Wednesday, February 6, 2013

College Basketball 2012-13 - Big Ten Progress Report

Michigan (20-2, 8-2, RPI=3, Sag=2)
Top 25 Wins:  Kansas State, NC State, Minnesota, Ohio State
26-50 Wins:  Pittsburgh, Illinois
51-100 Wins:  Western Michigan, Arkansas, West Virginia, Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern
Losses: Ohio State, Indiana
Road/Neutral:  7-2
Margin:  +16.5
Bottom Line:  Michigan has put themselves in great position for a #1 seed, but winning the Big Ten Title would make that a formality.  Their schedule is easier than the Hoosiers and Spartans, but 3 head-to-head games remain against those foes.  A two-game road trip at Wisconsin and Michigan State is up next.  Conquer that, and every remaining tough game is at home.

Indiana (20-2, 8-1, RPI=12, Sag=1)
Top 25 Wins: Minnesota, Michigan State, Michigan
26-50 Wins: Georgetown, North Carolina
51-100 Wins: North Dakota State, Iowa, Northwestern
Losses: Butler, Wisconsin
Road/Neutral:  6-1
Margin:  +22.8
Bottom Line:  Indiana is an interesting case of the Committee's use and faith in the RPI.  A team with an RPI of 12 does not usually warrant a spot on the first line.  Fortunately for Indiana, that RPI should improve if they continue to navigate their way to a Big 10 Title.  Road games at Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Michigan remain.  It just happens that all four of those teams currently reside within the RPI top 25.  Indiana will earn a #1 seed if they can hang on for a conference title.

Minnesota (17-5, 5-4, RPI=9, Sag=12)
Top 25 Wins:  Michigan State
26-50 Wins:  Illinois, Memphis
51-100 Wins:  Tennessee State, Richmond, Stanford, Florida State, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Northwestern, Nebraska, Iowa
Losses:  Duke, Indiana, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin
Road/Neutral:  5-4
Margin:  +11.8
Bottom Line:  A 4-game losing streak had Gopher-nation in a frenzy, but they have taken baby steps to get back on track with wins over Nebraska and Iowa.  A stretch of 6 in a row against the RPI top 100 (5 vs the Top 50) will go along way in determining the seed for Minnesota.  Barring an epic meltdown, they are just playing for seed at this point.

Michigan State (17-4, 7-2, RPI=13, Sag=14)
Top 25 Wins:  Kansas, Ohio State
26-50 Wins:  Wisconsin, Illinois
51-100 Wins:  Boise State, Nebraska, Iowa
Losses:  Connecticut, Miami, FL, Minnesota, Indiana
Road/Neutral: 5-4
Margin:  +9.1
Bottom Line:  Sparty has 8 games remaining against the RPI top 100, including two with rival Michigan.  As usual, the Izzo-led squad has some quality wins and no bad losses.  Expect Michigan State to chug along and secure a top 4 seed.

Ohio State (17-5, 7-3, RPI=17, Sag=8)
Top 25 Wins:  Michigan
26-50 Wins:  Wisconsin
51-100 Wins:  Washington, Nebraska, Iowa, Nebraska
Losses:  Duke, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan
Road/Neutral:  5-4
Margin:  +13.8
Bottom Line:  There is some good in the Buckeyes resume, but not a lot of great.  All 8 remaining games are against the RPI top 100, so if the Buckeyes continue to play well, their resume will be stronger by season's end.  At least a split of the two remaining games with the Hoosiers would be a good starting point.

Illinois (14-8, 2-7, RPI=48, Sag=51)
Top 25 Wins:  Butler, Gonzaga, Ohio State
26-50 Wins:  None
51-100 Wins:  Eastern Kentucky, Nebraska
Losses:  Missouri, Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin
Road/Neutral:  5-4
Margin:  +4.3
Bottom Line:  The Fighting Illini will be a great test for "we consider the whole body of work" theory.  They also can't continue the current Big 10 tanking, but another tough week has them staring 2-9 straight in the face.  Their final 7 games provide 5 games against the RPI 87 and lower, and for a team that just needs wins, that is the stretch they must prosper in. 

Wisconsin (15-7, 6-3, RPI=42, Sag=15)
Top 25 Wins:  Indiana, Minnesota
26-50 Wins:  Illinois, Illinois
51-100 Wins:  Arkansas, California, Nebraska
Losses:  Florida, Creighton, Virginia, Marquette, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State
Road/Neutral:  4-5
Margin:  +11.6
Bottom Line:  The Badgers may win ugly and their resume isn't the prettiest, but they continue to do enough to stay off the Bubble and in the "middle seed" mix.  The road win at Indiana carries a good amount of weight, but they could use a couple more quality wins to take place of the soon to be 51-100 wins that are Illinois.  A 5-4 finish likely locks down a bid, 4-5 and they might need a Big 10 Tourney win.

Iowa (14-8, 3-6, RPI=92, Sag=39)
Top 25 Wins:  None
26-50 Wins:  Iowa State, Wisconsin
51-100 Wins:  Northern Iowa, Northwestern
Losses:  Wichita State, Virginia Tech, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Minnesota
Road/Neutral:  3-6
Margin:  +8.5
Bottom Line:  The Hawkeyes are not even on the Bubble at this point and need something like a 7-2 finish to be back in consideration.  The schedule sets up alright if they can cure their road woes and take care of teams like Penn State and Nebraska away from home.  An upset at Wisconsin, a team they have owned recently, would be a great start.

NOTE:  Only teams with a top 75 RPI or Sagarin are listed

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