Its Crowded At The Top Of The NCAA Tournament

7Dayton4135363446442838 Our ratings also account for injuries and travel distance — playing in a familiar gym an hour from campus is a big advantage compared to traveling across the country. And once the tournament begins, the ratings will be updated to reflect the results of previous tournament games. If a No. 2 seed needs overtime to defeat a No. 15 seed, for instance, it can be an inauspicious sign for their prospects down the road.Let’s take a quick tour of the four regions — starting with Villanova and the East. 15Jax. State6362646264686166 3Florida State2219182119171035 1Villanova12212114 13Vermont4551514549505353 RANK AMONG 68 TOURNAMENT TEAMS 8Arkansas3237374037273141 9Seton Hall2845444747333430 SEEDTEAMELOPOMSAGBPILRMCMOORNCAAPRE 11Xavier463932333631417 How the teams compare: Midwest region 16South Dakota St.5865636565626445 7Michigan1221222021222733 12UNC-Wilmington4249495144524947 SEEDTEAMELOPOMSAGBPILRMCMOORNCAAPRE RANK AMONG 68 TOURNAMENT TEAMS 16New Orleans6564676868676768 2Arizona51921242021611 11USC4850465052464534 1UNC63334436 2Louisville10665113812 15North Dakota6263616066596261 4West Virginia13547371517 12Nevada3446454242474752 6Cincinnati2122201518182225 6Creighton2527272727292418 5Virginia207741010177 3Oregon8161313162495 13E. Tenn. St.5252525250535257 5Iowa State1517152315112021 4Florida1691089141429 How the teams compare: West region 11Rhode Island3036403141284420 9Michigan St.4440353839383510 16Texas Southern6766666362646360 8Miami2732282840363023 RANK AMONG 68 TOURNAMENT TEAMS 14FGCU5955555356555656 14Iona6157575855545848 13Bucknell5353535451515154 As a Michigan native, I’m a firm believer that Midwest is best, but that doesn’t extend to this year’s tournament, where the region is a bit lackluster. Kansas — with a 28-4 record from a very good Big 12 conference — might seem like a no-brainer No. 1 seed. But other than Elo, the computer ratings are a bit down on the Jayhawks, noting that they won many games by narrow margins that could reflect luck as much as clutch performance. Still, they’re the favorite here. Louisville is a perfectly adequate No. 2 seed, but they have to survive a difficult Round of 32 game — both No. 7 Michigan and No. 10 Oklahoma State are underseeded. And the regional finals will be played in Kansas City, advantaging KU.A lot of people are also pointing toward Kansas’s Round of 32 matchup — against either No. 8 Miami or No. 9 Michigan State — as a difficult spot. But as much as it pains me to say this as an East Lansingite, I’m not sure this is Michigan State’s year. They’ve won only five road or neutral-site games all year, and while a lot of credit should be given to the Spartans for how many tough teams they scheduled, they also didn’t come away with a lot of wins. Then again, Tom Izzo has made a fool of everyone else’s best-laid plans and projections in the past.No. 3 seed Oregon is another case of a team that might seem to be underseeded but probably isn’t. They lost senior forward Chris Boucher to an ACL tear in the Pac-12 tournament, substantially weakening their front-court depth. 3Baylor1913161717201228 11Kansas State5129313228344636 ELO = FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rating; POM = Ken Pomeroy; SAG = Jeff Sagarin “predictor” rating; BPI = ESPN’s basketball power index; MOOR = Sonny Moore power ratings; NCAA = Selection committee’s 68-team “S-Curve”; PRE = Composite of preseason rankings 1Gonzaga711212412 FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions are up and ready for your perusal. But while we’re really excited about the tournament, we have to say this is not a year in which we’re going to be able to help you all that much, at least in the Elite Eight and beyond.That’s because there’s as much parity in the tournament as there’s ever been — not necessarily from the very top of the field to the very bottom, but certainly among a group of No. 1 and No. 2 seeds that aren’t all that easy to distinguish from one another. Meanwhile, the blue bloods have to navigate a minefield of underseeded teams such as Wichita State and SMU, with some having more perilous paths than others.The one team that potentially stood out from the pack — defending national champion and No. 1 overall seed Villanova — has been undermined by a difficult draw. While the Wildcats are still the nominal favorite to win the tournament, they have only a 15 percent chance of doing so, which is tied for the lowest probability for a frontrunner in our seven years of making tournament predictions.1Fourth-seeded Louisville also had a 15 percent chance in 2014.Our methodology for making these projections is exactly the same as it was last year. They’re based on a blend of six computer rankings: FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings, Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, Jeff Sagarin’s “predictor” ratings, ESPN’s BPI, Joel Sokol’s LRMC ratings and Sonny Moore’s computer power ratings. We also use two human-generated rating systems: the selection committee’s 68-team “S-Curve” and a composite of preseason ratings from coaches and media polls. The preseason ratings have some predictive power when used carefully, serving as a hedge against teams that may have overachieved or underachieved relative to their talent level and are due to revert to the mean.VIDEO: A No. 16 seed will win, but don’t bet on it ELO = FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rating; POM = Ken Pomeroy; SAG = Jeff Sagarin “predictor” rating; BPI = ESPN’s basketball power index; MOOR = Sonny Moore power ratings; NCAA = Selection committee’s 68-team “S-Curve”; PRE = Composite of preseason rankings 10Okla. State2924232626253744 5Notre Dame1725242223191931 11Wake Forest4330333029324349 4Butler2326262524231327 14Kent St.5759585858575759 In contrast to recent seasons, when the committee was often forced to ship in teams from the eastern half of the country to claim the top two seeds in the West, this year’s bracket features two geographically appropriate representatives in No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Arizona. That’s important to keep in mind, because travel can be a big factor in the West region, with teams potentially flying a long way to play games in an unfamiliar time zone.Otherwise, the West is a bit … weird. For one thing, Gonzaga — with a 32-1 record largely assembled outside a top conference — isn’t an easy team to get a handle on. A few of the computer ratings have the ‘Zags as the No. 1 overall team, while the committee’s rankings — and Elo — are more skeptical of them because they beat up on middling opposition. No. 2 Arizona, meanwhile, isn’t well liked by the computers, with its strength of schedule not as good as you’d expect from a 30-4 Pac-12 champion. Michigan State, whom the Wildcats beat to start their season, was Arizona’s best nonconference win.West Virginia, the No. 4 seed, is another highly divisive team. They lost eight games but those losses came by an average of just 4.6 points, so the computer formulas think they’re badly underseeded. It’s a tough break for the Mountaineers to not only have drawn Gonzaga in the Round of 16 but also to have to fly across the country to play the game.The West also features a number of potential spoilers from strong academic schools — Northwestern, Princeton, Vanderbilt — that will probably create a lot of buzz if they win. (All those Northwestern journalism grads won’t hurt.) None of those teams are especially underseeded, however. A better dark-horse pick is No. 7 St. Mary’s, which could give Arizona fits in the Round of 32.Check out our March Madness predictions. ELO = FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rating; POM = Ken Pomeroy; SAG = Jeff Sagarin “predictor” rating; BPI = ESPN’s basketball power index; MOOR = Sonny Moore power ratings; NCAA = Selection committee’s 68-team “S-Curve”; PRE = Composite of preseason rankings 2Duke412868671 9Vanderbilt3934383631393326 How the teams compare: South region 5Minnesota3333343635351855 SEEDTEAMELOPOMSAGBPILRMCMOORNCAAPRE 9Virginia Tech3741424543373642 13Winthrop5456565557565458 11Providence4047474848424237 15N. Kentucky6060596360605963 16UC-Davis6468656767666562 10Wichita St.11811155123824 16NC Central6661626161656667 UNC and Kentucky are the top two seeds in the South — and are a tossup to advance from the region according to our forecast (each one has a 30 percent chance). Working in the Tar Heels’ favor: they played one of the toughest schedules in memory, rank slightly ahead of Kentucky in most of the computer rankings (although not in Elo) and are on the opposite side of the bracket from Wichita State, which was ridiculously underseeded. (The Shockers ranked in the top 10 overall according to two computer rankings, LRMC and Pomeroy, and yet they are just a No. 10 seed in their region according to the committee.) Helping Kentucky: the Wildcats are a bit healthier than UNC, come in hotter (having won 11 games in a row and the SEC tournament), might have a bit more top-level talent (as reflected in their preseason ranking) and the location of the regional final, in Memphis, could be slightly favorable to them.If it’s not UNC or Kentucky, the obvious alternative to emerge from the South is No. 3 UCLA, but the various computer rankings are not as bullish on the Pac-12 as the conventional wisdom seems to be. The South also features perhaps the best bet for a 5-vs-12 upset: No. 12 Middle Tennessee, which knocked off Michigan State last year, has a roughly 50-50 shot of beating No. 5 Minnesota, according to our forecast. 3UCLA1418141413161115 15Troy5558605759586065 How the teams compare: East region ELO = FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rating; POM = Ken Pomeroy; SAG = Jeff Sagarin “predictor” rating; BPI = ESPN’s basketball power index; MOOR = Sonny Moore power ratings; NCAA = Selection committee’s 68-team “S-Curve”; PRE = Composite of preseason rankings 4Purdue1815121112131614 12Mid. Tenn.3843484032484851 6Maryland4942414245412319 RANK AMONG 68 TOURNAMENT TEAMS 7St. Mary’s2414251225262516 14NM State5654545554635550 SEEDTEAMELOPOMSAGBPILRMCMOORNCAAPRE 7South Carolina5031303834452639 6SMU911191914152122 Villanova, the selection committee’s top seed, also ranks well according to the six computer systems, all of which place it first or second overall. But it got absolutely no help from the committee, who stuffed the East region with tough teams. Duke — which began as the preseason No. 1, slumped in the middle of the season, and then recovered to win the ACC tournament this weekend — engenders some disagreement among the various ratings systems but is no pushover as No. 2 seed, to say the least. That sets up a possible grudge match between Villanova and Duke, the past two tournament champions, in the East regional final at Madison Square Garden.But Villanova has their work cut out to get there. Wisconsin, the No. 8 seed and ‘Nova’s potential opponent in the Round of 32, should have been seeded several slots higher according to the computers and has a history of tough postseason play. No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Virginia also get a lot more respect from the computers than they did from the committee, with blemished win-loss records masking difficult schedules and strong defenses.On Duke’s side of the bracket, No. 6 SMU could be a tough out and is about even-money in its potential Round of 32 matchup against No. 3 Baylor. But if you’re looking for a first-round upset, there aren’t any slam-dunk candidates. No. 7 South Carolina is probably no better a team than No. 10 Marquette, but they have the advantage of playing a de facto home game in Greenville, S.C. 12Princeton3548504853495043 2Kentucky345106553 8Wisconsin26231718229299 8Northwestern4738394233433240 1Kansas210997822 10VCU3644433538404032 10Marquette3128292830303946 read more

