Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Upon further review

So it's been two weeks since Selection Sunday and I've been enjoying the tournament too much to let my bad (relative to the Matrix) bracket projection bother me. But that doesn't mean I don't want to learn from it. So I put my seed list next to the Committee's to see just how far off I was.

I was spot-on with the committee on 18 teams. Nine of those were in the top 13 teams, though. Had I not flipped the Spartans and Bulldogs at the last second (literally!), it would've been 10 (I'd have had Sparty ahead of the Vols anyway). I can't decide if 18 out of 68 is actually all that impressive. Maybe a better way to look at it is, I was off by 3 or more s-curve spots on 15 teams (plus the ones I didn't have in the field, so 18). I guess that means that 32 were just off by 1 or 2 places. I don't know how that holds up against other bracketologists... or maybe I do, since 162 of them did better than I did in the scoring! But looking at it in that light makes me feel a little better. I think.

Unsurprisingly, my biggest whiffs (besides the three I included/left out) were Seton Hall, Minnesota (each +9) and VCU (-10). Totally rewarded the Hall too much for their BET finals appearance and punished VCU too much for only making their quarters.

Some closer calls ended up costing me points here and there. I had Virginia Tech as the first 5 and they were the last 4. I had Villanova as the last 5 and they were the first 6. I had Oklahoma as the first 10 and they were the last 9. I only had Purdue and Auburn off by two spots but it was enough to cost me points. So that, plus the Gonzaga/MSU switch, means I wasn't too far off from having an additional... 14 or so points. That would've gotten us into the the top 100.

Furthermore, as I said previously, I don't regret including TCU (or leaving out St. John's, though my son really pushed for them!). I felt Belmont was deserving, but I didn't think the Committee would include them. Indiana was the third team out, but I really should've known better regarding them and Texas. Temple I really waffled on, though. Just including Temple instead of, say, Texas, would've been an additional six points (because I'd have had the Owls as a 11 play-in).

That's an extra 20 points total (potentially), had just a few things broken my way and had I not made a snap last second decision. (I mean, I was closer on VT, Nova, OK, Purdue and Auburn combined than I was on Seton Hall alone!) A 150 would have gotten us into the top 50 or so. I'd have lost on TCU regardless, and probably the Johnnies, but I could've had Temple's points.

I guess what I'm trying to demonstrate (mostly to myself) is that you don't have to be off by much to really mess up your score. Being off just two or fewer s-curve spots for a total of seven teams cost me 14 points because those teams changed seed lines. And at the bubble, I won't beat myself up over TCU or St. John's, but just swapping Texas for Temple cost me six more (that one I AM mad at myself over!).