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|View Poll Results: 2014 Pac-12: How many teams make the NCAAs?|
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WTF is bracket math?
"You know that little thing in your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn't? Yeah, well, I don't have one of those."
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Servile and uninformed West Coast writers are part of the Pac's image problem. The Seattle Times:
The Pac-12 is eating its own
Posted by Bud Withers
Parity in Pac-12 basketball is rearing its head, and that may end up to be less than good news for the league’s NCAA-tournament berths, which are important in several ways: To the individual programs, to the national image of the league, and not least, to Pac-12 finances.
You might recall this phenomenon in Pac-12 football, when the overall strength of the conference prevented a second team from going to the last round of Bowl Championship Series games. One of Stanford’s losses was to a Utah team that won two league games, and more devastating, unheralded Arizona whomped Oregon to keep the Ducks out of a possible Sugar Bowl berth.
Now fast-forward to hoops, where this weekend, Oregon and Colorado, two teams that would have been considered shoo-ins for NCAA berths just a couple of weeks ago, are reeling and neither is anything close to an NCAA-tournament certainty. At one time, the Buffs were top-10 RPI material, while Oregon was ranked No. 10 nationally when 13-0.
Bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s latest post on ESPN.com is headlined: “Oregon no lock for NCAA tourney.” You’d figure the Ducks would snap out of a a five-game tailspin Sunday at Washington State, but even at that, Oregon will need to play some defense and find some inside game in the second half of the Pac-12 season to make it.
Then there’s unfortunate Colorado, which lost its best player, Spencer Dinwiddie, to a season-ending knee injury 13 days ago at Washington. Remember, what matters now to the basketball committee is how the Buffs do without Dinwiddie, not before, and so far, the results haven’t been positive. CU was blown out by Arizona State Saturday, completing a lost weekend in the desert to fall to 15-6 and 1-3 without Dinwiddie.
On the other hand, you say, teams like Washington and Arizona State have risen lately. True enough, but there are caveats associated with both. The Huskies (13-8) got precious little done in the pre-conference portion of the schedule, and still have rugged road trips left to the mountain schools and the Oregons. ASU (15-5) is still viable, but even with a weekend sweep of Utah and Colorado, has only two victories against the RPI top 100.
So the Pac-12′s doomsday scenario would put, say, three teams into the NCAA — Arizona, Cal and UCLA — with a lot of the next level tearing each other apart. Not necessarily likely, but possible.
Expect two things with February and March ahead: Some severe campaigning by the league coaches, advocating for the overall prowess of the league, and more importantly, a league tournament in March where some of the second-level teams need wins to keep themselves from the throes of the NIT and CBI.
First of all: The Pac-12 is the #3 conference in the country...
While it is obvious why media corporations like Bristol based Disney Sports show little interest in a relatively poorly supported West Coast CBB product, the ignorance and anticipatory obedience displayed by some of our regional outlets is flat out embarrassing.
Conference teams beat each other up in conference play, yes. Happens across the country and comes with a closed system, contrary to out of conference games.
But why do the inevitable consequences spell doom only for the Pac-12, the third-strongest conference in CBB? Why will Oregon's and Colorado's losing streaks lead to a reduction of NCAA tournament berths for the Pac, while we don't hear the same about the Big Ten with its serial losers OSU, Wisconsin and Illinois? In the Big 12, Baylor and Iowa State tanked immediately after the period of hand-picked schedules ended. No problem for the conference. Clemson (RPI #79) and Notre Dame (RPI #91) beating Duke in the fifth-ranked ACC didn't lead to extended discussions about the strength of the conference or diminished NCAA tourney bids respectively. But have Stanford (RPI #53) win against Oregon and Colorado lose to ASU (RPI #50) and the damn Pac-12 needs to be stripped of all but three tournament berths... Bullshít! One team's loss is another team's gain. This would only become a problem if the balance of power within a conference turned completely upside down and landed all teams on the bubble.
But that's not the case in the Pac-12, with current RIPs of...
Why should the #3 conference end up with only three teams in the tournament; who would fill the vacancies? The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-best teams of a seventh-ranked SEC - #57 Missouri, #58 Ole Miss and #65 LSU? Ridiculous.
Face it, the Pac-12 has bounced back and ranks once again among the best conferences in the country. The way the ninth-placed Utes have presented themselves at McKale, they could punch a lot of teams in other power conferences in the mouth.
Whether it is laziness, ignorance or the hope for future employment with above mentioned media corporations will remain the writer's secret, but the Stockholm syndrome within parts of West Coast journalism does our conference a tremendous disservice. College baseball and the corrupted 2013 postseason selection process comes to mind, where the Pac-12, as the best conference in the country, received merely four bids while everybody and their mother from the SEC (9) and the ACC (8) got in. And like the year before, the Pac-12 still walked away with the title. Maybe that's a recipe for basketball, too.
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I voted four, although in composing this post, I think 5 is more likely. I think the middle of the road Pac-12 teams could knock each other down in RPI & KenPom to give the committee an excuse to overlook a team or two, but that could work to raise them up as well (it's not just a negative). By my own criteria (synthesizing RPI Top 50 and KenPom Top 50), right now I would have these 5 teams:
Other Side of The Bubble: Utah, Stanford, ASU, UW
Just for another viewpoint, CBS' Jerry Palm has the Pac-12 with 6 bids as of today (1/27) ...
Never mind that "Top 25" wins is such a narrow criteria - only 46 teams have a win vs. the RPI Top 25, only 26/46 are .500 or better against RPI Top 25, and 14/46 teams are currently ranked outside the RPI Top 50 - you are factually wrong, as usual.
Pac-12 Teams Records vs. RPI Top 25:
No way do I agree that Colorado 1-5 is better than UA.
TJMC = Dinwiddie (Both are equally important to their team's success, and while Dinwiddie might have better pro prospects, that doesn't make him a better college player than TJMC). Also, TJMC >>>>>> Anyone COlorado can trot out now at PG.
Nick >> Booker (Booker is a better 3 point shooter, but that's it)
Gordon >> Anyone Colorado trots out there
Ashley > Xavier Johnson (Ashley is more consistent)
Tarc < Josh Scott (but barely).
Also, RHJ >>> anyone on Colorado's bench.
I like Top 50 for any metric better than Top 40. Usually, anywhere from 10-17 conference champions are in the Top 50. When looking at who will be the 37 at-large bids, I'm not looking for 100% guarantee (which Top 40 doesn't provide either), but a larger likelihood thereof, and the cut off line for 37 at-large bids + 10-16 conference Champions hits between 47-54. Looking back, about 90-95% of the Top 50 in the RPI end up making the dance (meaning 2-5 misses in Top 50), and 84-92% for KenPom (4-8 misses in Top 50) by my recollection.
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