Bracketology is very popular this time of year as bracket experts focus on ranking the 68 best teams. But this is GoCoogs.com and all we care about are the Houston Cougars. That’s why we do seedology instead of bracketology: we’re only focused on UH’s seeding.
First, a few brackets as reference points (and where they have the Coogs): USA Today: 3 | ESPN: 4 | CBS: 3
In addition, Bracket Matrix combines 92 different brackets to come up with an average. UH is currently a 3-seed according to the matrix.
Here’s UH’s Nitty Gritty report (data through Sunday’s games):
AAC Record: 8-1
Road Record: 5-1
Neutral Record: 0-0
NCAA NET: 7th
Quadrant 1: 2-1
Quadrant 2: 8-0
Quadrant 3: 3-0
Quadrant 4: 8-0
Non-conf SOS: 145
RPI: 4 (CBS)
The RPI no longer matters in the selection process but it’s relevant to know.
The NCAA NET
The NCAA NET will be used in place of the RPI in order to sort games into quadrants. The NCAA has not been fully transparent with the NET methodology, especially compared to the old RPI.
The RPI gave us a very clear formula: a team’s winning percentage counted for 25%, its opponents’ winning percentage was worth 50%, and the winning percentage of those opponents’ opponents was 25%.
We know the NET is made up of 5 components. We also know the hierarchy of importance: team value ranking, net efficiency, winning percentage, adjusted win percentage, and scoring margin (in order). What we don’t know are the weight of each nor do we know the exact formula for ‘team value ranking.’
Since team value ranking is the most important, it’s bizarre that the NCAA wouldn’t be transparent about it. Here’s where the Coogs stand in the 3 components we know:
Net Efficiency: 19th
Winning Percentage: 1st
Scoring Margin: 14th
Adjusted win percentage should be available but I haven’t seen it. With only one loss, UH should be near the top of it, too.
Besides the NET, the NCAA Team Sheets include two other groups of rankings: résumé and quality. KPI and Strength of Record combine as the résumé and BPI, KenPom, and Sagarin are the quality.
Here’s how the Coogs stack up in the individual rankings:
When averaged and ranked against other teams, UH is 10th in résumé and 19th in quality.
The NET rankings will be plugged into the quadrant system in order to quantify the results. Here’s a reminder of how games are sorted:
Quadrant 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75.
Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135.
Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240.
Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353.
And here’s the breakdown of UH’s wins –
Quadrant 1 wins: LSU, @USF
Quadrant 1 games remaining (estimate): Cincinnati, @UCF, @UConn, @Cincinnati
In the last few days, South Florida has moved from #80 to 71 – making the road win a Q1 game. UH’s lack of Q1 wins could come back to haunt them: among the top 30 teams in the NET, only Nevada (0), Auburn (1) and Wofford (1) have fewer Quadrant 1 wins.
It’s notable that the Coogs have 4 more chances for Q1 wins including each of the next 3 games – although the road game at UConn (74) is borderline.
Quadrant 2 wins: Utah State, Memphis, OSU, Oregon, BYU, Tulsa, SMU, Temple
Quadrant 2 games remaining: UCF, UConn
Following their 18-point home loss on Saturday, the Oklahoma State win has moved out of Q1. The Pokes are now #81 in the NET. Utah State (38) and UCF (44) would each need to move into the top 30 to become Q1 home wins for the Coogs. UCF seems most likely of the two as 7 of USU’s 8 future opponents are 140+ in the NET.
Upcoming games at ECU and at Tulane are both Q4 games. ECU (262) could potentially move into the top 240, making that a Q3 game. It’s not likely but would be helpful. UH has already played 8 Q4 games – among the top 30 teams in the NET, only Gonzaga has played more (10).
After the 3 upcoming Q1 games, we will know a lot more about this team and its likely seeding. A 3-0 stretch would put the Coogs as a darkhorse for a one- or two-seed. But if the field were selected today, the data shows that UH should be a 3-seed.
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