Here’s the bracket update for 2-2-16:
And the full S-Curve:
Quick sidebars: I had to switch Syracuse from a 10 to a 9 due to the presence of Duke, Notre Dame, UNC, and Virginia all in the 2/15/7/10 pods already. Saint Mary’s got dropped down to a 10. Also – Cal and Clemson got flipped in the First Four to avoid the Bears meeting conference foe UCLA in Dayton.
With the big Kansas win over Kentucky, they jump back up onto the top line. Villanova didn’t have a big win, but after re-checking their numbers with Xavier and North Carolina’s, I kept them on the 1 line as well. The argument between those last 2 is an interesting one – both 19-2, both missing their PG in one of their losses, neither has the “elite” wins of a top seed – but Xavier has a better RPI, SOS, NCSOS, and record vs top 25 and top 50. I reserve the right to flip the two again when I decide that the committee would still go with UNC over X for other, less statistical reasons.
Virginia added a top-shelf road win to its already-impressive collection of victories, but I couldn’t move them past Oregon or Iowa just yet. The Ducks sweeping the Arizona trip was very impressive.
Miami’s road struggles have started to become more glaring, evidenced by a loss in Raleigh to NC State. Their only ACC road victory is at league doormat BC. They’ll fall to 5-6 range if they can’t fix that. Just like when Oklahoma lost in 3OT at the Phog, I couldn’t punish Kentucky for its valiant effort in Lawrence. They remained the last “protected” team.
I was surprised to find Utah in this bunch – their resume is just rock solid in all facets. Texas just keeps adding to its impressive slate of wins, getting one vs Vandy and at Baylor over the past 3 days, and while their amount of losses holds the back a bit, Shaka’s squad has a great overall profile.
Florida took the biggest weekend leap up the curve after beating West Va. They still need to show some ability to win outside of Gainesville, though, if they want to keep moving up.
As leaders in two smaller conferences, Wichita State and Saint Mary’s have similar home-heavy wins. The difference is the injury credit given to the Shockers as they scuffled against the #13 NCSOS.
UConn will get some minor injury credit if Amida Brimah continues to show that he’ll be a defensive force the rest of the season. The Huskies would have loved to have him in losses at Tulsa and home to Temple and Cincy (by 3 combined points).
Gonzaga and Butler are two teams in some serious trouble. Both teams’ RPIs (72 and 65) are fading out of realistic at-large range. The Zags need that SMU win on February 13th in the worst way, while Butler just needs to win something (3-6 in the Big East).
I like having UCLA and Clemson in the First Four. With all of their impressive wins, it feels like they’ve earned a shot at winning more in March, but their deficiencies (lots of losses for UCLA, bad losses and bad schedule for Clemson) prevent me from moving them much higher.
I still just don’t understand the widespread love for George Washington – sure, they beat Virginia at home, but that’s badly outweighed by losing @ Saint Louis, @ DePaul, and home to Richmond. The win over Seton Hall is a nice one for bubble purposes, but only one win against a tournament team simply isn’t enough with all those bad losses. Massive week for them coming up with Davidson, @VCU, Saint Joe’s on the schedule. 3-0 gets them back in the field, we’ll see about 2-1.
LSU missed a huge chance against Oklahoma – win that one, and they’re almost certainly in the field. Most of their non-conference losses have actually become respectable by RPI measures (Wake Forest, Houston, Charleston, Marquette), and if they can avoid bad losses while knocking off Texas A&M/@Kentucky/Florida.