A bit o’ the bracket

Even though I am utterly convinced that Syracuse will not make the NCAAs this year, I’m still checking the bracket projections with a touch of desperate hope. Today I peeked at Loonardi’s ology and he’s still got SU on the “Last Four Out” list. But on a whim I looked up Virginia Tech, who is one of the “Last Four In”, and I can’t understand why he’s got VaTech rated higher than SU. Tech is 18-11; SU is 18-12. Tech is #57 in RPI, SU is #52 (all RPI figures from kenpom.com). Here’s a breakdown of key categories, in table form:

stat Virginia Tech Syracuse
Record against RPI top 50 0-5 1-7
Record against 50-100 5-3 6-3
RPIs of top three defeated opponents 64, 64, 68 (MD twice, Fla St) 8, 56, 60 (G’Town, St Joe’s, Nova)
Record against 100-200 8-3 10-2
Record against 200+ 5-0 1-0 (Rutgers)
Road record 4-7 4-6


OK, so. By what standard criteria is Virginia Tech more worthy of the tournament than Syracuse? 27% of their wins were against terrible (200+ RPI) teams. They do not have a single “big” win. Their best achievement is having beaten Maryland twice. My only possible explanation is that they are 9-6 in the ACC while SU is 8-9 in conference. But those 9 wins came against the middle-to-bottom of the conference. Very similar to Syracuse’s slate last year, when SU was 10-6 in conference but had one of the softer conference schedules (but even then we’d beaten Georgetown at least). Interestingly enough, both teams’ final games are against top-25 competition: SU vs. Marquette (20), Tech @ Clemson (23). So the calculus here could change.


This is not meant to make a major argument that SU should be “in” at this point, but rather that SU should at least be ahead of Va Tech in line. And someone tell Maryland we will let them cut us if they let us cut them.

One Comment

  1. Daz
    Posted March 9, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    “And someone tell Maryland we will let them cut us if they let us cut them.”

    Hilarious.

One Trackback

  1. By Cuse Country » Wahoo! on March 10, 2008 at 2:36 am

    [...] Virginia. Sunday’s ACC action also featured Virginia Tech (who were the topic of conversation in this space a couple days ago) losing at #24 Clemson on a pair of free throws with 4 seconds left. Not only [...]

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