Full Bracket After Key Injuries, and Committee Cheating Team’s Named After Mary

AP Keith Srakocic
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
Auburn, AL

My potentially most stupid pick from the complete bracket below, could come from the movie World War Z, in which an Israeli official explains the “10th Man Theory” to Brad Pitt. The officer’s job was to contradict the opinions of nine other offices to believe that zombies were invading India.

Texas Tech should easily defeat Stephen F. Austin based on seven of my models (Value Add adjusted for injuries AND slight sets, NBA Talent,  All American/Top 3 players, and finally Coaching, Senior Guards and Hot Streaks), but I am going with the only model that picks Stephen F. Austin – the Upset Mismatches.
Odds at www.kenpom.com are 20-to-1 against me being correct on that one, but the analytics behind the rest of the picks are pinpointed to account for everything including recent potential key injuries to Missouri, K-State, Duke, Alabama, UNC and Virginia, the latter being one of five teams cheated by the Selection Committee (Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Kentucky, and Arizona were also slighted). Here is the whole bracket (list the team on the number of lines that corresponds to the number to the left of the team name):

Seed South Total Value Add Top 3 NBA Upset Mismatch Hot PG/SG Coach
1 Virginia 5 5 2 2 3 5 5 5 5
16 UMBC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Creighton 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1
9 Kansas St. 0.5 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
5 Kentucky 2 1 0 5 4 1 2 1 2
12 Davidson 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Arizona 1.5 2 5 1.5 1 2 1 2 1
13 Buffalo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Total Value Add Top 3 NBA Upset Mismatch Hot PG/SG Coach
6 Miami FL 0 1 0 2.5 1 0 0 0 1
11 Loyola Chicago 1 0 1 0 0 1 2 2 0
3 Tennessee 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 1 2
14 Wright St. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Nevada 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
10 Texas 1 1 0 3 1 1 1 0 1
2 Cincinnati 3 3 3 1 3 3 3 3 3
15 Georgia St. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seed West Total Value Add Top 3 NBA Upset Mismatch Hot PG/SG Coach
1 Xavier 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 2
16 North Carolina Central 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 Texas Southern
8 Missouri 0 0 0 2.5 0 0 1 2 1
9 Florida St. 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
5 Ohio St. 1 1 4  0 1 1 1 1 1
12 San Diego St.  0 0 0 1 0 0  0 0 0
4 Gonzaga 4 4 1 4 3 3 3 3 3
13 UNC Greensboro  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seed West Total Value Add Top 3 NBA Upset Mismatch Hot PG/SG Coach
6 Houston 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1
11 South Dakota St. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Michigan 2 3 2 2 4 1 4 2 2
14 Montana 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Texas A&M 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0
10 Providence 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
2 North Carolina 3 2 3 3 2 4 2 4 4
15 Lipscomb 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seed East Total Value Add Top 3 NBA Upset Mismatch Hot PG/SG Coach
1 Villanova 6 6 6 4 6 6 6 6 6
16 LIU Brooklyn
16 Radford 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Virginia Tech 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1
9 Alabama 0 0 0 1.5 0 0 0 0 0
5 West Virginia 2 2 2 1 2 0 2 2 2
12 Murray St. 0.5 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
4 Wichita St. 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1
13 Marshall 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seed East Total Value Add Top 3 NBA Upset Mismatch Hot PG/SG Coach
6 Florida 1 1 1 3 1 0 2 2 0
11 St. Bonaventure 0.5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
11 UCLA
3 Texas Tech 0 2 2 1.5 2 0 1 1 1
14 Stephen F. Austin 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
7 Arkansas 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1
10 Butler 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
2 Purdue 3 3 3 2.5 3 3 3 3 3
15 Cal St. Fullerton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seed Midwest Total Value Add Top 3 NBA Upset Mismatch Hot PG/SG Coach
1 Kansas 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 4 3
16 Penn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Seton Hall 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1
9 North Carolina St. 1.5 0 0 1.5 0 2 3 0 0
5 Clemson 1.5 1 2 1.5 2 1 2 2 1
12 New Mexico St. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Auburn 2 2 1 2 1 3 1 1 2
13 College of Charleston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seed Midwest Total Value Add Top 3 NBA Upset Mismatch Hot PG/SG Coach
6 TCU 0.5 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1
11 Arizona St. 1 1 0 1.5 1 1 0 0 0
11 Syracuse 1 1 0 1.5 1 1 0 0 0
3 Michigan St. 4 4 2 2 4 2 2 2 4
14 Bucknell 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Rhode Island 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0
10 Oklahoma 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1
2 Duke 2 2 4 6 2 4 4 3 2
15 Iona 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Stephen F. Austin and the rest of the 13- and 14-seeds are giving about a one in six chance of winning one game, and all face about 20-to-1 odds against winning two games. The Mismatch model gives Stephen F. Austin a chance at two wins if they can create messy games against their superior opponent(s) this weekend – Texas Tech then either Florida or St. Bonaventure – because they are by far the best team at steals in the tournament and they are a great 3-point shooting team – both things that their potential opponents are not good at stopping.

The 2018 Value Add bracket based on www.valueaddbasketball.com projects Villanova as the champion based on seven of eight models picking them, with the model based on the most NBA-ready roster predicting a Duke title.

The explanations of each model are included via the links in the first paragraph, and you can fill in your bracket using the overall picks (1st column to the right of each school name above) or by picking any of the other columns based on a model you like the most.

Selection Committee Cheats …

Selection Sunday was not a good day to have your school named after Jesus’ most Mary. Saint Mary’s was the highest ranked team (25th at www.kenpom.com) left to the NIT (where they won 89-45) and Notre Dame was a Sweet 16 team based on the return of Player of the Year candidate Bonzie Colson. The last decision the Committee made was to keep Syracuse rather than a Notre Dame team that won at Syracuse while Colson was injured.

Other teams were cheated by who they are required to play.

The best Final Four might be red hot conference champions Villanova (Big East), Virginia (ACC), Kentucky (SEC) and Arizona (Pac-12). Instead of having a chance to all meet in the Final Four, the Selection Committee sent Kentucky and Arizona to Boise, Idaho (great place to go, but hard to get to) on short rest after their title games to potentially meet each other not in the Final Four but in a game that let’s only one of them go to the Sweet 16.

Whichever one wins could play Virginia not in a National Championship game but in an Elite 8 game – meaning the BEST CASE is that only one of those three conference champions can make the Final Four.

Key Injuries Alter Bracket

The initial bracket link from Monday’s story was updated due to a number of key injuries and potential injuries.  I still have Virginia making it to the National Championship with De’Andre Hunter (their fourth best player at www.valueaddbasketball.com) out for the tournament – but a Sweet 16 game against Arizona or Kentucky would be a very close call without him, and Missouri’s chanced without Jordan Barnett dropped dramatically after the return of Michael Porter Jr. game such hope.

You should continue to monitor the DonBest Injury Report for the players who might miss, but Alabama’s chances against Virginia Tech go way down if Donta Hall is out, as would K-State without Dean Wade. However, I already had those teams as slight underdogs. The doubts about UNC and Duke stars being able to play – or play at 100% – caused my injury adjusted ratings to get Michigan State to the Final Four and Michigan to the Elite 8.

Here are the late-breaking injuries with a players national ranking out of 4,068 players, their Value Add, and then how many points they are actually worth to their teams based on backups.

Rnk Key Players Lost Late Team Value Hurt Team
82 Jordan Barnett #21 Missouri 6.97 -6
174 De’Andre Hunter #12 Virginia 5.93 -4
755 Bruce Brown #11 Miami FL 2.94 -1.6
1943 Bruce Moore #13 Bucknell 0.7 -0.3
Rnk Other possible lost players Team Value Hurt Team
8 Dean Wade #32 Kansas St. 9.95 -9.6
22 Wendell Carter #34 Duke 8.71 -7
51 Donta Hall #0 Alabama 7.33 -6
395 Cameron Johnson #13 UNC 4.38 -3.5
674 Trevon Duval #1 Duke 3.21 -3
963 Wes VanBeck #12 Houston 2.34 -1
1284 Jarred Vanderbilt #2 Kentucky 1.64 -0.5

 

.