Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:25 pm

Zags appear to be staying put for now per: https://twitter.com/SRJimm/status/980955873123053568.

Regardless, I think it would be smart for us, the other schools, and the WCC to prepare for an eventual departure just in case. Have the plans for who to invite, how to negotiate TV deals, and all that written ahead of time.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by PilotNut on Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:49 pm

This is good news, in my opinion. I would prefer to have a stronger conference profile and have us get better.

Now, we "just" need to figure out the getting better part... the coaching staff has been candid in stating that recruiting needs to get better; it will be interesting to see what this spring brings us.

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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by DoubleDipper on Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:07 am

PilotNut wrote:This is good news, in my opinion.  I would prefer to have a stronger conference profile and have us get better.
The conference should be stronger next year as nine of the WCC teams will bring back the core of their team, but  according to both the Sporting News and ESPN in their "way-too-early college basketball rankings for 2019-19," Gonzaga will once again, to borrow a phrase from former Pilots' broadcaster, the late Bill Johnson,"reign supreme."   
Sporting News wrote:#6 Gonzaga Bulldogs. Because we’ve learned never to doubt Mark Few’s ability to construct a dynamic roster, mostly. That, and the expected return of dynamic players Zach Norvell (12.7 points per game), Josh Perkins (12.3), Killian Tillie (12.9) and Rui Hachimura (11.6), though Hachimura could test the pro waters.

Brandon Clarke, a transfer who averaged 17.3 points for San Jose State as a sophomore, will be eligible after sitting out this season, and he’ll be ready to make a big impact.
ESPN wrote:#6 Gonzaga Bulldogs. Mark Few's team didn't have Killian Tillie (hip injury) when it lost to Florida State in the Sweet 16. The big man who connected on 48 percent of his 3-point attempts this season should come back for another year to impress NBA scouts. He's not the only intriguing pro prospect on the roster. Rui Hachimura, the 6-foot-8 talent, averaged 11.6 PPG this season, while Zach Norvell Jr. averaged 12.7 PPG and made 37 percent of his 3-pointers. This group will also get another year from savvy point guard Josh Perkins (5.3 APG). Brandon Clarke, a 6-8 transfer eligible next season, averaged 17.5 PPG at San Jose State during the 2016-17 season.
www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/news/college-basketball-top-25-rankings-2018-2019-kentucky-duke-kansas-villanova-nba-draft/699qbsghlgh01sfheywp060ox

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/22966716/college-basketball-way-too-early-top-25-rankings-2018-19
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Stonehouse on Tue May 29, 2018 8:23 pm

WCC isn't the only conference trying something new next year. Check out this plan from Conference USA:

Next season, C-USA’s men’s basketball schedule will look nothing like that of any other Division I conference. Instead of releasing a hard-set regular season conference schedule, C-USA will seed its teams after the opening 14 games of the conference slate. The conference will then face its best teams off against one another over the next four games, with the end goal of placing multiple teams in the NCAA tournament and securing higher seeds for those teams.

https://deadspin.com/conference-usa-is-completely-revamping-its-conference-s-1826386373

To be honest, this makes more sense to me than the WCC's new system, since it adjusts the schedules during the season based on current performance rather than before the season based on past performance.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by DoubleDipper on Wed May 30, 2018 4:59 pm

Stonehouse wrote:WCC isn't the only conference trying something new next year. Check out this plan from Conference USA
I like it, and would like to see the WCC take a similar bold move and give it a try.

1. It could help the top team(s) in the conference get better tournament seeding.
2. It could help more teams from the conference get into the tournament...(might have helped SMC this past season).
3. It could bring more tournament revenue to the conference if more teams get into the tournament, and/or help give the conference team(s) better seeding and a better opportunity to win one or more games....bringing even more revenue to the conference.
4. It would darn sure guarantee a lot more fan interest and exciting games toward the end of the season.

On the other hand,
1. How would the end-of-year WCC Tournament be run/seeded if the 4-game playoff were in affect? (I'm a firm believer there should be just eight teams in the WCC Tournament...the bottom two should stay home!)
2. Fans/schools would be without an "in concrete" schedule the last couple of weeks of the season.

