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Posts Tagged ‘Villanova Wildcats’

Using Bracketology to find the Final Four

Posted by cuorange on February 10, 2010

Who won’t make the Final Four?
Using Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology we look at the projected top seeds and weed through which teams will make it to Indianapolis.
Starting in the Midwest Kansas is a no-brainer.  With offensive and defensive efficiency ratings of 2 Kansas is the prohibitive favorite as of this writing to win the national championship.
Lunardi projected Georgetown as the second seed in the Midwest and while the Hoyas have had their moments (beating Duke and Villanova) they aren’t a serious threat to the Jayhawks.
In the West Regional Lunardi projects Villanova at a 1 seed and Michigan State as the number 2.  Last week we detailed the case of Villanova and their defensive struggles.  The Wildcats then promptly went out and gave up 101 points to Georgetown in a loss.  An about face earlier this week against West Virginia in which Villanova held the Mountaineers to 75 points has improved the Wildcats defensive efficiency ranking to 55th, and improvement of 7 spots over two games.  The Wildcats will have to improve significantly before I feel safe including them in my Final Four projections, but their offense is championship caliber, make no mistake.
Michigan State is currently sitting at defensive efficiency ranking of 39 and an offensive efficiency ranking of 26.  Not Final Four material either.
At this point we would project Texas, who Lunardi has as a 3 seed, to win this region as it is currently projected.  Georgia Tech is another team to keep an eye on here, though they have some work to do.
Over in the South, we would project Syracuse over Duke.  Kansas State is also in this region, but we’ll stick with the balanced attack of the Orange to edge Duke in the South final.
The East bracket appears to be the deepest as currently projected with Kentucky (1), West Virginia (2), Wisconsin (3) and Brigham Young (4) projected as the top 4 seeds in the region.  As of today all of these teams have the offensive and defensive efficiencies to make it to the Final Four.  The question is which one is the most likely to do so?
It turns out that as the numbers stand right now Wisconsin has a 16.7% chance of reaching the Final Four, West Virginia a 4.2% chance and Kentucky and BYU a 0.0% chance.  Therefore, we project Wisconsin as the second #3 seed to make it to the Final Four based on Lunardi’s projections of February 8.
That leaves us with a Final Four of Kansas, Texas, Syracuse and Wisconsin.  Two number 1 seeds and two number 3 seeds.
The semi-finals would be Kansas over Texas and Syracuse over Wisconsin.  The final would be Kansas over Syracuse.
These projections can and will change as Lunardi changes his projections, the season plays out and the actual teams, region placement and seedings are finalized. 
It’s important to note that games played in the NCAA tournament will count in the efficiency rankings and therefore a team not included as a potential Final Four team prior to the tournament could potentially be included as the tournament progresses.


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Posted by cuorange on February 4, 2010

Villanova (20-1, 9-0) has become the darling of the college basketball media.  I’ve seen them projected as a number 1 seed.  I’ve heard them talked about as a final four team.  Some have even said they are the best team in the nation and have a shot at winning it all come April.
Villanova may wind up with a number one seed.  They won’t win it all and they won’t make the final four.
How do I know?  Defensive efficiency.  The Wildcat’s are ranked 62nd in that category through the first 21 games of the season.  No team in the last 6 years has made the final four with a defensive efficiency higher than 25.  No one.  Not even George Mason in 2006 (18th). Zero for 24.

Team O Efficiency D Efficiency RPI
Villanova 3 62 3

The Wildcats are demons on offense, with an efficiency ranking of 3, national championship caliber.  But when push comes to shove they won’t be able to stop a team somewhere along the line in the tournament and will bow out prior to the final four.
Nine games plus the conference tournament still remain for the Wildcats to get to the magic 25 number in defensive efficiency (plus games in the NCAA tournament).  The chances of them making it are slim.  There are no more Fairleigh Dickinson’s, Penn’s, Drexel’s or Fordham’s left on the schedule.

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