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Thread: Lunardi's "Bracket Math" featuring Gonzaga today (Insider)

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    Default Lunardi's "Bracket Math" featuring Gonzaga today (Insider)


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    Little help insiders?
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
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    Monday, February 9, 2015
    Why Gonzaga is West's best
    By Joe Lunardi

    Today's lesson begins with a pair of simple premises:

    • The NCAA prefers the No 1 seed in the West Region to actually be a western team.
    • Gonzaga is almost certainly the last team standing in the hunt for that coveted spot.
    Let's begin with the first premise. Did you know that, despite significantly fewer available teams, the West Region has seen one of its own on the top line of the bracket nine times in the last 15 years (60 percent)? This includes semi-surprises Gonzaga (2013), Washington (2005) and the double dip of Arizona and Stanford in 2000.

    So for all those grousing about Gonzaga as a potentially undeserving No. 1 seed for the 2015 tournament, you'd better get used to the idea. Unless and until the 'Zags stumble, there's just no way a one-loss western team ranked No. 2 in the country isn't going to sit atop the West Region.

    All of which leads into the second premise (cue the protests in Tucson and throughout the Grand Canyon state). "But we beat Gonzaga," Arizona fans repeat. "And we play in a better conference with a much harder schedule."

    I'll give you the first half ("better conference") of that last sentence, but not the "much" part when comparing schedules. In fact, Gonzaga's non-league schedule was about three times harder than Arizona's. We can also discount the head-to-head result between the teams when they met Dec. 6 in Tucson.

    The Wildcats won that day, in overtime, in one of the season's most competitive contests. To make that single result a determining factor, however, is to ignore what will be 30-plus additional results for each team by the time the men's basketball committee sits down next month.

    Let's look at it another way:
    • "Team A" is 6-1 against the top 68 teams in the country as ranked by the ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI). It has defeated No. 23 (neutral court), No. 28, No. 35 (true road game), No. 46 (true road game), No. 53 and No. 58 (true road game).
    • Team A's only loss also came on the road, in overtime, against the No. 5 ranked BPI team. Meanwhile its six NCAA-level victories came over opponents with a BPI average of 40.5 (only two of which were played at home).
    • "Team B" is 7-1 against the BPI's top 68 teams. It has defeated No. 3 in overtime, No. 11, No. 33 (true road game), No. 38 (neutral floor), No. 62 and No. 65 twice (home and away). The average opponent BPI of these seven wins is 39.6, five of which were home games. • Meanwhile, Team B has lost three times: No. 62 (away), No. 93 (away) and No 106 (away). Compare this to the one loss (No. 5) for Team A.
    Resume Team A Team B
    vs. Top 68 (BPI) 6-1 7-1
    vs. Top 68 (R/N) 4-1 2-1
    Avg. Top-68 win 40.5 39.7
    Avg. BPI loss 3.0 87.0

    "Team A," obviously, is Gonzaga and "Team B" is Arizona. The numbers speak for themselves. Do you really want to put more weight on a five-minute overtime period, on a non-neutral floor, from three months ago? I can't and history strongly suggests the Committee won't, either.
    In other words, Arizona's chance for a No. 1 seed in the West pretty much died over the weekend in Tempe. And an awful lot would have to go the Wildcats' way between now and Selection Sunday to change that reality.
    The Bracket

    This is where teams would fall if Selection Sunday were today. Remember, the seed list flows left to right, then right to left, then back again as you read down the chart.
    The Full S-Curve

    1-KENTUCKY 2-VIRGINIA 3-GONZAGA 4-Duke
    8-KANSAS 7-ARIZONA 6-VILLANOVA 5-WISCONSIN
    9-Iowa State 10-North Carolina 11-Utah 12-Louisville
    16-NO. IOWA 15-Baylor 14-Oklahoma 13-Notre Dame
    17-Wichita St 18-Maryland 19-Butler 20-VCU
    24-Arkansas 23-Georgetown 22-Providence 21-West Virginia
    25-Ohio State 26-Indiana 27-Cincinnati 28-So. Methodist
    32-Iowa 31-Texas 30-Oklahoma St 29-Georgia
    33-SAN DIEGO ST 34-Xavier 35-Stanford 36-Michigan St
    40-Colorado St 39-Texas A&M 38-Ole Miss 37-Dayton
    41-Louisiana St 42-TULSA 43-Seton Hall 44-Temple
    48-WOFFORD 47-Miami (Fla.) 46-Illinois 45-Old Dominion
    49-S.F. AUSTIN 50-MURRAY ST 51-IONA 52-HARVARD
    56-VALPARAISO 55-LA. TECH 54-BOWL. GREEN 53-WM. & MARY
    57-UC DAVIS 58-N. MEXICO ST 59-HIGH POINT 60-UL MONROE
    64-SACRAMENTO 63-ST. FRAN. (NY) 62-N.C. CENTRAL 61-ALBANY
    65-N. DAKOTA ST 66-COLGATE 67-NO. FLORIDA 68-TEXAS SO.
    The Math

    Take our "solid" at-large candidates (current tournament odds at 80 percent or better) and you have 30 teams in the field. Add in the remaining automatic qualifiers and that's another 22 spots. All told we have 52 of the 68 spots accounted for, with only 16 up for grabs among current "Bubble" teams.
    "Bubble" (32 teams for 16 spots)

    • IN (16, in S-Curve order): 31. Texas, 32. Iowa, 34. Xavier, 35. Stanford, 36. Michigan St, 37. Dayton, 38. Ole Miss, 39. Texas A&M, 40. Colorado St, 41. Louisiana St, 43. Seton Hall
    Last four in: 44. Temple, 45. Old Dominion, 46. Illinois, 47. Miami (FL)
    First four out: 69. St. John's, 70. UCLA, 71. G. Washington, 72. Purdue
    Next four out: 73-Boise State, 74-Oregon, 75-Rhode Island, 76-Davidson
    Conference Breakdown

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    So basically the Zags need to "bear down" and play like they are being chased.
    'I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.'
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    I like Leonardi's theory. It's good news for Zag fans. Basically, he's saying that the NCAA wants the best team in the West to be the number one seed, if their record indicates that they're worthy of a number one seed. And Gonzaga's is. This theory has helped my belief get stronger.

    Go Zags!!!
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kitzbuel View Post
    So basically the Zags need to "bear down" and play like they are being chased.
    We really need to smoke SMC next week. Let's just put the hammer down on the rest of our opponents, pretend we're playing WVU or Oklahoma State.

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    Nice piece.
    This post is for March Madness seeding purposes only.

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    Thanks jazz. I'm worried about two things: staying healthy, be wary of officiating during the WCC Tournament. I've been to Area 51 and Roswell, and worked near the Texas Depository Building for nearly 5 years. The temptation for the league office to get another team into the Big Dance is, ahem, tempting.

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    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/bracketology

    Current bracketology released today has us as #1 in West, obviously. Some interesting things if this bracket really happened:
    • We'd be playing Sacramento State in the round of 64
    • Have a 50% chance of playing Georgia in the round of 32
    • Have a pretty decent chance of playing Arizona or SMU in the Elite 8

    Nothing like a good rematch, right?!

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    Of course this is getting way ahead of what we should be thinking about, but I really like the idea of being the third #1 seed, instead of the forth. That sets up the Zags-Kentucky game in the national championship, instead of the semifinal game. Yes, yes, to dream is human.
    It's peanut butter jelly time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WBM View Post
    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/bracketology

    Current bracketology released today has us as #1 in West, obviously. Some interesting things if this bracket really happened:
    • We'd be playing Sacramento State in the round of 64
    • Have a 50% chance of playing Georgia in the round of 32
    • Have a pretty decent chance of playing Arizona or SMU in the Elite 8

    Nothing like a good rematch, right?!
    I thought there wasn't allowed to be any rematches in the Round of 64? We could have rematches down the road, but the Round of 64 is supposed to be protected, I thought? Thus eliminating Sac State from our pod???
    Last edited by gonzagafan62; 02-09-2015 at 11:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzagafan62 View Post
    I thought there wasn't aloud to be any rematches in the Round of 64? We could have rematches down the road, but the Round of 64 is supposed to be protected, I thought? Thus eliminating Sac State from our pod???
    I thought that only applied to conference rematches. I could be wrong, though.

