By: Eric Eichelberger
Welcome to the first week of our EVTB rankings. Hopefully you checked out the introduction article last week. If you didn’t, read it, we want to remind everyone that the point of this model is to learn about teams as we progress towards projecting the NCAA tournament field. The model can bounce around more than episode of Baywatch early in the season, so we will try to explain what’s going on each week. Let’s jump right into this weeks top 25.
|10||San Diego State||23.122|
Some of the rankings are probably just as you expect with Ohio St, Kansas, Duke, Maryland and Louisville hanging near the top of the chart. In fact, there is a pretty big drop off after the top 3 at this point in the season. However, our model is popping out some surprises early, especially compared to the polls and other quantitative models, such as Kenpom. You’ll have to trust me on this, but right now Dayton is coming in at #7, which isn’t that crazy given their body of work. The biggest surprise is the omission of national champion UVA. I swear this isn’t on purpose. Their ranking is low for two reasons. The model gives a heavy weighting to W/L record (why Michigan State is also low comparatively) and UVA’s margin of victory is tiny compared to other top teams. The last big surprise is the Aztecs of San Diego State sitting pretty at #10, who have coasted to a 10-0 record to start the year.
After Maui, The Hokies Start Year Bubbly
Currently, the Hokies come in our rankings at #62. The Hokies really beefed up their strength of schedule since the start of the Maui tournament, but that bump came with 3 tough losses. If the Hokies can stay in this range through ACC play, racking up a few big wins, they won’t be making it easy on the selection committee. At this point, Hokie fans should be proud of this young team’s success. We want to point out that the Hokies are still lighting it up from 3, and likely will need to keep it up to make it as an at-large bid.
ACC Is Off to a Rough Start
At the start of the year, ACC buzz was high. The top 10 was littered with ACC teams, in addition to some early surprises, including the Hokies. Since then, the ACC has cooled off a ton, some of it self-inflicted, some Big 10 inflicted and some Stephen F. Austin inflicted. Right now, we have two teams in our top 10, but it drops off quickly from there as you can see in the chart. Only eight teams are in the top 100. Bracketology places five teams in the field right now, and we would be predicting the same amount or less at this time. We expect the ACC to rebound as league play starts, as many of the teams are young, and will come together, Hokies included.
|5||North Carolina State||59||–||43||–|
Next week, tune in for updates to the model, including commentary on why those changes happened. We look forward to updating you each week, and would love to take your feedback or questions. Thanks for reading!