Friday, March 4, 2011

Jabe's Bracket - March 4, 2011

There are some tweaks in Friday's update as I had a little time to look further into some resume factors and to study the selections from the 2009 and 2010 tournaments. 

I will start at the bottom, where all the uncertainty lies.  The first thing I did was reinstate Memphis.  Despite zero RPI top 25 wins, they had three factors positive of past tournament teams with 5 RPI Top 50 wins, 9 RPI top 100 wins and a +5 against the RPI top 200.  They also have a road win at Gonzaga, who I had been including in my bracket.

Then there is Marquette.  The last two years, no team received an at-large berth with a negative +/- against the RPI Top 200.  Marquette currently sits at -1.  Their 4 RPI Top 25 wins make them worthy of a bid, but the other factor caused me to move them down to one of the 3 expanded spots this year, which bring in new unique criteria not used in the past with 65 teams.  If they can be plus one the rest of the season, they would move up in seeding.  The other teams taking the expanded spots are Gonzaga and Colorado, who both have RPI's over 70 (and Colorado has a negative RPI Top 200 +/-).  These two teams are 2 of four currently under consideration with at least 1 RPI Top 25 win. 

Kansas takes over as the overall #1 by a hair, with more Top 50 and Top 100 wins than Ohio State, and better plus/minuses in both as well.

Syracuse hopped Texas for the last #2.  The Orange seem to have righted their ship as Texas goes in the opposite direction.  With more RPI Top 25, 50 and 100 wins than the Longhorns, this switch was made.

Arizona is the hardest team to seed at this point.  UCLA's loss likely means the Wildcats will win the regular season Pac-10 crown, which got Cal vastly overseeded last year.  Arizona also has a +16 vs the RPI Top 200, which has yielded no lower than a 5 seed the past two years.  They still lack in RPI Top 25 and 50 wins, but Utah got a 5 seed with zero RPI Top 25 wins two seasons ago.

After looking at what the committee has done, I moved George Mason back to a #8 for now.  If they close out the Colonial Tourney, I think the Northern Iowa seeding will be fresh enough to move them back up to a #7.

Probably the last update until late Sunday or Monday.

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