A couple weeks ago, Purdue seemed like a near-lock for a 1 seed. Fast forward, and the Boilermakers have now lost three straight. The latest loss, at Wisconsin on Thursday night, was the most damaging. As a result, they fall to the 2 line and Auburn rises to the 1 line. If the season ended today, I think it’d be a very close call between Auburn and Kansas for the final 1 seed, but I think Auburn gets it on the strength of slightly better numbers, including only 3 losses on the season to 7 for Kansas.
Near the cut line, a point of interest for me is always how many at-large bids the mid-major conferences can earn. I think with Saint Bonaventure’s big win over Rhode Island last night, they’re now position to potentially get one more. I now have the Bonnies in the First Four Out. They still have work to do and they are suffering from several bad losses – Dayton, Davidson, Saint Joe’s, and Niagara – but they also have a collection of nice wins and could make a case over the middling major conference teams in the Last Four In.
With all that said, here’s today’s update. Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name.
In since last time: Wright State
Out since last time: Northern Kentucky
1s – Virginia, Xavier, Villanova, Auburn (+1)
2s – Kansas, Purdue (-1), Duke, Texas Tech
3s – Cincinnati, Michigan State, North Carolina, Clemson
4s – Tennessee, Arizona, West Virginia, Gonzaga (+1)
5s – Ohio State (-1), Wichita State, Oklahoma, Rhode Island
6s – Florida, Alabama, Arizona State, Saint Mary’s
7s – Nevada, Florida State, Miami, Texas A & M
8s – Creighton, Kentucky, Seton Hall, Michigan
9s – Missouri, Houston (+1), Arkansas, TCU
10s – Louisville (-1), Butler, Providence, Texas
11s – UCLA, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse
12s – Middle Tennessee, Buffalo, Vermont (+1), New Mexico State
13s – Loyola-Chicago (-1), Louisiana, South Dakota State, Belmont
14s – East Tennessee State, UC Santa Barbara, Charleston, Rider (+1)
15s – Montana (-1), Bucknell, Wright State (new), Stephen F. Austin
16s – Penn, Wagner, Florida Gulf Coast, UNC-Asheville, Savannah State, Grambling
LAST FOUR IN – North Carolina State, Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse
FIRST FOUR OUT – USC, Washington, Saint Bonaventure (+2), Western Kentucky
NEXT FOUR OUT – Temple, LSU, Notre Dame (-1), Boise State
THIRD FOUR OUT – Utah, Nebraska, Marquette (-1), Mississippi State
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 on Tuesday, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime.