If you wish to discover a crew that’s prone to be under-seeded by the Choice Committee and supply good worth based mostly on lack of identify, I current to you the Wofford Terriers. For the primary time ever, Wofford is showing within the High 25 (at #24) coming off a street win at Furman. However we all know the committee received’t seed them anyplace close to that rating.
That rating, by the way in which, is fully affordable. Wofford is now 24-Four, and the one losses are to North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma, with the final three on the street. They’ve received 15 straight and will push it to 20 in the event that they win out by way of the Southern Convention match.
Wofford can also be 25th in Ken Pomeroy’s rating, 19th within the NET rankings, and within the mid-twenties in Wins Above Bubble.
Wofford is a good offensive crew who will present a problem within the match. They’ve 4 gamers averaging over 39% from three-point vary whereas trying a minimum of three a sport. The Terriers are third within the nation in three-point capturing, and seventh total in efficient subject purpose proportion. They rank 11th in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive effectivity rankings. They’re operating by way of the Southern Convention, which is definitely power-rated because the tenth-toughest convention this yr and has three different groups within the High 100 (Furman, East Tennessee State, and UNC-Greensboro).
Ahead Cameron Jackson and guard Fletcher Magee are each Southern Convention Participant of the 12 months candidates. Magee is the sharp-shooting guard who shoots over 90% from the road, averages over 10 three-point makes an attempt per sport, and is the main scorer at 20.2 factors per sport. Jackson is the all-around key as a put up participant, main the crew in rebounding, steals, blocks, and second in assists and factors. He will likely be key in matching as much as the large boys within the NCAA Event.
In fact, they possible received’t be seeded anyplace close to the place the NET rankings, Pomeroy, or actually another rating system has them. That’s as a result of the Choice Committee has an unreasonable bias towards “large wins” and, nicely, who’ve they crushed? As I identified final yr, that mentality is definitely opposite to selecting which groups truly shock and supply the largest moments in March. We are able to now add Loyola-Chicago, Florida State, and Kansas State to the combination, and have you learnt the document of the 11 groups since 2008 who superior to an Elite Eight or additional as an eight seed or worse was, towards the RPI High 12 within the common season?
That’s proper, one whole “large win” (Florida State over UNC final yr) for all of the decrease seeds which have superior to the Elite Eight in over a decade. This, regardless of many of the bubble groups being large convention groups with very flawed resumés however who get in exactly as a result of they acquired a couple of large wins with a number of alternatives (see, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Windfall final yr). Groups with an enormous win however who’re nonetheless on the bubble have points and the large win tended to be a fluke slightly than an indication of greatness. Perhaps, simply possibly, physique of labor ought to imply greater than “yeah I do know they’ve misplaced greater than half of their convention video games, however they did have that large win again in November.” Perhaps it ought to imply physique of labor, and going 24-Four is rattling spectacular.
By the way in which, what all groups ranked between 15 and 75 within the NET rankings are enjoying the identical opponent/venues as Wofford did towards these different groups?
Groups in that vary, the vary we would contemplate stable match groups or bubble varieties, are collectively Three-15 at Oklahoma, Kansas, and Mississippi State and residential towards North Carolina. But we maintain that towards Wofford.
Listed here are the groups most much like Wofford since 2008, by taking a look at resumé and rankings. (Buffalo additionally applies right here). All these groups have been within the High 40 within the RPI, High 50 in Ken Pom, had 6 or fewer whole losses, and had 2 or fewer High 50 wins and 6 or fewer whole video games towards the High 50.
2008 Davidson (25-6, RPI 35, KP 18): Steph Curry’s squad went Zero-Three towards prime match groups (UNC, UCLA, and Duke) and had six non-conference losses, however received 22 straight coming into the NCAA Event and acquired a 10 seed. From there, they superior all the way in which to the Elite Eight earlier than shedding an in depth sport to eventual champs Kansas.
2014 Gonzaga (27-6, RPI 20, KP 24)
Gonzaga went Zero-Three towards NCAA Event groups within the non-conference, however received the WCC common season and convention title and acquired an eight seed. They beat Oklahoma State within the first spherical earlier than shedding to #1 seed Arizona.
2013 St. Mary’s (26-6, RPI 29, KP 21)
St. Mary’s didn’t have any large non-conference wins and went Zero-Three towards Gonzaga whereas placing collectively a terrific document towards everybody else. They needed to go to Dayton for a play-in sport as an 11 seed, beat Center Tennessee, then misplaced to Memphis by 2 factors.
2018 Loyola-Chicago (27-5, RPI 22, KP 41)
Everyone knows about Loyola’s Cinderella run. They beat Florida within the non-conference, and after an 11-Four begin received 17 of 18 video games to shut the season. They then knocked off Miami, Tennessee, Nevada, and Kansas State on the way in which to the Remaining 4.
2008 Western Kentucky (25-6, RPI 40, KP 45)
Western Kentucky went Zero-Four towards the RPI High 50, and Zero-2 towards match groups Gonzaga and Tennessee. They closed by successful 17 of the final 18 video games and acquired the auto bid and have been a 12-seed. From there, they beat Drake and San Diego to achieve the Candy Sixteen, earlier than shedding to #1 UCLA with Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.
2009 Butler (25-5, RPI 24, KP 38)
This was the yr earlier than the consecutive championship sport appearances, in Brad Stevens’ second season. Butler misplaced to Ohio State, the one at-large they confronted within the non-conference. They received the Horizon however misplaced to Cleveland State within the semis. Butler acquired a #9 seed and misplaced to LSU within the opening sport.
2017 St. Mary’s (28-Four, RPI 17, KP 15)
St. Mary’s received at Dayton, however misplaced all three video games to Gonzaga, in any other case rolling by way of their schedule. The Gaels dealt with VCU within the opener earlier than shedding to Arizona within the second spherical.
2015 Wichita State (27-Four, RPI 17, KP 13)
Wichita State misplaced to Utah and beat no different at-large groups within the non-conference. They cut up with Northern Iowa, however then have been upset earlier than a rematch in a Missouri Valley semifinal. They acquired seeded down at a #7 and beat Indiana earlier than dealing with in-state powerhouse Kansas to achieve the Candy 16.
In whole, 4 of the eight, regardless of being 7 seeds or decrease, reached a Candy Sixteen. Two reached an Elite Eight. Seven of the eight received a match sport and 6 of them reached the second spherical. All have been seeded decrease than the place all metrics had them due to the “large wins” issue, and anticipate Wofford (and Buffalo) to be this yr’s entrants to this membership.