Archive for March 2015

What To Do With Virginia?

March 18, 2015

Perhaps the most difficult decision of the entire bracket will be to determine how much impact star guard and leading scorer Justin Anderson’s injury will have upon the chances of Virginia. Anderson was sidelined for eight games following a broken pinky finger on his left (shooting) hand. Shortly before he was scheduled to return, he underwent an appendectomy that kept him out the final week of the season. In his return to action in the ACC tournament, he appeared lifeless,  ‎going scoreless over 26 minutes of action in two games and missing all six of his shots.

Let’s attempt to measure the impact of one single player. Before Anderson’s injury, Virginia was one of the most balanced teams in the nation, a finely tuned machine on both sides of the ball that operated surgically on offense, working carefully to create high percentage shots and crashing the boards when those shots missed. As the #9 AdjOff and #1 AdjDef, Virginia was the only team besides Kentucky to be own a top ten efficiency profile on both sides of the ball.

The impact of ‎ Anderson’s injury upon Virginia’s offensive production can’t be understated, and is actually quite remarkable considering he is just one player. Virginia’s offense ranked #9th in AdjOff before his injury but finished the season ranked #26. Interpolating this for the eight games he missed, we can conclude that without Anderson, Virginia operated with an offense in the #75 range while he was unable to play, an absolutely stunning departure in terms of efficiency.

The good news for Virginia is that a similar scenario was not the case on defense, as they maintained the #1 AdjDef ranking despite Anderson’s absence. This alone is enough to qualify them as a Tier 3 Final Four contender regardless of their offense. However, the difference in the probability of actually making the Final Four between ‎the Tier 1 profile that Virginia once showed and the Tier 3 profile that they showed down the stretch is substantial.

The committee didn’t exactly do the Cavaliers any favors either. After spending most of the season a virtual lock for a one seed, winning the ACC regular season outright with a 16-2 record, a couple of stumbles late were enough to delegate them to a two seed. But worse than that, the committee added arguably the toughest 7 seed in Michigan State as a potential second round matchup, and easily the toughest 3 seed in Oklahoma, a Tier 2 Final Four contender, in the Sweet 16. The Spartans put Virginia out of the tournament last year, and the Sooners boast an AdjDef of #5, which could spell trouble if the Virginia offense endures the types of scoring droughts they have suffered from without Anderson at full strength.

‎Now, time to look at some positives. For one, although Virginia may have lost a seed line by losing to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament, an argument could be made that that was the best thing that could have happened to them. Anderson gets a full week to get healthier now and Virginia merely has to get through one hard game against Michigan State before he gets another week to get healthier. Also, the team they are most likely to face in the Regional Final, Villanova, actually presents a favorable matchup for Virginia. Villanova is a team that thrives on three point shooting, but Virginia’s defense has held opponents to .303 shooting from beyond the arc, the 7th best of any team in the tournament.

Another element of Virginia’s game that gives them matchup advantages is their ability to rebound. They rank third among tourney teams in total rebounding percentage, while Oklahoma is actually the ninth worst rebounding team in the tourney by that metric. Virginia also is very careful with the basketball, ranking sixth among tourney teams in least turnovers‎ per possession. It should also be noted that while technically a Tier 2 team, Oklahoma’s AdjO, at #50, ranks at the extreme outer cusp to meet that criteria. Even with Anderson at less than 100%, one would expect Virginia’s offense to be operating on at least an equal level to that, and with the Virginia defense superior to Oklahoma’s, we can expect the Cavaliers to pull this one out.

Conclusion: Virginia’s offense goes as Justin Anderson goes. At 100% effectiveness, they are a bonafide national title contender; with an offense operating like the 75th best in the nation, they figure to get a tough test in the second round regardless of how good their defense is. The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. But while their top-ranked defense and solid rebounding probably are good enough to carry them through some tough early matchups, Anderson’s production will be the determining factor as to whether they ultimately challenge for the title. This is truly anyone’s guess, but given the nature of the human body as it pertains to being injured (it heals with time), I’m going to take a shot on him improving steadily as the tournament goes on. At the very least, he should make more of an impact than he did in the ACC tournament, and with veteran teammates hungry to avenge last year’s Sweet 16 defeat combined with one of the best offensive coaching schemes and defenses in the land, bet against Virginia at your own peril.

