What do we do with Wichita State?

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Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet (23) shoots against Northern Iowa’s Wes Washpun during the first half in an MVC tournament semifinal on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Northern Iowa won, 57-52, in overtime. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS)

The Shockers’ regular season has concluded. Wichita State finished 23-8, winning the Missouri Valley regular season title. They were bounced in the MVC semis by Northern Iowa, who are certainly a respectable team. Here are some of Wichita State’s final numbers:

Record: 23-8
Average Margin of Victory: +13.7 (#8 in the country)
Points Allowed per game: 59.4 (#1 in the country)
Opponent Assists per game: 9.2 (#1 in the country)
Opponent FGM per game: 18.8 (#1 in the country)
Opponent Offensive Rebounds per game: 6.0 (#1 in the country)

There are a number of other stats that indicate Wichita St. is not just a tournament worthy team, but an extremely good team.

Let’s take a look at some more important stats when determining their tournament worthiness:

Strength of Schedule: 117
Win Strength: 45
Games decided by 10 points or less: 3-7
Games decided by more than 10 points: 20-1
Games against the top 100: 4-7
Games against all others: 19-1
Average margin of victory against top 100: 0
Average margin of victory against all others: +21.3

What we’re getting at here is that the stats in the first section are largely (and you could even see very, very largely) due to beating the pants off of weak teams. In a vacuum, one of the most important stats, record against the top 100, is not a feather in their cap. Taken at face value, this is the resume of a bubble team. Forget about the team name and what they’ve done in the past. Their resume is a bubble quality resume.

But Wichita State has one huge thing working in their favor. Their best player, Fred VanVleet, missed their early-season trip to Florida with injury, where they dropped games to USC, Alabama, and Iowa. Iowa still may have beaten them with VanVleet, but it’s not all that unreasonable to think that at least one of a 3-point loss to USC or 4-point loss to Alabama might have been wins with VanVleet in the lineup. One can only speculate, but if one of those games turned out to be a win, Wichita State’s resume would be worthy of a 10 seed. If they had won both, they’d deserve an 8 or 9.

It would be EXTREMELY harsh to leave this team out of the field due to their best player missing a week in November due to an injury. Wichita State is 23-5 with VanVleet in the lineup, including two road losses to tournament teams. With VanVleet in the lineup, opponents have cracked 70 points just TWICE all season! They’ve cracked 60 just 9 times! And that’s with the reduced shot clock!

But most importantly, with Fred VanVleet in the lineup, Wichita State is undoubtedly one of the 36 best at-large teams in the pool, and if they are not selected to the field of 68, it will be an absolute sham.

The 2016 Bubble Watch

The Bubble Watch is BACK for 2016. Here’s the Bubble Watch from last year.

Had no recollection of being that spot on, and actually impressed myself. The 41 Locks all made the tournament and were not in a play-in game. The 3 Near-Locks all made the tournament. And as anticipated, 2 of the 4 bubble teams made it. Of these 5, 4 were in a play-in game. Hard to be much better than that.

As a reminder, Crotistics does things the right way. There’s no point in doing a bubble watch in January when if a #1 team lost all of their remaining games, they could miss the field. And teams with 7 losses and 5 games still left to play in conference are not locks. There are 4 categories to look at:

  1. Locks – Teams that would still be in the field if they lost all of their remaining games.
  2. Near-Locks – Teams that could drop out with a truly pitiful performance, but extremely unlikely.
  3. Looking Good – Teams that should make the field with a reasonable performance down the stretch.
  4. The Bubble – Teams that are going to play their way in or out depending upon performance.

Once a team moves to Lock status, they’ll never leave, per the definition. There’s nothing a team can do that would leave them out of the field. As teams get moved to Locks, I’ll attach a date for when a team “officially” punches their dance ticket.

Bubble Watch as of: 3/12/2016

Locks

  1. Villanova
  2. Kansas
  3. Xavier
  4. Virginia
  5. Miami (FL)
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Duke
  8. Oregon
  9. Maryland
  10. Iowa
  11. Michigan St.
  12. West Virginia
  13. North Carolina
  14. Arizona
  15. Kentucky (2/18)
  16. Iowa St. (2/20)
  17. Baylor (2/20)
  18. Indiana (2/20)
  19. Utah (2/21)
  20. Texas (2/22)
  21. Texas Tech (2/23)
  22. Dayton (2/23)
  23. Notre Dame (2/24)
  24. California (2/25)
  25. Texas A&M (2/27)
  26. Purdue (2/27)
  27. St. Joseph’s (2/27)
  28. Seton Hall (2/28)
  29. Wisconsin (2/28)
  30. Pittsburgh (2/28)
  31. Butler (3/2)
  32. Providence (3/5)
  33. St. Bonaventure (3/5)
  34. Cincinnati (3/6)
  35. Colorado (3/9)
  36. USC (3/9)
  37. Oregon St. (3/9)
  38. VCU (3/11)
  39. Temple (3/11)

Near-Locks

  1. Michigan – Most likely still in even if they lose in the Big 10 semis. But they got a huge win, and are looking very strong.

Looking Good

  1. Connecticut – Needed a 70 footer to do it, but they should be in. One more win will lock up their spot.

The Bubble

There are 41 teams listed above. There are an additional 23 AQs, with 1 more likely. That leaves just 3 places for the teams below as well as others not mentioned.

  1. Saint Mary’s – Gaels appear to be on the outside looking in right now, and unfortunately they have no more games to get back into it. Could surprise and get in.
  2. South Carolina – Know how many games South Carolina has PLAYED against teams in the tournament? 3. And that’s if Vandy gets in. If they don’t, it’s two. That’s absolutely unimaginable for a big conference team. Not safe by any means.
  3. Syracuse – Lost to Pitt in the ACC tourney and now must wait. Right now, we have them in, but things could change ahead of Sunday.
  4. Wichita St. – Got upset by Northern Iowa in the MVC and now must wait. Depends how the committee discounts the games without VanVleet. If not at all, they’re a bubble team.
  5. Vanderbilt – Got upset by Tennessee and now must wait. We’ll see what happens.

That’s it. GW might be in the discussion, but ultimately they should fall short. There’s a pretty big gap between these teams and GW, and then another sizable gap between GW and Florida. Tulsa blew any chance of the dance by getting destroyed by Memphis.

Unique Cases

As you’ll see below, the MAAC is a one-bid league. Monmouth is really not in consideration for us as an at-large at all. Although they have two good wins over Notre Dame and USC, they have 3 bad losses to Canisius, Army, and Manhattan, and have also picked up another loss to Iona. To be in the at-large consideration, they’d have to also lose in the MAAC tournament, which would be another bad loss. That is too much to overcome with the other teams on the bubble.

If San Diego St. wins out and loses in the Mountain West championship, they’ll be in the at-large discussion.

Automatic Qualifiers not Listed Above

  1. America East
  2. Atlantic Sun (Florida Gulf Coast)
  3. Big Sky
  4. Big South (UNC Asheville)
  5. Big West
  6. Colonial (UNC Wilmington)
  7. Conference USA
  8. Horizon (Green Bay)
  9. Ivy (Yale)
  10. MAAC (Iona)
  11. MAC
  12. MEAC
  13. MVC (Northern Iowa)
  14. Northeast (Fairleigh Dickinson)
  15. OVC (Austin Peay)
  16. Patriot (Holy Cross)
  17. Southern (Chattanooga)
  18. Southland
  19. Summit (South Dakota St.)
  20. Sun Belt
  21. SWAC
  22. WAC
  23. WCC (Gonzaga)

Debuting the Home Court Advantage Rankings

utah

The advantage of playing at home is evident in every sport. Teams are used to their surroundings. The fans are going crazy with support for the home side. It’s a real phenomenon. Often teams claim that they have the BEST home advantage in not just their respective sport, but all of sports.

