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CanesHoops Countdown to Madness

NCAA Basketball: Miami at Boston College Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After winning 3 straight ACC conference games since star guard Bruce Brown was sidelined with a foot injury, the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team stumbled on the road against Boston College, losing a close fought battle 72-70 on the road (and without Coach Jim Larrañaga on the bench as he was battling an illness). Prior to yesterday the Canes NCAA tournament picture was looking up as the top bracketologists were predicting a 5 seed for 25th ranked Miami. The loss to “quadrant 2” (more on quadrants in a bit) BC stings as the early brackets out today have dropped UM to a 6 or 7 seed as the Canes RPI went from 20 to 25 overnight. Notable CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm has Miami a 6 seed while USA Today expert Shelby Mast has the Canes a 7 seed. Here is a current rundown from the various statistical predictive and results-based sites for Miami.

Results based metrics:

RPI: Rating Percentage Index - 25

KPI: Kevin Pauga Index – 27

SOR: ESPN Strength of Record – 22

Predictive Based Metrics:

BPI: ESPN Basketball Power Index - 25

POM: Ken Pomeroy - 36

SAG: Jeff Sagarin – 31

The collective average of all six metrics puts Miami at just over 27. If Miami were to finish the season with this average the Canes would likely be a 6 or 7 seed.

The Bracket Matrix (a collection of every Bracketologist’s predictions) has CanesHoops at a 6 seed currently.

What are these Quadrants you speak of?

According to the NCAA website the selection committee will “no longer use RPI top 50, top 100, 200 and 201 and above as dividing categories. Instead, the new terminology will be quadrants 1, 2, 3 and 4. The decision is to get away from treating every team the same if the game was on the road, neutral or at home based on their power rating. Now the road/neutral games will matter more.”

The key is getting as many Quadrant 1 wins as possible and if you’re going to lose, do so versus Quadrant 1 teams (i.e. a good loss, so to speak)

What do the Canes need to do to get into March Madness?

My friend and CanesHoops fanatic, Alex sent me some of the following:

Here is the rundown of the final 6 games:

- 4 Homes Games, 2 Away Games.

- 3 will be Quadrant 1 games (UVA, UNC, ND).

- 2 Games Miami will be underdogs (UVA and UNC).

- 1 Game that could be a push (ND) but is winnable (their best player is also sidelined with an injury).

- 3 Games we will be the favorite (Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Boston College).


4 of these games should be winnable:

- ND is 5-7 in conference, since Colson is out they’re 4-7 and 3-3 at home (w/o Colson) [Both ND and UM play on 2/17 before we play each other on 2/19].

- BC, should be a revenge game. They have ZERO wins in conference and are 0-5 on the road in conference.

- Cuse is 2-4 on the road in conference. Wins at Pitt and UL.

- VT is playing much better since we played and just had a tremendous win against UVA. We’ll need to play exceptional defense again like we did at VT earlier this month. They’re 4-2 on the road in conference this season. This game is the final conference game of the season and will be tremendous for both seeding in the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament.

Bracketologist Warren Nolan ( predicts Miami will win 3 of its last 6 regular season games (BC, Cuse, VT).

Bottom line?

Miami likely needs to win 3 of our final 6. The {minimum) goal should be 10 wins in conference and at least 1 win in the ACC Tourney to stay in the 5 to 7 seed range in March Madness. Anything less could push Miami to the bubble and in the hands of the selection committee. Steal an extra win or two and a top 4 finish in the ACC is still possible, which could put the Canes into a potential 4 seed in the big dance.

My message to the Canes? JUST FIND WAYS TO WIN!