What To Do With Gonzaga?

March 17, 2015

The prevailing school of thought with Gonzaga seems to be that they perennially suffer come tournament time due to a lack of seasoning. So the argument goes, Gonzaga piles up a lofty record year after year on the strength of wins over its overmatched WCC foes, and by the time the tourney rolls around, the Bulldogs simply don’t have the experience when faced with more difficult power conference opponents. They’re simply riding the heels of an old “cinderella” label and haven’t been able to live up to their billing since they have shed that label and reached more prominence nationally.

Historically speaking, this school of thought has proven to be true. But first, a quick fact that is often overlooked: Twenty years ago, a funny-sounding school named Gonzaga was ‎the type that could be used as a punchline in a joke about schedule weakness. (It actually was used as exactly that in the 1992 film “Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story”, where Gathers and teammate Bo Kimble express dismay at the quality of their opponents and complain, “Look at this! We’re playing Gonzaga. Gonzaga!”)

Then, in 1995, a funny thing happened: Gonzaga made the NCAA Tournament for the first time. In 1999, when ‎Mark Few became the head coach, they made the tourney again, and this time they made an improbable run to the Regional Final as a 10 seed, falling just short of the Final Four as they lost there to eventual National Champion UConn 67-62.

They haven’t missed the tournament since. But they also haven’t advanced to another Elite Eight either.

The question at hand then should be whether or not this is the best team Gonzaga has ever had, as it seems that it would have to be in order to justify giving these Bulldogs a shot to reverse the trend.

Attempting to quantify ‎this exactly gets tricky, as we don’t have efficiency data before 2002.

After the 1999 Elite Eight team, Gonzaga returned to two consecutive Sweet 16s in 2000 and 2001 as 10 and 12 seeds respectively. It’s quite remarkable that Gonzaga advanced to three straight Sweet 16s over that time period with three consecutive double digit seeds. I can’t find another example of that happening at any time in tournament history. Still, based upon where Gonzaga was seeded those years, it is safe to say that the expectations for this year’s team should be much higher.

Here’s a look at the Gonzaga squads that compare favorably to this years’s since the development of efficiency ratings:

‎2004: #2 Seed, 0.9244 Pyth, #5 AdjO/ #36 AdjD

Tier 2, Lost 2nd Round (Adam Morrison/ Ronny Turiaf team)

2005: #3 Seed, 0.8552 Pyth, #8 AdjO/ #132 AdjD

No Tier, Lost 2nd Round (Adam Morrison/ Ronny Turiaf team)

2006: #3 Seed, 0.8220 Pyth‎, #1 AdjO, #186 AdjD

Tier 3, Lost 2nd Round (Adam Morrison/ J.P. Batista team)

2009: #4 Seed, 0.9123 Pyth, #9 AdjO, #37 AdjD

Tier 2, Lost Sweet 16 (Josh Heytvelt team)

2013: #1 Seed, 0.9408 Pyth, #2 AdjO, #37 AdjD

Tier 2, Lost 2nd Round (Kelly Olynyk team)

2015: #2 Seed, 0.9440 Pyth, #6 AdjO, #20 AdjD

Tier 1, ???

‎The highest efficiency teams they’ve had are clearly the 2004, 2013 and 2015 teams. These teams all received seeds of 1 or 2, but with the previous teams both losing in the second round, is it appropriate to expect the same of this year’s team? Are there any differences?

I see a couple of big ones. First of all, while this isn’t Gonzaga’s highest seeded team ever (that was 2013), it is actually the best team that the school has ever assembled in terms of efficiency. But more importantly for my purposes, this is the ONLY team they’ve ever assembled to obtain a Tier 1 Final Four probability status. This is because the 2015 team is the only team to ever show efficiency rankings in the Top 25 on both sides of the ball with a Top 10 emphasis on at least one side of the ball. And, as explained in far more detail a couple of posts below, balance is a key element of a Final Four-caliber team, with 50% of historical Final Four teams meeting the Tier 1 criteria.

Conclusion: There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Gonzaga as the South regional champion. However, if you are hanging onto the “Gonzaga always underachieves in the ‎tournament” angle, know this: The 2015 edition of Gonzaga is indisputably the best team in the school’s history. So the comparison that you believe you are making is akin to comparing apples and oranges. And don’t think for a second that this year’s team isn’t aware of this underachiever stigma. Equipped with a superior arsenal relative to the teams that earned that reputation in the first place, they’ll be eager to put it to rest.

What To Do With Notre Dame?

March 17, 2015

I decided to look into this as Notre Dame possesses that classic “ripe for an upset” profile of  high-efficiency offense (#2) and terrible defense (#112).

Based on the tier criteria explained in my research that you have hopefully read by now, Notre Dame does qualify as a low-probability potential Final Four team based on the strength of their offense (Tier 3). Still, I wanted to take a closer look into teams like this and how they have performed in the tournament over time.

Here is a list of all the teams that have been given top 4 seeds in the tournament and that showed AdjDef efficiency numbers of 100+, and where they lost in the tournament:

(*: these teams were ranked 1st or 2nd in AdjOff and therefore were not eliminated as Final Four contenders)

2014 *Michigan‎ (109)- Elite 8

2014 *Duke (116)- 1st Round

2014 Creighton (152)- 2nd Round

2012 *Missouri (146)- 1st Round

2007 Texas (106)- 2nd Round

2006 Boston College (108)- Sweet 16

2006 *Gonzaga (186)‎- Sweet 16

2005 *Wake Forest (134)- 2nd Round

2005 Gonzaga (132)- 2nd Round

2004 *Wake Forest (135)- Sweet 16

2003 *Marquette (119)- Final Four

So, out of 11 teams given a Top 4 seed with AdjD numbers of 100+, just one made the Final Four and just one made the Elite Eight, while three made the Sweet 16, two lost in the first round and four lost in the second round. If we average these results, assigning a value to the round that each team exited the tournament, we get approximately 2.54…which predicts an average exit point between the second round and the Sweet 16, not exactly a ringing endorsement for the Irish.

What about if we look more specifically at the teams whose profile more closely resembles that of Notre Dame- the teams marked with an asterisk above that carried an AdjOff ranking in the top two, and thereby qualifying as potential Final Four teams like Notre Dame does? The results look a tad better, but not much, with the average exit point landing at 2.71…again predicting a loss before the Sweet 16 on average.

Conclusion: It’s certainly not impossible, but students of history should be very wary of supporting the Irish for a deep run in the tournament. With Kentucky a near lock to win the region, this section of the bracket offers value, especially as Notre Dame landed a tough draw having to play a gritty Butler squad or a heavily underseeded Texas team (11 seed with the efficiency profile of a 5 seed) in the second round. Both show stout defenses ranked in the Top 20, and could neutralize Notre Dame’s explosive offense.

Bracket Optimization- A Research Paper based on Ken Pomeroy’s Efficiency Model

March 16, 2015

Disclaimer: This exercise intends to identify a method in which to eliminate potential Final Four teams from contention as such based upon the statistical significance of their efficiency profile. This is an opposite and completely different exercise than picking the correct Final Four. Conversely, we will attempt to narrow down the contenders and then sort them in tiers in terms of their overall likelihood to advance that far based on historical data as it pertains to their efficiency profile.

Looking at KenPom data going back to 2002, after which there have been 13 years of Final Fours, or 52 teams, we find the following:

– 45 of the 52 teams (87%) owned an efficiency number in the Top 50 of both offense (AdjO) and defense (AdjD).

– Of the 7 teams over that timespan to advance without a Top 50 efficiency number on one side of the ball, 5 of them ranked either first or second on the other:

* 2003 Texas (#1 AdjO, #80 AdjD)

* 2003 Marquette (#2 AdjO, #119 AdjD)

* 2006 LSU (#65 AdjO, #2 AdjD)

* 2010 Butler (#57 AdjO, #2  AdjD)

* 2012 Louisville (#116 AdjO, #1 AdjD)

Notably, none of these teams won the National Title, and only one (Butler) advanced to the Title game.

– That leaves just two teams to have made the Final Four over the past thirteen years that fell outside the top 50 in one efficiency measure while failing to dominate at the other. Not surprisingly, they are widely considered the two biggest upset appearances in Final Four history (the only two 11 seeds to ever advance besides LSU in 1986.) Making up just 3.8% of the sample size, they fall outside of two standard deviations from the mean, and can be considered extreme outliers/ dismissable flukes:

* 2006 George Mason (#58 AdjO, #13 AdjD)

* 2011 VCU (#25 AdjD, #84 AdjD)

Now, we can use these historical trends to apply more specific criteria to what a potential Final Four team would look like, and assign probability to the chance that a Final Four team will possess this criteria in its profile. Importantly, this is much different than saying that a team that possesses this criteria will have the stated probability of making the Final Four, as there are many teams that may possess the same necessary criteria. We are simply identifying the probability that some of those teams will occupy the Final Four in order to confidently rule out a larger portion that will not.

Again, the number below is the probability that any one Final Four team will possess the specified criteria:

Top 50 in BOTH AdjO and AdjD OR Top 2 in one or the other: 96.2%

Not outside of the Top 25 in BOTH AdjO and AdjD: 96.2%

Top 50 in BOTH AdjO and AdjD: 86.5%

Top 10 in either AdjO OR AdjD: 80.8%

Top 25 in BOTH AdjO and AdjD: 59.6%

Top 25 in BOTH AdjO and AdjD, Top 10 in one or the other: 50%

Top 10 in BOTH AdjO and Adj D: 25%

Average Combined Efficiency Number (AdjO rank+ AdjD rank): 35.6

By dismissing the results of the sample that fall outside two standard deviations from the mean (95%), the elimination process is fairly simple:

When evaluating potential Final Four teams, ELIMINATE:

– Any team ranked outside the Top 25 on both sides of the ball.

– Any team ranked outside of the Top 50 on either side of the ball, unless they rank 1st or 2nd on the other.

Among the remaining teams, consider with extreme scrutiny:

-Any team ranked outside the Top 50 on one side of the ball if they rank 1st or 2nd in the other. (9.6% success rate historically)

-Any team that does not rank in the Top 10 on at least one side of the ball (19.2% success rate historically)

Now that we have whittled down the teams that we believe have any chance whatsoever for a Final Four run, the next step is to evaluate the chances of those teams relative to one another. This can be accomplished by dividing the teams into tiers based on the strength of their efficiency profile.

Five types of Final Four contender teams:

Top 25 in AdjO and AdjD and Top 10 in one or the other: 50% (26/52)

Top 50 in AdjO and AdjD/ Top 10 in one or the other: 21% (11/52)

Outside Top 50 in AdjO or AdjD/ Top 2 in one or the other: 10% (5/52)

Top 25 in AdjO and Adj D but not Top 10 in either: 10% (5/52)

Top 50 in AdjO and AdjD/ Top 25 in one or the other: 2% (1/52)

Outliers based on Standard Deviation from mean of elimination criteria: 7%  (4/52)

TIER 1: 

-Any team that ranks in the Top 25 of both AdjO and AdjD, and in Top 10 on one side of the ball. (50% success rate)

Kentucky (5,2)

Arizona (11,3)

Villanova (4,13)

Gonzaga (6,20)

Utah (18,8)

TIER 2: 

– Teams that show a Top 50 efficiency ranking on one side of the ball, and a Top 10 in the other. (21% success rate)

Wisconsin (1, 30)

Virginia (27, 1)

Oklahoma (50,5)

Kansas (37,7)

