Making Sense of the Bracket

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Making Sense of the Bracket

Post by fwill on Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:14 pm

I read the section on seeding criteria and I figured out what the committee did and how UP ended up as a #2 seed. It appears that the committee decided to have an east coast/west coast College Cup, arranged the respective teams into pods, and then determined that UP was weaker than Stanford and UCLA - hence the #2 seed. If the bracket had been fairly determined based on rankings and RPI, then the odds were good that the College Cup would have a been a West Coast show down. I don't like it, but I guess I understand their deeply flawed logic in setting up the bracket the way they did.

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Re: Making Sense of the Bracket

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:31 pm

If it is deeply flawed I don't know that "logic" is a good term for it... We got robbed!

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Re: Making Sense of the Bracket

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:05 am

In the heat of the moment, I forgot to report my prediction results for the bracket:

I predicted, as to at large selections, that the Committee would follow the RPI without deviation. I was almost right. The at large selections followed the RPI with only one exception: Duke got in and Minnesota got bumped out. I haven't done a detailed review yet of that decision, but on first glance it appears to be a reasonable decision based on the criteria.

As to which teams would get seeded (without regard to what seed they would get), I got it exactly right. This was pretty good, since the Committee bumped Maryland up from a #20 RPI position and bumped Ohio State out from a #15 position. (However, they did designate Ohio State as the host for opening rounds -- unfortunately, since Oregon State goes there to play them in the first round.)

As to the #1 seeds, I obviously got one of them wrong.

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Re: Making Sense of the Bracket

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:19 pm

So, if it's close among 5 or more teams for a #1 seed and the Committee is going to look to see how many top 25 teams you played, what does that mean for scheduling for the Pilots? Here's a way to look at it:

This year, the ACC had 6 teams in the top 25. That means each ACC team played at least 5 games against top 25 teams. Add to that 2 or 3 in the ACC tournament and you get 7 or 8 games against top 25 teams within the ACC by itself. North Carolina played 6 non-conference games against top 25 teams. That puts UNC at 13 or 14 games against top 25 teams. Florida State played 4, which puts it at 11 or 12.

The SEC had 4 teams in the top 25, meaning each team had at least 3 top 25 games. Add to that 2 or 3 in the SEC tournament and you get 5 or 6 in the SEC alone. Florida, as an example, played 2 non-conference top 25 teams, giving a total of 7 or 8 top 25 teams.

The Pac 10 had 5 in the top 25, meaning at least 4 top 25 games for each team. Stanford had 3 non-conference top 25 games and UCLA had 2, which puts them at 6 or 7.

The WCC had 2 in the top 25, giving the Pilots 1 game against a WCC top 25 team. This means that to match a Pac 10 competitor, the Pilots would need to play 5 or 6 top 25 teams in non-conference play; to match an SEC competitor, the Pilots would need to play 6 or 7; to match Florida State, the Pilots would need to play 10 or 11; and to match North Carolina, the Pilots would need to play 12 or 13.

The most non-conference games the Pilots are allowed to play is 13. Now, take into consideration that not all the teams the Pilots schedule, even if the Pilots think they'll be top 25 teams, are going to end up as top 25. So, they need to play some extra potential top 25 teams in order to provide insurance.

The bottom line of this is that if the Pilots want to protect themselves against what happened this year happening again, the only way to do it is to schedule virtually all of their games against teams they think will be in the top 25. Even with that, given the likelihood some of them won't end up as top 25, the Pilots probably won't be able to match North Carolina or Florida State if it comes down to who played the most top 25 teams.

This probably explains why Santa Clara has been in the habit of scheduling such a very tough non-conference schedule. They've figured this out and are trying to match up in toughness of schedule with the UNCs and FSUs of the world. They've also paid a big price for doing it.

The question for the Pilots is whether the staff thinks it's worth it to try to match up with the UNCs and FSUs of the world. If so, they are going to have to put together really, really rough non-conference schedules and take some chances on having some poor records by recent standards. If they don't think it's worth it because of what it would mean in terms of exhaustion and not being able to get bench players into games, which I could accept, then it's going to very hard to qualify for a #1 seed and we may as well accept that as a fact of life.

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Re: Making Sense of the Bracket

Post by Harry Redknapp on Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:37 pm

There is also the point that the criteria seem to shift each year to simply provide a rationale for not providing the Pilots with a #1 seed.

Scheduling top teams is guess work because you can't always know three years ahead who they will be.

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Re: Making Sense of the Bracket

Post by fwill on Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:44 pm

One of the things that continues to baffle me with the seeding is the NCAA's goal of attendance, i.e., host schools also are supposed to have a strong fan following. UP is probably the only campus in the country with a consistent fan base and sell-out tournament games, yet they don't always get home field advantage regardless of seeding. I guess we should be satisfied that this year will we get to see three games, and who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and UCLA will lose before they reach us!

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Re: Making Sense of the Bracket

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:17 pm

fwill wrote:One of the things that continues to baffle me with the seeding is the NCAA's goal of attendance, i.e., host schools also are supposed to have a strong fan following. UP is probably the only campus in the country with a consistent fan base and sell-out tournament games, yet they don't always get home field advantage regardless of seeding. I guess we should be satisfied that this year will we get to see three games, and who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and UCLA will lose before they reach us!

There's at least a reasonable chance that Penn State will knock off UCLA. During the pre-season, I had picked them as a dark horse candidate for the Final Four, in lieu of UCLA. Penn State started the season slowly, but at the end have been coming on like gangbusters. If they knock off UCLA, they'll give us a heck of a battle at Merlo.

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Re: Making Sense of the Bracket

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:46 pm

I'm ok if our only Top 25 games are when we beat the #1 seeds, in our bracket and in the College Cup. Very Happy

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