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2016 Atlarge Cut Line

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  • 2016 Atlarge Cut Line

    Every year, auto-bids are given to the winners of conference tournaments spanning the full spectrum of Division 1. Auto-bids will be given to teams as high as the top 10 and as low as 150, 200, or worse. With 68 bids total, what effectively happens is a number of spots are taken by what I will call “undeserving” teams. This isn’t a slam on the process, as I like the fact that every conference gets representation. I am merely pointing out how the bubble’s cut line is never actually at team #68 in the country, but always a ways higher up.

    What I have done in this post is put together a list to help us identify where this year’s cut will fall. From here on, comments like “best case” or “worst case” scenario will be from the perspective of other bubble teams hoping to make the cut and get a bid. Historically, a best case scenario is a cut line around #50, while a worst case scenario is a cut line around #45. This means there are normally 18-23 undeserving teams who earn auto bids and knock teams in the 50s and 60s into the NIT.

    Tier 1 - Leagues without an atlarge contender (17)
    17 conferences lack a single team with a deserving resume. Regardless of how things play out, they will be sending a bid thief dancing.

    Tier 2 - Other probable 1 bid leagues (5)
    MAAC - Monmouth
    Sun Belt - Arkansas Little Rock
    Big West - Hawaii
    Horizon - Valparaiso
    Mountain West - San Diego St

    There is only a small chance that any of these 5 teams can suffer another loss and get an atlarge bid. Each is lacking the opportunities for quality wins to offset what would be a devastating loss to an already weak resume. However, in each case, if they win out and therefore don't suffer any more losses, I could see them rising high enough to just slip into the top 45 or so of the S-Curve and effectively have a worthy resume. Depending on your perspective, this could be considered meaningless, but my point is that a bubble team doesn't have to worry about any of these 5 passing them on the S-Curve by finishing strong and winning the auto bid. Getting passed in such a scenario merely moves the effective cut line down a spot. These conferences appear to be stuck with 1 bid either way, but they are different than tier 1 conferences in that the auto bid could go to a worthy team. This is a great example of why the cut line varies from year to year. It's all about how many of the 32 auto bids go to deserving teams. Should Monmouth, UALR, Hawaii, Valpo, or San Diego St win out, they will each be right on this threshold.
    Likely 3 to 5 bid thieves from this group

    Tier 3 - Possible one bid leagues (3)
    MVC
    WSU is obviously the only deserving team, and they are pretty much safely in. If WSU wins the MVC Tourney (likely, but far from a guarantee), no bids are stolen. If any of the other 9 win, an undeserving team steals a bid. Simple as that.
    Chances of a bid thief - 15%

    WCC
    Although Gonzaga is currently on the bubble, if either the Zags or St. Mary’s wins the WCC Tourney, at that point the winner’s final resume will likely be atlarge worthy, meaning they won’t really count as a bid stealer. Only if someone else wins the WCC Tourney is a bid really lost to someone undeserving.
    Chances of a bid thief - 10%

    American
    UConn, Temple, and Tulsa are similar to the situation in the WCC. None are yet locks for an atlarge, but if any of these 3 wins the American Tourney, they will have a deserving resume at that point. Cincinnati and Houston are in the next tier down. They may or may not be bid stealers if they win the auto-bid. Beyond those 5, the rest would indeed be thieves.
    Chances of a bid thief - 5%

    Tier 4 - Multi Bid Leagues (Guaranteed of at least 3 bids) (7)
    A10, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, SEC


    So what does all this mean? Well, 17 conferences lack any type of atlarge worthy teams. This means their conference tournaments are guaranteed to provide an undeserving team into the field of 68. This is our baseline. This means that as a bubble team in 2016 hoping to get in, the best case scenario is that the cut line will fall at #51 on the committee’s S-Curve. If you are #52, and you didn’t earn an auto-bid, you are headed to the NIT.

    Now on to the next group, which currently includes 5 conferences with one key team in each. None of these teams are likely to snag an atlarge bid if they need it, but any of the 5 could have an atlarge worthy resume if they win out. As discussed previously, they would no longer need the atlarge bid at that point, but for purposes of defining the cut line, this distinction matters. For now, I'll assume anywhere from 3 to all 5 of these conferences send a bid thief. Our cut line is now a range. Worst case 46, up to best case 48.

    The next group includes 3 conferences which have a limited number of atlarge contenders. The American, WCC, and MVC could all easily be won by a worthy team, but there is a good chance at least one, if not more, provide a surprise and someone steals a bid. Best case, the favorites win these 3 leagues and no bids are stolen. Worst case, the 3 leagues provide 3 bid thieves. Our cut line range is now worst case 43, up to best case 48.

    The final group includes the top 7 conferences. These conferences are deep, and the winners are very likely to be deserving teams. For all 7 conferences combined I only give about a 1-in-10 chance that a bid thief shows up anywhere in this group. Final cut line... worst case 42, best case 48.


    Final Conclusions:
    We can be absolutely certain the 51st best team in the country will NOT be receiving an atlarge bid this year. We can be almost as certain the 49th best team won't either. Most likely, the cut line will be around 45 or 46.

    This becomes evident when you start looking at bracketologists’ actual projected brackets. For example, take Joe Lunardi’s bracket from today, 2/25.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-bask.../iteration/240

    The last 4 go to the play-in round. Notice that he has 2 of them (Vandy/Cincy) as 11 seeds and 2 more (Tulsa/Butler) as 12 seeds. He has 3 auto bid winners (Temple, St. Mary's, and Monmouth) on the 11 seed line, which would seem to indicate that, assuming they win their conference tourneys, they will have just crept up into "worthy" resume status. Given that Lunardi has 45 teams seeded 1-11, his cut line appears to be 47, 48, or 49, depending on where he ranks Tulsa and Butler relative to the other three 12 seeds.

    Finally, in case you were wondering, I think WSU is probably in the low 30s of the S-Curve if the committee created one as of today. With an eventual cut line in the mid to upper 40s, they've got plenty of room to fall and still be safe.

  • #2
    good stuff

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    • #3
      I never get too caught up in bracketology, but it's interesting that Lunardi has moved the Shocks down.

      Does that mean the Shocks did something to deserve being dropped -- and if so, what, as they've been absolutely pounding people lately, as reflected in their continued rise in KenPom (now #9 and closer to ineligible #7 Louisville than to #10 Xavier) -- or does it mean that some other team(s) did something good enough to deserve jumping WSU?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by WSUwatcher View Post
        I never get too caught up in bracketology, but it's interesting that Lunardi has moved the Shocks down.

        Does that mean the Shocks did something to deserve being dropped -- and if so, what, as they've been absolutely pounding people lately, as reflected in their continued rise in KenPom (now #9 and closer to ineligible #7 Louisville than to #10 Xavier) -- or does it mean that some other team(s) did something good enough to deserve jumping WSU?
        wisconsin beat iowa on the road and bumped wisky up

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WSUwatcher View Post
          I never get too caught up in bracketology, but it's interesting that Lunardi has moved the Shocks down. Does that mean the Shocks did something to deserve being dropped -- and if so, what, as they've been absolutely pounding people lately, as reflected in their continued rise in KenPom (now #9 and closer to ineligible #7 Louisville than to #10 Xavier) -- or does it mean that some other team(s) did something good enough to deserve jumping WSU?
          Last night we only won by 22; a 30 point win is now the new 'norm'... guess we're slippin'. :)
          "You Just Want to Slap The #### Outta Some People"

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          • #6
            Interesting read. However, I have yet to read a single pundit say WSU is heading toward at an at large bid currently. Our out of conference record is simply horrible and is even poor in comparison to other "bubble" teams. We have to win it all next weekend or be prepared to go to the NIT. We are projected into the field as people are predicting we win next weekend. If we get knocked out of the valley tournament, I dont think we will see WSU in any more bracket predictions this year. Just my $.02.

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            • #7
              There's Delusional Debby Downer for the day.
              "You Don't Have to Play a Perfect Game. Your Best is Good Enough."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Speak2me View Post
                Interesting read. However, I have yet to read a single pundit say WSU is heading toward at an at large bid currently. Our out of conference record is simply horrible and is even poor in comparison to other "bubble" teams. We have to win it all next weekend or be prepared to go to the NIT. We are projected into the field as people are predicting we win next weekend. If we get knocked out of the valley tournament, I dont think we will see WSU in any more bracket predictions this year. Just my $.02.
                That wasn't even worth a Monopoly penny.
                Deuces Valley.
                ... No really, deuces.
                ________________
                "Enjoy the ride."

                - a smart man

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                • #9
                  I don't see how you are so confident that Wichita State is safely in.

                  1 top 50 win
                  3 top 100 wins
                  2 losses outside top 100


                  1-5 vs teams that will either be at large quality or in consideration for the tournament (Tulsa, USC, Alabama, Iowa, Utah, Seton Hall)

                  What helps is a NC SOS of 4. That helps a lot but you have to win some of those games you won just 1 and it was at home.

                  You have the name "Wichita State" which will help and the injuries will possibly help but I am not feeling no where near as confident as you are that if you lose in the MVC tournament you are a lock to get in.

                  I hope you guys win the conference tournament and don't have to sweat it out but this sure doesn't feel like a lock to me.
                  2014 RTS Fantasy Championship National Champion $200,000 (2460 teams)
                  2012 NFFC Online National Champion $100,000 (1872 teams)
                  2014 DFWC National Champion $9,250 (288 teams)
                  2015 RTS Fantasy Championship 2nd Place $25,000 (3120 teams)

                  2015 NCAA Bracketology (351 pts more than all 136 at the bracket matrix)

                  Kentucky Wildcats National Champions 2012 1998 1996 1978 1958 1951 1949 1948
                  The Ohio State Buckeyes National Champions 2014 2002 1970 1968 1961 1957 1954 1942

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Speak2me View Post
                    Interesting read. However, I have yet to read a single pundit say WSU is heading toward at an at large bid currently. Our out of conference record is simply horrible and is even poor in comparison to other "bubble" teams. We have to win it all next weekend or be prepared to go to the NIT. We are projected into the field as people are predicting we win next weekend. If we get knocked out of the valley tournament, I dont think we will see WSU in any more bracket predictions this year. Just my $.02.
                    Impressive posting history.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HenryMuto View Post
                      I don't see how you are so confident that Wichita State is safely in.

                      1 top 50 win
                      3 top 100 wins
                      2 losses outside top 100


                      1-5 vs teams that will either be at large quality or in consideration for the tournament (Tulsa, USC, Alabama, Iowa, Utah, Seton Hall)

                      What helps is a NC SOS of 4. That helps a lot but you have to win some of those games you won just 1 and it was at home.

                      You have the name "Wichita State" which will help and the injuries will possibly help but I am not feeling no where near as confident as you are that if you lose in the MVC tournament you are a lock to get in.

                      I hope you guys win the conference tournament and don't have to sweat it out but this sure doesn't feel like a lock to me.
                      That's half the resume, you are leaving out the 4 or 5 analytical rankings that rank WSU really high including KenPom at 9

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                      • #12
                        Guys, if we're not in at-large consideration, maybe if we all worry just enough, they'll include us anyway!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AndShock View Post
                          Impressive posting history.
                          Hey, I disagree with the guy totally, but everybody(including you and me) had 50 posts at one time....I've never totally understood that posting history thing unless someone is trying to create a new identity....or just trolling...

                          just my thoughts....

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                          • #14
                            Win Saturday and we are in. Simple as that. Then win Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to remove all doubt.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CBB_Fan View Post
                              Win Saturday and we are in. Simple as that. Then win Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to remove all doubt.
                              I'll disagree slightly due to technicalities. I get what you are saying, but I think we need a win next Friday to feel confident. Now, I have no worry about that since we are 8-0 against possible 8/9 seed opponents...average margin 26, closest margin 16.

                              I just get uncomfortable with calling teams "locks." To me, a lock is a team that would still be in even if it lost all of its remaining games. A P5 team should not be called a lock in January because an 0-fer in February (even though it would be highly unlikely) knocks it off bubble. Same with our situation right now. I don't want to see what a loss to INS/LOY/MSU/BRAD would do to our RPI (and a semifinal loss would make me nervous). Again, I have no worry about it, but for the sake of semantics, I believe the following:

                              "Are we in if the tournament starts today? No question. Are we a 'lock?' Not quite yet."
                              78-65

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