Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Seeding Vandy

Unlike many other teams around the country, Vanderbilt will not be sweating Selection Sunday. Just getting into the final 64 is not a question for this year’s Commodores; however where they will be seeded still remains very much up in the air.

Depending on the outcome of this week's SEC tournament I could see Vandy getting anywhere from a 3 to a 7 seed. Currently ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has them as a 6, while CBS’s Gary Parrish and SI’s Steward Mandel both have us as a 5. It would be pointless to try and predict seeds without looking at comparable teams so here are the other mid-level seeds (bad 4’s- good 6’s):

Vandy (25-6, 10-6 SEC)
SOS : 34 RPI: 10, 5-4 vs. top 50, 11-5 vs. top 100, 1 loss outside top 100 (@ Alabama)

Marquette (21-8, 11-7 Big East)
SOS 36 RPI: 24, 3-8 vs. top 50, 7-8 vs. top 100,

UCONN (24-7, 13-5 Big East)
SOS: 26 RPI: 14 7-4 vs. top 50, 8-7 vs. top 100

Washington St. (23-7, 11-7 Pac-10)
SOS : 45 RPI: 20, 4-6 vs. top 50, 10-7 vs. top 100,

Southern Cal (20-10, 11-7 Pac-10)
SOS: 14 RPI: 31, 4-7 vs. top 50, 11-9 vs. top 100, 1 loss outside top 200 (Mercer without Daniel Hackett)

Indiana (25-6, 14-4 Big 10)
SOS: 58 RPI: 16 6-5 vs. top 50, 10-5 vs. top 100, 1 loss outside top 100 (@ Penn St.)

Michigan St. (24-7, 12-6 Big 10)
SOS: 50, RPI: 15 5-5 vs. top 50, 8-5 vs. top 100 2 losses outside top 100 (@ Iowa, @ Penn St.)

Butler (27-3, 16-2 Big 10)
SOS: 136 RPI: 18 1-1 vs. top 50, 9-3 vs. top 100

Drake (26-4, 15-3 MVC) Missouri Valley Champions
SOS: 68 RPI: 12 4-1 vs. top 50, 8-2 vs. top 100 2 losses outside top 100 (Bradley, @ Missouri St.)

Ok, so what does this all mean? I think Butler and UCONN are the best of this bunch. UCONN has proven it can win on the road, (W @ Indiana) and went 13-5 against a decent Big East schedule, played ND, Providence and Seton Hall twice. Butler played a lot of decent, but not great teams in the non-conf and basically beat them all and did it for the most part on neutral floors or on the road.

I also think MSU, Marquette and Vandy are the three least qualified teams on this list. Marquette beats nobody they’re not supposed to (except @ Wisc), and everybody they’re supposed to, including wins at home against ND and Pitt. MSU and Vandy are a little different, they beat everybody at home and nobody, for the Spartans literally nobody, on the road.

Because of this I think the Commodores have as much to gain as anybody this weekend. A first (or even second) round loss could demonstrate to the committee that they are just a different team away from Memorial. However a trip to the finals could bump them up from where they currently stand (likely a 6) to a protected seed and winning the tournament could push them all the way up to the 3 line.


Anonymous said...

I personally see Vandy as a 4 seed at worst a 7 if we lose to Auburn. If you look at the teams that i think are better than us you have the obvious 1 and 2 seeds: Tennessee, Memphis, UCLA, UNC, Duke, Texas, Georgetown, Kansas. Then, i think Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Louisville, Stanford, Uconn are better than us. I am not convinced that Xavier or Butler would have as good of records playing in a major conference so Stanford, Xavier, Butler, Vandy would be my 4 seeds as long as Vandy takes care of Auburn and beating Arkansas would not hurt either. Purdue (overrated from what i have seen), MSU, Indiana, and WSU would be my 5 seeds.

Jarred Amato said...

i think you make a great point. the Big 10 is definitely overrated and washington state has been surprisingly inconsistent. while vandy is a different team away from home, i still think it has better profile than the teams that you mention (assuming that it beats auburn and arkansas). how the dores play on a neutral site is going to be very important for the selection committee.
on another note, whether vandy is a 4 or 6 seed, it's all going to come down to matchups...

Aram Hanessian said...

anon, first of all i think you are vastly underrating Xavier. They have dominated a top 10 conference, as well as impressive neutral site non-conf wins against indiana, kansas st., and kent st (all better than anything vandy has in the non-conf). Also, beating auburn is worth nothing and doesn't prove we can win away from home because they stink. As far as Purdue, Indiana and WSU, all three have superior profiles to Vandy. Purdue and IU were both at least 14-4 in the big 10 which is a better conference than the awful SEC, with the hoosiers playing well against a decent non-conf slate. Vandy really doesn't have a case against WSU who went 11-7 in the top conference and beat Gonzaga and Baylor on the road. I think you need to really look at Vandy's road/neutral record, which is one of the worst among potential tournament teams.

EMoney said...

People LOVE mid-major darlings.... Butler and Xavier are definitely ahead of us. As far as the SEC tourney goes, we all know that Vandy CAN win the Auburn and Arkansas games, and with Shan Foster at the helm, I'd put my money on that. Still, I feel like some way, somehow, we're going to get screwed into a 5 seed at best.

Also, aram, who are you? Not being a dick, I'm just wondering.

Greg Viverito said...

The question is not necessarily who you believe to be "better than us", but who has the better season profile, which Aram points out.

And while people do love mid major darlings, it has nothing to do with where theyre seeded...

Before going I also have to get in my obligatory plug for the Valley; where's the love for Drake?! Should absolutely be on the 4-5 line after the MVC tourney...