Bracketology: Bubble Watch, 2/28/18

As promised earlier, I’m bringing you my thoughts on the current bubble teams (click to see today’s bracketology to go along with this article).  Let’s face it, even the teams that have the Last Four Byes right now – Oklahoma, USC, Baylor, and St. Bonaventure – aren’t safe.  For example, while USC is 21-9 overall, typically good enough for a major conference team to get in, their best wins are on neutral courts against Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State.  That may not get it done.

But for now, let’s focus on the teams who are the most desperate – the Last Four In – and the ones who are the most primed to take those spots, the First Four Out.  Here’s a rundown of relevant metrics for each of those teams, along with their best wins, worst losses, and what could seal their fate one way or another come Selection Sunday.

Kansas State (Overall record: 20-10, quadrant 1 record: 3-9, SOS: 73, KenPom: 47, RPI: 62, road record: 6-5): K-state’s best win came at home against TCU and their worst loss was on a neutral court against Tulsa.  That’s really not too terrible a loss, as Tulsa has an RPI of 76 at this point.  That gives K-State just one loss outside of Quadrant 1.  The Wildcats also benefit from a solid road record.  Still, beating Baylor on Saturday and winning a game in the Big 12 tournament would be ideal for Kansas State to feel comfortable on Selection Sunday.

Louisville (Overall record: 19-10, quadrant 1 record: 3-8, SOS: 27, KenPom: 34, RPI: 39, road record: 4-6): The Cardinals have some solid metrics.  Usually, with those strength of schedule, KenPom, and RPI numbers, you wouldn’t be worried about a team getting an at-large bid.  But what they don’t have is a lot of quality wins.  Their best win came at Virginia Tech or at Florida State (depending on which team you feel is better). At the same time, they also don’t have a single bad loss, with the worst being at home against Syracuse.  That is a Quadrant 2 loss but Syracuse certainly isn’t a bad team.

Tomorrow night, Louisville plays Virginia at home.  Winning that would be huge for their resume.  If the Cardinals can do that and follow it up with a win at North Carolina State on Saturday, I wouldn’t be worried about them making the tournament.

Syracuse (Overall record: 18-11, quadrant 1 record: 2-7, SOS: 14, KenPom: 49, RPI: 43, road record: 4-6): The Orange have a few problems right now.  The simplest one is this: should they lose out by dropping their contest at Boston College tonight (they are behind as I write this), falling to Clemson on Saturday, and losing their opening game of the ACC tournament, they will be 18-14.  That matters because the historical minimum for getting an at-large bid is four games above .500.  And, when your best win is at Miami and you’ve lost to Wake Forest and Georgia Tech (plus Boston College in the lose-out scenario), you won’t be getting in at 18-14.

On the other side of the coin, the Orange has some work to do to secure a bid.  Quite frankly, they are really in the field by default at this point.  Losing to BC tonight would make it so that they probably have to beat Clemson OR go far in the ACC tournament.  Even if they get by BC, they still need a quality win or two to seal the deal.

Alabama (Overall record: 17-13, quadrant 1 record: 5-6, SOS: 8, KenPom: 56, RPI: 58, road record: 2-7):  The Crimson Tide have been a really strange team.  Right now, they are my last team in.  They have a lot of good wins, the best of which are home against Auburn and Tennessee.  But they also simply have too many losses, seven of which have come outside of Quadrant 1 – more than any other team I have in my Last Four In or First Four Out.  They appeared to be a lock two weeks ago – I had them on the 6 line – but four straight losses has changed everything.

A win at Texas A & M on Saturday would help their cause, but it won’t be enough.  Bama will need at least one win in the SEC tournament in addition to that.  On the other hand, should they fall to Texas A & M, it’s very hard to imagine the Crimson Tide earning an at-large bid on Selection Sunday, simply because they would end up with 15 losses by failing to win their conference tournament.  Only one team has ever earned an at-large with 15 losses.  That was Vanderbilt last year, and they had the country’s #2 strength of schedule along with an RPI of 33.

