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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Bridgeport/Norfolk ramblings

Yesterday there was some buzz that if Fairfield beats Marist in the MAAC final today that it could result in UConn being shipped out of the Bridgeport subregional and head to Norfolk.

The talk has some merit. Fairfield is a host of the Bridgeport subregional so if the Stags claim the MAAC's automatic bid with a win today, they would have to be sent to Bridgeport. UConn seems locked into a No. 1 seed meaning that Fairfield would have to be a 16 seed for both teams to be sent to Bridgeport. Fairfield is currently ranked 97th in RPI and that doesn't seem to be among the four lowest RPIs.

However, history would seem to give the selection committee the opportunity to make the UConn/Fairfield first-round game happen at Webster Bank Arena.

There are plenty of numbers to chew on when trying to project where teams get seeded including RPI, strength of schedule, quality wins and losses, bad wins and losses. But I find nothing works better than looking at how the tournament was seeded in the past.

Fairfield's resume (a 24-7 record, 97 RPI and 290 strength of schedule out of 342 Division I teams) is almost identical to Cal-Davis' numbers last year (24-8, 98 RPI and 256 SOS) and Cal-Davis was given a 16 seed while the automatic qualifiers with the third, fourth and fifth worst RPIs all ended up as 14 seeds.

Fairfield does not own a win over a team in the top 100 of the RPI and the weak strength of schedule despite playing UConn and Marist (twice).

Geography is another major factor. The Ivy League champion is always a strong candidate to be the sacrificial lamb to UConn in the first round but this year's Ivy champion is Princeton which has the 28th best RPI and 90th best strength of schedule so the Tigers won't be anywhere near a 16 seed. If Robert Morris (145th best RPI, 168th best SOS) ends up winning the Northeast Conference it would be a candidate to be a 16 seed and play UConn. The same could be said if Maryland-Baltimore County (No. 144 in both RPI and strength of schedule) wins the America East title. Whoever wins the Patriot League will also be a candidate based on the RPIs and SOSs of the teams.

Of course all of this could be irrelevant if Marist wins today since it would likely fall somewhere in the 12 or 13 seed range.

I'm here in Springfield for the MAAC final so I'll have more on this topic later today.


Anonymous Joe said...

Looks like Marist did win, no?

3:39 PM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

Yes, they won 61-35

6:22 PM 

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