Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NCAA First Round Preview: East Region

12:40 PM Thursday, Pittsburgh64.4 possessions
9Southern Miss35.6%64.642.920.137.834.2
8Kansas St.64.4%69.252.422.336.630.4
Conference commissioners would be wise to find out how Conference USA is gaming their schedules for RPI purposes and copy it. Last year, an underqualified UAB team reached the NCAA Tournament (albeit the play-in game) based on nothing more than a strong RPI number, and this year a Southern Miss team that should have been sweating it out on the bubble is safely in the field as a 9-seed thanks to an RPI of 21.

2:10 PM Thursday, Albuquerque57.2 possessions

3:10 PM Thursday, Pittsburgh67.6 possessions
16N.C. Asheville8.0%64.444.325.537.729.6
Losing Fab Melo shouldn't be that big of a deal for Syracuse. The guy's a good player, but he's not other-worldly or anything. The problem for the Orange is that Melo's replacements just haven't been very good at all. Without Melo, Syracuse's offense drops from #14 nationally to #18, and their defense falls from #5 all the way to #18. That's a difference of about 2.5 points per game against an average BCS team, so while Melo's absence shouldn't make much difference against a team like Asheville, it could very much come into play against Kansas State in the second round.

4:40 PM Thursday, Albuquerque59.2 possessions
Vanderbilt has a reputation as a March disappointment, but matchups do matter, and in Harvard the committee has handed the Commodores yet another tougher-than-usual 12-seed.

7:20 PM Thursday, Pittsburgh63.3 possessions
10West Virginia46.3%66.246.617.836.820.7
I was awfully tempted to call this a home game for West Virginia. They're only traveling an hour and a half up I-79 to play a team traveling all the way across the country. With Gonzaga being a west-coast team, if the NCAA had made this an early afternoon tip, I probably would have.

9:50 PM Thursday, Pittsburgh64.3 possessions
15Loyola (MD)4.7%55.742.324.629.425.4
2Ohio St.95.3%75.552.517.640.529.6
TAPE has had the Buckeyes as the #1 team in the country since January 3, and while I don't always agree with my computer, I haven't seen anything out of the Buckeyes that leads me to believe that's anything but accurate. They've taken some losses just by virtue of playing in a ridiculously strong Big Ten, but there's just not anything these Buckeyes don't do well.

12:15 PM Friday, Nashville62.5 possessions
Their run to the Big East tournament championship game surely moved the Bearcats off of the bubble, but a 6-seed seems like an awful big reach for a team whose tournament status was still an open question as recently as 10 days ago.

2:45 PM Friday, Nashville64.5 possessions
14St. Bonaventure38.2%62.745.423.934.832.4
3Florida St.61.8%66.450.923.333.729.4

No comments: