Tuesday, February 24, 2009

About Brackets...

Looking over a recent post (Dan's 2/19 look at "Toughest Remaining Schedules...") from Dan Hanner's Yet Another Basketball Blog, I found a couple of interesting notes. Dan looked at teams with difficult runs to finish out the season, and decided that Louisville and Marquette deserved a mention. I agree (and have read more than a few comments in the Nova Nation among other places) at how difficult the last quarter of Marquette's BE regular season has become. Ranked as the most difficult by Hanner, the Warrors survived the first test (a road game at Georgetown last Saturday) in good form. The last 4, versus Connecticut, at Lousiville, at Pittsburgh and hosting the Orange still looks difficult, despite the Hoya's problems (and Syracuse's apparent "lost focus" the last week). The road for Louisville (per Dan's post) is marginally easier. The Cardinals cleared their last 2 road games (Cincinnati and last night at Georgetown), and prepare to host Marquette (this one may well settle the 3rd/4th place spots for the BET). Beat Marquette and the Cardinals have a little wiggle room heading into Morgantown for the finale (brutal venue to try and take a road game).

In a departure from the last 2 seasons, the Nova Nation is discussing "seed and location" rather than "in or out". What a wonderful feeling. I had almost forgotten what that was like. Dan had a few links to bracketology websites (Nova fans, Philadelphia-focused that they are, tend to obsess far too much about ESPN's "resident bracketologist" Joe Lunardi, a local functionary at Big 5 mate St. Joseph's) that I thought I would pass along.

1. Warren Nolan's The Nitty Gritty Report is Dan's recommendation. Not hard to see why as the report's front page lists the top 200 (or so) RPI teams along with information 13 categories the Selection Committee will check. Visual clues (color coding) tell the viewer if the category will be a plus or minus in the final discussions. A team page devoted to more detail about the team is a great feature. Link here for Villanova's Team Page. And best of all, it's free.

2. Crashing the Dance forms the bracket using a computer simulation, listing the teams by their place on the S-Curve right on the front page. Using a point system to set the S-Curve, it looks as if the Wildcats are currently a 3 seed (pretty much where most have them now), ahead of both Clemson and Wake Forest (important if the 'Cats are going to get a 1st round in the Center). The Crashing the Dance folks try to provide good deal of team ranking information on that front page. I found the individual team pages, (here is the Villanova Page) a good deal friendlier to read.

Two more sites to follow in the last few weeks...

For those who have not been reading Dan's blog, it is worth the time. Thanks for tracking this down Dan.

No comments: