Yesterday, I went into great detail about my last couple of teams in and first couple of teams out. Today, I’ve made some changes. As much as I’d love to see Middle Tennessee in the tournament, I think that the lack of a signature win, as well as three losses worse than Quadrant 2, will do them in.
At this point, I believe everyone in the projected field is safe (minus, of course, teams from one-bid leagues whose conference titles are still on the line) except my last two at-large teams in, Louisville and Baylor. Really, when you compare the resumes of Louisville and Baylor, as well as my first five teams out – Syracuse, Marquette, Saint Mary’s, Middle Tennessee, and Arizona State – you are splitting hairs. So I had to simplify it in this way:
- Louisville is in because their RPI is 39, and no major conference team with an RPI better than 40 has missed the tournament in the last 10 years.
- Baylor is in because, despite a questionable RPI (65), they have four Quadrant 1 wins – the only other team among the group who can claim that is Syracuse – and only two losses outside Quadrant 1. The “First Five Out” group all has four or more losses beyond Quadrant 1, the worst being Arizona State at seven.
So, we’ll see how it plays out. Also, up top, I think the final 1 seed is definitely up for grabs after North Carolina beat Duke in the ACC semifinals and Xavier fell to Providence in the Big East semifinals. If North Carolina beats Virginia to win the ACC title tonight, I’ll have to take a very, very close look at this before my final projection tomorrow.
With all that said, here’s today’s projection. Note that the only result from today that is taken into account so far is UMBC defeating Vermont in the America East final. Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name. Those who have earned an automatic bid are underlined.
Bids clinched since last time: UMBC
In since last time: UMBC, San Diego State, UC Irvine, Hampton, Stephen F. Austin
Out since last time: Vermont, Middle Tennessee, UC Davis, North Carolina A & T, Nicholls State
1s – Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, Xavier
2s – North Carolina, Duke, Cincinnati, Purdue
3s – Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State, Auburn
4s – West Virginia, Texas Tech, Wichita State, Clemson
5s – Arizona, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Ohio State (+1)
6s – Arkansas, Houston, Florida (-1), Texas A & M (+1)
7s – Miami, TCU (-1), Seton Hall, Rhode Island (+1)
8s – Missouri, Nevada (-1), Butler, Oklahoma
9s – Creighton, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Providence (+1)
10s – Alabama (+1), Saint Bonaventure, North Carolina State, Florida State (-1)
11s – USC, Texas (-1), UCLA, Louisville, Baylor, Loyola-Chicago
12s – New Mexico State, Murray State, South Dakota State, San Diego State (new)
13s – Western Kentucky, Buffalo, Louisiana, UNC-Greensboro (+1)
14s – Charleston, Montana, Bucknell, Wright State (+1)
15s – Lipscomb, Penn, UC-Irvine (new), Stephen F. Austin (new)
16s – Iona, UMBC (new), Radford, Hampton (new), LIU-Brooklyn, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
LAST FOUR IN – Texas, UCLA, Louisville, Baylor
FIRST FOUR OUT – Syracuse, Marquette, Saint Mary’s, Middle Tennessee
NEXT FOUR OUT – Arizona State (-1), Oklahoma State (+1), Notre Dame, Utah (+1)
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 tomorrow, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime.