Scoping it out: 2024 | Syracusefan.com

Scoping it out: 2024

SWC75

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This will combine the information from these two posts:

Again the concept is to spend as little of my life trying to figure out who will win the NCAA games. I've done that before and found that my research came to nothing. I'm just trying to come up with an NCAA sheet based on what has happened so far with as little effort as possible so I can get back to my life and then just watch the games to see what happens this year. I looked at the centages of what first round upsets in what seeds have tended to occur in the 39 previous seasons since the field went to 64, what seed have tended to make the Final Four and what seeds have tended to win the national championship. Then I use a metric to determine who seems most likely to pull off those upsets, make the Final Four and win the title. You could use Net or RPI if you wanted to, or Sagarin or anything lese. Just don't spend the next three days on the living room floor reading stuff to make your own judgements. I'm using something I've kept track of all year: who teams have done against ranked teams. The upsetters are usually facing ranked teams and the Final Four will be against ranked teams, so that seems like a relevant measure.

From the first link: "If you go with percentages, pick 2 nine seeds to upset eight seeds but that's as far as they go. Also pick two 10 seeds to win in the first round. Give one of the winners a trip to the sweet 16 but that’s it. Pick two #11 seeds to win and one goes to the Sweet 16. Pick one each of the 12, 13 and 14 seeds to win. They will stop there. In the Final Four you could go with two 1 seeds, a 2 seed and a 3 or 4 seed. Or you might want to pick a lower seed just for fun, But nothing below an 11th seed unless you want to make history. You now have the freedom to pick a 16 seed to win in the first round but keep in mind it took 34 years for that to happen. Do you really want to predict it’s going to happen again now?"

From the second: "The last few years I’ve attempted to quantify team’s performances against ranked teams, (historically a big factor in decisions made about getting into playoffs) with a system that gives points to teams for the ranking of their opponents and adds or subtracts the point differential in their games, (adds in a win, subtracts in a loss). The ‘ranking’ points are 25 for playing a #1 ranked team, 24 for playing a #2 ranked team, etc., down to 1 point for playing a 25th ranked team. These points are easily computed by subtracting the ranking number from 26, (26-1 = 25; 26-25 =1, etc.). Over the course of the season, I add the points earned by each team in their games against ranked teams as a sort of standings but have always maintained that this is just one thing to look at in evaluating the team, not a final overall ranking."

Here are the first round match-up with their cumulative ART rankings over the season to date:

1 vs. 16: 1 seeds are 154-2
Connecticut +216 vs. Stetson -11 Difference : +227
North Carolina +164 vs. Howard or Wagner 0 (I picked Howard as they are 2 games over .500 to 1) Difference: +164
Houston +147 vs. Longwood -37 Difference: +184
Purdue +174 vs. Grambling or Montana State 0 (Grambling was 3 games over, State was even .500) Difference +174
I don't see an upset here. If it happens, nobody else will have it, either.

2 vs. 15: 2 seeds are 144-12
Iowa State +178 vs. South Dakota State 0 Difference: +178
Arizona +96 vs. Long Beach State (Remember when Tark was there?) 0 Difference: +96
Marquette +137 vs. Western Kentucky 0 Difference: +137
Tennessee +172 vs. St. Peters 0 Difference: +172
I'm not going out on a limb here, either. St. Peters pulled off some upsets two years ago. It will happen again two generations from now.

3 vs. 14: 3 seeds are 134-22, which is enough of a percentage that we should look for one upset here.
Illinois +70 vs. Morehead State (remember when Pitino lost to "More head" state?) -37 Difference: +110
Baylor +120 vs. Colgate -10 Difference: +130
Kentucky +166 vs. Oakland -10 Difference: +176
Creighton +113 vs. Akron 0 Difference: +113
Rather than thinking, I'll go with the closest one: Morehead State over Illinois. The weakest 14 over the weakest 3. They will lose in the next round.

4 vs. 13: 4 seeds are 123-33, which also suggests 1 upset.
Auburn +159 vs. Yale +9 Difference: +150
Alabama +66 vs. College of Charleston -31 Difference: +97
Duke +64 vs. Vermont 0 Difference: +64
Kansas +164 vs. Samford -30 Difference: +194
Here's where the 'working of the schedule' becomes an issue. The Big 12 played a lot of bad teams and got ranked higher than the ACC. Is Kansas really +100 over Duke? I don't know so I'll go with the smallest difference, which is delicious: Vermont (28-6!) over Duke. They will lose in the next round.

