Overvalued, Undervalued, or Properly Valued 3.0: One (1) Month Until Selection Sunday

If you haven’t read the first two editions, you can find them here and here.

At this point, half the Top 30 is in the “Properly Valued” category, which isn’t great if you were planning on playing many futures.

The top of the field has seen a change. Some of the blue bloods have fallen back to the pack and now Gonzaga is the lone favorite.

Admittedly, some things are starting to get a little repetitive. UNC, UCLA, and West Virginia are probably just forever going to be overvalued to me and the opposite is true of teams like Virginia, Florida, and Baylor. I might skip two weeks from now and just wait for the bracket to come out.

Probably not, though. This is my favorite running series to do.

Image result for donovan mitchell louisville

Properly Valued

2. Duke +1000 (MLPPR: 3)

Jan. 15: “Properly Valued” +850 (MLPPR: 6)
Jan. 29: “Properly Valued” +850 (MLPPR: 6)

I’ve made the comparisons previously between this team and the 2015 team and they keep coming. I mentioned before that the ’15 team also went through a bad stretch in January. They came out of it later in the month. They had big wins over KenPom Top 10 teams Virginia and Notre Dame, while simultaneously struggling to get victories over mediocre/bad teams like Georgia Tech and Florida State.

Sound familiar?

On the other hand, last year’s Duke team kinda did the same thing around this time.

It is a little weird to me that you can get better odds now than you could two weeks ago and they’re 4-0 in that time frame with wins over Notre Dame and UNC. Could actually be a little undervalued.

2. Villanova +1000 (MLPPR: 5)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Overvalued” +850 (MLPPR: 9)
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Overvalued” +850 (MLPPR: 7)

I don’t really get the rise in odds on the Cats either.

6. Kentucky +1200 (MLPPR: 6)

Jan. 15: “Properly Valued” +450 (MLPPR: 4)
Jan. 29: “Properly Valued” +550 (MLPPR: 3)

This one makes a little more sense. I guess if you really believe in any of the Duke, Villanova, Kentucky trio, now is about as good of time as ever to take them.

8. Arizona +1500 (MLPPR: 9)

Jan. 15: “Highly Undervalued” +2800 (MLPPR: 7)
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Undervalued” +1200 (MLPPR: 4)

In the long run, I don’t think they’d be better off without Trier, but right now it could be going better.

8. Oregon +1500 (MLPPR: 10)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Undervalued” +2500 (MLPPR: 12)
Jan. 29: “Properly Valued” +2000 (MLPPR: 9)

It looked like they were about to blowout Arizona and UCLA in back-to-back games, but they somehow only managed 31 second-half points against that sub-par Bruin defense. It seemed like a bad half more than anything. Pauley Pavilion is actually a tough place to play now that there’s a Top 10 team to root for.

10. Louisville +1600 (MLPPR: 7)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Overvalued” +2000 (MLPPR: 14)
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Undervalued” +2500 (MLPPR: 8)

The blowout Virginia loss skews the numbers, a game in which they didn’t have 60% of their starting lineup. That typically is gonna have an effect on how you play.

There were some concerns about the offense early in the season, but at this point they’re about as potent as anyone.

15. Wisconsin +3000 (MLPPR: 13)

Jan. 15: “Highly Undervalued” +3500 (MLPPR: 8)
Jan. 29: “Properly Valued” +2700 (MLPPR: 11)

Losing to Northwestern at home without their highest scorer playing isn’t the best way to validate your belief that you should’ve been in the Top 16. There’s still time to get there, but it’s going to be a tough four-game stretch for the Badgers coming up.

17. Cincinnati +3500 (MLPPR: 15)

Jan. 15: “Highly Undervalued” +15000 (MLPPR: 13)
Jan. 29: “Highly Undervalued” +10000 (MLPPR: 12)

Gotta say I feel pretty good about my stance on Cinci the past month with the way that the odds have dropped. They’re still not really a title contender, but they at least deserved more respect than they were getting.

17. Purdue +3500 (MLPPR: 18)

Jan. 15: “Properly Valued” +4500 (MLPPR: 18)
Jan. 29: “Properly Valued” +4000 (MLPPR: 16)

The MLPPR are in lock-step with Vegas when it comes to the Boilermakers. The turnovers are getting better, but they’re still not a disruptive defense, which traditionally isn’t a great sign. However, it’s not a death knell by any means.

They’re going through their best stretch of the season right now. We’ll see if it lasts.

20. Notre Dame +5000 (MLPPR: 22)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Undervalued” +5500 (MLPPR: 16)
Jan. 29: “Properly Valued” +5500 (MLPPR: 19)

They’re kind of a streaky team, which obviously is good and bad in regards to the tournament. I could see them going to the Final Four. I could see them losing to a double-digit seed in the first (second) round.

21. Creighton +6000 (MLPPR: 20)

Jan. 15: “Highly Overvalued” +3000 (MLPPR: 21)
Jan. 29: “Highly Overvalued” +5200 (MLPPR: 25)

I figured it was pretty much lights out on their season without Mo, but that obviously isn’t the case. Their ceiling still isn’t as high, but it hasn’t dropped as dramatically as I thought.

23. Butler +7500 (MLPPR: 24)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Overvalued” +6500 (MLPPR: 25)
Jan. 29: “Highly Overvalued” +5500 (MLPPR: 27)

From two weeks ago:

They racked up a lot of good wins in the non-conference, but they’ve played a lot of close games (won some, lost some) against mediocre/bad teams since Big East play has started.

Still fits. The Utah and Indiana wins have only lost value since they won those games.

30. Michigan +15000 (MLPPR: 25)

Jan. 15: Irrelevant At This Point
Jan. 29: Irrelevant At This Point

Michigan looked like they might just never come to life, but this past week they blew out Michigan State and won with relative at Indiana. Whether those end up in the “quality win” category, we’ll see. With a match-up with Wisconsin at home this week, it’s a good time for them to be playing their best.

With all that said, I’d still be pretty surprised if they made the second weekend of the tournament.

36. Kansas State +20000 (MLPPR: 27)

Jan. 15: Not listed
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Undervalued” +25000 (MLPPR: 26)

They’ve shown a unique ability to come exceptionally close to getting big wins, but coming up just short. They did get Baylor, but then slipped right back to form against Kansas.

Making the second (third) round would be considered a success.

40. Oklahoma State +30000 (MLPPR: 31)

Jan. 15: Not listed
Jan. 29: Not listed (MLPPR: 30)

At the moment they’d probably be in the 7-9 range in terms of seeding and they’d win the award for most dangerous team in that group. The rankings hate the press long-term, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t work for a weekend. Jawun Evans is a great player and he’s not even the guy on this team that’s a candidate for Big 12 POY.

Image result for monte morris iowa state

Somewhat Undervalued

1. Gonzaga +800 (MLPPR: 1)

Jan. 15: “Highly Undervalued” +1800 (MLPPR: 2)
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Undervalued” +1000 (MLPPR: 2)

I guess it’s odd to call them undervalued when they’re the favorite, but still. Kentucky was +450 a month ago.

It seems as though the national media/average college basketball fan is starting to actually believe in the Zags, but it still feels like a bit of a front. Gonzaga’s forced everybody’s hand by winning every single game and topping the charts in the reputable algorithms.

Plus, they won at Saint Mary’s on ESPN in primetime with College Gameday there, so everybody’s actually seen them play now.

While the MLPPR aren’t exactly reputable (yet), consider this: of the 60 Final Four teams from the last 15 years, Gonzaga currently rates higher than 50 of them. Of the 1o teams above them, six of them won the title. Three of the remaining four from that group lost to one of those six champions.

In short, Gonzaga is really freaking good, regardless of their conference competition.

29. Iowa State +12500 (MLPPR: 21)

Jan. 15: “Highly Undervalued” +20000 (MLPPR: 17)
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Undervalued” +20000 (MLPPR: 20)

Yet another “Highly Undervalued” team that has seen its odds significantly drop.

Of course, they still can’t win the title.

40. Northwestern +30000 (MLPPR: 28)

Jan. 15: Not Listed
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Undervalued” (MLPPR: 23)

Their status has been hurt because they had to play a few games without Scottie Lindsey, but it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Image result for jonathan isaac florida state

Somewhat Overvalued

12. Florida State +2500 (MLPPR: 16)

Jan. 15: “Properly Valued” +2800 (MLPPR: 11)
Jan. 29: “Properly Valued” +3000 (MLPPR: 15)

In case you haven’t read all of the blogs dedicated to these rankings, most Final Four teams have a relatively short bench.

I’ve always thought the best coaches shorten their rotation as the season goes on.

I’m not saying Leonard Hamilton is or isn’t a good coach, but I will say that it’s getting pretty late and Leonard is still trotting out 12 dudes a night. It’s…something.

24. South Carolina +10000 (MLPPR: 30)

Jan. 15: “Properly Valued” +22500 (MLPPR: 30)
Jan. 29: “Properly Valued” +9000 (MLPPR: 30)

The 2012 Louisville team was the worst offense to make the Final 4 in the KenPom era by a really wide margin and the Gamecocks are even worse.

24. Xavier +10000 (MLPPR: 29)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Overvalued” +6500 (MLPPR: 27)
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Overvalued” +8000 (MLPPR: 28)

I guess they could have a bounce back like Creighton did, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Bluiett has a bum ankle now, too.

Image result for kasey hill florida

Highly Undervalued

11. Virginia +2200 (MLPPR: 2)

Jan. 15: “Highly Undervalued” +3000 (MLPPR: 1)
Jan. 29: “Highly Undervalued” +3000 (MLPPR: 1)

Less undervalued now, I guess.

12. Florida +2500 (MLPPR: 4)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Undervalued” +8500 (MLPPR: 19)
Jan. 29: “Highly Undervalued” +8500 (MLPPR: 13)


15. Baylor +3000 (MLPPR: 8)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Undervalued” +1800 (MLPPR: 3)
Jan. 29: “Highly Undervalued” +2200 (MLPPR: 5)

I mean, they’d be a lock for a #1 seed today and there are probable 5 seeds with the same odds. Maybe they’re not any better, but the Bears will at least have an easier road.

30. SMU +15000 (MLPPR: 13)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Undervalued” +25000 (MLPPR: 22)
Jan. 29: “Highly Undervalued” +25000 (MLPPR: 17)

Their seed won’t match how good they actually are.

30. Saint Mary’s +15000 (MLPPR: 19)

Jan. 15: “Properly Valued” +10000 (MLPPR: 20)
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Undervalued” +10000 (MLPPR: 21)

I didn’t check beforehand to know for sure, but I’m guessing the odds rise came overnight after their loss on national television.

35. Wichita State +17500 (MLPPR: 23)

Jan. 15: “Irrelevant At This Point” +20000 (MLPPR: 28)
Jan. 29: “Somewhat Undervalued” +15000 (MLPPR: 24)

What’s happened in the past two weeks to make their odds go up? They…smashed four teams in their league, including (actual good team) Illinois State by 41. Yes, ISU didn’t have McIntosh, but I don’t think his presence alone is making that a respectable game.

Shockers are 23-4, 13-1 in the MVC. They have no bad losses. They are Top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Only problem is they don’t have a banner win and it’s probably going to give them a middle seed.

Image result for frank mason kansas

Highly Overvalued

2. Kansas +1000 (MLPPR: 12)

Jan. 15: “Properly Valued” +1000 (MLPPR: 5)
Jan. 29: “Highly Overvalued” +650 (MLPPR: 10)

Putting them in this category might be a little harsh, admittedly. But maybe not. They were in this same group two weeks ago and then lost to Iowa State at home and came close to losing to both Kansas State and Texas Tech.

The biggest problem is how poor they’ve played defensively in Big 12 play, giving up an adjusted 1.08 points per possession.

They’re obviously still a contender and most likely going to be a #1 seed. They’re an interesting team. They’re 3-1 against teams I would consider national title contenders, but they also have played a bunch of tight games against mediocre opponents.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they won it all, but it wouldn’t exactly be a stunner to me if they didn’t make it past the first weekend, either.

2. North Carolina +1000 (MLPPR: 11)

Jan. 15: “Somewhat Overvalued” +900 (MLPPR: 10)
Jan. 29: “Highly Overvalued” +1100 (MLPPR: 14)

I still don’t really see it. They’re explosive offensively, but the defense lately has been at UCLA levels.

6. UCLA +1200 (MLPPR: 17)

Jan. 15: “Highly Overvalued” +600 (MLPPR: 15)
Jan. 29: “Highly Overvalued” +850 (MLPPR: 18)

They can now claim they’ve played one good defensive half against a good team, which is nice. It’s not enough to make me believe yet, but if they keep improving, it’s something to keep an eye on. Another Duke 2015 reference: that was another bad defensive team that peaked as the calendar turned to March. The defensive efficiency numbers are in the column to the right of the “MAN/ZONE” column.


14. West Virginia +2800 (MLPPR: 26)

Jan. 15: “Highly Overvalued” +2000 (MLPPR: 24)
Jan. 29: “Highly Overvalued” +2000 (MLPPR: 22)

I’ve heard people (maybe just Seth Greenberg multiple times) say that WVU’s impact will be felt more on the second game of the tournament weekend than the first because of their pressing style and teams will be fatigued.

It’s an interesting theory, which basically isn’t at all based on facts. You get a day off in the tournament, which you don’t get in holiday and conference tournaments. Somehow mighty Temple, “5-8 in the AAC” Temple, “lost to New Hampshire and UMass a week before they played West Virginia” Temple, was able to overcome this and beat West Virginia a day after playing. It also didn’t seem to matter when the Mountaineers played Kansas in the Big 12 championship last year. Each team had played three straight days.

What impact does this have on their national championship hopes? Probably nothing. I just get tired of listening to blowhards speak nonsense every day and I take it out in this space.

I might watch too much basketball.

17. Maryland +3500 (MLPPR: NR)

Jan. 15: “Irrelevant At This Point” +20000 (MLPPR: NR)
Jan. 29: “Highly Overvalued” +5200 (MLPPR: NR)

I guess beating Ohio State twice, losing at home to Purdue, and on the road to Penn State is a good indicator to some that you’re more legitimate to win the national championship than you were before those four games happened.

Image result for tom crean wagner

Irrelevant At This Point

22. Syracuse +6500 (MLPPR: NR)

I’ll let everyone else be the one to pick them to go far in the tournament, simply because they did it last year. The rotation isn’t remotely similar.

24. UConn +10000 (MLPPR: NR)


24. Michigan State +10000 (MLPPR: NR)

For those that don’t watch the Big Ten as religiously as I do, I wouldn’t expect the patented Izzo run with a mediocre team. The Breslin Center was on fire Saturday night when they extended their lead from two to six on Iowa. That’s the expectation level after you lose by 30 to your rival who also happens to be a bubble team.

There’s also the part where they’re not a lock for the tournament. It’s a very convenient year for their AD to be heading the selection committee.

24. USC +10000 (MLPPR: NR)

Meh. 21-5, but they’re #1 in the country in luck rating.

30. Indiana +15000 (MLPPR: NR)

Oh boy.

30. Marquette +15000 (MLPPR: NR)

The defense is atrocious and there’s not a lot of quality wins to make you believe they’re capable of anything if they make the field.

36. Dayton +20000 (MLPPR: NR)

Not a matchup I’d be dying to have in the second (third) round if I were a 1 or 2 seed. An experienced squad that’s had success in the tournament before. They got run in the first (second) round by Syracuse last year, but this year’s team is quite a bit improved offensively.

36. Miami (FL) +20000 (MLPPR: NR)

They whooped Carolina at home, but other than that they haven’t done anything notable. Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan are not walking through that door.

36. MTSU +20000 (MLPPR: NR)

They might have to win the C-USA tourney now after losing to UTEP. They’ll be the prohibitive favorites, but you know how that goes.

40. Minnesota +30000 (MLPPR: NR)

They probably peaked in early January.









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