Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Field of 68 - Seed List, March 13, 2013

Just a small update to account for the automatic bids won the past two nights (and a flip between UNLV and Pittsburgh for now).  Things get busier starting today and really take-off tomorrow in the conference tournaments.

1 - Duke, Indiana, Louisville, GONZAGA
2 - Kansas, Georgetown, New Mexico, Miami, FL
3 - Michigan, Florida, Marquette, Michigan State
4 - Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas State, St. Louis
5 - Oklahoma State, Syracuse, UCLA, UNLV
6 - Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Butler, VCU
7 - Memphis, Colorado State, CREIGHTON, Notre Dame
8 - North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, Temple
9 - Illinois, San Diego State, Villanova, Cincinnati
10 - Boise State, NC State, Oregon, Colorado
11 - Wichita State, California, Oklahoma, BELMONT
12 - Tennessee/St. Mary's, Kentucky/LaSalle, Iowa State, Bucknell
13 - Denver, Ohio, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE, Stephen F Austin
15 - Montana, IONA, Long Beach State, Vermont

I will end with the great Gonzaga debate today.  The season is done for the "Zags", so besides the shuffling of RPI's based on other results, we at least have the quantitative aspect of their season complete.  First the positives...Gonzaga looks really, really good.  I would not want to play them in the early rounds of the tournament.  They finished with just 2 losses and one of those was an amazing buzzer-beater that should never have happened.  But it is still a loss.  They have no bad losses, which Kansas, Miami and Michigan cannot attest to.  So they are a slam dunk for a #1 seed?  Here is where I pause.  I have accumulated data on the past 12 NCAA tournaments and Gonzaga's 10 Top 100 wins would be the fewest of any #1 seed in that time.  Granted their have been a couple with 11, but it is just to show out of the past 48 #1 seeds, none have had that few.  Their 2 top 25 and 6 top 50 wins are on the low side.  SOS of 72 is not usually that of a #1 seed.

My recent comparison is San Diego State from two years ago.  Co-Champions of the Mountain West with BYU and MWC Tournament Champions that season, the Aztecs finished 31-2, with both losses coming to BYU who had an RPI of 5.  SDSU had 4 Top 25 RPI wins, 7 top 50, and 13 top 100, all greater than that of Gonzaga.  The SOS I have for those Aztecs was 22.  Their final RPI of 3 is higher than where Gonzaga currently sits.  San Diego State received a #2 seed in the West region, behind a 5-loss Pittsburgh team with an RPI of 10. 

So what will the committee do this year?  If Kansas wins the Big 12 tournament title, I can see them being #1 in the West with Gonzaga a #2.  Miami FL could also do the same with a sweep through the ACC tournament.  Otherwise, Gonzaga seems safe as the 4th #1, with Duke in the East, Indiana in the Midwest and either Louisville or Georgetown in the South.

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