TIER 3:

– Teams ranked in the Top 2 on one side of the ball, and outside the Top 50 on the other. (10% success rate)

– Top 25 on both sides of the ball but Top 10 on neither. (10% success rate)

Notre Dame (2, 112)

Northern Iowa (15,16)

Witchita State (20,15)

TIER 4: 

-Top 50 on both sides of the ball‎ but Top 25 on just one side of the ball. (2% success rate)

Baylor (13,33)

North Carolina (12,45)

SMU (24,43)

Texas (42,19)

Georgetown (41, 25)

What can we conclude overall about this analysis? For starters, it’s quite obvious that offensive and defensive balance is a key component of a Final Four team. The very fact that the only statistically significant unbalanced Final Four teams were only able to make up for it with extreme dominance on the other side of the ball confirms this. Still, it has to be considered interesting that in the absence of balance, teams with areas of extreme strength on one side of the ball and mediocrity on the other are still preferable to teams that are above average on both sides of the ball. We see this clearly as teams with profiles rated Top 10 on one side of the ball and outside of the Top 25 on the other (a #5 AdjO and #40 AdjD, for example) appear more frequently in the Final Four than teams that appear more balanced on paper in terms of the sum of their efficiencies (a #20 AdjO and #20 AdjD, for example). This seems to indicate that while extreme balance on both sides of the ball is certainly preferable, more often than not, Final Four teams first and foremost need to have an identity in terms of where their strength comes from even if it is on just one side of the ball. Many times, it appears these areas of extreme strength can offset weakness more frequently than simply being above average with no observable calling card.

Another interesting quirk of probability that we can see here is that the most likely annual Final Four approximately consists, on average, of two Tier 1 teams (50%), one Tier 2 team (21%) and one Tier 3 team (20%), leaving some small probability for a Tier 4 team or a team eliminated by this criteria to surprise. This information leads to two different potential strategies for filling out your bracket. On the one hand, you could try to identify the two Tier 1 teams, the Tier 2 team, and the Tier 3 team that you feel have the best opportunity to advance. Of course, since there will likely be multiple teams in each Tier, you are taking the chance of missing all of the Final Four teams if you are wrong and all your teams fall short within those Tiers. It is a high risk, high return strategy, but probably offers to most entertaining way to analyze your bracket. Conversely, by picking all four teams from Tier 1, you can be fairly confident of getting two of the Final Four teams correct, but it is highly unlikely that you will be right about all four. However, this offers a highly conservative approach for those who would prefer to concentrate on the early rounds and feel covered into the Regional Finals and Semifinals.

NATIONAL CHAMPION

Now that you have identified your Final Four, it’s time to move on to picking the Champion. Since there are only thirteen samples in the distribution, these statistics are not nearly as meaningful, but are worth a look nonetheless:

– No team has won the National Championship over the timespan with an efficiency rating worse than #40 on either side of the ball. The worst over that timespan on each side:

* 2014 UConn (#39 AdjO, #10 AdjD)

* 2009 North Carolina (#1 AdjO, #21 AdjD)

Using the same method from above, here are the probabilities based on the data that the National Champion will possess each stated criteria, with the exceptions to the rule notated:

Top 50 in BOTH AdjO and AdjD: 100%

Top 25 in BOTH AdjO and AdjD: 92.3% (UConn ’14 is the only exception)

Top 10 in either AdjO OR AdjD: 84.6% (UConn ’11 and Syracuse ’03 are the exceptions)

Top 10 in BOTH AdjO and AdjD: 53.8%

Average Combined Efficiency Number: 17.2

We’ll give some small leeway on these parameters given the small sample size, but suffice to say, while AdjO and AdjD seem equally important to achieving a Final Four Run, it would appears that AdjD becomes nearly doubly important for a team in order to win it all.

When evaluating potential Champion teams, ELIMINATE:

-Any team ranked outside of the Top 50 on either side of the ball

-Any team ranked below 25th in AdjD.

Consider with extreme scrutiny:

-Any team ranked outside of the Top 25 on either side of the ball (6.8% success rate historically)

-Any team ranked outside of the Top 10 on both sides of the ball (15.4% success rate historically)

Identify teams that lie above positive mean trends:

-Any team ranked in the Top 10 of both AdjO and AdjD (53.6% success rate).

-Any team with a combined efficiency number below 17 (mean).

UPSETS

One of the most important ways that this data can be used is in regards to upsets- not necessarily to predict upsets, but rather to have an understanding of a possibly highly seeded team’s susceptibility to be upset relative to other teams. Recognizing this can result in taking picking a team to lose earlier than many people will without taking significant risk.

So, let’s take a trip down memory lane and re-live some of the biggest tournament upsets in the KenPom era. Again, the goal is not to prove that we could have predicted the upset, but rather to show that there were signs that could have signified picking the team that was upset to lose earlier than the average bracket would have based on our already established criteria. As always, nothing is fool proof, and some of these upsets remain massive head-scratchers, which is still part of the fun…March Madness should never become a stranger to the unexplained, nor will it ever become anything close to an exact science.

Biggest NCAA Tourney Upsets in KenPom Era (since 2002):

Formula for ranking the upset: (Winning Seed/ Losing Seed ) + (Winning Seed- Losing Seed)

* Efficiency numbers included are for the losing team only.

#1: 2006: 11) George Mason over 1) UConn

(2nd AdjO, 25th AdjD)

This defensive ranking below 21st eliminated UConn as a potential National Title team.

#2: 2011: 11) VCU over 1) Kansas

(7th AdjO, 11th AdjD)

Upset not explainable by our criteria.

#3: 2012: 15) Norfolk State over 2) Missouri

(1st AdjO, 146th AdjD)

This defensive ranking way outside of the Top 50 eliminated Missouri as a potential National Title team and gave them a very slim chance to make the Final Four, only because of their dominance on offense.

#4: 2012: 15) Lehigh over 2) Duke

(10th AdjO, 81st AdjD)

This defensive ranking outside of the Top 50 without a dominant offensive ranking eliminated Duke from both National Title and Final Four contention.

#5: 2013: 15) Dunk City over 2) Georgetown

(78th AdjO, 2nd Adj D)

This offensive ranking outside of the Top 50 eliminated Georgetown from National Title contention and gave them a very slim shot at the Final Four only due to their dominant defense.

#6: 2010: 9) Northern Iowa over 1) Kansas

(2nd AdjO, 9th AdjD)

Upset not explainable by our criteria.

#7: 2004: 9) UAB over 1) Kentucky

(27th AdjO, 9th AdjD)

Upset not explainable by our criteria.

#8: 2013: 9) Wichita State over 1) Gonzaga

(2nd AdjO, 37th AdjD)

This defensive ranking below 21st eliminated Gonzaga as a potential National Title team.

#9: 2005: 14) Bucknell over 3) Kansas

(13th AdjO, 25th Adj D)

This defensive ranking below 21st eliminated Kansas as a potential national title team, and the lack of a Top 10 efficiency on either side of the ball gave Kansas a very slim chance to make the Final Four.

#10: 2006: 14) Northwestern State over 3) Iowa

(151st AdjO, 1st AdjD)

This offensive ranking well below 39th eliminated Iowa as a potential National Title team and gave them a very slim chance to make the Final Four, only because of their dominant defense.

Others:

2013: 14) Harvard over 3) New Mexico

(53rd AdjO, 18th AdjD)

This offensive ranking outside of the Top 50 without a dominant defense eliminated New Mexico as a Final Four candidate.

2014: 14) Mercer over 3) Duke

(2nd AdjO, 116th Adj D)

This defensive ranking eliminated Duke from National Title contention, and they had very slim chance at the Final Four only thanks to a dominant offense.

2010: 14) Ohio over 3) Georgetown

(10th AdjO, 61st Adj D)

This defensive ranking outside the Top 50 without a dominant offense eliminated Georgetown from Final Four contention.

2002: 8) UCLA over 1) Cincinnati

(6th AdjO, 5th AdjD)

Upset not explainable by our criteria.

2004: 8) Alabama over 1) Stanford

(49th AdjO, 3rd AdjD)

This offensive ranking below 39th eliminated Stanford as a national title contender, and they only narrowly maintained status as a Final Four contender as the offense held Top 50 status by the skin of its teeth without a dominant (Top 2) defense.

2011: 8) Butler over 1) Pitt

(4th AdjO, 22nd AdjD)

Upset not explainable by our criteria.

So, out of the 16 biggest upsets in the Ken Pom area, 11 of the losses (69%) can be anticipated earlier than expected based on the criteria. This is different than proclaiming that the winning team was easy to predict, which is an important distinction to make. We are simply saying that more than two thirds of the time, evidence existed indicating that these teams would lose before the National Championship game and in most cases, before the Final Four. Our criteria indicated that a whopping 8 of the 16 teams “upset” (50%) had a slim to none chance to make the Final Four to begin with.

Good luck with your brackets, and welcome to March Madness.

FINAL BRACKETOLOGY UPDATE

March 15, 2015
MIDWEST- Cleveland SOUTH- Houston EAST- Syracuse WEST- LA
1 KENTUCKY DUKE VILLANOVA WISCONSIN
2 Notre Dame Kansas Virginia ARIZONA
3 IOWA STATE Maryland Baylor GONZAGA
4 SMU NORTHERN IOWA Oklahoma North Carolina
5 West Virginia Arkansas Louisville Butler
6 Providence Georgetown Utah Witchita State
7 Michigan State Ohio State Oregon VCU
8 Davidson St. John’s Iowa San Diego State
9 Texas Xavier Louisiana State STEPHEN F AUSTIN
10 NC State Colorado State Oklahoma State Cincinnati
11 Purdue Georgia Dayton Indiana/ Tulsa
12 Temple/ Ole Miss BUFFALO WYOMING WOFFORD
13 HARVARD UC IRVINE NMSU GEORGIA STATE
14 MANHATTAN VALPO NORTH DAKOTA ST EASTERN WASHINGTON
15 BELMONT NORTHEASTERN ALBANY UAB
16 C CAROLINA/ HAMPTON NORTH FLORIDA ROBERT MORRIS LAFAYETTE/ T SOUTHERN

BRACKETOLOGY

March 15, 2015
MIDWEST- Cleveland SOUTH- Houston EAST- Syracuse WEST- LA
1 KENTUCKY DUKE VILLANOVA WISCONSIN
2 Notre Dame Kansas Virginia ARIZONA
3 IOWA STATE Maryland Baylor GONZAGA
4 SMU NORTHERN IOWA Oklahoma North Carolina
5 West Virginia Arkansas Louisville Butler
6 Michigan State Georgetown Utah Witchita State
7 Providence Ohio State Oregon VCU
8 Davidson St. John’s Iowa San Diego State
9 Texas Xavier Louisiana State STEPHEN F AUSTIN
10 NC State Colorado State Oklahoma State Cincinnati
11 Purdue Georgia Dayton Indiana/ Tulsa
12 Temple/ Ole Miss BUFFALO WYOMING WOFFORD
13 HARVARD UC IRVINE NMSU GEORGIA STATE
14 MANHATTAN VALPO NORTH DAKOTA ST EASTERN WASHINGTON
15 BELMONT NORTHEASTERN ALBANY UAB
16 C CAROLINA/ HAMPTON NORTH FLORIDA ROBERT MORRIS LAFAYETTE/ T SOUTHERN

Last Four In: Indiana, Ole Miss, Temple, Tulsa

Last Four Out: Texas A&M, Boise State, BYU, Illinois

* A win by UConn would push Temple out of the field. (Seems appropriate to steal a bid from their own conference).

* Wisconsin falls to a #2 seed in the Midwest with a loss to Michigan State. Virginia moves up to #1 in the West and Notre Dame shifts to a #2 seed in the East.