Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday Night Dribbles

A few quick hitters to sum up the night in college basketball:
  • Temple and BYU both lost opportunities to strengthen their cases for a protected seed. Kudos to Chris / Craig on calling the Charlotte upset. Though, I still don't think they are or will be a tournament team.
  • Anyone who had William & Mary as an at-large team can gently take them out of the discussion. Tonight, they lost to CAA strugglers James Madison. David Schneider has shot 11-for-45 in their last three games - all losses. Ultimately, their demise comes down to their defense (246th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency). Meanwhile, my preseason pick, George Mason, is 9-1 in conference play.
  • If no one in the SEC West separates themselves from the pack, Vanderbilt may turn out to be the SEC's 2nd-best team despite a shaky start to the season. They now have wins over Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Middle Tennessee St., St. Mary's, and Arizona. Not bad for the end of January. After their Rocky Top high, Tennessee is looking like a team without the services of its best player.
  • Oklahoma State is starting to normalize with another win at Texas A&M. The margin for error remains small for Travis Ford. Their next four are @ Missouri, v. Texas, @ Texas Tech, v. Oklahoma. So, that's 2 road games, 1 against a top 5 opponent, and another against your in-state rival who hates your guts and has a mental edge from a prior win. We'll know a lot more about this team's heart (Eaton and Harris were huge losses) very soon.


Anonymous said...

UAB has 2-0 vs the Top 50 RPI, 3-2 vs the Top 100. Has beaten Top 25 teams Butler and UC. Current RPI is 23. 6-2 on the road. 9-1 in our last 10 games. 10-0 at home. Had a 10 game winning streak and currently have a 7 game winning streak. Two losses are to Top 100 RPI teams. Just beat Tulsa.

Memphis and Tulsa resumes don't even sniff UAB resume but yet the Blazers are the team left out???

Paymon said...

First, it's worth reminding that PHSports uses a projection / prediction model. In a season-ends-today format, UAB would have been among the 65 teams.

Second, the AP and Coaches poll mean very little early in the year, except for TV and marketing and purposes. Butler is not among many's top 25 overall seeds and Cincinnati is on the outside looking in.

Third, home games are not that important unless you obtain a signature win.

Fourth, Tulsa is my automatic bid (which I may reconsider).

Fifth, I put Memphis over UAB, because they played some very tough teams in the OOC schedule, and think that will help them in C-USA.

Sixth, I expect UAB to lose a few games down the stretch, as their schedule begins to get difficult. If they don't, then I'll reconsider our stance.

Lastly, RPI is just one marker for how good a team is. UAB is a good team, but they will have to prove themselves on the road before they get the national respect they're yearning for.

Anonymous said...

I understand all of that but UAB SOS is stronger than Memphis and Tulsa at the moment.

Second, it's not early in the year anymore and UC is still projected in many brackets as of right now. We're 7-2 on the road and in neutral games currently. We're getting national respect as indicated by our rankings.

Memphis hasn't beaten anyone; let me repeat myself.....NO ONE of any importance. Tulsa at least has beaten Okie St. Say what you will about Butler and UC but those wins are better than anything Memphis and Tulsa has done.

Your rebuttal is weak. Not that it matters because everyone is entitled to their opinion but this bracket is a joke.

Mark G said...

UAB guy - you need to pipe down. Tulsa is the auto-bid, you might as well lay off that. You haven't played anyone of any importance. Butler no longer has Graves and Green, and Cincy is not the win you thought it might be when you beat them. Memphis played tight games against Kansas, Tennessee (with Tyler Smith), and played hard for 30 minutes against Syracuse. They also play Gonzaga and have a great shot at beating them.

Paymon -- I think you really need to re-evaluate Mississippi State. They're not a #5 seed. Their loss last night was pretty awful, and they've disappointed a lot of people. Kudos on not overseeding Tennessee after their win against Kansas -- it was a trap that a lot of other people fell into.

You also have to move the Commodores up. Huge win at Rocky Top!

Anonymous said...

Teams don't make the dance because they played good teams tight and lose. You're an idoit Mark. Lunardi, Bilas, DeCourcy and many others are acknowledging UAB performance this season. Memphis is appearing on 4 brackets at the moment. Tulsa 5. UAB 44. You can downplay the rankings all you like but when you have the resume UAB has, the rankings only help to enhance it.


Paymon said...

There's an excitement to using a projection-prediction model. You also leave yourself open for increased criticism.

Last year, I was lambasted by more than a few people in early and mid-January for "overrating" Louisville and "not giving any respect" to Notre Dame. In fact, I consistently rated Louisville higher than any other because of both trend data and some blind faith.

In both cases, I was dead on, and I was dead on long before everyone else.

This is not to say I'll be right with UAB. They're a 18-2 in the 11th best conference, and have played 1 tournament-caliber team in their six conference games. With 10 conference games left, there's A LOT of bball to be played, and my prediction on Monday includes a split with UTEP, two losses to Memphis, and one loss to another team.

As for Memphis (I am predicting Tulsa to win the C-USA tournament for now), I am calling for them to lose 1 more game in the regular season (@ Tulsa) and 1 more in the conference tournament. A win against Gonzaga would trump any win had by UAB.

Mark - I'm definitely going to re-evaluate some squads in the SEC for the next update. Mississippi State has definitely disappointed, and Vanderbilt is playing like a Kevin Stallings team. Not sure I completely agree with most of what you said regarding UAB/Memphis.

On the note about Lunardi / Bilas / DeCourcy praising UAB, I'm good and fine with that. Bilas does not project the tournament as far as I know. Lunardi does not do it well, and has been known (once with George Mason in 2006 and once with Arkansas in 2007) to make changes after the Tournament Selection Committee has made their picks available to the media.

A few weeks ago, they were praising William & Mary, and what happened? I called their demise from the outset, because they are a lackluster defensive team and would be hard-pressed to think they'd finish top 4 in the CAA.

Mark G said...

You're hilarious, UAB homer. You choose to see the stats that only support your team's argument. I think UAB is a tournament team right now, but that can change really quickly given their low margin for error.

Before they beat Tulsa, they won 3 games by a total of 4 points against teams that are CBI quality at best, and their opponents missed 22 free throws in those games.

Anonymous said...

I'm hilarious because I find it funny UAB has a resume worthy of a bid but you guys "think" Memphis (with no quality wins) and Tulsa (who UAB just beat) will be tournament worthy? I think the joke is on you.

But we'll see after next Wednesday what the excuse will be for excluding UAB. This site is only one of three out of 47 not including UAB on their bracket. Must be a "I'm the only right and everyone else is wrong" attitude with this bracket.

Yeah, I pretty sure the committee is going to look at UAB 26-4 record and say, oooh they only beat SMU on the road by 1 pt. Ooooh they only beat USM at home by 1 pt. Oooh they only beat Marshall on the road by 2 pts. They (like you guys) will totally ignore that we beat two ranked at our place by a combine score of 27 pts. Or that we beat the preseason favorite of CUSA by 10 pts.

Thanks for the feedback. It's worthless but heck it's feedback nevertheless.

Paymon said...

You two should consider getting a room.

Not sure if I agree with Mark on your hilarity. It's easy to get caught up in a "season ends today" frame of mind, which further enables you to criticize my bracket.

UAB has two show-me games and a road trap game before our next bracket, and they now have a target on their chest because they're the only undefeated team in the conference. If they win, they'll be in our field. It's that simple.