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Topic: Championship Week (and Other Things)

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MrNubbz

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #280 on: December 21, 2020, 01:06:50 PM »
“Did I hear God call me an idiot? ”― William P. Young

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #281 on: December 21, 2020, 01:07:16 PM »
That's true. But with a 31-game season + conference tourney and undefeated UNC/Duke are playing each other on a random Wednesday night in late February, am I going to tune in to that game even if I'm rooting for both teams to lose?

I get that individual games are more important for the MNC/BCS/CFP. And for the 6-7 teams each year in the sport that have realistic aspirations of being there, I can see why they might root against other helmets. I've never been in that position, but I suppose it's nice on that perch.

As a fan of a program that will never sniff the CFP in its current form, I also get that individual games are ALSO more important for conference standings and bowl placement even if you're not in the CFP. That's what you get when you only have 12 games.

I think that most of us when we have a CBB team that is REALLY good, we absolutely ARE sweating out our own wins/losses and opposing top teams' wins/losses though. Tournament seeding is HUGE for your chances to get into both the FF and win the championship. The difference between a 1 seed and a 2 seed is pretty significant. If you're a 2-seed, you're facing a 1-seed in the EE almost 70% of the time. If you're a 1-seed, you're only facing a 2-seed in the EE 47% of the time.
If you're a 2-seed, you're facing a 1-seed in the EE almost 70% of the time. If you're a 1-seed, you're only facing a 2-seed in the EE 47% of the time. I've seen arguments on H&R where fans are hoping that Purdue (in a middling year) are hoping that Purdue slips from a 5 to a 6 seed simply to avoid the 1-seed in the S16--they'd rather face a 3-seed in the R32 and a 2-seed in the S16 and hope that someone else has broken that 1-seed in the bracket before the EE.

Hardcore CBB fans are looking at resumes and seed lines and what's going on in the rest of the sport all through late Feb and early Mar when everything is firming up. Because those games in Feb and Mar matter when it comes to how far you might advance in the tourney, which is dependent on your seed line.
This is WAY more than you asked for but you know I'm a big stats guy so here you go, 35 years (1985-2019) of NCAA Tournament performance by seed:

explanation:
  • Seed:  The seed in question.  
  • R64:  The number of that seed (out of 140) that have won their first round game.  
  • R32:  The number of that seed that have won their second round game to make it to the S16.  
  • S16:  The number of that seed that have won their S16 game to make it to the E8.  
  • E8:  The number of that seed that have won their E8 game to make it to the F4.  
  • F4:  The number of that seed that have won their national semi-final to make it to the National Final.  
  • NF:  The number of that seed that have won the NC.  


Kris60

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #282 on: December 21, 2020, 01:18:14 PM »
Sorry, I got caught up in the ranking of a 4-0 OSU vs 5-0 NU and didn't really extrapolate wider.

I guess the better question...

You're on the committee. You have selected three of the four [obvious] CFP choices, and you're down to the last one. By whatever manner of hell that brought you there, your two best choices are that 4-0 Ohio State team and that 5-0 Northwestern team. Your job is to pick the best team between those two for the playoff.

Who do you pick and why?
If I’m just picking between Ohio St and NW then I probably go with Ohio St.  The resumes (albeit small) are close enough that I would still go with what I “think.”  At that point, I probably would have also considered Indiana the best win for either team and taken into consideration how bad each team beat Nebraska.

betarhoalphadelta

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #283 on: December 21, 2020, 01:30:48 PM »
Exactly. So let's say you're a strong 4 seed. There's a HUGE advantage to jumping up even to the last 3 seed. Your odds of running into a 2 seed are significantly lower as a 3 than your odds of running into a 1 seed as a 4. And obviously a 2 is generally an easier team to beat than a 1. 

Now, if you're right on the 5/6 boundary, it's harder. Because you're asking whether you should make yourself face a stronger team in the R32 to give yourself a weaker opponent in the S16. You can see that 47 of the 5-seeds have gone to the S16, while only 42 of the 6-seeds have done so. However, 14 of the 6-seeds have then made it to the E8 whereas only 9 of the 5-seeds have done so. So if you can beat the 3-seed, you've got a rough road if you face the 2-seed, but they're more likely to have fallen to the 15 or to the 7/10 winner than the 1-seed is to have fallen to the 16 or the 8/9 winner. 

Which of course we're getting into the weeds. My point is that every tourney bound or bubble team is sweating those things late in the regular season. 


  • If you're at the top, you're looking around to see what you need to do to be one of the coveted 1 seed spots.
  • If you're in the middle, you're trying to figure out brackets, what regions might line up (due to who the top seeds are and where they'll be geographically protected), and how you might be able to make a run even if you're probably not going to win it all. A Final Four is rare from those middle seeds, but with a broken bracket and a little luck it's not out of the question. And while it's not a NC, a Final Four or even an Elite Eight finish are pretty solid accomplishments. 
  • If you're on the bubble, you're sweating everything out hoping that you get invited [which is itself an honor] and then hope you can at least win 1 game and maybe get lucky enough to see the 2nd weekend. 


Whereas in CFB, by early November (or usually mid-September in Purdue's case) the question of who might have something to play for on the national level becomes academic to the "rest of us" mere mortals.

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #284 on: December 21, 2020, 02:54:39 PM »
Exactly. So let's say you're a strong 4 seed. There's a HUGE advantage to jumping up even to the last 3 seed. Your odds of running into a 2 seed are significantly lower as a 3 than your odds of running into a 1 seed as a 4. And obviously a 2 is generally an easier team to beat than a 1.
Three seeds are better than four seeds at every level:
  • 119-111 first round wins
  • 74-66 S16 appearances
  • 36-21 E8 appearances
  • 17-13 F4 appearances
  • 11-3 NF appearances
  • 4-1 NC's
That said, you make a good point here (and moreso later) in the example where you are concerned about YOUR individual team as a one-off thing, this isn't the right comparison.  If your team is right on the 3/4 border then they aren't an average 3 seed or an average 4 seed.  Thus, it is more about who you play:
  • 1st round #3's have it easier, playing 14 instead of a 13.  
  • 2nd round #3's play a #6 62.86% of the time or a #11 37.14% of the time while a #4 plays a #5 64.29% of the time or a #12 35.71% of the time.  
Third round (S16 game to get to E8):
#3 seeds play:
  • #2 63.57% of the time
  • #7 19.29% of the time
  • #10 16.43% of the time
  • #15 0.71% of the time
#4 seeds play:
  • #1 85.71% of the time
  • #8 9.29% of the time
  • #9 5% of the time
  • #16 . . . hasn't happened yet
Fourth round (E8 game to get to F4):
#3 plays:
  • #1 69.29% of the time
  • #4 15% of the time
  • #5 6.43% of the time
  • #8 5.71% of the time
  • #9 2.86% of the time
  • #12 0.71% of the time
  • #13 . . . hasn't happened yet
  • #16 . . . hasn't happened yet
#4 plays:
  • #2 45.71% of the time
  • #3 25.71% of the time
  • #6 10% of the time
  • #7 7.14% of the time
  • #10 5.71% of the time
  • #11 5.71% of the time
  • #14 . . . hasn't happened yet
  • #15 . . . hasn't happened yet

