Photo by Amrita Malaur of The Technician
Well that was a disappointing week. Not shocking, but still disappointing.
The NCAA released their Top 16 on Sunday. I don’t understand why they release this list, but here’s what they’re thinking about the ACC so far:
- UVA – #1 seed in South Regional
- Duke – #2 in East
- UNC – #3 in West
- Clemson – #3 in East
It’s too early to get worked up over the fine details, but the linked article gives the exact ranking of their Top 16. With UNC at #12 overall, you have to wonder where they would be without the 2-0 record for last week.
RPI TREND GRAPHS
The trend graphs tend to get rather messy in Feb. I usually only pay attention to the last three data points for each team to look for any emerging trends. If they get really messy, I’ll drop off a few weeks at the beginning of conference play, but I prefer to have the whole ACC season available.
When ESPN got their RPI data straightened out last Monday, I updated the graphs. There were minor changes to FSU’s and BC’s position on our graphs, with FSU staying in the Bubble Zone even after their win @L’ville. In other words, not anything that most State fans would care about.
- I expanded the “IN” graph into the top end of the Bubble Zone to capture the ups and downs of FSU, SYR, and L’ville all in one graph.
UVA suffered a big upset at home on Sat against VT, but still managed to hold onto their #1 ranking.
Clemson had two breaks this week…Pitt at home and then the weekend off.
|If you look at Duke’s graph, you will see that they started falling after 1/26. I doubt anyone in Durham is panicked, but absolutely no one should be talking about a #1 seed any more. Here are the details on their fall from on high:|
UNC’s 2-0 week moved them back up in the rankings.
Miam’s followed up a win at home against WF with a loss on the road to BC…not a good week for their RPI Ranking.
|Since our last update, Louisville had games on Mon, Thurs, and Sun. In total, they had four games in eight days. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anything similar. Luckily, the Thurs and Sunday games weren’t that taxing. But no one could have predicted that before the season started.All of the AD’s should be on the ACC’s case to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else ever again.|
Louisville’s roller coaster season is a perfect example of why I do these trend graphs…to help point out teams that need a closer look to figure out what’s going on. Here’s their ACC season in chronological order:
Falling into the Bubble Zone
So basically, L’ville’s ups and downs are a function of their schedule. They win the ones that they are supposed to win, only one of the 50/50 games, and no upsets. Looking forward, L’ville now has the toughest part of their conference schedule left to face. With only one Top 50 win on their resume, they need some big wins. Luckily they will have plenty of opportunities left to prove that they deserve a spot in the NCAAT.
Just after I write them off, SYR pulled off a 2-0 week that included a win over L’ville on the road. Looking pretty good for now.
FSU had a disappointing 0-2 week with a loss to UVa at home and to ND on the road.
|VT had a great week going 2-0 with a big upset in C’ville. They’ve moved nearly to the good side of the Bubble but have a rough schedule down the stretch.As you can see in the RPI Summary Table down below, they have a Greenburg-type OOC schedule hanging around their necks. If not for that, I would say that the win in C’ville would have moved them into the “lock” category with a 9-9 conference record. But back in the real world, I wouldn’t be comfortable with a win over GT plus one more to get them a guaranteed bid.|
ND pulled out of their seven-game losing streak with two wins at home against BC and FSU.
State’s 0-2 week moves them towards the outer edge of the Bubble. They might not be at the very edge of the Bubble, but they’ve got a good view of the NIT from where they’re at.
BC got a nice win at home against UM to move back towards the Bubble. They’re still out for now, but are staying within shooting distance.
RPI SUMMARY TABLE
|State is sitting at 6-6 in conference which is much better than anything I expected at the start of conference play (especially with the #6 conference SOS in the country). They are in a pretty good position to finish with a 9-9 conf. record, which is often good enough for a NCAAT bid. But with State’s terrible OOC schedule, they have nearly fallen off the back edge of the Bubble even with a .500 conference record.I would not expect 3-3 from here to improve State’s RPI enough to feel comfortable about an NCAAT bid. If memory serves, this is the third week in a row that I’ve made that same observation. So far, I see no reason to change my mind.|
|Like State, SYR is sitting at 6-6 with six to play. But unlike State, if they can win any three of their remaining games then I think that they are IN. The only problem is that four of their remaining games are against teams that pretty much already have a NCAAT bid wrapped up.Once again we see that a good OOC schedule pays dividends….9-9 in the ACC looks to be good enough for SYR even though they are tracking to have one of the three easiest ACC schedules.|
|I don’t think that I’ve mentioned Clemson recently other than to talk about losing Grantham for the remainder of the season. They’ve done well since then by winning three of four. That’s partially because of their schedule, but they did win the rematch against UNC without Grantham.Their remaining schedule has two games against FSU in a two-week span and three games at home. Not an easy schedule by any means, but not as difficult as several other teams we’ve already discussed.|
|ND just about waited too long to pull out of their losing streak. I wouldn’t bet large sums of money that they can go 4-2 down the stretch to get to 9-9, but we’ve all seen stranger things.I would bet a large sum of money that 9-9 and Bonzie playing in the ACCT would be enough to get the Irish into the NCAAT.|
UPCOMING ACC SCHEDULE
Ever since UNC’s three-game losing streak, teamrankings.com has picked SYR as State’s second toughest game over the second half. Let’s hope that KK has worked on their zone offense since the Pitt game. This is quite simply a game that both teams need badly.
Just in case you haven’t been watching WF, they hung close with UNC at home and beat SYR and FSU in Winston. Over the years, I’ve come to dread trips to W-S (and Chestnut Hill).
This week’s selection of worthwhile games is much improved over last week. Matching up BC/Pitt and GT/WF almost automatically adds four games worth watching to the schedule.
I don’t remember more ACC games being shown on Sunday after the Super Bowl is over. But we had three games yesterday and two more this week. I checked the remainder of the ACC schedule and State/FSU is the only game on 2/25….which is the last Sunday of the regular season. (The last day of regular season play is on the next Saturday, 3/3.)