Below is the updated bracket through Monday’s games. As I had tweeted the 8 teams that missed the bracket in order are: WVU, LSU, Clemson, Ole Miss, Baylor, Missouri, Florida State, and BYU. As always, the bubble tightens in late-February/early-March as bids are stolen and big victories are sealed (congrats, SMU). In order to feel safe on selection Sunday, those eight teams need to improve their profile, and win some big games.
Seeds 1-4: I favor Villanova and Florida for 1 seeds over Wichita State. Wichita does not control their destiny to be a 1 seed; but I find it unlikely they enter the tournament undefeated without being a top seed. Kansas State and Michigan State remain as 2 seeds, as they lead the two best conferences in the country, despite recent losses. After being blown out at West Virginia, Iowa State drops to a 4-seed, although the separation is razor-thin.
Seeds 5-8: Kansas St. is a high 7 after their victory over Kansas, and recent success in the Big 12, with 8 top 50 wins. I have Kentucky as a 5 seed, and do not understand how some bracketologists have them as a 4 seed or better. Their profile is alright, but lacks quality wins for a top 4 seed. Ohio State was tough to assign a seed, with their lack of top 50 RPI wins, despite playing in the Big Ten. Although Pittsburgh defeated Virginia Tech on Saturday, they failed the eye test. I have re-classified their profile as that of a 6-seed and anticipate them falling back as they reach the bulk of their ACC schedule.
Seed 9-12: Gonzaga is overrated. Their profile lacks a quality win, and although dominance of their conference is a good thing, it appears that others have a stronger opinion of WCC with their inclusion of BYU in some brackets. I would imagine I am higher than most on the Atlantic 10, as I opted to include both Richmond and Saint Joseph’s due to their quality overall profile, with each having a win over UMass. Georgetown sneaks in the last spot with a win over Providence tonight. The first four would be: Georgetown vs Oregon and Providence vs Richmond in Dayton.
|Wichita State||2||New Mexico||10|
|San Diego State||2||Virginia Commonwealth||10|
|Virginia||5||North Dakota State||13|
|Pittsburgh||6||Stephen F. Austin||14|
|Kansas State||7||Santa Barbara||14|
|UCLA||8||North Carolina Central||15|
|George Washington||8||Robert Morris||16|
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