To start with, for anyone who’s curious what exactly the crib sheets used by the members of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee look like, here’s an example (you may have to click to enlarge):
Knowing this, we can give ourselves a pretty good sense of how the Committee would view Louisville if it were putting together its bracket today.
So let’s dive into the individual categories of note here.
The committee is technically including more modern metrics this season like the Sagarin and Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, but the placement and size of the font used to list those metric rankings should give everyone a sense of how much weight those will carry.
The most important metric remains the RPI, which remains the sole metric the committee utilizes when determining what constitutes a quality win. Eventually, the committee hopes to use a composite ranking that includes an average of all these different rankings, but for now we’re stuck with the RPI still wielding far too much power.
The sad thing for Louisville is that the Cardinals are currently regarded far more highly by the predictive metrics like Ken Pom and BPI than they are in the results-based metrics like the RPI, KPI and Strength of Record. Pouring further salt into that wound is that the predictive metrics have consistently proven to be more accurate than the results-based ones in recent years.
Anyway, here’s where the Cards currently stand in all the rankings used by the committee. Strength of Schedule is also tossed in at the end since it’s included on the crib sheet.
Ken Pomeroy: 27
Strength of Record: 43
Strength of Schedule: 37
In December, the committee announced a new method of evaluating quality victories that would place more emphasis on winning away from home. No longer would victories be separated into simple categories like “top 50 RPI wins” and “top 100 RPI wins.”
Instead, here’s the new system of evaluation:
Quadrant 1: Games at home vs teams ranked 1-30 in the RPI, Neutral vs 1-50, Road vs 1-75
Quadrant 2: Home vs 31-75, Neutral vs 51-100, Road vs 76-135
Quadrant 3: Home vs 76-160, Neutral vs 101-200, Road vs 136-240
Quadrant 4: Home vs 161+, Neutral vs 201+, Road vs 241+
And here’s how Louisville’s current resume looks within the new evaluation structure:
Record in Quadrant 1 games: 2-6 (wins: At Florida State, At Notre Dame)
Record in Quadrant 2 games: 1-2 (win: vs. Virginia Tech)
Record in Quadrant 3 games: 8-0
Record in Quadrant 3 games: 7-0
The good(?) news here is that all five of Louisville’s remaining regular season contests all currently qualify as Q1 games.
If you’ve been reading this site for any period of time then you likely know how I feel about Bracketology. Never the less, I suppose it’s worth taking at least a quick look at how the people who evaluate this stuff longer and more closely than you and I currently view the mighty Cardinals.
ESPN: 8 seed
CBS: 11 seed
SB Nation: 10 seed
Yahoo: 12 seed
Bracket Matrix Composite: 10 seed
Clearly, there’s some work to be done here.
I’m not sure I can remember an end of season stretch holding more weight for a Louisville basketball team. Every single game has the potential to dramatically alter U of L’s NCAA tournament profile, and at least three of them figure to be nail-biters from start to finish.
The show starts Saturday.