Ken Pomeroy has been previewing all the conference tournaments over at Basketball Prospectus.
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Greetings everyone! It's a pleasure to join you during this magical time of year. A time when a character like Gyno Pomare can vanquish your at-large dreams.
John (chicago): Given that Tennessee's luck rating is so high (+.119, #2 overall) do you think they really are a legit contender, or a team that should really be a 3 or 4 seed that has gotten lucky along the way (and played in a pretty weak conference)?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Let's ignore the luck issue for the moment, because that's a bit like tilting at windmills for me. It seems like Tennessee gets a free pass for playing in the SEC, which is clearly the weakest of the Big Six this season. They'll get their one-seed, and they have the quality non-conference wins to deserve it. But I don't think they're one of the best four teams in the country. Even if they have skill in winning the close ones, I think they'd have 2 or 3 more losses playing in the Pac 10.
ElAngelo (New York, NY): The "play-in" game: something that's fine as is, something that needs to be expanded so we have 3 more of them, or something that's an utter abomination that should be disbanded?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): I vote for (c), but we all know the coming solution is (b) within five years. I think it'll happen when we see another conference come on line, and with all of the expansion in D-I over the last decade, that's only a matter of time. They'll play four games in one day at Dayton.
ctt8410 (Tulsa): What are the chances of Memphis losing in the Conference USA Tournament?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): That will be revealed in the CUSA preview tomorrow. For now, I'll say that they're higher than William & Mary's chances of winning the CAA Tourney were a week ago.
Money Line (Chicago): I keep telling people that Kansas is the best team we have seen in the last 5 years.
How large of an idiot am I??
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Not the village idiot, but maybe one of his assistants. I think KU is more beatable than last year's Florida or '05 UNC (or Illinois for that matter). They're real good, though, but not significantly better than UCLA.
Brice (Chapel Hill, NC): Do you think that you can let in West Virginia without making a strong case for Virginia Tech? Schedule-wise, they're pretty similar--no NC strength to speak of, but a winning record in a strong conference. WVU has more marquee wins, but VT's ACC wins have been of a higher quality in general... are they in with a win over Miami in the ACC Tournament?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): I would put the Hokies in, but I'm a little biased. If you insist on objectivity, I think WVU has done more overall in conference play, although the Hokies have performed better on the road. I don't know if a win over Miami does it. They are basically hanging their hat on a win at Maryland right now. They probably need something much bigger this week.
ChuckR (Addison, IL): Can you give me a quick preview of what to look for in the Colonial championship tonight? Will there be too many Marys and not enough Williams?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Ahh, the symbolism of the Patriots and the Tribe fighting it out for the Colonial title. It takes me back to grade school field trips to Jamestown. The Tribe would be a great story - zero hoops tradition and they've won their three tourney games by a total of 6 points. I would say watch Laimis Kisielius for W&M, but until last night, I didn't know what he looked like.
Brian P (Cleveland): How come Wisconson appears to get very little respect as I havn't seen them as a top 10 team OR seeded or #2 in a potential bracket in the tournament by anyone?? Is it the big ten's unpredictability??
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): In terms of seeding, it's the lack of non-conference wins. In terms of ranking, it's probably the slow pace of play, low scoring games, and general lack of excitement that surrounds their games. Don't get me wrong, I love watching them methodically steamroll the rest of the conference, but they'll never be compared to the other #2 seeds because of the style issue and lack of a marquee player, in my opinion.
Todd (Pennsylvania): Do you think Kent St is a legitamate NCAA tournament team? Theres a lot of talk of them making it as an at large. I don't see them at the same level as other bubble contenders.
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): They're in that group of teams that can't complain if they get left out, let's put it that way. I would like to see them get in if only to see more of Haminn Quaintance. Or as I like to refer to him, Renaldo Balkman, Jr.
Grasspike (NC): What happened to my Wolfpack this year? They come into the season ranked, but muddle around for most of the season, then spiral out of control over the last part? What's happening? The hole at PG? An effort problem? Coaching? A combination of the three, or something else?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): I haven't had time to reflect on State's season, but it has occurred to me that the future looked so promising at the start of the season, and now you have to wonder where the program is headed. Whatever happened to Brandon Costner? I think that's the source of their problems this season. Losing Degand hurt somwehat, but it doesn't explain the freefall.
Reed (Des Moines): John Gasaway introduced the Winehouse Factor last week. This seems to differ from the consistency portion of the Pomeroy Ratings, where Kansas State, Marquette, Washington State, Texas A&M, and West Virginia are highly ranked yet inconsistent. How do the two systems compare and how should consistency affect filling out brackets?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Consistency definitely should be considered, but there's a still a lot of work to be done to put a formula on it that means something. I love what John did, and it gets us closer to the true answer than what you see on my site, where the data can be influenced heavily by schedule.
Will (Iowa): Sheehan mentioned recently that teams playing in the Pac-10 have basically been given two free conference wins. (Thanks Oregon State!) Do you think data like this will get mentioned on Selection Sunday? If you adjust a few team's conference record, its really telling.
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Make no mistake, there is no team in the nation as bad as OSU relative to the rest of its conference this season. Wait til you see their chance of winning the Pac-10 Tourney. (Coming tomorrow!) However, there's a strong case that the 7, 8, and 9 teams in the Pac-10 are better than in any other conference, so that makes up for it somewhat.
Chone (St. Pierre & Miquelon): If you were taking over a very bad team of generic players, with everything else being equal, what pace would you play at?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Ultra-slow. You have a better chance of beating a superior team over 50 possessions than 80. However, the game is usually more complicated than that.
MarinerDan (San Francisco): With a rejuvenated Josh Heytvelt, can Gonzaga make a run in the tournament this year? What seed do you think they will get from the Committee this year?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): I do think so, especially from a 5 or 6 seed. For whatever reason, the Zags have slipped off the national radar, but this is the most well-rounded team Few has had. I mean, they can now score 52 points and still win. I just wish he would get Austin Daye 5-10 more minutes.
Eric J (Norman OK): Have you ever looked at potential advances in projecting the bracket, or do Lunardi et al have that facet of the game covered pretty well?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Lunardi and like 60 other people. Everyone is just guessing at what the committee will do. Mindreading is not my specialty.
T-Wrap (Knoxville, TN): What do you feel Dayton has to do this week to make the NCAA's? Can they get an at-large bid, assuming they don't win the A-10 tourney? How important is Chris Wright to their chances? Thanks!
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Will we ever find out how much Wright matters? I'm sure he matters a lot, but they probably need to win the whole thing to make that clear.
MarinerDan (San Francisco): How well do you see Tony B.'s Washington State Cougars doing this year in the tournament? Can the guard play of Weaver/Low/Rochestie carry them to the Sweet Sixteen?
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): With a favorable draw, even farther. I like them to get to the second weekend, and feel like they are one of the bigger sleepers out there. This a better Wazzou than last season because the offense is much better.
Brian P (Cleveland): Does Memphis have a chance at the final 4 given the inept ability to shoot fould shots, definatly can't see them in the final game??
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): The lack of outside shooters is a far bigger issue.
Ken Pomeroy (Basketball): Thanks for all the questions, everyone. I'll be knocking out nine more conference tourney previews over the next two days, so come back for that!