Good work. The thing with Bracket Matrix is that not a lot is separating Michigan from the last 2-seed, in terms of the average (only about half a seed). I think it's very possible that we lose on Saturday of the BTT and still get a 2-seed, as we currently have 10 Top 50 RPI wins. I think our overall resume is better than Duke, for example (and certainly better than Virginia's, imo). It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
Seed Watch 2014: Who To Root For
[Ed-Ace: BUMP. GIFs coming either late this afternoon or tomorrow, depending on whether this three-point supercut breaks Photoshop.]
Rooting against this guy shouldn't be too hard.
Last night was a great night of basketball, not only because of Michigan's win, but because a number of well-established teams lost. Tuesday night was just a microcosm of what has been seen in the past 7-10 days as about a dozen ranked teams lost (and some more than once). For example, Creighton, Syracuse, Iowa State, Ciny and St. Louis have all lost two straight games. MSU fell to Illinois while Kansas and Louisville lost games as well.
The rash of losses by top teams has placed Michigan firmly on the 3-seed line, with an outside shot at a 2-seed. According to the Bracket Matrix, Michigan is the second 3-seed behind Virginia. With Duke, Wisconsin, Villanova and Syracuse as twos and Kansas, Florida, Arizona and Wichita State as the one seeds.
Of course, there's still a lot of basketball to be played and if this frantic, unpredictable nature of college basketball continues its course over then next week and a half, anything can happen. Let's recap the top seeds and how they have performed overall and in recent games to see who/what we should hope for down the stretch.
One Seeds (these teams aren't going anywhere)
Wichita State - 31-0. Not going anywhere.
Florida - 28-2 and 17-0 in SEC. Not going anywhere.
Arizona -27-2 and conference champs. Could slip to a 2-seed if they lose final two games and tournament opener. Highly unlikely. Not going anywhere.
Kansas - Dropped a game against Oklahoma State this past week. And while they have a favorable schedule against Texas Tech and West Virginia. Anything can happen. At 22-7, Kansas is ranked No. 8 in the nation. They are however, 2nd in RPI compared to Michigan at 13. I'm no Ken Pomeroy, but I think Michigan would need a bit of help or luck to pass Kansas in the brackets.
What to root for: Kansas to lose any and all remaining games. Unless they play Iowa State, which we will visit later in the article.
Two Seeds (longshots to drop, but it could happen)
Syracuse - Lost two more games in their last two outings including last night's game versus lowly Georgia Tech. Syracuse only has four losses on the season but have quickly played themselves out of the 1-seed. Currently without Jerami Grant, Syracuse is at risk of losing against Florida State this weekend. Additionally, two of Syracuse's losses are against bottom ACC teams Boston College and Georgia Tech which are as bad or worse as Michigan's losses to Charlotte and Indiana. Syracuse is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation, but will likely drop when the polls are re-released on Monday.
What to root for: Syracuse to lose out, or lose against FSU and perform poorly in conference tournament.
Duke - The Blue Devils have been on auto pilot most of the season with no back to back losses or particularly troublesome stretches. RPI is 7, SOS is 9. They would need to lose to Wake Forest and North Carolina to lose their standing as a solid two seed. Of course, one of those teams, North Carolina, is on the 4-line.
What to Root For: Duke to either beat North Carolina to get them off of Michigan's heals, or for Duke to lose out. It is never a bad idea to root against Duke.
Villanova - No recent upsets or losses. All three losses are against top 25 teams. Two regular season games left (against Georgetown and Xavier). And like Duke, probably not a legitimate candidate to move too far south.
What to Root For: Villanova to lose out. Like Duke, Kansas and Syracuse, that's the only way they will drop far.
Wisconsin - Top non-conference RPI. Fifth overall when factoring in conference games. Two conference games remaining versus Purdue and Nebraska.
What to Root For - Wisconsin losing games is always fun so lets root for them to lose out. In reality, the Badgers need to lose one regular season game and their first tournament game.
Three Seeds (Michigan needs to pass Virginia and a 2-seed to move up)
Virginia - Haven't lost in nearly two months and only one regular season game left (against Maryland). They are close to Michigan and Michigan needs to pass them and one more team to reach that two line.
