Let me get you thinking to start this post. Where would you put this team right now?
Record: 11-10 (3-6 in conference, 2-6 in true road games)
Strength of schedule: 3rd overall, 7th non-conference
Ken Pom: 84th
Good wins: their best outings came in victories over Clemson and Auburn on a neutral court. They’ve also won at SMU and on a neutral court against South Carolina.
Bad losses: a questionable one vs. Memphis, and clearly bad ones vs. Tulane, at La Salle, and against George Washington on a neutral court.
Read on to find out who this team is and where I’d project them today. In a season full of chaos, this resume is maybe the craziest. The numbers and results are all over the place.
In since last time: Arkansas-Pine Bluff, North Carolina A & T, North Carolina State, Boise State
Out since last time: Jackson State, North Carolina Central, Notre Dame, Missouri
1s – Villanova, Virginia, Purdue, Kansas (+1)
2s – Duke (-1), Xavier, Clemson (+1), Oklahoma
3s – Auburn (+1), Michigan State, Texas Tech, West Virginia
4s – Tennessee, North Carolina (-2), Arizona, Ohio State
5s – Kentucky, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Wichita State (+1)
6s – Florida (-1), Arizona State, Seton Hall, TCU
7s – Rhode Island, Saint Mary’s, Florida State (+1), Louisville (+1)
8s – Nevada, Miami (-1), Michigan, Creighton (+1)
9s – Arkansas (-2), Butler, Texas, Alabama (+1)
10s – Texas A & M (-1), Providence, North Carolina State (new), Syracuse
11s – USC, Marquette, Western Kentucky, Houston, Kansas State, Boise State (new)
12s – New Mexico State, Middle Tennessee, Loyola-Chicago, Buffalo
13s – Belmont, South Dakota State, East Tennessee State (+1), Louisiana
14s – Vermont (-1), Wright State, Northeastern, Bucknell (+1)
15s – Montana (-1), UC Davis, Rider, Penn
16s – Florida Gulf Coast, Wagner, Radford, Nicholls State, North Carolina A & T (new), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (new)
LAST FOUR IN – Western Kentucky, Houston, Kansas State, Boise State
FIRST FOUR OUT – UCLA, Washington, SMU (+1), Notre Dame
NEXT FOUR OUT – Georgia, Virginia Tech (+1), Missouri, South Carolina
THIRD FOUR OUT – Nebraska (+2), Maryland, LSU (-1), Utah
So, the mystery team from the beginning of the post is Temple. Right now, I have them as a 5 seed in the NIT (or in the “Fifth Four Out” of the NCAA tournament). Even if they win out, I really doubt they make the field unless, of course, they win the AAC tournament. But, it’s no stretch to say weirder things have happened – remember Tulsa getting in two years ago?
Anyway, that will do it for today. 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.