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  1. #1
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    2022-23 NET/Bracketology Discussion

    First, an important disclaimer:
    In this thread, we will be discussing the NET rankings and projections of the NCAA Tournament field, and speculating about their potential impact on Duke's resume and seeding come March. Many find this a fun topic to debate and discuss. Others find it silly project things so far in advance. (Some fall in both of the previous camps.) Many on this board feel quite strongly that such discussions are unnecessary distractions. Some are quite loud about this latter opinion, but are completely justified in their feelings.

    All that said, this is a thread to discuss the NET/Bracketology, not to discuss the value of such discussions. No one is making you read or participate in this thread. Perhaps we can make another thread where we hate on Joe Lunardi and the silliness of the quadrant system, but the (perhaps unfortunate) reality is that they are major parts of the college basketball landscape as it currently stands, so there should certainly be a place on this board to have fun discussing and speculating on these topics.

    Second, a reminder about the quadrant system:
    The committee splits a team's resume into games falling into four quadrants to facilitate comparison. Games at home against NET 1-30, at a neutral site against NET 1-50, and away against NET 1-75 are "Quadrant 1 (Q1)" games. "Quadrant 2 (Q2)" games are home 31-75, neutral 51-100, and away 76-135. Q3 and Q4 go farther down the rankings.

    Generally speaking, a team's Q1 record has been very relevant when it comes to selecting the top seeds in the tournament. Avoiding "bad" losses in Q3 and 4 has been another seemingly important factor. That said, we know the whims of the committee change year to year, so take that all with a grain of salt.



    With that out of the way, I started the thread today because the first edition of the NET rankings are out. These should be read with a MAJOR grain of salt, as historically there tend to be major outliers in the NET rankings early on. This year is no exception: while the Top 4 are quite reasonable, No's 5 and 7 (Mississippi State and Sam Houston, respectively) are way off from the consensus. Duke comes in at No. 17, which seems quite reasonable given where we stand in the polls.

    Some interesting things to note as it pertains to our resume moving forward (here's our Team Sheet):
    -Xavier starts out at No. 48 in the NET, meaning our neutral site win over them just squeaks into Q1 territory. I imagine we'll be rooting fairly hard for Xavier in the Big East.
    -Similarly, Ohio State is NET No. 28... our home victory over them will be Q1 if they stay in the Top 30.
    -Jacksonville is a nice surprise at No. 103 in the NET, making one of our "cupcake" games a Q3 rather than Q4. Not a big deal by any means, but it does help our SOS. Unfortunately, Oregon State is down at NET #224... since we played them on a neutral site, they'd need to get inside No. 200 for that to move to Q3.
    -Both of our losses are firmly in Q1: Purdue is NET No. 3, and Kansas is NET No. 18.
    -The ACC is down, but at first glance perhaps not quite as bad as last year. Our ACC schedule currently provides us 5 fairly secure Q1 opportunities: @UVA, @UNC, @Va Tech, @Miami, and @NC State. Our home games against UNC, Va Tech, and Miami have the potential to become Q1 (UNC is No. 39, Va Tech No. 41, Miami No. 47). Road contests at Wake (No. 86) and Clemson (No. 88) also could make it to Q1.
    -Iowa is Net No. 20, meaning our game on Tuesday provides the opportunity for a solid Q1 win that should stand up barring a collapse from the Hawkeyes in Big Ten play.

    Let the discussion begin!
    Last edited by scottdude8; 12-05-2022 at 01:05 PM.
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  2. #2
    Can uncheat play its way onto the bubbLLLLe???

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke79UNLV77 View Post
    Can uncheat play its way onto the bubbLLLLe???
    We joke, but UNC does not have a tourney worthy resume right now... even though one's resume in December means nothing. Their best wins are all in Q2 and against teams whose current NET rankings are likely a bit inflated (JMU, Charleston). Meanwhile, they have no Q1 wins, although they have an opportunity for one on a neutral site against Ohio State (and another marquee non-conference matchup against a Michigan team that's currently ranked at NET 114, but very likely will end up much higher than that). They also have already squandered one of their conference Q1 opportunities against Virginia Tech, and their schedule is such that four of their remaining 5 current ACC Q1 games are against us and Virginia (they avoid Miami and NC State on the road). While their ACC schedule appears much easier than ours based on the home/road split, it also gives them less opportunities for impactful wins.

