Selection Sunday Post-Mortem

Well you either enjoy the seeding and bubble discussions that happen every year from Selection Sunday through the next Wednesday or not. There seems to be very few folks that fall in between those extremes. I always enjoy making fun of the talking heads that remove all doubt concerning which side of the 100 IQ line they fall on.

But it’s much easier to sit on the sidelines and ridicule than to get down in the dirt and struggle with actually making decisions where moving one team into the field means you have to move someone out. Too often the media concentrates moving teams in without bothering to count to 68 total teams. As I’m writing this intro, I don’t know who will provide me the most entertainment/frustration…the media or the NCAAT Selection Committee. But I’ll have room and time to discuss that below our pre-show analysis.

Using “Last Four In” and “First Four Out” lists from Lunardi (ESPN), Palm (CBS), and the professors behind the Dance Card, here is a list of teams that likely summarize some of the Selection Committee’s toughest decisions:


  1. Info from ESPN that frequently has small differences with the NCAA’s official numbers. But make my life easier by preparing most of the columns we need for a blind analysis.
  2. Yes, we had RPI ranking ties at #39 and #55.
  3. Pomeroy rankings are included for information and possibly future analysis discussions.
  4. I manually added a column for bad losses, even though it’s not clear how important they are.
  5. I also manually added a column for Top50 road or neutral wins OR the best road/neutral win for each of our candidate teams.

Now one of the big advantages the Selection Committee has when it reaches the tough part of the selection process is that they know how many spots they have left…and right now I do not. So for today’s exercise, pick five teams that are definitely in and five that are definitely out based on whatever criteria you value. My guess on Sunday morning is that we’ll end up with more than five in both categories, so picking five should be easy, right?

I decided on this approach weeks ago. But it turns out to be harder than I expected. With the team names hidden, here were my easy decisions:



#39(1) probably really isn’t a bubble team. Five Top 25 wins (two on the road) with #1 SOS shouldn’t take long to move this team in. Their seven losses to 51+ probably pushed them down everyone’s rankings…and rightly so. But an easy decision when you start measuring midgets.

#39(2) shares many similarities with the team they share an RPI ranking with. But #39(2) loses out on comparison with the positives but offsets that with fewer negatives. They easily surpass the Sendek Standard that we’ve explored/discussed many times in the past.

#55(1) has an OOC SOS that is approaching concern, but is offset by their positives. Four Top50 wins (two on road) is more than good-enough for me.

#38 has few outstanding accomplishments, but they also have relatively few things to be embarrassed about. I’m not enthusiastic about the resume, but it should be good enough.


I highlighted the negatives that put them on my NIT list.

#35 and #44 both hit my gag reflex, even though teams like these get into the NCAAT from time to time (ie Wichita St last year). They played no one to speak of and their accomplishments fall below the Sendek Standard (similar to Boomer’s Mendoza Line). #44 digs the hole even deeper with their horrible losses.

#84 makes for interesting discussion. How do you balance six Top 50 wins to go with five embarrassing losses? You could argue this one for days without changing anyone’s mind on either side of the argument. Add in a less-than-inspiring OOC schedule and producing nothing on the road moves them to the NIT on my list….not to mention the fact that their RPI ranking is far below any team that has ever received an at-large bid.

Side Note: As I said last week, I have no idea what to do with Pomeroy’s rankings. So I found it interesting that you could use his rankings as justification for my easy IN/OUT picks. Starting this year, we’ll add this info and see if it’s useful or not.

That left me with the following teams and I tried coloring in the boxes to help with my decisions:

#81 is another conundrum. Six losses to teams that most likely won’t get an at-large bid to the NCAAT combined with five Top 50 wins with two coming on the road. In the past, I’ve used teams with similar bad losses as proof that the Selection Committee doesn’t look at this category. But last year, the Selection Committee Chairman used bad losses as one of several reasons that a mid-major was passed over. So do whatever you think is best with this team, but consider that their RPI is worse than any team invited in the past and is about 10 spots worse than the Syracuse team that many thought should have been left out last year. I put them in the NIT.

#55(2) was my last of five on the OUT list. Nothing really outstanding and four bad losses.

Here were the four teams that I seriously considered for my last of five to put IN:

In the end, I decided that Top 50 wins, road wins, and bad losses would be my deciding points and put #48 in my last spot. There are reasons to argue for any of the other three teams and I seriously hope that more than one from this list makes it into the NCAAT.

So here are my selections with their name turned on along with what the NCAAT Selection Committee decided:

And the original 15 team list (note that RI got the A10 automatic bid)


Providence is in the First Four and I didn’t see them on any list near the bubble burst. Providence was #37 on the Dance Card, with #49 the last team in.

