Monday, October 24, 2016

KenPom 2017 Pre-Season Rankings

KenPom preseason rankings are out. Let's see how the top-50 shake out by conference. 

Not surprisingly, the ACC leads the way with ten teams. The league has 7 teams in the top 25 and 4 in the top 10. When the ultra exciting talk of "best conference" comes up this year, there's no debate. Move along.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Big XII is next with 8 teams. They only have 1 team in the top 20, Kansas, who is a realistic title contender. It'll be a fun league due to the round robin.

The Big East and Big 14 both have 7 teams in the top 50. The Big 14 has 5 teams in the top 16 and that sounds about right. It'll be a top heavy league with a lot of bad teams on the bottom.

The Big East has 3 teams in the top 20. Like the Big XII, the league will be a lot of fun with the round robin. Sadly, DePaul will be terrible, possibly historically bad. That's for another day.

The SEC, Pac-12, AAC & A-10 check in with 3 each. The SEC has a national title contender in Kentucky and then a lot of meh. The Pac-12 has 2 Final 4 contenders. The AAC and A-10 don't have a team in the top 25. The AAC should be better given some of the schools in the league. The bottom half will drag them down again.

The WCC has St.Mary's and Gonzaga at 18 & 22. Pretty remarkable how consistent both programs have been.

The MVC, Ivy & Mountain West each have 1. The Mountain West has SDSU at 46. Bleak times in the MWC.

Conference 12 - Conference USA

Conference Champ – UAB

After only 2 conference losses last year UAB return most of its roster this year.  This is still a single bid league and the most likely challenges will come from last year’s darling Middle Tennessee State or old Dominion.  Ultimately, the Blazers experience will win out and represent C-USA come March

Friday, October 21, 2016


Remember last March when Tulsa made the tournament over Monmouth? That was dumb. But that's life in the MAAC.

This year, there are probably four contenders to win the league with one that's a prohibitive favorite. That would be Monmouth who returns MAAC player of the year, Justin Robinson. They also return Micah Seaborn and Je'lon Hornbeak. 

Monmouth will have a chance to prove its mettle as they travel to South Carolina, Syracuse, Memphis and North Carolina. They also host Ivy favorite Princeton. Mark me down as having them go 3-2 in that stretch.

Siena and Jimmy Patsos bring back nearly everyone as well. The name to know is F Brett Bisping. Also, Javion Ogunyemi is a player to know. He does it all. Check his numbers at KenPom. Kid is a flat out good basketball player. 

Siena's schedule isn't as challenging as Monmouth's. They do travel to GW and Kansas. They also go to St. Bonaventure who should be in the mix in the A-10.

Iona loses AJ English but adds Sam Cassell, Jr as a graduate transfer. F Jordan Washington can be their best player but needs to avoid foul trouble. 

St. Peter's is being touted at various places as the 4th contender in the league since they return a good chunk of their roster and add some solid transfers.

Monmouth has a chance to be one of the best non-major teams in the country this year. With a challenging schedule, they can once again put themselves on bubble talk. Realistically, they don't want to do that and want to win the league title and league tournament.

College basketball fans should mark the Monmouth and Siena as must see games this year. They play twice in 11 days on February 13 and 24.

MAAC-tion, baby

Mid Major Predictions

I have 6 conferences filling this designation.  These conferences are 90% locked in as a 1 bid conference.  Perhaps, with the right scheduling and no slip ups an at-large could come from 1 of these conferences but it isn’t likely.  See how the MAAC and Monmouth got screwed last year for a perfect example.

Colonial – Towson
Probably the weakest conference of this group nobody jumps out at you.  Wilmington will contend and William and Mary will flirt with a bid but ultimately the Tigers come out on top

WAC – New Mexico State
A year after getting clipped at the buzzer by Bakersfield the Aggies are the “cream of the crop” again.  There’s another Bhullar to cheer for and he’s got a 6’11” starting buddy.