What to Root for: Maryland to beat Virginia on Sunday and for Virginia to lose early in conference tournament. Since they are closest to Michigan seed-wise, maybe even one loss and perfection by the Wolverines could spring Michigan to the top 3-seed. Still, Michigan needs to pass two teams to earn that 2-seed.
Iowa State - Top 10 in RPI, but now below Michigan in polls after back to back losses to Kansas State and Baylor. Still on the 3-seed line according to Bracket Matrix but behind Michigan.
What to root for: Iowa State to lose to Oklahoma State to give Michigan some wiggle room. Also, root for the Cyclones to not run the table in the B12 tournament. They could pass Michigan if they outplay the Wolverines between now and selection Sunday.
Creighton - 11th in RPI but fading hard in the polls after back to back losses to Xavier and Georgetown. Bracket Matrix has them as a three seed but below Michigan.
What to root for: A loss to Providence in regular season finale or an unconvincing tournament run in the Big East Tournament.
Four Seeds (Don't Get Jumped)
North Carolina - They play Duke in their conference finale and with a win, could finish second in the ACC. A strong performance in the conference tournament could push them to the 3-line.
What to root for: North Carolina not getting to that 3-line.
Michigan State - They are a hot pile of garbage right now but get to play Iowa and OSU, plus the B10 tourney. What if they go 4-1, or even win damn conference tournament? If that happens, I will punch a desk. Let's not think about that happening. Seriously, if Michigan can't win the conference tourney, they sure as hell don't want MSU or Wisconsin winning it. Standard complaints about OSU apply, but if you are a Michigan fan, you would rather have the Buckeyes or any other team win over Wisconsin and MSU.
What to Root For: More excuses out of East Lansing.
Cincinnati - Lost two in a row to UConn and Memphis, but can still win their conference. Could also get quality win over Louisville in conference tournament.
What To Root For - Cincinnati to lose another game. Or not win their conference title. Louisville is on the 5-line so Michigan fans really don't want them to run the table either. Let's just root for Southern Methodist to win the conference title. *(Craig James Killed A Hooker.)
San Diego State - Hi Steve Fisher! The Aztecs have two games left. One versus 21st ranked New Mexico. Likely not enough to get them jumping up spots.
What to Root For - You root for Steve Fisher, because he's Steve Fisher god dammit. He's a nice man!
Conclusion: Michigan is all but certainly a 3-seed, but crazy things can happen. A bad run by a few others could spell a 2-seed for Michigan. Conversly, losing to Indiana and dropping the first round of the B10 tourney could leave Michigan susceptible to losing the 3-seed. Of course, 2-3 of the following: ISU, Creighton, MSU, NC would have to right the ship.
What about Louisville? Now I don't know what to root for
...if we follow this up with a smack-down of IU plus win the B1G Tourney, I don't see how the committee looks at that resume and goes, "They're a 3-seed."
Not even sure we need to win the B1G tournament, doesn't the game end about the time when Selection Sunday is slated to begin? I think just making the tourny championship game may suffice, maybe.
Historically the committee ignores the result of that game, because it ends an hour before the selection show. Getting to it is really helpful though.
Remember the 5, always!
If I understand correctly, the brackets are designed so the 'best' of each seed is supposed to play the 'worst' of their opposing seed (e.g. best 3 seed plays worst 14 seed in opener and worst 6 seed in next round).
Could it be better to be matched against the worst 6 seed instead of drawing the best 7th seed if we make it up to the 2 seed line (assuming we would be the 'worst' 2 seed)?
It seems like a team that gets 'screwed' with a lower seed than they think they deserve could be in that best 7th seed slot and have a chip on its shoulder.
This is not entirely true. The committee attempts to ensure balance between the different regions, but there isn't any rule stating that it must be this way. More often than not geography gets in the way of perfect competitive balance.
Well seeing that 2 seeds beat 7 seeds 74% of the time, and 3 seeds only beat 6 seeds 54% of the time, I'd much rather be a 2.
However 2 seeds only beat 10 seed 60% of the time. Conversely, 3 seeds beat 11 seeds 72% of the time.
7 seeds beat 10 seeds 60% of the time, while 6 seeds beat 11 seeds 67% of the time.
