Has anyone else noticed that some of the non-conference tournament names are getting as ridiculous as the college football bowl names? Don’t get me wrong – one of the things I love about college basketball is that there are tons of competitive matchups before conference play opens. But do we really need names like the Hy-Vee Classic? Probably not. Anyway…
As I mentioned in my first post of the season on December 15, I’ve seeded the top 12 lines only for now. At this point in the season, trying to figure out who will make it from the one-bid leagues is the definition of an exercise in futility, and I’m not even going to bother with it. Starting around mid-January, once each team has gotten a few conference games in, I’ll begin seeding the entire field.
With that in mind, here we go. A couple things that jump out at me this time – North Carolina and Arizona State swapped primarily because of KenPom ratings, in which UNC is 6 and Arizona State is 29 at the moment. It’s really a razor-thin margin between the two teams and I think if the season ended today, it would be really tough to decide who gets that final 1 seed. Another thing – Temple is in many projections right now, which is fair given that they have good wins over Clemson and Auburn, and rank very highly in strength of schedule. But for me, what holds them back is losses to George Washington and La Salle.
With all that said, here’s tonight’s projection.
In since last time: Texas, Louisville
Out since last time: USC, LSU
1s – Villanova, Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina (+1)
2s – Arizona State (-1), Kansas, Gonzaga, West Virginia (+1)
3s – Texas A & M, Wichita State (-1), Xavier (+1), Kentucky
4s – Virginia, Purdue, Tennessee (-1), TCU
5s – Arizona (+1), Missouri, Arkansas (+2), Florida
6s – Syracuse (-1), Cincinnati (+3), Florida State, Butler (-1)
7s – Miami, Ohio State, Utah (-1), Seton Hall (-1)
8s – Alabama (-1), Michigan, Saint John’s, Baylor (+2)
9s – Notre Dame (-1), Clemson, Rhode Island (-1), Oklahoma (+3)
10s – Texas Tech (+2), Minnesota, Nevada, Central Florida
11s – SMU, Maryland, Northern Iowa (-1), Middle Tennessee
12s – Texas (+1), Louisville (+1), Washington (-1), North Carolina State (-3), Texas-Arlington, Towson
LAST FOUR IN – Texas, Louisville, Washington, North Carolina State
FIRST FOUR OUT – Temple (+1), Saint Mary’s (+1), Creighton (+1), USC (-1)
NEXT FOUR OUT – Oklahoma State, Iowa State, UCLA (-1), LSU (-2)
THIRD FOUR OUT – Auburn, Connecticut (-2), Boise State, Marquette
As I talked about last time, with a few exceptions, every team is equivalent to every other team within three seed lines of it. The sample size of games is very small and teams haven’t had a chance to establish themselves in their own conferences. In other words, don’t be surprised to see huge moves up and down over the next few projections.
So, that will do it for tonight. As always, if you want to rip me because I have your team too low or want to discuss anything else related to bracketology, feel free to do so in the comments. And as always, remember to check out the Bracket Matrix, a must for those of us who are obsessed with this stuff. Look for my next projection sometime between Christmas and New Year’s.