games(stat was from a Knoxville article, but I couldn’t read the whole thing because of their screwed up registration system).

    So of the 32 games on Thursday and Friday, 4 games have their results guaranteed without either team stepping on the court. In four other games, there will only be an upset once every 5 years. So over a 20 year period, we are going to see a five upsets of #1 and #2 seeds.

    What is exciting about that?

    The current system protects Duke, UNC, UK, UCLA, Kansas, etc….teams that normally get #1 and #2 seeds. I am not asking for them to face a top seed, but at least to have to face a team that is somewhere in the neighborhood of the best 64 teams in the country as opposed to team that has a 0% chance of beating them.

    It is all of the other games that everybody loves and nothing would change about those games except those would also be more competitive. Making the field of 64 stronger would enhance the first two days of the tournament because #1 and #2 seeds would face teams more worthy of being in the field of 64.

    Rochester: I don’t want to leave them out. I just want the automatic bids to have to compete head-to-head against the major conference teams and mid-major teams to make the field of 64.

    If they are good enough to make the field of 64, then they will still make it.

  12. Mike 03/12/2007 at 3:00 PM #

    BJD, I had the same discussion with a co-worker today about 4 play in games for bubble teams. Give the low conference champs their day, but let the bubble teams fight it out for the last spot. I do not remember reading it, but I apologize for plagirizing your idea. If they want to expand, this is the best way.

    The 16 seeds really have no shot at winning, but these kids all have the dream of going to the dance. For them, just making it is the big achievement. Uh-oh, better stop there, some people might think just making the tourney is a big deal – after all we had 5 in a row.

  13. VaWolf82 03/12/2007 at 3:03 PM #

    Arkansas gets in continuing my theory that 20 wins plus a top 40 RPI means an invite for a BCS team.

    You’re still mixing apples and oranges. Arkansas got to 21 wins, improved their RPI, and added quality wins by going to the SEC championship game. There are only a very few BCS teams with a top 40 RPI that have not received an at-large bid. Your addition of 20 wins adds nothing to the equation.

    There is still zero data to suggest that 20 wins means anything at all. The only mathematical analysis that I know of (the Dance Card) found no correlation with total wins. As we saw last week, bracketeers don’t use 20 wins either. I think you’re flying solo with this theory.

  14. Redblogger 03/12/2007 at 3:06 PM #

    Off topic, does anyone have a link of past State mens BB rosters?


  15. Mike 03/12/2007 at 3:06 PM #

    20 wins meant something a few years ago. V himself always talked abut the 20 factor. Win half the games in conference (8), schedule some cupckaes at home (10) and try to steal 3 or 4 games somewhere along the way. 20 does not mean that any longer.

  16. choppack1 03/12/2007 at 3:12 PM #

    Yep – 20 wins didn’t save clemson or Florida State. If we had beaten Cincy and WV or Bama – it wouldn’t have saved us either.

    However, VaWolf, I believe the head of the selection committee brought up that there over 100 teams w/ 20 wins and that made their job tougher than usual because it was the most ever by a long shot.

    One thing is certain, if you are in the ACC – you better go 8 and 8 or have success in the tourney nowadays. Otherwise, you aren’t going. Several years ago FSU got in w/ a 6-10 record. Since then, there’s been a lot of teams turned down w/ 6 and 8 wins in conference.

  17. noah 03/12/2007 at 3:12 PM #

    Mr. O – Yes, I’d consider that “mucking with it.”

    If you don’t like the first two days of the tournament, you are in the very small minority. I know people who consider that to be the greatest day in sports for the entire year.

    I really don’t have any sympathy for people like Jim Boeheim today. It used to be that if you made a bowl in college football, you had accomplished something. And every year, there were teams that spent December gnashing their teeth about how they got screwed.

    That’s far better than today where EVERYONE with a winning record goes to a bowl and the failure to make a bowl is a DAMN good reason to get fired.

    The NCAA tournament is just exactly perfect size-wise.

  18. Mike 03/12/2007 at 3:15 PM #

    Also, the media loves the Pac10 and Big 10. My sheets have them all going out 1st or 2nd round, excpetions being UCLA and Ohio State. Neither of those will make Final 4, and only advance as far as they do because no one else is competent enough to beat them. Tex AM (anyone remember Gillespie from the coaching search?) will stuff Ohio St (and I am orignally from Ohio) in the South region.

    It will be interesting to see how the Pac10 and Big10 fare – and the Purdue/AZ game should be thrown out with no winner. Committee did that to inflate one of the conference’s ratings, guaranteeing one of them a win 🙂

  19. TNCSU 03/12/2007 at 3:19 PM #

    I think they should only seed 8 teams in each region and and then random pick the match-ups with the other 8 teams of each region (or out of the 32 total remaining teams). This would be more fair, and we’d probably see alot better first weekend match-ups, but it will never happen because then all the Pac-10 teams won’t end up playing in CA and WA. Oh yea, forgot to mention, anyone notice #6 seed Louisville is playing their first two games in Lexington? I’m sure that was “random” too — that’s why they want just “draw” the other seeds, although that is exactly how it is done in a tennis tournament. The first 16 or 32 players are seeded, and the others are randomly drawn.

  20. NYPack 03/12/2007 at 3:27 PM #

    The play-in game always struck me as odd, seeing as how it only occurs in one region each year and involves the two weakest teams in the field. There’s no symmetry to it.

    I love the idea of putting play-in games in every region, but making them between “bubble teams,” playing for the right to get into the tournament. Let the little conferences into the field– they did their jobs and won their respective conferences and should be rewarded with a berth to the “real” field of 64. The same cannot be said for the bubble-teams. They are on the outside looking in should have to play for that spot.

    I’m not sure of the logistics but have that play in be for an 11 or 12 seed– the committee could make the games be between two teams that were very similar in their rankings and would not both have otherwise made the field as an at-large. Take the choice out of the committee’s hands and make the decision happen on the court!

    I make no apologies that such a field would not contain the best 64 teams in the tournament. The NCAA tournament should rightfully begin in the conference tournaments, and if teams don’t get it done there they have no room to complain if they get overlooked for an at-large. Sure not all conferences are created equal, but that the little guy gets a chance to compete on equal footing is part of what makes the tournament great.

  21. Dan 03/12/2007 at 3:27 PM #

    You are wrong VaWolf.

    Top 40 RPI plus 20 wins plus BCS conference = NCAA tourney bid.

    Show me an exception.

    Now Top 40 RPI plus BCS conference DOES NOT = NCAA tourney bid

    I’ll show you Oregon in ’99, Vandy in ’00, Miss St in ’01, LSU in ’04, and Cincinatti last year. That’s 5 teams in the last 7 years that didnt make it in even though they were in the RPI Top 40. That’s only 7 years, I repeat. I’m sure this has happened more given that its 5 times in the last 7.

    I’m flying with historical fact. Show me one exception and then MAYBE you have something to stand on. Right now you have nothing objective.

    I think your biggest error here is thinking of the RPI as something of itself. RPI is a function of wins and SOS. The NCAA committee endorses it and uses it. 20 wins AND a top 40 RPI means something that 20 wins without a top 40 doesnt mean. It can also be said that a top 40 RPI without 20 wins does not mean the same as an top 40 RPI with 20 wins. Its the combination that makes it a lock. Again, that’s is not up for debate. That is historical record.

  22. GAWolf 03/12/2007 at 3:28 PM #

    I’m not even filling out a bracket this year. I’m tired of losing $20 here to a girl who picks the teams based on the color of their uniforms and $50 there to a guy at the office who played in the band in highschool and picked straight by the seeds.

    Obviously I say that somewhat jokingly, but it’s also sort of true. People who don’t watch a game all year have about as good a chance as any… especially when more points are given for the later rounds. The truth of the matter is that more points should be given in the first rounds at the middle tier games. After day #2 it’s all just a crap shoot.

    Anyone else consider themselves a more-than-average (avid) college sports fan declining to join the 20 emails you got this week from various internet sites promoting their “bracket challenge?” I think this year I’m just going to try to enjoy every game instead of get pissed when a George Mason wrecks my bracket and I have to fork out $20 to Cindy in accounting.

  23. RedTerror29 03/12/2007 at 3:28 PM #

    Rather than screw with the Tourny format, I’d rather see the power conferences contracted and the minor conferences expanded. The smaller conference would better allow evaluation of major conference teams. The larger conferences would make for better conference tournaments where it really mattered and cut down on the number of weak teams that got in via auto bids. Of course, this probably wouldn’t be doable because of football.

  24. Mr O 03/12/2007 at 3:29 PM #

    Noah: I do love the first two days of the tournament. I would love it even more if 25% of those games didn’t have a pre-determined winner.

    Unfortunatley with the depth of division one and 30% of the current field clearly not worthy of being a “top 64” team, IMO the NCAA tournament field is watered-down in terms of quality.

    When it comes to sports, I think most fans are “traditionalists” at heart which is why they resist change in general. However, when it comes to what most people love about the NCAA tournament, i can’t figure out why people wouldn’t want more upsets and more cinderella stories which would be a natural by-product of having a stronger teams in the 13+ seeds.

    Vawolf suggests a different method to produce the same intended result. I just see “expansion” as a more likely next step for the NCAA as opposed to eliminating many of the teams from the real NCAA tournament and creating a 2nd tournament altogether.

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

    ^^^^…why they won’t (not want) just “draw” the other seeds.

Leave a Reply