    Long story short, if UNC loses both their remaining marquee non-conference games against Ohio State and Michigan, you could make the argument they'd be on the wrong side of the bubble. Conceivably they'd be on the going 1-1 in those games.
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  4. #4
    I appreciate the introduction to this thread, and I will certainly be starting my own thread to whine and complain about the constant obssessing over meaningless prognostication. I'll endeavor to leave this particular thread to those who feel it necessary to spend hours in December handwringing over what might happen in March. And I will let folks here discuss "Joey Brackets" ad infinitum.

    Seriously though, have fun. I'll check in some time around mid-February and try to curtail the snark between now and then.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    ... a Michigan team that's currently ranked at NET 114, but very likely will end up much higher than that...
    Are you sure about that?
    1g1odm.jpg

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by azzefkram View Post
    Are you sure about that?
    1g1odm.jpg
    Haha... I stayed very purposely vague there. I think history shows that a middle of the pack Big Ten team likely won't end up ranked below 100 in the NET. I think it's reasonable to assume that's the floor for Michigan based off of Hunter Dickinson alone. I will refrain from poking the bear myself and leave it at that
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  7. #7
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    The NET likes the Iowa win

    Our eyes told us last night was a great win. The computers, via the NET, agree: we moved up from #18 to #12 with the victory, primarily jumping idle teams (rather than teams that themselves lost). Iowa remains firmly in the NET Top 50 (#33), so this should be a Q1 win come March, and has the potential to be an especially impressive Q1 win if Iowa does well in the B1G.

    Very interesting to note that, as of now, we are tied for the lead in Q1 victories with, of all teams, Purdue. 3 Q1 non-conference wins could end up being an important factor come selection time.

    Also, an interesting data point about how the NET might be influenced by less-than-impressive victories: despite pulling it out against UNC-G, Arkansas fell nine spots, from #21 to #30, after a very competitive game against subpar competition at home. The inner workings of the NET remain somewhat mysterious in terms of how various "dork polls" influence things, but this is anecdotal evidence for style points playing a factor, especially against subpar competition.
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  8. #8
    As far as an early season schedule goes, you have to like where Duke stands. Duke is currently tied with Purdue for most Q1 wins with 3. The schedule gets a little easier for the next few weeks. Duke won't play another KenPom top 50 team until the home game against Miami on 1/21. The Xavier, Ohio State, and Iowa wins are all likely going to hold up very well by the end of the season. If Duke is a top 2 finisher in the ACC without any embarrassing losses, they should be rewarded with at least a 4 seed or higher in the NCAAT.

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    In attempt to discuss the Net rankings and not "the value of the discussion" my next comments are right on the edge.

    The 20-game schedule in the ACC means that right now ACC teams are being judged against other conferences. There are no opportunities for head-to-head comparisons in late January or February. Therefore, how ACC teams do against the other conferences right now is critical.

    *Duke is in great shape as discussed by scottdude in his initial post and the wins vs OSU and Iowa help the entire conference.
    *UVA is in great shape but a near loss to JMU last night would have hurt the conference.
    *Miami's 18 pt loss to Md does not help but the win against Rutgers does help.
    *VT's wins against Penn State and Minnesota help and critical games against Dayton and OK state are coming up.
    *Clemson's close losses to USC and Iowa may have minimal impact once March arrives.
    *Pitt's win at Northwestern is on the plus side but bad losses to WVa and Michigan could hurt the conference.
    *Syracuse has been a disaster for the ACC. A 29 point loss to Illinois followed by a win at Notre Dame makes ND look bad.
    *GT has bad losses to Marquette and Iowa but a win against UGA that helps.
    *NCSU has a 6-point loss to Kansas that is not too bad but no real good non-conference wins.
    *Wake has wins against UGA and Wisconsin and a not so bad 2-point loss to LMU.
    *ND has a big win against MSU and critical games against Marquette and UGA on the horizon.
    *UNC needs a win or two against OSU or Michigan otherwise when seeding takes place the comparisons will be between UNC and other ACC teams rather than between UNC and teams in other leagues.
    *And lets just leave BC, FSU and Louisville out of the conversation

    So, the story about how the ACC compares to other conferences is almost completed for this season and will affect bids and seedings.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    In attempt to discuss the Net rankings and not "the value of the discussion" my next comments are right on the edge.

    The 20-game schedule in the ACC means that right now ACC teams are being judged against other conferences. There are no opportunities for head-to-head comparisons in late January or February. Therefore, how ACC teams do against the other conferences right now is critical.

    *Duke is in great shape as discussed by scottdude in his initial post and the wins vs OSU and Iowa help the entire conference.
    *UVA is in great shape but a near loss to JMU last night would have hurt the conference.
    *Miami's 18 pt loss to Md does not help but the win against Rutgers does help.
    *VT's wins against Penn State and Minnesota help and critical games against Dayton and OK state are coming up.
    *Clemson's close losses to USC and Iowa may have minimal impact once March arrives.
    *Pitt's win at Northwestern is on the plus side but bad losses to WVa and Michigan could hurt the conference.
    *Syracuse has been a disaster for the ACC. A 29 point loss to Illinois followed by a win at Notre Dame makes ND look bad.
    *GT has bad losses to Marquette and Iowa but a win against UGA that helps.
    *NCSU has a 6-point loss to Kansas that is not too bad but no real good non-conference wins.
    *Wake has wins against UGA and Wisconsin and a not so bad 2-point loss to LMU.
    *ND has a big win against MSU and critical games against Marquette and UGA on the horizon.
    *UNC needs a win or two against OSU or Michigan otherwise when seeding takes place the comparisons will be between UNC and other ACC teams rather than between UNC and teams in other leagues.
    *And lets just leave BC, FSU and Louisville out of the conversation

    So, the story about how the ACC compares to other conferences is almost completed for this season and will affect bids and seedings.
    Yeah the ACC's non-conference is definitely a mixed bag... but it at least feels like it's in better shape than last season. The fact that there's another top team besides us (UVA) is a big difference, and gives us the opportunity for a top-of-resume win (maybe two if we play in the tourney). Hopefully UNC implodes, but if they don't they should be another Top 25 caliber team. I also think Va Tech is right on that edge, especially if they can end their non-conference strong with Dayton and OK State. Considering we were not only the only ranked ACC team, but the only ACC team even sniffing the rankings for most of last year, that's a non-trivial improvement.

    In terms of the NET, every ACC team other than BC, FSU, Louisville, and Syracuse is in the Top 150. Somehow Georgia Tech lost ground after beating Georgia last night, but that may be because the Bulldogs aren't much to write home about. Notre Dame is currently NET 140 despite being 6-2... I have to think that will equilibrate and they'll sniff the Top 75. The remaining 9 ACC teams (including us) are all ranked at least 91, meaning they're well within shouting distance of representing a road Q1 opportunity. That's not great, but not horrendous.

    Given the weirdness of early season NET rankings, to compare apples to apples you need to look at where the ACC stood at this time last year to get a real comparison. At this point last year, we had only 8 teams amongst the Top 92, and only 4 teams in the Top 50. As mentioned above, this year we have 9 teams in the Top 91, and also 5 in the Top 50 (including No. 6 Virginia). So while we're a far cry from the other major conferences according to the NET, the ACC does seem to be better positioned than last year, and there's still time for some of the teams to improve their non-conference stock, as you alluded to.
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  11. #11

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    In attempt to discuss the Net rankings and not "the value of the discussion" my next comments are right on the edge.

    The 20-game schedule in the ACC means that right now ACC teams are being judged against other conferences. There are no opportunities for head-to-head comparisons in late January or February. Therefore, how ACC teams do against the other conferences right now is critical.

    *Duke is in great shape as discussed by scottdude in his initial post and the wins vs OSU and Iowa help the entire conference.
    *UVA is in great shape but a near loss to JMU last night would have hurt the conference.
    *Miami's 18 pt loss to Md does not help but the win against Rutgers does help.
    *VT's wins against Penn State and Minnesota help and critical games against Dayton and OK state are coming up.
    *Clemson's close losses to USC and Iowa may have minimal impact once March arrives.
    *Pitt's win at Northwestern is on the plus side but bad losses to WVa and Michigan could hurt the conference.
    *Syracuse has been a disaster for the ACC. A 29 point loss to Illinois followed by a win at Notre Dame makes ND look bad.
    *GT has bad losses to Marquette and Iowa but a win against UGA that helps.
    *NCSU has a 6-point loss to Kansas that is not too bad but no real good non-conference wins.
    *Wake has wins against UGA and Wisconsin and a not so bad 2-point loss to LMU.
    *ND has a big win against MSU and critical games against Marquette and UGA on the horizon.
    *UNC needs a win or two against OSU or Michigan otherwise when seeding takes place the comparisons will be between UNC and other ACC teams rather than between UNC and teams in other leagues.
    *And lets just leave BC, FSU and Louisville out of the conversation

    So, the story about how the ACC compares to other conferences is almost completed for this season and will affect bids and seedings.

    So, many of these games are in the rear view mirror now. I guess the idea of holiday tournaments faded away years ago and I never noticed.

    If the conference results line up with the non league play, I'd have to say that the ACC is looking like a 5 bid league:
    Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami, and UNC
    Except for UNC, if these teams don't damage themselves in conference play, they should be in the tourney.
    UNC is weird. Their KenPom rank is fine, but they have lost to every decent team they have played, and their best win is a neutral(?) court win against Portland. They do still have Ohio State and Michigan coming up.

    The next tier looks something like:
    NC State, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest. Maybe also Syracuse and Notre Dame.
    None of these teams were good outside the conference, but none of them were horrible, so there is some chance that a really strong conference record could play them onto the bubble.
    OK, well, Syracuse was kind of bad. They have a similar KenPom rank, but some of their their losses are fugly.
    Notre Dame's record and losses aren't BAD, but they sure didn't do anything to help themselves stand out.

    The rest of the conference is just glad that you can't face relegation in college basketball.
    Well, there is conference realignment, but that's all about football.

  12. #12
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    I hear you, Dlmzzz, but I believe the NCAA TSC knows the ACC was rated unfairly last season, and it won't happen this year. Also, it helps to have won the ACC-Big Ten challenge this year. I am hoping for seven teams this year.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I hear you, Dlmzzz, but I believe the NCAA TSC knows the ACC was rated unfairly last season, and it won't happen this year. Also, it helps to have won the ACC-Big Ten challenge this year. I am hoping for seven teams this year.
    7 is possible, but not easy. At least this year, there are some good wins to be had in conference play, so some of the middle of the pack teams can help their case.

    I do think that would mean that some of these teams:
    NC State, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest

    would have to steal some wins from these teams:
    Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami, and UNC

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlmzzz View Post
    7 is possible, but not easy. At least this year, there are some good wins to be had in conference play, so some of the middle of the pack teams can help their case.

    I do think that would mean that some of these teams:
    NC State, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest

    would have to steal some wins from these teams:
    Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami, and UNC
    Absolutely -- if there is a huge chasm between fifth and sixth place, e.g., it may be hard for the TSC to jump over it.

    You have left Syracuse, FSU, and ND off your "potential list" -- and each could make some noise. GT, BC and Louisville? Not so much.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Absolutely -- if there is a huge chasm between fifth and sixth place, e.g., it may be hard for the TSC to jump over it.

    You have left Syracuse, FSU, and ND off your "potential list" -- and each could make some noise. GT, BC and Louisville? Not so much.
    FSU is currently 2-9 overall, and their only wins are against Mercer and Louisville (by just 2... at home). They already have a pair of Q3 losses and a pair of Q4 losses. I think we can quite comfortably rule them out as well.

    Similar story (though not as bad) for Syracuse: they are 6-4, with a pair of Q3 losses and no interesting wins. It would be a pretty shocking rebound for them to be relevant this year.

    Notre Dame also has a pair of Q3 losses, but they do at least have one interesting win over Michigan State. So they might be on the outer fringe of "could turn things around."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlmzzz View Post
    So, many of these games are in the rear view mirror now. I guess the idea of holiday tournaments faded away years ago and I never noticed.

    If the conference results line up with the non league play, I'd have to say that the ACC is looking like a 5 bid league:
    Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami, and UNC
    Except for UNC, if these teams don't damage themselves in conference play, they should be in the tourney.
    UNC is weird. Their KenPom rank is fine, but they have lost to every decent team they have played, and their best win is a neutral(?) court win against Portland. They do still have Ohio State and Michigan coming up.

    The next tier looks something like:
    NC State, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest. Maybe also Syracuse and Notre Dame.
    None of these teams were good outside the conference, but none of them were horrible, so there is some chance that a really strong conference record could play them onto the bubble.
    OK, well, Syracuse was kind of bad. They have a similar KenPom rank, but some of their their losses are fugly.
    Notre Dame's record and losses aren't BAD, but they sure didn't do anything to help themselves stand out.

    The rest of the conference is just glad that you can't face relegation in college basketball.
    Well, there is conference realignment, but that's all about football.
    FWIW, the NET seems to roughly agree with these tiers. Right now UVA and Duke have separated themselves from the rest of the ACC pack at #9 and #13 respectively, and both have 2 Q1 wins (our home win against OSU has fallen just outside Q1 territory for the time being).

    The next tier is Virginia Tech at #27 (if they stay in the Top 30 that's a big boost for the rest of the ACC in terms of a potential resume-boosting game), and UNC at #37... teams in this range typically would be on the right side of the bubble.

    Then there's the bubbly ACC teams: Miami at #55 and NC State at #58. If these teams stay in this range, a road victory would be Q1.

    Then there's the "outside chance" squads, who also have an outside chance of eventually representing a Q1 opportunity for us: Pitt at #83 and Wake at #86.

    There's then a big drop to Clemson at #121 (they've really fallen off the map after looking promising early), Georgia Tech at 143, Syracuse at #158, and Notre Dame at #164. There's an even bigger drop to the bottom 4 of the conference (starting with BC at #242).

    As the rankings start to equilibrate and outlier teams from mid/low majors descend down the rankings, most of these teams will get a bit of a bump. If UNC keeps stinking, though, they might equilibrate in the other direction as any pre-season skew dissipates. So to my eye, I see three teams that should make the tournament, three around the bubble, and two more with an outside shot of making it. If that ends up with us getting 6 teams in, that wouldn't be horrible, especially since we should have at least two (and potentially 3 if Va Tech continues to impress) top seeds.

    It is December though.
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    ^not that it changes your point about FSU, but the score of that game with Louisville was 75-53. If the Seminoles make a miraculous turnaround in the ACC, it can point to several injuries factoring in some of the early losses. (My parents met at FSU so I probably pay more attention to it than most here)

  18. #18
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    If we have a good season (I would definitely expect several away game losses in the conference), I think we could realistically be a top 10 team at the end of the regular season, especially with all the losses going on among top teams. I think a 2 or a 3 seed for us in the tournament is not unrealistic.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGDukesky View Post
    ^not that it changes your point about FSU, but the score of that game with Louisville was 75-53. If the Seminoles make a miraculous turnaround in the ACC, it can point to several injuries factoring in some of the early losses. (My parents met at FSU so I probably pay more attention to it than most here)
    Oh right, I misread that score. Still, at 2-9 and well outside the top-150, it's an incredibly steep climb for FSU. And yes, they've dealt some injuries. But those losses don't just go away, and the losses are really bad. And yes, they'll get Baba Miller back from NCAA suspension in 5 more games, which will make a big impact in 2023. But I doubt the committee will wipe away half of the season (especially as it is suspension related and not injury related), and nobody else of meaningful impact has missed more than one game (except for Gainey, who is out for the full year).

    So, I don't think they are realistically any sort of possibility for making the tournament (outside of winning the ACCT).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southgate0809 View Post
    If we have a good season (I would definitely expect several away game losses in the conference), I think we could realistically be a top 10 team at the end of the regular season, especially with all the losses going on among top teams. I think a 2 or a 3 seed for us in the tournament is not unrealistic.
    I think you're actually being a bit pessimistic with that projection. If the season ended today, and they seeded the tournament based solely off of the mostly non-conference slate played to this point, it's highly likely we'd be a 3 or 4 seed now. We're #13 in the NET, and two teams ahead of us (Florida Atlantic and Utah State) are clear early-season outliers. Our two Q1 wins are behind only 3 teams (Purdue, Kansas, and Wisconsin), and we have another game against OSU that is literally just outside that boundary. Our two losses have come against Top 10 teams at neutral sites, including a very close one against Kansas, so we have no bad losses.

    Now, the weak ACC means we have a smaller margin for error, but it's also worth recognizing that the Big Ten isn't anywhere near as strong this year as it was last year (evidenced by the ACC taking the Challenge and the NET rankings)... it seems like the Big 12 and SEC have separated themselves from the pack a bit. The ACC seems to be in a second tier of conferences behind them and with the Big Ten and Pac 12, and a bit above the Big East. With that in mind, we probably have a bit more wiggle room than last year, where any loss in the ACC was essentially a bad loss since the consensus was the conference was among the weakest amongst the Power 6.

    It's also worth remembering that our tougher than average (if I recall others' analyses correctly) ACC schedule may work in our favor for seeding. We get two cracks at Virginia Tech, both of which would currently be Q1 games. Our road games against Miami and NC State look like they'll be Q1 opportunities as well. And road contests against Virginia and UNC could be opportunities for marquee Q1 wins.

    I know we haven't looked as good as we might've hoped at various times this season, and the Oregon State/Purdue games left some bad tastes in our mouths. But as it stands, our resume is actually quite solid, with plenty of opportunities to improve. If we can avoid a "bad" Q3/Q4 loss, I think we'll be securely in the discussion for a Top 4 seed with as many as 5 ACC losses. If we stay under that number, especially if it includes some big Q1 wins, that could go much higher.
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