February 17, 2018

Projecting men’s and women’s basketball NCAA tournament seeding

By Conner Farrell —

As the regular season winds down, bracketology becomes more relevant. The men’s and women’s teams both have four regular season games remaining before conference tournaments begin.

Let’s take a look at how each team stacks up on their potential opportunity to play in March’s NCAA tournament.

Women’s basketball (26-2)

The women’s team is in line for a potential one seed. According to ESPN’s bracketology, they are projected to be a No. 1 seed in the Lexington region.

With only two losses, this seems like an accurate projection for the Cardinals. The team has five wins against ranked opponents including an impressive route against second-ranked Notre Dame on Jan. 11. Notre Dame is also in line for a No. 1 seed according to ESPN.

Louisville’s losses came against two teams in line for high seeds in the NCAA tournament. Florida State, who beat the Cards in a 50-49 nail-biter on Jan. 29, are being considered a No. 3 seed. The other loss (69-58 on. Feb. 12) came against top-ranked Connecticut, who will likely be the number one overall seed in March.

The women are ranked fourth in the RPI and have played the 15th toughest schedule according to RealTimeRPI.com. These are two impressive metrics for the team that may be able to send them to the number one line should a slip up in the last portion of the regular season or the ACC tournament occur.

Men’s basketball (18-9)

Unlike the women’s team, the men’s side tricky. The men’s team currently sit anywhere from a nine seed according to ESPN’s bracketology to a 12 seed according to Yahoo! Sports.

With two games of their last four games coming against two top 15 ranked teams, No.1 Virginia and No. 12 Duke, the Cards could improve their tourney projection with wins against those two opponents.

In men’s college basketball, the RPI metric system was changed this season dividing teams into four quadrants.

Quadrant 1: Games at home vs teams ranked 1-30 in the RPI, Neutral vs 1-50, Road vs 1-75.

Quadrant 2: Home vs 31-75, Neutral vs 51-100, Road vs 76-135.

Quadrant 3: Home vs 76-160, Neutral vs 101-200, Road vs 136-240.

Quadrant 4: Home vs 161+, Neutral vs 201+, Road vs 241+.

Louisville’s record against these four sections are: 2-7 in Quadrant 1 games, 1-2 in Quadrant 2 games, 8-0 in Quadrant 3 games and 7-0 in Quadrant 3 games.

U of L is currently ranked number 40 in the RPI.

The team’s record against these quadrant teams indicated the Cards have yet to have any poor losses and conversely have failed in opportunities to boost their tourney resume.

In other advanced metrics, Louisville is currently ranked 27 in Ken Pomeroy, 20 in Sagarin and posses the 37 toughest schedule. These are some favorable metrics for a team looking to make a run into the NCAA tournament.

Bottom line

Both the men’s and women’s teams should be in March Madness but both can improve their tourney resumes.

The women could solidify their standing as a potential number one seed, while the men could improve their resume with a few big wins in waning moments of the regular season.

For the men’s side, Selection Sunday is March 11 and for the women, Selection Monday is March 12.

You can follow Conner Farrell on Twitter @ConnerFarrell9. 

Photo by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal

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