In Other News Florence Left 55M in Damage at Ft Bragg Florida

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Fort Bragg suffered about $55 million in damage from Hurricane Florence, which dumped several feet of rain over parts of eastern North Carolina last month, the post’s garrison commander said Wednesday during the annual Greater Fayetteville Chamber State of the Community. About 600 buildings were damaged, Col. Kyle Reed said. As of Sept. 30, the post had received about $6 mission in assistance, leaving a $48 million hole. “I’m working on that,” he told the audience, reported the Fayetteville Observer. … Enterprise Florida is looking for a firm to advocate for the state’s defense installation and missions before DOD and Congress. The contractor, which will work under the direction of the Florida Defense Support Task Force (FDSTF), will need to implement initiatives designed to enhance and secure the long-term viability, retention and growth of Florida’s defense assets. Responses to the RFP are due Nov. 9. For more information, contact Terry McCaffrey, FDSTF executive director, at tmccaffrey@eflorida.com.Army photo by Jason Whittakerlast_img read more

Airbus sees no serious impact from China economy slowdown

first_imgPlane manufacturer Airbus broke ground on its first wide-body completion plant outside Europe in China on 2 March, while its CEO Fabrice Bregier said he saw no serious impact on the countrys aircraft market from a slowing economy.Airbus marked the handover of a completion and delivery centre for its wide-body A330 in Beijings neighbouring city of Tianjin, which will be a new addition to its existing assembly plant for A320 planes.At Airbus, we are honoured to play our part and to open a major new chapter in our cooperation with you here today. I have every confidence that this centre will be a great success, Bregier said at the handover ceremony, attended by Chinese officials.The CEO of Airbus says it expects Chinas aviation market, the worlds second-largest, to emerge unscathed from an economic slowdown thanks to robust demand for international travel.The economy is slowing down. This is true globally. This is not true for our market. And we believe that for the next five years, plus 10% growth year-on-year in already the second biggest market in the world, is extremely important and a very cautious assumption, Bregier told reporters.China has focused, rightly so, on single-aisles (narrow-body aircraft) a lot, and will continue to procure a lot of single-aisles. But I am sure the next step will be getting more wide-bodies. So perhaps one day there will be enough market to look at such a big investment, he added.Even though the Chinese economy has lost some steam, aircraft-makers like Airbus and Boeing remain buoyant about air travel demand in the country. Airbus expects China to need 5,400 new planes over 20 years and is considering hedging its bets there as a result. At the same time, it is studying whether it should increase the production rate of its A320 assembly line, Airbus China chief Eric Chen said.Boeing has also signed a cooperation document with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) to build a completion centre for its 737 passenger jets in China.The number of Chinese leisure travellers going overseas for the first time topped 100m in 2014, official data shows. Foreign travel is tipped to grow another 10% this year as the United States, France and Australia ease visa policies.last_img read more

Slow internet speed for 150 mins

first_imginternet People have been experiencing slow internet since Monday morning as mobile phone operators have been asked to slow down internet speed in the morning for 150 minutes to check question paper leaks during the SSC examinations.The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has instructed the operators to slow down internet speed from 8:00am to 10:30am from 12 to 24 February, says UNB.The instruction was given in a bid to prevent question paper leakage during the ongoing the Secondary School Certificate examinations, according to the BTRC.The internet was slowed down for 30 minutes from 10:00pm on Sunday as trial run following the directive of BTRC.Although the government took some measures to stop question paper leaks, the SSC question papers are being leaked out from the very first day of the examination.last_img read more

Pakistan to honour bravery in NZ attack

first_imgImran KhanA Pakistani victim of the Christchurch attack who apparently tried to tackle the gunman before being shot dead will be awarded posthumously in his home country for his courage, prime minister Imran Khan said Sunday.Khan spoke as the Pakistani foreign office confirmed that nine of its citizens had been killed in the mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city which claimed the lives of 50 people Friday, including many who had emigrated from around the world.Video of the massacre shows one man gunned down as he approaches the shooter, while others flee.The man is believed to be Naeem Rashid, although his face is blurred in the footage and he has yet to be formally identified.”Pakistan is proud of Mian Naeem Rashid who was martyred trying to tackle the White Supremacist terrorist & his courage will be recognised with a national award,” Khan tweeted on Sunday.Pakistan has several awards to recognise civilian bravery, and Khan did not specify which one would be awarded to Rashid, whose son also died in the massacre.Rashid’s elder brother Khurshid Alam told AFP in the northwestern Pakistani city of Abbottabad that the award “means a lot” to his family.”I feel very proud,” he said, calling the loss of his brother and nephew a “big, big shock”.Naeem, he said, had visited the family last year, staying for two months.”We had a lovely time. He was a man who would be like a kid with children, and like an adult with grown-ups,” Alam said.- Suspect visited Pakistan -‘Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the award would be given on 23 March, Pakistan Day.He confirmed that nine Pakistani citizens had been killed in the attack while one was in critical condition.One “is still not out of danger but he is being treated”, he told reporters in Islamabad without identifying the victim.Qureshi said families of six of the victims have decided to bury them in Christchurch, while the other three want to bring the remains to Pakistan.”Whatever the families will decide, we will respect it and fulfil their wishes,” he said, adding that flags will be flown at half-mast in Pakistan on Monday in honour of the victims.Officials in Pakistan’s picturesque northern areas also confirmed that the main suspect, 28-year-old white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, had visited the region as a tourist in October, staying for more than a week.Syed Israr Hussain, owner of Osho Thang Hotel in Minapin Nagar, told AFP: “(Tarrant) … stayed for two days before leaving for Khunjerab (Pass, on the border with China).”He was a decent and quiet guy.”He said he remembered Tarrant among the many tourists who visit the region “because he was so impressed by the area, and said he had heard so many negative things about Pakistan but he found it the opposite”.Tarrant’s alleged involvement in the massacre left him “surprised and shocked”, he said.Tarrant is also believed to have visited Gilgit and Skardu in the mountainous north.last_img read more