For the first time that I remember, the talking heads on CBS didn’t have a mid-major to champion as a wronged team. They only talked about Wichita St’s seeding and the power rankings….while ignoring the fact that Scary Wheat played no one and got their Pomeroy (et al) high rankings by beating up on a bunch of nobodies.

So we didn’t set a new record-high for an RPI ranking to get an at-large bid, but we did break a record. Vanderbilt is the first team with 15 total losses to get an at-large bid.

Looking quickly, the Pomeroy rankings mostly agree with the logic I’ve been using for a while.   So I don’t think we gained any info on whether or not the Selection Committee using Pomeroy’s rankings…or if they actually used it at all.

So if the talking heads won’t cooperate by giving me someone to make fun of, I guess I’ll publish this and see what you saw. As always, link articles in the comments that discuss anything about the selection process.


About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

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Home Forums Selection Sunday Post-Mortem

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    Well you either enjoy the seeding and bubble discussions that happen every year from Selection Sunday through the next Wednesday or not. There seems t
    [See the full post at: Selection Sunday Post-Mortem]


    9 ACC teams made the big dance. Hopefully with the right coach, we will be invited back, next year. Probably won’t hear anything on a coach til the dance is over, with a prospect now in the dance. My darkhorse would be Tommy Lloyd, the coach in waiting at Gonzaga, upon Mark Few’s retirement.


    Always a good pull, Va.


    Vandy not only got a bid, they got a 9. Several slots away from the “danger line.” Total losses means SQUAT, classic “correlation v. causation.”

    And the “eye test” really matched up nicely with the numbers, I thought.


    Great write up….don’t confuse me with facts. My gut said that WFU was IN and Cuse was OUT. Simply based on the “Personality” of the schools. Jimmy B. showed that a man with his coaching record and maturity is OFF his meds. He doesn’t seem to realized that by moving the venue away from NC, it actually COSTS the Conference $$. YES, TV is a motivator….but ticket prices are STILL revenue. There would have probably been 20% MORE fans in Greensboro….than in Barclays. With all the RUSSIAN demeaning by BOTH sides of the political spectrum, ONE would have thought that since the Barclays is held by a Russian Business Person…that would influenced the decision.

    BUT, Not to be OUTDONE….Jimmy B shot off his mouth….with NO FACTS…

    WFU, OTOH, was cool and respectful….therefore they get to dance in the “warmu up to the BIG Dance”….like attending an 8th grade prom to figure out HOW to act at a wild and wooly Jr/Sr Prom.

    My comment….stats may confirm or blast….


    F Blenheim and that trashy bunch of new yorkscum.

    Only think he has going is his stock in Wrigleys and that hot wife.



    All of the previous comments in this thread on less than enlightening.


    Total losses means SQUAT, classic “correlation v. causation.”

    I was thinking about this last night. When comparing Vandy with SYR, I decided your schedule decides how many losses you can afford. WF and Vandy fell to the good side of that line and SYR fell to the NIT.


    Here’s some good color on the Wichita seeding snafu:

    So why does the NCAA Tournament selection committee only consider the Shockers the No. 38 team in this year’s Big Dance? Why is the No. 8 overall team by Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency sitting behind a full 30 teams? More importantly, why does this seem to happen every year?

    Simply put, RPI and strength of schedule. The Shockers rank No. 32 in the NCAA’s calculated RPI, an already flawed way of measuring a team’s potential tournament success, at least according to Pomeroy himself.

    The Shockers were a great team by any objective analysis

    Wichita State was No. 12 in the country in offensive efficiency. That’s better than Kentucky, Arizona, Oregon, Notre Dame, and Louisville.

    Wichita State was No. 19 in defensive efficiency. That’s better than North Carolina, Kansas, Arizona, Oregon and Florida State.

    There were only four teams in the country in the top 25 of both offensive and defensive efficiency. They were No. 1 seed Villanova, No. 1 seed Gonzaga, No. 2 seed Kentucky and … No. 10 seed Wichita State.


    My must see games:

    Saint Mary’s/VCU
    FSU/FGCU (credit union)
    Miami/Michigan State
    Iowa State/Nevada
    Creighton/Rhode Island
    Minnesota/Middle Tennessee State


    Perhaps an Enlightened ONE would tell us WHO is going to be our NEXT coach?

    I think it is “Enlightening” that Jimmy B of Cuse Land is doing a “One Last Time” performance in Greensboro. Who says the NIT hath no humor.

    THEY deny it….simply “happened”. As someone said….isn’t the NIT controlled by the NCAA? HOW did UNC-G land the mighty Cuse? Cuse is, I think, a PRIVATE university, so the Hot Shot (I am running for PREZ) NY Gov can’t Dictate where his Private Schools located in the fabulous NY State can GO. BUT, why would the NCAA/NIT allow a game in NC? Did we repeal HB2 for Old Roy (Ray?) Cooper’s Dysfunctional State of the State address tonight?

