Bracketology: Virginia continues its slow climb toward Selection Sunday

uva basketball fans
Photo by Dan Grogan.

It wasn’t pretty, but Virginia’s 46-44 win at Miami Wednesday night keeps the ‘Hoos moving in the right direction with Selection Sunday getting closer by the day.

The celebrity bracketologists still have Virginia as a nine seed, but Bracketville, the highest-rated bracket on the scale, has UVA as a seven, and the Team Rankings simulation has the ‘Hoos as a five, as the 17th-best team in the field.

I’ve been tracking the metrics for a couple of weeks now, using the models that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee uses as guides: NET, KenPom, KPI, Sagarin, the ESPN Basketball Power Index, and the ESPN Strength of Record metric.

Virginia’s average rating across the six as of this writing (publishing at noon EST Thursday) is 31.8, which is up 1.5 spots since Monday.

The committee also looks at teams’ records in games divided into four quadrants:

  • Q1: Home (1-30 NET) Neutral (1-50 NET) Road (1-75 NET)
  • Q2: Home (31-75 NET) Neutral (51-100 NET) Road (76-135 NET)
  • Q3: Home (76-160 NET) Neutral (101-200 NET) Road (136-240 NET)
  • Q4: Home (161-353 NET) Neutral (201-353 NET) Road (241-353 NET)

Virginia would seem to be in really good shape here, with a 5-3 record in Q1 games and a 6-3 record in Q2 games.

For comparison, Duke, which is being viewed by most as a two or at worst a three, is 5-3 in Q1 and 6-2 in Q2.

The ‘Hoos, like the Blue Devils, are also 7-4 on the road this season.

I’m bringing up Duke, incidentally, not because I have any delusion that the committee will treat Virginia at all the same as it will Duke.

Just to say, if Duke is a two or three, Virginia, at this writing, is at worst a six.

Virginia (22-7, 14-5 ACC)

NET: 48 KenPom: 45 KPI: 19 Sagarin: 22 ESPN BPI: 38 ESPN SOR: 19
AVG. RATING: 31.8 (+1.5 since Monday)
Q1: 5-3 Q2: 6-3 Q3: 5-1 Q4: 5-0
Road: 7-4
Team Rankings Bracket Projection: 5 seed (bid probability: 100%)
Update: It continues to be nonsense that there is any question about the NCAA Tournament for the ‘Hoos.
Up Next: Louisville (Saturday)

Story by Chris Graham

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