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Can Duke thrive with non-standard lineups?
1:32 | College Basketball
Can Duke thrive with non-standard lineups?
Dan Hanner & Luke Winn
Friday November 13th, 2015

Sports Illustrated’s College Basketball Projection System simulates a given season 10,000 times in order to find the most frequent No. 1—this year, that would be North Carolina—and determine where the other 350 Division I teams fall in line. This marks the second year that SI’s preseason rankings have been decided by the projection system, a collaboration among economist Dan Hanner, SI producer and writer Chris Johnson and myself. The results from year one were promising: The system forecast—in exact order—the eventual top four teams in adjusted efficiency (Kentucky, Arizona, Wisconsin, Duke). It also predicted that title-game opponents Wisconsin and Duke would have the most efficient offenses, ranked all eight of the NCAA tournament No. 1 and No. 2 seeds among its Top 10, and produced the most accurate conference standings of any projection model, according to kenpom.com.

MORE: See SI.com's complete college basketball preseason coverage

For offense, the system projects every player’s efficiency and shot volume by incorporating his past performance, recruiting rankings, development curves for similar Division I players, the quality of his teammates and his coach’s ability to develop and maximize talent. Those stats are weighted based on the team's rotation—including human intel on who’s expected to earn minutes—then used to produce each team’s offensive efficiency projection. (The 10,000 simulations account for significant variance in individual performances as well as injury scenarios.) Team defensive efficiency projections are based on a blend of individual stats (rebound, steal and block percentages), roster turnover (if churn is low, then 2014-15 performances in areas such as two-point field goal percentage are given a lot of weight; if high, then a coach’s historical defensive résumé matters more), experience (veterans have fewer lapses) and height (taller frontcourts make for stingier D).

The following is a Nov. 12 update of our system's projected conference-by-conference standings for 2015–16, taking into account players who've been ruled ineligible or suffered season-ending injuries after our initial publication:

Atlantic 10
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Rhode Island 13 5
2 Davidson 12 6
3 VCU 12 6
4 Dayton 12 6
5 Richmond 12 6
6 George Washington 11 7
7 St. Bonaventure 8 10
8 Saint Joseph's 8 10
9 Duquesne 8 10
10 Massachusetts 7 11
11 La Salle 7 11
12 Fordham 6 12
13 George Mason 5 13
14 Saint Louis 5 13

 

ACC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 North Carolina 13 5
2 Duke 13 5
3 Virginia 13 5
4 Louisville 10 8
5 Notre Dame 10 8
6 Miami FL 10 8
7 Florida St. 9 9
8 NC State 9 9
9 Syracuse 9 9
10 Pittsburgh 9 9
11 Clemson 7 11
12 Georgia Tech 7 11
13 Wake Forest 7 11
14 Virginia Tech 6 12
15 Boston College 3 15

 

 

America East
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Stony Brook 13 3
2 Vermont 12 4
3 Albany 12 4
4 New Hampshire 9 7
5 Hartford 7 9
6 Binghamton 6 10
7 UMass Lowell 5 11
8 UMBC 4 12
9 Maine 4 12

 

 

Atlantic Sun
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 NJIT 11 3
2 North Florida 10 4
3 Florida Gulf Coast 7 7
4 Lipscomb 7 7
5 Jacksonville 7 7
6 USC Upstate 7 7
7 Kennesaw St. 4 10
8 Stetson 3 11

 

AAC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Connecticut 14 4
2 SMU 14 4
3 Cincinnati 13 5
4 Tulsa 11 7
5 Temple 10 8
6 Memphis 10 8
7 Houston 8 10
8 Tulane 5 13
9 East Carolina 5 13
10 UCF 5 13
11 South Florida 4 14

 

 

Big Ten
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Maryland 14 4
2 Indiana 12 6
3 Michigan St. 12 6
4 Purdue 11 7
5 Michigan 11 7
6 Ohio St. 11 7
7 Wisconsin 11 7
8 Illinois 9 9
9 Iowa 9 9
10 Northwestern 7 11
11 Nebraska 7 11
12 Penn St. 6 12
13 Minnesota 5 13
14 Rutgers 1 17

 

 

Big 12
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Kansas 13 5
2 Iowa St. 12 6
3 Oklahoma 12 6
4 Texas 11 7
5 West Virginia 10 8
6 Baylor 9 9
7 Oklahoma St. 8 10
8 Texas Tech 5 13
9 TCU 5 13
10 Kansas St. 5 13

 

 

