Like my post from Wednesday, let’s examine a team’s resume to start off. Where would you put this team right now?
Record: 15-8 (5-5 in conference, 1-5 in true road games)
Strength of schedule: 70th overall, 103rd non-conference
Ken Pom: 51st
Good wins: at Wichita State, Arizona (neutral court), vs. USC, vs. Boise State
Bad losses: at Uconn, at Tulane, at Tulsa, Northern Iowa (neutral court)
Read on to find out who this team is and where I’d project them today. This is another example of a resume that is all over the place. A couple of really nice wins, along with a couple of really bad losses, and middling rankings.
One thing you might notice in this latest NCAA tournament projection is that I’m betting on the Selection Committee to give the mid-majors some respect, which is something they’ve been doing less and less of in recent years. Gonzaga remains on the 5 line (few others have them this high), while Rhode Island, Saint Mary’s, and Nevada have all moved up a line. I’ll probably go back and forth on this 1,000 times between now and Selection Sunday because lately, the Selection Committee shows a preference for middling major conference teams over strong mid-major conference teams. But, we’ll see.
So, here’s today’s projection. Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name.
In since last time: William & Mary, UC Santa Barbara, Stephen F. Austin
Out since last time: Northeastern, UC Davis, Nicholls State
1s – Villanova, Virginia, Purdue, Kansas
2s – Duke, Xavier, Clemson, Oklahoma
3s – Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Tennessee (+1)
4s – Arizona, North Carolina, West Virginia (-1), Cincinnati (+1)
5s – Kentucky, Ohio State (-1), Florida (+1), Gonzaga
6s – Seton Hall, Rhode Island (+1), Wichita State (-1), Saint Mary’s (+1)
7s – TCU (-1), Nevada (+1), Miami (+1), Arizona State (-1)
8s – Louisville (-1), Florida State (-1), Michigan, Butler (+1)
9s – Creighton (-1), Arkansas, Texas, Alabama
10s – Texas A & M, North Carolina State, USC (+1), Providence
11s – Kansas State, Western Kentucky, Syracuse (-1), Houston, Middle Tennessee (+1)
12s – Marquette (-1), Boise State (-1), New Mexico State, Buffalo, Loyola-Chicago
13s – Belmont, South Dakota State, East Tennessee State, Louisiana
14s – Vermont, William & Mary (new), Wright State, Bucknell
15s – Montana, UC Santa Barbara (new), Stephen F. Austin (new), Rider
16s – Florida Gulf Coast, Penn (-1), Wagner, Radford, North Carolina A & T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
LAST FOUR IN – Syracuse, Houston, Marquette, Boise State
FIRST FOUR OUT – Washington, Missouri (+1), UCLA, Notre Dame
NEXT FOUR OUT – Virginia Tech, Georgia, SMU (-1), South Carolina
THIRD FOUR OUT – Temple (+2), Nebraska, Maryland, LSU
So, the mystery team from the beginning of the post is SMU. As you see above, I have them in the Next Four Out. While they’re actually on the 11 line right now according to the Bracket Matrix, I just don’t see them as strong enough to get in the field right now.
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. Look for my next update early next week.