Bracket Projection – March 12

One day from Selection Sunday, and there has been chaos on the bubble in the past 48 hours while I have been donating my money to Las Vegas casinos.  Let’s discuss the big wins, landmines and those with work left to do, before we get to the bracket.

Quality Wins

*Michigan needed to beat Indiana, and did.  Now, is it enough?  They still have 4 Top 100 wins, remember.  They may need to knock off Purdue too.
*It’s absolutely amazing that UConn’s tournament chances are likely solely intact due to that three-quarter court heave.  What a shot.  What a game.  If UConn has any gas left in the tank and beats Temple today, which I think they will, they are in.  Pretty much a play-in game.
*Seton Hall is nowhere near the bubble, but to beat Xavier twice in a span of three weeks…pretty damn impressive.

Landmines

*Georgia really isn’t a landmine, but S. Carolina’s spot in the field is on thin ice.  They have only 1 Top 50 win, and a SOS of 153.  Plus, they lost to Missouri.  Let that sink in.
*Texas Tech lost to TCU.  Woof
*Houston lost to Tulane.  Double woof.
*Tulsa missed out on a golden opportunity to coast to the American championship game, but somehow lost to Josh Pastner.  It’s hard to argue that you belong in the tournament when you get beat by Josh Pastner.

Blind Resumes

Comparison #1
Team A: 24-8, RPI (49), KenPom (11), SOS (120), Top 50 (1-3), Top 100 (4-7)
Team B: 24-8, RPI (58), KenPom (51), SOS (153), Top 50 (1-1), Top 100 (8-5)

Team A – Wichita State.  Team B – S. Carolina.  This shows how precarious of a position S. Carolina is.  If you have Wichita State out, it is hard to argue how S. Carolina is in.

Comparison #2
Team A: 19-12, RPI (34), KenPom (42), SOS (7), Top 50 (5-9), Top 100 (8-10), R/N Top 100 (1-7)
Team B: 19-13, RPI (68), KenPom (41), SOS (41), Top 50 (5-9), Top 100 (8-10), R/N Top 100 (3-7)

These are nearly identical, right?  Team A is Texas Tech, and Team B is Syracuse.   I included this again to show how blasphemous it is to have Syracuse definitely out and Texas Tech definitely in.  They both are in.

Comparison #3

Team A: 27-7, RPI (57), KenPom (67), SOS (206), Top 50 (2-2), Top 100 (4-4), R/N Top 100 (4-3)
Team B: 22-11, RPI (55), KenPom (50), SOS (54), Top 50 (4-10), Top 100 (4-11), R/N Top 100 (2-7)

Team A is the second to last team in right now, Monmouth.  Team B is the last team in, Michigan.  Of course, Michigan probably locks up a bid by beating Purdue today.  This is probably the biggest question mark on whether the Committee rewards the little guy, or takes the middling power-conference team.  Throw in Vanderbilt and S. Carolina, and it is really a tough call.

BRACKET

Last Four In:  Wichita State, St. Mary’s, Monmouth, Michigan
Outside Looking In:  Vanderbilt, S. Carolina, Temple, Valparaiso (everyone else is eliminated)

MIDWEST
1 Kansas vs 16 FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON/HOLY CROSS – Des Moines
8 Pittsburgh vs 9 Cincinnati
5 California vs 12 Chattanooga
4 Purdue vs 13 SF Austin – Denver
3 Kentucky vs 14 Akron – Des Moines
6 Texas vs 11 Wichita State/St. Mary’s
7 Providence vs 10 St. Bonaventure
2 UNC vs 15 GREEN BAY – Raleigh

WEST
1 Villanova vs 16 Hampton – Brooklyn
8 Colorado vs 9 VCU
5 Maryland vs 12 UALR
4 Texas A&M vs 13 Hawaii – Spokane
3 Miami vs 14 Vermont (up 9 on Stony Brook at half) – Providence
6 Iowa State vs 11 San Diego State
7 Iowa vs 10 St. Joseph’s
2 Oregon vs 15 Weber State – Spokane

SOUTH
1 Michigan St vs 16 Southern – St. Louis
8 Oregon St vs 9 Texas Tech
5 Seton Hall vs 12 Northern Iowa
4 Duke vs 13 S. Dakota St – Oklahoma City
3 Utah vs 14 Old Dominion – Denver
6 Notre Dame vs 11 GONZAGA
7 Dayton vs 10 Connecticut
2 Oklahoma vs 15 New Mexico St – Oklahoma City

EAST
1 Virginia vs 16 AUSTIN PEAY/FGCU – Raleigh
8 USC vs 9 Butler
5 Baylor vs 12 YALE
4 Indiana vs 13 IONA – Providence
3 Xavier vs 14 UNC WILMINGTON – St. Louis
6 Arizona vs 11 Monmouth/Michigan
7 Wisconsin vs 10 Syracuse
2 Oklahoma vs 15 New Mexico St – Oklahoma City

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