The only level at which the #4 has an advantage is the E8 game and that is only because #4 already played #1 (most times) the game prior to that.  
Now, if you're right on the 5/6 boundary, it's harder. Because you're asking whether you should make yourself face a stronger team in the R32 to give yourself a weaker opponent in the S16. You can see that 47 of the 5-seeds have gone to the S16, while only 42 of the 6-seeds have done so. However, 14 of the 6-seeds have then made it to the E8 whereas only 9 of the 5-seeds have done so. So if you can beat the 3-seed, you've got a rough road if you face the 2-seed, but they're more likely to have fallen to the 15 or to the 7/10 winner than the 1-seed is to have fallen to the 16 or the 8/9 winner.
This is where it gets a LOT more interesting than simply wanting your team to be higher seeded.  I've long said that I'd rather have my team seeded #11 than #8 or #9.  There is good reason for this.  The #8 and #9 seeds are each close to 50/50 in the first round and they obviously average .500 in the first round.  It is the second round where 8/9 are awful.  Out of 140 #8 seeds and 140 #9 seeds only a grand combined total of 20 of them have made it to the S16.  By comparison the #7's are much better (27) but the #10's (23), #11's (22), and #12's (21) are each better than the 8/9 seeds COMBINED.  

Statistically, there are three BIG gaps in the general downward progression as you move down through the seeds in terms of making the S16:
  • There is a humongous gap of 19 spots between the #4 seeds that make the S16 (66 or 47.14%) and the #5 seeds that make the S16 (47 or 33.57%).  
  • There is a humongous gap of 14 spots between the #7 seeds that make the S16 (27 or 19.29%) and the #8 seeds that make the S16 (13 or 9.29%).  
  • There is a humongous gap of 15 spots between the #12 seeds that make the S16 (21 or 15%) and the #13 seeds that make the S16 (6 or 4.29%).  

#1 and #3 are the inverse of each other.  IMHO, these large gaps exist because there is a MAJOR decline in quality shortly after the committee runs out of decent at-large teams.  Starting with the #1 seeds and extending roughly to the #11 seeds the committee is selecting the next best team at each slot.  Then they run out of at-large teams so instead of selecting the next best team they start to be forced to select the next best auto-bid.  The first few of those are still pretty good (roughly the rest of the #11 and some or all of the #12 and maybe a few #13 seeds) but the rest are just dreadful.  From then on they are stuck seeding teams that clearly DO NOT belong on a BB Court with the best CBB teams in the nation.  

#2 is simply a reflection of the fact that the #1 seeds are REALLY good.  Even at the #2 seed level (certainly by the end of it) we are talking about teams with flaws.  They are good, but they have losses and not just one or two, they have been defeated multiple teams and by at least some teams that are nowhere near the #1/2 level.  These teams are much more beatable than the #1 seeds just one line above them.  

The low seeds are cute and people like the Cinderella stories but the fact is that they have ZERO impact on the determination of the National Champion.  In 35 years no #13, #14, #15, or #16 has EVER won a second weekend NCAA game.  If they had used a 48 rather than 64 team bracket (excluding the worst 16 league champs) from 1985 to 2019 they wouldn't have excluded a single team that was capable of winning a second weekend NCAA game.  Those 13-16 seeds are nothing more than window dressing.  


In terms of what I hope for for my own team, I don't look past the second round for two reasons:
  • From your example, the idea of wanting my team to slip from #5 to #6 to get an easier S16 game just doesn't make sense to me.  I'd rather have a better chance of getting to the S16 (33.57% for a #5, 30% for a #6) and then worry about what happens once they get there.  
  • I really don't make a major distinction historically between past tOSU teams that made the S16 and past tOSU teams that made the E8.  WRT to the NCAA tournament, I make distinctions at NC (once, before I was born), F4 (several times in not only my lifetime but my living memory including one that I attended), S16, made tournament.  Everything else is of lesser note to me.  Maybe that is just me.  


medinabuckeye1

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #285 on: December 21, 2020, 03:07:04 PM »
Whereas in CFB, by early November (or usually mid-September in Purdue's case) the question of who might have something to play for on the national level becomes academic to the "rest of us" mere mortals.
Just for clarity:
Football I have always viewed as a fan of a blue-blood that is typically in the NC race most years.  I realize that isn't what most people (rest of you) do but that is my perspective.  

Basketball I have viewed from every possible major conference perspective:
  • The Buckeyes were great when I was finishing up HS (Jackson, Jent, Funderburke, Dudley).  Their best team of that era, unfortunately, lost in the Regional Final to a team that had a higher payroll than most NBA teams (hint: It was Michigan).  
  • The Buckeyes were flat awful the entire time I was in school.  
  • The Buckeyes had some really good years under Jim O'Brien shortly after I graduated.  
  • The Buckeyes had some good, some great, and some mediocre under Thad Matta.  
  • The Buckeyes have finished 2nd, 8th, and 5th in the B1G so far under Holtmann.  

I've been a fan of a team nowhere close to the Tournament.  I've been a fan of a bubble team (both that made it and that didn't).  I've been a fan of a mid-range Tournament team.  I've been a fan of a team fighting for a #1 seed (both that made it and that didn't).  

In all honesty, I can probably relate better to other fans in CBB than in CFB because no matter where you come from in CBB, my team has been there within my memory.  In CFB, not so much.  


betarhoalphadelta

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #286 on: December 21, 2020, 03:28:27 PM »
Thanks Medina. I think we beat that one to death. 

My only point was that CBB games are not "meaningless". Yes, each individual game may not carry the same weight as far as determining eligibility for the NC as they do in football... But for any serious CBB fan, they understand that every game matters. You want to avoid the "bad losses" that can keep you off the bubble, you want to "hold serve" elsewhere, and if you can gather a couple "signature wins" it can really propel you up a few seed lines. 

Sure, it's not like there's one game that determines whether you're NC material or out of the tournament in the regular season; it's not that binary. But every game still matters.

CWSooner

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #287 on: December 21, 2020, 04:22:47 PM »
I would be more apt to support this IF all conferences went to a divisonless format where the best two played in the CG like the B12.  The problem in the other leagues is that HFA matters and upsets happen and sometimes (Bama @ Auburn, tOSU @ PSU) the better team goes on the road and loses and in a division format that can keep the best team in the league from winning the league.  That is why I like the idea of having at least the possibility of a non-Champion getting in.  Losing a game like that matters and it should but IMHO, it shouldn't necessarily be fatal especially when the upset winner (Auburn/PSU) is clearly NOT CFP caliber and it was clearly an upset.
Is that an argument for shrinking conferences back down to a size where a round-robin schedule is feasible?
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Brutus Buckeye

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #288 on: February 27, 2021, 10:09:23 PM »

FCS

The 2021 WAC CCG

Dixie defeats Tarleton in their first ever D1 game, for an unofficial WAC Title. 

Tarleton was coming off of a 43-17 win over New Mexico State last week, in their first ever D1 season as well. 


1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #289 on: February 28, 2021, 05:18:47 PM »
@betarhoalphadelta 

Not sure why this thread got resurrected but I recently saw this YouTube clip related to what we had been talking about here:

https://youtu.be/4a1TUszkMfI

I thought some of the stats in this were interesting and the opening massive list of teams that have never won an NCAA Tournament game despite appearing is one of my reasons for expansion, to give every team a winnable game.

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #290 on: February 28, 2021, 05:24:49 PM »
It got resurrected because there is CFB going on, and I had to sift through multiple pages in order to find a thread that was general enough to banter about it. 

1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

OrangeAfroMan

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #291 on: March 01, 2021, 01:34:54 AM »
Thanks Medina. I think we beat that one to death.

My only point was that CBB games are not "meaningless". Yes, each individual game may not carry the same weight as far as determining eligibility for the NC as they do in football... But for any serious CBB fan, they understand that every game matters. You want to avoid the "bad losses" that can keep you off the bubble, you want to "hold serve" elsewhere, and if you can gather a couple "signature wins" it can really propel you up a few seed lines.

Sure, it's not like there's one game that determines whether you're NC material or out of the tournament in the regular season; it's not that binary. But every game still matters.
How harmful is a loss to your national championship odds?
From 2000:
In football, 11 undefeateds, 9 one-losses, and 1 two-loss champs.
If you're a P5 program and you go undefeated, you're virtually guaranteed a shot to play for the NC (unless you're Auburn in 04) or on probation.
If you lose once, your odds plummet about 50%.  Still good odds, if you ask me.
If you lose again, GULP.  You're virtually out of the hunt for a NC.  Although LSU showed us in 07 that it could happen.  It's even more likely now, with 4 teams instead of 2...yet highly unlikely. 
If you lose 3 times, you're not going to be the national champ.
.
In basketball, the national champ has averaged 5.05 losses since 2000.
A high of 9! and a low of 2. 
A national champion lost 9 games one year.  And another "champion" lost 8.  In fact, there have been FIVE "champions" with 9+ losses since the last undefeated NC in '76 (IU). 
.
No, every game doesn't matter.  You can lose 5 before you even need to start to sweat.  You can lose NINE or more and still "get in." 
Admittedly, this isn't very scientific, but we can get more mathematically valid if you want. 
.
Basketball teams that play 6 games in the tournament wind up playing 40 games total.  Very often 40 or within a game of 40.  So that 5-loss average by the past 20 NCs is 1/8, or 12.5%.  Compared to the average of 0.5 losses for the past 20 NCs in football...in a 12-game season (not even including the 13th, 14th, or potential 15th games) = 4.2%
.
So in science-speak, football champs' games are about 3x more important than the round balls'.  And while you can virtually wave bye-bye to any chance at a NC in football after losing 16.6% of your games (2 out of 12+), in basketball, you can lose 25% of them and still have hope. 
.
Pretty huge differences.
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betarhoalphadelta

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #292 on: March 01, 2021, 03:59:30 PM »
How harmful is a loss to your national championship odds?
From 2000:
In football, 11 undefeateds, 9 one-losses, and 1 two-loss champs.
If you're a P5 program and you go undefeated, you're virtually guaranteed a shot to play for the NC (unless you're Auburn in 04) or on probation.
If you lose once, your odds plummet about 50%.  Still good odds, if you ask me.
If you lose again, GULP.  You're virtually out of the hunt for a NC.  Although LSU showed us in 07 that it could happen.  It's even more likely now, with 4 teams instead of 2...yet highly unlikely. 
If you lose 3 times, you're not going to be the national champ.
.
In basketball, the national champ has averaged 5.05 losses since 2000.
A high of 9! and a low of 2. 
A national champion lost 9 games one year.  And another "champion" lost 8.  In fact, there have been FIVE "champions" with 9+ losses since the last undefeated NC in '76 (IU). 
.
No, every game doesn't matter.  You can lose 5 before you even need to start to sweat.  You can lose NINE or more and still "get in." 
Admittedly, this isn't very scientific, but we can get more mathematically valid if you want. 
.
Basketball teams that play 6 games in the tournament wind up playing 40 games total.  Very often 40 or within a game of 40.  So that 5-loss average by the past 20 NCs is 1/8, or 12.5%.  Compared to the average of 0.5 losses for the past 20 NCs in football...in a 12-game season (not even including the 13th, 14th, or potential 15th games) = 4.2%
.
So in science-speak, football champs' games are about 3x more important than the round balls'.  And while you can virtually wave bye-bye to any chance at a NC in football after losing 16.6% of your games (2 out of 12+), in basketball, you can lose 25% of them and still have hope.
.
Pretty huge differences.
If college football played 31 regular-season games -- or heck, 30 plus a CCG ;-) -- I would expect you'd see more multi-loss national champions.

That doesn't mean the regular season means nothing. In the past 35 NCAA tournaments, the national championship has been won by a #1 seed 22 times. That's the top 4 teams in the nation having won about 2/3 of all championships. If you expand, the top three seeds have won the national championship 31 of 35--almost 90%. 

The top 3 seeds comprise 12 teams out of 330, which is pretty darn close percentage to CFB, where you're taking the top 4 teams out of 130. So... The best teams almost always win. It's only rare occasions that you get a Cinderella--and isn't it damn exciting when you do?!

Seeding is very important. When you're angling for a 1-3 seed, every win DOES matter. You're looking for quality wins and looking to avoid bad losses. 

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Championship Week (and Other Things)
« Reply #293 on: March 01, 2021, 04:26:24 PM »
If college football played 31 regular-season games -- or heck, 30 plus a CCG ;-) -- I would expect you'd see more multi-loss national champions.

That doesn't mean the regular season means nothing. In the past 35 NCAA tournaments, the national championship has been won by a #1 seed 22 times. That's the top 4 teams in the nation having won about 2/3 of all championships. If you expand, the top three seeds have won the national championship 31 of 35--almost 90%.

The top 3 seeds comprise 12 teams out of 330, which is pretty darn close percentage to CFB, where you're taking the top 4 teams out of 130. So... The best teams almost always win. It's only rare occasions that you get a Cinderella--and isn't it damn exciting when you do?!

Seeding is very important. When you're angling for a 1-3 seed, every win DOES matter. You're looking for quality wins and looking to avoid bad losses.
I get where you are coming from and I think you have a point but I still agree with OAM because even though a loss in BB does hurt your NC Chances, it doesn't tank them the way a loss in FB does.  Furthermore, it DEFINITLY doesn't end them, it can still be overcome.  

Example:
If my FB team goes 11-1 (very good) and gets to the B1GCG, a loss there is almost certain to eliminate any hope of an NC.  Look, an 11-2 non-Champion is probably never going to get into a 4-team playoff so my team is out despite being a very good team.  

If my BB team has roughly the same percentage record 30-3 heading into the BTTCG then the game is probably irrelevant.  If my team gets to the B1G Tournament Championship with only three losses they are almost certain to be a #1 seed.  The only thing that the B1GCG *MIGHT* impact is which #1 seed my team gets and even that is fairly unlikely (mostly only if their B1GCG opponent is a similar/interchangeable team).  

The more important issue though is the opportunity to overcome a boneheaded loss.  I'm sure you remember that a few years ago (2018 to be exact) a very good Ohio State team had a dreadful day in West Lafayette against your Boilermakers.  Looking at the season as a whole, nobody could reasonably argue that Purdue was better than Ohio State.  Purdue finished 6-7 including three losses to teams that Ohio State beat (NU, MN, MSU).  Despite that, on Saturday, October 20 for about 3.5 hours the Boilermakers were a much better team.  They beat the Buckeyes 49-20.  

Compare a loss like that in FB to a loss like that in BB.  You can't, there is no comparison.  In football that loss kept Ohio State out of the CFP which meant no chance at an NC despite winning all the rest of their games and beating the Champion of Purdue's Division in the B1GCG.  Didn't matter.  In BB a loss like that wouldn't even be a blip on the radar.  A BB team equivalent to tOSU's 2018 FB team would be at least a #2 seed.  

As a more general thing, you are right that each seed line decreases the chances of winning an NC, but there is still a chance until your team gets so low that they didn't really have a chance anyway. 

Losses in BB don't prevent your team from winning an NC, instead losses in BB are nothing more than mounting evidence that your team wasn't good enough to win an NC anyway.  Eventually one of four things happens:
  • Your team wins the NC, or
  • Your team gets to the Tournament in a position where there isn't enough evidence to prove that they aren't good enough to win an NC, but they lose somewhere in the Tournament, or
  • Your team gets the the Tournament only after accumulating enough evidence to convince pretty much anyone that they aren't good enough to win the NC and this is confirmed when they inevitably lose in the Tournament, or
  • Your team produces a mountain of evidence that they are not good enough to win the NC and because that mountain is large, they fail to make the Tournament.  

In my lifetime the football Buckeyes have had multiple teams that were probably or at least possibly good enough to win an NC that were deprived of the opportunity based on a single regular season loss.  The basketball Buckeyes have not faced anything even close to an analogous situation.  


 

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