Tennessee is not projected in my model, which has earned me a few comments. Most notably, why do I have them on the outside? To that point, here’s the crux of what I use to measure teams. I’m incorporating scoring differential with a bonus-malus factor when comparing actual results to projected results in completed games to date. Home court or neutral court is taken into account, and there is a cap on the margin as well. As a final tweak I look at top level wins (formerly top 50 wins, now Quadrant 1 wins) for seeding purposes impact.
The Volunteers measured out in such a way that they were literally on the brink of making the jump in my bracket at the start of SEC play, but got knocked back down a handful of spots after the 0-2 start. As of this post, I have them 4 teams back from the field. Just winning more than they lose from this point forward will calibrate things well enough to bring them into the fold for me. The other schools that frontloaded with fraudulent non-conference schedules will fall back after some tougher conference tests, and the SEC will allow ample opportunities for teams to pick up quality wins.
My eyes tell me they’re a tournament team, and at the very least I expect to see them in by the end of the year. While I like how things have started to take shape overall, I’m not without a few teams with a puzzling ranking that surprise me. All that said, I have seen some things I’d be concerned with regarding Tennessee. The potential for them to hit a wall in a tougher than usual SEC I think is legitimate.
Teams With A Zero
Congratulations to the Coppin State Eagles. As mentioned last week they had a winnable game on the horizon with Florida A&M coming into Baltimore. It took fifty minutes, but Juan Dixon and his team came out on the right side of a 79-78 double overtime win to lift their record to 1-17.
The win for CSU leaves Delaware State as the last MEAC school on the list. They could stick around for a while. Looking at their schedule, their best chance to get that elusive win might be in mid-February when they host FAMU and Coppin State in back to back games.
We’ll also just have one SWAC team left after this weekend. Mississippi Valley State hosts Alcorn State Saturday. I’ll take MVSU 72-69.
Winless (against Division I) teams (4): Chicago State, Delaware State, Mississippi Valley State, and Alcorn State.
Quadrant 1 Wins
Purdue is back on top and now holds six Quadrant 1 wins and own a 6-2 record against such competition. Kansas, previously tied with Purdue, is alone with the second most wins at five. Their record is 5-2. Villanova is in third place owning four wins. The Wildcats are 4-1 in Quadrant I opportunities.
Of the notable teams with the larger share of missed chances, Butler leads that metric at 2-6. Arkansas, Tennessee, and Temple check in at 2-4. Looking at the entire landscape of college basketball, Texas Southern is 0-8 from their non-conference slate, and New Mexico and North Florida are both 0-7.
(3)- 19 teams
Notable Games (predictions in italics, 3-1 last week (Oregon/ASU Pending), 28-11 overall)
This weekend's top five as I see them:
#5 Saturday, Creighton at Xavier- Creighton 80, Xavier 79
#4 Saturday, North Carolina at Notre Dame- Notre Dame 76, North Carolina 72
#3 Saturday, Michigan at Michigan St.- Michigan St. 75, Michigan 67
#2 Saturday, Miami at Clemson- Clemson 70, Miami 67
#1 Saturday, West Virginia at Texas Tech- Texas Tech 74, West Virginia 70