Conference records and Bracketology
by Josh Wilson – guest correspondent
Should conference records matter when it comes to bracketology? In short, yes AND no! This argument heats up every year about this exact time. The time where power conferences are in their last week of regular season play, and the mid-majors and smaller conferences are already battling it out in conference tournaments.
Certain bracketologists have a profound love of mid-major programs that win 75% of their conference games, but lose in their conference tournament. They cite that a team with a 12-4 conference record should get in over a team with a 10-10 conference record. That’s not always an apples to apples comparison. That argument has recently made its way to comparing power conference schools against each other. There’s nothing like an argument on Twitter, and it drove me to go down this rabbithole, so here we go!
For this argument, I’m going to compare a team from the BigTen and a team from the SEC. The BigTen team will be referred to as “Team A”. “Team B” will be the SEC team. The BigTen has been labeled as the best basketball conference in the country this year. There is really no argument to suggest otherwise. You take other teams and put them in the BigTen, their season is drastically different. But that’s an argument for another day. I chose these two specific teams, because they have identical overall records and NET rankings at the moment.
Team A: Team B:
Net: 52 Net: 51
Conf Record: 9-10 Conf Record: 10-7
Team A has a non-conference record of 10-1 and a non-conference strength of schedule of 72. Team B was 9-4 in the non-conference, and their non-conference strength of schedule is 102.
Quad 1: 5-9
Quad 2: 4-2
Quad 3: 4-0
Quad 4: 6-0
Quad 1: 2-6
Quad 2: 5-3
Quad 3: 7-2
Quad 4: 5-0
Team A has played 20 Q1/Q2 games while Team B has played 16 Q1/Q2 games. Team A has not sustained any “bad losses” while Team B has 2 losses in Quad 3.