When it comes to college basketball, teams like Duke and Kansas always are at the top of the list when people think of best home court advantages. But how can we truly know which is best? Luckily, Crotistics has taken a stab at mathematically calculating the best home court advantages.

 

FOR THE LATEST, UPDATED RANKINGS, CLICK HERE

 

Methodology

It has been frequently observed over a number of years by multiple sources that home court advantage in college basketball is worth approximately 3.5 points. To determine the best home court advantage, we’d want to know which teams exceeded that expectation by the most amount of points. Of course, you can’t simply look at who has the greatest margin of victory at home. Opposition must be accounted for.

For example, let’s say Kansas is at home against Texas. At present, we rank Kansas 10 points better than Texas. We’d expect Kansas to win by 13.5 at home. The true margin of victory minus 13.5 is the actual effect of home court advantage. Looking at the average of all games versus expectation produces a home advantage rating.

We also looked at multiple years. As a number of teams play 10-15 games at home in a given year, we expanded the sample to the past 3 years to get more reliable data.

 

Results

Many of the same teams continue to pop up as exceeding expectation year after year. Largely, many of the teams you’d expect to appear near the top of the list do so. Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Florida, Wichita St., and UCONN all appear in the Top 25. But Kansas clocks in only at #40. VCU is all the way down at #60. Wisconsin is #69. San Diego St. is #84. North Carolina is #95.

One thing that stands out is that there aren’t many teams from the major conferences low on the list. In fact, just a single team from a major conference actually has a negative value against expectation. That team is St. John’s, who splits its games in 2 “home” locations. This makes sense. Big schools tend to draw bigger crowds, which can have a greater impact on the result of the game.

8 schools have an impact greater than 2 points, which means that at home against an equivalent opponent, the team would be favored by 5.5 points or more, instead of the traditional 3.5 points.

 

Top 10

Here are the teams with the BEST home court advantage in college basketball. The “Home Court Advantage” page at the top will be updated throughout the season.

# TEAM TOTAL
1 Utah 2.46
2 Baylor 2.33
3 Duke 2.28
4 Indiana 2.21
5 Arkansas 2.19
6 West Virginia 2.13
7 Alabama A&M 2.06
8 Louisville 2.04
9 Arizona 1.93
10 Villanova 1.92

Utah is well ahead of every other team in college basketball in terms of home court advantage. They’ve consistently been more than 2 points better than expectation year after year. Despite what anyone may claim or have you believe, the Utah Utes have the best home court advantage in college basketball.

Now, let’s be clear. This is not the best environment. Not the greatest tradition. Not the loudest. This is a measure of how much additional advantage teams gain by playing at home. Utah is undefeated at home this season. They were 15-1 at home last season. They were 16-2 at home the previous season. 2 of those 3 losses came to amazing Arizona teams.

Here’s a great article from last season about Utah’s home court advantage. But when people think about who has the best, Utah is not a name that frequently comes to mind.

 

Baylor also ranks very highly in terms of home court advantage. Baylor is 28-2 in their last 30 home games. That’s awful impressive. It’s often some of the other teams in the Big 12 that come to mind, but Baylor stands out.

Yes, it’s true that Duke and Indiana are some of the craziest places to play. And the results show. Indiana had a bit of a down year last year, but they’re #3 overall in the current season and #4 overall in the past 3 seasons.

And how about Alabama A&M sneaking into the top 10. I don’t think anyone’s ever said that school has a powerhouse home court until right now! And year over year, they’ve consistently exceeded expectation. They may not be a great team, but they make you work for it in their building.

 

There’s also only a single team in the nation that has been more than a full point worse than expectation each of the last three years. That honor belongs to UT Rio Grande Valley (formerly UT Pan American). Perhaps they thought changing the school name would remove them from the hall of shame, but it did not.

And St. Peter’s may have had only 6,181 in attendance, for the entire year, but the people who show up are doing something right.

 

Full List

Here’s the full list of best home court advantages as of this posting. This will be updated on the page at the top of the article.

# TEAM TOTAL
1 Utah 2.46
2 Baylor 2.33
3 Duke 2.28
4 Indiana 2.21
5 Arkansas 2.19
6 West Virginia 2.13
7 Alabama A&M 2.06
8 Louisville 2.04
9 Arizona 1.93
10 Villanova 1.92
11 Portland 1.88
12 Gonzaga 1.83
13 Iowa 1.78
14 Louisiana-Lafayette 1.76
15 Kentucky 1.76
16 George Washington 1.69
17 Florida 1.67
18 UC Riverside 1.65
19 Wichita St. 1.64
20 Old Dominion 1.59
21 Connecticut 1.57
22 St. Peter’s 1.57
23 California 1.54
24 Tulsa 1.54
25 UCLA 1.53
26 Vanderbilt 1.51
27 Arizona St. 1.51
28 Memphis 1.48
29 TCU 1.47
30 Minnesota 1.47
31 Northern Kentucky 1.46
32 New Mexico St. 1.45
33 Iowa St. 1.45
34 Cincinnati 1.44
35 Clemson 1.43
36 North Dakota St. 1.43
37 Michigan 1.42
38 Nebraska 1.39
39 Virginia Tech 1.38
40 Kansas 1.37
41 Texas 1.37
42 Saint Mary’s 1.37
43 South Dakota St. 1.36
44 Texas A&M 1.36
45 Colorado 1.36
46 Louisiana Tech 1.34
47 Xavier 1.34
48 Oregon St. 1.31
49 Montana 1.30
50 Ohio St. 1.27
51 Kansas St. 1.26
52 Marshall 1.26
53 Jackson St. 1.26
54 South Carolina 1.26
55 Murray St. 1.25
56 Creighton 1.23
57 Rhode Island 1.21
58 Oklahoma 1.21
59 Oregon 1.20
60 VCU 1.19
61 Stanford 1.17
62 Notre Dame 1.17
63 Illinois 1.15
64 Texas Southern 1.15
65 Hawaii 1.14
66 Missouri 1.13
67 Eastern Michigan 1.10
68 Houston 1.10
69 Wisconsin 1.08
70 Northern Iowa 1.07
71 SMU 1.06
72 Missouri St. 1.03
73 BYU 1.03
74 Mercer 1.03
75 Middle Tennessee 1.02
76 Vermont 1.02
77 Boston College 1.01
78 Virginia 1.01
79 Wyoming 0.96
80 New Mexico 0.96
81 Washington St. 0.95
82 Long Beach St. 0.93
83 Georgetown 0.93
84 San Diego St. 0.93
85 Michigan St. 0.93
86 Brown 0.92
87 Fordham 0.91
88 Fresno St. 0.90
89 Howard 0.90
90 Davidson 0.90
91 Tennessee Tech 0.89
92 Richmond 0.89
93 Detroit 0.88
94 LSU 0.88
95 North Carolina 0.88
96 East Carolina 0.88
97 Syracuse 0.87
98 Pittsburgh 0.86
99 Boise St. 0.86
100 Purdue 0.85
101 Auburn 0.85
102 Georgia St. 0.85
103 Ohio 0.84
104 Mount St. Mary’s 0.84
105 USC 0.83
106 SIU Edwardsville 0.83
107 Toledo 0.83
108 Savannah St. 0.82
109 UAB 0.81
110 Dayton 0.81
111 Marquette 0.81
112 Drake 0.80
113 UNLV 0.79
114 Western Illinois 0.79
115 Iona 0.78
116 Butler 0.78
117 Washington 0.78
118 Georgia Southern 0.76
119 Louisiana-Monroe 0.76
120 Florida St. 0.76
121 Columbia 0.75
122 Eastern Kentucky 0.75
123 Illinois St. 0.75
124 Bradley 0.75
125 Florida Gulf Coast 0.75
126 Cal St. Fullerton 0.74
127 NC Central 0.72
128 Wright St. 0.72
129 Holy Cross 0.71
130 UNC Asheville 0.70
131 Quinnipiac 0.69
132 San Francisco 0.69
133 Princeton 0.69
134 Cal Poly 0.69
135 North Florida 0.68
136 Seattle 0.67
137 Mississippi St. 0.66
138 Georgia 0.66
139 Tennessee 0.66
140 Yale 0.66
141 UMKC 0.64
142 Oral Roberts 0.63
143 McNeese St. 0.63
144 Rutgers 0.63
145 Duquesne 0.62
146 Southern Illinois 0.62
147 Seton Hall 0.61
148 UCF 0.61
149 Maryland 0.60
150 Northern Colorado 0.59
151 Alabama 0.58
152 Georgia Tech 0.56
153 Ball St. 0.56
154 Harvard 0.55
155 Denver 0.55
156 Siena 0.55
157 Green Bay 0.54
158 Houston Baptist 0.54
159 UTEP 0.53
160 Loyola (IL) 0.53
161 Monmouth 0.52
162 Weber St. 0.51
163 Miami (OH) 0.50
164 Wagner 0.50
165 Wake Forest 0.50
166 Winthrop 0.49
167 Charleston Southern 0.48
168 Evansville 0.48
169 Indiana St. 0.47
170 UC Davis 0.45
171 San Diego 0.45
172 DePaul 0.45
173 Canisius 0.42
174 Colgate 0.42
175 Valparaiso 0.41
176 Coastal Carolina 0.41
177 St. Bonaventure 0.41
178 North Carolina St. 0.40
179 Idaho 0.40
180 UNC Wilmington 0.40
181 Western Michigan 0.39
182 Southern 0.39
183 Saint Louis 0.39
184 IPFW 0.38
185 Northwestern 0.37
186 Sacramento St. 0.36
187 Pepperdine 0.34
188 Santa Clara 0.34
189 Temple 0.33
190 Texas Tech 0.33
191 William & Mary 0.32
192 Prairie View A&M 0.32
193 Arkansas St. 0.32
194 Dartmouth 0.31
195 Akron 0.30
196 UT Arlington 0.29
197 Morehead St. 0.29
198 South Florida 0.29
199 La Salle 0.28
200 Penn St. 0.28
201 Alabama St. 0.28
202 Massachusetts 0.27
203 Colorado St. 0.27
204 Tulane 0.27
205 Western Kentucky 0.27
206 North Texas 0.25
207 Chicago St. 0.24
208 VMI 0.24
209 Texas St. 0.23
210 St. Francis U 0.22
211 Lamar 0.20
212 St. Francis (NY) 0.20
213 Stony Brook 0.19
214 Cal St. Northridge 0.19
215 Southern Miss 0.19
216 New Orleans 0.19
217 St. Joseph’s 0.19
218 Jacksonville St. 0.18
219 Oakland 0.17
220 Chattanooga 0.17
221 Belmont 0.17
222 Manhattan 0.16
223 Cornell 0.16
224 Nevada 0.15
225 Albany 0.15
226 Boston University 0.15
227 Texas A&M-CC 0.15
228 Cleveland St. 0.13
229 Eastern Washington 0.13
230 Omaha 0.13
231 Northern Illinois 0.12
232 Bethune-Cookman 0.12
233 Oklahoma St. 0.11
234 Northern Arizona 0.11
235 UC Irvine 0.11
236 LIU Brooklyn 0.11
237 Hofstra 0.10
238 Charlotte 0.09
239 Montana St. 0.09
240 UT Martin 0.09
241 Mississippi 0.09
242 Bowling Green 0.08
243 Troy 0.08
244 Miami (FL) 0.07
245 Western Carolina 0.07
246 IUPUI 0.06
247 Central Michigan 0.06
248 Niagara 0.05
249 Rice 0.05
250 Navy 0.05
251 Grand Canyon 0.04
252 Furman 0.04
253 Towson 0.03
254 George Mason 0.03
255 Providence 0.03
256 North Carolina A&T 0.02
257 Air Force 0.01
258 Buffalo 0.01
259 Pennsylvania 0.01
260 Robert Morris -0.01
261 Lehigh -0.02
262 Cal St. Bakersfield -0.02
263 ETSU -0.02
264 Wofford -0.06
265 St. John’s -0.06
266 Eastern Illinois -0.06
267 Jacksonville -0.08
268 Appalachian St. -0.09
269 Hampton -0.09
270 Bucknell -0.09
271 Portland St. -0.10
272 South Carolina St. -0.10
273 USC Upstate -0.10
274 Alcorn St. -0.11
275 Northeastern -0.11
276 Stephen F. Austin -0.11
277 Pacific -0.11
278 NJIT -0.13
279 Kent St. -0.13
280 Marist -0.15
281 Norfolk St. -0.15
282 Samford -0.16
283 Utah St. -0.18
284 Binghamton -0.18
285 Sam Houston St. -0.19
286 Stetson -0.19
287 Tennessee St. -0.20
288 UNC Greensboro -0.20
289 Arkansas-Pine Bluff -0.21
290 UTSA -0.21
291 High Point -0.24
292 Loyola Marymount -0.25
293 Lipscomb -0.26
294 Incarnate Word -0.27
295 Bryant -0.27
296 Charleston -0.28
297 FIU -0.28
298 Austin Peay -0.29
299 South Dakota -0.29
300 Liberty -0.30
301 Radford -0.30
302 UALR -0.35
303 Milwaukee -0.35
304 Kennesaw St. -0.36
305 UC Santa Barbara -0.36
306 Presbyterian -0.36
307 South Alabama -0.37
308 Lafayette -0.39
309 Campbell -0.43
310 Delaware -0.43
311 Southeast Missouri St. -0.43
312 James Madison -0.46
313 Fairfield -0.48
314 Loyola (MD) -0.49
315 Citadel -0.50
316 UMES -0.54
317 SE Louisiana -0.55
318 Mississippi Valley St. -0.55
319 Rider -0.55
320 San Jose St. -0.55
321 Utah Valley -0.57
322 Abilene Christian -0.57
323 UIC -0.57
324 New Hampshire -0.58
325 Fairleigh Dickinson -0.59
326 Northwestern St. -0.63
327 Nicholls St. -0.68
328 Idaho St. -0.69
329 North Dakota -0.70
330 Florida Atlantic -0.73
331 Central Connecticut St. -0.74
332 UMBC -0.75
333 American -0.76
334 Gardner-Webb -0.77
335 Army -0.78
336 Sacred Heart -0.82
337 Drexel -0.82
338 Delaware St. -0.83
339 Florida A&M -0.85
340 Central Arkansas -0.88
341 Morgan St. -0.88
342 Elon -0.89
343 Longwood -0.92
344 Hartford -0.93
345 Massachusetts Lowell -1.10
346 Maine -1.11
347 Youngstown St. -1.17
348 UT Rio Grande Valley -1.22
349 Southern Utah -1.29
350 Coppin St. -1.34
351 Grambling St. -1.36

