Monday, March 18, 2013

Final S-Factor of 2013

I ran the numbers one last time this morning. I have also made one last human-based bracket prediction.

In terms of 64-team selection, the one difference between the S-Factor and my bracket prediction is that I included West Virginia and left out Creighton.  I felt that to really be in contention for an at-large bid, Creighton needed to have made it to the title game of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, and that didn't happen.  I think they'll be left out despite their relatively high RPI of 41.

What I'm not at all sure about is which team should replace them.  I put West Virginia in, but I would not be surprised if one of the regular-season-winning teams from weaker conferences (San Diego State, Florida Gulf Coast, Toledo) was included in the field of 64.  I know I wrote two weeks ago that Creighton and Toledo had decent chances to get into the tournament as at-large bids, but neither team made it to their conference tournament final. San Diego State and Florida Gulf Coast did make it to the final game, and so I think both of those teams stand a better chance.  But I put West Virginia in the field because they proved themselves capable on more than two occasions of beating top 50 teams (Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State).

I feel that San Diego State, whose only win over a non-conference tournament-bound team was against Cal Poly, did not prove they could compete and win against the top teams. 

The team that makes me the most nervous though is Florida Gulf Coast.  They steamrolled through the Atlantic Sun conference, but they lost to Stetson in the tournament final. They have wins against tournament-bound LSU and Hampton, and 5 out of their 6 losses were against tournament-bound teams (assuming Charlotte gets in).  I could totally see the selection committee sticking FGCU in the field ahead of four other small conference regular season champs with better RPI ranking (Creighton (I know, co-champs), San Diego State, Pacific, Toledo).

I guess we'll see tonight.

I have Charlotte in the field despite their 53rd ranked RPI.  The S-Factor likes them even better than fellow Atlantic 10 conference mate Duquesne because of their 13-1 regular season record.  Charlie Creme puts West Virginia in the field instead of Charlotte.  Having both Duquesne and Charlotte in the field (in addition to Dayton and St. Joseph's) would be unusual: no more than three teams from the Atlantic 10 conference have been in the tournament since 1989. 

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