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Bubble Analysis - 3/3

Vawolf82Vawolf82 PFN Referee Posts: 224
edited March 8 in Wolfpack Sports

I’m wasn't going to do anything until late on Monday this week, but believe it or not, the NCAA did me a solid by putting up the NET numbers on Sunday (covering through Sat’s games).   There’s always a chance that something exciting could happen today, but you can’t have everything (after all, where would you put it?).

I’m going to start with a few nuggets from Jerry Palm that I referenced in the comments to last week’s take on the Bubble:

1)       If all you have is a NET ranking, then you really don’t have anything.

2)      Good wins come from Q1 and Q2 (no mention of relative value between top quadrants)

3)      More than four bad losses (Q3+Q4) usually means you don’t make the NCAAT

4)      “At least one team gets left out of the tournament almost every year primarily because of a very poor non-conference schedule.”

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/bracketology-faqs-about-the-net-rankings-and-how-the-ncaa-tournament-bracket-is-built-by-the-selection-committee/

So taking NET 1-80, let’s see what we have:

First Cut – Presumed conference champion is the highest ranking team in each conference.  Table sorted by Net.



Second Cut – Teams with 3+ Q1 wins and no horrible blots on their resume.  (28 Total)  Sorted by Q1 wins


One of the open questions is what is the minimum overall winning percentage that is needed to make the NCAAT.   A team with an overall losing winning percentage is out and it seems unlikely that .500 is good enough.  So it is possible that a few teams in this table could lose enough to move them back closer to the bubble.   But for now, all of these teams seem to be locks for at-large bids.   Even if I’m wrong about that, all of these teams clearly have better resumes than State.


Third Cut – Teams with 2+ Q1 Wins and better resume than State.


Based on Palm’s comments, Arizona St is right on the verge of having too many bad losses.  That line is probably blurry enough that the Sun Devil faithful should be puckered up.


Fourth Cut – State’s and similar resumes

These last two tables bring us to 32 at-large teams currently with better resumes than State (meaning that there is only room for four more).   So here’s State’s resume along with a couple that are pretty close.


Specifically for State, they only have two wins against NCAAT teams…Auburn and Syracuse at home.   Their best road win is #88 Miami.   So once again we’re left with the same conclusion that State’s resume is not anywhere close to being a lock for the NCAAT.

Penn St (State’s other Q1 win) is not likely to make the NCAAT….which is also true for a lot of other Q1 wins for all of college basketball.   It will be interesting to see if the Selection Committee actually values a Q1 win (neutral or road) against a team not in the NCAAT more than a Q2 win over an NCAAT team at home.   If it isn’t, then the NCAA needs to adjust their quadrants.


Fifth and Final Cut – The open question is how does the Selection Committee balance State’s miserable OOC schedule with the following teams and their fleas.

Losing conference record with little chance of reaching 0.500


You could make a logical argument that conference record shouldn’t matter.   But the important point is exactly how does the Selection Committee view these? 

Lunardi has said that eight teams have been selected with losing conference records over the last five years.   But is there a limit on how bad of a losing record that the Committee will select?   Personally, I would take OU's resume over State's in an instant and probably TCU as well.

Losing conference record and overall record at or below 0.500


Is it two strikes and you’re out?

Too Few Big Wins

 

If Utah St doesn't get selected, look for the media types to hype their OOC schedule in comparison to the major schools that did get in.


Jerry Palm’s current conclusion on State

NC State -- lost to Florida State 73-78: NC State missed another chance to pick up a quality win away from home.  The Wolfpack's next opportunity to do that will not come until the ACC Tournament.  They have the classic resume for being excluded, and if you think a soft bubble will save them, I refer you to 2016.  The bubble was so bad that year that the committee took five teams with something so negative on their resume that in any other year, they wouldn't have gotten a bid.  Yet, they still left out South Carolina because of a bad nonconference schedule.  And by bad, I mean much better than that of NC State.

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/bracketology-bubble-watch-auburn-syracuse-safely-in-as-st-marys-plays-its-way-out-of-field/


ESPN's Take- Work to do

Bubble Watch wonders whether NC State's position might be a little less solid than it appears. Granted, Selection Sunday's almost here and the Wolfpack are appearing in mock brackets as a No. 10 seed, eight or even 10 teams away from true peril at the cut line. Plus, Kevin Keatts' team is 20-9 overall and 8-8 in the ACC. That all looks and sounds like a tournament team, and a 2-0 finish at home against Georgia Tech and on the road at Boston College will, one presumes, finish the job. That said, NC State's just 2-8 in Quad 1 games, with the wins coming at home against Auburn and on a neutral floor against Penn State. What if a team with that profile loses at BC, and bows out early in the ACC tournament? Keep winning, Wolfpack.



 








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Comments

  • RickRick PFN Referee Posts: 1,125
    It's obviously better to make the tournament than not but if we make it we will probably be one and done. 
  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 671
    Looks like we’ll be sweating come Selection Sunday (barring a run in the conference tourney). 
  • Tau837Tau837 Posts: 44
    A few observations:

    1. Palm seems to be weighing OOC SOS more heavily than most bracketologists. For State, he probably represents the negative end of the spectrum of outcomes.

    2. Palm is not known for being particularly accurate at his bracket predictions. BracketMatrix ranks him at #82 out of 127 sites that have been posting bracket predictions for at least 5 years. I would take his view of State's chances with a healthy grain of salt.

    3. BracketMatrix shows State is in 100 of 105 tracked brackets, with an average seed of 10.
  • Vawolf82Vawolf82 PFN Referee Posts: 224
    I “created” a formula for making the NIT that has proven pretty good over time:

    Bad OOC schedule +
    Mediocre conference performance +
    Miserable conf tournament performance =
    NIT bid

    State has two of three with the ACCT yet to come

    Herb and State beat the #1 seed twice and the #2 seed once (w/o Chris Paul) in the ACCT to avoid the NIT.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 587
    Yeah.  We’re bubbleicious right now.  We need two more regular season wins, and likely an ACC tournament win.  The Wisconsin, UVA and FSU games are “oh what might have been.”
  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 671
    Lunardi has us as a 10 seed. Palm has us out. 
  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 465
    So, in essence, if we win our next 3 games, we likely go. If we lose any of those, we are out without another q1 win or two. Win next 4, we are in.

    This stinks. We are 18-1 vs non Q1 competition. If we were a mid major, Vitale would be saying “you can’t leave this team out!”

    We have had a strange schedule, that includes just a handful of games versus other bubble teams...in those games, we’re undefeated, but even that has an abstract, as we have played 3 of those 4 at home. 

    We hung tough in games in all but 3 of those q1 games. Hopefully, our future schedule won’t suck so bad.
  • Tau837Tau837 Posts: 44
    choppack1 said:
    So, in essence, if we win our next 3 games, we likely go. If we lose any of those, we are out without another q1 win or two. Win next 4, we are in.

    This stinks. We are 18-1 vs non Q1 competition. If we were a mid major, Vitale would be saying “you can’t leave this team out!”

    We have had a strange schedule, that includes just a handful of games versus other bubble teams...in those games, we’re undefeated, but even that has an abstract, as we have played 3 of those 4 at home. 

    We hung tough in games in all but 3 of those q1 games. Hopefully, our future schedule won’t suck so bad.
    I think we are in with 2 more wins, whether they are the remaining regular season games or ACCT games.
  • TheAliasTrollTheAliasTroll PFN Referee Posts: 1,360
    edited March 4
    Meh it doesn't feel like we deserve to be a tournament team this year, and as someone already pointed out it would seem like we have very little chance of making a run anyhow.  If we manage to find our way in it will be a nice little gift as far as I'm concerned.

    I guess one could argue the Wisconsin game was gifted to the Badgers that would have otherwise put us on the right side of the bubble, but I think the team as a whole has digressed since then...

    I'm a little concerned the system we're running causes us to run out of gas when it matters most.
  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 465
    Tat - Who does deserve it? I mean, we have demonstrated a consistency, that to me, indicates we are one of the top 40 teams in college basketball. We have hung with Top 25 teams, and performed well versus the 25-60 range.

    We had zero chance of making a run last year. We snuck up on some teams and had a day where our guards were making everything versus UNC-Ch. This is a better team than that one. They have had 2 bad games...last year we had some awful games, but more of them.

    Again, I point to that record outside of the q1 teams...that shows a pretty high level of effort and execution, if nothing else.
  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 1,118
    This team is missing Al Freeman.  He was a beast late in the shot clock and he had boulder sized testicles in conference play.  That's the difference between the way we have wilted in most close games against good teams this year and our 50/50 performance in those games last year.

