Bracketology: Michigan State is a 3 Seed

If you’re a Michigan State fan, here’s something you don’t want to hear: your team is ranked second in the nation in the AP poll and the Coaches poll, but they are realistically no better than a 3 seed right now.

Yes, this is unusual.  A team ranked higher than the seed line it deserves.  But you know what else is unusual?  Earning a top 2 seed while only having 2 wins over teams expected to make the tournament.  Michigan State has two great wins at home against Purdue and against North Carolina on a neutral court.  After that, its best win is against a Notre Dame team that is on the wrong side of the bubble.  That type of resume won’t earn a top seed.  The Spartans could get two quality win opportunities in the Big Ten tournament, but the same could be said for all of the teams above them in their respective conference tournaments.

Elsewhere, a lot of teams have moved into, out of, and through the bracket since I last updated on Friday.  Here is the latest, with moves up or down in parentheses after the team’s name.

In since last time: Northeastern, Northern Kentucky, Bethune-Cookman, UNC-Greensboro, Nicholls State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, USC, Louisville

Out since last time: Charleston, Wright State, Savannah State, East Tennessee State, Stephen F. Austin, Grambling (I mistakenly had them in the field not realizing they are ineligible), Marquette, LSU

1s – Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, Xavier

2s – North Carolina (+1), Duke, Purdue, Auburn

3s – Michigan State (-1), Cincinnati, Wichita State (+), Tennessee (+1)

4s – West Virginia, Texas Tech (-1), Arizona (-1), Gonzaga

5s – Clemson, Kentucky, Ohio State, Rhode Island

6s – Nevada, Seton Hall, Michigan, TCU (+1)

7s – Houston (+1), Butler, Saint Mary’s, Florida State (-1)

8s – Oklahoma, Texas A & M (+1), Miami, Florida (+1)

9s – Creighton (+1), Arkansas, Arizona State (-2), Alabama (-1)

10s – North Carolina State, Virginia Tech (-1), Providence (+1), Missouri

11s – Kansas State (-1), Saint Bonaventure, Baylor, USC (new), Middle Tennessee (+1)

12s – Texas (-1), Louisville (new), Loyola-Chicago, Louisiana, New Mexico State

13s – South Dakota State, Vermont, Buffalo, Murray State

14s – UNC-Greensboro (new), Northeastern (new), Bucknell, Rider

15s – Montana, Northern Kentucky (new), UC Santa Barbara, Penn (+1)

16s – Florida Gulf Coast, UNC-Asheville (-1), Wagner, Nicholls State (new), Bethune-Cookman (new), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (new)

LAST FOUR IN – Baylor, USC, Texas, Louisville

FIRST FOUR OUT – Washington (+1), Marquette, Syracuse, UCLA

NEXT FOUR OUT – LSU, Mississippi State, Georgia (+1), Utah

THIRD FOUR OUT – Notre Dame, Western Kentucky (-1), Boise State, Oregon (+2)

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 Wednesday, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime. 

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Bracketology 2/23/18

Here’s my latest bracketology update as we move into the weekend.  This one features a lot of changes in the middle and near the cut line.

In since last time: Murray State, Marquette, LSU, Saint Bonaventure

Out since last time: Belmont, Louisville, UCLA, Syracuse

1s – Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, Xavier

2s – Auburn, Duke, Purdue, Michigan State

3s – North Carolina, Cincinnati, Arizona, Texas Tech

4s – Wichita State, West Virginia, Tennessee, Gonzaga (+1)

5s – Clemson (-1), Ohio State, Rhode Island, Kentucky

6s – Nevada, Seton Hall (+1), Michigan (+1), Florida State

7s – TCU (+1), Arizona State (-1), Saint Mary’s (-1), Butler (+1)

8s – Miami, Houston (-1), Alabama (-1), Oklahoma

9s – Texas A & M, Arkansas, Virginia Tech (+1), Florida

10s – Missouri, Creighton, North Carolina State, Kansas State (+1)

11s – Baylor, Providence, Texas (-2), Marquette (new), LSU (new), Saint Bonaventure (new)

12s – Middle Tennessee, Loyola-Chicago, Louisiana, New Mexico State

13s – South Dakota State, Vermont, Buffalo, Murray State (new)

14s – Charleston, East Tennessee State, Bucknell, Rider

15s – Wright State, Montana, UC Santa Barbara, UNC-Asheville (new)

16s – Stephen F. Austin (-1), Penn, Wagner, Florida Gulf Coast, Grambling, Savannah State

LAST FOUR IN – Texas, Marquette, LSU, Saint Bonaventure

FIRST FOUR OUT – USC (+1), Syracuse, UCLA, Louisville

NEXT FOUR OUT – Utah, Mississippi State, Washington (-1), Western Kentucky

THIRD FOUR OUT – Notre Dame, Temple, Boise State (+1), Georgia

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 Monday, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime. 

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Bracketology: Major Moves

Just as quickly as I moved Auburn up to the 1 line on Saturday, they suffered a borderline bad loss at South Carolina to drop them right back to a 2 seed.  Taking their place is Kansas, who is making a strong late-season push (as they seem to do every year).  Most recently, the Jayhawks crushed the slumping Sooners of Oklahoma on Monday night by a count of 104-74.  In addition to a ton of good wins, Kansas has the best strength of schedule, and leads the way with 10 wins over Quadrant 1 teams.

Throughout the bracket, there was as much movement as I can ever remember seeing within four days.  Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers here:

Kentucky (5 seed, up 3 spots from the 8 line last time): Hardly anyone has been as inconsistent as the Wildcats, but they appear to be surging now, recording back to back double digit wins vs. Alabama and at Arkansas.  This adds to several other quality wins, the best of which was at West Virginia in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge last month.  Kentucky also boasts the 3rd best strength of schedule and an RPI of 17.  Another thing that helped them move up so much was losses by seemingly everyone who was previously on the 6 and 7 lines in the last few days.

Florida (9 seed, down 3 spots from the 6 line last time): See my comment about inconsistency above.  The Gators have been absolutely all over the place this year, beating the likes of Cincinnati and Gonzaga at neutral courts and also winning at Kentucky, while also losing at Ole Miss and most recently at Vanderbilt.  What is really hurting Florida right now is that their RPI has dropped all the way to 65, which traditionally puts a team in jeopardy of missing out, regardless of their resume.  Florida needs to turn it around, or they risk falling out of the field.

Oklahoma (8 seed, down 3 spots from the 5 line last time): Let’s be honest about it, the Sooners are not even a tournament-quality team at this time.  They have lost 6 games in a row to fall to 16-11 overall, and are now in serious danger of missing out based on record alone.

Remember that only one team has ever earned an at-large bid with 15 losses (Vanderbilt last year).  Oklahoma closes Big 12 regular season play with Kansas State at home, Baylor on the road, and Iowa State at home.  As poorly as they’ve played lately, the only one of those games I’d give them the edge in is against Iowa State, and that’s not by much.  Lose all three of these games and drop a game in the Big 12 tournament, and Oklahoma will miss March Madness, which was unimaginable a month ago.  In fact, the Sooners peaked as a 2 seed, and the 6th team overall, in my January 27 projection.  This would be an epic collapse.

With all that said, here’s today’s update.  Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name.

1s – Virginia, Villanova, Kansas (+1), Xavier

2s – Auburn (-1), Duke, Purdue, Michigan State (+1)

3s – North Carolina, Texas Tech (-1), Cincinnati, Arizona (+1)

4s – Clemson (-1), West Virginia, Wichita State (+1), Tennessee

5s – Gonzaga (-1), Ohio State, Rhode Island, Kentucky (+3)

6s – Arizona State, Nevada (+1), Florida State (+1), Saint Mary’s

7s – Houston (+2), Michigan (+1), Seton Hall (+1), Alabama (-1)

8s – TCU (+1), Miami (-1), Oklahoma (-3), Butler (+2)

9s – Florida (-3), Texas A & M (-2), Arkansas, Texas (+1)

10s – Missouri (-1), Creighton (-2), Virginia Tech (+1), North Carolina State (+1)

11s – Providence (-1), Baylor, Kansas State, Louisville (-1), UCLA, Syracuse

12s – Middle Tennessee, Loyola-Chicago (+1), Louisiana (+1), New Mexico State

13s – South Dakota State, Vermont (-1), Buffalo (-1), Belmont

14s – Charleston, Rider, East Tennessee State, Bucknell (+1)

15s – UC Santa Barbara (-1), Wright State, Montana, Stephen F. Austin

16s – UNC-Asheville, Penn, Wagner, Florida Gulf Coast, Grambling, Savannah State

LAST FOUR IN – Kansas State, Louisville, UCLA, Syracuse

FIRST FOUR OUT – Washington, Marquette (+2), LSU (+1), Saint Bonaventure

NEXT FOUR OUT – USC (-1), Mississippi State (+1), Utah (+1), Western Kentucky (-1)

THIRD FOUR OUT – Georgia (+1), Notre Dame (-1), Temple (-1), Penn State (+2)

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 Friday, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime. 

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Bracketology: Changes at the Top

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. 

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Bracketology 2/15/18

Here’s a quick bracketology update heading into Thursday night.  Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name.

In since last time: Savannah State, Grambling

Out since last time: North Carolina A & T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

1s – Virginia, Xavier, Villanova, Purdue

2s – Auburn, Kansas, Duke, Texas Tech (+1)

3s – Cincinnati (-1), Michigan State, North Carolina, Clemson

4s – Tennessee, Ohio State, Arizona, West Virginia (+1)

5s – Oklahoma (-1), Gonzaga (+1), Wichita State, Rhode Island

6s – Florida (-1), Arizona State, Saint Mary’s (+1), Alabama (+2)

7s – Nevada, Florida State (+1), Miami (-1), Texas A & M

8s – Creighton, Kentucky (-2), Seton Hall (-1), Michigan (+1)

9s – Missouri (+1), Arkansas, Louisville (+1), TCU

10s – Houston, Butler (-1), Providence (+1), Texas (-2)

11s – North Carolina State, Virginia Tech (-1), UCLA, Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse

12s – Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Loyola-Chicago, Buffalo

13s – Vermont, South Dakota State, Louisiana, Belmont (+1)

14s – East Tennessee State (-1), UC Santa Barbara, Montana (+1), Charleston

15s – Northern Kentucky (-1), Rider, Bucknell, Stephen F. Austin

16s – Florida Gulf Coast, UNC-Asheville, Penn, Wagner, Savannah State (new), Grambling (new)

LAST FOUR IN – UCLA, Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse

FIRST FOUR OUT – Washington, USC, Western Kentucky, Notre Dame

NEXT FOUR OUT – Temple, Marquette, LSU, Boise State

THIRD FOUR OUT – Nebraska, Utah, Saint Bonaventure (+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 Saturday, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime. 

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Bracketology: Reactions to the Reveal

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. 

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Bracketology: Virginia Now Leads the Way

Here’s my latest NCAA tournament projection.  Possibly the biggest change since Wednesday is that we have a new overall number 1, which is Virginia.  This comes after Villanova shockingly lost at home to St. John’s on Wednesday.

Then again, as crazy as this season has been, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for St. John’s – currently 1-11 in the Big East and 12-13 overall – to somehow get in on Selection Sunday.  They would have to win out in regular season play to start, but can you really write it off when you look at some of the unbelievable results to this point?

With all that said, here’s how I see it as of today.  Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name.

In since last time: UNC-Asheville, Marquette

Out since last time: Radford, Washington

1s – Virginia, Villanova, Purdue, Xavier

2s – Kansas, Clemson, Texas Tech, Duke

3s – Auburn, Tennessee, North Carolina (+1), West Virginia

4s – Michigan State (-1), Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Ohio State (+1)

5s – Arizona (-1), Wichita State, Florida (+1), Kentucky

6s – Rhode Island, Gonzaga (-1), Miami, Saint Mary’s (+1)

7s – Seton Hall (-1), Arizona State (+1), Florida State, Texas

8s – Creighton, Butler, Nevada (-1), Texas A & M (+1)

9s – TCU (-1), Michigan, Alabama, Arkansas

10s – Providence, Louisville, Missouri, North Carolina State

11s – UCLA, Houston, Syracuse, Kansas State, USC, Marquette (new)

12s – Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Buffalo, Loyola-Chicago

13s – South Dakota State, Vermont (+1), East Tennessee State, Louisiana

14s – Belmont (-1), Wright State, Charleston, Montana

15s – UC Santa Barbara, Bucknell (-1), Rider, Stephen F. Austin

16s – UNC-Asheville (new), Florida Gulf Coast, Penn, Wagner, North Carolina A & T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

LAST FOUR IN – Syracuse, Kansas State, USC, Marquette

FIRST FOUR OUT – Virginia Tech, Washington, Western Kentucky, Boise State

NEXT FOUR OUT – Mississippi State, Notre Dame, LSU, Temple (+1)

THIRD FOUR OUT – SMU (-1), Utah (+1), Oklahoma 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 early next week, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime. 

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Bracketology 2/7/18

Here’s a quick NCAA tournament projection.  Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name.

In since last time: Syracuse

Out since last time: Marquette

1s – Villanova, Virginia, Purdue, Xavier

2s – Kansas, Clemson, Texas Tech, Duke

3s – Auburn, Tennessee, Michigan State, West Virginia (+1)

4s – North Carolina, Cincinnati, Oklahoma (-1), Arizona

5s – Ohio State, Wichita State (+1), Gonzaga, Kentucky

6s – Rhode Island, Seton Hall (-1), Florida, Miami

7s – Saint Mary’s, Nevada, Florida State, Texas (+1)

8s – Arizona State, Butler, Creighton (+1), TCU (-1)

9s – Michigan (-1), Alabama, Texas A & M, Arkansas (+1)

10s – North Carolina State, Providence, Louisville (-1), Missouri (+1)

11s – Washington (-1), USC, Syracuse (new), Houston, UCLA, Kansas State

12s – Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Buffalo, Loyola-Chicago

13s – Belmont, South Dakota State, East Tennessee State, Louisiana

14s – Vermont, Wright State, Charleston (+1), Montana

15s – UC Santa Barbara, Bucknell (-1), Rider, Stephen F. Austin

16s – Florida Gulf Coast, Penn, Wagner, Radford, North Carolina A & T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

LAST FOUR IN – Syracuse, Houston, UCLA, Kansas State

FIRST FOUR OUT – Marquette, Western Kentucky, Boise State, Virginia Tech

NEXT FOUR OUT – LSU, Notre Dame, SMU, Mississippi State (+1)

THIRD FOUR OUT – Georgia (-1), Temple, Maryland (+1), Nebraska (+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 over the weekend, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime. 

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Bracketology: Super Sunday Edition

Here’s a quick NCAA tournament projection as we get ready for the Super Bowl tonight.  Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name.

In since last time: Washington, Missouri, UCLA, Charleston

Out since last time: Boise State, Western Kentucky, Syracuse, William & Mary

1s – Villanova, Virginia, Purdue, Xavier (+1)

2s – Kansas (-1), Clemson, Texas Tech (+1), Duke

3s – Auburn, Oklahoma (-1), Michigan State, Tennessee

4s – North Carolina, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Arizona

5s – Ohio State, Kentucky, Seton Hall (+1), Gonzaga

6s – Rhode Island, Florida (-1), Wichita State, Miami (+1)

7s – Saint Mary’s (-1), Nevada, Florida State (+1), TCU

8s – Michigan, Butler, Texas (+1), Arizona State (-1)

9s – Alabama, Creighton, Louisville (-1), Texas A & M (+1)

10s – North Carolina State, Providence, Arkansas (-1), Washington (new)

11s – Missouri (new), USC (-1), Houston, UCLA (new), Marquette (+1), Kansas State

12s – Middle Tennessee (-1), New Mexico State, Buffalo, Loyola-Chicago

13s – Belmont, South Dakota State, East Tennessee State, Louisiana

14s – Vermont, Wright State, Bucknell, Charleston (new)

15s – Montana, UC Santa Barbara, Rider, Stephen F. Austin

16s – Florida Gulf Coast, Penn, Wagner, Radford, North Carolina A & T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

LAST FOUR IN – Houston, UCLA, Marquette, Kansas State

FIRST FOUR OUT – Western Kentucky, Syracuse, Boise State, Virginia Tech (+1)

NEXT FOUR OUT – SMU, LSU (+1), Notre Dame (-1), Georgia

THIRD FOUR OUT – Oklahoma State (+2), Mississippi State (+1), Temple, South Carolina (-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 early in the week, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime. 

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Bracketology: Mid-Major Movement

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

RPI: 68

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.

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