For the second year, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee did an “early reveal” of the top 16 teams in the bracket. I had a few teams on the top 4 lines seeded differently as of last Friday, but the only big surprise to me was Cincinnati being a 2 seed. I had the Bearcats as a 4; despite a great 23-2 record, being 6th in RPI, and 3rd in KenPom, their best win is either home against Houston or at UCLA (depending on which team you think is better). And the Committee in recent years hasn’t shown much respect to the top teams from the mid-majors. So, this seeding was unexpected.
Another slight surprise was West Virginia, who wasn’t in the reveal. I assume the Mountaineers are a 5 seed as of now. I had them as a 3 on Friday, though I would have dropped them to a 4 after losing to Oklahoma State. This would have bumped Oklahoma down to the 5 line (Oklahoma was revealed as the last team on the 4 line). Other than that, Arizona would have moved up to the 4 line after beating USC on Saturday; Michigan State would have moved up to the 3 line after beating Purdue, with Tennessee dropping to the 4 line after being blown out at Alabama.
Anyway, you’ll see that I now have the 1-4 lines in the same order as they were revealed over the weekend. It’s like taking a test and having a quarter of the answers given to you… may as well roll with it.
As far as the Last Four In… all I am going to say is that someone has to fill those spots (and that one of them will probably make a serious run in March, because that’s how it works).
Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name. In since last time: Northern Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Baylor
Out since last time: Wright State, Marquette, USC
1s – Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue
2s – Auburn (+1), Kansas, Duke, Cincinnati (+2)
3s – Clemson (-1), Texas Tech (-1), Michigan State (+1), North Carolina
4s – Tennessee (-1), Ohio State, Arizona (+1), Oklahoma
5s – West Virginia (-2), Wichita State, Florida, Rhode Island (+1)
6s – Gonzaga, Arizona State (+1), Kentucky (-1), Miami
7s – Texas A & M (+1), Saint Mary’s (-1), Seton Hall, Nevada (+1)
8s – Alabama (+1), Creighton, Florida State (-1), Texas (-1)
9s – TCU, Michigan, Butler (-1), Arkansas
10s – Louisville, Missouri, Virginia Tech (new), Houston (+1)
11s – North Carolina State (-1), UCLA, Syracuse, Baylor (new), Providence (-1), Kansas State
12s – Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Loyola-Chicago, Buffalo
13s – Vermont, South Dakota State, East Tennessee State, Louisiana
14s – Belmont, Northern Kentucky (new), Charleston, UC Santa Barbara (+1)
15s – Montana (-1), Rider, Bucknell, Stephen F. Austin
16s – Florida Gulf Coast, UNC-Asheville, Penn, Wagner, North Carolina A & T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
LAST FOUR IN – Syracuse, Baylor, Providence, Kansas State
FIRST FOUR OUT – Washington, Notre Dame (+1), Western Kentucky, USC
NEXT FOUR OUT – LSU, Temple, Boise State (-1), Marquette
THIRD FOUR OUT – Oklahoma State, Utah, Mississippi State (-1), Nebraska
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 Thursday, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime.