Category Archives: College Basketball

2012 Cinderella Plot


2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament Preview

Alright.  It’s noon on Thursday.  You’ve still got 40 minutes until the games start.  Here are some of my final thoughts before the tournament starts.

Generally, I think the tournament committee did a great job seeding these teams this year.  Unfortunately, that also means that we’re probably not going to see anything too crazy like a 8 vs 11 in the Final Four.  Of course, I’m always wrong about these things.

The bubble

Best 4 teams to not make the tournament

Oral Roberts: Beat Xavier by 22 points

Northwestern: Still never made an NCAA tournament, which is, honestly, quite impressive in its own right.

Mississippi State: Top 15 in the AP poll on Jan 2, and they miss the NCAA tournament.  Season ended Tuesday with a loss to UMass in the first round of the NIT.

Seton Hall: 8-10 in conference is only good enough if you are the defending national champs.

Bottom 4 At-large bids

Iona: Drexel got screwed

Xavier: They are either a top ten team or outside the top 50

South Florida: 2-9 vs the top 50.  Not good. (But better than Cal, apparently.)

West Virginia: 9-9 in the Big East is not impressive.  (Although UConn was 9-9 last year and we know what happened there.) 4-8 against the top 50 this year.

The seeds

Best of each seed

Best 1 seed: Kentucky

Best 2 seed: Ohio State

Best 3 seed: Marquette

Best 4 seed: Indiana

Best 5 seed: Wichita State

Best 6 seed: Murray State

Best 7 seed: St. Mary’s

Best 8 seed: Creighton

Best 9 seed: Alabama

Best 10 seed: Purdue

Best 11 seed: Colorado State

Best 12 seed: VCU

Best 13 seed: Ohio

Best 14 seed: BYU

Best 15 seed: Lehigh

Worst of each seed

Worst 1 seed: North Carolina

Worst 2 seed: Kansas

Worst 3 seed: Florida State

Worst 4 seed: Michigan

Worst 5 seed: Temple

Worst 6 seed: UNLV

Worst 7 seed: Notre Dame

Worst 8 seed: Kansas State

Worst 9 seed: UConn

Worst 10 seed: Xavier

Worst 11 seed: Colorado

Worst 12 seed: Long Beach State

Worst 13 seed: New Mexico State

Worst 14 seed: St. Bonaventure

Worst 15 seed: Loyola Maryland

Best first round games

UConn (9) vs Iowa State (8)

Notre Dame (7) vs Xavier (10)

Memphis (8) vs St. Louis (9)

Florida (7) vs Virginia (10)

Southern Miss (9) vs Kansas State (8)

Temple (5) vs South Florida (12)

St. Mary’s (7) vs Purdue (10)

Best Projected Second Round Games

Indiana (4) vs Wichita State (5): Everyone loves a mid-major team

Florida State (3) vs Cincinnati (6): ACC Tournament Champ vs Big East Tournament Runner-up

Louisville (4) vs New Mexico (5): Big East Tournament Champion vs Mountain West Tournament Champion.  No one seems to be talking about either of these teams.  Louisvlle just won 4 games in a row (Seton Hall, Marquette (3), Notre Dame (7), and Cincinnati (6), the last three on the road) to win the Big East tournament.  New Mexico just won three in a row (Air Force, UNLV (6), and San Diego State (6), the last two on the road) to win the Mountain West tournament.

Most likely lower seed wins by seed

9 seed: Southern Miss over Kansas State

10 seed: Virginia over Florida

11 seed: Texas over Cincinnati

12 seed: Harvard over Vanderbilt

13 seed: Ohio over Michigan

14 seed: BYU overt Marquette

15 seed: Detroit over Kansas

16 seed: Vermont over North Carolina

The 14 seeds

I think we’re gonna see AT LEAST one 14 seed win a game in the first round this year.  A lot of people are really excited about Belmont (Sagarin has them ranked 33!), but I think BYU is the most exciting 14 seed.  South Dakota State and Saint Bonaventure are no joke either.  Sagarin has Belmont ranked ahead of Cincinnati (6), Temple (5), St. Mary’s (7), UConn (9).  In the same ratings, Belmont AND BYU are ranked ahead of West Virginia (10), Harvard (12), Notre Dame (7), Murray State (6), NC State (11), San Diego State (6), VCU (12), Xavier (10), Iona (14), Southern Miss (9), and South Florida (12).  Sagarin would have Belmont at 9 and BYU at 10; I would put BYU at 11 and Belmont at 13.

My Final Four picks

Kentucky (1), Ohio State (2), Michigan State (1), North Carolina (1).  I know these are boring picks, but that’s the way the brackets line up.  Sorry.

I have Kentucky playing Ohio State in the finals with Kentucky ultimately winning the tournament.  Following the tournament the championship will then have to be vacated because Calipari is the coach and the only thing he loves more than winning is vacating Final Fours.

Good luck to all the teams.


EigenBracket 2012: Using Graph Theory to Predict NCAA March Madness Basketball

An interesting post from BioPhysEngr Blog:

EigenBracket 2012: Using Graph Theory to Predict NCAA March Madness Basketball


Predicting the Sweet 16 using a classification tree

Predicting the Sweet 16 using a classification tree




Cinderella Plots: 2001-2011

Full blog post over at  Cheers.


Cinderella Plots: 1990-2000

Top Ten NCAA Basketball graph over the course of the season


NCAA Basketball Rankings – 3/11/2012

Rankings as of 9:52pm on 3/11/2012.

Previous rankings are here.

Breakdown by conference: 3, 4, 5, 3, 0, 2, 2, 2, 4

ACC Big East Big Ten Big 12 Pac 12 SEC MWC MVC Other

Team Rank Change Record AP Sagarin
Kentucky 1 ↑1 32-2   1
Syracuse 2 ↓1 31-2   5
Michigan St 3 ↑4 27-7   3
Ohio St 4 ↑2 27-7   2
Duke 5 ↓2 27-6   11
North Carolina 6 ↓1 29-5   6
Missouri 7 ↑2 30-4   7
Kansas 8 ↓4 27-6   4
Marquette 9 ↓1 25-7   15
Baylor 10 27-7   12
Indiana 11 25-8   9
Louisville 12 ↑7 26-9   18
Wisconsin 13 24-9   8
Wichita St 14 ↓2 27-5   10
Creighton 15 28-5   25
Michigan 16 ↓2 24-9   23
Georgetown 17 ↓1 23-8   14
Murray St 18 ↓1 30-1   40
Florida St 19 ↑7 24-9   21
Memphis 20 ↑3 26-8   13
Vanderbilt 21 ↑6 24-10   20
St. Mary’s-CA 22 ↓1 27-5   35
New Mexico 23 ↑6 27-6   16
San Diego St 24 ↑5 26-7   46
Temple 25 ↓7 24-7   36

26-35: Gonzaga, Florida, Cincinnati, UNLV, Saint Louis, Purdue, Notre Dame, Virginia, Alabama, Southern Miss

BCS: My offer still stands…….if you want to contact me you can send me a tweet @StatsInTheWild.


NCAA Tournament Projection – March 11, 2012 3:30pm

Below are my projections for the NCAA tournament field.  Other good projections can be found here provided by the geeks at  You can check out my rankings here.

Bubble Watch

St. Bonaventure ruined someone’s March.  I think that team was Drexel.

Last four in:  Seton Hall, Mississippi State, NC State, Northwestern

First four out: Drexel, Texas, NC State, Illinois

My projected field of NCAA Tournament qualifiers

1 seeds: Kentucky, Syracuse, Ohio State, North Carolina

2 seeds: Michigan State, Duke, Missouri, Kansas

3 seeds: Marquette, Baylor, Indiana, Louisville

4 seeds: Wisconsin, Wichita State, Michigan, Creighton

5 seeds:  Georgetown, Murray State, Memphis, Florida State

6 seeds: Gonzaga, New Mexico, San Diego State, St. Mary’s-CA

7 seeds: Temple, Vanderbilt, Florida,Cincinnati

8 seeds: UNLV, Saint Louis, Purdue, Notre Dame

9 seeds: Virginia, Alabama, Southern Miss, Iowa State

10 seeds: Oral Roberts, Kansas State, UConn, California

11 seeds: BYU, Harvard, VCU, Colorado State

12 seeds: Xavier, Northwestern, Play-in Winner 1, Play-in Winner 2

13 seeds: Ohio, Long Island, Vermont, South Dakota State

14 seeds: Norfolk State, Long Beach State, Colorado, Davidson

15 seeds: Belmont, Montana, St. Bonaventure, New Mexico State

16 seeds: Detroit, Lehigh, Loyola-MD, Play-in Winner 3, Play-in Winner 4

Play-in Winner 1: Northwestern vs Seton Hall

Play-in Winner 2: North Carolina State vs Mississippi State

Play-in Winner 3: Lamar vs Western Kentucky

Play-in Winner 4: Mississippi Valley State vs UNC-Asheville


NCAA Tournament Projection – March 6, 2012

Below are my projections for the NCAA tournament field.  Other good projections can be found here provided by the geeks at  You can check out my rankings here.

Bubble Watch

Last four in: Seton Hall, Drexel, South Florida, West Virginia

First four out: Texas, NC State, Illinois, Ole Miss

My projected field of NCAA Tournament qualifiers

1 seeds: Syracuse, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas

2 seeds: North Carolina, Ohio State, Michigan State, Marquette

3 seeds: Missouri, Baylor, Indiana, Wichita State

4 seeds: Michigan, Wisconsin, Creighton, Georgetown

5 seeds:  Murray State, Temple, Louisville, St. Mary’s-CA

6 seeds: Gonzaga, San Diego State, Memphis, UNLV

7 seeds: Florida, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Saint Louis

8 seeds: New Mexico,Virginia, Alabama, Purdue

9 seeds:  Iowa State, Cincinnati, Southern Miss, Notre Dame

10 seeds: Kansas State, California, BYU, Northwestern

11 seeds: Harvard, Washington, Mississippi State, Oregon

12 seeds: VCU, Colorado State, UConn, Play-In Winner 1

13 seeds: Play-In Winner 2, Nevada, Valpo, Middle Tennessee State,

14 seeds: Long Beach State, Ohio, Davidson, Oral Roberts

15 seeds: Belmont, Montana, Vermont, Loyola (MD)

16 seeds: Bucknell, TX-Arlington, UNC-Asheville, Long Island, Miss Valley State, Savannah State

Play-In Game 1: West Virginia vs Seton Hall

Play-In Game 2: South Florida vs Drexel

By Conference

Ten: Big East

Seven: Big 10

Five: Big 12, SEC

Four: ACC, MWC

Three: Pac-12, WCC

Two: Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, Conference USA, Colonial

One: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, SWAC, Summit, Sun Belt, WAC