As one would have probably expected after a miserable week and what is now a three-game losing streak (all by double digits), Missouri fell from a semi-safe No. 10 seed in Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology projections to First Team Out status (same with Jerry Palm at CBS), a tumble of approximately 10 spots or so on the totem pole.
Lunardi’s gotten pretty good at these projections through the years, and if the tournament draw were today, I’m pretty sure he’d have the field laid out about right. But it’s obviously still about six weeks till Selection Sunday.
Out of curiosity, I looked back at Lunardi’s January 30 projections from last year to see how much changed between the end of January and the end of Championship Week. The answer, predictably: quite a bit. Some notes:
- The top seeds didn’t change much. Of his top 12 (i.e. the top three seed lines) from last January 30, only one rose or fell by more than one seed (Baylor was a No. 1 at this point but ended up a No. 3 in the actual tournament). The standard deviation between January 30 and end of year among the No. 1-3 seeds: only 0.8.
- The standard deviation among Lunardi’s No. 4-6 seeds from Jan. 30: 2.1. Wisconsin was a 4 and ended up an 8. Xavier was a 6 and ended up an 11. Still, those were the only three who rose or fell more than one seed.
- The standard deviation among Lunardi’s No. 7-9 seeds from Jan. 30: 2.9. Indiana was a 7 at this point and ended up a 3-seed in the NIT. Marquette and USC fell two spots. Iowa State and Minnesota, each 8-seeds at this point, ended up 5-seeds. Five of 12 rose or fell by more than one seed.
- The standard deviation among Lunardi’s No. 10-12 seeds from Jan. 30: 3.8. Eight of 14 rose or fell by more than one seed. TCU went from a 10 to a 4-seed in the NIT. Illinois State went from a 10 to one of the first four out. Texas Tech went from a 12 to missing the NIT. Akron went from a 12 to a 7-seed in the NIT. And on the flip side, Miami went from a 12 to an 8, and Michigan went from a 12 to a 7.
- Most importantly, from Mizzou’s perspective: of the eight teams on Lunardi’s Last Four In or First Four Out lists, two ended up an 8-seed or higher (Miami and Michigan), two more ended up in the field (Wichita State and Rhode Island), three ended up a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NIT (Cal, Georgia, Clemson), and one (Texas Tech) imploded, losing eight of 11 after January 30.
Obviously this is a less than scientific study, but for now, we’ll say that among Lunardi’s current Last Four In (Boise State, SMU, NC State, Syracuse) and First Four Out (Mizzou, Virginia Tech, WKU, Washington), about half of them will end up safely in the Field of 68. Mizzou still has plenty of time to rally and take one of those spots.
Mizzou also has time to pull a Texas Tech. But hey, Tech’s currently 17-4 this year following last year’s collapse. Fair trade, right?
- PowerMizzou looked at where Mizzou’s current 2018 football signees ended up in their home state’s rankings and did a quick roundup of how Mizzou’s 2018 basketball recruits (signees and targets) have performed this season.
- This was pretty predictable: longtime assistant Gina Fogue will be Mizzou Softball’s interim head coach for 2018.
A member of the Mizzou softball staff since 2011, Fogue served two seasons as the program’s Director of Operations until being promoted into an on-field coaching position on July 8, 2013, where she has coached the Tiger outfielders and served as the team’s base-runners coach. In four seasons as an assistant coach, the Tigers reached the NCAA Tournament each year and advanced to a pair of NCAA Super Regionals.
”I would like to thank Jim Sterk and Brian Brown for entrusting me with this great group of women,” Fogue said. “Naturally, this isn’t the scenario in which you envision taking over as head coach, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to do anything I can to help this team move forward with a successful season. I’ve learned a tremendous amount under Coach Earleywine in my time here at Mizzou, and I look forward to building on this program’s proud tradition.”
”Since coming to campus 12 years ago, Mizzou has been the place that I call home,” she added. “I’m a proud alum of this program and want to help our long-standing success continue. I’m here to support our young ladies, and am encouraged and excited by the talent and chemistry our team has as we go forward into the 2018 season.”
Fogue always seemed like the calm counter to Ehren Earleywine’s fire. Sounds like a pretty good thing to be right about now.
- Former Tigers Howard Richards (football), Gary Barnett (football), Karensa Barr-Casis (women’s hoops), and Christian Cantwell (track & field) were all inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame this past weekend.
- The Mizzou women have won six straight games against ranked opponents at Mizzou Arena. That streak’ll get one hell of a test when No. 2 Mississippi State comes to town on Thursday.
- Projected enrollment is up again for next year and beyond — hooray! That means the experiment with renting out dorm rooms for home football games will end — boo!
- Catch up on The Week That Was for Mizzou Baseball last week.