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JasonEvans
02-25-2013, 12:45 PM
The new polls are out and Duke is #3 in both the AP and the USA Today Coaches poll. The top 4 is the same in both polls.


Indiana
Gonzaga
Duke
Michigan


AP rounds out the top 5 with Miami, followed by Kansas, GTown, Florida, Michigan St, and Louisville. USA Today has it Kansas at #5 then Florida, Miami, Georgetown, Louisville, Michigan St.

I suppose it is worth nothing that NC St has dropped from even the "also receiving votes" category. Meanwhile, UNC makes a re-appearance in that category, getting 8 points in the AP poll and 3 in the Coaches. That makes Carolina ranked #34 in the AP and #37 in USAT.

-Jason "our ridiculous streak of being in the top 10 since the Carter Administration, or something like that, continues and seems relatively safe at the moment" Evans

JasonEvans
02-25-2013, 01:45 PM
@dukeblueplanet

Most consecutive weeks in top 10: Duke- 110 (dating back to 2007), 'Cuse 24, IU 17, Mich. 17, Gonzaga 9, FL 7, Miami 4 (AP)

FerryFor50
02-25-2013, 01:54 PM
The new polls are out and Duke is #3 in both the AP and the USA Today Coaches poll. The top 4 is the same in both polls.


Indiana
Gonzaga
Duke
Michigan


AP rounds out the top 5 with Miami, followed by Kansas, GTown, Florida, Michigan St, and Louisville. USA Today has it Kansas at #5 then Florida, Miami, Georgetown, Louisville, Michigan St.

I suppose it is worth nothing that NC St has dropped from even the "also receiving votes" category. Meanwhile, UNC makes a re-appearance in that category, getting 8 points in the AP poll and 3 in the Coaches. That makes Carolina ranked #34 in the AP and #37 in USAT.

-Jason "our ridiculous streak of being in the top 10 since the Carter Administration, or something like that, continues and seems relatively safe at the moment" Evans

One thing that bugs me about this week's poll and last week's poll.

Duke loses to a bubble team on the road (Maryland) by 2 while #2 in the polls, and after beating their biggest rivals - the next week, they drop to 6th.

Miami loses to a BAD Wake team on the road by 15 while #2 in the polls and drop only to 5th? Huh?

While the argument that "polls don't matter" is valid in November, it certainly isn't valid in March. It seems that some teams get a little more leeway than other teams when it comes to moving up/down in the polls....

sporthenry
02-25-2013, 02:12 PM
One thing that bugs me about this week's poll and last week's poll.

Duke loses to a bubble team on the road (Maryland) by 2 while #2 in the polls, and after beating their biggest rivals - the next week, they drop to 6th.

Miami loses to a BAD Wake team on the road by 15 while #2 in the polls and drop only to 5th? Huh?

While the argument that "polls don't matter" is valid in November, it certainly isn't valid in March. It seems that some teams get a little more leeway than other teams when it comes to moving up/down in the polls....

Why do polls matter in March? Are coaches/writers in the selection committee meetings?

As far as why Duke dropped to 6th, that had more to do with the other teams. Last week both Florida and Michigan State lost. Had they not lost, Miami would probably be 7th. I forget who lost the same week as Duke but this is much ado about nothing.

El_Diablo
02-25-2013, 02:18 PM
One thing that bugs me about this week's poll and last week's poll.

Duke loses to a bubble team on the road (Maryland) by 2 while #2 in the polls, and after beating their biggest rivals - the next week, they drop to 6th.

Miami loses to a BAD Wake team on the road by 15 while #2 in the polls and drop only to 5th? Huh?

While the argument that "polls don't matter" is valid in November, it certainly isn't valid in March. It seems that some teams get a little more leeway than other teams when it comes to moving up/down in the polls....

You cannot completely equate the situations just because both teams were #2. Duke was a distant #2 and dropped 207 points in the AP poll to fall into sixth place the following week. Miami was a close #2 last week (earning 20 first-place votes) and dropped 254 points this week. So Miami was in fact penalized more on a relative basis; they just had more of a cushion than Duke did. Also, a lot depends on what other peer teams have done as well. Miami might have fallen to #6 or #7 had MSU and Florida won out this week, but they both lost (twice for MSU), so they stayed behind Miami rather than jumping ahead of them.

-jk
02-25-2013, 02:57 PM
Why do polls matter in March? Are coaches/writers in the selection committee meetings?

As far as why Duke dropped to 6th, that had more to do with the other teams. Last week both Florida and Michigan State lost. Had they not lost, Miami would probably be 7th. I forget who lost the same week as Duke but this is much ado about nothing.

I've mentioned in another post: the human polls seem to track pretty well as a predictor for the first dozen or so seeds. After that, the computer rankings seem to track better. I like being near the top in March.

-jk

FerryFor50
02-25-2013, 03:06 PM
I've mentioned in another post: the human polls seem to track pretty well as a predictor for the first dozen or so seeds. After that, the computer rankings seem to track better. I like being near the top in March.

-jk

Yep.

The selection committee absolutely pays attention to the polls for the higher seeds.

sporthenry
02-25-2013, 03:20 PM
I've mentioned in another post: the human polls seem to track pretty well as a predictor for the first dozen or so seeds. After that, the computer rankings seem to track better. I like being near the top in March.

-jk

This isn't completely surprising since the computers tend to track some things that aren't backed up at all by the eye test. (i.e. Wisconsin or Pitt on the 2 line). Last year was the first year with the s-curve but even before that, there always seems to be several teams that are over/under seeded base on their ranking.




S-Curve (March 11th)
AP (March 12th)
Coaches (March 12th)


Kentucky
1
1
1


Syracuse
2
2
2


North Carolina
3
4
5


MSU
4
5
4


Kansas
5
6
6


Duke
6
8
8


OSU
7
7
7


Mizzou
8
3
3



So yes, there is some predictive nature to it all but I would venture to guess that Bracketologists do a better job predicting this than the polls. The polls are reactive, the selection committee looks at the full body of work. Fair or not, you beat a team in November, they weight that more heavily than the polls who are all about recency. I just don't see much value in the polls especially when we already know what the committee cares about.

Lauderdevil
02-25-2013, 03:51 PM
One thing that bugs me about this week's poll and last week's poll.

Duke loses to a bubble team on the road (Maryland) by 2 while #2 in the polls, and after beating their biggest rivals - the next week, they drop to 6th.

Miami loses to a BAD Wake team on the road by 15 while #2 in the polls and drop only to 5th? Huh?

While the argument that "polls don't matter" is valid in November, it certainly isn't valid in March. It seems that some teams get a little more leeway than other teams when it comes to moving up/down in the polls....

We can't truly argue that Miami ought to be ranked lower -- or we should be higher -- until Duke takes care of business against Miami on Saturday.

bbosbbos
02-25-2013, 04:12 PM
We need to focus on winning all games till the end of regular season. And then we need to take care of business in ACC tourney. Afterwards, ranking is still not important, coz we need to concentrate on games till April.

Ranking as #1 does not mean anything. zona and Lehigh did not care about it. All teams against us always play 200% of their capability. It is sad, winning other teams does not promote our players' draft ranking while beating us generates a lot impacts.

matt1
02-25-2013, 05:10 PM
You cannot completely equate the situations just because both teams were #2. Duke was a distant #2 and dropped 207 points in the AP poll to fall into sixth place the following week. Miami was a close #2 last week (earning 20 first-place votes) and dropped 254 points this week. So Miami was in fact penalized more on a relative basis; they just had more of a cushion than Duke did. Also, a lot depends on what other peer teams have done as well. Miami might have fallen to #6 or #7 had MSU and Florida won out this week, but they both lost (twice for MSU), so they stayed behind Miami rather than jumping ahead of them.

We also had 20 #1 votes.

El_Diablo
02-25-2013, 06:12 PM
We also had 20 #1 votes.

