Monday, January 21, 2008

2008 NCAA Tournament Projections - January 21, 2008

Suicide Saturday has come and gone. North Carolina and UCLA not only lost, but succumbed to defeat on their home courts against who were not members of the 65-team field last week.

Along the 3rd seed line, Texas A&M and Marquette lost two double-digit games this week, bringing them down at least one tier. Reaping the benefits are Indiana and Xavier who simply took care of business. Another high riser is Kansas State who affirmed last week’s road victory against Oklahoma with a lopsided triumph against Texas A&M.

Speaking of Oklahoma, we are now projecting that they will be out of the mix given that Blake Griffin will be out for four weeks. Despite a win at home against Texas Tech without Griffin’s services, the Sooners are too thin to compete in the Big XII with a 7-deep squad. If they happen to win half of those games, that will go a long way in reconsidering the Sooners case for an at-large bid.

Syracuse (giving up 50+ in the second half at home to Villanova) and Arkansas (two losses to the SEC East cellar dwellers) did nothing to help their status and are now on the outside looking in. Syracuse’s Big Monday affair tonight at Georgetown will go a long way in determining which tournament they’ll be playing in March.

In the Mountain West, we have decided to switch allegiance to San Diego State for now due to their spotless conference and a win over Utah. In the WAC, many are predicting Utah State, but we are sticking with New Mexico State. Blue-chip recruit Herb Pope (#31 according to finally stepping onto the hardwood (5 pts, 9 reb, 4 ast, 6 TOs in 23 minutes) in a win versus Louisiana Tech cements that decision.

That’s all for now. If you have any questions, comments, or just wish to send a shout, shoot me a line at

The Seedings
1: Memphis (C-USA), Kansas (Big XII), UCLA (PAC-10), North Carolina (ACC)
2: Duke, Tennessee (SEC), Michigan State (Big Ten), Washington State
3: Georgetown (Big East), Texas, Indiana, Xavier (A-10)
4: Drake (MVC), Butler (Horizon), Dayton, Texas A&M
5: Marquette, Wisconsin, Gonzaga (WCC), Kansas State
6: Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Stanford, Pittsburgh
7: Rhode Island, Arizona, Ohio State, Louisville
8: Clemson, St. Mary’s, Arizona State, Kent State (MAC)
9: UMass, West Virginia, Miami-FL, Florida
10: USC, Illinois State, San Diego State (MWC), South Alabama (Sun Belt)
11: George Mason (Colonial), Baylor, Cleveland State, Villanova
12: Davidson (Southern), Sam Houston State (Southland), Mississippi State, Virginia
13: Providence, Siena (Metro Atlantic), Notre Dame, Creighton
14: Cal State Northridge (Big West), New Mexico State (WAC), Winthrop (Big South), Hampton (MEAC)
15: Bucknell (Patriot), UM-Baltimore County (America East), Yale (Ivy), IUPUI (Summit)
16: Austin Peay (Ohio Valley), Northern Arizona (Big Sky), East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun), Sacred Heart (Northeast), Alabama State (SWAC)

IN: USC, San Diego State, Villanova, Mississippi State, Providence, Creighton, Cal State Northridge, Bucknell, Northern Arizona, Alabama State
OUT: Oklahoma, Syracuse, Arkansas, Oregon, Utah, Boston College, UC-Santa Barbara, Holy Cross, Montana, Jackson State

Last Four In: Virginia, Providence, Notre Dame, Creighton
Last Four Out: Oregon, Boston College, Oklahoma, NC State
Next Four Out: Arkansas, Akron, Maryland, UConn

Summary (Multi-Bid Conferences Only in Order of Percentage)
Pac-10: 6/10 – UCLA, Washington State, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, USC
ACC: 5/12 – North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL, Virginia
Big East: 8/16 –Georgetown, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Louisville, West Virginia, Villanova, Providence, Notre Dame
Big XII: 5/12 – Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Baylor
SEC: 5/12 – Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Florida, Mississippi State
Big Ten: 4/11 – Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio State
Missouri Valley: 3/10 – Drake, Illinois State, Creighton
A-10: 4/14 – Dayton, Rhode Island, Xavier, UMass
Horizon: 2/10 – Butler, Cleveland State
West Coast: 2/10 – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s


Clement said...

Sold work, as always, pay.

On the CAA front, that was amazing to see Dre Smith go 10-10 from behind the arc. If Smith is money in Richmond during the CAA tournament, Mason may be unbeatable. However, as solid as Will Thomas can be against VCU, if Shuler/Maynor both shoot well...VCU is the best team in the CAA, in my humble opinion (Shuler went two games of 25+ this week and Maynor went to a downtroddden ODU and put up 26 pts and 10 asts). I am hoping against hope these two teams don't meet before the CAA Tournament Finals when both reach the Colessium.

Could USC's victory at UCLA be enough to keep them "in" for the majority of the season? In year's past, brackets sometime reward teams from 1 or 2 "good" victories quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

Villanova as an 11 seed? This can't be serious.

Poll Ranking 18/18
RPI 27
Record v. RPI top 10: 1-0
Road Record v. RPI top 50: 3-1
Overall Record: 13-3

This is an 11 seed on what planet? How are teams like Clemson, Umass, Baylor, The Salukis and Miami ahead of Villanova?

This is hilarious stuff.

Paymon said...

Clement - USC's victory in Westwood won't keep them in the dance. Oregon is on the cusp and California is capable of being in the mix. Nevertheless, should USC sweep a #1 seed like Virginia Tech, they'll be in discussion for a #5 seed like the Hokies received last year.

VCU is playing some sick defense. Your humble opinion on VCU being the league's best is noted, but refuted. We'll have this argument all year. Mason on their best day defeats VCU on their best day. GMU has more options and has the experience edge.

Annoyed and Angry Villanova alumnus/student/fan - Starting off with a poll ranking is a credibility knock. An RPI of 29 ( puts them in the argument for a #7/8 seed. The meat of their schedule remains and it would be a testament to Jay Wright's coaching acumen if they go better than 11-7 in the 3rd-rated conference (away games against Pitt, Georgetown, Louisville and Providence as well as some tough home tilts as well).

Here are some stats to counter your argument:

* Non-Conf SOS: 183
* # of true non-conference road games: 1
* Two losses to teams ranked 96th and 101st in the RPI
* Levance Fields and Mike Cook did not play in their "signature win" versus Pittsburgh. I foresee Pitt sinking in the RPI until Fields returns to health.

Anonymous said...

so you are basing your villanova hatred on your speculation that pitt will sink this season?

and are two road losses to teams ranked 96 and 101 bad? how about UMass with losses to teams like IUPUI (125) and Northern Iowa (148)?

The fact that you don't think Poll Rankings are relevant shows you are new to this. Poll Rankings are definitely relevant in seeding. Traditionally, Poll rankings are more accurate in terms of seeding than RPI.

And regarding the SOS. Nova has a top 30 RPI with such a terrible SOS? Must be doing something well.

6 of Villanova's non-conference games are neutral court or away. How many other major conference teams play that many non-conference games away from home?

You are a pathetic mid-major lover. Only mid-major lovers care that much about ooc sos. drake at a 4 seed? yeah, that might happen.

Anonymous said...

So You say that Villanova should be a 7/8 seed, then give them an 11 seed? Doesn't make much sense. Look at the teams you put ahead of them, utterly ridiculous.

Sd State?
Illinois State?
South Alabama?

I don't know if you realize this, but when those teams from crappy conferences like the Sun Belt and Southland receive bids, they are always 13 seeds or lower.

You are the dumbest bracketologist alive.

Anonymous said...

This is the worst Bracket I've ever seen. How do teams like South Alabama earn 10 seeds?

You are certainly a champion of the small conference schools, even if you have no credibility whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

South Alabama has 0 wins against the top 100. How do you have them at a 10 seed?

Anonymous said...

Illinois State has a loss to Eastern Michigan (250+ RPI). And you're ripping Nova for losing to two borderline top 100 teams?

This bracket should be printed out and used as toilet paper.

Anonymous said...

Xavier on the same line as Georgetown?

Xavier just lost to Temple (a team lowly Villanova beat on the road). If Xavier's loss to Temple isn't a bad loss, then is Nova's win at Temple a good win?

Oh, that's right, you're a mid-major fan and you hold major conference teams to a higher standard.

Anonymous said...

Let's compare your bracket for Big East teams versus Jerry Palm's (the best bracketologist in the business, this is not his first year at this).

4 - Gtown
4 - Pitt
6 - Nova
7 - WVU
7 - Marquette
8 - Louisville
8 - Providence
11 - ND

3 - GTown
5 - Marquette
6 - Pitt
7 - Louisville
9 - WVU
11 - Villanova
13 - PC
13 - ND

You obviously don't follow the Big East.

Anonymous said...

Get over it. This is obviously some kid who likes mid-major teams and doesn't know anything about the Big East or how to put together a bracket.

He even says in his replies that Nova is more like a 7 or 8 seed, but for some reason he put them at an 11 seed.

Anonymous said...

Hey kid, polls are relevant in seeding. Learn how to put a bracket together.

Paymon said...

I should have stated in my prior response that we use a Projection/Prediction model for bracketology. That means we don't necessarily pick the team who's on top of the conference.

Regarding Jerry Palm, he's respected in the field. I have done this now for five years and this is my 2nd year in cyberspace.

Here's the last [Jerry] Palm Bracketanica from last year that I could find (March 9, 2007). At a cursory glance, he had at-large misses on Drexel, Florida State, Syracuse and Missouri State.

Here are my 2007 stats:
63 teams correct (32/34 at-large)
27 teams with exact seeds
49 w/i one seed line

It seems like I know what I was doing and continue to do so. :)

Anonymous said...

ohhh, you use a "projection/prediction" model, so that way you can put the teams you don't like well below where they belong now?

Sum Mehrnama said...

At least he doesn't pretend to be 5 different people posting 2 lines at a time to pretend he has credibility ... jackass:-)

Anonymous said...

this is the worst bracket i've seen yet.

this dude doesn't even try to hide his affinity for mid majors.

when is the last time the sun belt, mwc, southern and southland conferences have had their a team seeded at 12 or better? yet this year, they are all going to be above that mark?

this guy obviously doesn't know crap about putting together a bracket.

Paymon said...

You may have a point with the Southland Conference rep and that is it.

At the same time, you are the type of person who would have left George Mason out of the mix two years ago in favor of a mediocre major conference school (MCS).

UNLV is a Mountain West member and they were a #7 seed last year. They made the Sweet 16 and defeated Wisconsin and Georgia Tech, both MCSs.

The Sun Belt has had some solid teams over the years. South Alabama has a RPI of 28 this year.

Davidson returned 5 starters from a squad that was a #13 seed last year and took Maryland to the limit. They played to the death with UNC among others. Their #5 non-conference strength of schedule goes a long way. I expect them to run the table; hence, the overseed.

Anonymous said...

you say that you're projections are predictions. you think south alabama will continue to keep a strong RPI while playing in a crappy conference?

why do you place any emphasis on non-conference strength of schedule? that is 1/3 of the season, played in november and december. let's see where their overall sos is at the end of the day.

you have a very obvious anti-major conference bias. for the major conferences, you have one set of rules. but then you lighten the standards for low level teams.

Anonymous said...

I would have included George Mason and Hofstra in my 2006 field. I would have left Seton Hall out.

Hofstra and George Mason were both top 30 RPI teams. Seton Hall was RPI 58.

Your love for the mid-majors is overboard.

Anonymous said...

How can anybody looking at the team's resumes as of today put Villanova below a 7 or 8 seed? That is insane.

Evilmonkeycma said...

You can do projections without doing wild predictions. Jeff over at (who has given plausible scenarios to defend each of his predictions)is one such.

I would give you leeway with Villanova because of their inconsistency. I would argue that Davidson, even if they win out, already have a couple of bad losses that would keep them off of the 12 line. I would also argue that South Alabama will probably lose @ WKU, as they only won by 4(?) at home. Those are all reasonable seedings.

The fact remains that SHSU, George Mason, Kent St., San Diego St., and Siena are all overseeded.

Sam Houston has already lost two conference games, a clear indication that they can not be counted on to win consistently in-conference. Stephen F. Austin is a much better team, has a better win, a better "bad loss", and only has one bad loss.

George Mason has shown they cannot win reliably in conference, so projecting them to do so is folly. The same argument can also be made with Kent St., who plays in the relatively brutal MAC East.

SDSU plays in the MWC, which has cannibalized itself this year. It looks unlikely that they will escape unscathed either, which would be necessary for an at-large level bid.

Notre Dame is, in my opinion (although I am a ND student), underseeded by at least 2 lines. They've only had 2 road games, and they've gotten blown out in both, but they've come against two of the three best teams in the conference. Assuming they can win the simple games (which isn't safe in the Big East), they'll go 4-3 on the road the rest of the year. Notre Dame also enjoys one of the strongest home court advantages in the nation, and given the heavy advantage that the home team has enjoyed thus far, I would not be surprised to see them win out at home. But, for the sake of argument, say they lose to Pitt and Marquette at home. Then they'll be 11-7 in conference, 21-9 overall, with one bad loss and two good wins. Given how weak the bubble is this year, that should be good for a 9 or 10. However, given their homecourt advantage, I think they'll beat both Pitt and Marquette, which will drive them higher.

Anonymous said...

Villanova has lost 3 games this season, all away from home, all to major conference teams who are pretty good (yes, DePaul and Cincy are +.500 in BE play and NC State isn't bad).

It's not like a Boston College losing to Robert Morris, or Stanford losing to Siena.

I don't understand the anti-nova venom from this bracketologist.

Evilmonkeycma said...

NC St. and Depaul ARE bad. Cincy was bad, but its becoming less bad. However, I don't think this dude is saying that Villanova would be that low if the bracket were released today, just that in his world Nova will have enough bad losses to drop them that low. While I disagree, the way Nova has played it is certainly possible.

And check out what anonymous post from 2:12 said. It isn't just that he is underseeding Nova. He's underseeding the entire Big East.

Paymon said...

Where to start?

First off, it was great to watch Syracuse at Georgetown at the Verizon Center last night. Who doesn't follow the Big East?

How long has ND been a part of the Big East?

Second, this is a projection/prediction format. That allows for latitude.

Third, on bias, I'll expand on this in a post (thanks for the idea), everyone has a bias. If it were not for the likes of Kyle Whelliston and Michael Litos who educate the masses on a daily basis with their "mid-major bias", the major conference bias emanating from the real media would be even stronger.

When was the last time that the third-rated conference had 56.3% or more of its teams represented in the field of 65?

Fourth, given the CAA's underperformance in Nov/Dec, this will be a 1-bid conference; therefore, the winner will be determined in Richmond. George Mason has the deepest squad in the conference and they are not even at full strength right now. The health of Darryl Monroe/continued maturation of Louis Birdsong may be another determinant.