The Bracket Report is a local piece written by Greg Eversmeyer of the Daily Bracket.
The Daily Bracket uses a mathematical formula to rank every Division I college basketball team. The formula is derived from the criteria used by the NCAA selection committee, as well as analysis that historically shows which statistical factors most impact the selection process. These criteria include Strength of Schedule (SOS), Winning Percentage, AP and ESPN Polls, wins against top 25 RPI teams, record against top 50 and top 100 RPI teams, losses against teams outside the top 100 of the RPI, Conference record, and Road-Neutral court record. From there, seeding is done on a manual basis, conforming to NCAA bracketing rules.
Greg will be providing Philahoops.com with a breakdown of the city teams’ chances of making the NCAA tournament. We encourage that you follow him each and every day at the Daily Bracket and as always, please leave all comments below.
For college basketball fans of teams on the March Madness bubble, rooting against other teams can be just as thrilling as cheering for your own team. We want all the other bubble teams to lose and we don’t want any conference tournament upsets that would leave fewer at-large bids for the bubble teams. But which other teams are most likely to help or hurt our team’s cause?
To get a more precise look, let’s start with Villanova. I’ve used my latest simulations to see which teams have their bid chances reduced the most in those simulations where Villanova won an at-large bid. In other words, which other bubble teams did comparatively worse in the simulations when Villanova gets a bid.
|Team||Overall Chance||If ‘Nova Dances||% Change|
In this table, the first column is the overall chance that each team has of being an at-large bid to the tournament. As we can see, Villanova’s chances of an at-large bid now are not very good, only about 20%. But in those simulations where Villanova got an at-large bid, we can see that Virginia was the team that had the biggest change in their bid probability, with an 8 percentage point difference in their at-large chances. From this list, you can see that Villanova will most likely be stealing bids from Virginia, Iowa St, Tennessee, Boise St, and Kentucky. Other bubble teams like Southern Miss, Alabama, and Mississippi, don’t have their chances affected much when Villanova makes the dance.
The other aspect of bubble madness is hoping that good teams who would otherwise get at-large bids are able to win their conference tournament. Here’s a list of teams who won their conference tournament more often when Villanova got a bid.
(Editor’s Note: This may seem confusing. The second column is the percentage that the listed teams win their conference tournament in simulations that Villanova gets a bid.)
|Team||Chance to win conference tournament||Chance if Villanova gets a bid||Bid % Change|
|Middle Tenn State||75.6%||82.3%||6.7%|
As we can see from this list, the teams to be cheering on are Akron, Memphis, Middle Tenn St, and Belmont. If any of those teams falter, there will be fewer at-large invites for Villanova.
Now let’s look at La Salle, but let’s flip how we look at teams. La Salle now has an 84% chance of getting an at-large bid. Let’s look at those simulations where La Salle does not make the tournament. Which other bubble teams get bids when the Explorers don’t?
|Team||Overall Chance||If La Salle doesn’t dance||% Change|
This list looks similar to Villanova’s, with Iowa St, Tennessee, Virginia, and Boise St leading the way. Another team to root against is Alabama. Interestingly, the chances of Villanova getting a bid are lower. There looks to be some correlation between Villanova getting a bid and La Salle getting a bid, which makes sense since La Salle beat Villanova this season. The better that Villanova does, the better that win looks for La Salle.
Now let’s look at the auto bids. Again, we’ll flip the script and and look at which teams lost the most when La Salle failed to get a bid.
(Editor’s Note: A little different here.The second column shows what percentage teams on the bubble did not win their conference tournament in simulations in which La Salle was not dancing. )
|Team||Won their conference tournament||With no La Salle bid, won conference tournament:||% Change|
|Middle Tennessee State||75.6%||68.3%||-7.3%|
Again, the list is similar to Villanova’s. Explorers’ fans should be hoping that Memphis, Middle Tenn St, and Akron win their conference tournaments.
Let’s now look at Temple, again by looking at cases where Temple did not make the tournament. There were only 315 simulations where the Owls didn’t make the tournament, giving them a 97% chance of making the Big Dance.
|Team||Now||No Temple % Change||% Change|
Again, it’s a similar list to La Salle’s, with many of the same teams featured. And again, a late run by Villanova won’t hurt Temple, since the Owls defeated the Wildcats this season.
Here’s the table of automatic bid changes.
(Editor’s Note: A little different here.The second column shows what percentage teams on the bubble did not win their conference tournament in simulations in which Temple was not dancing. )
|Team||Won their conference tournament||With no Temple bid, won conference tournament||% Change|
|Middle Tenn. St.||75.6%||65.4%||-10.2%|
Again, a similar list, with Memphis, Creighton, and Belmont featured near the top of the list, and Southern Miss a particular team to root against as they are a prominent bid stealer in this group.
One interesting thing to look at is to compare the %’s in the auto bid tables for La Salle and Temple. The percentages in the Temple table are much higher, which would indicate that the only threat to Temple’s chances are when there are quite a few bid stealing conference tournament champions.