    TAT - Last year it looked like our system gave us a decided advantage down the stretch.  Multiple teams folded in the last five minutes against us.  This year we have folded more often against good teams.
  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 465
    Tex - I don’t think we have wilted. In every one of our losses we have trailed late. In only one of those “trailing late” situations, have we come back to win. However, we have won a lot of close games. It’s worth noting that versus both Louisville and Wisconsin, we were denied the chance to tie or win those games by the officials in the last minute and a half on questionable charge calls.
  • tvp1tvp1 Posts: 3
    Seton Hall, Xavier, and Georgetown each have 5 Q2+Q3 losses (compared to 1 for NCSU), substantially worse NET ratings (and substantially worse computer rankings across the board except for KPI, which all appear on the team sheets), and substantially worse overall records getting close to .500. 

    I don't see your rationale for saying they have "clearly better" resumes than NCSU.  If it is based solely on the fact that they have 3 (in Seton Hall's case, 4) Q1 wins compared to 2 for NCSU, that's one factor, sure, but I can't see how that 1-2 extra wins would be dispositive.  Especially when you consider the wins themselves for Georgetown and Xavier.  Georgetown has a home win over Nova - roughly comparable to beating Auburn at home - and then road wins over teams ranked 59 and 61 in the NET.  Xavier's Q1 wins are almost identical - Nova at home, wins over the 61 and 63 NET teams on the road.

    Maybe you're right about this, but the Bracket Matrix consensus has Seton Hall as the last team in the field, and Xavier & Georgetown aren't even among the first 8 teams out.  http://www.bracketmatrix.com/  That consensus generally misses on 1-2 at large bids a year.   
  • RickRick PFN Referee Posts: 1,125

    I cannot figure out the system.


    What I mean by that against lesser teams and in the first half against good teams, we play a lot of players and put pressure on the ball. In the second half we tighten up the rotation and play more conservative.


    Nonetheless, what bothers me the most is other teams ability to penetrate against us. I know I keep harping on this but we give up easy layups or open threes because we do not play good on ball defense. We play hard but not good defense. And, outside of Harris and sometimes DD, I see it across the board. I know BB is easy to beat but its not related soley to him. It concerns me greatly.

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 587
    I think we're probably in unless the NCAA wants to punish the weak OOC schedule (the part we control).  Is the NCAA tournament about only the teams that likely will have a chance to win?  Then maybe it should be limited to 8-16 teams.  That's not what we have.  We have a tournament with 68 teams that are in for a variety of reasons.  I think we can make an argument that we're one of the ~ 68 best teams.

    I like the system.  I don't think we run out of gas as much as we chose to go to a shorter bench in the second half, which causes us to tire.  I think if we played the second half like the first half, we'd win more of the close games against the good teams.  We've been in all games but 3 (@ UNC, VT, Duke).  We just needed to be a little stronger down the stretch.  
  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 1,118
    choppack1 said:
    Tex - I don’t think we have wilted. In every one of our losses we have trailed late. In only one of those “trailing late” situations, have we come back to win. However, we have won a lot of close games. It’s worth noting that versus both Louisville and Wisconsin, we were denied the chance to tie or win those games by the officials in the last minute and a half on questionable charge calls.
    I took a look back at the Q1 losses where we had a legit shot in the second half.

    Cheaters - game was tied with 10 minutes to go.  They separated at that point and we never recovered

    UL - Game was tied with 7:30 to go same as above.  In this one we had the ball down 2 with 47 seconds to go and had a bone headed TO.

    UVA - we lead in OT.  Tied in OT with 2:21 to go.  

    FSU - tied with seven minutes to go

    These were the games we put on a spurt in last year and won our fair share of this year we just stagnate against good teams.  Maybe wilted is too strong of a word
  • Tau837Tau837 Posts: 44
    edited March 4
    it would seem like we have very little chance of making a run anyhow
    Could not disagree more with this. We are exactly the type of high seed team that regularly makes a run to the Sweet 16.

    We beat Auburn (NET 20) and played toe to toe with UVA (NET 2), Wisconsin (NET 17), FSU (NET 19), and Louisville (NET 24). We could have won every one of those games. We didn't win them, which is why we are having this discussion, but the talent is there to beat any team.

    Let me put it this way. I think any prospective NCAAT opponent would much rather face teams like Seton Hall, Georgetown, Xavier, Arizona State, Alabama, Minnesota, UCF, and Temple than NC State.
  • GsoPackBackerGsoPackBacker Posts: 253
    Tau837 said:
    it would seem like we have very little chance of making a run anyhow
    Could not disagree more with this. We are exactly the type of high seed team that regularly makes a run to the Sweet 16.

    We beat Auburn (NET 20) and played toe to toe with UVA (NET 2), Wisconsin (NET 17), FSU (NET 19), and Louisville (NET 24). We could have won every one of those games. We didn't win them, which is why we are having this discussion, but the talent is there to beat any team.

    Let me put it this way. I think any prospective NCAAT opponent would much rather face teams like Seton Hall, Georgetown, Xavier, Arizona State, Alabama, Minnesota, UCF, and Temple than NC State.
    Not sure if other teams want to play us or not as we're predictable in what we bring (not always who will bring it though). 

    Either way, I feel this year we've been very consistent and can see why people feel like we don't have as much of a chance as in year's past.  Heck, I feel that way in a sense, but I also know to make some real noise, we don't need to win the lottery so to speak.  If pre-injury Markell returns, that would make a huge difference alone.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 587
    Tau837 said:
    it would seem like we have very little chance of making a run anyhow
    Could not disagree more with this. We are exactly the type of high seed team that regularly makes a run to the Sweet 16.

    We beat Auburn (NET 20) and played toe to toe with UVA (NET 2), Wisconsin (NET 17), FSU (NET 19), and Louisville (NET 24). We could have won every one of those games. We didn't win them, which is why we are having this discussion, but the talent is there to beat any team.

    Let me put it this way. I think any prospective NCAAT opponent would much rather face teams like Seton Hall, Georgetown, Xavier, Arizona State, Alabama, Minnesota, UCF, and Temple than NC State.
    I agree with Tau.  Is a run defined as a Final Four?  Then no, we're not making that with this squad.  The only teams that I can even see doing that in the ACC are Duke (but only with a healthy Zion) and UNC.  UVA would require a gifted bracket.  

    If a run is playing to above seed, generating a little buzz that would be good for the program and possibly making the second weekend, then yes I think we can do that.  I'd agree that we're much scarier than those other teams if for no other reason than style of play.

    If the tournament is only to be made from Final Four contenders, then we shouldn't be in.  I'd argue that about 50 other teams shouldn't be either.  If the tournament is to allow for teams that could play above the seed line, then put NC State in.
  • Tau837Tau837 Posts: 44
    edited March 4
    Another thing. The OOC schedule ended up being terrible, but it wasn't expected to be this bad. Consider:
    • Mount St. Mary's was 18-14 and 2nd in the Northeast Conference last season. They are 9-22 and 9th in the NEC this season.
    • UNC Asheville was 21-13 and 1st in the Big South conference last season. They are 4-26 and 10th in the Big South this season.
    • Mercer was 19-15 and 4th in the Southern conference last season. They are 11-19 and 6th in the Southern conference this season.
    • Vanderbilt was 12-20 (6-12) last season. They are 9-20 (0-16) this season.
    • Western Carolina was 13-19 (8-10) last season. They are 7-24 (4-14) this season.
    • Penn State was 26-13 (9-9) and won the NIT last season. They are 12-17 (5-13) this season.
    Those things don't excuse scheduling 5 games against Maryland-Eastern Shore, Maine, Saint Peter's, South Carolina Upstate, and Loyola (MD) in addition to those games above, and a poor OOC schedule ranking was certainly foreseeable. I am hopeful that a lesson will be learned from this and we will not see this level of poor OOC scheduling in the future.

    Just saying that it was not expected to be as bad as it is.
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 PFN Referee Posts: 1,894
    Let me bring back my old SFN (pours out slug of mah 40 ounce) idea, here.  My golden idea is to replace 2 or 3 of the crapburgers with mid-major CONFERENCE deals.  The conference(s) selects the teams based on who is reasonably expected to be good the next season.  Each one these is a 3-year contract, where we play 2 at home, and 1 away.

    It would be cool as fuck for all involved, make decent teevee, and you'd NEVER have an OOC SOS in the 200+ range.
  • GsoPackBackerGsoPackBacker Posts: 253
    KH, I thought you were going to figure out some way to incorporate promotion and relegation. ;)
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 PFN Referee Posts: 1,894
    Now that we are past relegation danger, hell yeah!  :smiley:
  • HighstickHighstick PFN Referee Posts: 230
    I'd rather do 12 tax returns than analyze this.

  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 671
    I hope we are seeded 12th. Not 7th, or 8th, or 9th, or 10th. 12th.

    If seeded 12th, we’d open against a 5 seed, and then would draw a 4 for a trip to the Sweet 16. Seeds 7-10 draw a 1 or 2 seed. An 11 seed draws a 3 seed. 

    Projected 5 seeds are as follows: Maryland, FSU, Iowa State and Nevada. 

    Projected 4 seeds are: VT, Marquette, Wiscy and LSU. 

    Give me a 12. 
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