Bracketology: 6 Seed in Midwest

Submitted by uncle leo on February 12th, 2018 at 9:59 AM

In the same bracket with Xavier as the 1 and Auburn as the 2?? Yes please.

I guess the loss to NW didn't really do much damage to where we all thought M would be seeded at this point. 

This is an absolutely critical week. If they can get both Iowa and OSU, I think that would keep them off the 8/9 for sure.



February 12th, 2018 at 10:05 AM ^

Michigan State is really gross, I get it, but can somebody explain how they have won 8 straight games, including on Saturday against the #3 ranked team in the country and they fell in this weeks bracketology?  How?


February 12th, 2018 at 10:09 AM ^

Because Lunardi is bad at his job and incorrectly predicted how the committee would rank MSU. Now that we saw the preview that they view them as a low 3 right now, he adjusted based on that expectation.


February 12th, 2018 at 10:27 AM ^

It has to be the fact that MSU has fewer Q1 wins (four) than all the teams listed in front of them on the Selection Committee's top 16, along with their putrid non-conference SOS (213) and overall SOS (78).  They have 16(!) victories over Q3/Q4 teams, meaning that two-thirds of their wins are fairly insignificant.  Against the majority of the country, their resume is impressive but when you look at it closely and compare to other top teams, it doesn't hold up.


February 12th, 2018 at 7:01 PM ^

They haven't won enough difficult games and have played a very, very easy schedule.  Plain and simple.  They've been a three seed on the bracket matrix for the past few weeks (and were a four for a bit after losing to M).  This isn't a shock at all.

They had a worse non-conf SoS than we did.  Their only non-conf quadrant 1 win was neutral against UNC.

Their only Q1 wins in conference are home Purdue and at Maryland.  That is it.

Even the eye test fails them lately. Barely beat Iowa, Rutgers (at home!), IU...they don't have a top 8 resume and aren't even playing like a top 8 team lately. They're only ranked highly in the human polls because humans blindly move teams up that win even though those close wins to bad teams only says they're performing slightly better than bad.

They do have top 8 (top 3 even) talent so we'll see what they do with it in the BTT which is probably their only chance to move up to the 2 line.



February 12th, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

you named the ONLY two tournament teams they beat, and they won't have an opportunity to beat another one until the B1G tourney. ND tanking hurts them, especially sincew they beat them when Colson was still playing. 


February 12th, 2018 at 10:41 AM ^

The B1G being down is really hurting the conference.  I thought it would only hurt the bubble teams and/or Michigan, but it's even hurting the top dogs.  I already talked about MSU so I'll highlight some others.

Purdue has five Q1 wins and 11 Q1/Q2 so even their resume is a little lacking compared to others, but their gaudy win streak and fairly decent non-conference slate and overall SOS are still propping them up a bit.  Unfortunately for them, they have no more opportunities for Q1/Q2 wins until the later stages of the Big Ten Tournament.

OSU has a shiny overall and conference record, which in years past would easily peg them for the 2/3 line, yet a closer look reveals only six Q1/Q2 (only two Q1) victories.  They do have two more chances against Michigan (Q1) and IU (Q2) to boost their team sheet before the BTT.

Michigan's resume isn't all that impressive, either.  Only four Q1/Q2 wins with 15(!) lesser tier victories.  Luckily, they have three more chances to get Q1/Q2 wins, with two of them being Q1 games.  Time to pad that resume!

Lastly, it's crazy to think that Nebraska could go 14-4 in conference, 23-8 overall, and not make the NCAA Tournament without a deep conference tourney run.  They have zero Q1 wins and only three Q2.  They have one Q2 game left (vs. Maryland) and really need to knock off somebody relevant in the Big Ten Tournament to have a shot at being selected.  


February 12th, 2018 at 12:12 PM ^

is what's hurting them.  They couldn't beat us at home. They couldn't win at OSU. If they want to be a top 2 seed, those are games they should've won.

I would say that their unbalanced schedule (only play Purdue, OSU, Michigan and Nebraska once) is hurting them but they're only 2-2 in games against those teams anyway and three out of four of them were at home!  If they had to go on the road to Purdue, Michigan and Nebraska those are opportunities for big wins but more likely those are losses the way they're playing.


February 12th, 2018 at 12:35 PM ^

......Duke lost to BC, NCSU and St. Johns (all teams are lower rated than Michigan or OSU) and hasn't held serve against UVA or UNC, yet and they still got a # 2 seed.  A lot of that could be the "Duke Factor".

I totally agree with you on the unbalanced schedule.  It's crazy that MSU only plays the top 4 other teams in the conference one time each (and mostly at home).



February 12th, 2018 at 1:06 PM ^

Duke is 5th in kenpom, MSU is 6th.

Duke is 10th in RPI, MSU is 14th.

Duke has a better SoS by a long shot.

And then it's pretty easy to say, well, Duke beat MSU on a neutral floor. 

Duke does have a couple troubling losses, but they also have a lot more quality wins.  When your team has a lot of losable games, they'll lose some of them.  MSU has played very few losable games.



February 12th, 2018 at 1:29 PM ^

Duke has three losses to unranked teams.  MSU has none.  Duke only has one win against a currently ranked team (MSU).  MSU has two wins over currently ranked teams (Purdue and UNC).  Duke is ranked 10/12.  MSU is ranked 1/2.

I'm not lobbying for MSU by any means, just pointing out that there's very little difference between Duke and MSU (as your Kenpom numbers indicate), 



February 12th, 2018 at 2:17 PM ^

is in relation to the human polls, which 1) aren't very good systems, and 2) are cut off arbitrarily at 25 teams.  So the ranked/unranked distinction without even taking into account home/road or the overall quality of a schedule doesn't mean much.

I don't deny that MSU and Duke are close in resume, which is exactly why I say, if they're close and Duke is ahead in all the objective metrics and won the neutral court head-to-head, it's a no brainer to have Duke ranked higher.


February 12th, 2018 at 11:38 AM ^

Of the top 20 teams in the RPI, they have the worst non-conference SOS and overall SOS.

Something I forgot to mention above, too, is that MSU has the fewest Q1 victories while having played 2-3 more games than most other teams.  So they have done less with more and it's because they only had two worthwhile non-conference victories (and ND probably won't make the Tournament now).


February 12th, 2018 at 10:11 AM ^

Because Lundardi adjusted the top 4 seeds based on the NCAA's top 16. Unfortunately, I suspect he has Michigan too high as a 6 seed. They are likely a 8 or 9 right now, which is where Jerry Palm and places them.


February 12th, 2018 at 10:07 AM ^

Man, that would be huge! If we pick up our usual late season surge, we'll do well at the 6. I'm fretting about our PG play as many of us are; here's to Rahk getting possessed for a run


February 12th, 2018 at 6:22 PM ^

in the regular season.  Getting late early for a "late-season surge".

We made our "surge" i.e. became a better team when Livers was given more minutes (first game he played more than Duncan was the Texas game).

Prior to the Texas game, we were the 36th best team per Bart Torvik's SoS adjusted efficiency rankings.  From then through the Minnesota game, we were the 14th best team in the country.

In the last two games without him (an admittedly small sample), we were the 69th best team in the country.

It is quite clear how we "surge" again.  And that's getting Livers back. Would also be nice for Z to get his shooting touch back but he's been excellent and creating shots at the rim and for teammates.


February 12th, 2018 at 7:06 PM ^

And it's clear we're playing better than the start of the season. I'm thinking of the difference makers we've had at the point and wondering where it will come from when the game is tight and we need someone with a great handle late in the game. To me, the rest the season is house money and to be enjoyed because we're too limited at PG for realistic expectations to be a deep tourney run.


February 12th, 2018 at 11:56 AM ^

They definitely are not at "only way in is win the conference tournament". 


Nebraska will be on the 4/5 line; beating the #1 seed/Big Ten Champion would deliver them in regardless of if they lost on Sunday. 


They might still be fine with a regular season sweep plus a victory over us too. 


February 12th, 2018 at 10:11 AM ^

but I didn't think the committee had the top four seeds already figured out with two weeks left in the regular season and the conference tourna,ments still to be played.

Seems the last week or two of the season doesn't carry much weight for the tournament seedings.  Their minds are already made up, don't confuse them with the facts.


February 12th, 2018 at 11:59 AM ^

Regular season wise: I feel like we beat Iowa (by a lot) and OSU (by a little), but lose to both PSU and Maryland in close games. 


If OSU is the #1 seed, I think we can make it to the finals. However, I can't see Michigan beating Purdue or MSU in the BTT (for State, the reason is mostly that we'd be playing them after 3 games in 3 days). 


February 12th, 2018 at 10:12 AM ^

6 seed is too generous.  Bracket matrix has us at an 8.6 average though it has not been updated since Saturday.  If we go 3-1 to finish with a win vs OSU, I would bet on a 6, but I don't think that'll happen.  7 or 8 seems like the best bet unless we drop a bad game or fare poorly in the B1G tourney


February 12th, 2018 at 10:20 AM ^

I guess the loss to NW didn't really do much damage to where we all thought M would be seeded at this point.

Bracketology isn't the best source, but in general, we need to not look at this from a football perspective, where a loss is catastrophic. You're going to lose some games in basketball. Individual games don't move the needle that much.


February 12th, 2018 at 12:41 PM ^

The polls are just a bunch of media members, coaches, or SID’s picking who they think are the best 25 teams at that moment for whatever reason they want to justify it. The committee uses more metric and analytics to determine who deserves to play in the tournament and what seeds they should be. Gonzaga & Saint Mary’s are both in the top 16 of AP poll this week, and will not come close to a top 4 seed come tournament time.


February 12th, 2018 at 1:28 PM ^

Actually, the committee is just a bunch of media members, coaches, and SIDs picking who they think are the best 37 teams at the moment for whatever reason they want to justify it.  And they worry a lot more about inclusion/exclusion than seeing.

I'll believe the committee uses analytics when their selections and seeings reflect it. And when the NCAA stops publishing the RPI.