There are three very simple truths to be taken from Selection Sunday this year. First, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are a #5 seed. Second, the Wisconsin Badgers are a #8 seed. Third, Wisconsin fans want you to know that they are VERY upset and that the NCAA selection committee is full of people who hate Wisconsin and that their resume was totally better than Minnesota’s and blah blah blah.
Sorry, I nodded off because all the whining and complaining turned into a soothing blend of white noise. This post is mostly going to be me mocking Wisconsin fans. But to do that we need to establish a few other very simple facts.
To start, please look at the following and tell me which team deserves the higher seed:
Team 1: 24-9, Ranking 20, SOS 17, Non-con SOS 28, 8-7 vs. Top 50
Team 2: 25-9, Ranking 32, SOS 83, Non-con SOS 304, 5-7 vs. Top 50
It’s pretty clearly Team #1, which you’ll be *shocked* to learn is Minnesota. The tool used? The one the committee relies too heavily on, the RPI.
FACT #1: Minnesota deserved a better seed than Wisconsin under the RPI metric.
Shocked that I’m bagging on the RPI? Don’t be. I think the NCAA Selection Committee does teams a disservice be relying too strongly on RPI (which like any metric has it’s flaws). I think KenPom should get more consideration from the committee. I think that even though I know it would have hurt Minnesota’s seed and helped Wisconsin’s because I think using more metrics is better. When you consider KenPom I think Minnesota is a 6 and Wisconsin is a 7.
FACT #2: In all honesty, Minnesota was overseeded and Wisconsin was underseeded.
The problem for Wisconsin is that the Selection Committee has never shown any indication that they care at all about KenPom. I think that’s a bad thing, but it should shock absolutely no one. It’s something people complain about literally every year. Which is what makes the complaining about Wisconsin’s seed so utterly glorious. Wisconsin fans (and one Michigan blog who asked a terrible question on Twitter that made them look especially dumb) are forgetting the final fundamental fact of NCAA seeding.
FACT #3: RPI matters more than just about anything.
Wisconsin’s problem is that 33% of their non-conference games were scheduled against completely terrible teams. Meanwhile, Minnesota put together a non-con schedule that included not objectively terrible teams. To compare:
- Wisconsin played FIVE teams that were 300+ in KenPom and RPI. Minnesota played ZERO. That’s right, even by the only metric UW fans care about (KenPom) the Badgers played too may horribly terrible no good very bad teams.
- Minnesota played only one RPI 250+ team. The worst team we faced was NJIT (RPI 285). All five of Wisconsin’s terrible teams were worse than NJIT.
There is some luck in how you pick a non-conference schedule, but if you end up with 5 teams below 300 it’s no longer about luck. It means you don’t know how to pick an RPI friendly non-con schedule. “BUT THAT SHOULDN’T MATTER” say UW fans. Well, it does and UW has no one to blame but themselves.
Too many facts, where is the mockery?
Good point. Knowing all of the above, here is a litany of Badger fans (and one silly Michigan fan) who don’t get how things work and deserve to be publicly shamed. Plus a great selection of Badger fans who are simply really upset. Their Tears Of Unfathomable Sadness are delicious. Enjoy!
It’s almost like using Google to search “RPI strength of schedule” would answer this for you.
Gee whiz, it’s almost like polls don’t matter or something. Like, AT ALL. (NOTE: This is from a post B5Q did immediately after the “First 16” were announced back in February. I’m quoting it because B5Q bumped it back to their front page and because the logic is still laughably bad.)
5 seed? With that RPI profile? LOLOLOLOLOL.
1) It’s almost like your whole schedule should matter. Weird.
2) UW did not play a harder schedule than Minnesota. They didn’t even play a harder conference schedule than Minnesota.
3) It’s almost like head to head victories aren’t the only thing that matter.
4) Y’all are just figuring out the RPI thing now?
SO MANY SALTY TEARS.
Now I need to check the Madison papers for arson fires because I know who did it.
Whoa. The national media (who voted you higher than you deserved in the polls you cling to) don’t matter. And I see we’ve already moved on from two straight years of being media darlings? Such short memories in Wisconsin.
I think this is supposed to be a complaint that the committee is supposed to ding Minnesota for not having Springs? I dunno, still enjoying the waves of salty tears.
It’s not a perfect match but....
THEY’RE LEARNING. THERE MAY YET BE HOPE FOR THEM.
OTHER THAN MONEY LOL. Hope for their future as a species is once again extinguished.
You know who really got screwed by the committee not valuing head to head wins over the things they’ve always valued? BUTLER. They should have the #1 seed with their sweep of Villanova. TRAVESTY.
In case you were wondering, yes, this is the same guy who wrote this OBVIOUS TAKES piece. And no, he’s not a Wisconsin fan. Just an Indiana fan who has some unresolved issues with his program no longer being the cream of the crop anymore.