In a bizarre attempt to match the stupidity (or maybe futility) of releasing preliminary football playoff rankings, the NCAAT Selection Committee released a preliminary version of the top 16 teams (top 4 seeds) if the March Madness selection process were held today. The only way this could get any uglier, would be to release the entire field. With releasing the Top 4 seeds, people who care about the Big 10(or 14) will bitch about not having a team in the top four seeds. I expect this whining to blow over fairly quickly. But can you imagine the hand-wringing if a preliminary shot at the entire field were released?
In the past, I have made two separate attempts at playing around with seeding. The first attempt was semi-successful. I matched the NCAAT seeds with RPI Rankings and found a strong, linear correlation through the Top 6/7 seeds (ie top 28 teams). Sometime later I read in Jerry Palm’s old blog (collegerpi.com) that about 75% of the field is seeded within one seed of what you calculate based solely on the team’s RPI ranking. So best case, I showed that Palm’s observation was still valid. Worst case, I wasted a bunch of time and accomplished nothing. (At least reading Palm’s blog saved me the time it would have taken to update the correlation each year.)
The second time was in 2006 when State had an RPI ranking in the Top25 and was ranked in the AP Top 25. I was searching the internet to see where people where seeding State and eventually blundered across a website that collated various bracket predictions. I did weekly blog entries and we all discussed current seeds and how the team could improve its seeding. Then this happened:
Sad note…since 2006 when “NC State” and “NCAA Tournament” could be found in the same paragraph, I was focused only what it would take to clear the bubble and not seeding. (It’s not like I’m bitter or anything.)
Back to the present…
I thought that I would compile a table and look at the top 16 teams and the various stats that we look at on a weekly basis for the ACC teams:
I didn’t spend much time with the data, but I highlighted a few things that jumped out to me:
The Selection Committee picked two teams outside of the RPI Top 16 to fill their preliminary Top 4 seeds. Clearly, they didn’t use Pomeroy’s rankings.
We’ve seen poor OOC schedules send Bubble Teams to the NIT. It looks like the Selection Committee is not very consistent with their penalties for poor SOS rankings. The two teams that they jumped up into the Top16 have truly horrible OOC schedules (and their conf SOS ranking is lower than the worst team in the ACC).
I’ve heard some hype for UCLA, but haven’t seen them play. But looking at these numbers, I’m not impressed. I didn’t take the time to include conference standings, but UCLA is tied for third place in the 6th ranked conference. Once again, I’m not impressed.
I was surprised to see the L’ville has a losing record against the RPI Top 50. Obviously, that didn’t matter much to the Selection Committee
OK, this was just a quick and dirty look. What do you notice, hear, or read about this preliminary seeding?