    Basketball Chiefs speak with Forked Tongue.

    Ya GOTTa LOVE IT….


    Syracuse and UNC-G play in the Carrier Dome, not in Greensboro…


    Shockers are MUCH better than a #10 seed. Their problem is they cannot get anybody to schedule a game with them outside the conference. There’s no upside for playing them.

    And honestly, it cuts both ways.. it’s not fair that #2 seed Kentucky has to play against a team of that caliber in the first weekend.


    a “One Last Time” performance in Greensboro

    Speaking of getting back on meds… The game is in Syracuse.


    Roo has lost it.


    Vegas line has Wichita beating Dayton.


    From CBS Sports:
    “Every power conference AD will be drooling over Dayton-Wichita State

    It seems like Dayton’s Archie Miller and Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall are the two coaches working outside a power conference who most often get mentioned for high-profile openings. Coincidentally, they’ll coach against each other Friday night.

    And you just know the people at NC State, Missouri, LSU and Illinois will be watching and dreaming.”


    Shockers are MUCH better than a #10 seed. Their problem is they cannot get anybody to schedule a game with them outside the conference. There’s no upside for playing them.

    Correct. Marshall has been very vocal about this in the past. Nobody wants to schedule them.


    Who is going to set up the bracket pool. Just for fun?


    Not really….my new ticker tocker is working fine…

    I skimmed the article and actually paid more attention to the “meat in it towards the end….

    I certainly DO apologize for dissemenating “False and Misleading and Unsubstantiated” info…and will testify before the “House Committee on Internal NIT Hosting Regulations. I will admit, under or over oath, that I misspoke…Since I did not do a 4:00 AM Tweet, I will not be, I hope. a casualty of a social media DRIVE BY…

    Upon more focused reading….I did see “Carrier Dome” in the 2nd Paragraph. I just assumed that they wrote the article because it was going to BE in GSO….otherwise, it would have been to me, a real NON EVENT for MSM coverage.

    THAT would have been the “Come Uppance” of the year had GSO been the menu…I assumed that the Church Group was going to sell the T’s in the GSO Parking lot as a fund raiser…


    B’rer ‘Roo… dontworryaboutit… was reporting ‘cuse in GSO early this am too…

    Now… I know you’re feeling better, but if you could cut the wordcount down by 1/2… we’d know everything was fine…
    most of us know what your family acronyms mean…

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    538 has an interactive bracket that shows all their game probabilities:

    Has Wichita at 69% v. Dayton and 24% v. Kentucky. Interesting that VCU is only 26% v. St. Mary’s. Biggest underdog of the 7/10 matchups.



    As Gabriel Heater would do, I need to set the tone for my comments….Google Gabe….he was a hoot. And NO, I did not listen to him live as I was not born, but studied about him in some of my “Gee, I wonder…days”.


    My new ticker “Chip” has supercharged my old pump….and the fluid is moving much better than ever. I am NOW back to my pre-AFib levels (the AFib meds slowed down my at from my subnormal low of 61 or so to 47. Less energy. Less whatever. Interestingly, the body will STILL produce or generate or “pump” enough to keep the 02 levels up. Mine never dropped or changed.

    I have been “detuned” once already and probably will be further tweaked after consultation with the Medtronic Tech that monitors PM recipients….

    Therefore, I will be MORE energized and more prolific….Might have to focus on the WC and be a little more concise than rambly.

    BKWolf. Thanks for the 538 link. I followed Mr. 538 daily for over 3 months. It was only at 9:30 PM on November 8, 2016, that his indicators or his “odds” moved to the correct side (color). Will be interesting to see how his “proprietary” alogrhytms work. Yogi would the expert here….

    There is a rumor that there are busses and busses leaving GSO as we speak to show support for UNC-G in the upcoming B v. G conflict. Space is filling up quickly. T Shirts are in the 3rd printing. I am still waiting for the Attendance numbers and the “final” DI NCAA document on “teams and tournaments”. I WILL go out on a limb here….the numbers will not even be close. HINT….Barclays only seats 80% of GSO’s capacity….based on published numbers.

    I really WONDER if the TV rights were “thought” to be more ENTICING when it came from New Yawk City. How Exciting….Jimmy B must be a marketing wonder…


    Dance card got 100% of the at large teams…Lunardi didn’t.

    I don’t know about palm.


    Yeah ‘Roo… when you turn the beat around…it takes a couple of trips to the body shop to get those things dialed in…

    My next door neighbor got one about a year ago and it took 3 months to get that right and then another 3 to adjust all his other 10-12 meds to the new beat…

    Now here’s your Health Care Joke about all that…

    Medicare is now paying for him and his wife to go to a Therapist (Counselor/Mental type) so he can deal with all his trips to the six doctors he’s keeping in business….

    I’m just SMH at that…

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
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