Gators down to No. 11/13 in polls + new S-curve

By Adam Silverstein
March 11, 2013

The final regular season editions of the 2012-13 USA Today and Associated Press Top 25 Polls were released on Monday with Gonzaga becoming the new No. 1 team in the nation after receiving 83-of-96 combined first-place votes.

The Florida Gators, which beat Vanderbilt at home before collapsing on the road at Kentucky, fell two spots each to No. 11 in the USA Today poll and No. 13 in the AP rankings. Florida lost 50 voting points in the USA Today poll and was deducted 155 points in the AP top 25.

The Gators are the only Southeastern Conference team listed in the top 25 rankings.

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Check out the full top 25 polls and where Florida is on the latest S-curve…

USA TODAY COACHES POLL
This Week 1-5: Gonzaga (29), Duke (2), Indiana, Louisville, Georgetown
6-10: Kansas, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Miami
11-15: Florida, Kansas State, Marquette, New Mexico, Oklahoma State
16-20: Saint Louis, Memphis, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
21-25: St. Mary’s, VCU, Wisconsin, Creighton, UCLA

Last Week 1-5: Gonzaga (29), Indiana, Kansas (1), Duke, Gonzaga
6-10: Louisville (1), Miami, Michigan, Florida, Kansas State
11-15: New Mexico, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Saint Louis
16-20: Syracuse, Marquette, Arizona, VCU, Memphis
21-25: Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, St. Mary’s, Notre Dame, Oregon

ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25 POLL
This Week 1-5: Gonzaga (54), Duke (11), Indiana, Louisville, Georgetown
6-10: Michigan, Kansas, Michigan State, Miami, Ohio State
11-15: Kansas State, Marquette, Florida, Oklahoma State, New Mexico
16-20: Saint Louis, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Syracuse, Memphis
21-25: UCLA, Wisconsin, Creighton, Notre Dame, VCU

Last Week 1-5: Gonzaga (51), Indiana (7), Duke (5), Kansas, Georgetown (2)
6-10: Miami, Michigan, Louisville, Kansas State, Michigan State
11-15: Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Marquette
16-20: Saint Louis, Syracuse, Arizona, Oregon, Pittsburgh
21-25: VCU, Wisconsin, UCLA, Notre Dame, Memphis

*Numbers in parenthesis represent first-place votes.

By Jake Sillick – OGGOA Contributor

With the 2013 NCAA Tournament fast approaching, focus turns to selecting and bracketing the event. To many, this may seem like a mysterious process, but the NCAA actually accomplishes it in three phases: selecting the field, ranking the field and then placing those chosen teams on the bracket.

The NCAA first selects the field by choosing 37 at-large teams to go along with the league champions that receive automatic bids.

The committee then next ranks all 68 teams in order. As teams are placed, they are put into a seed list called an “S-curve” (it snakes right to left, then left to right, as seen below). Criteria used for rankings teams are as follows:

» RPI rank
» Strength of schedule rank (non conference and total)
» Record vs. RPI top 50, RPI top 100 opponents
» Bad losses (typically any team ranked 150+ in RPI)
» Rankings in computer systems like KenPom, Sagarin, etc.
» Road/neutral site record
» “Eye test” (personal opinions from watching games)

Here is how Florida ranks is in the aforementioned criteria:

» RPI: 6th (+)
» SOS: 24th overall (neutral), 7th non-conference (+)
» vs. RPI top 50: 5-4 (-) | vs. RPI top 100: 13-6 (neutral)
» Bad losses: none (+)
» Computer rankings: top-five in most (+)
» Road/neutral record: 9-6 (neutral)
» Every win by double digits (+)

Placing teams on the bracket: Teams are listed in S-curve order. The first four teams (No. 1 seeds) determine the regional match-ups. Teams are then placed into the region closest to them (based on availability). Being ranked No. 1, No. 5, No. 9 or No. 14 is best for the top seed on the first four lines. When a team in the top 16 is placed, a sub-regional site is also assigned based on availability (each site can be assigned twice).

What does this mean for the Gators? Louisville and Miami are both ahead of Florida so Lexington, KY is off the table for now. The next-closest site would be Dayton, OH. UF ends up in the East region in this S-curve with Duke, Michigan State and Marquette.

How can the Gators improve their seeding? Any team that Florida squared off against in non-conference play winning their league tournament title would help as would early exits in tournaments by teams like Georgetown, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, New Mexico and Ohio State.

Scenarios with all things being equal elsewhere:

If Florida…
» Wins SEC Tournament Championship – low-two to high-three seed
» Loses in SEC Tournament quarterfinals (vs. Georgia or LSU) OR semifinals (vs. South Carolina or Mississippi State) – mid-to-low four seed
» Loses in semifinals (vs. Tennessee or Alabama) OR loses in finals (vs. Kentucky, Ole Miss, Missouri or Arkansas) – low-three to high-four seed
» Loses in finals (vs. Vanderbilt, Texas A&M or Auburn) – high-to-mid four seed

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