Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bracketology 2/9/2012

About My Bracketology System
The basis for my picks is the regional ranking projections that I do every week. Usually there are one or two regions that are really hard for me to fit (that is to say, match the committee’s ranking) using my data. The difficulty for me probably comes down assessing common opponents. I don’t adjust the regional rankings to reflect head-to-head and common opponent games (I haven’t found a good way to automate that, and it’s too much work to look through by hand each week), but I’ll try to do some of those adjustments (while still spending a minimal amount of time) for the bracketology updates. I’m guessing that we’ll see a sharp change in both the regional rankings and the bracketology once the NCAA starts ranking the regions (and I can add in results versus regionally ranked opponents).

The main goal of this post isn’t so much to determine exactly who’s in and who’s out, but to give a good general idea of who’s in and who’s on the bubble. It’s also worth noting that the last two years (the only years in which I’ve done bracketology like this) I’ve had the exact same accuracy rates as the “(un)official” projection put out by Pat Coleman (I think we both hit 16 of 19 Pool C teams two years ago and 16 of 18 last year).

I’ll list the Pool A teams (autobids) first. I’ll award the bid to the team with the best conference record. In the case of a tie, I’ll award it to the team with the best RPI in Division III games.

Pool B gets one bid. These are the teams that don’t have a Pool A bid to compete for (independents and teams from non-AQ conferences). I’ll also list the “next two” possible picks. A few Pool B teams will run into an interesting situation whereby we won’t be 100% certain if they’re eligible for tournament selection. The championship manual stipulates that team must play a minimum of 50% of their games against in-region Div. III competition to be eligible, but there is a waiver that schools can submit to bypass this rule. I’ll mark schools who may fall into this category with an asterisk (*).

Pool C is where the real fun lies. We get 19 bids this year. I’ll list my top 15 in alphabetical order, and then list the “last four in” as well as the “last four out” and “next four out”. This should represent the bubble pretty well.

Through games of 2/5/2012

Pool A

AMCC -- Medaille
ASC -- Mary Hardin-Baylor
CAC -- Mary Washington
CC -- Franklin and Marshall
CCC -- Salve Regina
CCIW -- North Central (Ill.)
CSAC -- Cabrini
CUNYAC -- Staten Island
E8 -- Hartwick
GNAC -- Albertus Magnus
HCAC -- Transylvania
IIAC -- Luther
LAND -- Scranton
LEC -- Keene State
LL -- Hobart
MACC -- Messiah
MACF -- Misericordia
MASCAC -- Salem State
MIAA -- Hope
MIAC -- Gustavus Adolphus
MWC -- Lake Forest
NAC -- Castleton State
NATHC -- Concordia (Wis.)
NCAC -- Wittenberg
NEAC -- Penn State-Harrisburg
NECC -- Becker
NESCAC -- Amherst
NJAC -- Richard Stockton
NWC -- Whitworth
OAC -- Capital
ODAC -- Virginia Wesleyan
PrAC -- Thiel
SCAC -- Birmingham-Southern
SCIAC -- Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
SKY -- St. Josephs (L.I.)
SLIAC -- Webster
SUNYAC -- Oswego State
UAA -- Washington U.
UMAC -- Bethany Lutheran
USAC -- Christopher Newport
WIAC -- UW-Stevens Point

Pool B

UC Santa Cruz*

First Out
Maryville (Tenn.)

Next Out
Maine-Presque Isle*

Pool C

Eastern Connecticut
New Jersey City
New York University
Rhode Island College
St. Marys (Md.)
UW-River Falls
Western Connecticut
Wheaton (Ill.)
William Paterson

Last Four In
St. Thomas

First Four Out
Ohio Wesleyan
Illinois Wesleyan

Next Four Out

Dropped Out
Bridgewater State
Illinois Wesleyan
Morrisville State
Nebraska Wesleyan
Ohio Wesleyan

Bids By Conference
LEC-- 4
UAA -- 4
WIAC -- 3
NCAC -- 3
NJAC -- 3
CCIW -- 2
CAC -- 2
ODAC -- 2
MIAC -- 2

Bids By Region
NE – 14
WE -- 10
MA -- 8
MW -- 7
GL -- 6
EA -- 6
SO -- 6
AT -- 5

I had a bit of an adjustment to the formula after seeing the regional rankings yesterday, but it didn't throw things off too much. Helped out were the teams that have really strong SOS numbers but maybe have suffered a few losses (like a Wabash).

We're getting close to the point where we can start considering teams 'locks' for Pool C. I'll see if I can run down a list of teams that are safe -- even if they lose out. That list probably already includes Amherst and Middlebury right now, and perhaps Hope and UW-Whitewater after Saturday, but I'll wait a bit before officially anointing any of these teams.

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