Big East
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Villanova 14 4
2 Georgetown 12 6
3 Xavier 12 6
4 Butler 11 7
5 Marquette 10 8
6 Providence 8 10
7 Seton Hall 8 10
8 Creighton 7 11
9 DePaul 5 13
10 St. John's 3 15

 

 

Big Sky
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Montana 13 5
2 Weber St. 12 6
3 Eastern Washington 11 7
4 Portland St. 10 8
5 Northern Arizona 9 9
6 Sacramento St. 9 9
7 Idaho 9 9
8 Southern Utah 9 9
9 Montana St. 8 10
10 Northern Colorado 7 11
11 Idaho St. 6 12
12 North Dakota 5 13

 

 

Big South
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 High Point 15 3
2 Coastal Carolina 13 5
3 Winthrop 13 5
4 Radford 9 9
5 UNC Asheville 9 9
6 Longwood 8 10
7 Gardner Webb 8 10
8 Charleston Southern 7 11
9 Campbell 7 11
10 Presbyterian 6 12
11 Liberty 4 14

 

 

Big West
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 UC Irvine 11 5
2 Hawaii 11 5
3 Long Beach St. 10 6
4 Cal Poly 10 6
5 UC Santa Barbara 9 7
6 UC Riverside 7 9
7 Cal St. Fullerton 6 10
8 UC Davis 6 10
9 Cal St. Northridge 2 14

 

 

CAA
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Hofstra 12 6
2 James Madison 11 7
3 UNC Wilmington 11 7
4 Northeastern 11 7
5 William & Mary 10 8
6 Delaware 8 10
7 College of Charleston 7 11
8 Elon 7 11
9 Towson 7 11
10 Drexel 6 12

 

 

Conference USA
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 UAB 14 4
2 Old Dominion 14 4
3 Middle Tennessee 12 6
4 UTEP 12 6
5 Western Kentucky 11 7
6 Louisiana Tech 11 7
7 Rice 8 10
8 Charlotte 8 10
9 Marshall 7 11
10 FIU 7 11
11 North Texas 6 12
12 Florida Atlantic 6 12
13 Southern Miss 5 13
14 UTSA 5 13

 

 

Horizon
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Valparaiso 15 3
2 Oakland 11 7
3 Detroit 10 8
4 Green Bay 10 8
5 Milwaukee 10 8
6 Wright St. 9 9
7 Cleveland St. 8 10
8 Northern Kentucky 7 11
9 Illinois Chicago 5 13
10 Youngstown St. 5 13

 

 

Ivy
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Princeton 9 5
2 Columbia 9 5
3 Harvard 9 5
4 Yale 8 6
5 Dartmouth 7 7
6 Penn 6 8
7 Brown 5 9
8 Cornell 3 11

 

 

MAAC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Iona 16 4
2 Canisius 13 7
3 Rider 13 7
4 Monmouth 11 9
5 Manhattan 11 9
6 Siena 11 9
7 Fairfield 10 10
8 Quinnipiac 9 11
9 Saint Peter's 6 14
10 Niagara 6 14
11 Marist 4 16

 

 

MAC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Central Michigan 14 4
2 Akron 13 5
3 Western Michigan 11 7
4 Kent St. 10 8
5 Miami OH 9 9
6 Buffalo 9 9
7 Eastern Michigan 8 10
8 Ball St. 8 10
9 Toledo 8 10
10 Ohio 7 11
11 Northern Illinois 6 12
12 Bowling Green 5 13

 

 

MEAC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 NC Central 14 2
2 Hampton 12 4
3 Norfolk St. 10 6
4 Howard 10 6
5 MD Eastern Shore 9 7
6 North Carolina A&T 8 8
7 Morgan St. 8 8
8 Bethune Cookman 8 8
9 South Carolina St. 7 9
10 Delaware St. 6 10
11 Savannah St. 6 10
12 Coppin St. 4 12
13 Florida A&M 2 14

 

 

Missouri Valley
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Wichita St. 16 2
2 Evansville 12 6
3 Illinois St. 11 7
4 Northern Iowa 11 7
5 Loyola Chicago 9 9
6 Indiana St. 9 9
7 Southern Illinois 8 10
8 Missouri St. 7 11
9 Drake 4 14
10 Bradley 3 15

 

 

Mountain West
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 San Diego St. 15 3
2 Boise St. 13 5
3 UNLV 13 5
4 New Mexico 11 7
5 Colorado St. 10 8
6 Fresno St. 9 9
7 Utah St. 9 9
8 Wyoming 7 11
9 Nevada 6 12
10 Air Force 5 13
11 San Jose St. 1 17

