High Variance Teams

See the post below this one for my Sunday bracket.

But here, I’d like to take a moment to talk about high variance teams. What I mean is teams who could be seeded anywhere within a large seed range.

Many teams can be pegged with confidence to be exactly on one line. Examples are Kansas and Villanova will be one seeds, and UT-Arlington should expect a 12 seed if they win their conference tournament.

Now, for the high variance teams that could surprise many one week from today:

Wichita State – They could end up anywhere from an eight seed if the committee really values their efficiency ratings to a 12 seed if the committee punishes them for only recording three top 100 wins on the year. My personal expectation is that Wichita State will end up either a 10 or 11 seed, depending on what other teams do in their conference tournaments.

Dayton – The Flyers are a very good basketball team, and they have done their job by collecting quality victories this year. However, elite wins have escaped them this season. That is mostly due to a weaker conference schedule, but also because of an inability to win elite games out of conference. The Flyers can get up to a six seed, or as far down as a ten. My expectation is either a seven or an eight.

Virginia Tech – Buzz Williams is a terrific coach and has a very good basketball team, but they’re out of conference strength of schedule is bound to hurt them. The Hokies could get as high as a six seed because of strong wins (Duke, Virginia, Miami, at Michigan), but could also drop all the way to an 11. While they haven’t lost any terrible games, there are a few losses to mediocre teams. I expect the Hokies to end up in an 8/9 game, but their seed is very much up for grabs entering the ACC tournament.

SMU – Mustang basketball has thrived the past half decade, and a tournament bid is assured. Their seed, however, is very much up in the air. SMU has only one victory against the top 50, but they do have eight wins against the top 100. How the committee views an elite record with a lack of elite wins will determine where this team ends up. They could be as high as a five, and as low as a nine. My guess is they end up at or within a line of a seven.

Wisconsin – The Badgers are a confounding team. At times they look like a real contender, and other times, not even worthy of a tournament bid. With a resume lacking elite wins but plenty of good top 100 victories, they could be seeded as high as a five and as low as a nine. My expectation is +/- one line of a seven seed one week from today.

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