REAL Standings: The We Ames to Please Edition

             MIDWEEK RECAP

I came across a retweet this afternoon from a KU fan rejoicing in the "fact" that KU has a two game lead over Mizzou.

Were that this were true in the REAL world. In the REAL world, the Jayhawks are in first place, but by a tenuous half game margin over its arch-rival for more than 100 years and for a few more weeks. This due to the fact that Mizzou has Ames, Waco, Manhattan, and--yes--Stillwater in its past. All places the Jayhawks have yet to visit.

Meanwhile, KU has only Norman, Austin, and Lubbock in its rear view mirror.

Of course, the Jayhawks, as competitors, would prefer zero losses and a daunting schedule to two losses and a softer road out ahead. But a loss in Ames this Saturday, and all bets are off. We will then have a flat-footed tie atop the REAL Standings.

in the meantime, KU enjoys a 1/2 game lead in the REAL Big 12 Standings, thanks to 49 points from two Okie St freshmen in the Cowboys' 79-72 victory over Mizzou. And Mizzou can take scant comfort in the fact that this was a Road loss, because the team that wins the Big 12 title would be expected to beat Okie St wherever the two teams play.

The saving grace for Mizzou is that Okie St has some impressive young talent and a senior later in Page Keeton, the late Dean at the University of Texas School of Law. All right, this guy only seems that old.

At any rate, if Okie St has come of age, that game could be a test for the Hawks.

Aside from the Stillwater Surprise, the other Midweek contests went as projected: KU outlasted A&M; Texas took down Iowa St in Austin, in the game that nobody saw, either in person or on TV; Baylor downed OU in Norman; and K-State happily accepted its working-bye in Lubbock.

                                                                                  THE TIERS

            Tier 1:  Baylor, KU, Mizzou   Tier 2:  Iowa St, K-State, Texas   Tier 3:  Oklahoma, Okie St, Texas A&M 

Tier 4: Texas Tech

                               REAL BIG 12 STANDINGS

1-26-12         1.     15-3

KU      (7-0)                Projected L’s:  at Mizzou, at Baylor                                    At Risk games: at ISU, at K-State

2. 14.5-3.5

Mizzou (5-2)              Projected L’s:  at KU                                  At Risk games: at UT

3. 14-4

Baylor (5-2)               Projected L’s:  at Mizzou                                   At Risk games: at UT, at ISU

  4. 10-8

K-State (4-3)              Projected L’s:  at ISU, at Texas, at Baylor, at Mizzou                                    At Risk games: vs. KU, at A&M

Iowa St (4-3)              Projected L’s:  at Baylor, at K-State, at Mizzou

                                 At Risk games: vs. KU, at OU, at Okie St, vs. Baylor

6. 9.5-8.5

Texas (3-4)                Projected L’s:  at Baylor, at KU At Risk games: vs. Mizzou, at A&M, at OU, at Okie St, vs. Baylor

7. 5.5-12.5

Oklahoma (2-5)        Projected L’s:  at K-State, at KU, vs. Mizzou, at ISU, at Baylor, at Texas

At Risk games: vs. ISU, at Tech, vs. Texas

Okie St (3-4)              Projected L’s: at A&M,  vs. Baylor, at KU, at Mizzou, at OU, vs. KU, at K-State

                                   At Risk games: vs. ISU, at Tech, vs. Texas

  9. 4.5-13.5                                    Texas A&M (2-5)      Projected L’s:  vs. Baylor, at K-State, at ISU, vs. Mizzou, vs. KU, at Okie St, at OU

                                   At Risk games: vs. UT, at Tech, vs. K-State

10  1.5-16.5   Texas Tech (0-7)         Projected L’s:  at Mizzou, at Texas, at K-State, at KU, At ISU, vs. Texas, at Baylor, vs. Mizzou                                                                     At Risk games: vs. Okie St, vs. OU, vs. A&M                                                    ON THE TUBE

SATURDAY              Texas at Baylor****: (Noon—CBS) (Projected W: Baylor)

Texas is desperate for a nice Road W to strengthen its case for inclusion in the Big Dance. The Fighting Calipari-Lites, however, are despert themselves; they can ill afford another loss at Home. Well worth watching. For an hour, anyway.

           Texas Tech at Mizzou *: (12:30p.m.—Big 12 Network) (Projected W: Mizzou)

Projected W for Mizzou? Don't we have something stronger than "Projected"? "Guaranteed" might not be too strong in this case.

KU at Iowa St****: (1:00p.m.—ESPN) (At-risk Game)

KU's first opportunity to cut into Mizzou's "venues already won in" advantage. Now if Royce White will just cooperate by getting into foul trouble and playing only 27 minutes

           Oklahoma St at A&M***: (3:00p.m.—Big 12 Network) (Projected W: A&M)

Okie St’s opportunity to validate its W over Mizzou.   Oklahoma at K-State***: (6:00p.m.—Fox Sports) (Projected W: K-State)

Lonnie tries to go Home again.


Ken Pomeroy on the Oakland Bracket.

Friend of Phog Blog Ken Pomeroy breaks down the Bracket today, using his efficiency numbers, and I think Jayhawks will be pleased:

Seed Team         Round 2 Round 3 Regionals Semis  Finals Champion
  4  Kansas        78.93%  54.37%   38.45%  25.92% 14.72%   9.01%
  2  UCLA          95.39%  70.86%   53.75%  29.49% 14.80%   8.09%
  5  Pitt          81.35%  34.47%   19.87%  10.81%  4.64%   2.19%
  1  Memphis       86.40%  52.89%   22.30%  11.60%  4.70%   2.10%
  8  Arkansas      72.27%  36.08%   13.45%   6.32%  2.26%   0.90%
 11  San Diego St. 55.81%  34.29%   12.35%   4.17%  1.25%   0.42%
  7  Marquette     62.35%  19.94%   11.30%   3.88%  1.18%   0.40%
  6  Indiana       44.19%  24.66%    7.68%   2.23%  0.57%   0.16%
  3  Gonzaga       56.26%  24.58%    7.06%   1.88%  0.44%   0.11%
 13  Bradley       21.07%   8.23%    3.31%   1.25%  0.34%   0.10%
 10  Alabama       37.65%   8.61%    3.81%   0.93%  0.20%   0.05%
 14  Xavier        43.74%  16.47%    3.97%   0.88%  0.17%   0.04%
  9  Bucknell      27.73%   8.15%    1.58%   0.42%  0.08%   0.02%
 12  Kent State    18.65%   2.93%    0.73%   0.17%  0.03%   0.00%
 16  Oral Roberts  13.60%   2.88%    0.32%   0.05%  0.01%   0.00%
 15  Belmont        4.61%   0.58%    0.08%   0.00%  0.00%   0.00%

The most interesting thing about these numbers to me is that we're not the most likely Final Four team in this bracket, but that we are the most likely Champion. That says a lot about the difficultly of our draw.

However, the good thing about our draw is that - to wax Physics 102 - it's big on amplitude, but not on frequency. By this I mean that our draw is steadily difficult, that it doesn't contain a single shrill note of window cracking difficulty. According to Ken, we should be favored all the way to the Final Four. And that's not such a bad thing.

Still plenty of time to throw down your picks at the Phog Blog Pickem

Reminder on how to win that bracket...

Once again, I repeat: You could go on gut instinct, and lose, or spend hours and hours poring over endless statistics.

Or if you're smart, you could spend a few bucks to have access to the same proprietary tools that Vegas uses to pick games. I know I'll be using the BracketBrains tool this year, and I recommend you do the same. Click on the banner below to check it out, but I'm pretty sure you'll be as impressed as I am, and if you end up signing up, a little bit of dough will go to keeping the Phog Blog's server's running.

As Brandon goes, so go the Hawks?

Luke Winn explores the importance of individuals to teams in a column today. I was surprised to find Brandon Rush in his list at #6. I think the miserable performance at UT probably hurts him the most, but it's still an interesting exercise. Check it out.

All-Bellwether Team Which players' scoring averages differed the most between wins and losses? Rk. Player Team Conf. Rec. Avg. in wins Avg in Ls Diff. 1 Richard Roby Colorado (9-7) 23.7 13.1 10.6 2 Steve Novak Marquette (10-6) 23.9 14.5 9.4 3 Paul Davis Michigan State (7-8) 20.4 11.6 8.8 4 Devan Downey Cincy (8-8) 13.5 5.3 8.2 5 Chris Lofton Tennessee (12-4) 19.9 12.8 7.1 6 Patrick O'Bryant Bradley (13-8) 15.6 8.6 7.0 7 Brandon Rush Kansas (13-3) 16.4 9.7 6.7 8 Dee Brown Illinois (11-5) 17.2 10.8 6.4 9 Adam Haluska Iowa (11-5) 15.8 10.2 5.6 10 Cameron Bennerman N.C. State (10-5) 17.6 12.0 5.6

How to win your 2006 NCAA Tournament Bracket Pool

You could go on gut instinct, and lose, or spend hours and hours poring over endless statistics. Or if you're smart, you could spend a few bucks to have access to the same proprietary tools that Vegas uses to pick games. I know I'll be using the BracketBrains tool this year, and I recommend you do the same. Click on the banner below to check it out, but I'm pretty sure you'll be as impressed as I am.

Projecting the 2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament Field...

Most of the bracket predictions out there are pretty lame. Most have Boston College and KU as 6-7 seeds, which, in my opinion, is bad, bad math. The tournament is less than a month away now, and I think it's time to start making actual predictions about what seed teams will end up with. This seems to me to be a better use of time than "if the season ended today" predictions. The season doesn't end today. This is a predictive bracket. I encourage your feedback. I admit I'm mailing it in for the 13-16 seeds.

The First Phog Blog Bracket (2/20/06):

1 Seeds: Duke, UConn, Villanova, Memphis

2 Seeds: Gonzaga, Pittsburgh, Texas (-), Ohio State

3 Seeds: Boston College, Florida, Tennessee, Iowa

4 Seeds: Kansas, Illinois, West Virginia, GW

5 Seeds UCLA, North Carolina State, Michigan State, Georgetown

6 Seeds LSU, Oklahoma, UNC, George Mason

7 Seeds Northern Iowa, Wisconsin, Bucknell, Washington

8 Seeds Cal, Nevada, Marquette, Alabama

9 Seeds Creighton, So. Illinois, Seton Hall, Wichita St

10 Seeds Arizona, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri State

11 Seeds UAB, Air Force, Syracuse, Colorado

12 Seeds W. Kentucky, San Diego State, UW-Milwaukee, NC-Wilmington

13 Seeds Northwestern State, Montana, Akron, Iona

14 Seeds Winthrop, Murray State, Penn, Pacific

15 Seeds FDU, Belmont, IUPUI, Northern Arizona

16 Seeds Georgia Southern, Albany, Delaware State, Play-in

I've got a feeling this thing has more holes in it than a horse-trader's mule, or will have come Selection Sunday, but hey, there's only so much you can do.