Saturday’s win at Virginia Tech was enormous for Louisville, but the job is far from over. That much is apparent when you look at the Cardinals’ updated NCAA tournament profile.
As a reminder, here’s what the team sheets that the selection committee will be staring at look like:
Let’s take a look at how the Cards’ NCAA tournament resume currently shakes out.
Again, 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 continue to be 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: 34
Strength of Record: 39
Strength of Schedule: 29
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: 3-8 (wins: At Virginia Tech, 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
If you’ve been reading this site for any period of time then you likely know how I feel about Bracketology. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at where the current bracket projections place the Cards. There’s a theme.
ESPN: 11 seed (First Four)
CBS: 11 seed (First Four)
SB Nation: 11 seed (First Four)
Yahoo: 11 seed (First Four)
Bracket Matrix Composite: 11 seed (First Four)
Two more shots at quadrant one wins before the ACC tournament. This definitely makes it seem like you need to get one of them.