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    Most likely he just didn't notice that it was a rematch.
    I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. - Jimmy V

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzagafan62 View Post
    I thought there wasn't aloud to be any rematches in the Round of 64? We could have rematches down the road, but the Round of 64 is supposed to be protected, I thought? Thus eliminating Sac State from our pod???
    Sac State won't get in. EWU will beat them in the Big Sky Final to earn a 14 seed.
    "After holding open practices during his first three seasons, Romar closed them to reporters last season, citing the "Gonzaga factor." He felt his team was compromised before the 2004-05 game against the Zags, that the opponent awaiting him and beating him 99-87 in Spokane seemed a little too well prepared."

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    This news is all fine and good, but I don't see the big deal when it comes to getting a 2 seed vs a 1 seed. If we play well in March it won't matter, and there will be less pressure on us with a 2 seed. I wouldn't mind a 1, and I think we would have earned it to a degree, but we got caught up in this drama 2 years ago just to be embarrassed. Yeah, Wichita made it to the Final Four, whatever. You know you were crushed when we lost that game.

    Just get a top 3 seed, play well, and we will be fine.
    "After holding open practices during his first three seasons, Romar closed them to reporters last season, citing the "Gonzaga factor." He felt his team was compromised before the 2004-05 game against the Zags, that the opponent awaiting him and beating him 99-87 in Spokane seemed a little too well prepared."

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGonzagaFactor View Post
    This news is all fine and good, but I don't see the big deal when it comes to getting a 2 seed vs a 1 seed. If we play well in March it won't matter, and there will be less pressure on us with a 2 seed. I wouldn't mind a 1, and I think we would have earned it to a degree, but we got caught up in this drama 2 years ago just to be embarrassed. Yeah, Wichita made it to the Final Four, whatever. You know you were crushed when we lost that game.

    Just get a top 3 seed, play well, and we will be fine.
    Agreed. Seeds don't matter; match-ups do. We'll get to stay in Seattle, almost for sure. That was my only priority coming into this season, and really all we could control. Sometimes 3-seeds end up with easier roads than 1-seeds.

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    I think there is a lot of value to being a #1 seed, other than the ginormous target that paints on a team. Otherwise, the 2nd round matchup is typically better. The winner of the 10/7 game is almost always a really good team, and is riding a big win over a big opponent. Life as a 2 seed is typically very dicey.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZagFan View Post
    We really need to smoke LMU and PEPP this week. Let's just put the hammer down on the rest of our opponents, pretend we're playing WVU or Oklahoma State.
    I knew what you meant


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    Quote Originally Posted by rennis View Post
    I think there is a lot of value to being a #1 seed, other than the ginormous target that paints on a team. Otherwise, the 2nd round matchup is typically better. The winner of the 10/7 game is almost always a really good team, and is riding a big win over a big opponent. Life as a 2 seed is typically very dicey.
    I really don't think there's much difference in the quality of the winner of the 7/10 game compared to the winner of the 8/9 game most of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    I really don't think there's much difference in the quality of the winner of the 7/10 game compared to the winner of the 8/9 game most of the time.
    actually there is a dramatic difference in winning % between 1 and 2 seeds in the second round games. I don't know if it's because 1 seeds are better than 2 seeds, or if 7/10 seeds are better than 8/9, but the 1 seed is almost 20% better off in the 2nd round.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
    We are not here as a #%$&%&! Courtesy!!!

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    statistically, 8/9 seeds are the WORST seeds for advancing in the round of 32 - even 13 seeds have better winning %s!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
    We are not here as a #%$&%&! Courtesy!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rennis View Post
    statistically, 8/9 seeds are the WORST seeds for advancing in the round of 32 - even 13 seeds have better winning %s!!
    Whats really funny is that the 13s don't get there as often either. Still fun to look at though. I get what you are saying.

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    Huh. I stand corrected. The graph looks about like what you'd expect...until you get to the 9 seeds, and then it goes a bit crazy.

    Now I am curious if somehow the 7/10 seeds are "better" than the 8/9 seeds, or 1 seeds just don't lose often in the early rounds of the Tourney because they are 1 seeds. I think #1's reach the Final 4 most often by percentage, but they fail to do so often enough that there's nothing magical about being a #1.

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    #9 seeds are typically the "last in" bubble at large teams, from what I understand. They aren't typically expected to advance, and aren't usually riding very high coming in. In your bracket pool, always pick the 8 over the 9 unless you've got a good reason to think the 9 matches up well with the 8.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
    We are not here as a #%$&%&! Courtesy!!!

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