Is the AAC Destined to be the Dark Horse Conference?

Last year we questioned what the impact of the split of the Big East would be. Would the AAC and the new Big East be power conferences? As it turns out, SMU was snubbed, Louisville received a 4 seed and was many experts’ pick to win it all, and 7 seed UCONN did win it all. The general consensus was under seeding all around.

This year, SMU will be in and whether a 2nd team even gets in or not remains to be seen. SMU is already being talked about as another dark horse team to make a run. So why is the AAC getting hurt on seeding if there are so many quality teams? There’s really a compounding effect at work here.

SMU was grilled last year for not scheduling strong enough out of conference.  The same has happened with Tulsa this year, which is why they are on the bubble. But these teams are not alone. Many of the AAC teams are former Conference USA members. Scheduling top tier opponents out of conference to ensure an at large berth is a new thing for most of the schools in the American. As a result of weak out of conference schedules, things like the RPI and other computer numbers  get hurt. And when good teams like a Louisville or UCONN last year play these teams, the wins don’t look as impressive. And since the wins don’t appear as impressive, the seeding ultimately suffers.

But with  SMU, Cincinnati, UCONN, and Memphis together in the conference, largely the AAC is viewed as a premier conference. Until the rest of the teams start to consider themselves the same way, seeding will suffer. That doesn’t mean that the AAC has bad teams, it just means that you can continue to expect the conference to produce “upsets” in the tournament until things change.

Nobody will want to see SMU this year, and if another team or two from the AAC gets in, there’s a very good chance it could be another upset in the making.

Bubble 2015 vs. 2014/2013

Welcome back to a new edition of Bubble to Bubble. Here’s where we compare teams from prior years to teams of today. Let’s get right into it:

BYU

Post-Jimmer, the Cougars have found themselves on the bubble basically every year. This year is no different. To make matters even more difficult, they may end up in a play-in game yet again and they can’t play on Sunday, which could mess with seeding. But that’s neither here nor there. Their resume isn’t anything special to write home about, but that seems to be the case with many bubble teams. Their best wins are at home over Saint Mary’s, Stanford, and UMASS. Their best win away from home is a neutral court win over Hawaii. They’ve lost at San Diego and been swept by Pepperdine. On the surface it doesn’t appear they really have much merit.

Best 2014 Comparison: SMU

I wanted to discuss BYU because their numbers right now are very similar to what SMU had last year. SMU just missed the big dance. BYU is likely to float around the cut line until Selection Sunday. They’re in the mix, but they don’t have many opportunities left. If they beat Gonzaga, they’ll get in. If they lose at Gonzaga and to them in the WCC tournament finals, they’ll have to hope other teams fall.


Pittsburgh

A team that really wasn’t in the conversation at all, Pitt has changed that recently with big home wins over Syracuse, Notre Dame, and North Carolina. They have 10 losses and have an average MOV of only +2.3 despite a fairly weak non-conference SOS. But they have cashed in a number of opportunities and are done with ranked teams until the ACC tournament. They somehow got a gift of an ACC schedule, as they only face Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Virginia once each. They won the 2 at home, and nobody is going to penalize them for not winning at Duke or Virginia. They have a pretty decent opportunity to play their way in.

Best 2014 Comparison: North Carolina St.

I wanted to include Pitt because they have very similar numbers to the NC State team that got in last year. At 9-9 in the ACC, NC State still got chosen with 14 losses. Even if Pitt loses 2 of their final 5 and loses in the ACC tournament, they’ll also be 9-9 with only 13 losses. The final numbers should be similar. Don’t count Pitt out.

 
St. John’s

It’s common to remember more recent results. St. John’s has taken a lot of heat recently. They started hot at 11-1, but they’re just 6-8 in their last 14 games. They’re also under .500 in the Big East. Those are the arguments against them. But what’s the issue here? Yes, they’ve lost at DePaul and Creighton, but they’ve also won at Xavier and swept Providence. They didn’t have the most difficult non-conference schedule, but certainly winning at Syracuse wasn’t easy. St. John’s certainly gets the job done at home, but is their road performance enough?

Best 2014 Comparison: Nebraska

Nebraska also did little away from home and had 3 sub-100 losses. But the overall profile was good enough. They got good wins and had a tough SOS. That carried a lot of weight. Nebraska had the #23 SOS last year. Right now, St. John’s is #18. Nebraska was 3-7 against the Top 50. St. John’s is 4-6. If the Johnnies can win at Marquette, even a couple more losses should see them above the cut line. They’re in for now but can go either way.