 

 

NEC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Mount St. Mary's 13 5
2 St. Francis NY 11 7
3 Sacred Heart 10 8
4 LIU Brooklyn 10 8
5 Robert Morris 10 8
6 Wagner 9 9
7 Bryant 9 9
8 St. Francis PA 8 10
9 Fairleigh Dickinson 5 13
10 Central Connecticut 5 13

 

 

OVC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Belmont 13 3
2 Tennessee Martin 11 5
3 Murray St. 11 5
4 Morehead St. 10 6
5 Eastern Kentucky 9 7
6 Eastern Illinois 7 9
7 SE Missouri St. 7 9
8 Tennessee St. 7 9
9 Austin Peay 6 10
10 Tennessee Tech 6 10
11 Jacksonville St. 5 11
12 SIU Edwardsville 4 12

 

 

Pac-12
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Arizona 13 5
2 California 13 5
3 Utah 12 6
4 Oregon 11 7
5 UCLA 10 8
6 Oregon St. 9 9
7 Arizona St. 8 10
8 Colorado 8 10
9 Stanford 7 11
10 USC 7 11
11 Washington 5 13
12 Washington St. 5 13

 

 

Patriot
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Boston University 12 6
2 Lehigh 12 6
3 Bucknell 11 7
4 Army 11 7
5 American 10 8
6 Navy 8 10
7 Holy Cross 8 10
8 Lafayette 7 11
9 Loyola MD 7 11
10 Colgate 4 14

 

 

Sun Belt
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Louisiana Lafayette 16 4
2 Georgia St. 14 6
3 Louisiana Monroe 12 8
4 Arkansas Little Rock 11 9
5 Texas St. 10 10
6 UT Arlington 10 10
7 Arkansas St. 10 10
8 Appalachian St. 8 12
9 Georgia Southern 7 13
10 South Alabama 7 13
11 Troy 5 15

 

 

SoCon
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Wofford 13 5
2 Chattanooga 13 5
3 East Tennessee St. 12 6
4 Mercer 11 7
5 Western Carolina 9 9
6 UNC Greensboro 8 10
7 Furman 8 10
8 VMI 8 10
9 Samford 5 13
10 The Citadel 3 15

 

 

SEC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Kentucky 14 4
2 Texas A&M 12 6
3 LSU 12 6
4 Vanderbilt 11 7
5 Florida 10 8
6 South Carolina 10 8
7 Georgia 9 9
8 Mississippi St. 8 10
9 Auburn 8 10
10 Mississippi 8 10
11 Arkansas 7 11
12 Tennessee 6 12
13 Alabama 6 12
14 Missouri 5 13

 

 

SWAC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Texas Southern 15 3
2 Southern 14 4
3 Alabama St. 11 7
4 Jackson St. 11 7
5 Alabama A&M 9 9
6 Arkansas Pine Bluff 9 9
7 Prairie View A&M 8 10
8 Mississippi Valley St. 6 12
9 Alcorn St. 6 12
10 Grambling St. 1 17

 

 

Southland
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Stephen F. Austin 16 2
2 Northwestern St. 12 6
3 Sam Houston St. 12 6
4 Texas A&M CC 10 8
5 Incarnate Word 10 8
6 Lamar 9 9
7 SE Louisiana 9 9
8 Houston Baptist 8 10
9 Nicholls St. 8 10
10 New Orleans 8 10
11 Abilene Christian 5 13
12 McNeese St. 5 13
13 Central Arkansas 5 13

 

 

Summit
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 South Dakota St. 12 4
2 North Dakota St. 11 5
3 Oral Roberts 8 8
4 Nebraska Omaha 8 8
5 IUPUI 8 8
6 South Dakota 8 8
7 IPFW 7 9
8 Denver 6 10
9 Western Illinois 4 12

 

 

WAC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 New Mexico St. 11 3
2 Cal St. Bakersfield 10 4
3 Grand Canyon 8 6
4 UMKC 8 6
5 Seattle 6 8
6 Utah Valley 5 9
7 Chicago St. 5 9
8 Texas RGV 3 11

 

 

WCC
conference rank team projected wins projected losses
1 Gonzaga 16 2
2 BYU 13 5
3 Pepperdine 11 7
4 Saint Mary's 10 8
5 San Diego 8 10
6 Santa Clara 8 10
7 Pacific 8 10
8 Portland 7 11
9 San Francisco 5 13
10 Loyola Marymount 4 14

 

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