I wish that I caught the name of the Selection Committee chairmen that went on CBS to discuss the decision-making process and answer the standard group of critics. I thought he did a great job at shutting up the critics on CBS. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his explanations.
The one thing that I got out of his discussion was looking at losses to teams ranked 200+. To be honest, I don’t know if this helps us predict the ACC teams or not. Any ACC team that is weak enough to lose to three truly horrible teams will normally get chewed up by the ACC schedule.
I looked up the Last Four In and First Four Out from Lundardi (ESPN) and Palm (CBS) and put them all into one table for our analysis and discussion, sorted by RPI:
I usually hide the names and play with our readers. But this year, I decided to rank the 12 teams and see what we see. I knew that some of the mid-major regular season winners would get in…but damned if could tell much difference from one to the next. Here was my ranking:
Michigan was guaranteed a spot using the NC State rule for at-large bids. Finish around 0.500 in conference and then bring in a big upset in the conference tournament. It’s worked for State at least three times and it worked for Big Blue this year.
In this motley collection of teams, Temple was near the top in Top 100 wins. Common sense says that has to be worth something.
I really didn’t want to rank Syracuse that high. We’ve been discussing them at work and I was convinced that they were screwed. But when you look at their competition on the bubble, there wasn’t that many to put above them.
GW was my big miss. I guess that I gave them too much credit for their Top 25 wins. I probably should have discounted their chances with their OOC schedule and overall SOS.
I wasn’t in love with either Tulsa or SC, but their Top 100 wins put them ahead of the stragglers.
Someone on CBS tried to push South Carolina over Vanderbilt, but look at SC’s OOC SOS and a grand total of two games against the Top-50. That resume will never get a Power 5 team an at-large bid.
With the last five teams, I couldn’t find anything to put one over the other. I loved the way the Committee chairmen shot down the whiners for St. Mary’s (Their only Top 50 wins came because their loss to Gonzaga in the conference tournament raised Gonzaga into the Top50). But exactly why is Wichita St preferred over St. Mary’s?
Here’s how the Dance Card ranked our 12 teams (+ St Bonny):
I highlighted the misses that I found. Check their website on Monday and they will identify them all.
Even if you understood and loved the Dance Card’s methodology, you would have to admit that there simply isn’t enough difference from St Mary’s through Vanderbilt to predict what any particular Selection Committee would decide.
I wish the Dance Card professors would explain their technique. I would really like to understand why St Bonny is rated so high and Tulsa so low. But all I have on their methodology is a list of parameters that was on their website the first time that I wrote about the Dance Card:
– RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) Rank
– Conference RPI Rank
– Number of wins against teams ranked from 1-25 in RPI
– Difference in number of wins and losses in the conference
– Difference in number of wins and losses against teams ranked 26-50 in RPI
– Difference in number of wins and losses against teams ranked 51-100 in RPI
They have removed this list and don’t really say anything about it anymore. Interestingly enough, they found that their “formula” works better with the old RPI formula than the current one that rates wins/losses based on where they are played (home/road/neutral). I’m not sure if their formula is the same as it was a decade ago or not. But it’s all we have for now.
I wish someone had asked the committee chairman about St Bonny. I hadn’t looked at their resume until writing this up. I would take them over Wichita St every time.
But frankly, no one on this list has a resume that is screaming out for inclusion in a tournament to crown a national champion. If we ignore Wichita St (and resist the temptation to attribute it to reputation), then it doesn’t look to me like the Committee did a horrible job this year.
If you see any interesting articles detailing the Bubble Selection or seeding, then be sure and quote the relevant points and include a link. It’s always good to keep what few tidbits we get from the Selection Committee together for our future discussions.