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JCI, Week 11 (with Seed Projections)

2/27/2006

The updated JCI rankings with games through Sunday February 26th can be found by clicking the following link:

http://home.comcast.net/~jcolton31/index.html

I added my projected seeds to the JCI rankings for the first time this week. These seeding's are my assessment on where I think the seeds should be if the season ended today, based purely on analysis of a team's wins and losses with extra weight given to the last 10 games. This is not an assessment of what I think the seeds will look like from the Selection Committee either today or on Selection Sunday. Obviously, they don't have the benefit of the superior JCI data to help guide their decisions, therefore their results will be influenced by the RPI and a slew of other factors.

Current Thinking, Feb 27th
1: Duke, Connecticut, Villanova, Memphis
2: George Washington, Texas, Gonzaga, Ohio State
3: Pittsburgh, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgetown
4: West Virginia, North Carolina, LSU, Iowa
5: North Carolina St, Boston College, Florida, Michigan St
6: Marquette, Bucknell, Michigan, Oklahoma
7: Wisconsin, UCLA, Cincinnati, Syracuse
8: Wichita St, Indiana, Arkansas, Washington
9: Kansas, Missouri St, Northern Iowa, Nevada
10: Kentucky, Alabama, George Mason, Hofstra
11: Creighton, Florida St, Louisville, Arizona
12: Texas A&M, UNC Wilmington, Seton Hall, Western Kentucky
13: Kent St, Northwestern St, San Diego St, Wis-Milwaukee
14: Winthrop, Murray St, Pacific, Manhattan
15: Pennsylvania, Northern Arizona, Georgia So, Delaware St
16: Oral Roberts, Fairleigh Dickinson, Albany, Lipscomb, Southern U

A few observations:

  • My current seedings have 10 Big East teams. I don't honestly think that the Big East will get 10 teams in, I think the number is probably more like 8. My guess is both Louisville and Seton Hall will fall on the wrong side of the bubble, especially considering that only the top 12 teams make the Big East tourney. Miss the conference tourney and you can kiss your chances goodbye. Be one of the four teams that loses a play-in game and your chances are pretty slim too. I think Syracuse and Cincinnati are safe at this point, but they could be sweating it out with an early exit.
  • The RPI isn't doing Louisville any favors. Check out Louisville vs. Arizona, both 17-10. The JCI has Louisville #44 and Arizona #45. A detailed analysis of each team's win and losses would prove that they should be very close. Louisville has only one top 50 win (home vs Cincinnati), but Arizona only has 2 (vs Kansas and at Washington). However, Louisville is 11-0 against teams ranked 101+ while Arizona has two bad losses (at #125 Oregon and #143 Oregon State). The RPI, however, paints a far rosier picture for Arizona:

    Arizona - RPI: 19, RPI SOS: 7, JCI SOS: 46
    Louisville - RPI: 71, RPI SOS: 55, JCI SOS: 31

    Louisville is more deserving than Arizona for an at-large bid given the fact they have the same record but have played a slightly more difficult schedule. However, you know that despite the Committee's belitting the role of the RPI in the Selection process, it would certainly have an impact in this instance. I think it's safe to assume that Arizona has a much better chance at an at-large bid than Louisville, driven primarily by inaccuracies in the RPI numbers (do you see how the faulty RPI can have significant ramifications?)
  • By the way, here are the top 15 overrated and underrated teams by the RPI, so you can get some sense for teams that the Committee might be more likely to move up or down.

