Yes, that's a lazy title, but it is about as much as my fatigued, basketball-ingesting mind can regurgitate this morning.
It would have made sense to come up with some sort of title illustrating how the upset victories of 9 Wichita State and 4 Syracuse threw the rating systems for a loop, but I'm not sure anything makes sense in sports at this point. Besides, my mind is still far too blown to think through anything of the sort. Just imagine a post title that incorporates the word "shocking" and, maybe, "Otto."
I'm not sure which damage is more irreparable: that to the pleasure center of my brain or to the nation's brackets. Probably the latter, and we have evidence. RP Blog is tracking twenty rating systems, yielding forty picks for East and West representatives in the Final Four. These forty picks represented five different schools.
Today, halfway through the Regional Finals, each and every one of these five schools has been eliminated. Inspect the wreckage below:
The last school standing from this half of the bracket was 2 Ohio State, which The Wichita State University took care of last night after deflecting a late Buckeye charge. What sort of effect did this have on the standings in the Rating Systems Challenge? Check the leaderboard below the jump.
This chart and leaderboard might look familiar. It should, because yesterday's games had essentially no effect whatsoever.
Not one of the systems picked either 3 Marquette or Syracuse to advance, so not one of the rating systems picked up any points yesterday. Even in terms of remaining points, yesterday's games had little effect. Four systems—the ESPN National Bracket, Sonny Moore and the preseason polls—did project Ohio State to reach the Final Four, but none had the Buckeyes advancing any further.
Moreover, it seems the rest of the nation had as much faith in the Orange and the Shockers as our rating systems did. After yesterday's action, the ESPN Preseason Poll is still beating 98% of submissions. To make a long story short (too late) the standings remain where they were two nights before: with the preseason polls doing quite well but in a weak position going forward.
This will not be the case again tonight.
Both Regional Finals match-ups have major implications for several ratings systems. The RPI systems pick 2 Duke to beat 1 Louisville on the way to a National Championship. Two systems—the preseason polls—expect 4 Michigan to beat 3 Florida; nine systems send the Gators to Atlanta instead. A Blue Devil upset would yield the biggest impact, cutting down the eighteen systems that picked overall #1 Louisville to win it all.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter—or tune in tomorrow—to see how each system performs in the final day of Regional play.