On the 1st Day of Conference Tourneys, the Buffet gave to me...
THE OPENING OF THE BUFFET!
- Getting things going out in the (Atlantic) Sun
- THE BOOP? YES, THE BOOP
- Giving a picture and full scope of the Waiting Line...
Second things first -- what is the BOOP:
Well, loyal Buffet readers, we here believe you are about to rewarded...
With a BOOP. The Buffet's Officially Official Percentage Index. (Yes, aware that really acronyms out as BOOPI, but the Editorial Staff has unanimously agreed BOOP is the preferred pronouncing, so there you go).
The BOOP attempts to take in each piece of criterion that Selection Committee has with them inside the Committee Room that fateful week in March, so that this Committee of One can give you college hoops and/or Scott Schwartz enthusiasts the best information and closest approximation we can to what is shaping up to be the field.
With that in mind, the BOOP formula includes:
- Computer Rankings (RPI, BPI, Pomeroy, Sagarin, and KPI)
- Strength of Schedule + Strength of Record
- Total Wins
- Road Record
- Wins/Losses vs RPI ranked teams (bucketed 1-25, 26-50, 51-100, 101-200, 201+)
- Wins/Losses with the lights shining brightest (January & February)
- Conference Leadership (placeholder for actual conference champion and/or tournament champion)
The Boop will live in its own section -- with full rankings, and what the bracket would look like from a BOOP only perspective. Note -- this will not mirror Buffetology, where human element adds some selection flavor to give our official predictions...
And now on to the Conference Tournament countdown...
THE ATLANTIC SUN
Dominance at the top marked the Atlantic Sun season -- until February 9th, Florida Gulf Coast was the riddle only South Carolina Upstate could provide a 1 game solution to. FGCU rode into February with a single conference loss, and controlled their regular season title destiny. But, always looming in their rear view were those crazy kids from Nashville -- the Bison of Lipscomb. With only 2 conference losses heading into the final month - a big date loomed on February 9th in Fort Myers. In an odd game, where Lipscomb finished the game (8 1/2 minutes) without a made field goal, they still sprung the upset 65-60, and forged a brief conference leadership tie. But, along came Lipscomb's 2016/17 nemesis North Florida (the Ospreys swept the season series 2-0), and the Bison's third conference loss propelled FGCU to the top seed. The FGCU key has been the reintegration of Marc-Eddy Norella - Norella who averaged 17/9 last year, spent most of November & December embroiled in games missed due to injury & personal issues, however since returning to practice in late December, he played in FGCU's final 13 games, and the close calls versus the bottom of the conference have faded from memory.
Schedule (all games at campus sites), Feb 27, Mar 2 & 5 (championship on ESPN):
1 FGCU v. 8 Stetson
4 So Carolina Upstate v. Kennesaw
3 North Florida v. 4 Jacksonville
2 Lipscomb v 7 New Jersey Inst Tech
Games to look for:
FGCU isn't the chalk lock for the finals you'd think. They barely snuck by, on the road at Stetson 89-88 back in January (though they won comfortably them out just 4 days ago at home), Kennesaw also gave them a run (but, also a road game for the Eagles). But, most relevantly, So Carolina Upstate gave FGCU their first conference loss, and then tried to take away their outright A-Sun title by pushing them to overtime on Feb 21. That potential second round matchup should be fun.
The other side of the bracket shapes up to give us Lipscomb v UNF round 3. Can the Bison finally slay the Osprey dragon? Or will it be total domination? Lipscomb with their season split figures to give FGCU a tougher game, but #championshipweek is not predictable like that.
Prediction: Was going to look for the upset, given how USC Upstate has a nice formula for facing Florida GC, but with the UNF/Lipscomb season sweep -- sticking with the Eagles, led by UCF transfer, junior Brandon Goodwin and senior Demetris Morant, and of course, the reintegrated Marc-Eddy Norelia, to give the Buffet Atlantic Sun chalk: Florida Gulf Coast is the pick.
Formally opening the Waiting Line...
To all new readers, those who have forgotten, or just never cared. We're the Buffet, we do have bubbles, you're either in or out, so, those without clear paths to the Buffet stands they sit in the Waiting Line... For those that have reviewing the first official Buffetology, the first hints of the Waiting Line... emerges. Since no automatic bids have been awarded, if you're sitting on lines 10-14, keep doing work. At this stage of the year, lines 10 can feel pretty secure about an invite, 11 must really fall apart, but 12-14? As Bill Belichick would say: "Go do your job"
2016/2017 Waiting Liners as of 2.27.16
- Maryland (maybe recency bias, but how they played last game -- trending down....)
- South Carolina
- Michigan State
- Virginia Tech
- Wichita State (believe a loss to any one not named Illinois State could push them out, but where they are now, as of today, they are safe, so it's all a bit misleading, bc they only need the Waiting Line if they lose. Basically: 1: Don't lose. 1A: Don't lose to anyone other than ISU)
NOT SO SAFE, EITHER SIDE (if they don't win their conference tournament, of course, bc then you'd be safe, by definition)
- Southern California
- Middle Tennessee
- Illinois State
- Rhode Island
- Seton Hall
- Kansas State
- Wake Forest
- Georgia Tech
CAN SEE THE LINE, UNSURE IF THEY CAN BE CONSIDERED "IN" IT - advised to win their conference tournament
- BYU (when you beat the top ranked/undefeated team, you get to think you're in line)
- Wake Forest
- Ohio State
- Ole Miss (RPI loves this team, other computers not so much)
- Texas Tech (KenPom loves this team, other computers not so much)
- Penn State
Monday's Waiting Line Games of Note:
Miami @ Virginia Tech - After a brief stumble to start February, with back to back road losses (including versus tonight's opponent) Virginia Tech has mostly righted the ship -- winning 4 of 5, and defeating each opponent in that stretch who they'll likely be evaluated against at some point on Selection Sunday or they "should" beat. A win over Miami, pretty much a lock for invitation, especially after their win over the Grayson Allen-less Blue Devils this weekend, would boost them closer, if not at, invitation lock status
Troy @ Texas-Arlington - reasonably certain UTA cannot withstand a loss in their conference tournament and still get an invite (which is the only reason they'd need to be in the Waiting Line at all), but for sure they can't withstand 2...