"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reminder: Badgers lost at GB after beating eventual NCAA champ Duke; but MU needs win over bubble LSU team to keep forecast as a 10th seed (all seeds, spoilers and bubble teams calculated)

The panic over the loss to Green Bay is a bit out of hand.  Wisconsin lost their last trip to Green Bay three years ago (www.kenpom.com had GB 139th then and 150th now).  The week before they beat eventual national champion Duke.  After that loss, they beat Ohio State by 20 and went onto finish one game out of first place with a 13-5 Big Ten mark.

It's not like the world is going to end tomorrow - I don't think.

However, this does put Marquette squarely on the NCAA bubble along with Saturday's foe LSU, who upset MU last year.  While RPI Forecast does currently forecast Marquette finishing with a 19-11 mark which would put us about 38th in RPI and give us a 10-seed to play Creighton if Selection went exactly by RPI (see below for all seeds, spoilers and bubble teams).  However, while the calcuations below show three spoilers leaving the top 48 RPI teams in the tourney, MU does have a glaring resume weakness that cannot be fixed.  MU will still be 2-3 away from home in non-conference games come Selection Sunday, and the 1-1 mark against teams projected to not finish in the Top 250 of the RPI is a major problem.

Non-conference games not in Bradley CenterRPI ForecastResult
Butler2071-72 loss
Mississippi State24389-62 win
USC13472-64 win
Florida549-82 loss
Wisconsin-Green Bay22547-49 loss

For this reason MU is under the gun to get a 2nd solid non-conference home win Saturday against an LSU team that stunned then 8th ranked MU last season.  While LSU is within a few spots of where www.valueaddbasketball.com picked them at the beginning of the year (putting them on pace to be 62nd in RPI according to RPI Forecast) when comparing the top 4 players on each team LSU has a huge advantage.  As you can see from this table, Hickey is ranked as the 98th best player in the country compared to MU's Davante Gardner being 255th, etc. through the first four, giving LSU a decided edge.

Clearly Marquette is much, much deeper, and dominates the rest of the roster starting with Chris Otule as MU's 5th best player, but can MU force LSU to the bench by increasing the tempo to draw fouls and force minutes from the bench?

RnkLSU PlayerHtClassVARnkMU PlayerHtClassVAEdge
98Hickey, Anthony5'11"2 So6.44255Gardner, Davante6'8"3 Jr4.47LSU
368Coleman, Shavon6'5"3 Jr3.81366Wilson, Jamil6'7"3 Jr3.83Tie
434Carmouche, Charles6'4"4 Sr3.5745Cadougan, Junior6'1"4 Sr2.42LSU
475Morgan, Malik6'4"1 Fr3.33792Blue, Vander6'4"3 Jr2.32LSU
1066Stringer, Andre5'9"3 Jr1.68854Otule, Chris6'11"4 Sr2.15MU
1517O'Bryant, Johnny6'9"2 So0.97971Anderson, Juan6'6"2 So1.89MU
1930Del Piero, Andrew7'3"4 Sr0.46990Thomas, Jake6'3"3 Jr1.85MU
2635Collins, Corban6'3"1 Fr01101Wilson, Derrick6'1"2 So1.61MU
3067Hammink, Shane6'7"1 Fr01485Lockett, Trent6'5"4 Sr1.02MU
3194Courtney, Jalen6'8"3 Jr01501Taylor, Steve6'7"1 Fr1MU
3292Ludwig, Eddie6'9"4 Sr01770Ferguson, Jamal6'4"1 Fr0.64MU

In looking at RPI Forecast starting with the projected 10-seeds, MU has a little buffer before getting to the last four teams picked (Georgetown, Maryland, Lehigh and Wisconsin), even after accounting for a projected three spoilers (see percentages below for chance of spoilers by conference).
RPI ForecastSeedSpoiler%TeamW-LConf
3710 Baylor18-12B12
3810 Marquette19-11BE
3910 Colorado St.18-10MWC
4010 California19-11P12
4111 Memphis22-9CUSA
4211 Notre Dame21-10BE
4311 Southern Mississippi20-9CUSA
4411 Temple21-10A10
5812 Illinois Chicago21-7Horz
6012 North Dakota St.22-5Sum
6313 Spoiler 1  
6413 Canisius21-8MAAC
6813 Spoiler 2  
7013 Akron20-8MAC
7714 Stephen F. Austin20-4Slnd
7914 Louisiana Tech22-8WAC
8214 Spoiler 3  
9314 Florida Gulf Coast21-7ASun
9615 Stony Brook20-8AE
10215 George Mason20-10CAA
10315 Robert Morris21-10NEC
10715 Davidson18-10SC
11916 Weber St.19-7BSky
14516 Harvard17-10Ivy
15916playinSavannah St.15-13MEAC
16016playinGardner Webb17-10BSth
491st out0.07Oklahoma18-12B12
502nd out0.1Stanford19-12P12
513rd out0.2Illinois St.21-9MVC
524th out0.07St. Louis19-11A10
535th out0.05Utah14-14P12
546th out0.1Iowa20-11B10
567th out0.05Virginia21-10ACC
578th out0.06Richmond20-11A10
599th out0.1San Diego St.17-8MWC
6110th out0.07Alabama19-11SEC
6211th out0.06Louisiana St.19-10SEC
6312th out0.13St. Mary's21-8WCC
6513th out0.3Murray St.21-5OVC
6614th out0.05Charlotte20-10A10
6715th out0.04Xavier18-12A10
6816th out0.2UCLA19-12P12
6917th out0.2Eastern Kentucky21-7OVC
7118th out0.05Texas A&M19-12SEC
7219th out Ohio23-7MAC
7320th out0.03Saint Joseph's19-10A10
7421st out Dayton19-11A10
7522nd out0.1Santa Clara18-10WCC
7623rd out0.04Virginia Tech17-13ACC
7824th out0.04Arkansas18-13SEC
8025th out0.04Providence17-13BE
The total chance of spoilers (a team who pulls an upset win in their conference tournament to make the tournament while the projected automatic bid team also makes it) are listed below.  Because the percentages add up to about 300%, the odds are that translates into 3 total spoilers.

ChanceMost likely spoilers from conference
50%Ohio Valley (Murray St. Eastern KY)
35%Pac-12 (Stanford, Utah, UCLA)
30%Atlantic 10 (St. L, Richmond, Charlotte, Xavier, St. Joe's, Dayton)
30%Sun Belt (Western Kentucky)
30%West Coast (St. Mary's, Santa Clara, BYU)
25%SEC (Alabama, LSU, T A&M, Arka, Tenn)
20%Missouri Valley (Illinois St.)
15%ACC (Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Ga Tech, Flo St)
15%Big 12 (Oklahoma, K-State, WVU)
15%Big East (Prov, St. Js, Rutgers, SH)
15%Big Ten (Wisconsin, Iowa, NW)
15%Conference USA (Central FL, ECU, UAB)
10%Mountain West (San Diego State)

Below is the rest of the RPI Forecast list starting at the top and going through the 9-seed, the point at which the list above stops.

RPI ForecastSeedSpoiler%TeamW-LConf
123Virginia Commonwealth26-5A10
134Miami FL20-8ACC
164New Mexico23-8MWC
185Ohio St.22-8B10
195Boise St.19-9MWC
216Nevada Las Vegas23-7MWC
257Wichita St.24-6MVC
287North Carolina20-10ACC
298Oklahoma St.22-8B12
318Middle Tennessee26-5SB
328Michigan St.19-11B10
339North Carolina St.21-10ACC
369Iowa St.22-9B12

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