Bracketology: Kentucky, Wisconsin on the Move

Last year’s finalists, Kentucky and Wisconsin, both lost a lot of talent to the NBA.  So far this year, Kentucky wasn’t really in jeopardy of missing the tournament at any point, but I can’t say the same for Wisconsin.  In fact, Wisconsin looked far out of it, starting the season with an absolutely terrible home loss to Western Illinois (who is now 8-13 and 1-9 in Summit League play), eventually entering Big Ten play at 8-5.  A poor 1-4 start to conference play left Wisconsin at 9-9 overall and not even remotely on the NCAA tournament radar.

But all that has changed.  Wisconsin has now won 6 straight, including home wins against Michigan State and Indiana.  It really looks like they will make the tournament for the 18th straight year.  And Kentucky?  After a bizarre loss at Tennessee last week in which they blew a 21-point lead, they rebounded in their last 2 games by easily beating a solid Florida team and absolutely crushing Georgia, by 34 points.

And in a year where we’ve had more teams ranked #1 than anyone can count at this point and no team has established itself as the odds-on favorite, why count these two out?  With that said here are my new seedings, with moves up or down in parentheses.

1s – Oklahoma, Iowa, Villanova, Virginia

2s – North Carolina, Oregon, Kansas, Xavier

3s – Miami, Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa State

4s – Dayton, Purdue (+1), Kentucky (+1), West Virginia

5s – Texas (-1), Texas A & M (-1), Utah, South Carolina

6s – Baylor, Southern California, Arizona, Notre Dame (+1)

7s – Duke, Providence (-1), Colorado, Florida (+1)

8s – Indiana, Wichita State, Pittsburgh (-1), Michigan (+1)

9s – California, Syracuse, Wisconsin (+2), San Diego State (-1)

10s – Monmouth, Saint Joe’s (+1), George Washington (-1), Saint Mary’s

11s – Virginia Commonwealth, Washington (-1), Seton Hall (-1), Vanderbilt, Butler (+1)

12s – Chattanooga, Valparaiso, Temple, Gonzaga, Cincinnati (NEW)

13s – Arkansas-Little Rock, Akron, South Dakota State, Yale

14s – Stony Brook, California-Irvine, Belmont, New Mexico State

15s – North Carolina-Wilmington, Alabama-Birmingham, Montana, Stephen F. Austin

16s – North Carolina-Asheville, North Florida, South Carolina State, Fairleigh-Dickinson, Bucknell, Texas Southern

Chattanooga, Valparaiso, and Temple – who has beaten SMU, Connecticut, Cincinnati (twice), and Tulsa in American Athletic play – are projected as automatic qualifiers on the 12 line.  That leaves us with:

LAST FOUR IN – Vanderbilt, Butler, Gonzaga, Cincinnati

FIRST FOUR OUT – Tulsa, Louisiana State, Florida State, Connecticut (+1)

NEXT FOUR OUT – Stanford (-1), Saint Bonaventure, Alabama (+2), Georgetown (+1)

THIRD FOUR OUT – Clemson (-1), UCLA, Oregon State, Texas Tech (+1)

(Kansas State fell from the Next Four Out to a “20” seed and Georgia fell from the Third Four Out to a “20” seed to make up the difference here.)

In the Field of 68 since last time – Cincinnati, Texas Southern

 Out of the Field of 68 since last time – Louisiana State, Southern

Look for another update from me over the weekend.  And, now that you’ve read this one, why not check out the Bracket Matrix?

About Mike B.

Avid sports fan, particularly of the Detroit Lions, Pistons, and Tigers, and University of Michigan.
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1 Response to Bracketology: Kentucky, Wisconsin on the Move

  1. Pingback: Bracketology: A Happy Valentine’s Day for Michigan State | The Mind of Mike Broman

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