I promised a review of the 2006 picks, so here's a partial one. Last year, the Crashing the Dance oracle correctly selected 29 of 34 at large teams. There was a lot of teeth gnashing about some of the selections last year (it seemed like more than the usual teeth gnashing, at least anecdotally), so I guess I don't feel so bad.

However, it is a great opportunity to review what we're doing here and to see how we can improve. I won't be able to cover all hits and misses here, but I'll give the data points and one example of how wrong the committee was.

First, the teams that CTD let in but the committee left out:

Missouri State (I had them as a 6 seed)

An obvious mistake by the committee. Compare their resume to (for example) that of Arizona, who was selected at-large (and placed in the #8 seed line?):

W-L20-8 (71%)19-12 (61%)
RPI (Total/Conf/NonConf)21st/6th/50th24th/9th/52nd
Schedule strength46th7th
Road +/-3-2
Last 108-26-4
W vs. 1-25 RPI01
+/- vs. 1-50 RPI-4-5
+/- vs. 1-100 RPI-3-1
L vs. 101+ RPI03

(Note, my RPI numbers may not exactly match other sites due to home/road/neutral classification differences.)

The lesson seems to be that it is more important to have a very difficult schedule than to actually win against a moderately difficult one. The RPI (as imperfect as it is) is set up to balance playing a good schedule and winning games.

Arizona's one top 25 RPI win was against Kansas in their first game of the season, and they didn't have a top 50 win after January 1.

The others are (sorry, no time for analysis in this post):
  • Cincinnati (8 seed)
  • Michigan (9 seed)
  • Creighton (10 seed)
  • Hofstra (12 seed)
The teams that the committee selected but CTD left out were:
  • California
  • Alabama
  • Seton Hall
  • Utah State
  • Air Force (this one was roundly criticized - I'll take a closer look later)
Last but not least, these were the big seed misses:
  • UNCW (CTD had 12; actually was 9)
  • NC State (had 7; was 10)
  • Bradley (had 8; was 13)
  • Indiana (had 9; was 6)
  • Wichita State (had 10; was 7)

Here are the nitty gritty details for the teams in question for you to draw your own conclusions. I'll try to add more analysis as I have time. One quick note is that the five teams selected by the committee but not by CTD each had 3 losses against RPI 101+ teams, while the four of the five CTD did select had 1 or fewer such losses (the other had 2). Perhaps the committee doesn't put as much weight on bad losses as people think. The look at Missouri State vs. Arizona also supports this.

Remember that the poll is the coaches poll (I didn't estimate the top 25 last year, so it was as of the previous Monday) and that NC here stands for non-conference, not neutral court.

I let in, they left outRankConfNCRoadL101-2526-5051-100101+
Missou. StMVC20-825215056380-210
I left out, they let inRankConfNCRoadL101-2526-5051-100101+
Seton HallBE18-11585879137-1522-13
Utah StWAC22-8694671716171033
Air ForceMWC22-654315151756170-133
Big seed missesRankConfNCRoadL101-2526-5051-100101+
N.C. StACC21-923224937373151251
Wich. StMVC23-8363523251055472-220