Okay, that's an interesting data point that I did not notice, but my point still stands: counting actual votes, Miami fell more week-over-week after their loss to Wake Forest than we did after we lost to Maryland, but Miami was starting from a stronger position. In the AP poll, we had 1,515 points and fell to 1,308 (a drop of 207 points). Miami had 1,571 points and dropped to 1,317 (a drop of 254 points).

FerryFor50
02-25-2013, 07:50 PM
We can't truly argue that Miami ought to be ranked lower -- or we should be higher -- until Duke takes care of business against Miami on Saturday.

Absolutely valid point...

Olympic Fan
02-25-2013, 11:44 PM
I'm always fascinated when there is a significant difference between the AP (writers) poll and th Coaches poll.

To me, the difference between No. 5 for Miami in the AP and 7th in the coaches' poll is fairly significant.

What's up with that? Maybe the coaches did recognize that Miami's loss at Wake was actually worse than than Duke's last loss at Maryland.

gam7
02-26-2013, 03:27 AM
@dukeblueplanet

Most consecutive weeks in top 10: Duke- 110 (dating back to 2007), 'Cuse 24, IU 17, Mich. 17, Gonzaga 9, FL 7, Miami 4 (AP)

In the current poll, Syracuse fell out of the top 10 (to 12th), so they shouldn't appear on this list. After their loss to Marquette tonight, they'll probably drop another couple of spots, though losing on the road to a ranked team shouldn't drop them too far.

UrinalCake
02-26-2013, 03:04 PM
All teams against us always play 200% of their capability.

Except there are some teams like Maryland who take it up another notch and play at 300% of their absolute limit. 8-)

JasonEvans
02-26-2013, 08:04 PM
With Indiana about to go down to Minnesota, I wonder if the powers that be in college hoops will be rooting hard for Duke to win both games this week (a tough road game and a home game against a top 5 opponent) so they can vault us over Gonzaga into the top spot. I know Gonzaga at #1 will be a fun story for the media, but college sports are ruled by the Big Conferences and Gonzaga ain't part of that club yet.

-Jason "the computers and stuff say that Gonzaga is deserving of the #1 ranking" Evans

dukelifer
02-26-2013, 08:21 PM
Down goes number 1. Gonzaga will be number 1- that is unbelievable. They have played 3 ranked teams and lost 2 of 3

antseg
02-26-2013, 08:23 PM
If Duke beats Miami I think the blue devils will have a legitimate claim to #1. I expect Indiana to still get a few #1 votes.

People are going to have a hard time ranking Gonzaga #1.

ChrisP
02-26-2013, 08:27 PM
If Duke beats Miami I think the blue devils will have a legitimate claim to #1. I expect Indiana to still get a few #1 votes.

People are going to have a hard time ranking Gonzaga #1.

Umm, we gotta take care of business first at UVA, but otherwise, I agree wholeheartedly with what you said :cool:

FerryFor50
02-26-2013, 08:29 PM
Down goes number 1. Gonzaga will be number 1- that is unbelievable. They have played 3 ranked teams and lost 2 of 3

Every year since Gonzaga was a Cinderella team, they have been ranked high and flamed out early in the tourny. I don't expect this year to be any different. At least Butler has earned their reputation with two trips to the title game. Gonzaga gets a lot of credit for a team that has not made it past the Elite 8. They have been consistent for sure, but their conference is also consistently bad.

Lauderdevil
02-26-2013, 08:30 PM
Down goes number 1. Gonzaga will be number 1- that is unbelievable. They have played 3 ranked teams and lost 2 of 3

And the lone win was a one-point squeaker over then-no.-22 (now 15) Oklahoma State.

JasonEvans
02-26-2013, 09:46 PM
So, if Gonzaga ascends to #1 they will be the first #1 team from a non-BCS conference since Memphis was #1 from Jan 21 - Feb 18 in 2008. Prior to that, St. Joe's was #1 for the week of March 9th in 2004. You then have to go back to UMass from Dec 26 - Feb 19 in 1996 to find another non-BCS team to be #1. UMass was also #1 a few times during the 1995 season. The only other non-BCS team to be #1 since 1990 is UNLV who last did it the entire 1991 season. Temple was #1 for a while at the end of the 1988 season.

So, that's some pretty select company that Gonzaga could be joining.

-Jason "Duke wins at Virginia and over top-5 Miami could spoil the Gonzaga party, especially if they struggle at BYU" Evans

TexHawk
02-26-2013, 09:54 PM
And the lone win was a one-point squeaker over then-no.-22 (now 15) Oklahoma State.

As noted in the other thread, Gonzaga beat up on K-State pretty badly, when they were unranked. They are now #13. And one of those losses to ranked teams (Illinois), is no longer a ranked team.

El_Diablo
02-26-2013, 09:58 PM
Gonzaga has had a pretty weak conference schedule, but they also had a quality non-conference schedule (#48 in the nation, or for comparison's sake, 240 spots ahead of Indiana's). So yeah, they are 16-0 against teams outside of the top 100. But Indiana is 14-0 against those teams.

Gonzaga has beaten both #13 Kansas State and #15 Oklahoma State. They are 5-0 against the Big 12. 1-0 against the ACC. 1-0 against the PAC 12. Yes, their two losses were to Illinois and @ #20 Butler (by one point). But Indiana lost to both of those teams as well.

I think Gonzaga deserves to be ranked #1 for a week (especially if Duke cannot take care of business this week). Let the Zags have their moment--it's just a subjective poll, and they definitely will not have been the worst team to be ranked #1.

sporthenry
02-26-2013, 10:10 PM
The other thing to mention with Gonzaga is that their 2 biggest wins, K-State and Oklahoma State were during or very close to Christmas break. Oklahoma State was a 1 point win there on December 31st. So it is safe to assume most home court advantage was lost. And they beat K-State in Washington on December 15th.

Luckily for us, we'll get to see how good they truly are in March but I don't consider myself a true believer in them. Since the first of the year, they've essentially played 2 second round games against St. Mary's. I can't see them winning a S16 and an E8 match up.

Wander
02-26-2013, 10:12 PM
The kenpom rankings have BYU as about as good as Maryland or Tennessee, and they get Gonzaga at home on Thursday. So...

Ichabod Drain
02-27-2013, 07:45 AM
Quote from Club Trillions power rankings on Gonzaga:

"if you plan on filling out a tournament bracket this year, this is something you need to know: Gonzaga is good. Like, really good. Like, they have the best frontcourt in the country to go along with skilled, athletic guards. They aren't just power-ranked second in the most powerful power rankings in college basketball by default. The Foreigners can hoop."

Take it for what it's worth. The times I have seen them play they do look really good. But it is hard to judge based on the level of competition.

Dr. Rosenrosen
02-27-2013, 08:09 AM
Quote from Club Trillions power rankings on Gonzaga:

"if you plan on filling out a tournament bracket this year, this is something you need to know: Gonzaga is good. Like, really good. Like, they have the best frontcourt in the country to go along with skilled, athletic guards. They aren't just power-ranked second in the most powerful power rankings in college basketball by default. The Foreigners can hoop."

Take it for what it's worth. The times I have seen them play they do look really good. But it is hard to judge based on the level of competition.
My wife is a Zag so I have watched them a lot on late night espn. They are the real deal. The trio of Olynyk, Harris and Pangos is no joke. Bell is no slouch either. I think this is their toughest, most complete team ever - inside and out. We'll see.

75Crazie
02-27-2013, 10:41 AM
Umm, we gotta take care of business first at UVA, but otherwise, I agree wholeheartedly with what you said :cool:
I was wondering if I was the only one who thinks that the Miami game is NOT Duke's toughest game this week.

scottdude8
02-27-2013, 10:44 AM
I've got to think if we get through two tough games this week (@Virginia, a desperate team on the bubble, and home against a Top 5 team in Miami) the voters would put us No. 1 instead of the Zags, because historically they've been loathe to put a team with a Gonzaga-like resume (lots of wins, but most in a middling conference) at No. 1, while they're fine keeping them symbolically in the top 5 or so. That being said, I could care less as long as we get our No. 1 seed, and that's looking more and more likely barring a catastrophe.

Wander
02-27-2013, 10:53 AM
I was wondering if I was the only one who thinks that the Miami game is NOT Duke's toughest game this week.

Great point, and for whatever it's worth, kenpom agrees.

Listen to Quants
02-27-2013, 11:01 AM
I'm always fascinated when there is a significant difference between the AP (writers) poll and th Coaches poll.

To me, the difference between No. 5 for Miami in the AP and 7th in the coaches' poll is fairly significant.

What's up with that? Maybe the coaches did recognize that Miami's loss at Wake was actually worse than than Duke's last loss at Maryland.

It's not much 'comfort' but for what it's worth, the average numerical position of Miami in the AP is #5.25 and in the Coaches 6.75 a little closer. :)

COYS
02-27-2013, 12:00 PM
My wife is a Zag so I have watched them a lot on late night espn. They are the real deal. The trio of Olynyk, Harris and Pangos is no joke. Bell is no slouch either. I think this is their toughest, most complete team ever - inside and out. We'll see.

KenPom agrees and has them at #4 with a profile almost identical to Duke's. They rank 3rd on offense and 23rd on D compared to Duke at 5 on O and 22 on D. However, as KenPom himself mentioned in 2009 when Memphis was a clear number one in his rankings heading into the tournament, their ranking probably is inflated a bit by beating up on bad competition, albeit very consistently. However, I agree that this is probably their best team. When I've watched them they've been impressive.

Olympic Fan
02-27-2013, 01:25 PM
I was wondering if I was the only one who thinks that the Miami game is NOT Duke's toughest game this week.

Yes and no.

In a vacuum, I think Virginia at Virginia is tougher than Miami in Durham, yes.

But considering the schedule, I'm not sure it is. At least Duke gets four days off to prepare for Virginia. But that game ends after 11 p.m. Thursday ... the team gets back to Durham between 3:30 and 4 a.m. Friday and they play Miami at 6 p.m. Saturday -- just 43 hours after the Virginia game -- with almost no preperation or practice and little rest.

Miami plays Wednesday night at home. So they have an extra day.

At this stage, I think that's a big difference. I think fatigue had a lo to do with the loss to Maryland. Of course, we'll have the home crowd for support and that should provide some energy ... but Miami is a lot better than Maryland. How will Curry respond to two games in under 48 hours?

It's going to be a TOUGH 48 hours.

Tripping William
02-27-2013, 02:02 PM
The kenpom rankings have BYU as about as good as Maryland or Tennessee, and they get Gonzaga at home on Thursday. So...

My multiple BYU sources & Gonzaga sources both tell me, somewhat independently, that BYU has no shot tomorrow if Gonzaga shows up at all. I tend to believe them.

Kedsy
02-27-2013, 02:42 PM
It's going to be a TOUGH 48 hours.

Nobody seems to be talking about this yet, but after those tough 48 hours, we play our next game on Tuesday (rather than the usual Wednesday or Thursday), so another quick turnaround for Seth and company.

CDu
02-27-2013, 04:39 PM
Nobody seems to be talking about this yet, but after those tough 48 hours, we play our next game on Tuesday (rather than the usual Wednesday or Thursday), so another quick turnaround for Seth and company.

At least that leaves 2 full days of rest and no travel. But yes, that's a potentially-exhausting 3-game stretch over 5 days.

Olympic Fan
02-27-2013, 05:26 PM
Nobody seems to be talking about this yet, but after those tough 48 hours, we play our next game on Tuesday (rather than the usual Wednesday or Thursday), so another quick turnaround for Seth and company.

It is worrisome, but (1) the team has two full days rest with no travel and (2) it's a home game against the worst team in the ACC.

If VPI was a little better, there might be a real concern -- this is a classic trap game. But Duke should win and then have three full days to get ready for the trip to Chapel Hill.

If Duke survives its Thursday/Saturday gauntlet, I will be very happy about the way the final week of the season sets up.

uh_no
02-27-2013, 05:44 PM
It is worrisome, but (1) the team has two full days rest with no travel and (2) it's a home game against the worst team in the ACC.

If VPI was a little better, there might be a real concern -- this is a classic trap game. But Duke should win and then have three full days to get ready for the trip to Chapel Hill.

If Duke survives its Thursday/Saturday gauntlet, I will be very happy about the way the final week of the season sets up.

it's not even that bad of a trip.....8 miles, all downhill :)

Lauderdevil
02-27-2013, 06:08 PM
My wife is a Zag so I have watched them a lot on late night espn. They are the real deal. The trio of Olynyk, Harris and Pangos is no joke. Bell is no slouch either. I think this is their toughest, most complete team ever - inside and out. We'll see.

Can anyone doubt, though, that if the Zags were playing a B1G schedule they'd get bounced around playing multiple games vs. Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota? (They already lost to Illinois.) They'd win some, for sure, but I can't see how they could come close to emerging with fewer than six losses so far. (And by the way, we'd have a few more losses too.) That's the problem with a weak schedule: there's no way to prove how good they are one way or another -- at least until the Tournament.

sporthenry
02-27-2013, 08:23 PM
Can anyone doubt, though, that if the Zags were playing a B1G schedule they'd get bounced around playing multiple games vs. Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota? (They already lost to Illinois.) They'd win some, for sure, but I can't see how they could come close to emerging with fewer than six losses so far. (And by the way, we'd have a few more losses too.) That's the problem with a weak schedule: there's no way to prove how good they are one way or another -- at least until the Tournament.

I agree. I think Gonzaga would be in that Wisconsin/OSU crowd. Other thing is that they have to get up for a handful of conference games and can sleepwalk through the rest. In the Big 10, you just can't do that. Even Penn State has Big 10 recruits despite it being Penn State. You can't just sleepwalk through a game like you can in the WCC.

But who knows, maybe Gonzaga is well rested come tournament time. I just can't see them getting through the 2nd weekend unless they get some upsets and even then, I don't really consider them national title contenders.

vick
02-27-2013, 08:55 PM
I agree. I think Gonzaga would be in that Wisconsin/OSU crowd. Other thing is that they have to get up for a handful of conference games and can sleepwalk through the rest. In the Big 10, you just can't do that. Even Penn State has Big 10 recruits despite it being Penn State. You can't just sleepwalk through a game like you can in the WCC.

But who knows, maybe Gonzaga is well rested come tournament time. I just can't see them getting through the 2nd weekend unless they get some upsets and even then, I don't really consider them national title contenders.

I'll caveat this with the fact that I have seen a grand total of zero full games with Gonzaga, so I don't know much about them specifically. But doesn't history suggest that "little conference" teams who make it to #1 in fact tend to do pretty well in the tournament? Using Jason Evans's list of the last ones (and ignoring Calipari vacated-game shenanigans):

Memphis '08 - National Runner-up
St. Joe's '04 - Elite Eight
UMass '96 - Final Four
UMass '95 - Elite Eight
UNLV '91 - Final Four
UNLV '90 (preseason #1) - Champion
Temple '88 - Elite Eight

I haven't run the data, but I would suspect this performance--making the Final Four over half the time and never failing to make the Elite Eight--is better on average than 'BCS conference' teams who make it to #1 during the season.

Now you certainly may be right about Gonzaga in particular, I don't know much about them, but weaker nonconference schedules don't seem in general to be an impediment to going deep in the tournament.

sporthenry
02-27-2013, 09:25 PM
I'll caveat this with the fact that I have seen a grand total of zero full games with Gonzaga, so I don't know much about them specifically. But doesn't history suggest that "little conference" teams who make it to #1 in fact tend to do pretty well in the tournament? Using Jason Evans's list of the last ones (and ignoring Calipari vacated-game shenanigans):

Memphis '08 - National Runner-up
St. Joe's '04 - Elite Eight
UMass '96 - Final Four
UMass '95 - Elite Eight
UNLV '91 - Final Four
UNLV '90 (preseason #1) - Champion
Temple '88 - Elite Eight

I haven't run the data, but I would suspect this performance--making the Final Four over half the time and never failing to make the Elite Eight--is better on average than 'BCS conference' teams who make it to #1 during the season.

Now you certainly may be right about Gonzaga in particular, I don't know much about them, but weaker nonconference schedules don't seem in general to be an impediment to going deep in the tournament.

Well Umass and UNLV seemed to the cream of the crop back then. This Gonzaga team will be #1 more by default than anything else. I don't really see any difference between this Gonzaga team and many of the Memphis teams apart from the other teams ahead of them losing.

Since 2000, you've had Cincinatti as a 2 seed sans Kenyon lose in the 2nd round and Temple as a 2 seed lose in the 2nd round.

2002 saw Cincy as a 1 seed lose in the 2nd round.

2004 saw 1 seed St. Joes lose in the E8 and 2 seed Gonzaga lose in the 2nd round.

2006 saw 1 seed Memphis lose in E8.

2007 saw 2 seed Memphis lose in E8.

2008 saw 1 seed Memphis lose in the finals.

2009 saw 2 seed Memphis lose in S16.

2011 saw 2 seed SD State lose in S16.

And in some of those situations, like St. Joes or San Diego State, they played in a much harder conference. But I digress, it certainly seems that most of their runs end in the 2nd weekend which is where I foresee Gonzaga having some issues. There is probably data to back up any conclusion one wants to make but playing two games like Ohio State and Florida in back to back games will be something that Gonzaga hasn't had to do. One thing going for them is that they don't play a ton of minutes. They are 64th in bench minutes and Olynyk only plays 25.4 MPG and Pangos is only one over 30 minutes.

uh_no
02-27-2013, 09:39 PM
I'll caveat this with the fact that I have seen a grand total of zero full games with Gonzaga, so I don't know much about them specifically. But doesn't history suggest that "little conference" teams who make it to #1 in fact tend to do pretty well in the tournament? Using Jason Evans's list of the last ones (and ignoring Calipari vacated-game shenanigans):

Memphis '08 - National Runner-up
St. Joe's '04 - Elite Eight
UMass '96 - Final Four
UMass '95 - Elite Eight
UNLV '91 - Final Four
UNLV '90 (preseason #1) - Champion
Temple '88 - Elite Eight

I haven't run the data, but I would suspect this performance--making the Final Four over half the time and never failing to make the Elite Eight--is better on average than 'BCS conference' teams who make it to #1 during the season.

Now you certainly may be right about Gonzaga in particular, I don't know much about them, but weaker nonconference schedules don't seem in general to be an impediment to going deep in the tournament.

it is in fact true that the little teams do pretty well.....we can average the round they reached to get a very coarse "metric"

average "ranking" of the small teams is 5

2011/12: UNC R8 UK R1 Syracuse R8
2010/11: OSU R8 Duke R16 KU R8
2009/10: KU R32 Texas R64 UK R8

after 3 years back of data, the power conferences are at an average ranking of 17

we'll keep going
08/09: UNC R1 Pitt R8 WFU R64 Duke R16 Connecticut R4
07/08: UNC R4 Tennessee R16
06/07: OSU R2 UF R1 UCLA R4 UNCR8 Wisconsin R32

so after 6 years of data our average ranking is ~15

so i'm sure there's some actual statistical test that proves that the little guys have performed better, but I think just looking at the numbers it's pretty clear

even if we removed the 4 teams that didn't make the sweet 16, the number would only be ~7
if we removed teams that didn't make the elite 8, the number would be 5.2.....

so even taking out the worst 1/3 performances of major teams, the little teams still do better.

obviously we can't then go say "gonzaga will have a good performance because the numbers say they will", but what does make sense is that the little guys likely have to be better to get the public accolades of a #1 ranking, and at least for our test, that seems to come true.....or perhaps more true, it's easier for a bad team from a big conference to win a few and reach #1, while having huge issues which doom them in the end

cptnflash
02-27-2013, 09:50 PM
Well Umass and UNLV seemed to the cream of the crop back then. This Gonzaga team will be #1 more by default than anything else. I don't really see any difference between this Gonzaga team and many of the Memphis teams apart from the other teams ahead of them losing.

Since 2000, you've had Cincinatti as a 2 seed sans Kenyon lose in the 2nd round and Temple as a 2 seed lose in the 2nd round.

2002 saw Cincy as a 1 seed lose in the 2nd round.

2004 saw 1 seed St. Joes lose in the E8 and 2 seed Gonzaga lose in the 2nd round.

2006 saw 1 seed Memphis lose in E8.

2007 saw 2 seed Memphis lose in E8.

2008 saw 1 seed Memphis lose in the finals.

2009 saw 2 seed Memphis lose in S16.

2011 saw 2 seed SD State lose in S16.

And in some of those situations, like St. Joes or San Diego State, they played in a much harder conference. But I digress, it certainly seems that most of their runs end in the 2nd weekend which is where I foresee Gonzaga having some issues. There is probably data to back up any conclusion one wants to make but playing two games like Ohio State and Florida in back to back games will be something that Gonzaga hasn't had to do. One thing going for them is that they don't play a ton of minutes. They are 64th in bench minutes and Olynyk only plays 25.4 MPG and Pangos is only one over 30 minutes.

In the tempo-free era, the only mid-major #1 NCAAT seed that has also been in the KenPom top 5 is 2008 Memphis. Before KP and other computer-based ranking systems gained national media attention, NCAAT seeding was even more egregiously inefficient than it is today. That 2008 Memphis team, as you noted, lost in the finals, which is hardly an underachievement for a #1 seed... and even then only because a rainbow/hail mary Mario Chalmers 3-ponter at the buzzer, which followed a bunch of missed free throws by Memphis. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Calipari didn't get the win that year... my point is that in the rare circumstances where the polls, seeding, and actual data are in agreement, history (albeit in a small sample) suggest that the mid-major team in question is really good. That appears to be the case with Gonzaga this year - they are #2 in the polls, in line for a #1 seed (depending on the outcome of their game in Provo tomorrow night), and are #4 in Pomeroy.

Kedsy
02-27-2013, 10:47 PM
In the tempo-free era, the only mid-major #1 NCAAT seed that has also been in the KenPom top 5 is 2008 Memphis.

Well, OK, except for example San Diego State in 2011 was #6 in Pomeroy (pre-tournament) and was a #2 seed, which is pretty close to your very limited criteria, and they lost in the Sweet 16.

And, unless you have the pre-tournament Pomeroy from 2008 you can't say with certainty that Memphis was top five (even though post-tournament they were #2), because six strong NCAA tournament games tend to make you jump up quite a bit in Pomeroy. For example, 2011 UConn jumped from #17 pre-tourney to #10 post-tourney. 2010 Butler jumped from #26 to #12. 2009 Michigan State jumped from #13 to #8. So maybe 2008 Memphis was KenPom top 5, but maybe it wasn't (FWIW, 2008 Memphis was pre-tournament #4 in Sagarin).

Plus Memphis in 2008 is a bad example anyway because unlike pretty much every other high-seeded mid-major in recent years, Memphis had been there before -- a #1 seed in 2006 and a #2 seed in 2007 -- so the novelty factor that seems to work against mid-majors wasn't present in Memphis' case.

I only have pre-tournament Pomeroy data for the past four years, but here are the mid-majors who went into the NCAA tournament with a top 10 Pomeroy ranking since 2009:

2009 Memphis (#1 Pomeroy), #2 seed, lost in Sweet 16
2009 Gonzaga (#5 Pomeroy), #4 seed, lost in Sweet 16
2010 BYU (#7 Pomeroy), #8 seed, lost in 2nd round
2011 San Diego State (#6 Pomeroy), #2 seed, lost in Sweet 16
2012 Memphis (#9 Pomeroy), #8 seed, lost in 1st round
2012 Wichita State (#10 Pomeroy), #5 seed, lost in 1st round

While it's true that most of these teams were underseeded based on their Pomeroy rank, it's also true that none of them would make a particularly strong argument that Gonzaga will excel in the tourney this season.