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Miscellany

Vegas Bookmaker NCAA Bracket: Miami as a #3 Seed, Notre Dame and Butler as #13 Seeds

Todd Fuhrman has come out with a NCAA mock bracket based on Vegas power ratings for the teams (with ratings via @payneinsider). For those that follow a predictive system like Ken Pomeroy or look at the Sagarin ratings, most of this should not be surprising. There are a few variations, but most of the teams are in the same general range.

Still, it’s interesting to see where teams would be seeded if based only on Vegas’ view of the teams. Some of the more notable ones:

  • Miami as a #3 seed, as the Hurricanes have climbed to 13-0 in the ACC;
  • Arizona as a #5 seed. The Wildcats are 6-1 in games decided by 5 or less, but have lost 2 of the last 3;
  • Iowa as a #7 seed, which will probably set Doug Gottlieb off;
  • Butler as a #13 seed, though you be the one to bet against Brad Stevens. The Bulldogs are a couple of plays in prominent games (Indiana, Gonzaga, Marquette) from being considered a bubble team rather than a high seed;
  • New Mexico as a #7 seed, who I have talked about enough;
  • Notre Dame as a #13 seed, as the Irish are on the most schizophrenic list, with the 3 OT win against Louisville and at Pitt surrounded by two OT wins over DePaul and a blowout at Providence;
  • Kansas State as a #9 seed, with 5 losses by average of 11.8 points;
  • Middle Tennessee as a #5 seed, 23-4 with two losses in OT and another against Florida.

A question that we should ask is whether the Tournament should be seeded in a predictive fashion or based on what experts responsible for setting competent lines on the game think is appropriate. Teams win close games, injuries happen, big victories can weigh on us. If we just go by this, of course, then Butler’s win over Indiana is viewed as barely better than a close loss. Predictively, of course, this is true. I do think that wins and losses should be evaluated, and there should be some objective basis for getting seeded.

However, I don’t think the current RPI is very good at it, and the other thing that I would do, if I were king of the world, is balance a wins/losses approach (like what I did here to rank accomplishments against schedule), with an efficiency/predictive approach. Even if Miami earned a #1 seed by winning the ACC, and Indiana earned a #1 as well, while Florida fell to a #2 (because of close losses), I would certainly try to balance out the brackets by both measures and be more likely to put Florida with Miami than Indiana. Similarly, pairing New Mexico with a highly rated “efficiency” team would balance the bracket.

In other words, I would have no problem with an “accomplishment” approach so long as the regions were also balanced on efficiency and predictive measures as well as possible.

[photo via USA Today Sports Images]

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