5 vs. 12: 5 seeds are 102-54, so we need an upset here.
San Diego State +70 vs. Alabama-Birmingham +14 Difference: +56
St. Mary's +24 vs. Grand Canyon +7 Difference: +17
Wisconsin +136 vs. James Madison +25 = Difference: +111
Gonzaga +61 vs. McNeese State 0 = +61
Grand Canyon over St. Mary's is the obvious choice. They will lose in the next round.

6 vs. 11: 6 seeds are 95-61, one game worse than 7 seeds.
Brigham Young +98 vs. Duquesne +4 Difference: +90
Clemson +32 vs. New Mexico +50 Difference: -18
Texas Tech +155 vs. North Carolina State +71 Difference: +84
South Carolina +38 vs. Oregon +37 Difference: +1
Clemson may be another victim of the ACC being underrated by the polls and by the Net Rankings. But the numbers say to go with New Mexico and Oregon, so I will. One of them will win in the Sweet 16.
New Mexico +50 vs. Baylor +120 Difference: -70
Oregon +37 vs. Creighton +113 Difference: -76
New Mexico by a small margin but they lose in the Sweet 16

7 vs. 10: 7's are 96-60
Washington State +46 vs. Drake 0 Difference: +46
Dayton 0 vs. Nevada-Reno +6 Difference: -6
Florida +131 vs. Colorado +10 or Boise State +23 (Boise State based on ART) Difference: +108
Texas +88 vs. Virginia +1 or Colorado State +49 (Colorado State based on ART) Difference: +38
Nevada-Reno and Colorado State. One goes to the Sweet 16.
Nevada-Reno +6 would play Arizona +96 Difference: -90
Colorado State +49 would play Tennessee +172 Difference: -123
The numbers say Nevada but the 10 seed is supposed to lose in the Sweet 16 and it would be to New Mexico, who is also supposed to lose in the Sweet 16. I'll switch to Drake over Washington State then they upset Iowa State but lose in the Sweet 16.

8 vs. 9: 8's are 76-80
Florida Atlantic +41 vs. Northwestern +57 Difference: -16
Mississippi State +26 vs. Michigan State +130 Difference: -104
Nebraska +51 vs. Texas A&M +92 Difference: -41
Utah State +35 vs. Texas Christian +115 Difference: -80
It's amazing that Michigan State, Texas A&M and Texas Christian are 9 seeds. The numbers say to take the Spartans and the Frogs. Both will lose in the next round.

For the Final Four I need two 1's, a 2 and a 3 or a 4. The two best #1's by ART are Connecticut and Purdue. The best 2 is Iowa State but they lost to Drake and are in Connecticut's bracket. The second best is Tennessee but they are in Purdue's bracket. That leaves Marquette. The open bracket for the 3 or 4 is thus the West bracket and their 3, Baylor lost to New Mexico so the their #4, Alabama gets the final spot in the Final Four goes to Baylor. 25 of 39 national champions have been #1 seeds. The best of our two #1 seeds is our old friends the Connecticut Huskies, who, if this happens will win their 6th national championship, passing Duke and tying North Carolina, with only Kentucky (8) and UCLA (11) ahead of them. Is there something in the water in Connecticut?

The rest is just filling in the blanks, based on ART and who I have in the Final Four.
Auburn +159 over San Diego State +70 but then they lose to UCONN.
Brigham Young +98 over Morehead State -37 and then Drake 0 but then they lose to UCONN.
UNC +164 over Michigan State +130, (The Heels ALWAYS beat the Spartans) but then they lose to Alabama.
Arizona +96 over Dayton 0 and New Mexico +50, (who the stats say had to lose in the Sweet 16) but they lose to Alabama
Houston +147 over Nebraska +51.
Wisconsin +136 beats Vermont but loses to Houston, who loses to Marquette.
Kentucky +166 beats Texas Tech +155 but loses to Marquette.
Kansas +164 beats Gonzaga +61, (maybe, - the Jayhawks have some injuries) but loses to Purdue.

Done - and back to my life.
 

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