To conclude this somewhat flawed analysis, assuming a first round win in each case:
Sweet 16 probability as 2 seed = (.6)(.74) + (.4)(.6) = .684
Sweet 16 probability as 3 seed = (.67)(.54) + (.33)(.7) = .593
This is significant, and especially considering that 3 seeds do lose more often in the first round than 2 seeds do. But it's not as severe as your post makes it seem. Of course, we could just look at the frequency of 2's and 3's actually making the sweet 16, but that would be too easy.
Yea, the 2 vs 10 win percentage is odd. There's been 52 games so it's not as if there's been too small of a sample size. Maybe the case of a 10 being a bubble team that has been hot vs the 7 being a slumping former top 25 team?
To add to your calcs, if you take the 1st round into account, with the 2 seeds winning 94% of the time and the 3 seeds just 85%, you get:
Sweet 16 probability as 2 seed = .643
Sweet 16 probability as 3 seed = .504
Well overall 7 seeds beat 10 seeds 60% of the time, so it's not as if 10 seeds are usually simply better. Personally I think it is a sample size issue. 52 may seem like a large sample but the confidence interval on something like this is a lot bigger than you might think. If you flip a coin 50 times, you're 95% certain only to get heads between 19 and 31 times, which is quite a large spread. With as many different matchups as there are in the NCAA tournament, it would be quite surprising if there weren't some unusual looking statistics -- there are more than 20 different matchup possibilities so some are likely to fall outside of those (already quite wide) 95% intervals just by chance.
Also, consider that 3 seeds are generally weaker teams than 2 seeds. You're talking in some cases about the difference between the 5th and 12th best teams in the nation. If you take a team right on the 2/3 cut line, like Michigan, you'd expect a smaller effect.
bracket matrix was last updated before last night's win. we'll see some change soon.
Nice catch. I hadn't noticed that. I think all the losses last night (Syracuse, Iowa State, Creighton) is really going to help Michigan.
1 seed is gone.
Villanova for sure
ACC champ (tournament)
Big Ten Champ (tournament)
ACC runner up (tournament)
I think Creighton could be a problem as well, but they have had 2 losses the last 2 games so right now they are a 3.
I think the Big Ten spot is between us and Wisc, whoever finishes better. Also Iowa State is more likely a threat to move up than Creighton.
There is still so much time left. If we win out and win the BTT there is no way IMO the committee would put us behind Wisconsin. It's easy to look at the remaining schedules but less easy to take into account the outcomes of conference tournaments, which are important for seeding if nothing else. Dropping below a 3 is very hard to imagine but there are myriad ways we could end up with a 2, and I do think we control our own destiny. Few of those teams above us will do very well in their conference tournaments -- only one team can win the ACC tournament, and Wisconsin can't win the BTT if we do!
They are going to start dropping like a rock on the Matrix. A bad loss here and there is one thing. Multiple bad losses in a row is a concern. I would say that Michigan is probably in a dead heat with Syracuse at this point.
A win against Indiana assures Michigan a 3 seed. Making the BTT Final pretty much assures them a 2.
Also disagree with the Wichita State sentiment. Still possible for them to end up a 2 seed.
I agree with a lot of this. I think that Syracuse has currently played themselves all the way out of a 2 seed (things could change, but I believe this to be the current situation), and basically, I would bet all my e-karma that if we won the BTT, we would be seeded on the 2 line. I think that is beyond question, frankly.
I mean, think about it. The Big Ten regular season champ and tourney champ is not a 2 seed? That strikes me as fairly offensive to the fabric of reality.
Of course, that's getting way ahead of ourselves. Many games to be played. Mostly, I'm just super proud of our guys and what they've accomplished, hope they have fun between now and the real tournament, and stay focused and sharp. I'm not going to get too worked up past that.
I'd like to remain a 3, what with the prospect of avoiding a 1, potentially.
Horrible spelling of Cincinnati
If I knew I was getting bumped to the front page, I would have edited a little harder.
It looks like they got off pretty easy only having to play Duke, UNC, Pitt, Clemson. and Syracuse once. They have 4 RPI Top 50 wins with a SOS of #26 (ESPN).
