18 March 2011

Will talking heads get it right this year?

Every year the talking heads point to conference W-L records in the NCAAs to determine which conferences are under-performing or over-performing. Gross win totals for a conference are all well and good, but if you're talking relative to expectations, which is inferred by under- or over-performance then most of these folks fail to take into account expectations in said analysis.

Under the fair assumption that seeds were appropriate here is how conferences which have at least one projected first round winner are expected to perform during the first round (sorted by number of bids, then by number of wins):

BE 9-2
B10 4-3
B12 4-1
SEC 3-2
PAC 3-1
ACC 2-2
MWC 3-0
A10 2-1
COL 1-2
HOR 1-0

So there you have it. On Thursday there were 3 upsets out of 16 games. BE has already been dinged twice so Marquette (11) and Villanova (9) will have to pull off the mild upsets to rescue the BE's reputation. The other upset was Richmond over Vandy so Georgia (10) will have to pull off the mild upset over Washington to restore the SEC's honor.

We'll give a recap after the first round results to discuss which conferences are over- and under-performing.