Monday, January 7, 2019

Are the Bearcats in trouble?

After the Cincinnati loss to miserable East Carolina, I thought it made sense to take a look at how the rest of the season lines up as the numbers stand right now. 
The best case scenario for the ECU loss is they stay in the Quad 3 column. 
With a lot of question marks about the new NET ranking, and the RPI going away ( see that article which essentially says RPI won't even be on the team sheets this year, it is hard to pin down what will be most important (what we know is the team sheets will be sorted by NET ranking, but we don't know if that number will be more important than who you beat, etc.)
Right now with such a small sample size of half the season, none of the UC numbers look great, thanks for Xavier and UCLA being down, and UC laying an egg against Ohio State and Miss. St. 
With that said, there are more than a few opportunities left to boost the resume, thanks to an unexpected up year from the AAC. 
Hopeful notes from the OOC: 
Ole Miss - Needs to stay in the top 50 as a Group 1 win
Other teams that are close:
NKU - needs to get to 75 for a Group 2 win (currently 118)
Xavier - (currently 80)
UCLA - (currently 90)
George Mason - (Needs to get to top 100, which is a stretch, currently at 152)
UNLV - (Needs to get to 135 for a group 2 win, currently at 165)
In AAC play there will be plenty of opportunities for Group 1 and 2 wins (note that some away games may be a group 1/2 win but the return home game may be group 3). 

Houston - 4
UCF - 31
UC - 34
Temple - 62
Memphis - 73
Tulsa - 76
USF - 91
UConn - 110
SMU - 121
Wichita State - 133
ECU - 228
Tulane - 304
Currently UC would have 4 opportunities at group 1 wins, and 6 more chances at group 2 wins. Five of the remaining games would be group 3 games. The numbers could move in both directions, and help or hurt depending on who the team is. This will be fluid all year. 

Based on last year where the committee seemed to hold group 1 and 2 RPI wins in strong favor, you have to think your NET rank and group 1 and 2 wins will be in strong favor this year. I think for UC to be safe they want to see at least 3 of the OOC games mentioned above convert to group 1/2 wins, and then they want to pick up at least 5 in conference play (while not dropping any group 3 losses), for a total of 8 group 1/2 wins. As the numbers stand, that would allow them to be 22-9. I think this would put UC squarely on the bubble though and would make for a nervous selection Sunday. Ideally UC will finish at least 12-6 in conference play (23-8), which I think puts them in the tournament. The AAC is likely a 3-4 bid league this year so I would be surprised if a 23 win AAC team is held out. 

Overall, we'll know a lot more about this team on Thursday around 9 PM when the final buzzer sounds at Tulsa. UC desperately needs to get a win to build some confidence on the road as well as to get one of those coveted group 1/2 wins. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Coming soon!

Sluder Bracketology will return in late January or early February. Last year we finished 6th in the Bracket Matrix rankings of the Bracket Newbies with a Variance of 12.24!

2018 Results:

67/68 teams correct
42/68 teams seeded exactly correct
65/68 teams seeded within 1 line of their actual seed

We're looking forward to an even better 2019!

2019 Final Bracket Prediction  Follow on Twitter at @sluderbrackets Check out 1: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, North ...