by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I’m using my ratings and Bill James’ log5 formula to estimate the chances of each participating team advancing to a particular round of its conference tournament.
West Coast Conference
Location: Las Vegas (Orleans Arena)
Dates: March 6, 8, 10, 11
Chance of bid thief: 29 percent
Current kPOY: Sam Dower, Gonzaga
Qtrs Semis Final Champ 1 Gonzaga 100 87.6 67.9 48.5 2 BYU 100 74.7 50.7 23.2 4 Saint Mary's 100 72.8 23.3 11.3 3 San Francisco 100 64.5 27.6 9.3 7 Portland 69.0 20.4 9.7 2.7 6 San Diego 100 35.5 10.6 2.4 5 Pepperdine 100 27.2 4.5 1.2 8 Pacific 55.4 7.4 2.7 0.8 9 Santa Clara 44.6 5.0 1.6 0.4 10 Loyola Mmt 31.0 4.9 1.4 0.2
The WCC used to have the most boring tournament in the land. For one thing the WCC was notorious for a lack of parity. You know that gulf between the fifth and sixth-best teams in the American? That felt like the difference between every team in the WCC. This year is a little different, though. The bottom of the conference is much better and the top of the conference has suffered from the effects of that, struggling to pick up road wins in venues that were formerly much easier to play in.
Additionally, the WCC finally ditched the PBA-style stepladder bracket and instituted a more traditional bracket this season. The top seeds have to play three games to win the title now, which means the conference maximizes its chances for bid thievery. I’m assuming Gonzaga is in already and BYU will get there with an quarterfinal win over Portland, although the latter shouldn’t be taken for granted.
By the way, Gonzaga would appear to be somewhat underrated nationally. They have six losses, including four on the road, one semi-away, and one neutral. Sure, they don’t have a pile of quality wins, but among recent Bulldog teams, this one stacks up pretty well. They’ll be a pain for the team that draws them in the round of 64.