Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NCAA Musings and Stats Stink. So Does The RPI

I really believe Xavier has a solid chance to be in the sweet 16, if not beyond. The conventional thinking says if Xavier had to struggle at home to beat Richmond, then lost to the Spiders in the A-10 tournament, the Musketeers aren't going anywhere. But Richmond is not the Richmond of old, especially with a coach that makes Doogie Howser look like Jerry Garcia. (look it up kids) You look at Xavier's path, and you see teams the Musketeers can beat. Will they? Who knows? It's March Madness baby! But I think they have an excellent shot at knocking off Pitt. Oh, yeah, first there is Tubby and the Golden Gophers. Why the heck are they in the tournament? I'm serious. You want a joke. Look at that resume. A win over Butler early in the year and a win over Ohio State in Evan Turner's second game back from injury. Solid wins. Oh yeah, Michigan State in the Big Ten tourney. (i swear sometimes Izzo just wants his team to get some rest) And then a win over the God-awful Robbie Hummel-less Purdue Boilermakers. And that's your at-large team. Wow. Nice job selection committee. Way to keep a "power" conference happy. Anyway, Xavier and Pitt should be as much fun as last year's NCAA match up.

I saw XU Athletic Director Mike Bobinski tonight. He is part of the selection committee and the tournament is better for it. I wish I would have had time to ask him about Minnesota, but our conversation was about the Xavier-Pitt match up in the second round. He swears, and I believe him, that they try to avoid these kind of re-matches. But there are so many other constraints on keeping conferences from matching up, and re-matches from the regular season, that the XU-Pitt rematch from last year's sweet 16 was too far down the list to move them to different regions.

Now for the Stats Stink and So Does The RPI part of this post.
For starters: South Florida has an RPI of 71. There isn't a team with a seed above 4 that would want to mess with the Bulls right now. According to the almighty RPI, South Florida has a strength of schedule of 62. They had one terrible loss, and it was brutal, to a Central Michigan team that Butch Jones, Brian Kelly, and Dan LeFevour couldn't save. But 10-10 in the toughest conference in the country is a plus and should hold a little more weight than a somewhat crappy non-conference schedule. I'm telling you, the Bulls would beat a lot of teams in the tournament. The RPI is a fraud we swallow just as easily as we swallow federal withholding taxes.

I've looked at so many stats on these NCAA bubble teams, etc., it made my head hurt. You can't come up with anything solid. I'm excited about Baylor. I think the Texas-Wake Forest match up is hilarious. They didn't know what to do with these two badly fading teams. Texas was 18-2 at one point this season. The Longhorns were 6-7 in the last 13 games. Wake lost five of its' last 6. It doesn't matter. The committee got this one right. The winner gets devoured by the World Wide Wesses. Sorry Kentucky fans. I pay taxes in your state, I live here, but that's the way I see it.

PS-Good Luck Charlotte. You just offed a good coach, perhaps the best you'll get in awhile, a long while.

I don't know where I stand or what happened in the case of Jim Leavitt's firing at South Florida. But if South Florida counter-sues Leavitt for impersonating a football coach after mid-October of each season, the administration wins.

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