I'm no Lunardi, but I'd put Michigan above UVA in a heart beat (as of right now).
In regards to Wisconsin, I thought they would win their last 2 games easily...and they still might. But after seeing them barely beat Penn State last weekend I'm starting to wonder how they'll do when they travel to Nebraska, who has only lost to us at home all season. Those flat screens in the bathroom stalls really seem to make the Huskers play better and maybe they can pull it off.
Either way, f*ck Bo Ryan.
Nice breakdown. It feels like this team is slated for the 3-seed, and frankly I'd rather have a favorable matchup as a 3-seed than maybe a bit of a "reach" as the weakest 2-seed.
I actually think Kansas as a 1 seems like a bit of a stretch, but I'm not sure if anyone in the 2 pack deserves it more.
Does anyone remember the last time Michigan had a long way to go to try to surpass Kansas?
Amen. Except for the usual Big Ten suspects, there is no one I would rather see lose a basketball game than the Dookies.
"What to Root For - You root for Steve Fisher, because he's Steve Fisher god dammit. He's a nice man!"
Steve Fishers "I treat all players equally, but not the same" was the beginning of the end for this program for 15 years. Steve Fisher really is a nice man, but I do not root for Steve Fisher. Ever.
His line was "I treat all players fairly, but not the same."
I think Fisher deserved to be fired for letting things get to where they did, but I don't think you can blame the next decade on him. He wasn't planning on having Ellerbe succeed him, nor was he responsible for us falling way behind in the facilities race. Many programs have fired coaches for NCAA issues and haven't gone on decade-long slumps. Look no further than our friends in Columbus (in both sports) for an example of that.
I stand corrected on the quote and you're absolutely right that he certainly did not personally cause the failure after him. You make great points.
He's just in my head as the beginning of it. Besides, if he'd kept his job longer maybe Ellerbe would have cratered someone else's program.
Thanks for the correction.
OSU also always gets a freaking slap on the wrist because those fucking scumbags have choked the corridors of power with ex-Buckeyes and they hire people who are part of the NCAA crony factory.
OSU's punishment for cheating in bkb was that they got to recruit the #1 class in the country. That is bullshit.
They went nuclear in the facilities arms race, and that helped, but just like their punishment in football was that they got to bring in Urban Meyer they got off easy in bkb. Because the NCAA sucks and the Buckeyes work that so ably.
Rooting for Steve Fisher is the michigan equivalent of the buckeyes carrying of Tressel to a standing ovation. The man put the program on probation. If he didn't know what Ed Martin was doing it is only because he chose to look the other way.
To each their own, but I agree.
Does anyone remember the last time a Big Ten champion was a 3 seed or lower? Seems like it's kind of rare, normally the champ ends up as a 1.
Normally the B1G Champ doesn't have 7 losses. Actually, I would be interested in seeing the records/seeds of the lasat 10-15 years of B1G Champs, although I am to lazy to do it myself.
Duke is like the USC of basketball, no one should be sad when they lose!
that a lot of research went into seeing which team is what seed, but....
doesn't this all boil down to "hope a team higher than MICH on the seed lines loses"?
Does this really require a lot of analysis?
Wouldn't it be better for MSU to beat Iowa, at least for the BTT? I want Iowa, Wisc, and MSU to all stay on the bottom half of the bracket and fight it out.
Like Gonzaga has for the last ten years, Wichita State is reaping the benefits of playing a schedule full of tomato cans. They can get up for the few legit teams they vace and use the others for practice.
Is there anyone here who thinks that WSU could finish over .500 in the Big Ten? I certainly don't.
one year is lucky, two not so much ...
UM, Syr, Wisc and KU on 2 line. Not sure if Duke is a 5, but UM's resume is considerably better- 10-5 vs top 50 RPI vs 4-4 for Duke, and only one loss outside top-100 vs. Duke's 2.
Can anyone tell me what the bolded teams on the bracket matrix signifies? I know some teams qualify automatically due to conference championships but Wisconsin is bolded and not michigan. Thanks!
They're not predicting who will get the automatic bid that goes to the conference champion.
It represents the highest-seeded team from each conference in the Matrix.
EDIT: I really need to refresh threads that I've had open for an hour before I reply to posts.
Appreciate you both!