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A Stats-Based Look At Which SEC Teams Will Reach The Sweet 16

With the NCAA Tournament getting underway on Thursday — sorry, but tonight’s play-in games don’t feel like the tourney to this writer — we at MrSEC.com wanted to take a by-the-numbers look at each SEC team’s chances of reaching the Sweet Sixteen.

Below you’ll see each SEC team’s four-team (or in some cases five-team) pod.  Some have five teams because the 16th seed in their pods will be determined tonight.

Let’s get to the numbers (including overall record, RPI, strength of schedule, record vs RPI Top 50, record versus RPI Top 100, and road and neutral site wins against RPI Top 50 teams):


South Region in Louisville

School
Record
RPI
SOS
Vs Top 50
Vs Top 100
R/N W Vs Top 50
1 Kentucky
32-2
2
25
9-2
18-2
4
16 Miss. Valley St.
21-12
144
310
0-5
0-7
0
16 W. Kentucky
15-18
189
140
0-4
2-8
1
             
8 Iowa State
22-10
33
39
5-7
6-8
1
9 UConn
20-13
32
3
3-8
9-11
2



East Region in Albuquerque

School
Record
RPI
SOS
Vs Top 50
Vs Top 100
R/N W Vs Top 50
5 Vanderbilt
24-10
20
6
5-5
16-8
3
12 Harvard
26-4
35
184
1-1
5-3
1
             
4 Wisconsin
24-9
23
16
6-7
11-7
4
13 Montana
25-6
74
203
1-1
3-3
0



West Region in Omaha

School
Record
RPI
SOS
Vs Top 50
Vs Top 100
R/N W Vs Top 50
7 Florida
23-10
30
24
4-6
9-9
2
10 Virginia
22-9
53
86
2-6
7-6
1
             
2 Missouri
30-4
10
69
11-3
12-3
7
15 Norfolk St.
25-9
128
308
0-2
2-3
0



Midwest Region in Greensboro

School
Record
RPI
SOS
Vs Top 50
Vs Top 100
R/N W Vs Top 50
1 N. Carolina
29-5
4
5
8-5
12-5
4
16 Lamar
23-11
108
216
0-4
0-5
0
16 Vermont
23-11
135
271
0-3
0-5
0
 
           
8 Creighton
28-5
24
102
3-1
8-3
2
9 Alabama
21-11
36
30
3-6
8-10
3



Observations by team:


Kentucky — The Wildcats’ biggest challenge might come from an up-and-down UConn club.  UK’s a favorite to win the whole tourney.  Reaching the Sweet Sixteen shouldn’t be a problem.

Vanderbilt — I don’t like the Commodores’ pod at all.  First, they’re matched with a Harvard team that had a winning record in eight games against RPI Top 100 opponents.  Back in November the Crimson bested Florida State, a team that went on to beat UNC and Duke twice each.  They won’t be scared of Vandy. 

Get past Harvard and a tough Wisconsin team will likely be waiting in the next round.  If VU’s hitting their shots, they can make a long run.  But if they’re cold — as we’ve seen in previous tourneys — they can exit early.  The committee did them no favors.

Florida — Another rough draw for an SEC squad.  Especially a team that just hasn’t been the same since losing Will Yeguete from its frontline.  Virginia had a winning record in 13 games against Top 100 opponents.  And Missouri is waiting for the Gators if they get past UVA.  Look at their numbers — 12-3 versus Top 100 foes with seven road or neutral site wins versus the RPI Top 50?  Billy Donovan’s team has its work cut out for it.

Alabama — It’s no surprise that the lowest-seeded SEC team also has the toughest path to the Sweet Sixteen.  Creighton won the ever-tough Missouri Valley Conference and went 8-3 against RPI Top 100 teams.  Survive the Blue Jays and #1 seed North Carolina is next.  In Greensboro.


So how many SEC teams will reach the Sweet Sixteen?  It’s tempting to say only Kentucky.  Clearly, they’ve got the easiest path to make a deep run.  But we’ll roll the dice that Kevin Stallings’ experienced Vandy club will knock down their shots and fend off a couple of slow-paced teams to reach the school’s first Sweet Sixteen since 2007.  (If they do make it that far, a potential regional semifinal matchup with #1 seed Syracuse just got easier with the news that the ‘Cuse will be without it’s 7-foot center and top rebounder, Fab Melo, for the tourney.)

Kentucky and Vandy will make it.  Florida and Alabama won’t.

 


2 comments
MoKelly
MoKelly

Ok. Ok. I understand the technicalities of when Missouri legally becomes part of the SEC but this is not a legal site. It's OK to claim Missouri as an SEC team now (heck - it is clear the Big 12 wants nothing to do with us). So, if Missouri beats Florida there will still be an SEC team in the tournament! Go MIzzou. How sweeeeeet that Missouri wins the Big 12 tournament in the exit year. Life is good.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

MoKelly...

 

Personally I'd get a big laugh if Missouri won the whole darn tourney, but it's a little weak for SEC fans to start claiming them at this point.  They played this season in the Big 12.  

 

Just my take.  Though I wish them well in the tourney.

 

John

Trackbacks

  1. [...] appearance while the Cavaliers are going dancing for the first time since 2007.Earlier this week we took a stats-based look at each SEC squad’s path to the Sweet Sixteen.  We had Vandy and Kentucky advancing, Florida and Bama coming up short.  So far, so [...]

  2. News | MrSEC says:

    [...] And finally, Florida had more serious injuries (namely a year-ender for Will Yeguete).So when we broke down the Sweet Sixteen chances for each SEC team in the NCAA tourney field last Tuesday, we projected just two teams [...]

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