We are now less than four weeks from Selection Sunday, and after doing the 1-68 for a few weeks, the volatility in the bottom half of the bracket is astonishing. Just this week, Alabama and Wisconsin made huge moves not only to get into the projected field, but to get respectable seeds. In addition to the bracket, I am going to point out some resumes to explain some of my choices that may look to be a bit off on the surface.
Syracuse as a 6 seed
Boeheim has the Orange on a tear since returning, which is why they get a higher seed than most will give them at this point. The Committee will take into account the struggles during his suspension, but the resume is there too. I have them 23rd overall, ahead of Texas A&M (who they beat on a neutral floor). Baylor and Providence? Each have two Top 50 wins. Syracuse has SIX. They have a very good starting lineup, and a solid sixth man in Lydon. Dangerous team.
Mid-Majors doing themselves no favors
What a terrible week for mid-majors, as Wichita lost at home to UNI, Valpo lost at home to Wright State, and St. Mary’s lost twice in the WCC. Monmouth (and maybe Wichita St) look like the only chances for an at-large bid if they slip up.
You’ll also note that I still have St. Mary’s in over Duke West (Gonzaga for those new to the blog), even though they are a game back. This is because Duke West goes to St. Mary’s on Saturday, so the Gaels are still in the driver’s seat in my eyes.
Weekly resume comparison
Team A: 20-6, RPI (60), SOS (120), Top 50 (1-3), Top 100 (2-6)
Team B: 17-6, RPI (33), SOS (71), Top 50 (2-3), Top 100 (4-5)
Team A is a 9 seed according to Lunardi, while Team B is the seventh team in the last out group. They look pretty similar don’t they? Well, Team B actually has the better resume.
Team A: Duke West; Team B: St. Bonaventure
Duke West as a 9 seed is an absolute joke. You won’t see them in this bracket unless they beat St. Mary’s on Saturday. It is pretty obvious that the “experts” have them ranked much higher solely due to name recognition (which isn’t warranted in the first place).
Last Four In: St. Joseph’s, VCU, Butler, Texas Tech
Outside Looking In: (69) Clemson, (70) Washington, (71) St. Bonaventure, (72) Florida State, (73) Temple, (74) Vanderbilt, (75) Duke West, (76) G. Washington
1 Villanova vs. 16 Hampton/Wagner – Brooklyn
8 Colorado vs. 9 Monmouth
5 Indiana vs. 12 Valparaiso
4 Iowa State vs. 13 UALR – Spokane
3 Virginia vs. 14 Yale – Providence
6 USC vs. 11 Connecticut
7 S. Carolina vs. 10 Pittsburgh
2 Michigan State vs. 15 S.F. Austin – Des Moines
1 Oklahoma vs. 16 Weber State – Oklahoma City
8 California vs. 9 Seton Hall
5 Notre Dame vs. 12 St. Mary’s
4 Dayton vs. 13 Akron – Denver
3 Kentucky vs. 14 UNC Wilmington – St. Louis
6 Purdue vs. 11 St. Joseph’s/Texas Tech
7 Utah vs. 10 Wichita State
2 UNC vs. 15 Winthrop – Raleigh
1 Kansas vs. 16 Bucknell – Oklahoma City
8 LSU vs. 9 Wisconsin
5 Duke vs. 12 Chattanooga
4 Arizona vs. 13 Stony Brook – Denver
3 Miami vs. 14 UAB – Raleigh
6 Texas A&M vs. 11 Cincinnati
7 Baylor vs. 10 Oregon State
2 Iowa vs. 15 New Mexico State – Des Moines
1 Xavier vs. 16 N. Florida/Texas Southern – St. Louis
8 Michigan vs. 9 Alabama
5 Texas vs. 12 San Diego State
4 Oregon vs. 13 Hawaii – Spokane
3 W. Virginia vs. 14 S. Dakota State – St. Louis
6 Syracuse vs. 11 VCU/Butler
7 Providence vs. 10 Florida
2 Maryland vs. 15 Belmont – Brooklyn