Twitter Lists for Every D1 Basketball Program

Crotistics is now on Twitter

And while Crotistics is surely a great source of entertainment, the largest reason people are interested in the content is due to the basketball programs involved. As such, we’ve gone about gathering every single known Twitter account for every D1 Basketball program. You can find them all, organized by conference, at http://www.twitter.com/crotistics/lists.

This is helpful for a number of reasons. First, if you’d like to view content by conference, you can simply click on one of the lists to see what is going on. Second, if you want to follow specific schools, they are very easy to find. You can also subscribe to any list.

 

If you know of any official Twitter accounts that are not part of the list, just send me a tweet to let me know. Who knows what is going on with the SWAC.

As time goes on, the intent is to expand to include coaches, and eventually players. Although those will probably be in separate lists due to the vast amount of players and turnover. For now, we’ll keep it concise.

 

Also, feel free to follow me for Bracket/Rankings updates as well as promoting those lists. It took an awful long amount of time tracking every one of those down. There are about 300 schools included.

Hope you enjoy!

The Kentucky Hype is Out of Control

source: espn

Kentucky is the best team in the country. One coach in the coaches poll believes Duke is the #1 team. He’s wrong. One coach in the coaches poll believes Arizona is the #1 team. He should be fired by his institution.

Some are saying that Kentucky is the best team in the history of college basketball. That may be the case, but the hype has gone so far beyond out of control it’s laughable. This is purely based on probabilities and some of the numbers I’ve seen floated around.

 

Undefeated

So many times it has been said that “if Kentucky wins at Louisville, they’re going undefeated”. That very well may be the case. The real question is, what are the odds that happens? Given what the talking heads would like you to believe, Kentucky probably has a 90% chance or greater in their mind of going undefeated. If Kentucky beats Louisville, that real number is something like 46%, before the SEC tournament.

Let’s be clear. Having a 46% chance of going undefeated in a power conference is absurdly high. Kentucky’s rating is through the roof. I’ve never personally had a team with such a high rating since I’ve been doing rankings. I’m actually projecting Kentucky with a record of 30.26-0.74 heading into the SEC tournament, and they should be the #1 overall seed in March. Can they do it? Absolutely. Is it a lock? Not yet.

Kentucky is going to be a massive favorite in virtually every game. They might be a double digit favorite in every game. At Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are the only games I have them with less than a 90% chance of winning. And those games are in the mid-high 80s. At some point, Calipari may want to teach his kids a lesson and bench them for a half or something. But they can do it, and look out.

 

National Championship

Currently, Kentucky is +120 to win it all, or a multiplier of 2.2. In probabilities, that’s also about a 45% chance of cutting the nets down. This is overboard. Again, Kentucky is clearly the best team in the country, but what is their true probability right now of winning it all? Let’s take a peek at the Crotistics Bracket.

Assuming all chalk, Kentucky could have a path that looks something like this:

New Mexico St.
Notre Dame
VCU
Gonzaga
Wisconsin
Duke

That’s a very reasonable possibility. No disrespect to the SEC, but that’s a vastly different quality of opponent. What’s the probability Kentucky wins all 6 games on a neutral court against those 6 opponents? 24%

Now, they may have an easier path than that, but their true probability is somewhere in the mid-20s. Again, this is absurdly high. But it’s still unrealistic to think they’re basically 50/50 to win the thing.

It’s nothing against Kentucky, because they are a great team. But there are some other pretty good teams out there. Wisconsin just went to the final 4 last year. And Duke and Virginia look extremely good right now too. Kentucky will be favored against anyone they play, but if Kentucky plays Duke or Wisconsin 100 times, Kentucky is not going to beat them 100 times out of 100. It’s just a matter of who wins on the day they actually play.

Kentucky is well deserving of the high praise they’ve earned, but the hype is out of control.