    Overrated by RPI:
    1. Arizona JCI: 45, RPI: 19, JCI SOS: 46, RPI SOS: 7
    2. Middle Tenn St JCI: 141, RPI: 101, JCI SOS: 166, RPI SOS: 111
    3. Tennessee JCI: 11, RPI: 4, JCI SOS: 39, RPI SOS: 6
    4. Utah St JCI: 79, RPI: 49, JCI SOS: 202, RPI SOS: 97
    5. Houston JCI: 91, RPI: 54, JCI SOS: 195, RPI SOS: 114
    6. George Mason JCI: 39, RPI: 23, JCI SOS: 118, RPI SOS: 83
    7. Western Kentucky JCI: 69, RPI: 47, JCI SOS: 224, RPI SOS: 118
    8. Louisiana Tech JCI: 99, RPI: 64, JCI SOS: 85, RPI SOS: 76
    9. Wis-Milwaukee JCI: 87, RPI: 53, JCI SOS: 149, RPI SOS: 107
    10. Oklahoma JCI: 24, RPI: 12, JCI SOS: 62, RPI SOS: 30
    11. Nevada JCI: 36, RPI: 21, JCI SOS: 126, RPI SOS: 84
    12. Missouri St JCI: 34, RPI: 20, JCI SOS: 76, RPI SOS: 47
    13. Montana JCI: 112, RPI: 84, JCI SOS: 320, RPI SOS: 216
    14. Wisconsin JCI: 25, RPI: 15, JCI SOS: 35, RPI SOS: 9
    15. UNC Wilmington JCI: 51, RPI: 37, JCI SOS: 123, RPI SOS: 104
    Underrated by RPI:
    1. George Washington JCI: 5, RPI: 29, JCI SOS: 153, RPI SOS: 204
    2. Purdue JCI: 120, RPI: 166, JCI SOS: 14, RPI SOS: 37
    3. Penn State JCI: 67, RPI: 109, JCI SOS: 23, RPI SOS: 57
    4. Memphis JCI: 4, RPI: 6, JCI SOS: 78, RPI SOS: 46
    5. Texas JCI: 6, RPI: 8, JCI SOS: 42, RPI SOS: 54
    6. Notre Dame JCI: 60, RPI: 98, JCI SOS: 9, RPI SOS: 32
    7. Mississippi JCI: 108, RPI: 136, JCI SOS: 60, RPI SOS: 92
    8. Connecticut JCI: 2, RPI: 3, JCI SOS: 4, RPI SOS: 25
    9. Georgia Tech JCI: 110, RPI: 139, JCI SOS: 19, RPI SOS: 42
    10. Louisville JCI: 44, RPI: 71, JCI SOS: 31, RPI SOS: 55
    11. St. John's JCI: 96, RPI: 125, JCI SOS: 25, RPI SOS: 45
    12. Virginia Tech JCI: 88, RPI: 115, JCI SOS: 38, RPI SOS: 69
    13. North Carolina St JCI: 17, RPI: 34, JCI SOS: 36, RPI SOS: 56
    14. Nebraska JCI: 62, RPI: 97, JCI SOS: 68, RPI SOS: 80
    15. Georgetown JCI: 12, RPI: 22, JCI SOS: 11, RPI SOS: 43

  • The Louisville/Arizona argument may be moot if we see a lot of upsets in the conference tourneys. The current seeds assume that the current conference leaders will win their tournament. Memphis (imagine CUSA as a one-bid conference!), George Washington, Gonzaga, Bucknell and perhaps Nevada can make the tournament without an automatic bid, so each upset in one of their respective conferences means one less at-large bubble spot.
  • George Washington is really the wild-card here. Most bracketologists have them as a 3 or 4 seed but I think they deserve to be higher. Certainly their RPI numbers don't help their cause. I understand GW has played a weak schedule, but at some point you have to give them credit for being 24-1. Even against GW's weak schedule, a lower ranked team would have 2 or 3 losses to this point. I estimated that a typical 9-12th ranked team would be expected to have 22.9 wins against GW's schedule, and a typical 13-16th ranked team would be expected to have 22.4. Maybe GW's just been lucky to have 24 wins, but I think they should get the benefit of those wins.

    Their schedule to this point basically comes down to 6 meaningful games: at NC State, at Temple, at Xavier, at St. Joseph's, vs. Maryland, and at Charlotte. Not a backbreaking schedule by any means, but a typical 12th ranked team would be expected to go 4-2 in those six games. Again, I think GW deserves credit for going 5-1 instead.
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