Best Week Ever: Themeless Edition
This week's episode comes without a theme. The Crashing the Dance household has been sick for most of the last two weeks, so there hasn't been much extra time to devote to the blog. I'm reintroducing a few additional fields (wins vs. RPI top 25 and RPI rank for conference games only) to the model after today's run, so the seeds listed here may be different than you see Tuesday.
All numbers through games of Sunday, February 8.
Florida State (#11 seed last week; #7 this week)
Is this the year the Seminoles finally break through the bubble? After a big comeback win at Clemson Sunday, they have risen to the #7 line. Little attention nationally has been paid to their top 10 defense, but the rest of their season may depend on their turnover prone, poor shooting, 146th ranked offense.
Ohio State (#7 seed last week; #6 this week)
Don't look now, but Thad Matta is building a program in Columbus. The Buckeyes are good but not particularly strong on either side of the ball (45th in offensive efficiency, 51st in defensive efficiency) Of course, the Buckeyes started 15-6 (6-2 in the Big 10) last year before finishing 4-7 with several bad losses to fall off the bubble. The lack of a bad loss so far this year helps their case, but they've got to finish strong unlike last year.
Texas (#6 seed last week; #8 this week)
Texas is in free fall. After starting 11-2 and peaking as a #2 seed before losing to Arkansas (January 6), the Longhorns have lost five of their last nine including their last three. With three of their next five against teams on the wrong side of the bubble, they can regain some of their mojo.
Xavier (#2 seed last week; #3 this week), Butler (#3 seed last week; #4 this week), Davidson (#8 seed last week; #11 this week), St. Mary's (#11 seed last week; out this week)
All four "mid majors" lost last week and each dropped at least one seed line. St. Mary's, which is dealing with injured star Patty Mills, dropped out of the field. As I noted a few weeks ago, teams from the non-traditional power conferences have been the most confounding to our model the last few seasons.