ESPN Bracketology vs Forgotten Forensics, Round 7

I have a message for you troglodytes who believe I only agreed to write this poorly researched penetrating column so I could clandestinely pimp the Sun Belt to men of incalculable influence: You’re dead wrong! Period.

Okay, first of all, somebody hacked my account when I wrote that tweet. Secondly, so what? Thirdly, a close examination of alternate facts proves I was having lunch with Mike Pence at the moment this tweet was posted. You can’t tweet and lunch with Mike Pence. Sue me. Also, WHY WON’T YOU RESPOND TO MY TWEETS, JOE LUNARDI? At least one expert hoops forensic scientist had the cajones to engage:

Damnit, Haslam!

What is ESPN Bracketology?

The Readers Digest Version: ESPN Bracketology is spearheaded by ESPN “Bracketologist” Joe Lunardi, who attempts to predict the March Madness Field of 64 based off  (we assume) 1) ESPN RPI, 2) ESPN BPI (which is some kind of mysterious power index) and 3) Lunardi’s gut.

For the sake of the Group of Five (or in our parlance, “TheForgotten”), we’ll half-ass analyze Bracketology each week with Forgotten Forensics to hold Lunardi’s gut to the fire.

What is Forgotten5 Forgotten Forensics?

Basically a rip off of the more well-funded Bracketology, but using less ESPN-y metrics, like Warren Nolan Live RPI,  Sagarin and Kenpom to makes us look smart. Slightly dumbing down the formula: my gut.

Forgotten Forensics, February 17th Edition

Houston is making damn-good case

At 56, Houston’s RPI isn’t very juicy, but the Cougars have won five straight and boast an incredible 38 Kenpom, besting Lunardi’s Power Five bubble teams like Tennessee (42), TCU (40) and Arkansas (50), and ahead of Lunardi’s at-large teams like California (43) and Marquette (41). What gives? ESPN Bracketology is ignoring the Cougar’s case – at the moment. But Houston has a chance to make noise by beating #19 SMU this weekend. And if they fall short, they still have Memphis, UCONN and #18 Cincinnati to build the resume. Honestly, why should the blah SEC have 4 selections and the American only have two?

UT Arlington is sneaking up on you

Don’t loose your composure, but after closing out Little Rock and Arkansas State over the weekend, the Mavericks’ RPI has dropped to 41, better than Wichita State, Tennessee and adorable national darlings Monmouth. The remaining schedule isn’t that bad for UTA either. The Mavericks next make a road swing to Georgia Southern and Georgia State, giving UTA the opportunity to collect road wins over two sub-130 RPI opponents. The Maverick’s 70 Kenpom isn’t sexy enough to seduce the Committee, but piling up more wins might help UTA shine against a largely mediocre field.

The Mountain West is better than some most of us thought

The MW has four programs boasting sub-100 Kenpom scores – Nevada, San Diego State, Boise State and New Mexico. By comparison, two-bid Atlantic 10 has five. The Missouri Valley has two. The WCC has three. True, the Mountain West doesn’t have a Gonzaga or a Wichita State or a Dayton to peddle, but look for the Mountain West to have solid representation in the NIT this year.

Is 22-4 Middle Tennessee an at-large unfairly type cast as an auto-bid?

The Blue Raiders’ 37 RPI and 51 Kenpom seem to suggest that, should they fall in the CUSA Tournament, the Committee would fit them into the field anyway. Yet, the Committee hasn’t been kind to the Group of Five in the past. Look for this column to make a stink if MTSU should get passed over for, say, Alabama.

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