Non-BCS Top 25: ESPN’s BracketBusters Is About To Shake Things Up

posted in NCAA Basketball

It was a good week in the polls for Wichita State. First, they moved into the AP poll at No. 25.

Second, and more importantly, the Shockers now stand at the top of TeamRankings’ Non-BCS Top 25 following an impressive 89-68 road victory over Creighton last Saturday.

UNLV slips a notch to No. 2 this week after eking out a 65-63 victory over San Diego State. Rounding out the top five are New Mexico, Saint Louis and Gonzaga.

The Non-BCS Top 25 is determined by combining our college basketball predictive power ratings (which are purely based on score margin, and ignore wins and losses) and our overall team power rankings (which do factor in wins and losses).

BrackBusters Looms Large For Mid-Majors

Thanks to the ESPN BracketBusters and some fortuitous Mountain West Conference scheduling, this shapes up as a big week for the non-BCS schools, and that could likely cause a shakeup in the rankings.

There could also be a shakeup in the Mountain West standings where UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State are tied for first place with 6-2 records. On Wednesday night, New Mexico plays at San Diego State, which is No. 12 in the Non-BCS Top 25. The Lobos then host UNLV on Saturday.

Meanwhile, five BracketBusters games Saturday will feature a pair of teams in the Non-BCS Top 25:

– Wichita State at No. 23 Davidson
– No. 6 Saint Mary’s at No. 17 Murray State
– No. 8 Creighton hosting No. 13 Long Beach State
– No. 18 Iona at home against No. 25 Nevada
No. 22 Akron visiting No. 24 Oral Roberts.

The Full Valentine’s Day Non-BCS Top 25

In this week’s chart, we list several factors for each team:

– biggest remaining game, as judged by our overall power rankings
– conference’s standing in our overall conference power ratings
– odds to win their regular-season conference title, from our college basketball standings projections
– odds to win their conference tournament,  also from our standings projections
– RPI ranking, because, for better or worse, the NCAA Tournament selection committee emphasizes that metric

Of the teams in the Non-BCS Top 25, Harvard has the best odds of gaining an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Ivy League does not have a conference tournament and the Crimson’s chances of winning the regular-season crown are now all the way up 94.9 percent.

Others who have a better than a 50/50 chance of automatic entry by winning their conference tourneys are Memphis (71.8 percent), Belmont (64.7 percent), Murray State (63.5 percent), Long Beach State (58.8 percent), Davidson (58.5 percent), UNLV (57.9 percent) Iona (56.4 percent) and Wichita State (52.8 percent).

RkTeam (W-L)Toughest Game LeftConferenceRkConf Reg W%Conf Tourn W%RPI
1Wichita St (22-4)#76 Missouri StMVC#797.6%52.8%17
2UNLV (22-4)@ #22 New MexicoMountain West#547.7%57.9%9
3New Mexico (20-4)#10 UNLVMountain West#535.4%30.2%33
4Saint Louis (20-5)#59 XavierAtlantic 10#837.3%31.5%22
5Gonzaga (20-4)#39 BYUWCC#118.5%33.1%15
6St Marys (23-3)@ #23 Murray StWCC#1191.4%38.7%25
7Memphis (18-7)#65 Central FLCUSA#952.5%71.8%19
8Creighton (21-5)#35 Lg Beach StMVC#72.4%28.8%28
9Temple (19-5)@ #69 St JosephsAtlantic 10#858.9%25.0%18
10BYU (21-6)@#17 GonzagaWCC#110.1%25.8%46
11Harvard (21-3)#119 PrincetonIvy#1594.9%NA38
12San Diego St (20-4)#22 New MexicoMountain West#516.8%6.3%21
13Lg Beach St (19-6)@ #25 CreightonBig West#2199.8%58.8%44
14Belmont (20-7)@ #89MercerAtlantic Sun#1973.5%64.7%82
15Middle Tenn (23-4)#179 Fla AtlanticSun Belt#1899.9%45.6%35
16S Mississippi (21-4)@#88 MarshallCUSA#940.5%10.1%10
17Murray St (24-1)#12 St MarysOhio Valley#2497.3%63.5%55
18Iona (20-6)#57 NevadaMAAC#2090.0%56.4%54
19VCU (22-5)#72 N IowaCAA#1718.5%30.8%83
20La Salle (17-9)#27 TempleAtlantic 10#80.1%8.1%84
21Xavier (16-9)@ #24 Saint LouisAtlantic 10#80.8%10.8%56
22Akron (18-7)@ #49 Oral RobertsMAC#1461.8%27.8%62
23Davidson (19-6)@ #16 Wichita StSouthern#22100.0%58.5%72
24Oral Roberts (23-5)#56 AkronSummit#1698.8%43.4%42
25Nevada (21-4)@ #62 IonaWAC#1298.2%30.1%69