It’s hard to believe that the regular season is already over. It’s been a great ride so far and I never expected to be able to say that considering where State basketball was just one year ago. So let’s get to it and start with reviewing the last week of the regular season.
RPI TREND GRAPHS
UVA had a thrilling win over L’ville with a last second three to get the victory. They followed that game up by holding off ND down the stretch for a 2-0 week and 17-1 conference record for the year.
Duke lost in Blacksburg (looking ahead?) and then avenged the loss in Chapel Hill to secure the second seed in the ACCT.
UNC had an 0-2 week to drop into a four-way tie for third place.
Clemson went 1-1 with a win over FSU and then a loss at Syracuse.
Miami had a great week with a win in Chapel Hill and then a hard fought win over VT at home. They ended the regular season with a four-game winning streak and proved that they don’t belong with the other questionable teams on this graph.
FSU lost at Clemson then won over BC at home to squeak in with a 9-9 conference record.
L’ville picked a bad time to go 0-2 and we’ll dissect them a little later.
SYR ended the season with a home victory over Clemson to revive their fading NCAAT hopes. I’ll have more to say about the Orange during our bubble discussion.
VT beat Duke mid-week to hopefully secure an NCAAT bid. They ended the regular season with a hard fought loss at Miami. I gave up on VT several times this season and I think that they have proven me wrong.
I’m not sure what I would say if State had lost to L’ville on Saturday. But thankfully you won’t have to watch me back-peddle and say that 10-8 might not be good enough. I’m not ready to see State lose again, but at least I won’t worry about a NCAAT bid if they bow out of the ACCT too soon. If I’m right about State, then they’ll be the first team to move from a triple-digit RPI ranking at the start of the conference schedule to earn a NCAAT bid.
ND got Bonzie Colson back a full week before the ACCT. Now we have to figure out how much ND has to do in the ACCT to secure a NCAAT bid.
Let’s start with what “everyone else is saying” to go along with a few more tables before we start drilling down into specifics.
THE DANCE CARD
Through Sunday’s games
FINAL ACC STANDINGS
IIRC, this is State’s best regular season finish since 2004 when State finished second (and then lost in the first round of the ACCT to eventual champion Maryland).
RPI SUMMARY TABLE
I ignored my fast and dirty definition of IN vs Bubble this week.
The first five teams are well clear of any bubble discussions. I’ve not spent any great amount of time studying seeding tendencies simply because it hasn’t been important to State to generate any interest for me. But I do know that ACCT performance has a much bigger effect on Bubble discussions than seeding ones.
FSU has a SOS that is among the worst in the nation, but they have enough quality wins to overcome that big negative. Their Top 25 and Top 50 wins far exceeds the minimums that we’ve discussed many times since the days of the Herbble.
Someone has got to work with Buzz to straighten out VT’s OOC schedule because it is even worse than FSU’s. Their resume is not as good as FSU’s, but four Top 25 wins has to be good enough.
State is 7-6 against teams in the Top 50. For a point of reference, the best that Sendek ever managed was 0.500…and was only that good once in 10 years. State has everything that we look for to clear the bubble with the exception of a decent OOC schedule. That will end up hurting State’s seeding, but that’s a far better problem than any I expected to discuss this year.
I’m surprised that Syracuse is looking that good on the Dance Card algorithm. With their easy ACC schedule, an 8-10 record is just not going to get it done. Ignore all of the SOS calculations and just look at who they played (which mean that you have to click the link above). They played a total of eight games against the seven teams in the ACC that won double-digit conference games…and five of those games were at home. You really can’t get much easier than that.
SYR’s conference record is the only real stain on their resume. So a win over UNC on Wednesday should be enough.
L’ville’s big problem is their paucity of quality wins. They might have enough, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If I’m right, that could be a real problem because they don’t have a favorable ACCT bracket for generating more wins….FSU in the 8/9 game and then UVa. Clearly a win over UVA would be enough and whether a win over FSU would be enough is just too close to call. I don’t see them making the NCAAT if they lose on Wed and enter Selection Sunday with three consecutive losses.
ND’s injuries were a tough deal. But you can’t substitute “might have won” for “did win” and move them ahead of some other team that earned a bid. ND drew a tough bracket, because I don’t think that a win over VT on Wednesday will be enough. I’m betting that they need a win over Duke on Thursday.
I avoided discussing the ACC team’s wins by the new quadrant system because I just don’t know how to compare Q1 and Q2 wins. So I just used the same philosophy that has been pretty decent over the last decade. If I’m horribly wrong, then we’ll all have to figure out a whole new system.