Monday, March 20, 2017

Reseeding the Sweet 16

I guess this what the cool kids are doing now. Having done in the past, I'll consider myself a trendsetter or ignorant of the world around me. Both are possible.

I do it pretty simply, by KenPom. So, this is raw data with a few opinions sprinkled in.

1. Gonzaga (1st, 12th O, 1 D): No matter what happens, Gonzaga ending the national nightmare that was Northwestern makes them champions in my book.

2. Florida (3rd, 26th O, 3rd D): This still staggers me. Playing Virginia in its last game certainly helps. Since January 18, Florida has three losses to Vandy by a total of 14 points and two other losses to UK and South Carolina. I completely undervalued them.

3. North Carolina (4th, 6th O, 19th D): That's a Final 4 profile. Still, watching them leaves you with as many questions as answers.

4. Kentucky (5th, 13th O, 7th D): This is Calipari's best coaching job. Don't at me.

5. West Virginia (6th, 25th O, 5th D): Basically, they did everything you expect in a West Virginia loss and beat Notre Dame by 12. Matchup with Zags is an Elite 8 game.

6. Kansas (7th, 5th O, 25th D): Might be worth a closer look but remind me of Duke in 2015. Offense isn't as good but defense is good enough. Adjusting for rules changes, it's close.

7. Baylor (10th, 20th O, 13th D): No one expected this team to actually make it this far. Long and athletic, more like Scott Drew's earliest Baylor teams.

8. Purdue (12th, 23rd O, 16th D): Getting contributions outside the Twin Towers. Game against Kansas is second best Sweet 16 matchup.

9. UCLA (14th, 2nd O, 77th D): One of the best wins in Round Two. Not the upset like others but Cincinnati was the exact type of team expected to challenge  UCLA.

10. Oregon (15th, 16th O, 23rd D): Dana Altman has done great work in Eugene. Was sort of an afterthought hire after the Ducks swung and missed on big names. They miss Boucher but isn't as important against Michigan.

11. Arizona (18th, 17th O, 24th D): Eh

12. Michigan (20th, 3rd O, 73rd D): Enjoying every moment of this incredible run. Smells so much like '89. Defense remains a crucial point of concern. Louisville is bad on defense.

13. Wisconsin (21st, 36th O, 8th D): Koenig has been an assassin and Hayes finally woke up. But 7-16 at the line does you in sooner than later. Same with nearly doubling the opponents turnovers. 

14. Butler (24th, 21st O, 43rd D): Terrible matchup against UNC. Pundits liked more than computers. Good season, though proving they still can make runs.

15. South Carolina (28th, 124th O, 4th D): Proving me wrong for this year at least. No offense this bad should still be playing. Of course, says more about Duke's defense. Duke's season is defined by the 65 they gave up in the 2nd half. Just staggering.

16. Xavier (30th, 29th O, 66th D): Chris Mack is going to get a fat raise either in Cincinnati or from one of the blue bloods. 

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