Marquette (Overall record: 17-12, quadrant 1 record: 4-7, SOS: 25, KenPom: 50, RPI: 64, road record: 5-5): This is my first team out right now.  The Golden Eagles have some nice road wins, the best of which are at Creighton and at Seton Hall.  They also have a strong strength of schedule.  Other than that, they don’t have that much going for them.  First of all, they have too many losses.  Second of all, two of those are at St. John’s and at Depaul, which won’t help.  Winning against Creighton on Saturday would help to solidify their resume, but it will probably take more than that.  On the flip side, losing to Creighton and in the Big East tournament opener would definitely eliminate Marquette, at 17-14.

Texas (Overall record: 17-13, quadrant 1 record: 5-10, SOS: 19, KenPom: 43, RPI: 60, road record: 4-7): The Longhorns’ best win is at home against Texas Tech, who is slipping right now.  Their season sweep of Oklahoma would have looked great a month ago, but right now, the Sooners are in an absolute free fall.  At least Texas’ only bad loss is at Oklahoma State.  But, they just have too many losses, period.  Beating West Virginia on Saturday would help but they still might need a win or two in the Big 12 tourney.  Lose to West Virginia and fall early in the conference tournament, and it’s NIT time.

Washington (Overall record: 19-10, quadrant 1 record: 3-6, SOS: 48, KenPom: 95, RPI: 51, road record: 5-5): so, I don’t know to what extent the various Selection Committee members use KenPom.  I do know that Washington’s KenPom rating of 95 puts them right on par with teams like Furman, Iowa, and Georgetown.  In other words, not good.  The Huskies do have one of the best road wins of anyone in college basketball this season, at Kansas.  They also have two losses to a marginal Stanford team and a loss at a poor Oregon State team.

It’s not like beating Oregon State and Oregon at home to close out the season is going to do much to boost Washington’s resume, either.  On the other hand, they can’t afford to lose those games.  I really think at this point, not only do the Huskies need to win out in the regular season and make some noise in the Pac 12 tournament, but they need more losses by the teams above them.

UCLA (Overall record: 19-10, quadrant 1 record: 2-6, SOS: 39, KenPom: 29, RPI: 68, road record: 2-7): there really isn’t much that’s impressive about the Bruins’ resume at this point.  Only two wins against Quadrant 1 is weak.  A 2-7 road record is ugly.  Their RPI number is low, relative to teams who have historically gotten at-large bids.  It’s nice that they won at Arizona and beat Kentucky on a neutral court.  But they also got swept by Colorado and lost to both Stanford and Oregon State.  Beating USC on Saturday would help, but it’s going to take more than that to make the field.

So, that’s it for now.  I’ll keep these Bubble Watch articles going as an add-on to my regular bracketology as we head towards Selection Sunday.  Enjoy the games, and look for my next bracketology on Friday morning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bracketology: Michigan State Moves Back Up

On Monday, I spelled out why Michigan State deserved to be a 3 seed.  Well, things change quickly in this chaotic season of college basketball.  Thanks to losses by three teams above them – North Carolina, Auburn, and Duke – the Spartans are back on the 2 line.

Of course, the teams near the cut line have a more pressing issue.  What do these teams need to do in order to wrap up a bid?  Or, what will cause them to miss out entirely?  Later tonight, I’ll bring you a more detailed write up about the Last Four In and First Four Out, a feature I’ll continue until Selection Sunday.

For now, here is my latest NCAA tournament projection, with moves up or down in parentheses after the team’s name.

In since last time: Syracuse

Out since last time: Texas

1s – Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, Xavier

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

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

4s – West Virginia, Clemson (+1), Gonzaga, Texas Tech

5s – Arizona (-1), Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan (+1)

6s – TCU, Nevada, Seton Hall, Rhode Island (-1)

7s – Houston, Butler, Miami (+1), Saint Mary’s

8s – Arkansas (+1), Florida, Texas A & M, Florida State (-1)

9s – Creighton, Arizona State, Virginia Tech (+1), North Carolina State (+1)

10s – Missouri, Providence, Oklahoma (-2), USC (+1)

11s – Baylor, Saint Bonaventure, Kansas State, Louisville (+1), Syracuse (new), Alabama (-2)

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

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

14s – UNC-Greensboro, Northeastern, Bucknell, Rider

15s – Montana, Northern Kentucky, UC Santa Barbara, Penn

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

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

FIRST FOUR OUT – Marquette, Texas, Washington, UCLA

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

THIRD FOUR OUT – Mississippi State (-1), Western Kentucky, Nebraska (+1), Temple (+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 on Wednesday, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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. 

Posted in March Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment