WNUR Bracketology 2020 – Week #5: Sliders and Spanish

Let’s forgo the pleasantries. A new bracket awaits!

The Usual Disclaimers

  • This is what I think the committee would do given what we know about each team. I do not necessarily agree with the committee’s projected evaluations of these teams.
  • My bracketology does not aim to predict what will happen; it is a simulation of what would happen if the season ended today.
  • Asterisks in the graphic denote conference champions (determined by whoever has the fewest losses in conference play, with NET as a tiebreaker).
  • Projections made based on NET data entering Monday but win-loss records entering Tuesday
  • Please feel free to @ me on Twitter but keep all of this in mind when you do.

The Projections

NOTE: Georgetown/USC moved down to 12 to avoid potential conference clash in round of 32. Northern Iowa moved up to 11.

The Column

Last week we discussed the principles of capability, opportunity, and consistency. I do adhere to these guiding principles, but the challenging part is weighting them. How to weight them is purely a matter of philosophy, and I don’t know what the committee’s prevailing philosophy will be. I essentially have to guess.

That’s a serious problem. Choosing the last team in for this week’s projections was a painstaking decision because it required me to pick one of four teams, all of which lie at various points of the capability-consistency spectrum. See, any team who has demonstrated both capability and consistency doesn’t find itself on the bubble. Those teams are comfortably in.

Most bubble teams exhibit some blend of those three principles on their resume. Take last year’s Belmont team, for example:

Belmont’s team sheet on Selection Sunday last year: a blend of capability, opportunity, and consistency

The Bruins’ capability was questionable, considering they had no wins against an at-large tournament team. Their biggest strength was opportunity: only 8 quad 1 & 2 games and they went 5-3. Their consistency was good-bordering-on-great––they went 25-5 and never dropped the ball in 17 quadrant 4 games, but only going 3-2 in quad 3 games is somewhat concerning.

That’s was a normal bubble team’s resume looks like. A little bit of everything, more of some things than others.

The four teams vying for the final at-large bid in my projections are not normal bubble teams. Think of it this way: If you ever made created a player in NBA 2K or MLB the Show, you could adjust the player’s sliders at the beginning. You had a set number of points that you could allocate to your player’s attributes, and you could divvy them up however you decided.

Oklahoma, Arkansas, NC State, and Providence are all creating a player right now. They have 100 points to allocate. There are only two attributes: consistency and capability.

  • Oklahoma put 90 points into consistency and 10 into capability
  • Arkansas put 80 points into consistency and 20 into capability
  • NC State put 20 points into consistency and 80 into capability
  • Providence put 10 points into consistency and 90 into capability

Instead of overwhelming you with 4 more screenshots of team sheets, I’ll let you do that on your own time, in your own tab. Below is the link to the team sheets (they do not account for Monday’s results). Page numbers: Oklahoma-56, Arkansas-45, NC State-54, Providence-48 https://extra.ncaa.org/solutions/rpi/Stats%20Library/NET%20Team%20Sheets%20-%20Feb%2023,%202020.pdf

I went with Oklahoma. I may feel differently next week. This is purely philosophical and thus I’m basically taking a shot in the dark. Hopefully these four teams can give me some clarity in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I leave you with two thoughts.

My first thought is that the Bracket Matrix as of 2/24 is being way too mean to Georgetown. I’m not budging on the Hoyas right now. I vehemently disagree with the notion that the committee would snub them but put a team like Cincinnati in the tournament.

My second thought regards Rutgers. Rutgers, I have a message for you. If you don’t win another game away from home…then as the old vine goes:

La vas a pagar…espèrala.

You’re gonna pay. Just you wait.

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