Earlier this week, it seemed likely that Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga were all safe on the 1 line. Now? I’m not so sure. Villanova is, without a doubt. Kansas very likely is, with an RPI of 2 and just 4 losses on the year. But, Kentucky and the winner of the Pac-12 – either Oregon or Arizona – could still make a case. While I don’t expect it (see this analysis from Wednesday night), the Selection Committee surprises us every year, and there will no doubt be some surprises this Selection Sunday too.
As we look further down, the bubble is shrinking and we’re getting more clarity on who’s in and who’s out. Due to their losses last night, I believe Indiana, TCU, Houston, and Ole Miss are all out of consideration. Georgia has also fallen out of consideration after losing to Kentucky yesterday afternoon.
On the right side of the bubble, I believe today’s Last Four In – Kansas State, Wake Forest, Southern Cal, and Rhode Island are vulnerable to falling out of the field, but it is unlikely for K-State or Wake, and probably a 50-50 proposition for USC and Rhode Island. As far as Rhode Island goes, they benefit from still being alive in their conference tournament, facing Davidson in the semis of the A-10 tourney today. While a win won’t cement their bid, it certainly won’t hurt, either. Of the five teams I currently have out but still in consideration – Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa, and Alabama – only Alabama is still alive.
So, it promises to be yet another exciting day of conference tournament action! As you will see, we have quite a bit of movement up and down the bracket since yesterday. As always, moves are in parentheses after the team’s name. Projected auto qualifiers are bold, and those who’ve clinched bids are bold and underlined.
Eliminated from consideration since yesterday: Georgia, Indiana, TCU, Houston, Ole Miss
1s: Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga
2s: Kentucky, Oregon Arizona, Duke (+1)
3s: Baylor (-1), Louisville (-1), UCLA, Florida State
4s: Florida, West Virginia, Butler, Notre Dame (+1)
5s: Purdue (-1), Virginia, Cincinnati, Minnesota (+1)
6s: SMU (-1), Iowa State, Wisconsin, Creighton (+1)
7s: Saint Mary’s (-1), Maryland, Michigan (+1), Oklahoma State (+1)
8s: Wichita State, South Carolina (-1), Dayton (-1), Northwestern (+1)
9s: Miami (-1), Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Arkansas
10s: VCU, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Michigan State
11s: Providence, Marquette, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Southern California, Rhode Island
12s: Middle Tennessee, Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Texas-Arlington
13s: Vermont, Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell
14s: Winthrop, Akron, Cal-Bakersfield, Florida Gulf Coast
15s: Iona, Northern Kentucky, Texas Southern, North Dakota
16s: Cal-Irvine, South Dakota State, Mount Saint Mary’s, Jacksonville State, New Orleans, North Carolina Central
First Five Out: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa (+1), Alabama (+1)
Eliminated from consideration: Memphis, George Mason
In since yesterday: Tennessee
Out since yesterday: Saint Bonaventure
1s: Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa (+1)
2s: Alabama (+2), Illinois (+1), Indiana, Houston (-1)
3s: Ole Miss (-1), TCU (-1), Georgia, Utah
4s: Clemson, Monmouth, Charleston, Georgia Tech
5s: Texas Tech, Ohio State, Boise State, BYU
6s: Richmond, Valparaiso, Colorado State, Central Florida (+1)
7s: Fresno State (-1), Belmont, Tennessee (new), New Mexico State (+1)
8s: Oakland (-1), New Mexico, South Dakota, UNC-Greensboro
Thanks for reading, and look for later today. Check out the Bracket Matrix for more of what’s going on in the world of bracketology as we approach the Selection Show!