Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Men's College Basketball Bracketology - March 10, 2015

Just 5 days until selection Sunday, but those 5 days will now be filled with meaningful action day and night.  Gonzaga, Valparaiso, North Dakota State and Robert Morris all secured bids tonight and BYU was put into a 5 days of waiting to see if their resume is enough.  BYU will be paying particular attention to Conference tournaments in the AAC and Atlantic 10, which are the most likely to provide a surprise winner (although don't rule out the PAC-12 as a bid thief).

Instead of a bracket tonight, here is a rough seed listing going into conference tournaments, with a little analysis to boot.  Happy Championship Week!!

The 1's - Kentucky, Virginia, Duke and Villanova

  • Kentucky - locked up the overall #1 seed, only playing for history
  • Virginia and Duke are playing for the #1 seed in the East Region.  If either wins the ACC Tournament, they will be placed in the East.  If they meet in the Championship game, the loser will most likely be placed in the South.  If either loses before the ACC final, there might be a chance they would be placed in the West if Villanova wins the Big East Tournament.  A quarterfinal loss is the only possible way I think either could be bumped from the #1 line.
  • Villanova needs to win the Big East Tournament to lock down a #1 seed.  A loss and they might fall behind Wisconsin or Arizona for the last #1.
The 2's - Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga and Kansas
  • Wisconsin is playing for the opportunity to move up to a #1 seed but needs help.  They will be no lower than a #2.  If they are a #2, it will be interesting to see if the committee sticks to geography and places them with Kentucky, especially if the Badgers rate out as the #5 team in the S-Curve.
  • Arizona is also locked in as a #2, but could make an argument as the West #1 seed with a PAC-12 Tourney Championship and losses by Villanova and Wisconsin.
  • Gonzaga will be a #2 seed.  Book it.
  • How good will the Big 12 tournament be?  Kansas will find out just how tough it can be if they can navigate it, potentially without leading scorer Perry Ellis.  If Ellis is unable to go and Kansas drops a quarterfinal or semifinal, the #2 seed might become a #3.
The 3's - Maryland, Iowa State, Baylor and Notre Dame
The 4's - Oklahoma, Northern Iowa, Louisville and West Virginia
  • I don't think Maryland will fall below a #3, but a quarterfinal victory in the Big 10 Tourney would seal that.
  • Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma and West Virginia will be jockeying for seeding in the Big 12 Tourney.  Baylor and West Virginia meet in a quarterfinal, with a likely meeting against Kansas awaiting the winner.  Iowa State and Oklahoma would be a semifinal match-up if each takes care of talented quarterfinal opponents.  
  • Northern Iowa seems to fir in right here.  A run by one of the 5 seeds could bump them, but more likely it will bump another team whose season is not completed.
  • Louisville and Notre Dame will contend for an ACC Tournament title, with a #3 seed ceiling.
The 5's - Arkansas, Utah, Wichita State and Georgetown
The 6's - North Carolina, Butler, Providence and SMU
  • Just like the Big 12 tournament, the AAC tournament will do its best to sort out between Georgetown, Butler and Providence (and even St. John's).  For right now, Georgetown is the only one who has defeated Villanova and has no sub-100 blemishes.
  • Wichita State would make sense here, although the committee might see them differently.
  • North Carolina is an odd case. A team with great SOS, but really a lack of a wins against top competition.  A good run in the ACC tournament would help their cause.
  • SMU doesn't have great wins either, but they racked up the 51-100 wins and have no bad losses  I think they feel like a #7.
The 7's - Iowa, St. John's, San Diego State and team to be named later (ok, VCU for now)
The 8's - LSU, Xavier, Michigan State and Oregon
The 9's - Cincinnati, NC State, Ohio State and Davidson
  • The divide starts here, especially on the #7 line.  There is a lot of opportunity for mobility both up and down for these teams.  With VCU not playing as well sicne Briantae Weber's injury, they have definitely fallen, though should be rewarded for the Nation's #1 non-conference schedule.  Right now that trumps either the lack of great wins resumes of Michigan State, Oregon, Ohio State and Davidson or the several good wins accompanied by several head scratchers of Xavier, LSU, NC State and Cincinnati.
The 10's - Boise State, Oklahoma State, Texas and Georgia
The 11's (non First Four) - Colorado State, Dayton and Ole Miss
The 11's (First Four) - Indiana, Temple
The 12's (First Four) - Purdue, Texas A&M
  • These are the true "Bubble Teams".  Fearing bid thieves and early round exits.  Fortunately for this group, the at-large pool is fairly weak.  I have 5 days to ponder whether I am missing something on BYU.  What about Old Dominion if they lose in the C-USA final?  Richmond anyone?  Miami FL with another big win in the ACC Tourney?  
The 12's (automatic bids) - Wofford, Stephen F Austin and Louisiana Tech
The 13's - Harvard, Valparaiso, Central Michigan and Georgia State
The 14's - UC Davis, Northeastern, North Dakota State and Eastern Washington
The 15's - Belmont, Albany, New Mexico State and North Carolina Central
The 16's - Robert Morris, North Florida, Manhattan, American, Coastal Carolina and Texas Southern

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