Give it a try!  As Stonehouse wrote, "To be honest, this makes more sense to me than the WCC's new system, since it adjusts the schedules during the season based on current performance rather than before the season based on past performance."
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Stonehouse on Wed May 30, 2018 8:59 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:1. How would the end-of-year WCC Tournament be run/seeded if the 4-game playoff were in affect? (I'm a firm believer there should be just eight teams in the WCC Tournament...the bottom two should stay home!)

I tend to agree, as long as they then do a standard 1-8, 2-7, etc. bracket rather than messing around with byes and stuff like that. But I guess the problem is that travel arrangements need to be made in advance, which makes things really tricky for fans of teams who finish 9th or 10th. Not really sure if there's a workable solution to that problem.

Are there any conferences that don't invite all the teams to the conference tournament? I'm sure there must be.

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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Stonehouse on Wed May 30, 2018 9:13 pm

Random thought about scheduling... under the WCC's new format, there will be 16 league games rather than 18 league games, ostensibly allowing the top teams to schedule better games that will help their RPI more than playing the previous season's bottom teams.

But using Conference USA's idea of dynamic in-season scheduling, could it make sense for two leagues - say, the WCC and the MWC or the MVC - to commit to a little mid-year challenge that pairs up each respective conferences's top teams against each other, and then some mix of the bottom feeders against each other as well?

That would seem to be mutually beneficial all around. It takes the pressure off of having to schedule those "new" non-conference games, and guarantees a good game for all the top teams. And I was thinking just one game, but heck... it could even be two games, right? Over the course of two weeks, a home-and-away?

I don't know, just spit-balling here. It definitely does seem like the mid-major conferences are going to have to start working together to get more bids into the dance.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Dean Murdoch on Wed May 30, 2018 10:32 pm

For DD’s question about how seeding would work, I looked up what C-USA will do.

Once all 18 games have been completed, the top 12 teams based on final league standings will be seeded in the conference tournament. Teams will be guaranteed seeding within their respective group. For example, if a program lands in the second group (6-10), it will seed no higher than six and no lower than 10 in the tournament field.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Thu May 31, 2018 5:31 am

That C-USA scheduling reminds me of what the Scottish Premiership does (I am a massive Scottish soccer fan). Each of their teams play a round robin schedule and face each other three times. Then, they split the top 6 and bottom 6 in two and those 6 play each other one more time. It creates more competition for the league title between the top clubs and more competition to avoid relegation for the bottom clubs. I love it!

I think it would be good for our conference as well. It would make it that much harder for Gonzaga to just walk through their schedule since they will have to play Saint Mary's and other good RPI teams more. And, if those top teams lose, then it is at least to better RPI teams.

The schedule would be a nightmare, as has been said. Should they play 9 games and then split and play 4 more each? That's not much of a conference schedule.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Dean Murdoch on Thu May 31, 2018 9:23 am

SouthCarolinaPilot wrote:That C-USA scheduling reminds me of what the Scottish Premiership does (I am a massive Scottish soccer fan).

What? Celtic wins literally every single year. It must be terribly boring to watch a league where the same team wins every y...........waitaminute
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Dean Murdoch on Thu May 31, 2018 9:47 am

Stonehouse wrote:But using Conference USA's idea of dynamic in-season scheduling, could it make sense for two leagues - say, the WCC and the MWC or the MVC - to commit to a little mid-year challenge that pairs up each respective conferences's top teams against each other, and then some mix of the bottom feeders against each other as well?

Love it, in theory. How would the matchups be determined - RPI? Challenge committee? Whatever Mark Few wants?

What would the location of the games be? Home sites? Maybe all neutral site in Vegas split between the Orleans and at UNLV? MWC has one more team than WCC, so someone would have to tell San Jose State before the season starts that they can't participate to give them an opportunity to fill up that spot on the schedule.

I thought the ESPN BracketBuster was a good thing when it existed. I believe the away team in each matchup was guaranteed a home game against that team in the following season, which was also a bonus. Love the idea of a challenge to fill that gap a little bit...even for the teams at the bottom of the standings. I could have mustered up at least a bit of excitement last year for a game against Air Force that would have given our conference a fraction of a percentage point in the RPI.

SouthCarolinaPilot wrote:The schedule would be a nightmare, as has been said. Should they play 9 games and then split and play 4 more each? That's not much of a conference schedule.

I don't know how else you do it. You could add a game against your travel partner to make it 10+4, which is what C-USA has done. Any other formats would likely introduce more possibilities of teams playing each other four times before Selection Sunday - three times in conference and one more in the tourney. I guess you could argue whether or not that would be good or bad, but I'd be inclined to think that playing an opponent four times in a single year is a touch excessive.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by PilotNut on Thu May 31, 2018 9:58 am

I like the concept of some sort of re-casting during conference play... but, as noted, it would be a logistical nightmare for fans, travel planning, TV coverage, etc. Is the increase in team travel costs alone prohibitive? No, if it results in more bids... but that is no guaranty. How would fans (and broadcasters) react to not knowing the date/time of late-season games, and whether they will be home or away? It would also seem to replace the need for a conference tournament--the new set of games essentially becomes the tourney. Why would a conference go through all that shuffling headache to then have the #1 seed undo some of the RPI gain by playing one of the bottom seeds? Is the revenue made in a tournament (ticket sales, broadcast rights) worth that?

Does this concept make it easier for the top teams to stay on top, and harder for the bottom teams to move up? If so, how much should that be a concern? How would the Pilots have fared if this was in place historically?

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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Thu May 31, 2018 10:19 am

With the WCC's modest schedule change, and now CUSA's more dramatic change, we are witnessing the beginning of mid-major conferences joining a conference scheduling arms race.

The first blows in this arms race were struck by the Big 6 conferences that are going to 20-game league schedules, in an attempt to get more tournament bids for their lower-ranked teams. Now the first mid-majors are fixing their schedules to ensure that their top teams play fewer games against their bottom teams.

Why is this an arms race? Because the advantage that any conference gains is fleeting. It only lasts as long as the other conferences have not also executed the exact same move. The goal is more bids to the tournament, and higher seeds, via boosting the RPI of their best teams. But bids and seeds -- and the RPI! -- are zero-sum. If CUSA gains a bid from this schedule move, it is at the expense of another conference that would have otherwise received that bid/seed. If a CUSA team's RPI goes up, another team's RPI goes down.

So if this works as CUSA hopes, of course all conferences will ultimately do this same thing, giving their top teams a path to a higher RPI by limiting their games against the conference's lower-ranked teams. Once everyone is doing this, there will be no advantage for CUSA. The underlying, pre-existing dynamic (more bids, higher seeds for Power6 conferences) will re-emerge.

If this move works, it might help CUSA for a couple of seasons. But if it works, every other conference will do some version of this strategy, and CUSA's advantage will disappear.

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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by up7587 on Thu May 31, 2018 10:26 am

Sounds too dang new-fangled to me.



Seriously, how many contortions do we have to go through to appease Mark Few, and try to trick the Power 6 into letting a couple more mid-major teams into the tourney.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Thu May 31, 2018 11:25 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:
SouthCarolinaPilot wrote:That C-USA scheduling reminds me of what the Scottish Premiership does (I am a massive Scottish soccer fan).

What? Celtic wins literally every single year. It must be terribly boring to watch a league where the same team wins every y...........waitaminute

...And, now I feel like a Gonzaga fan.

Although, I do enjoy watching Hibernian from time to time.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Stonehouse on Thu May 31, 2018 11:30 am

PilotNut wrote:I like the concept of some sort of re-casting during conference play... but, as noted, it would be a logistical nightmare for fans, travel planning, TV coverage, etc. 

Yeah, this seems to be the part I can't quite wrap my head around.

I guess maybe the way to deal with it would be for schools to know if they have a home or away game, but just not knowing the opponent. That way it can be built into season ticket packages and pre-season schedules and all of that, except the opponent will just be TBA. Not ideal, certainly, but at least it would somewhat resolve that sticking point.

Dean Murdoch wrote:Love it, in theory. How would the matchups be determined - RPI? Challenge committee? Whatever Mark Few wants?

Whatever Few wants, I guess. Wink

Easiest answer would seem to be (based on the standings at the time) first place vs. first place, second place vs. second place, etc. But I suppose you could dig deeper and do highest RPI vs. highest RPI, second-highest vs. second-highest, etc.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Dean Murdoch on Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:35 pm

Stonehouse wrote:But using Conference USA's idea of dynamic in-season scheduling, could it make sense for two leagues - say, the WCC and the MWC or the MVC - to commit to a little mid-year challenge that pairs up each respective conferences's top teams against each other, and then some mix of the bottom feeders against each other as well?

Something I found out today - the MWC and the MVC already do have a challenge. I had no idea it was a thing, but has been in existence since 2009 (minus 2013 & 2014).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_West%E2%80%93Missouri_Valley_Challenge
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:56 pm

Stonehouse wrote:
PilotNut wrote:I like the concept of some sort of re-casting during conference play... but, as noted, it would be a logistical nightmare for fans, travel planning, TV coverage, etc. 

Yeah, this seems to be the part I can't quite wrap my head around.

Who are we kidding. The schedule has already been determined by ESPN.[/quote]
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:01 pm

I’m not sure where else to put this, but it is somewhat relevant to WCC discussions...

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/07/03/grand-canyon-u-succeeds-second-bid-go-nonprofit

Grand Canyon University, a for-profit formerly non-profit Christian school that some would suggest is a potential future member for the WCC, is converting back to a non-profit status — in name only. The corporation that owns GCU created a non-profit arm within itself and sold the academic assets to this non-profit. The President of GCU remains the CEO of this company.

I share this since some have suggested adding GCU to the WCC since they are a new market and a university that has grown considerably in a decade while fitting the WCC profile. I know our WCC presidents are smart, but I hope everyone will see past the wolf in sheep’s clothing that GCU is attempting for accreditation and legitimacy.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by PilotNut on Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:34 pm

Opinion: GCU does not fit the WCC profile.

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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Dean Murdoch on Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:28 pm

Wow - announced this morning, the RPI will now no longer be used by the NCAA. The quadrant system will still exist, but it will be based on the "NCAA Evaluation Tool" instead.

https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2018-08-22/division-i-mens-basketball-committee-adopts-new-ranking

So, uhh....back to the balanced double round-robin schedule now for the WCC? Or does Gonzaga still want the Pilots off the schedule so they can get North Alabama into Spokane instead?
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:50 pm

Reading several articles, I think they are moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

All kinds of claims are being made about the system. I refer you to Mark Few’s claim that “it will eliminate outliers” and it is “more consistent and eliminate teams gaming the rating.”


Well, sorry Mark, but you need to go back to school and take some statistics courses. No matter what system you use, there will be outliers.  35 games isn’t enough to separate teams much past a standard deviation or so with any certainty. There will always be outliers.
It gets worse if you only include this season, which the NCAA has traditionally insisted on

Besides, what’s wrong with outliers? As I recall, Valvano an Massimino made the NCAA pretty interesting as outliers.


As to gaming the system, that’s a term used by people who didn’t rank well.

Some people would call it scheduling to do well in a system, which is what every team has done forever. Take the 60% selection vote away from the P5 and then we’ll talk about who is gaming what.


.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:25 am

Geezaldinho wrote:Reading several articles, I think they are moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

Agreed. I think there is no perfect system for ranking teams just because there are too many teams and too few data points between all of them. I think the only definitive rankings you could make are rank ordering teams within a conference that played a schedule like we used to play (everyone plays everyone twice: home and away). Other than a 350+ round robin, there is probably no strong or logical method of ranking everyone.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:59 pm

Geezaldinho wrote:All kinds of claims are being made about the system. I refer you to Mark Few’s claim that “it will eliminate outliers” and it is “more consistent and eliminate teams gaming the rating.”

Did he really say that?

I can't be the only one seeing the irony of this, especially considering Gonzaga pushing so hard for the WCC to "game the system" in order to help Gonzaga's RPI.
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Re: Massive Changes to WCC Men's Basketball!

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:38 pm

Stonehouse wrote:
Did he really say that?


Yup.

This will have the components of all the metrics,” Few told NCAA.com correspondent Andy Katz. “This will prevent the outliers. There were teams and leagues that were able to trick the RPI, either intentionally or unintentionally. We have all the technology and analytics, and it was silly not to use it.”

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/aug/22/ncaa-adjusts-tournament-selection-process-after-in/
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