Ivy – Harvard
Yale lost too much to contend after beating Baylor last year so it’s a two horse race between Harvard and Princeton

MAC – Akron
The MAC is slowly making a comeback as there are a couple teams were noting at this point.  Akron looks to be ahead of everybody but Buffalo, Ohio, and Eastern Michigan are closing.  Still thinking 1 bid this year

Horizon – Oakland
Most people will be on Valpo because of Alec Peters but I think Oakland, despite losing Kay Felder will be better.  Green Bay will contend as well

MAAC – Monmouth

They got screwed last year and we’ll see if it happens again.  Siena is a close second at this point.  If an at large bid comes from this group of conferences it will be Monmouth or Siena.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Low Major Predictions

I have 14 teams pegged as Low-Major which means no matter what happens these are 1 bid leagues.  No at-large bids here.

America East – Vermont (although I’m hoping for Hartford so I can cheer for Pancake Thomas)
Atlantic Sun – North Florida
Big Sky – Weber State
Big South – Winthrop
Big West – Long Beach State (since Hawaii is on probation)
MEAC – South Carolina State
NEC – Fairleigh Dickenson
Ohio Valley – Belmont (and they should romp)
Patriot – Lehigh
SoCon – Chattanooga
Southland – Sam Houston State (although SFA should be a close 2nd)
Summit – South Dakota State  (go TJ Otzelburger)
Sun Belt – UT-Arlington

SWAC – Alabama State

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More Replay for the MAC & Big 14

This nugget dropped from the NCAA this afternoon:

The MAC and Big 14 will allow officials or coaches challenge block/charge that happen near the restricted area calls in the final 2 minutes of the 2nd half and overtime. 

Coaches that challenge and lose will lose a timeout and if they win, streamers will drop from the ceiling and all in the land will eat the finest meats and cheese.

Coaches and refs cannot challenge non calls and any challenge must occur before the ball is put back into play. Again, you can only challenge calls that occur near the restricted area.

This is arguably the dumbest thing I've ever heard of for basketball rules changes in my lifetime. 

What needs to happen is what Mark Titus (@clubtrillion) of The Ringer is going to harp on all year, and that's the end of the charge. The charge rewards bad defenders and floppers. Please tweet early and often this basketball season #BanCharges #BanTheCharge

Those in favor of this replay system hope it ends flopping but my guess is, confusion will reign and a coach will instantaneously combust in one of these leagues this year (looking at you, Tom Izzo). Simply, #BanCharges #BanTheCharge

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Official Conference Breakdowns

Low Major (14)
1 bid leagues who will occupy the 14-16 seed lines.  A March Madness win is something to write home about.
1. America East
2. Atlantic Sun
3. Big Sky
4. Big South
5. Big West
7. Northeast
8. Ohio Valley (a couple years ago was a Mid-Major)
9. Patriot
10. SoCon (same as OVC but felt the realingment trickle down effect through the Colonial)
11. Southland
12. Summit
13. Sun Belt
14. SWAC

Mid Major (6)
Used to be everybody but the Power 6.  These leagues are 1 bid leagues but you may get a 12-13 seed out of them or a second bid if they schedule and win properly
1. Colonial (very close to falling to low major after flirting with high major)
2. Horizon
4. MAC (should be a high major but just isn;t)
5. WAC (same as Colonial.  New Mexico State has single handedly kept them here)
6. Ivy

High Major (6)
Probably a two bid league but can sometimes get 3-4 bids.  Can surprise with a sneaky 4-5 seed out of the conference
1. American
2. A-10
3. C-USA (questionable whether they should be this high)
4. Misssouri Valley
5. Mountain West
6. West Coast

Power (6)
At Large Country.  Word is the ACC could get 11 bids themselves this year.  I hope not.  And I realy hope Virginia Tech fails.  Anywho....
1. ACC
2. Big 14
3. Big 12 -2
4. Big East
5. PAC 14
6. SEC and Midwestern Missouri