College Hoops Journal: Bracketology 2013
Since you can go pretty much anywhere on the internet and find a different version of Bracketology (there’s even a matrix with 87+ brackets), we determined it was our responsibility to initiate a bracket of our own. You can never have too much bracketology, can you? Check out the graphic below that details each seed line from 1-12. Since I developed the bracket myself, be sure to send any comments, complaints, gripes, or otherwise to me on Twitter @footballbrackts.
Below the graphic, you’ll see that my colleague Brennan Keller has asked me some questions about my reasoning for slotting certain teams where I did.
New Mexico as a 2-seed seems very generous to me. I’ll concede that they’re currently ranked 3rd in the RPI, but I see them more as a 3-4 seed (I think 28th KenPom rank is more accurate). Why so high on the Lobos?
Funny thing – I’m actually not that high on New Mexico. I do think that their KenPom rating more closely reflects their level of talent and status among the elite teams in the game. However, the Bracketologist in me has to put my opinions aside and deal with facts.
The Lobos are 3rd overall in the RPI, 4th in SOS, 4th in non-con RPI, and 4th in in-conference RPI. Not to mention, the Mountain West is the #2 league behind only the Big Ten, and New Mexico is two games clear of everyone.
Kansas is up one spot since last week, but they’re still looking at a 3-seed according to your bracket. They’ve rattled off five straight (including three quality wins) since their three game skid. Some brackets have them all the way back as a one seed. What’s keeping Kansas from a higher seed here?
This one is a two-part answer. For Part I, I’ll say “see answer above RE: New Mexico.” For Part II, the reason they’re still behind Steve Alford’s bunch is that when so much of two teams’ resumes is similar, you need to find the outlier that separates them. Kansas’ loss to TCU is that outlier, so they remain behind New Mexico for me.
According to the bracket project, Oklahoma is looking at closer to an 8 or 9 seed. You have them as a 6. I like the Sooners. I think Lon Kruger is the Coach of the Year candidate that no one is talking about. What do you see in their resume that put them over say Illinois who has 5 wins over the top 25?
I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that Oklahoma is 20th in the RPI. They don’t have the top-50 wins that Illinois has, but they’re 10-5 and 4th in their league. The Big 12 isn’t as strong as the Big Ten, but it’s not a weak league. Illinois also has two sub-100 losses, and Kruger’s bunch has zero.
You may remember we discussed Illinois last week, and I had similar thoughts. There were a few comparable teams since 2007-08 in terms of conference record and RPI, and those teams were middling seeds.
Joe Lunardi has Kentucky in; I’ve seen Kentucky as high as a 10 seed this week (which is a stretch, but…). I’m sure the Big Blue Nation will want to know why they’re still out even after their big win over Missouri this weekend. What will they have to do put themselves in?
Kentucky is a tough case and will remain so all the way up to Selection Sunday. The win against Missouri was nice, but as you see in the bracket, Mizzou is a middling seed themselves. On current resume only, Kentucky probably deserves to be in. But I’m evaluating the team that no longer has Nerlens Noel.
I realize that the Selection Committee isn’t supposed to take injuries into consideration when determining if a team should or shouldn’t be in the field, but if they can take such information into account when seeding, why can’t they use it for bubble teams like Kentucky? Even if the Committee says they’ll evaluate Coach Cal’s guys just on paper, human nature has to kick in at least a little bit.
Take solace, Big Blue Nation, that if this was a 69-team field, your team would be in. A win at Arkansas or at home vs. Florida – especially the latter – would most likely put them in. A couple of wins in the SEC Tournament wouldn’t hurt either. But don’t lose to a lowly Georgia team or to a lower-than-lowly, just-lost-by-41-to-Vanderbilt team like Mississippi State.
See the full bracket below: